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Positive Youth Development From Sport to Life: Explicit or Implicit Transfer?

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While previous studies indicate that participation in sport has the potential to facilitate positive developmental outcomes, there is a lack of consensus regarding the possible transfer of these outcomes to other environments (i.e., school or work). An important issue within the positive development literature concerns how sport programs should approach the issue of transfer. This article outlines two distinct approaches to the transfer debate: the explicit approach and the implicit approach. Specifically, this article discusses the relative strengths and limitations of these two approaches with regards to their effectiveness, sustainability, and balance of adult- and youth-driven learning. Recommendations for future research directions are also presented.
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... There has been a growing discussion about how athletes may best learn life skills with the support of their coaches (Bean & Forneris, 2016;Bean et al., 2018;Pierce et al., 2017). This discussion includes the advantages and disadvantages of coaches taking an implicit or explicit approach to life skills development and transfer (Turnnidge et al., 2014). An explicit approach towards life skills development and transfer means that coaches have life skills focus, define tangible and concrete objectives to developing specific life skills, and fulfill the objectives through various activities and strategies that are applied systematically Turnnidge et al., 2014). ...
... This discussion includes the advantages and disadvantages of coaches taking an implicit or explicit approach to life skills development and transfer (Turnnidge et al., 2014). An explicit approach towards life skills development and transfer means that coaches have life skills focus, define tangible and concrete objectives to developing specific life skills, and fulfill the objectives through various activities and strategies that are applied systematically Turnnidge et al., 2014). It has been hypothesized that coaches who take an explicit approach towards life skills development may increase youth's chances of learning life skills through sport (Holt et al., 2017). ...
... More specifically, coaches lacked an explicit approach, thus having at most an indirect effect on their personal development. Previous research Kendellen et al., 2017;Turnnidge et al., 2014) has stated the need for coaches to develop an explicit and direct approach towards fostering life skills development and transfer for better outcomes, and indicated how specific events in sport (e.g., not playing, losing) may represent coachable moments where a life skill can be taught (e.g., perseverance; Nunes et al., 2021;Santos & Callary, 2020). According to previous research (Rathwell & Young, 2018b;Camiré, 2021;Camiré et al., 2021), life skill definitions may need to be broader in nature to reflect other variables beyond concrete skills and include experiences (either positive or negative) and events that may bare meaning for athletes. ...
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Life skills development across developmental stages has been considered a complex endeavor. Research is needed to understand how family environments may influence athletes’ life skills development through sport experiences. Nonetheless, we are not aware of any studies to date that have explored how shared family environment of twins influence their life skills development. This study used Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis to examine twin professional athletes’ experiences in learning life skills in development, elite youth, and high-performance sport contexts. The findings show the twins’ coaches lacked an explicit approach to life skills development, but through support from their father, the twins still perceived that their coaches had an indirect effect on their personal development. This study also highlights how negative experiences in high performance sport played a role in positive life skill development, which is a novel finding from this study. Their father's support and their shared family environment were considered key and enabled the athletes to learn life skills from both negative and positive experiences in sport. It is fair to state that the twins had privileged support (i.e., father) which may not be accessible to many athletes across a range of contexts.
... Thus, it becomes imperative to examine more closely the approaches influencing the teaching of life skills. Turnnidge et al. (2014) situated the teaching of life skills in sport as occurring either through an implicit approach or an explicit approach. The implicit approach entails coaches who prioritize the teaching of sport-specific skills with no deliberate attention paid to the intentional teaching of life skills. ...
... Allen & Rhind, 2019) approaches to life skills teaching can foster learning outcomes. Bean et al. (2018), in their implicit/explicit continuum of life skills development and transfer, furthered the work of Turnnidge et al. (2014) by delineating six levels of intentionality for the teaching of life skills. The first two levels of the continuum refer to the implicit approach and consist of structuring the sport context and facilitating a positive climate. ...
