The mission of the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports is to provide leadership, scholarship and outreach that “transforms” the face of youth sports in ways that maximize the beneficial physical, psychological, and social effects of participation for children and youth while minimizing detrimental effects.

Specific Mission Objectives

  • Facilitate a paradigmatic shift in the way America judges success in youth sports — place child development before winning.
  • Eliminate myths and enhance positive health behaviors in youth sports.
  • Lead the nation in ways to develop and advance coaches and youth sports leaders.
  • Be America’s source of unbiased scientific and best practice evidence on critical youth sports issues.

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 Melissa Lynch at the College of Education Office of Development