• David Thibodeau

Sport and Youth Skill Development

On World Youth Skill Day we appreciate all the ways that sport can be used to help develop youth skills. Briefly explored in our previous article SDG #8 Decent Work and Economic Growth, sports can contribute a lot to personal development and help youth gain many skills that are beneficial for helping people succeed in life.


Sports contribute to skills such as leadership, which include taking responsibility and accountability. Sports teach people the need for taking responsibility through making sure you show up prepared for practice. That means having all your equipment, but also doing things away from practice such as eating and sleeping properly. Accountability also means that you are responsible for your results/performances during competitions.


Time management and organisation are important aspects of an athlete’s life, especially young athletes who have to balance training commitments with school work and sometimes part time work.


Sports teach young people about respect and sportsmanship. Respecting others is a huge part of sport. It helps develop team working skills, working with others in a variety of settings is important for both school and work.


Sports also helps develop handling stress, pressure and disappointment. Working under stress and pressure will be dealt with in both our personal and public lives. Stress and pressure can come in several forms, working on relationships can be stressful, working on important files with looming deadlines at work can be stressful. Sports can help athletes develop ways of dealing with stress and working under pressure. Competing is often a high stress, high pressure environment and learning to deal with those external forces is very helpful. Dealing with disappointment and loss at competitions is also a useful skill developed through sport.