Forbes recently published an online article in their Healthcare section that breaks down “What ESPN Has to Do With Improving Health.” Forbes contributor Bruce Y. Lee delves in ESPN’s 2018 Corporate Citizenship Report, to look at how the network sees itself as “Using the power of sports to create social change.” Lee focuses on ESPN’s interest in improving health, especially for youth, through participation in sports. Lee references the The Aspen Institute’s 2018 State of Play report to help give some data and context around just how critical the decline of youth participation in sports teams has become.
ESPN is just one of many organizations committed to enhancing opportunities for youth to improve both physical and social emotional health through sports play. One of the major problem areas they are working to address is the lack of training for volunteer youth sports coaches. We are proud to have partnered with The Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program and National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development and guidance from a strategic advisory group of researchers, program providers, coaches, and athletes including young people, to commission the EASEL Lab at the Harvard Graduate School of Education to produce a white paper, Coaching Social and Emotional Skills in Youth Sports, which explains the evidence behind effective strategies youth coaches can use to build these skills in their young athletes.
The next wave of that work, now available, is Calls for Coaches: Coaching Social and Emotional Skills in Youth Sports a guide which translates the white paper into actionable calls for coaches to implement in after-school and community-based sports leagues.