In answering this question, sport psychologists Frank Smoll and Ronald Smith conducted over 25 years of research at the University of Washington. Drs. Smoll and Smith are the co-directors of a project known as Youth Enrichment in Sports (YESports).
The objective of the project was to develop, evaluate, and deliver child-centered educational programs that benefit young athletes. Supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and the William T. Grant Foundation, Smoll’s and Smith’s approach illustrates what is called “evidence-based practice” in the field of medicine. At every stage of the process, scientific research played a key role in developing YESports programs.
YESports training programs are designed to help coaches and parents create a mastery climate that promotes healthy achievement in all areas of life, including sports. A mastery orientation emphasizes skill development, maximum effort, and fun; and it occurs within an encouraging and supportive interpersonal environment.