Sport can be a fantastic vehicle for young people to gain important life skills that will help them to prosper through childhood, adolescence and into adulthood. Participation in organised sport can introduce young children and adolescents to opportunities for understanding the notion of ‘competition’, developing social skills, contributing to teamwork, exploring their responses to mistakes, and managing success, failure, and feedback from others.
Youth sport coaches and parents serve as ‘the superglue’ that holds together a supportive sport and home environment for the young player or athlete to develop these important psychological and social skills (psychosocial) through sport participation. Poor sport coaching and sport parenting behaviour promises that the young person will most likely create a negative relationship with sport, as well as resentment, excessive stress and less than healthy relationships with adults – negative memories that will last. Without proper guidance and support in managing various sport experiences, the young athlete may develop inappropriate psychological habits that compromise the development of psychosocial skills and, more importantly, their enjoyment of sport.
We have created this website, and the 5Cs initiative, to help coaches, parents and athletes thrive in sport and through the challenges that sport offers. Sport imposes not only physical and technical, but also mental, emotional and social demands on young athletes. When they understand and embrace such demands, then they begin to develop coping skills that enable them not only to thrive in sport, but also to transfer such learning to other life domains – school, family, work, hobbies, social settings – and the relationships that matter in each of these domains.
Starting with youth football, the 5Cs framework aims to provide coaches, parents and players with education and support materials that will help them to create an optimal environment for their learning and enjoyment.