Examining parents' and children's preferences for coaching methods, hedonic social activities, and extrinsic rewards in a youth swim team program
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Youth sports today often mimic professional versions of the sport. Combined with the competitive nature of society, youth sports have become a place where there are few winners and numerous losers. Additionally, many youth sport programs lack the fun, playful elements that used to be prevalent in informal sports. This study uses conjoint analysis to examine parents’ and children’s preferences for coaching methods (intervals, stroke drills, relays, and challenges), hedonic social activities (fun games, parties, and social events), and extrinsic rewards (best time ribbons, place ribbons, and participation ribbons) in a youth swim team program. The conjoint analysis offers insight about which coaching methods, hedonic social activities, and extrinsic rewards are preferred and acceptable to parents and children. Parents and children had similar preferences with their main desire being for the child to learn how to swim. Results indicate that parents and children are socialized into a belief of what sports programs should encompass and that current youth swim team programs are not serving all children.