Sport New Zealand Logo
Sport New Zealand Logo

Sign Up

Already signed up? Click here to login
Sport New Zealand Logo

Sign Up

Downloads

How much is too much when it comes to youth sport?

How much is too much when it comes to youth sport?

How to coach with a Balance is Better philosophy

How to coach with a Balance is Better philosophy

Balance is Better Principles Poster

Balance is Better Principles Poster

Creating a positive parent culture

Creating a positive parent culture

Unpacking the Balance is Better principles

Unpacking the Balance is Better principles

Running good trials and selections

Running good trials and selections

Are you measuring what matters?

Looking beyond the scoreboard to define success in youth sport 

In an age where youth sport is becoming more professionalised at an earlier age, it’s important we reflect on how we measure success in youth sport. And in particular, in what ways do we measure success in youth sport ‘away from the scoreboard’?

That’s not to say competition outcomes aren’t important in youth sports. Who wins and loses, times, placings, table standings, awards… They are all important determinants of how we view success and what it means to be successful in youth sport. 

But the real question is… is being successful, through the lens of competition, the only way we should view success in youth sport? 

From a Balance is Better perspective – we’d argue no. 

Defining success in youth sport 

While we often talk about success in youth sport through the lens of competition, there are also other ways that success in youth sport is defined. 

Measures matter 

Why? 

Because what we measure often influences what we think is important. What we think is important influences how and why we act. In effect, the measures visible to us, incentivises us to act and think in certain ways (or not). The most visible measures often have the greatest incentivising power. 

In sport, the measures that are most visible to us are associated with competition – points scored, position on the table, win/loss, and awards. 

Just think about it. If someone asks you “how’d you go last season?”, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?… 

That’s not to say we shouldn’t have measures associated with competition (after all, competition is inherent in sport).  

But if we are to also value the ‘other definitions of success’, such as the ones outlined above, its important to be purposeful in making sure that these ‘other definitions of success’ get visibility too. 

And the best way to do this is through measures. 

So how could we measure these ‘other types of success’ in youth sport? 

  • Get feedback from participants about whether they feel they have improved in their sport. 
  • Track rates of retention. 
  • Get feedback from participants about their satisfaction; whether they want to come back; whether their families had a good time; whether young people have developed their character qualities (e.g. confidence, resilience, etc.). 

How does your organisation measure success in youth sport? 

Does your organisation have a measure, an objective, a key results, a goal, etc. that helps keep the eye on the prize when it comes to measuring success in youth sport away from the scoreboard? Yes – then let us know

Want more like this? 

Check out our following guides: 

Sign up for our newsletter

"*" indicates required fields

Untitled*
Hidden
Hidden Checkbox (Hidden)
Hidden

More from Sport Leaders & Administrators

Sport Leaders & Administrators

Let’s work together

It’s no secret we’re a fan of collaboration.  In fact, one of the key principles of Balance is Better is about “Working together” We’ve previously outlined in detail what it...
Watch
Coaches

There is still a race to win

Have you seen Sebastian Vettel’s retirement announcement?  It is a powerful watch.   In the four-minute video, Seb spends 90% of the time talking about who he is and what he...
Coaches

Creating positive environments for young women

Musings from a Dad Coach I am very grateful to work in sport and in a role that supports organisations in providing positive sporting experiences for young people. Sport can be...

Most popular this week

2.
Sport Leaders & Administrators

Are you measuring what matters?

Looking beyond the scoreboard to define success in youth sport  In an age where youth sport is becoming more professionalised at an earlier age, it’s important we reflect on how we measure success in youth sport. And in...
4.
Watch
Coaches

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...
You can read two more articles this month.

Join Balance is Better, Free.

Sign up now for free and get unlimited access to all Balance is
Better content, plus exclusive members-only features and offers.

Search