The Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program and National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development have forged a partnership with the goal of exploring the role youth sports can play in developing young people’s social and emotional skills. With funding from the Susan Crown Exchange (SCE) and guidance from a strategic advisory group of researchers, program providers, coaches, and athletes including young people, we commissioned the EASEL Lab at the Harvard Graduate School of Education to produce a white paper, Coaching Social and Emotional Skills in Youth Sports, which synopsizes and explains the evidence behind effective strategies youth coaches can use to build these skills in their young athletes.
This brief translates the white paper into actionable calls for coaches to implement in after-school and community-based sports leagues. The brief’s goals are to:
• Help coaches understand why youth sports is a great venue for developing social, emotional and cognitive skills.
• Provide strategies and best practices for coaches to name, model and create environments for youth athletes to develop and practice these skills.