Year of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Fine Arts (Integrated Arts and Education)

Department or School/College

Creative Pulse Program

Committee Chair

Ann Wright

Commitee Members

Randy Bolton, Karen Kaufmann


3 stage: deprival of pleasure, children lose intrinsic motivation, denial of inquiry, deprivation of self


University of Montana


All individuals have an innate need to create and explore. They explore creativity through free and spontaneous play. This free play is essential in cognitive development. In organized youth sports children no longer have this opportunity to freely play. Athletics are regimented and restricted in ways that do not allow children to personally experience the sport at an intrinsic level. Young athletes are taught at an early age the significance of extrinsic rewards and motivators. Because of these extrinsic rewards young athletes lose their desire to explore the sport on a more intimate level. They perform robotically the skills and tasks set before for them. All individuality is lost in a world commanding conformity. In this process there are three stages that young athletes go through in losing their desire to play: deprival of pleasure, denial of inquiry, and deprivation of self. These stages are detrimental to the child’s ability to deeply connect with athletics. “The Loss of Play in Organized Youth Sports” is increasing in a world filled with meticulous coaching methods. If we do not change the way children’s athletics are conducted, future generations will lose the personal relationship with sports in the future. The solution is to stop making sports focused on adults, and change them to be child-centered. Allow the children to compete in a world where they are free to explore and learn.

This record is only available
to users affiliated with
the University of Montana.

Request Access



© Copyright 2009 Audrey Lea Jensen