How Can Coaches and Parents Improve Youth Sports?
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.
What is the Mastery Approach to Parenting in Sports?
In their collaborative work, Drs. Smoll and Smith developed a program to help mothers and fathers learn to be successful sport parents. The Mastery Approach to Parenting in Sports is a research-based workshop that is designed to get parents and coaches “on the same page” to the benefit of children. The primary focus is on encouraging parents to provide a mastery motivational climate that emphasizes a definition of success as self-improvement, giving maximum effort, and enjoying the activity for its own sake instead of defining success as winning and besting others. A major theme is emphasized: What young athletes learn in sports carries over into their everyday lives. The program also covers important issues, such as appropriate behavior at practices and games, how to combat athletic stress, and relations with coaches. It is targeted for parents who have relatively little athletic experience, as well as those who have a strong background in sports.
What is the Mastery Approach to Parenting in Sports Self-Instruction Program?
To facilitate distribution, the workshop has been transformed into a 45-minute DVD. It is specifically designed to teach mastery-oriented principles with the aid of animated cartoons, photos, and embedded videos.
How Can You See a Preview of the Mastery Approach to Parenting in Sports DVD?
A 12-minute demonstration video has been produced. The video presents an overview of the 45-minute DVD. You are invited to view it on the YESports website (www.y-e-sports.com – click on “DVDs & MANUALS” on the menu bar). The website also contains expanded descriptions of YESports programs, summaries of research, and information about the availability of Mastery Approach DVDs.