#30 What Makes Sports Fun for Athletes of All Ages with Amanda Visek, PhD


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Fun. It is the biggest reason kids play sports and it is also the reason why they quit. That is widely known. What is not widely known is the fact kids define fun differently than us adults. In fact, they define fun 81 different ways. You'd be surprised at what they consider fun...

In this episode, John talks with Amanda Visek, PhD, the world's leading expert on Fun Integration Theory, about the research she has done in discovering what it takes to make sports fun for athletes of all ages.


Amanda J. Visek, PhD, CC-AASP is an Associate Professor at The George Washington University, Department of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences, Milken Institute School of Public Health, Washington, D.C. Her federally funded applied research includes the FUN MAPS – the latest sport science advancement capturing attention from local grassroots communities to national sport organizations.

The FUN MAPS are the scientific blueprints for the fun integration theory, the first-ever fully conceptual framework for optimizing youth’s positive sport experiences in childhood and through adolescence. Her work has been featured in USA Today, the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, CBS Radio, ABC News, NBC News, FOX News and others, and has also been featured in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Holland, Poland, and India.

She has authored over 25 peer-reviewed papers, 5 book chapters, and given more than 116 refereed and invited talks. The recipient of early career achievement awards from the Association for Applied Sport Psychology and the American Psychological Association’s Division 47, she is committed to leveraging children’s physical literacy via the most fun sport experiences possible.

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Show Notes

8:15 How do children define fun? 81 different ways

15:00 Fun fallacies and adult errors in defining fun

23:00 USOC research reveals fun is the driving force at all ages and levels of sport

33:25 What are fun determinants of practice?

38:40 The emergence of “Not Fun” maps – 91 things that get in the way of fun

42:40 How parents can help their kids get more fun out of sport

51:25 Finding Amanda online and parting wisdom

Get in Touch

Fun Maps PDF Download: Amanda Visek Fun Maps

Twitter: @AJVisek

Email: AVisek@gw.edu

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