Research on Why Kids Play Soccer…What is “Fun”?

We know that all athletes play sports because it's fun and that when it's NOT fun, they are most likely to quit. The research that Dr. Amanda Visek has done about WHAT makes sports FUN is very important research for parents and coaches. This interview, originally part of the 2017 Soccer Parenting Summit, is very thought provoking. My apologies ahead because you will notice that my video did not properly work - my voice can be heard, but my video is simply a headshot of me.

SPEAKER INFO: Amanda Visek

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Amanda J. Visek, PhD, CMPC is an Associate Professor in the Department of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences in the Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., USA. Her translational approach to scientific research has focused on the application of pediatric sport psychology to issues of public health, namely improving child and adolescent health outcomes by establishing sport participation as a public health practice through safe, positive physical activity and human movement experiences that are fun.

Her federally funded, applied research includes the FUN MAPS, the latest sport science advancement capturing attention from local grassroots communities to national and international sport organizations. The FUN MAPS are the scientific blueprints for the fun integration theory, the first-ever fully conceptual framework for optimizing youth’s positive sport experiences, both in their childhood and through their adolescence. Her work has been featured nationally in USA Today, the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, ESPNW, the N.Y Times for Kids, U.S. News & World Report, National Public Radio, CBS Radio, ABC News, NBC News, NBC Sports, FOX News and many others, while also being featured globally.

She has authored over 29 peer-reviewed papers, 7 book chapters, and given more than 145 refereed and invited talks around the world. The recipient of early career achievement awards from the Association for Applied Sport Psychology and the American Psychological Association's Division 47, she is committed to leveraging children's physical literacy via the most fun sport experiences possible.