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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

Andrew Ellis on Improving Youth Sport

Andrew Ellis is a former Black Caps Cricketer but also played National League football for Canterbury United. Andrew is a great example of why Balance is Better, putting a lot of his sporting success down to playing multiple...
Case Studies

Case Study: Pathway to Podium

In this Balance is Better Case Study, we examined the Sport NZ Pathway to Podium program and how it impacted talented Kiwi triathletes, Trent & Ainsley Thorpe. For the Thorpe family, dinner time is important parenting time –...
Sports Parents

Making Sense of Youth Sport

As you delve deeper into understanding the issues and challenges in youth sport today, it becomes clear – it’s complex. So how best to make sense of this complexity? Well, start with the children’s needs for one, and...

Secondary School Sport

When Will Youth Sports Actually Serve the Needs of Youth?

This article is shared by Player Development Project Youth sport is often dominated by an adult lens. Founder of Changing the Game Project, John O’Sullivan shares his excellent article about his recent trip to Australia, his subsequent reflections and...
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...
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...
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Sport Leadership

Gemma McCaw on Improving Youth Sport

Gemma McCaw is a legend of New Zealand Hockey. But how did she achieve success? Gemma shares her experiences, her love for sport and her role as a Balance is Better Champion. Gemma McCaw is one of Sport...
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Sport Leadership

Back to the Future: Steve Hansen on Leadership

In our final instalment of the Steve Hansen Back to the Future series, we hear Steve share insights on leadership Steve goes in to detail as to what key leadership qualities are and how coaches or sport leaders...
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Sports Parents

Les Elder on Improving Youth Sport

Les Elder is living proof of why Balance is Better. Black Ferns Captain, Les Elder is one of Sport NZ’s Balance is Better Champions helping spread the word, drive change and when she’s off the rugby field, work...
Secondary School Sport

Shaping the Game

This article is shared by Player Development Project Game-based learning has enormous benefits in terms of decision-making and skill acquisition. In this article, PE Teacher, blogger and regular PDP contributor, Sporticus shares his fantastic article on the advantages of manipulating...

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

Balance is Better is a fresh way of thinking around the direction of youth sport in New Zealand. It’s about keeping the fun in the game, creating balance in sport participation and nurturing talent at the right pace.

Young people who receive quality experiences in sport become sport lovers for life. And more kiwis participating means a healthier nation and more young people reaching their full potential as adults.

With a mix of articles, interviews, case studies and videos from specialists within youth sport, endorsed by Sport New Zealand, Balance is Better is a way for you to keep up with the play on the latest help, advice and coaching tips from trusted sources.

About
An initiative by
In partnership with Player
Development
Project
Development & Performance

Jeff Wilson’s Journey

Jeff Wilson is a member of a very select group: those who have represented their country in more than one professional sport. Looking at Jeff’s childhood growing up in Invercargill, where he’d jump on a bike with friends...
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...
Case Studies

Case Study: Andrea Hewitt

Being a high performing athlete can be challenging at the best of times. In this Balance is Better Case Study, we spoke with Andrea Hewitt about how she deals with the balance. People sometimes forget that with the...

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Coaching Fundamentals

How do I support an unhappy player?

This video is shared by Player Development Project The question this week comes from Michael via email; “I’m new to the club and still getting to know the players. I have one U14 player who is unhappy and...
Coaching Fundamentals

The Path to Excellence: Developing Warriors not Winners

This article is shared by Player Development Project Winners and Warriors: What is the difference and how can you help your players adopt a growth mindset and a focus on process and performance over outcome?  In this article...
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Sport Leadership

Changing Youth Sport with Alex Chiet

Youth sport in New Zealand is undergoing significant positive change being led by Sport NZ and five major sporting codes. In this discussion Sport Development National Consultant at Sport NZ, Alex Chiet is hosted by Player Development Project...
Development & Performance

Breaking the Machine

This article is shared by Player Development Project The machine that is premature professionalism in youth sport is a growing problem. Environments created to replicate professional sport, ‘elite’ pathways at 8-years-old and coaches removing autonomy from the environment...

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