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Life Skills Development Through Sport: Current Status and Future Directions

This review is designed to summarize and critique current life skills through sport research. In particular, life skills are defined, the conditions needed to examine life skills development are explored, and the possible theoretical explanations of how, when, under what conditions and why life skills develop in sport participants are discussed. A heuristic model of coaching life skills is offered. To conclude, future research directions are forwarded and include the need for: (a) quantitative and qualitative research; (b) the development of valid life skills through sport measures; (c) an examination of sport program type differences; (d) evaluation research; (e) longitudinal studies; (f) studies focusing on identifying theoretical explanations for the life skill development sport participation link; (g) the utilization of experimental designs; and (h) an examination of the transferability of life skills. The importance of conducting this type of research for both theoretical and practical reasons is emphasized.