For national sport organizations like pro leagues and the U.S. Olympic committee, kids are the future. These ideas help national sport organizations understand how they can develop future talent while offering opportunities to many at young ages.

National Sport Organizations


  • Create pilots for model partnerships with after-school programs in underserved areas to introduce youth to less traditional Olympic sports like team handball or table tennis. They’ll grow your pipeline.

  • Hire diversity officers to develop efforts to engage underserved kids. If you’re a national sport governing body, encourage state associations to share club revenues from wealthier programs with those that serve families who need subsidies. Appeal to local foundations for help.

  • Create or endorse online tools that deliver training in the key coaching competencies in working with kids from all backgrounds. Make the tools free to every youth-serving organization.

  • Professional leagues: Drive reform at the youth level, as the National Hockey League has done with ADM through an annual $4 million gift to USA Hockey. Also, create PSAs highlighting the role of free play and physical literacy in the development of admired athletes.

  • National Governing Bodies: Commit to annual goals based on participation growth. Add a pediatrician or health professional to the board to sync policies with medical recommendations. Give local administrators tools to design and evaluate programs.

  • U.S. Olympic Committee: Encourage affiliates to promote the American Development Model and other child-first policies through funding criteria or other incentives.

  • Collision Sports: Recommend noncollision forms of play for 12-and-under kids, as USA Rugby does with its flag-based programs. As football’s John Madden has suggested, teach kids to solve problems with their hands and feet, then introduce full contact.

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