Youth Sports

Each year, nearly thirty-six million young people play organized sports across the United States. This program works with youth sports organizations to help these kids succeed both on and off the field.

Combining physical activity, play, and collaboration, sports are a meaningful way to build social and emotional skills like teamwork, empathy, and problem solving. These foundational skills boost young people’s academic, career and life outcomes.

The wide reach of youth sports means that they have massive potential to transform kids’ lives. We support SEL-informed youth sports initiatives that prepare youth to thrive. Through this work, we hope to spark a movement of youth-serving organizations that use sports to build critical SEL skills and broaden the definition of winning.

Youth Sports

Each year, nearly thirty-six million young people play organized sports across the United States. This program works with youth sports organizations to help these kids succeed both on and off the field.

Combining physical activity, play, and collaboration, sports are a meaningful way to build social and emotional skills like teamwork, empathy, and problem solving. These foundational skills boost young people’s academic, career and life outcomes.

The wide reach of youth sports means that they have massive potential to transform kids’ lives. We support SEL-informed youth sports initiatives that prepare youth to thrive. Through this work, we hope to spark a movement of youth-serving organizations that use sports to build critical SEL skills and broaden the definition of winning.

Our Partners

Youth Sports
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Aspen Institute Project Play

Project Play explores how youth sports can promote the development of social and emotional skills.

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Youth Sports
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Center for Healing & Justice Through Sport

The Center for Healing and Justice Through Sport’s mission is to make sport healing for all youth, everywhere, through training, consulting, and movement building.

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Youth Sports
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Girls on the Run International

Girls on the Run’s mission is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.

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Youth Sports
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How to Coach Kids

How to Coach Kids is co-created by the United States Olympic Committee and Nike and inspired by Aspen Institute Project Play.

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Youth Sports
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Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA

Laureus Sport for Good Foundation was founded in response to Nelson Mandela’s challenge, issued at the first Laureus World Sports Awards in 2000, that “sport has the power to change the world.”

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Youth Sports
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LiFEsports at The Ohio State University

Since 2009, LiFEsports, held at The Ohio State University, has grown to address the ever-changing needs of our community’s youth and the field of sport-based positive youth development (PYD).

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Youth Sports
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Little League International

Founded in 1939, Little League International is the world’s largest organized youth sports program, with millions of players.

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Youth Sports
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National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)

The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is the leading not-for-profit organization dedicated to building strong, vibrant and resilient communities through the power of parks and recreation.

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Youth Sports
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Positive Coaching Alliance

By 2023, PCA will directly train over 400,000 youth sports coaches to incorporate social and emotional learning and professional youth development into their coaching practices.

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Youth Sports
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U.S. Soccer Foundation

The mission of the U.S. Soccer Foundation is to provide underserved communities access to innovative play spaces and evidence-based soccer programs that instill hope, foster well-being, and help youth achieve their fullest potential.

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Youth Sports
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United States Olympic & Paralympic Foundation

The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Foundation serves as the primary source of philanthropic resources for the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC). This critical financial support allows the USOPC to invest in areas that promote excellence and innovation for Team USA.

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Youth Sports
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USA Fencing, USA Triathlon, USA Weightlifting

USA Fencing, USA Triathlon, and USA Weightlifting are the National Governing Bodies (NGBs) for their respective sports and are headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

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Youth Sports
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Washington Interscholastic Activities Association

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) is the governing body of athletics and activities for secondary education schools in the state of Washington.

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Our Challenge

The Million Coaches Challenge

Combining physical activity, play, and collaboration, sports are a meaningful way to build key social and emotional skills. But to achieve these outcomes, young athletes need good coaches. That’s why we’ve selected a cohort of partners to train one million coaches in youth development by 2025.

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Million Coaches Challenge Belief Statement

“Coaches can make or break the sports experience for kids, but many feel unprepared to meet the diverse and emergent needs of the young people they coach. To create a positive environment that helps kids get the most out of sport, coaches must be trained in youth development.”

Read the full belief statement here

Blog Posts

Million Coaches Challenge Releases Belief Statement

A good coach can change everything. While most coaches recognize the key role they play in promoting youth development and social and emotional skills, they often don’t feel supported in doing so. This is a missed …

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Creating Connections in Chicago

After years of virtual gatherings, we are energized after being able to convene not one but two Challenge cohorts in-person in Chicago! Convenings built around creating connections, sharing learnings, challenges and best practices with peers are …

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