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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?

Get ready to make the winter season a great one

New Zealand is a country fuelled by volunteers who help keep kiwi kids active. Whether you’re a coach, official or administrator, you have a role to play in keeping young people safe, well and having fun on the...


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...

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.


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...
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.  ...

Sports stand together to make the 2021 winter season special

After a 2020 winter season heavily disrupted by COVID-19, Sport NZ and five of the country’s largest participation sports are calling on coaches, parents and others at grassroots level to make the most of 2021 by working together...

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.

Case Studies

Focus on athletes not agendas – Former Black Cap, Andrew Ellis

Former Black Cap and Canterbury footballer Andrew Ellis grew up on the sidelines of sports fields.  Having a Dad who was heavily involved in the sports media industry meant much of Andrew’s childhood was spent driving around the clubs grounds of Christchurch watching...
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...
Sport Leadership

Maximising Player Potential with Rob Sherman

This video is shared by Player Development Project In this Player Development Project Masterclass Discussion, Dave Wright is joined by Rob Sherman to discuss how coaches can maximise player potential. This interview (recorded while Rob was NZF Technical...
Development & Performance

Creating Positive Sports Environments

This article is shared by Player Development Project Player Development Project positive psychology expert, Lara Mossman discusses how to create positive sports environments for developing players. In this challenging article Lara discusses what role coaches can play in trying to...

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