Organized youth sports afford a unique opportunity for promoting positive youth development, but little is known about why these settings can be beneficial for youth. The purposes of this article are (a) to discuss the instrumental role coaches play in determining the developmental yield of sport participation for youth and (b) to examine the efficacy of coach training programs for enhancing youth development in light of an expanded model of coaching effects on youth. This model features an elaborated internalization mechanism involving cognitive and motivational pathways. Emerging support for this model is reviewed and future directions for coach training researchers and practitioners are highlighted.
David E. Conroy is with the Department of Kinesiology and J. Douglas Coatsworth is with the Department of Human Developmental & Family Studies, both at The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802. E-mail: David-Conroy@psu.edu.