You have reached the Canadian website for Human Kinetics. Only orders shipping to a Canadian address can be completed on this website.

If you wish to continue click here, or contact the HK Canada office directly at 1-800-465-7301. If you wish to select the HK website for your region/location outside of Canada, click here

Best Practice for  Youth Sport eBook

Best Practice for Youth Sport eBook

$79.95 CAD

Available As


    Although the physical and psychological benefits of youth participating in sport are evident, the increasing professionalization and specialization of youth sport, primarily by coaches and parents, are changing the culture of youth sport and causing it to erode the ideal mantra: “It’s all about the kids.”

    In Best Practice for Youth Sport, readers will gain an appreciation of an array of issues regarding youth sport. This research-based text is presented in a practical manner, with examples from current events that foster readers’ interest and class discussion. The content is based on the principle of developmentally appropriate practice (DAP), which can be defined as engaging in decisions, behaviors, and policies that meet the physical, psychological, and social needs of children and youth based on their ages and maturational levels. This groundbreaking resource covers a breadth of topics, including bone development, burnout, gender and racial stereotypes, injuries, motor behavior, and parental pressures.

    Written by Robin S. Vealey and Melissa A. Chase, the 16 chapters of Best Practice for Youth Sport are divided into four parts. Part I, Youth Sport Basics, provides readers with the fundamental knowledge and background related to the history, evolution, and organization of youth sport. Part II, Maturation and Readiness for Youth Sport Participants, is the core of understanding how and why youth sport is different from adult sport. This part details why it is important to know when youth are ready to learn and compete. Part III, Intensity of Participation in Youth Sport, examines the appropriateness of physical and psychological intensity at various developmental stages and the potential ramifications of overtraining, overspecialization, overstress, and overuse. The text concludes with part IV, Social Considerations in Youth Sport, which examines how youth sport coaches and parents can help create a supportive social environment so that children can maximize the enjoyment and benefits from youth sport.

    In addition to 14 appendixes, activities, glossaries, study questions, and other resources that appear in Best Practice for Youth Sport, the textbook is enhanced with instructor ancillaries: a test package, image bank, and instructor guide that features a syllabus, additional study questions and learning activities, tips on teaching difficult concepts, and additional readings and resources. These specialized resources ensure that instructors will be ready for each class session with engaging materials. Ancillaries are free to course adopters and available at

    Best Practice for Youth Sport provides readers with knowledge of sport science concerning youth sport and engages them through the use of anecdotes, activities, case studies, and practical strategies. Armed with the knowledge from this text, students, coaches, parents, administrators, and others will be able to become active agents of social change in structuring and enhancing youth sport programs to meet the unique developmental needs of children, making the programs athlete centered rather than adult centered so that they truly are all about the kids.

    For more information and insights on the topic of sport specialization, view Dr. Vealey's webinar Athlete Development through Multiple Sport Participation.


    Textbook for upper-level undergraduate students enrolled in courses in exercise science, sport and exercise psychology, and athletic coaching education programs with an emphasis on children and youth in sport. Reference text for practitioners and researchers in youth sport.

