Sports are activities enjoyed by many across the globe, regardless of age. The existence and promotion of youth sports has often been based on various assumptions about its value and role in society. Sports participation is assumed to be fun and good and is assumed to contribute to the development of young people. As a result, sports are often seen as an essential part of life for youth. Participation in sports and physical activity is assumed to help young people to develop in a context in which they are able to learn important positive societal values (Fraser-Thomas et al., 2005; Holt, 2008). Although there is a widespread belief in the positive dimensions of sports participation for young people, there is a need for research and theory that identifies and critically looks at the processes through which sports participation by youth is experienced and shapes their lives (Coakley, 2011). I return to this critical perspective after I elaborate on the ways sports are viewed as important effective activities for positive youth development.
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|Key words||youth, sport, Foucauldian|