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Chapter 9

Chapter 9-Youth Involvement and Positive Development in Sport.docx

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PSYC 3480
Anneke Olthof

Chapter 9 – Youth Involvement and Positive Development in Sport O BJECTIVES OFYOUTH SPORT  Youth sport has potential to accomplish 3 important objectives in children’s development o Sport programs provide youth with opportunities to be physically active, which can lead to improved physical health o Youth-sports programs have long been considered important to youth’s psychosocial development, providing opportunities to learn important life skills (e.g. cooperation, discipline, leadership, and self-control) o Youth-sport programs are critical for the learning of motor skills – serve as foundation for future national sport stars and recreational adult-sport participants  Youth-sport programs tat focus on fun, skill development, and maximum participation encourage people to stay involved and achieve success at all developmental stages of life and at all levels of sport  By focusing on the common building blocks that all young people need, we can reduce costs and increase the benefits associated with sport participation  Youth sport programs have the potential to contribute to positive youth outcomes, but these positive outcomes do not occur automatically through youth-sport involvement O UTCOMES A SSOCIATED WITH Y OUTH -SPORT PARTICIPATION  Positive outcomes associated with youth-sport involvement: health benefits, increased self-esteem, friendships, discipline, teamwork, and competence. Negative youth-sport experiences: insensitive coaches, pressure from parents, peer victimization, aggression, and decreased self-esteem o No studies empirically shown cause-effect relationship between youth-sport participation and developmental outcomes  Sport involvement can contribute to physically health and positive psychological and social development, also evidence of less-desirable relationships between sport participation and youth development  Youth-sport programs provide platform for positive youth development, and, if structured appropriately, can have direct effects on youth’s present and future development and productivity PRINCIPLES OFPOSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT Developmental Assets  Benson outlined 40 developmental assets, termed “building blocks” for human development  Assets fall into 2 broad categories – external assets and internal assets o External – comprise support, empowerment, boundaries and expectations, and constructive use of time o Internal – comprise commitment to learning, positive values, social competencies, and positive identity  More developmental assets an adolescent possesses, the greater his or her likelihood of developing in a positive and healthy manner o More assets an adolescent possesses, the more likely that he or she will “thrive” and the less likely that he or she will use alcohol or be depressed, suicidal, or violent  Programs fostering Benson’s 40 developmental assets have been found to lead to positive youth development  Sport programs have the potential to contribute to many developmental assets o E.g., involvement in sport programs can foster external assets in the areas of constructive use of time, emotional support from family, empowerment, positive social relationships, and high expectations Desirable Youth-Sport Program Settings  NRC and ION in US outlined 8 features of settings that are most likely to foster positive assets in youth o Physical and psychological safety o Appropriate structure o Supportive relationships o Opportunities to belong o Positive social norms o Support for efficacy and mattering o Opportunities for skill building o Integration of family, school, and community efforts Fostering Initiative through Constructive Activities  Children’s activities have been classified into 2 categories o Relaxed Leisure Activities – watching tv, hanging out) – activities that are enjoyable but not demanding in terms of effort o Constructive Leisure Activities – sport, music, art) – also be enjoyable by require sustained effort toward achievement of clear goal  Larson (2000) argues that constructive leisure activities, rather than relaxed leisure activities, foster initiative development in children – suggests initiative (ability to be motivated from within and to direct attention and effort toward challenging goal over time) is a ore quality of positive physical, psychological and social development in children o 3 essential elements  Must be intrinsically motivating  Must involve concerted attention toward specific goals  Must occur over an extended period of time (i.e. regular involvement)  Larson & Verma (1999) - found sport participation to be most popular constructive leisure activity for youth in North America and Europe  Danish & Colleagues (2002) done extensive work on teaching life skills in youth sport settings. Have developed a program called SUPER (Sports United to Promote Education and Recreation) to teach life skills to young athletes through peer-led series of 18 modules taught like sport clinics o Opportunities for coaches and athletes to demonstrate, model, and practice what they are teaching and learning Five C’s of Positive Youth Development  5 C’s of positive youth development o Competence o Character o Connection o Confidence o Caring  Policies must be implemented to allow families and programs to foster and promote positive development th  If this occurs, youth will demonstrate the 5C’s of positive youth development. Collectively, these processes lead to 6 C of positive youth development: contribution (healthy youth become adults, they will choose to contribute, or give back, to family, community, and civil society) – promoting positive development of next generation of youth CONSIDERATIONS FOR YOUTH -SPORT PROGRAMS Youth-Sport Program Activities  Deliberate Play, Deliberate Practice, and Early Specialization o Deliberate Play – activities in sport as those designed to maximize inherent enjoyment, regulated by flexible rules adapted from standardized sport rules and set up and monitored by children or by involved adult  Children typically modify rules to find point where game most resembles actual sport but still allows for play at their level. Children less concerned with outcome of behaviour than with behaviour o Deliberate Practice – activities require effort, generate no immediate rewards, and are motivated by the goal of improving performance rather than goal of enjoyment o Early Specialization – limiting participation to one sport that is practiced on a year-round basis o When individuals involved in deliberate play, they experiment with new or different combinations of behaviours, but not necessarily in most effective way to improve performance o When individuals involved in deliberate practice, exhibit behaviour focused on improving performance by most effective means available o When one is considering the optimal amount of deliberate play, deliberate practice, and involvement in other sports that children should have in their early years, one has to consider 3 objectives of youth sport  Health, Psychosocial development, learning of motor skills  Early Specialization and Deliberate Practice Considerations o Overemphasis on deliberate practice at young age and early specialization can lead to dropout, muscle overuse, injury, and athletes’ failure to develop transferable skills o Early specialization is also concern for youth’s social development because it can lead to missed social opportunities experiences through early diversification o Evidence that early specialization and increased focus on deliberate practice activities during early years can be effective in producing elite performers o Deliberate play and involvement in various sporting activities may serve as more cost-effective way for youth to explore physical capacities in various contexts and to develop their sport skills o Overall, early specialization and too much emphasis on deliberate practice activities during the early years of sport involvement may lead to health problems or withdrawal o Emphasis on various sport activities and deliberate play activities during childhood is likely to have immediate developmental and LT health benefits R OLE OFC OACHES Coaches’ Roles in Children’s Psychological Growth  Smith & Smoll centered on development and assessment of program called coach effectiveness training (CET) – aimed at improving coaches’ ability to interact effectively with young athletes  Trained coaches were more supportive, provided more reinforcement and encouragement, and were less punitive than non-trained coaches  Participants who played for trained coaches exhibited a significant increase in self-esteem and decrease in anxiety throughout season compared with participants from control group  3 components are important to consider in coach-athlete relationship o Closeness – feeling of trust and respect o Co-orientation – commitment to maintain relationships o Complementarity – co-operative and supportive  Evidence that these 3 C’s were foundation of award-winning high-school coaches’ ability to teach life skills to young athletes Coaches’ Roles in Developing Children’s Social Skills  Youth-sport coaches are in prime position to increase children’s prosocial behaviours, such as co-operation and responsibility, and decrease children’s antisocial behaviours (e.g. cheating and aggression)  Coaches’ direct and indirect teaching strategies, such as ones proposed by Hellison, determinants of young athletes’ psychosocial development and positive outcomes through sports  Studies observing youth-sport coaches in real-life situations indicate that most coaches do not explicitly teach players appropriate
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