    Table of Contents

    Part I. Youth Sport Basics
    Chapter 1. Overview of Youth Sport
    Types of Youth Sport
    Patterns of Participation in Youth Sport
    Barriers to Youth Sport Participation
    Organizations That Support Youth Sport
    Wrap Up
    Learning Aids
    Chapter 2. Evolution of Youth Sport
    When and Why Was Sport Introduced Into Schools as an Extracurricular Activity?
    How Did Nonschool Youth Sport Become So Popular?
    What Does Title IX State, Why Was It Necessary, and How Did It Change Youth Sport?
    How Did Little League Baseball Become So Popular?
    Why Do Grassroots Youth Sport Programs Lack National Organization and Support?
    How Have Changes in Parenting Philosophy and Practice Influenced the Evolution of Youth Sport, Particularly the Decline of Free Play?
    Chapter 3. Philosophy and Objectives of Youth Sport
    The POPP Sequence: From Philosophy to Action
    What Should the Objectives of Youth Sport Be?
    Tension Points in Youth Sport Philosophies and Objectives
    Consequences of Developmentally Inappropriate Philosophies and Objectives
    Palm Community Model of Youth Sport
    Examples of Youth Sport Philosophies and POPP Sequences
    Wrap Up
    Learning Aids
    Part II. Maturation and Readiness for Youth Sport Participation
    Chapter 4. Physical Growth and Maturation
    Physical Growth and Maturational Influences on Sport Opportunities and Performance
    Wrap Up
    Learning Aids
    Chapter 5. Readiness for Learning Skills and Competing
    What Is Readiness?
    The “Mountain” of Motor Skill Development
    Sensitive Periods in Motor Skill Development
    Cognitive Readiness
    Is Earlier Better?
    When Should Kids Start Organized Youth Sports?
    Learning Aids
    Chapter 6. Motivation and Psychosocial Development
    Why Do Children Participate in Youth Sport?
    Wrap Up: Provide Kids a Motivational FEAST
    Learning Aids
    Chapter 7. Modifying Sport for Youth
    Why Should Sport Be Modified for Youth?
    Why Do Adults Resist Youth Sport Modification?
    What Changes Should Be Made?
    Learning Aids
    Chapter 8. Teaching Skills to Youth Athletes
    The Five-Step Teaching Cycle
    Instructional Strategies to Maximize Learning
    Learning Aids
    Part III. Intensity of Participation in Youth Sport
    Chapter 9. Physical Training and Young Athletes
    Positive Effects of Physical Activity and Training in Kids
    Negative Effects of Over-Intensity in Physical Training in Youth
    Physical Training Guidelines for Young Athletes
    Learning Aids
    Chapter 10. Talent Development in Sport
    Talent Development Basics
    How Is Talent Identified, and When Do We Decide Who Is Talented?
    The Relative Influences of Practice and Innate Qualities on Sport Expertise
    What’s the Best Way to Develop Sport Talent?
    Specialization in Youth Sport
    Categorizing Sports Based on Specialization Demands
    Tips for Nurturing Talent and Well-Being in Youth Athletes
    Learning Aids
    Chapter 11. Stress and Burnout in Youth Sport
    Stress as a Process
    Demands (Stressors) Faced by Youth Athletes
    Young Athletes’ Assessment of Demand(s)
    Young Athletes’ Responses to Stress
    Outcomes From the Stress Process
    Flow: The Ultimate Goal for Youth Sport Participants
    Burnout in Youth Sport
    Learning Aids
    Chapter 12. Injuries in Youth Sport
    Youth Sport Injury Basics
    Overuse Injuries
    Physeal Injuries
    Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries in Female Athletes
    Concussion in Youth Sport
    Legal Duties and the Emergency Action Plan
    Learning Aids
    Part IV. Social Considerations in Youth Sport
    Chapter 13. Cultural Competence in Youth Sport
    Continuum of Cultural Competence
    Gender and Youth Sport
    Reasons for Gender Differences in Youth Sport
    Race and Ethnicity in Youth Sport
    Sexual Orientation and Youth Sport
    Disability and Youth Sport
    Sexual Abuse in Youth Sport
    Learning Aids
    Chapter 14. Coaches and Youth Sport
    Coaching Education and Certification
    Recruiting Youth Sport Coaches
    Evaluating Youth Sport Coaches
    Building the Youth Sport Coaches’ Skill Set
    Youth Sport Coaches’ Meta-Skill: Communication
    Learning Aids
    Chapter 15. Parents and Youth Sport
    Foundations of the Parent-Child Relationship
    Three Roles of Youth Sport Parents
    WANTED: Positive Parent Behaviors in Youth Sport
    Understanding Parent Traps
    Parent Education in Youth Sport
    Strategies for Coaches in Interacting with Youth Sport Parents
    Suggestions to be a Better Youth Sport Parent
    Learning Aids
    Chapter 16. Moral and Life Skills Development in Youth Sport
    Understanding Terms Related to Moral Behavior in Sport
    How Sportsmanship and Moral Behavior Are Learned
    Enhancing Sportsmanship, Moral Development, and Life Skills in Youth Athletes
    Learning Aids
    Appendix A: The 100-Points Exercise
    Appendix B: Sample Issues to Consider When Developing Your Principles
    Appendix C: Case Studies on Growth and Maturation
    Appendix D: Sample Letter to Parents Explaining Readiness Evaluation Session
    Appendix E: Why I Play Sports Survey
    Appendix F: Motivational Climate Scale for Youth Sports
    Appendix G: Motivation Case Studies
    Appendix H: Talent Development Environment Questionnaire for Sport (selected items only)
    Appendix I: Newspaper Article on Mandated Equal Playing Time for Middle School Athletes
    Appendix J: Sport Anxiety Scale-2 to Measure Trait Anxiety in Youth Athletes
    Appendix K: Focusing on Your Controllables
    Appendix L: Emergency Action Plan
    Appendix M: Coaching Appraisal Form
    Appendix N: Athlete Evaluation of Coach
    About the Authors

    About the Author

    Robin S. Vealey, PhD, is a professor in the department of kinesiology and health at Miami University in Ohio, where she has worked for more than 30 years. She has dedicated nearly her entire adult life to youth sports, whether as a coach, administrator, educator, researcher, or consultant. She is internationally known for her research on the psychological aspects of youth sport and coaching effectiveness. Vealey, who has authored three books, has won several professional awards throughout her academic career, including being named a fellow by the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) and the National Academy of Kinesiology. She previously was president of AASP, is a certified consultant in sport psychology as recognized by AASP, and is on the U.S. Olympic Committee Sport Psychology Registry. In addition to serving on numerous journal editorial review boards, Vealey is a past editor of The Sport Psychologist.

    In 2011, Vealey was named to the Marshall University Athletic Hall of Fame after a stellar playing career in women’s basketball. Vealey went on to serve as a collegiate volleyball and women’s basketball coach and an athletics administrator. She currently enjoys playing golf and continues to remain active in various sports as a sport psychology consultant for youth athletes and teams.

    Melissa A. Chase, PhD, is a professor in the department of kinesiology and health at Miami University in Ohio, where she has worked for two decades. She specializes in research about coaching efficacy and self-efficacy in children interested in increasing motivation and effectiveness, and she has presented her research across the United States and internationally. She was named a fellow by the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) and SHAPE America and is a certified consultant in sport psychology as recognized by AASP. Chase was the founding editor of the Journal of Sport Psychology in Action, which is an official AASP publication.

    Before becoming a professor, Chase gained experience as a physical education teacher at both the elementary and secondary school levels while coaching various levels of basketball, cross country, track and field, and volleyball for several years. She enjoys running and watching her teenage children participate in youth sports.


    All ancillaries are free to course adopters and available at

    Instructor guide. Includes sample syllabi and course outlines to aid instructors in classroom preparation. Also included is a class project and activity suggestions to enhance learning and encourage participation.

    Test package. Includes more than 200 true-or-false, multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, and short-answer questions for easy quiz and test preparation. Questions can be edited, moved, and tailored to fit the needs of the course.

    Image bank. Includes most of the figures and tables from the text, sorted by chapters, which can be used in classroom presentations, handouts, study guides, and other media, based on the needs of each course.

    The image bank is also available for purchase • ISBN 978-1-4925-0871-7