Youth Sports Program Influences Children’s Perceived Competence?

Abstract The objective of this study was to investigate the levels of perceived competence and the influence of a youth sports program on the Perceived Competence (PC) of children (N=118; 5 to 9 years old). Children were paired and assigned to a control group (attending school physical education classes) and a youth sport group (attending an after-school Motivational Mastery program). Children were assessed using self-perception scales for young and school-aged children. ANOVA was used to analyze the data. Results showed high levels of PC in all domains; similar levels of PC in the groups in pre-and post-test, positive changes in athletic and cognitive PC and in the perceived self value only for the youth sport group, and similar PC between boys and girls. The strategies used in the sports program were effective to strengthen motor, cognitive and global perceptions of competence, especially for boys.