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The little footie player who could: Chyloe Kurdas

This story was originally published in LockerRoom at Newsroom.co.nz and is republished with permission. In the second of three Q&As with keynote speakers from the Sport NZ Women + Girls Summit this week, Suzanne McFadden chats with Chyloe...
Coaching Fundamentals

Q&A: 7 Tips for Successfully Coaching Teenagers

This video is shared by Player Development Project The question this week comes from Gordon, via email; “I’ve just started coaching teenagers for the first time, do you have any advice?” Additional Resources Ebook: Coaching Fundamentals: Six Steps to...
Coaching Fundamentals

Book Club with Dr. Ralph Pim

Following on previous Book Club features (see the recommendations from Andy Rogers and Tammy Mehrtens), we hear from Dr. Ralph Pim.  Dr Ralph Pim is an inspirational teacher, dynamic team builder, and author of nine books. He’s recognised as a global...

Sports Parents

A message to Kiwi Coaches

COVID-19 has meant thousands of Kiwi kids have missed out on sport and the wellbeing benefits it provides. As we move closer to the return of community sport, coaches will play a critical role in inspiring, connecting and...
Sport Leadership

Learning begins when teaching stops

This article is shared by Player Development Project How does a teacher or coach transition to a learner-centric view where you can allow the learner to explore and develop within the environment? Co-founder of Myfastestmile, Mark Upton reflects on...

Welcome to the
home of youth sport
in New Zealand.

to the home
of youth sport
in New Zealand.

Whether you are a parent, coach, administrator or leader
in youth sport, Balance is Better is for you.

Balance is Better offers a fresh way of thinking for those involved in delivering youth sport in New Zealand. With teen participation levels declining, it’s about creating quality experiences for all young people to keep them active and in the game.

Balance is Better focusses on how to encourage participation at all levels and develop skill at the right pace. With a mix of articles, interviews, case studies and videos from specialists, endorsed by Sport New Zealand, Balance is Better is a way to keep up with the play on the latest advice from trusted sources.

Sign up below to receive weekly emails from the Balance is Better team and access to all content across the website.

Development & Performance

Rebecca Dubber on Improving Youth Sport

Rebecca Dubber is a New Zealand Paralympic bronze medalist, who is passionate about getting more young people involved in sport and breaking down barriers. She shares her story and her role as a Balance is Better Champion. Rebecca...
Development & Performance

Balance is Better at the heart of wellbeing

When it comes to community sport, 2020 has certainly had its ups and downs, from a complete halt to scaling alert levels.  Adversity though has taught us, if nothing else, that wellbeing is at the heart of sport.  And that...
Development & Performance

Research: Ecological Dynamics Approach to Skill Acquisition

This article is shared by Player Development Project Research paper by: Keith Davids, Duarte Araújo, Luis Vilar, Ian Renshaw & Ross Pinder The Big Idea When asked to comment on what he found to be so special in...
Development & Performance

Why specialising later can reduce the risk of injury and burnout

Good practice at youth development level can enable both life-long participation in sport and future high-performance outcomes. The High Performance Athlete Development team at High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) works with targeted National Sport Organisation’s to create...
Secondary School Sport

Keep up with the play campaign: the download

‘We’re losing kids from sport. But you can change that.’ Was the key message in a public awareness campaign launched by Sport NZ and five sports in early 2020. Here you can find all the material that was...
Coaching Fundamentals

4 Benefits of Functional Movement

This article is shared by Player Development Project Movement is crucial to wellbeing and player development. Player Development Project Lead Researcher, James Vaughan discusses some of the myths around specialisation. Head of Talent at UK Coaching, Nick Levett...
Development & Performance

The L Word: Learning

As an adult are you open to learning? Do you fear it or embrace it? Nicole Youman, Community Coaching Manager for Hockey NZ reflects on her own learning journey and provides great advice for up and coming coaches.  *This article was originally published by Hockey...
Case Studies

Case Study: Paul Coll

What value does playing a variety of sport have in youth development? Kiwi squash player, Paul Coll shares some insight into his playing journey. Top New Zealand squash player Paul Coll played lots of different sport when he...

What can you
do to help?

Keep up with the play on the latest thinking, advice
and coaching tips from trusted sources.
For Coaches

Keep winning in perspective and focus on developing a love of sport.

For Parents

Working together we can provide a positive sporting environment for our kids.

For Administrators

As leaders we need to be bold and courageous to tackle the change needed.

Coaching Fundamentals

It’s Never Too Late To Learn

This Article is shared by Player Development Project Learning and hunger for knowledge is an essential ingredient to good coaching and personal development. Founder of Football For Good Academy in Uganda, Adrian Bradbury discusses the value in always...
Case Studies

Case Study: Izzy Hegan

Competitive runner and recent school-leaver Izzy Hegan shares what she has learned about balancing her personal development and enjoyment of sport against a focus on winning. The exams are over and there’s nothing but summer until the results...
Development & Performance

Are we giving all young people an opportunity?

In this series of Balance is Better articles, Sport NZ explores the myths surrounding youth sport and the shift in thinking needed to halt declining participation levels in kiwi teens.  All kids deserve an awesome experience in sport. We...
Development & Performance

Q&A: How can I help my players with emotional control?

This video is shared by Player Development Project The question this week comes from Elliott via Facebook; “How can I help my players with emotional control?” In this discussion, Player Development Project hosts, Dan Wright & Dave Wright...

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