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Life skills refer to a person’s ability to do life well through the successful completion of everyday tasks and a meaningful engagement at school, at work, at home and in the community. However, several scholars have critiqued existing approaches to life skills teaching in sport, often situated as individualistic and focused on economic productivity and integration in predetermined social orders. For the teaching of life skills in sport to instigate social change, coaching approaches must consider broader structures of power, privilege and oppression. The purpose of the paper is to propose a two continua model coalescing implicit/explicit approaches and normative/transformative dimensions of how coaches can teach life skills through sport. The model is designed to account for how coaches can be implicit or explicit in their approaches to teaching life skills, doing so in manners that can be normative or transformative. Within each of the model’s quarter-circles, examples are offered as to how coaches can teach life skills in approaches considered normative implicit, normative explicit, transformative implicit and transformative explicit. In the transformative explicit quarter-circle, the concept of social justice life skills is expanded to include dignity, reciprocity, transformative leadership and critical consciousness. Implications for research and practice are offered in terms of situating youth development from a relational perspective and positioning transformative change as a complex process that carries certain challenges and risks for coaches and youth. The two continua model for life skills teaching offers researchers and coaches a conceptual framework that delineates actions that can be taken to enact transformative pedagogies, while also opening new horizons for what life skills can become when envisioned with social change in mind.
... This is reinforced by Samion (2016) who argues that in addition to teaching, teachers must also educate. Therefore, education is not only a transfer of knowledge but also emphasizes the transfer of value (Turnnidge J et al, 2014). In addition, teachers are required to provide lessons to students, so that they have creativity and innovation. ...
... Participation in organized sport has been associated with favourable physical, psychological, and social health outcomes (Doré et al., 2019;Eime et al., 2013;Turnnidge et al., 2014). Yet, Canadian adolescent girls report significantly less sport participation rates and worse sport experiences compared to boys (Canadian Women & Sport, 2020). ...
Article
Despite the evidenced benefits of participating in organized sport, adolescent girls consistently report lower rates of sport participation, worse sport experiences, and higher dropout rates, compared to boys. Body image concerns have been linked to this gender disparity and established as a critical predictor of disordered eating, thus necessitating effective prevention efforts to mitigate the negative impacts of body image concerns and disordered eating for adolescent girls. In partnership with the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC; Canada), the present scoping review was conducted to examine the nature and characteristics of sport-specific body image and disordered eating interventions for adolescent girls. Fourteen studies were identified through various search strategies. Over half of the studies demonstrated modest yet worthwhile effects on various body image and disordered eating outcomes. Intervention characteristics (i.e., frequency, modes of delivery, topics, material, outcomes measured) varied across initiatives. Fifty-nine national, provincial, and local sport system representatives were consulted as stakeholders and provided practical input to the results of the scoping review. Sport stakeholders favoured the delivery of a multidimensional, multicomponent program, with a combination of evidence-based techniques. This synthesis of knowledge will shape the development and dissemination of future programs, and contribute to the development of equitable sport participation opportunities for Canadian girls.
... Whilst the physical and mental wellbeing benefits of participation have been studied extensively, a number of authors have contested the assumption that sport participation inevitably and automatically translates into psychosocial development [8,9]. Concerns have been raised that the extant literature fails to clearly define and fully understand the nature and extent of this phenomenon [8,10,11]. ...
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Abstract: Sport has the potential to support psychosocial development in young people. However, extant studies have tended to evaluate purpose-built interventions, leaving regular organised sport relatively overlooked. Moreover, previous work has tended to concentrated on a narrow range of outcomes. To address these gaps, we conducted a season-long ethnography of a youth performance sport club based on a novel Realist Evaluation approach. We construed the club as a social intervention within a complex system of agents and structures. The results are published in this special issue as a two-part series. In this first paper, we detail the perceptions of former and current club parents, players and coaches, using them to build a set of programme theories. The resulting network of outcomes (i.e., self, emotional, social, moral and cognitive) and generative mechanisms (i.e., the attention factory, the greenhouse for growth, the personal boost and the real-life simulator), spanning across multiple contextual layers, provides a nuanced understanding of stakeholders’ views and experiences. This textured perspective of the multi-faceted process of development provides new insights for administrators, coaches and parents to maximise the developmental properties of youth sport, and signposts new avenues for research in this area.
... Significantly, the present study shows that repeated and consistent exposure to relatively low-key activities within this club was important and successful for building individuals' internal assets. This underlines the ongoing debate about the extent of development arising from serendipity versus 'by design' activities [23][24][25][26][27]. The evidence developed through this study suggests that both pathways coexist and should be addressed, if only because the pathways to impact are so complicated and hard to isolate [23]. ...
