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Strategies for Fostering a Quality Physical Activity-Based Mentoring Program for Female Youth: Lessons Learned and Future Directions

in Case Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 University of Ottawa
  • | 2 University of Ottawa and University of British Columbia
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The current case outlines practical strategies used by youth leaders to implement a female-only physical activity-based mentoring program. This program was selected as the case for the current paper as it scored the highest on program quality out of 26 different sport and physical activity-based youth programs within a larger project. The two program leaders were interviewed to understand what practical strategies they used to foster a high-quality program within this context. The leaders discussed how they: (a) focused on developing individualized relationships with youth, (b) balanced structure with flexibility to allow for youth voice, (c) intentionally integrated life skills, and (d) combined engaging activities with downtime to differentiate the program from school. This case provides a practical account of how front-line workers in youth mentoring programs, specifically within sport and physical activity contexts, can deliver a quality program. Reflection on areas for future work within the field of sport psychology, including ways to bridge the gap between research and practice and the need to develop communities of practice for youth programmers, are presented.

Corliss Bean and Tanya Forneris are with the Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada. Tanya Forneris is also with the School of Health and Exercise Science, Faculty of Health and Social Development, University of British Columbia, Kelowna, BC, Canada.

Address author correspondence to Corliss Bean at cbean@uottawa.ca.
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