What is Balance is Better?


In 2019 NZ Football alongside other National Sporting Organisations in NZ and Sport NZ signed an agreement to endorse, support, and work towards football aligning to the Sport NZ ‘Balance is Better’ philosophy and promote the ‘Keep Up with the Play Campaign’. It originated from the Sport NZ 2016-2020 Talent Plan, where the focus was to support NZ’s sporting organisations to better understand how to prepare and support young players through their developmental phases, and now an approach that underpins all youth sport in NZ.


The Balance is Better philosophy is an evidence based method, encouraging a more long term athlete development approach, that focuses on participation and skill development, appropriate to the developmental phases and needs of players enabling them to reach their potential in their time. A key driver to the Balance is Better approach is centered around why young people play sport, to; have fun, be part of a team, be challenged, to improve, grow friendships, play with friends and enjoyment.


How do we apply this?


The NZF Player Welfare programme, Fit4Football, has aligned objectives to the Balance is Better philosophy and is underpinned by research to create a ‘best practice’, evidence based framework to support player wellbeing, injury prevention and development which in turn will lead to future success.


We know that if we can create awareness, wider engagement, and educate our football whānau, we can decrease; the risk of injuries, injury incidence and injury severity, plus the impact these injuries have on our footballers and our football framework.  We can drive and support a shift in our football systems knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards a player/athlete welfare based approach.


For a user friendly table on how this all blends together, view our guidelines for developing players.