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Maverick Club participates in U of O study.

2014 / 12 / 15

The Ottawa Maverick Volleyball Club has partnered with researchers at the University of Ottawa in the School of Human Kinetics with the goal of conducting a program evaluation that examines program quality within the youth sport context. Corliss Bean, PhD candidate at the University of Ottawa in the field of Sport Psychology and Positive Youth Development, working under the supervision of Dr. Tanya Forneris, will be working with several of Maverick Competitive and High Performance boys’ and girls’ teams over the next year to gain a comprehensive understanding of the Maverick program structure. The research team at the University of Ottawa will work with coaches and youth to attain perspectives related to their involvement in the Mavericks.

Research has shown that youth experience greater psychosocial outcomes when participating in constructive leisure, such as sport. Further, sport has been identified as a favourable environment in which to promote the development of youth because it is a highly valued social activity that youth are generally motivated to engage in. Several studies examining the youth sport context have shown that when sport is structured appropriately it can lead to a number of psychosocial outcomes, such as increased self-esteem, confidence, leadership, and self-regulation.

Researchers have proposed a number of best practices for youth sport programs. For example  (1) safe and health-promoting facilities, (2) clear, consistent rules and expectations, (3) warm, supportive relationships, (4) opportunities for meaningful inclusion and belonging, (5) positive social norms, (6) support for efficacy and autonomy, (7) opportunities for skill building, and (8) coordination among family, school, and community. However, very little research has examined program quality in youth sport to understand how these practices can be best implemented by youth sport coaches.

Findings from this research will help provide important insight into how youth sport coaches can be working to enhance overall development of their athletes and provide specific recommendations on how to structure their programs. Finally, the results from this study can be applied directly to the development and refinement of community-based programs that enable youth to become engaged and contributing members of our society.

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“ When you make a mistake, don't look back at it long. Take the reason of the thing into your mind, and then look forward. Mistakes are lessons of wisdom. The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power. ”
– Phyllis Bottome
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