Action Research in Youth Soccer: Assessing the Acceptability of an Alternative Program

in Journal of Sport Management
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Critics of youth sport have argued that competitive pressures engendered by adult supervision have robbed sport of its play and socialization values. Others contend that youth sport can be redesigned to enhance the benefits children obtain. This study describes an action research project designed to evaluate a soccer program that was devised as a child-centered alternative to traditional programs. On the basis of deliberations with the parent volunteers who created and implement the program, two surveys were designed: one for parents and one for children. Parents in the alternative program and in two traditional programs completed measures of satisfaction, sport involvement, purchase-decision involvement, and attitude. Children completed measures of satisfaction, enjoyment, and attitude. Analysis revealed that the alternative program is well-liked by parents and children, and that parents choosing the alternative program are psychographically distinct from parents who choose traditional programs. Necessary improvements in the alternative program were identified. Use of the study's findings and implications for sport programs and action research are discussed.

B. Christine Green is with the Faculty of Business & Hotel Management at Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, Queensland 4217 Australia.

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