Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Football, sport and the development of young people’s life skills

Cope, Edward; Bailey, Richard; Parnell, Daniel; Nicholls, Adam


Edward Cope

Richard Bailey

Daniel Parnell

Profile Image

Professor Adam Nicholls
Professor of Psychology/ Leader of the Sport Psychology and Coaching Group


The development of life skills has been associated with participation in sport, football and other physical activities. A factor in enabling this ambition to be realized is the actions and behaviors of sports coaches. Drawing on the concept of positive youth development through sport, the first part of this paper considers the types of environments coaches need to create in order for players to develop life skills. The second part of this paper discusses formal coach education and it’s role in developing coaches’ knowledge of life skills development. The third and final section of this paper offers an alternative explanation of how people’s exposure to certain social contexts results in the development of life skills. A review of literature in these areas reveals that the role sport and football has played in players’ development of life skills is unclear and in need of future research attention.


Cope, E., Bailey, R., Parnell, D., & Nicholls, A. (2017). Football, sport and the development of young people’s life skills. Sport in Society, 20(7), 789-801.

Acceptance Date Jul 21, 2016
Online Publication Date Jul 21, 2016
Publication Date Jul 3, 2017
Deposit Date Jul 22, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jan 23, 2018
Journal Sport in society
Print ISSN 1743-0437
Electronic ISSN 1743-0445
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 20
Issue 7
Pages 789-801
Keywords Life skills; Football; Sport; Coach; Education
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Sport in society on 21 Jul 2016, available online:


You might also like

Downloadable Citations