Our vision is to enhance well-being and development across physical, social, and psychological domains through youth sport.


The mission of the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports is to discover and implement best practices in youth sport to optimize the experiences of all stakeholders.

Specific Mission Objectives

  • Teaching and Learning: Through offering top-tier degree programs and conducting trainings, workshops, and webinars for students, researchers, and practitioners
  • Research: Through conducting independent research projects and collaborating with community partners to fill gaps and needs in the field 
  • Outreach: Through providing consulting services to sport organizations, governing bodies, coaches, and sport leaders
  • Leadership: Through increasing awareness, advocacy, and service to local, regional, national, and international organizations and stakeholders


Integrity, Excellence, Collaboration, Equity and Inclusion

Founding of the Institute

The Institute for the Study of Youth Sports (ISYS) was launched in 1978 after members of the State legislature became concerned about negative and unhealthy practices occurring in children’s sports. The goals were to establish a world-class Institute that would scientifically study the beneficial and detrimental effects of sports participation on children and youth and then work to maximize the beneficial effects.

The Institute for the Study of Youth Sports is part of the Michigan State University, the first land-grant university in America. From its beginning MSU has been a leader in scientific outreach and engagement.

Giving to the Institute

While originally funded by the State of Michigan, the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports (ISYS) is now primarily self-funded through grants and donations. Tax deductible donations from ISYS alumni and friends allow us to fund new research initiatives, support graduate students through research assisantships, and fund student projects.

To help us maximize the benefits of youth sports for all individuals involved, or for additional information about giving a gift to ISYS, please contact College of Education Office of Development.