5th International ICOACHKIDS Conference promises valuable learning for youth sport coaches – Dr Phil Kearney.



The 5th International ICOACHKIDS Conference will be held online on the 13th and 14th of December with the theme of Future Proofing Youth Sport: Courage and Optimism.

I am honored to be presenting some of the research that is currently underway at the Sport and Human Performance Research Centre at the University of Limerick. The conference features presentations on a wide range of areas, and is sure to be of value to coaches involved in youth sport, who can sign up here to participate in this free online event.


ICOACHKIDS is a non-profit global movement which helps children get the most out of sport. Their innovative online platform hosts free courses to give youth sport coaches the tools to share and learn from one another, so they can give kids from any background the best coaching, play and sport environment, and motivation to stay in sport longer. Their standalone webinars on topics such as being an effective sport parent, teaching life skills through sport, or how to create meaningful experiences for all children provide bitesize guidance for coaches and other stakeholders in youth sport. Their previous conferences are available free online, and provide a fascinating set of resources whether you are interested in preventing dropout from sport or talent development.

Perhaps the best introduction to ICOACHKIDS comes from their pledge – 10 golden rules for coaching children:

Who is speaking at the conference?

The first day is headlined by Roberto Martinez, Head Coach of the Belgian National Football Team, who will be speaking on youth football development. Subsequently, Hannah Crane from Street Games will be exploring strategies to bring sport to the street and make it more accessible for young people. Amanda Visek will be exploring how coaches can apply FUN Integration Theory to create more enjoyable sessions and boost player retention. With many recent conversations about the optimal structure for youth talent development pathways in the Irish context, Juanita Weissensteiner’s talk on healthy talent development in youth sport is particularly timely for all involved in such pathways.

The second day of the conference features two presentations for coaches of girls from world leading researchers Nicole LaVoi of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport and Leanne Norman, focused on practical guidance to provide more engaging sessions for girls. There is also an emphasis on providing guidance for coach developers, with Tabo Huntley delivering a session on creating e-learning for Special Olympic coaches.


The conference runs from 18:00 to 21:00 on both nights. To register, go to:



Dr. Phil Kearney is the Course Director of the MSc Applied Sports Coaching in the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Education and Health Sciences,  University of Limerick. View Phil’s profile:  https://www.ul.ie/pess/iframe-staff/dr-philip-kearney

Contact: philip.kearney@ul.ie. Research Profiles: Researchgate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Phil-Kearney, ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3425-663X, Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=ZFggoBgAAAAJ&hl=en Twitter @kearney_phil

Phil Kearney round
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