Promoting Positive Youth Development and Life Skills in Youth Sports: Challenges and Opportunities in the Demands of Professionalization

  • Defri Mulyana Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia
  • Adang Suherman Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia
Keywords: Positive Youth Development, Life Skills, Youth Sports


Positive youth development is a strength-based approach in which life skills are recognized as desirable assets that prepare youth to function as productive members of society. In many countries, increasing attention is paid to teaching life skills through sports. Still, researchers have warned of the dangers of believing unthinkingly about the virtues of sport participation. This research offers a brief commentary on the challenges and opportunities in promoting positive youth development and life skills amidst the increasing professionalization of youth sports. In the first part of this article, a case is made for tempering our expectations about the intrinsic developmental value of sport and instead focusing on youth issues for life skills and experiential learning opportunities. In the second part of this article, coach education and the professionalization of youth sports are examined as contemporary challenges in terms of the dilemmas they create and the opportunities they present. The increasing professionalization of sports in Indonesia has significantly benefited athlete achievement and popularity. However, this shift also challenges positive youth development and life skills development. This article describes the challenges and opportunities associated with promoting Positive Youth Development (PYD) and life skills in youth sports in Indonesia.