Coaches can motivate young athletes to achieve success in a healthy way

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Washington, Nov 18 (ANI): A new American study suggests that coaches can motivate young athletes to achieve their goals in a healthy way rather than achieving success at all costs.

Sports psychologists from the University of Washington quizzed 243 young basketball players in the ages of 9 to 13 to come up with their findings.

The group under study consisted of 145 boys and 98 girls, with 80percent whites, playing in two separate Seattle leagues.

Lead author and psychology professor Ronald Smith said: "Much of life is affected by motivation and achievement.

"Our study looked at children 9 to 13 years of age and there was no difference by age or sex. And it was also significant because it shows the influence of a mastery climate on children's achievement goals in a relatively short time, 12 weeks."

The research also shows that children as young as 9 can make the difference between effort and ability.

Frank Smoll, co-author of the paper, said: "A coach can be the first non-parental figure who is a youngster's hero. People who volunteer to coach year after year don't affect just a few kids. They can be influencing thousands at very early ages."

Smith added: "One consistent finding of our research is that a mastery climate retains more youngsters in sports. It keeps them coming back...Retention is a huge problem in some youth sports programs. An important reason to keep kids involved in sports is that it reduces obesity by helping them be more active." (ANI)

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