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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?

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

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...


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...
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...

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.

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...

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...

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

Teaching athletes about winning it all

This article is republished with permission from iCoachKids How do champions behave and train? What sets apart the best from the rest? How can coaches help athletes learn these behaviours? In this article, Prof Wade Gilbert unpacks some...
Sport Leadership

Leadership in the Age of Complexity

This article is shared by Player Development Project The Big Idea Get ready for a wake-up call to the common among us—which is to say a call to all of us.  In this short paper published in Resurgence Magazine (Winter...

Help keep sport safe, fair and inclusive

Everyone involved in sport and active recreation at any level should feel confident the activities in which they participate in are safe, fair, free from discrimination, abuse and other harmful behaviours. This is particularly important for young people.  ...

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