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Institute for the Study of Youth Sports

Leadership, Scholarship, and Outreach to Transform Youth Sport


  • Conducting novel research in critical areas related to youth sport
  • Partnering with sport organizations and governing bodies to conduct evaluation, develop training programs, and build organizational capacity
  • Conducting outreach and development programs to develop athletes, coaches and sport leaders
  • Training and preparing graduate students to be the next generation of scholars in areas related to youth sports
  • Coordinating the Summer Coaches’ School
  • Providing oversight for three graduate programs in Sport Coaching, Leadership, and Administration
  • Distributing a quarterly newsletter – The Youth Sport Report – to provide updates on the work we do

Protecting Youth Athletes

The Institute for the Study of Youth Sports has created three online educational modules to address the issue of abuse in sports. The free learning videos are not available to support coaches, administrators, and caregivers on best practices to protect youth athletes from physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.

Graduate programs in Sport Coaching, Leadership, and Administration

If you are a current or aspiring sport coach or sport leader, and you are looking to extend your knowledge and advance your career, then you may consider applying to one of our graduate programs offered through the Department of Kinesiology.  A master’s degree and two graduate certificate programs are offered each year.  Courses are taught online by expert faculty.  See the program website for application details.

Soccer ball being kicked

Summer Coaches’ School

This annual event brings together sport coaches and leaders for two days of instruction on topics from building athlete mental toughness, working with sport parents, designing physical training that optimally challenges athletes, to turning around a struggling program.  Workshops are led by MSU faculty, coaches, outside experts, and MSU graduate students, all with expertise in working with sport coaches and leaders. This event provides a great opportunity to meet and network with a range of coaches, administrators, as well as teachers and researchers who study sport science.

Teacher explaining to student

How we learn to move

In 2022, Professor Karin Pfeiffer became the director of the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports. Learn about her vision for the next chapter of the Institute in the 2022 New Educator magazine. (2017 photo: Amanda Pinckney, WKAR-MSU.)

Sparty running with kids