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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.


Girls Smash with Otago Cricket

Girls Smash is a modified, girls-only cricket programme for years 3 -6 (going to year 8 in some areas) developed by Otago Cricket in 2016. 40 minute session, once a week. Short and action packed. Five weeks duration...
Balance is Better in Action

Growing secondary school girls cricket in Manawatu

Manawatu Cricket delivers a girls-only cricket competition, held on Wednesday after school in Palmerston North. Open to all secondary school girls, but particularly targeted at year 9 and 10 students, the competition began in term 1 2019. One...
For Coaches

How not to coach – with Led Tasso

Sometimes the best learning comes from people showing us what not to do. In this blog, we look at Ted Lasso’s alter-ego Led Tasso, and examine some of his ‘unhelpful’ coaching behaviours as a lesson for coaches on how not...

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.

Athlete Stories

The journey of Paul Coll (underpinned by lots of hard work)

What value does playing a variety of sport have in youth development? Kiwi squash player, Paul Coll shares some insight into his playing journey. Update: In August 2021, Paul Coll won the British Open, becoming the first New...
For Coaches

Hey Coach, what’s your stance on second chances?

What do Ted Lasso and Sir Steve Hansen have in common? This isn’t the start of a bad joke. Rather, that question was going through my head watching episode two of Ted Lasso’s second season.   Spoiler alert! The episode...
For Parents

The value of variety

“Variety is the spice of life”. When it comes to youth sport, this old saying is apt for summing up the benefits which young people get from being exposed to a variety of sport and physical activity experiences.  A key principle of the...
For Parents

What does quality look like for young people?

How do you know what quality looks like when it comes to sport? In this article, we unpack what quality means in terms of: quality experiences; quality opportunities and quality support.  Sport NZ’s vision is to enrich and...
For Coaches

How coaches support clean and balanced youth sport

The role of youth coaching is a tough one. On the one hand, coaches facilitate an arena of possibility and growth for rangatahi on their journey to make new friends, develop new skills, set goals and celebrate successes....

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.

For Parents

Letters from Rangatahi: Olympic muses and musings (and some thoughts for adults)

In this open letter, we hear from Ciccone Hakaraia-Turner, Netball New Zealand Youth Board representative and Year 13 Wharekura student at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi Marae. Ciccone shares with the reader her reflections on the Tokyo Olympics, on various adults in her life, on Kaupapa Māori and adolescent challenges in...

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