Evidence-based policies for youth sport programmes

Thumbnail Image
Can’t use the file because of accessibility barriers? Contact us with the title of the item, permanent link, and specifics of your accommodation need.



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Taylor & Francis Group


Youth sport involvement can lead to outcomes classified as the 3Ps: performance, participation, and personal development (Côté et al. 2007a). The 3Ps are central to youth sport systems aimed at providing quality experiences to participants. A challenge for countries and national governing bodies is structuring sport to simultaneously facilitate the achievement of excellence and participation (Collins 2010), or the 3Ps. To illustrate this challenge, consider deliberate practice, which is an important activity for performance improvements, but also considered less enjoyable and less motivating compared to other sport activities, such as play (Ericsson et al. 1993). Thus, governing bodies often face the challenge of deciding which activities they intend to emphasize (e.g., early specialization directed at talent development or early diversification aimed at increasing participation), and this can have implications for the success/failure of the 3Ps. The purpose of this article is to describe an inclusive sport structure for children (under age 13) targeting the development of the 3Ps, which would be an asset to sport scientists, policy makers, and practitioners. Common goals for the 3Ps include: avoid burnout/dropout, cultivate intrinsic motivation, and maximize involvement in various sport activities. Our contention is the 3Ps can co-exist under one system when that system is structured according to the age and competitive level of participants. The Developmental Model of Sport Participation (Côté and Abernethy 2012) and its 7 postulates (Côté et al. 2009) will be used as the basis of this paper to provide evidence-based policies for children in sport.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics on 26/06/2014, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/19406940.2014.919338.


youth, participation, performance, personal development


Jean Côté & David J. Hancock (2014) Evidence-based policies for youth sport programmes, International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 8:1, 51-65, DOI: 10.1080/19406940.2014.919338

Link(s) to data and video for this item