Balance is Better is an evidence-based approach. The focus of the philosophy is on why young people play sport – to have fun, be challenged, develop and improve, be part of a team or group, and enjoy time with friends.
Sport NZ works with the sector to provide quality experiences in sport for all tamariki and rangatahi (young people aged 5-18), including for those who enjoy competition as well as those who just want to have fun.
There are three myths in youth sport that have been identified though research and are supported by evidence. The Balance is Better philosophy pushes back against these myths to stress that:
- Childhood success is not a reliable predictor of future success
- Identifying athletes early and specialising early is taking its toll on young people
- A focus on winning rather than development is a problem for young people, because it can have unintended consequences on their wellbeing and affect their motivation to take part
We would recommend having a look at further information here and signing up to receive regular emails with more on Balance is Better.