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ERIC Number: EJ900563
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0892-4562
Exploring Commitment to Youth Sports Leadership
Rickabaugh, Tim
Strategies: A Journal for Physical and Sport Educators, v23 n2 p12-15 Nov-Dec 2009
With over 38 million U.S. youth (54% of children between ages 6 to 17) participating in organized sports each year, there is an ever increasing demand for entry-level youth sport leaders. To meet this leadership demand in organized youth sports, over 2.5 million adults volunteer to coach, yet less than 10% of these individuals have any formal coaching education. A future shortage of trained youth sport leaders could have devastating effects on society. Youth depend more than ever on school-based sports to develop positive attributes such as increased high school GPA, increased overall engagement levels, improved educational aspirations, increased high school satisfaction levels and an increased likelihood to still be attending college at age 21. Additionally, school-based sports are by far the most popular, and therefore influential, extracurricular choices for U.S. youth, with 45.6% of female and 66.7% of male students participating in organized, school-based sport each year. Unless first-year undergraduate sport science (SPS) students are committed to providing leadership, there may be a shortage of competent youth sport leaders in the near future. Therefore, this article provides data related to the commitment of first-year, undergraduate SPS students to providing future leadership in organized youth sports. In addition to supplying adequate numbers of future youth sport leaders, it is vital that entry-level professionals are properly trained to develop individual fitness and sport-specific skills, as well as social and life skills. The focus of youth sport leadership should be to develop the overall youth participant and not to exclusively refine their sport-specific skills in preparation for higher levels of competition. Unless undergraduate SPS programs provide early learning activities to develop a comprehensive understanding of youth sport leadership philosophy, first-year students may not be able to judge the professional demands and potential developmental impact of their future involvement in youth sport leadership. Therefore, this article also presents guidelines for first-year, undergraduate learning activities that can help students to evaluate professional demands and philosophical issues related to youth sport leadership. (Contains 3 figures.)
American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. 1900 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 800-213-7193; Fax: 703-476-9527; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A