How iyarn links with a holistic approach to coaching and community sport

How iyarn links with a holistic approach to coaching and community sport

Sport participation and regular activity at all levels and abilities is important for individual and community health and wellbeing. However, fewer Australians are participating in sport each year.

Current participation in sport in Australia

In 2020-21 88% of adults participated in sport or physical activity (55% of women and 70.5% of men participated in sport-related activities). Of the 70.8% of children who participated in organised after-school activities, 67.3% participated in sport-related activities.

Research found that participation for men was highest among 15-17 year olds and tends to decline in successive adult age groups. For women participation was highest for 45-54 year olds, rising slightly from before that, before falling slightly again.

Motivators for participating in sport


  1. Physical health/fitness (81.9%)
  2. Fun/enjoyment (49.9%)
  3. Social reasons (36.7%)
  4. Psychological/mental health benefits (22.3%)
  5. To be outdoors/enjoy nature (16.5%)
  6. To lose/manage body weight/tone (14.1%)
  7. Walk the dog (8.3%)
  8. Active transport (8.2%)
  9. Performance/competition (7.1%)
  10. Hobby (6.9%)


  1. Physical health/fitness (84.7%)
  2. Fun/enjoyment (42.4%)
  3. Psychological/mental health benefits (33.7%)
  4. Social reasons (32.9%)
  5. To be outdoors/enjoy nature (21.9%)
  6. To lose/manage body weight (18.1%)
  7. Walk the dog (14.9%)
  8. Active transport (8.2%)
  9. Hobby (4.1%)
  10. Performance/competition (3.7%)

What is a holistic approach to coaching and community sport?

The holistic approach recognises that participation and performance in sport at a socially, competitive, national or international level is a deep and intricate mesh physiological and psychological factors.

The new approach puts people at the core by focusing on the participant, their individual needs, aspirations and motivations. It’s about educating and empowering coaches to create positive sporting environments where participants, coaches, volunteers and communities can thrive.

Coaches will be well-equipped to provide optimal sport environments which nurture
belonging and inclusion, create positive sporting experiences and intrinsically motivate more Australians to participate in organised sport.

Why do we need a holistic approach?

The top 4 motivators to participate in sport for both men and women are physical health/fitness, fun/enjoyment, social reasons, psychological/mental health benefits, so it’s important for coaches to deliver these benefits to keep men and women participating in sport long term.

Using a holistic approach can achieve this by broadening the coaches understanding of participants and what success looks like to help to build:

  • world class experiences;
  • positive learning environments;
  • improve the sporting experience for all Australians;
  • grow participation;
  • and create a more vibrant sport sector.

How can technology like iyarn help with a holistic approach to community and sport?

iyarn helps coaches to create a positive learning environment by putting people at the centre.

Our simple check ins facilitate coaches to get a broader understanding of each individual and what success looks like. Each segment of their iyarn wheel can be customised to check in on the areas that matter most for the participant, to help them achieve their personal goals and get the most out of their chosen sport.

iyarn’s clear data visualisation provides an interactive overview of where they’re currently at and can be used as a tool to track and improve how they’re going over time. Participants and coaches can work together to reflect on segment scores, see trends, and set practical goals to encourage greater long term participation in sport.

Using iyarn with your sports team

An iyarn check-in is a catalyst for conversation and an opportunity to explore mental health specifically. iyarn allows you to:

  • Quickly collect data from an individual player or whole playing squad
  • Initiative conversations on topics that matter
  • Monitor data for trends over time

This data quickly builds up. It’s useful for personal reflection, but the primary reason for completing this wheels is as a discussion point with trusted friends, coaches and peers.

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