Sport for Youth Development: Perceptions of Motivational Climate and Youth Development Experiences in an Underserved Youth Sport Setting




Hannesschlager, Jim

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This study was designed to explore the motivational climate created in a youth sport setting by coaches trained to carry out an intentional curriculum and the positive and negative experiences reported by youth in the youth sport program. The program took place in an underserved community in a large, urban city. The study took the form of an evaluative assessment of a youth sport program, using the Motivational Climate Scale for Youth Sports (MCSYS) to assess motivational climate perception and the Youth Experiences Scale 2.0 (YES 2.0) to assess positive and negative experiences in the program. The study consisted of a convenience sample of 41 participants between the ages of 10 and 13 who completed a demographic survey, a MCSYS survey, and a YES 2.0 survey. Results indicated that participants perceived a mastery motivational climate more strongly than a competitive motivational climate. Furthermore, positive experiences were associated with participation in the program more strongly than negative experiences. Statistical analysis revealed some differences in perceptions and experiences between age, gender, and race of participants. Findings, though not statistically significant, provide insights into realities of youth sport programs that can enrich the sport for youth development sphere and suggest new topics and areas of study.



Sport-based youth development, Youth sports, Sport coaching, Motivational climate, Youth experiences