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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?

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....


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

Collaborating for (better) impact

One of the key principles of the Balance is Better philosophy states: Aotearoa’s sport sector must work collaboratively to encourage the widest possible change for wellbeing and sport participation for young New Zealanders. What does the sector working...

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

A parent guide to child growth and development in sport

In this guide we discuss the key considerations relating to children’s growth and development that may influence their sport experience.  This guide was adapted from work by Sport Parent EU. It is published with their permission.  In this guide, parents will...
Sports Parents

The CPR Method: How to Support Players When They Make a Mistake*

* Important clarification: we are not talking about poor skill execution, but more about poor game-decisions. In this article, Dr Sergio Lara-Bercial details his thoughts on how coaches should react when players make game-decision mistakes. Let’s get the...
Coaching Fundamentals

How to coach with a Balance is Better Philosophy?

How can coaches bring the Balance is Better philosophy to life? In this article, Andy Rogers, National Coaching Consultant at Sport NZ, outlines 12 key things coaches can do to incorporate a Balance is Better philosophy into their...
Sports Parents

Coping with the ‘cut’: What parents can do to help?

This article has been republished with permission from Sport Parent EU  Deselection — or being cut — from a sports team can be a crushing experience for young athletes. After being cut, athletes often experience a range of negative psychosocial and emotional consequences...
Development & Performance

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...

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.

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...
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...

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