On March 16, 2011- Up2Us, Boston University, and the Boston Youth Sports Initiative hosted a working roundtable of stakeholders who are fully invested in examining the state and potential of coach development in the U.S. Top researchers, youth development experts, and coach trainers led discussions and helped participants think through possible solutions. Youth Sports is a huge part of American culture – an estimated 41 million American kids are playing competitive youth sports in the United States. The adult coaches working with these young people are crucial to having sports be a positive experience, and reach key outcomes. There are a growing number of initiatives aimed at developing coaches, but the community remains diffuse. National bodies, local organizations, and individuals are all separately working on supporting coaches. Despite these efforts, challenges exist in effectively developing high quality coaches; a diverse work force of coaches, a wide range of program structures and goals, and lack of widely known coaching standards all make for a jumbled landscape.
Based on a common understanding of barriers, best practices and the realities of the work, the roundtable will create a set of preliminary strategies for advancing coach development efforts in this country. The convening will result in the creation of a white paper that Up2Us and Boston University will use in partnership with participating organizations to advocate for additional resources in the area of coach development.