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The Home of Youth Sport
in New Zealand

Balance is Better is about creating quality experiences for all young people to keep them active and in the game.

First time here?

Promoting Balance is Better Messages

Are you a sport administrator working in a national or regional sport organisation, a school or club and want to understand how you can promote Balance is Better? This article shows you how and provides some good examples.  It’s...
Case Studies

Canterbury Commits to Season of Change

Facilitated by Sport Canterbury, six major sporting codes are taking action to set an example for their communities by establishing clear guidance around season transition dates. This is the story of how these six codes were able to come...


Play them all – Former Tall Black, Dillon Boucher

Former New Zealand basketballer Dillon Boucher knows all about the pressure to perform and succeed in sport.  But it’s not from his own experiences – it’s from the expectation of others that his four children will follow in his footsteps.  “If people see me on...
Sports Parents

Webinar replay: Mastering the art of sports parenting

In this webinar, we talked with international sport parenting expert Professor Camilla Knight. Camilla outlined the various strategies that parents can employ to:  Increase the chances that their child reaches their sporting potential Enhance their child’s likelihood of having positive sport experience and developing...

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.

Coaching Fundamentals

5 Golden Rules For Sideline Supporters

In this video by BeSportive we hear from various past and present New Zealand athletes, coaches and sport personalities about how sideline supporters can create the best experiences for young Kiwis. The 5 Golden Rules for Sideline Supporters...
Sports Parents

10 Golden Rules For Youth Sport Parents

In this video by BeSportive we hear from various past and present New Zealand athletes, coaches and sport personalities about how parents can make sport great for young Kiwis. 10 Golden Rules for Youth Sport Parents Fun with...
Coaching Fundamentals

Golden Rules for Youth Sport Coaches

In this video by BeSportive we hear from Dan Carter, Melodie Robinson, Phil Tataurangi, Anna Stanley, Ross Taylor, Dillon Boucher, Maia Jackman, Anna Lawrence, Eroni Clark, Warren Gatland and Monty Beetham about how sport coaches can create the...
Coaching Fundamentals

What a Great All Black Can Teach Us About Fun

“Make sport fun!”. It seems strikingly obvious. Yet, when you peel back the layers on that word ‘fun’, it gets a little more nuanced. In this article, Athlete Development Project Founder Dr Craig Harrison, recounts his interview with Keven Mealamu, and...
Sports Parents

Silver Ferns captain Ameliaranne Ekenasio on keeping the balance

Silver Fern netball captain Ameliaranne Ekenasio reckons she wouldn’t be playing netball right now if she had specialised early. Growing up in Bundaberg on Australia’s Queensland coast the specialist shooter knew nothing about netball until she became a...
Sports Parents

What makes an expert sports parent?

In 2015, Chris Harwood and Camilla Knight, published an academic paper titled, Parenting in youth sport – a positioning paper on parenting expertise. In this paper Harwood and Knight proposed that there are six key core competencies that expert sport parents demonstrate in order to boost the...
Sports Parents

Re-thinking Football for Young People

This article is republished with permission from iCoachKids “Typically, securing new funding relies on new ways of working to attract and retain groups that are new to existing coaches.” In this article, Professor Jim McKenna challenges traditional modes...
Sport Leadership

How much is too much when it comes to youth sport? - A guide to understanding specialisation, playing multiple sports, and training load

Recently, lots of guidance and advice has been aimed at coaches, parents, and sport leaders & administrators about how much sport young people should do, and whether young people should participate in one sport or many.   This guide has been produced to shed more light on the concepts...

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.


Mastering the art of sports parenting

What does it take to become a great sports parent? Join Sport NZ and special guest, Professor Camilla Knight, for this upcoming webinar. You will learn the six key skills that can help parents and caregivers be involved in their child's sport in the best possible way. 

Webinar Replay: Raising the bar in coaching youth sport

In this webinar, we were fortunate to be joined by international youth coach expert Dr Sergio Lara-Bercial. We heard from Sergio about the current international climate for youth sport; where to start with addressing some of the issues in youth sport;...
Coaching Fundamentals

The iCoachKids Pledge: 10 Guidance Points to Create Positive Sport Experiences for Kids

Following an extensive literature review, the iCK expert group has developed ‘The iCoachKids Pledge’. The Pledge provides 10 points of guidance for individuals and organisations wishing to create positive sport experiences for children.  Here is the iCoachKids Pledge:  1 – Be child-centred:Always have...

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