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How Researchers Are Helping Kids Learn Life Skills in Practice

By Michael Brown, Folio, 11/13/18, 12:00PM CST

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Youth sports organization reaches out to PhD student to help coaches build life skills development into community programs.

University of Alberta research examining how to use sport to develop youth beyond the athlete is making its way from academic journals into coaches’ playbooks. The Philadelphia Youth Sports Collaborative — which supports 27 youth sport and activity organizations serving a population of 1.6 million residents in the greater Philadelphia region — reached out to Kurtis Pankow, a kinesiology PhD student who works in Nick Holt’s Child and Adolescent Sport and Activity Lab, after his research was published.

His study showed that landmark research by Holt and youth sport research colleagues across Canada suggesting youth sport should be about building the whole person needs to be more accessible if it is to find its way into the world’s highest sport bodies. “The research shows that most coaches want to help foster positive development.