Exploring parents’, coaches’, and children’s experiences and perceived outcomes in preschooler sport
Over the past two decades there has been a tremendous increase in availability and uptake of organized sport programming for preschool aged children – but research supporting the benefits of this form of physical activity for this age group has been lacking. In this study we explored the experiences and perceived outcomes of organized sport for preschoolers, through the lens of parents, coaches, and children. Our work suggests programs’ potential to foster preschoolers’ physical, social, and psychological benefits; however, parents often had inflated expectations for children’s experiences and outcomes, whereby children’s attendance alone was insufficient to foster optimal outcomes. We concluded that positive developmental outcomes often associated with sport participation among youth should not automatically be imprinted on the preschooler demographic.