Importance Of Positive Youth Development

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Arguably the most important goal for a coach to achieve is to prevent children dropping out of football whilst maintaining enjoyment and increasing performance levels. Organised youth sport programmes see an average dropout rate of 35% a year (Gould & Petlichkoff, 1988). There’s a variety reasons for increased participation in sport, such as availability of facilities and family support however not every child is lucky enough to benefit from this, making the role of the coach vitally important.

Positive Youth Development
Effective coaching is of such high significance as it encourages positive development in a child. The main areas of youth development as presented by The National Research Council and Institute of Medicine (NRCIM, 2002)
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The philosophy of a program can follow two different models, professional or developmental (Smith, Smoll and Cumming, 2007). The aim of coaches following a professional model is for their athletes and teams to win (Smith, Smoll & Cumming, 2007). On the other hand the aim of the developmental model is enjoyment, participation and doing one’s best with the end goal of winning not being essential (Smith, Smoll & Cumming, 2007). Studies have shown that children exposed to a professional model enjoyed the program less and experienced a high level of stress and fear of failure (Fraser-Thomas, Côté, & Deakin, 2005). A theory, (Figure 3), identifying three stages of development (sampling years, specialising years and investment years) in sport suggests these athletes being too young to cope with the demands of a professional sporting model as they are missing a stage of development (Côté, …show more content…
This can be achieved replacing serious tactical drills with lots of fun games.
• Cross bar challenge
• Penalty shoot out
• Head tennis (Tennis with a football)
It is important to vary the session with some more serious technical drills which can be made more fun by adding themes.
Dribbling technique can be worked on in an enjoyable way by playing a game called ‘Aliens’.
Two players without a ball are the ‘Aliens’ and have to try and tackle the ‘spacemen’ who are the children dribbling with the ball.

The other contributing factor of positive development being the attitudes of the key adult figures can also be influential in promoting an enjoyable training session. This involves behaving appropriately for the particular age group being coached. Research suggests many youth level coaches emulate professional coaches’ behaviour (Muir, Morgan, Abraham & Morley, 2011). Sir Alex Ferguson is quoted as saying, ‘there is nothing better than hearing well done. You don’t need to use superlatives’ (Guardian staff, 2012). Although this clearly worked to tremendous levels of success in an elite setting, greater levels of

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