Coach Brad · Coaching · Development · Leadership · Positive Sports Environment · Youth Sports

The Appropriate Sports Environment


As a coach of sports for youth participants, it is paramount that we create an environment that supports personal success that is associated with a variety of positive outcomes including increased effort and intrinsic motivation. Lockwood and Perlman (2008) suggest that coaches should ask the following questions in order to develop the appropriate sports environment:

  1. Am I providing enough variety in tasks? Is there room for each athlete to challenge themselves?
  2. Do I listen to my athletes and use their input to help enhance my coaching?
  3. How do I recognize athlete success? Does this focus on personal growth or competition?
  4. Do I group athletes by skill or heterogeneously? Does this align with what I want my team to learn?
  5. How do I know each athlete is developing? Can I prove this to myself and/or their parent or guardian?
  6. Do I provide enough time in practice for an athlete to learn and be successful?

Developing thoughts about these questions will lead coaches towards providing a youth sports environment focused on athlete success. This detailed focus begins the journey towards increased intrinsic motivation, a love of participation, increased effort, and the probability the athlete will continue to improve over time.

Empowering athletes, families, coaches, and organizations to create opportunities for lifetime success,

Coach Brad

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Lockwood, P., & Perlman, D. (2008). Enhancing the youth sport experience: A re-examination of methods, coaching style, and motivational climate. Journal of Youth Sports, 4(1), 30-34.

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