• Video games meet the needs, values and priorities of youth and thus are very popular.

  • Why do youth often drop out of activities organized by adults such as sports, etc?

  • We must make our programs more appealing to our youth.


Why do so many young people CHOOSE to play video games?


Video games are popular because the needs, values and priorities of the child are at the center of the experience.

  • Video games put the youth in control.

  • Video games are action packed 100% of the time and inclusive of all participants.

  • Video games allow kids to create their own reality and rules based on their values.

  • Video games allow children to experiment and fail without fear of criticism and critiques.

Also video games have an advantage over most youth programs. The makers of video games ask youth for their feedback on how to make the experience better! Their motto: “What can we do to get you to play more?”


Why do youth often drop out of activities organized by adults such as sports, etc?

In many youth activities the adults take over.

  • Organized activities attempt to impose adult values and priorities.

  • Organized group activities often have a large number of participants sitting on the sidelines.

  • Organized activities rarely allow experimentation and failure without criticism, especially in the “competitive” arena.

  • When we create “select” teams at younger and younger ages their friends are not included.

In organized activities, the needs, values and priorities of the adults often take precedence. They want to win and focus on long-term goals. They want to win trophies and medals, have an all-star team and gain scholarships.

Yes ‘winning’ teams have their place. But for the vast majority of youth, this is not high on the list of what makes these activities fun.

So what are the top reasons they enjoyed participating?

  1. Tried their best

  2. When the coach treated them with respect

  3. They got ‘playing’ time

  4. Played well together as a group

  5. Got along with the other participants.

  6. Were active and involved.

How often do coaches ask their participants “what can I do to make this better, more fun, and more engaging?”

Instead the coach will say “this is serious business, your parents have paid for this.” Parents are more likely to look at wins and losses and the reputation of a coach as a winner.


We must make our programs more appealing to our youth.

We need to work hard to:

  • Make it fun.

  • Make it about the needs and values of the youth.

  • Find ways for everyone to take part.

  • Let them sample it at their own pace.

  • Let their experience belong to them

  • Allow them to learn at their own pace.

  • Give them space to fail and be creative.

  • Be a supporter, not a constant critic

  • Ask them “how can I make this a better experience for you?”

When asking youth what the five most important qualities are they want in a coach, here is what they say.

  • Respect and encouragement

  • A positive role model

  • Clear and consistent communication

  • Knowledge of your subject

  • Someone who listens and cares

We need to ask ourselves “do my coaching programs work as hard as these video game makers to make the experience valued?

It will be a happy day when we start complaining that our participants are having too much fun – that we cannot get them to do anything else, such as when playing video games.

Source for this articleMuch of the above is based on an article written by John O’Sullivan, a sports coach. To see what John has to say his article can be found at: http://changingthegameproject.com/what-youth-sports-can-learn-from-video-games/

Please contact me to enter the discussion. How can we assist our youth to face their future with group coaching.

Wishing you lots of love and laughter, as always.

Fred Jones

Victoria, BC Canada

Fred Jones

Fred Jones

Posted in Administration, Blog, Coaching, Program Activities and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

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