Article Text

Download PDFPDF

International Olympic Committee consensus statement on youth athletic development
  1. Michael F Bergeron1,2,
  2. Margo Mountjoy3,4,
  3. Neil Armstrong5,
  4. Michael Chia6,
  5. Jean Côté7,
  6. Carolyn A Emery8,
  7. Avery Faigenbaum9,
  8. Gary Hall Jr10,
  9. Susi Kriemler11,
  10. Michel Léglise12,
  11. Robert M Malina13,14,
  12. Anne Marte Pensgaard15,
  13. Alex Sanchez16,
  14. Torbjørn Soligard17,
  15. Jorunn Sundgot-Borgen18,
  16. Willem van Mechelen19,20,21,
  17. Juanita R Weissensteiner22,
  18. Lars Engebretsen17,23
  1. 1Youth Sports of the Americas, Birmingham, Alabama, USA
  2. 2Lemak Sports Medicine, Birmingham, Alabama, USA
  3. 3Department of Family Medicine, Michael G DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  4. 4IOC Medical Commission—Games Group
  5. 5Children's Health and Exercise Research Centre, St Luke's Campus, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
  6. 6Physical Education & Sports Science, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  7. 7Queen's University, School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
  8. 8Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute for Child and Maternal Health Pediatrics and Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  9. 9Department of Health & Exercise Science, The College of New Jersey, Ewing, New Jersey, USA
  10. 10Hallway Consulting, Los Olivos, California, USA
  11. 11Institut für Epidemiologie, Biostatistik und Prävention, Gruppe Children, Physical Activity and Health (CHIPAH), Universität Zürich, Switzerland
  12. 12International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), Paris, France
  13. 13University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA
  14. 14Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas, USA
  15. 15Department of Coaching and Psychology, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway
  16. 16International Basketball Federation (FIBA), Switzerland
  17. 17Medical & Scientific Department, International Olympic Committee, Lausanne, Switzerland
  18. 18Department of Sports Medicine, Norwegian School of Sports Sciences, Oslo, Norway
  19. 19Department of Public & Occupational Health and EMGO+ Institute, VU University Medical Center Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  20. 20School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
  21. 21Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, Department of Human Biology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
  22. 22Athlete Pathways and Development, Australian Institute of Sport, Bruce, Australia
  23. 23Orthopaedic Center, Ullevaal University Hospital, Oslo, Norway
  1. Correspondence to Dr Michael F Bergeron, Youth Sports of the Americas; Lemak Sports Medicine, 500 Office Park Drive, Suite 200, Birmingham, AL 35223 USA; mbergeron.phd01{at}


The health, fitness and other advantages of youth sports participation are well recognised. However, there are considerable challenges for all stakeholders involved—especially youth athletes—in trying to maintain inclusive, sustainable and enjoyable participation and success for all levels of individual athletic achievement. In an effort to advance a more unified, evidence-informed approach to youth athlete development, the IOC critically evaluated the current state of science and practice of youth athlete development and presented recommendations for developing healthy, resilient and capable youth athletes, while providing opportunities for all levels of sport participation and success. The IOC further challenges all youth and other sport governing bodies to embrace and implement these recommended guiding principles.

  • Adolescent
  • Athlete
  • Children
  • Sport
  • Training

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.