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An initiative by
In partnership with Player
Development
Project
An initiative by
In partnership with Player
Development
Project

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An initiative by
In partnership with Player
Development
Project
About
Featured

Keep up with play: the case for taking youth sport less seriously

Sport NZ and five of the largest participation sports in New Zealand – Rugby, Cricket, Football, Netball and Hockey – have launched a major public awareness campaign calling for enablers of youth sport to reconsider their approaches. But...
Watch
Case Studies

Was it specialising in one sport too soon?

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. We’re all familiar with the stories of young...

Sport Leadership

Keep up with the play campaign launched

Keep up with the play is a public awareness campaign launched to highlight the commonly held beliefs around youth sport and the shift in thinking required to halt declining youth participation numbers in New Zealand. It is a...
Case Studies

Are we only supporting the kids in the top team?

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. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the first...

Welcome to the
home of youth sport
in New Zealand.

Welcome
to the home
of youth sport
in New Zealand.

An initiative by
In partnership with Player
Development
Project
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.

About
An initiative by
In partnership with Player
Development
Project
Case Studies

Are we only supporting the kids in the top team?

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. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the first...
Watch
Case Studies

Are we forgetting why young people play sport?

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. Why do we play sport? To win, move our...
Sport Leadership

Sports Bodies Join Together to Change Youth Sport

Youth sport is set to undergo a dramatic shake-up as the leaders of Sport NZ and the country’s five largest participation sports speak out in a united front against negative experiences that are driving too many young New...
Case Studies

Case Study: Otago Rugby

Rugby holds a special place in the heart of many New Zealanders and Otago has been the breeding ground for many of our most cherished players and teams. In 2018 when only ten teams across boys’ and girls’...
Case Studies

Case Study: Capital Hockey

In 2017 a group of Hockey Regional Performance Managers sat around a table at an under 21 National Tournament and realised they were facing a crisis – they didn’t have enough players.   “As each person outlined how...
Case Studies

Case Study: Tasman Rugby aim for fair play

Poor behaviour from fellow players, coaches, parents and spectators can have a devastating effect on our young people’s experience of sport. Bullying, harassment, aggression and a disregard for the concept of fair play are some of the top...
Case Studies

Case Study: Auckland Football Federation

In 2017, Auckland Football Federation was facing two interrelated problems. For the last 65 years, the federation had been selecting representative teams to attend the Weir Rose Bowl Tournament, an under-12 football competition, historically involving representative teams from...

What can you
do to help?

An initiative by
In partnership with Player
Development
Project
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.

An initiative by
In partnership with Player
Development
Project

Watch
Case Studies

Case Study: Netball New Zealand

Every weekend over the winter season thousands of Kiwi kids gather on netball courts around the country. From the outside, the sport is as strong as always with netball continuing to reign supreme as our most popular sport,...
Sport Leadership

Meeting the Needs of Youth

Young people value sport. So why do participation rates consistently drop at similar ages? In this article, Sport New Zealand presents some research that adults need to take note of. Introduction Sport offers many benefits for young people...
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Sports Parents

How to Raise a Champion

In this article, Mike Peacock discusses the importance of developing the person and shares some video from a recent Sport Canterbury event. What is a champion? In sport, it seems obvious. The winner right? Well, is it really?...
Development & Performance

The Process

This article is shared by Player Development Project What is success in youth development? UEFA A licensed academy coach & PDP Technical Advisor, Dan Wright discusses his philosophy of what success looks like when a coach takes a long term...

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