The aim of this study was to gain a deeper understanding of coaches’ perceptions of their role in the development of life skills in adolescent athletes in two different sport contexts. Semistructured interviews were held with 24 coaches: 12 coaching high school basketball and 12 coaching community swimming. All coaches followed a holistic, athlete-centered approach. Coaches described the life skills they taught, their motivations, and the strategies they used to foster life skills development in practice. Although some differences between the two contexts were identified, the overall results indicate that all coaches fostered the development of life skills through various teaching and transfer strategies, and that coaches had two main motivations: athletes’ needs and their own values. The main results are discussed in light of the literature on life skills in sport and positive youth development, and in terms of methodological considerations. The study concludes with some practical recommendations for coaches.
Christiane Trottier and Sophie Robitaille
Jennifer J. Waldron
There has been a growing trend in examining how life skills can be developed through sport programs (Danish, 2002). Four components of life skills central to the current study were interpersonal communication, problem solving, health maintenance, and identity development (Darden & Gazda, 1996). The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of participation in Girls on Track (GOT), a sport-based life-skills program, to the effects of participation in soccer programs and the Girl Scouts. The GOT program is a running program intended to teach girls physical, personal, and social skills. Nineteen girls from the three programs were interviewed individually. Results revealed that all four components of life skills emerged from the interviews with GOT participants. In comparison, only three components emerged for the other two programs. These data suggest that the GOT program may be more successful in delivering life skills compared to the soccer and Girl Scouts programs.
Martin Camiré, Pierre Trudel and Tanya Forneris
Whether life skills are developed through sport greatly depends on how coaches create suitable environments that promote the development of youth (Gould & Carson, 2008). The purpose of this study was to examine, using Gould and Carson’s (2008) model of coaching life skills, the philosophies and strategies used by model high school coaches to coach life skills and how to transfer these life skills to other areas of life. Interviews were conducted with both coaches and their student-athletes. Results indicated that coaches understood their student-athletes preexisting make up and had philosophies based on promoting the development of student-athletes. Results also demonstrated that coaches had strategies designed to coach life skills and educate student-athletes about the transferability of the skills they learned in sport. Although variations were reported, coaches and student-athletes generally believed that student-athletes can transfer the skills learned in sport to other areas of life. These results are discussed using Gould and Carson’s model and the youth development literature.
Martin Ian Jones, David Lavallee and David Tod
The aim of the current study was to evaluate the ELITE intervention as a method of increasing the perceived use of communication and organization skills in young people. The participants were three male field hockey players and two female tennis players from a British university. We used a series of single subject, multiple baselines, with minimal meaningful harm and benefit criteria and SMDall effect sizes to evaluate the ELITE intervention. The results revealed no meaningful harm from participating in the program, and the tennis players showed meaningful benefits. SMDall effect sizes all demonstrated that the intervention had a positive effect. Post intervention interviews indicated that participants valued the targeted life skills, and the program was enjoyable. Implications of this study suggest that scholars and practitioners can use the ELITE intervention to increase life skills in young people.
Fernando Santos, Leisha Strachan, Daniel Gould, Paulo Pereira and Cláudia Machado
perhaps have their needs for life-skills development and transfer fulfilled. Typically, positive life-skills development (PLSD) represents an asset-based approach that highlights youth’s qualities, specifically in identifying individuals’ strengths in an attempt to nurture a successful transition to
Stéphanie Turgeon, Kelsey Kendellen, Sara Kramers, Scott Rathwell and Martin Camiré
). Thus, because of its school affiliation and developmental mandate, North American high school sport is ideally positioned as an arena for life-skills development. The Mission Statements of High School Sport–Governing Bodies In both Canada and the United States, high school sports are governed at the
implementation of youth sport to promote positive social outcomes. The first approach focuses on the contribution of youth sport to social- and/or life-skill development. The second explores the value of youth sport for addressing broader social problems. I highlight evidence-based strategies essential to both
Martin Camiré, Pierre Trudel and Dany Bernard
A case study of a high school ice hockey program designed to teach players life skills and values was conducted to understand, from the perspective of administrators, coaches, parents, and players, the strengths and challenges of the program. Results indicated that the program’s strengths lied in its comprehensive approach to teaching life skills and values in addition to coaches’ ability to foster relationship with players. However, program members also faced many challenges related to traveling, a lack of resources, and conflicting goals. Results are discussed using the Petitpas et al. (2005) framework and the youth development through sport literature.
Michael A. Hemphill and Tom Martinek
Many kinesiology departments engage in partnerships that aim to promote positive youth development through physical activity. These partnerships are often enhanced by mutually beneficial goals and shared decision making between university and community partners. This paper describes how sport has been at the center of two university-community partnerships that have helped to teach life skills to youth. We draw upon our experience working with community partners to illuminate challenges and opportunities for youth-focused partnerships. The programs include an emphasis on sustainability. As kinesiology programs continue to enhance their efforts to partner and support youth development, case studies such as this may help inform our efforts.
In exercise and cognition research, few studies have investigated whether and how the qualitative aspects of physical exercise may impact cognitive performance in the short or long term. This commentary, after recalling the evidence on the “dose-response” relationship, shifts the focus to intersections between different research areas that are proposed to shed light on how qualitative exercise characteristics can be used to obtain cognitive benefits. As concerns the acute exercise area, this commentary highlights the applied relevance of developmental and aging studies investigating the effects of exercise bouts differing in movement task complexity and cognitive demands. As regards the chronic exercise area, potential links to research on cognitive expertise in sport, functional ability in aging, and life skills training during development are discussed. “Gross-motor cognitive training” is proposed as a key concept with relevant implications for intervention strategies in childhood and older adulthood.