1.0  Spontaneous Play. Sandlot baseball; playground pickup games; neighborhood team challenges; focus on fun and friends.

2.0  Community Leagues. Public school sports; Little League, AYSO and Pop Warner; city, parks and recreation teams and leagues.

3.0  Club Teams. Sports is big business; year-round play; increased competition; camp and tournament travel; elite athlete development.

4.0  Big Life Sports. Excellence and integrity in competition; integrating all facets and values of sports to prepare for the world beyond athletics.

Competition, Education, Wellness and Business are the four foundational pillars of Youth Sports Generation 4.0, a term coined by NYS to define the evolution of athletics into a preparation place for life after competitive recreation. It's about young student-athletes preparing for full lives beyond the field or court.

It’s all about learning to live a Big Life.


What began a generation or two ago as spontaneous games among neighborhood friends has evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry that rewards hyper-competition and creates parental visions of college scholarships. While many kids and their families thrive in this often year-round environment, it saps the fun out of the game for others.

The playing field or court has always been a terrific place for young athletes of all skill levels to absorb lessons in teamwork, responsibility, persistence, sportsmanship and leadership - and have some fun.

Coaches and parents who view this values development as a priority equal to enhancing skills and competitive excellence can help mold their young charges into healthy, civil, moral and productive adults. And communities and businesses can structure sports policies, programs and facilities in a way that encourage this intersection of athletic and human development.

This Big Life approach to youth sports is what NYS is all about. We work with governments, recreation agencies, companies and individuals to help shape Youth Sports Generation 4.0. How can we help you join this important evolution?