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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

Balanced Female Health

Balanced Female Health

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 means to collaborate (including tips for organisations wanting to get meaningful partnerships off the ground; as well as some things to avoid). 

But for those leading sports in clubs in schools, what does working together look like in reality? What are the signals of good collaboration in sport? 

Below we outline three key signals we see in sport organisations doing collaboration right.

1. Your organisation prioritises collaboration within its own network and more widely across the Aotearoa New Zealand sport system. 

This looks like: 

  • You or your organisation meets regularly with other similar organisations to share learning and best practice (especially when it’s aligned to Balance is Better). 
  • You encourage people, especially employees in your organisations to collaborate within their network and more widely across sport. 
  • Your organisation collaborates purposefully in projects aligned to Balance is Better. 

Ideas for meaningful collaboration projects: 

  • Summer and winter codes working together to address season transition issues and overload 
  • Clubs (of different sports) working together to create multi-sport delivery opportunities for athletes 
  • Sharing coaching and coach development expertise. This could be between clubs, between schools, or between clubs and school. 
  • Collectively monitoring and managing athlete workload

2. Your organisations values and works with coaches to ensure they can support quality sport experiences for young people 

This looks like: 

  • Investing time, money and resource into coach development and coach education (e.g. dedicated coach development role; providing opportunities to regularly gather, connect, share and reflect together; appointing a person to mentor coaches and be their sounding board) 
  • You support your coaches to work with parents and provide support and advice on how to do this effectively

Read: Setting coaches up for success 

3. Your organisation values and works with parents and whānau to ensure they can support quality sport experiences for young people 

This looks like: 

  • Parents are viewed by your organisation (and by coaches) as positive contributors to the youth sport experience. 
  • Your organisation has a clear strategy for communicating with parents that consider the type of information, and the frequency, timing and channels for relaying information. Consider what messages you send to parents about: 
  • The values of your organisations 
  • What quality sport looks like for young people? 
  • How do you define success as an organisation? 
  • What parents can do to support their children? 
  • How parents can look after themselves and become more knowledgeable in your sport? 
  • You help parents (particularly new parents) to connect with each other. 
  • You engage meaningfully with parents to get feedback on not just their children’s experience, but their experience in your programmes too.

Photo by Jeffrey F Lin on Unsplash

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