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This study aimed to explore the potential for sport to support psychosocial development in young people in a youth performance setting using a novel realistic evaluation approach. Part 1 of this two-paper series published in this Special Issue identified the programme theories-how the programme is supposed to work. A wide and deep network of context, generative mechanisms and outcomes responsible for psychosocial development in this youth performance basketball club emerged. The first paper also concluded that the outcomes and the experience are highly contextual and individualised. In this second part, the stakeholder's programme theories were tested during a full-season ethnography of the same club. Immersion in the day-today environment generated a fine-grain analysis of the processes involved, including: (i) sustained attentional focus; (ii) struc-tured and unstructured skill-building activities; (iii) deliberate and incidental support; and (iv) feelings indicating personal growth. Personal development in and through sport is thus shown to be conditional, multi-faceted, time-sensitive and idiosyncratic. The findings of this two-part study are considered to propose a model of psychosocial development in and through sport. This heuristic tool is presented to support sport psychologists, coaches, club administrators and parents to deliberately create and optimise developmental environments.
... Life skills such as communication, problem-solving, conflict resolution, and goal-setting can be developed through practice and training in sports circumstances (Gould & Carson, 2008). Life skills are not automatically acquired by simply participating in sports, rather, they should be taught and practiced (Kerrick, 2015;Walker, Marczak, Blyth, & Borden, 2005) with clear intentions (Turnnidge, Côté, & Hancock, 2014). The examples of the programs developed with goals and intentions are GOAL (Danish, Meyer, Mash, Howard, Curl, Brunelle, & Owens, 1998), a goal-pursuing program; The First Tee (Weiss, 2006), a golf program; and SUPER (Danish, 2002), a program that can be applied to various sports. ...
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a life skills-centered teacher professional development program on students’ perceptions of the learning climate and life skills transfer. Data were collected through a survey of 294 secondary school students (n = 183, experimental group; n = 111, control group) by administering the Learning Climate Questionnaire (LCQ) and the Korean Life Skill Transfer Survey (KLSTS) questionnaire. Data were analyzed using SPSS 20.0 and AMOS 21.0. Results showed that there were significant differences in perceptions of the learning climate and life skills transfer between students in the experimental group and those in the control group (p < .05). Findings of the study indicated that a teacher professional development program can influence students’ perceptions of the learning climate, especially regarding autonomy, competence, and relatedness, thus promoting life skills development and transfer.
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Sports are fun activities that help kids learn skills, like how to shoot a free throw or skate backwards. But what if sports could teach us more than physical skills and prepare us for life? If the environment is safe and welcoming, sports can also teach us skills that we can use in our lives—life skills! Participating in sports can teach us about teamwork, being a leader, how to relax if we are upset, and much more! In this article, we discuss different ways that life skills can be developed through sports. We also talk about what you and your coaches can do to help you develop life skills. As you learn these skills in sports, you can use them anywhere, like at school or home. Life skills learned in sports can help you become a good person on whatever path you choose in life.
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[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to verify the structural relationship among perceived psycho-social climate, life skills, and transfer of student-athletes. [Method] Participants were 313 (male=261, female=52, Mage=16.37) Taekwondo athletes from middle and high schools. Collected data were analyzed by using descriptive statistics, correlation, and structural equation model (SEM). [Results] First, caring and mastery climate, the sub-factors of psycho-social climate had a positive effect on life skills, while performance climate did not have a statistically significant effect. Second, performance climate, the sub-factors of psycho-social climate, had a negative effect on life skills transfer, while caring and mastery climate did not have a statistically significant effect. Third, life skills positively related to life skills transfer. [Conclusion] The psycho-social climate was found to be an important variable predicting life skills and transfer. Therefore, coaches should foster a caring and mastery climate to promote athletes’ life skills development and help them transfer these skills to other domains and use them. Keywords positive youth development, motivational climate, sociality, sport character, generalization
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This article analyzes the development of initiative as an exemplar of one of many learning experiences that should be studied as part of positive youth development. The capacity for initiative is essential for adults in our society and will become more important in the 21st century, yet adolescents have few opportunities to learn it. Their typical experiences during schoolwork and unstructured leisure do not reflect conditions for learning initiative. The context best suited to the development of initiative appears to be that of structured voluntary activities, such as sports, arts, and participation in organizations, in which youths experience the rare combination of intrinsic motivation in combination with deep attention. An incomplete body of outcome research suggests that such activities are associated with positive development, but the developmental processes involved are only beginning to be understood. One promising approach has recorded language use and has found that adolescents participating in effective organizations acquire a new operating language that appears to correspond to the development of initiative.
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