Coaches' Goals for Young Children in a Recreational Sports Program

Patrick Stern, Michael T. Prince, Robert H. Bradley, Suzanne E. Stroh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Almost all children participate in sports at some time, and programs are being established for even younger children. Adults who coach the children largely determine what the children's sports experience will be. Coaches' perceptions of what is important for the young children they instruct have not yet been carefully investigated. This study was designed, therefore, to determine coaches' goals for young children. Data were gathered by use of an attitude questionnaire administered to 29 coaches of a recreational basketball program of children ranging in age from 6 to 10 years old. Of the 12 goals, feeling part of a team, learning to do my best, and having fun and excitement were most highly rated as extremely important, while becoming popular was lowest rated as not important. Results revealed that coaches in general are able to clearly define their goals and priorities, and these goals seem developmentally appropriate for the children. However, coaches make little differentiation in goals based on age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-281
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Pediatrics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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