Amanda J. Visek is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Exercise Science at The George Washington University, Milken Institute School of Public Health. Amanda focuses her research and efforts on improving child and adolescent health through sustained sport participation.  More Information.

Note From Christian and I had the opportunity to meet Amanda at the NSCAA coaches convention where she was discussing her research on FUN in front of a packed lecture hall of coaches ranging from youth to college. As coaches we struggle with balancing our own ego and desire to win with creating fun learning team and practice environments. Winning can be fun but there is so much more that goes into enjoyment of a sport and encouraging future participation. I am passionate about young people getting involved, learning life lessons on and off the field, building bonds, and most importantly having fun which is why I suggest discussing this with your youth athletes and coaching peers. This is a great read for coaches and parents alike.

Much of the popular media buzz and excitement generated by the FUN MAPS research stems from the need and desire voiced by many to put the fun back into the ever increasing ultra-competitive youth sport environment. What’s more, the FUN MAPS are challenging one of the most common perceptions in the youth sport arena today – that “having fun” is synonymous with “goofing off”. Not so, according to the FUN MAPS. Contrary to what many may think, fun does not come at the expense of individual athlete and team achievement efforts. In other words, it appears that greater athletic performance is more likely to be achieved if kids are engaged in the most fun sport experiences possible. So, exactly what is fun?

Full PDF article submitted in the Olympic Coaches Journal Fall 2014