Exploring the life skills needs of British adolescent athletes

Martin I. Jones, David Lavallee

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    91 Citations (SciVal)

    Abstract

    Youth sport programs have been designed to facilitate positive development of young sports people by teaching life skills. It is unclear which life skills are needed by adolescent athletes and which life skills should be included in youth sport programs. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore how life skills are defined, which life skills British adolescent athletes need, and which life skills are the most important.Design and method Nineteen adolescent athletes, 10 coaches, 4 experts in sport psychology (pilot group) and 5 graduate students (pilot group) participated in a series of focus groups. An inductive analysis revealed how life skills are defined, which life skills British adolescent athletes need, and of these skills which are the most important.Results Life skills were defined as ranges of transferable skills needed for everyday life, by everybody, that help people thrive. Participants described the need for interpersonal skills including social skills, respect, leadership, family interactions, and communication. Personal skills including self-organization, discipline, self-reliance, goal setting, managing performance outcomes, and motivation, were also reported. Social skills were identified as the most important life skills.Conclusions In conclusion, findings add support to existing positive youth development research while adding an insight into which life skills should be built into youth sport programs in the United Kingdom.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)159-167
    Number of pages9
    JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
    Volume10
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2009

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