Sport2Life is our unifying philosophy. Connecting learners, educators, principals (SMT) and in time even parents (community) through a common vocabulary. The programme approach aims to influence young people to make choices that help them avoid risks and stay healthy, physically, mentally and emotionally.


The Sportstec Sport2Life approach is based on a specific methodology, which is a systematic pedagogical approach based on the view that physical education and sport, delivered in this way has the potential to teach learners important life lessons and skills.

This pedagogic approach, delivered by ‘caring’ facilitators, educators and youth leaders, seeks to promote self-reflection and illustrate the wider implications of knowledge and activities to young people’s lives, and provides a unifying philosophy and vocabulary for initiatives.

The Sport2Life perspective is that, delivered in a particular way, physical education and sport has ‘high impact attributes’ which will provide a basis for supporting further life skill development and healthy life-style choices. These attributes are explained below.


Sport2Life is based on a development framework which is centred around 8 (eight) high impact attributes that young people possess which equips them to make choices that lead to risk reduction and living a healthier lifestyle. 


Healthy lifestyles can have several different meanings including: Habits and behaviours that promote physical and mental health; and positive thoughts, feelings and identity.


The ability to tune into and identify internal feelings, understanding strengths and weaknesses, knowing personal boundaries and using self-talk/coaching.

Positive Self and Group Identity

The feeling that you are valuable and have a strong affiliation with others; self-efficacy and positive self-confidence.

Situational Awareness

The set of skills that helps you accurately read your surroundings, scanning the environment, seeing the details and the big picture, making accurate risk assessments and understanding one’s personal risk tolerance.

Plan B Thinking

The ability to consider multiple options, having back-up plans, anticipating outcomes and consequences in complicated/risky situations.

Future Focus

The level of emphasis and commitment on some desired future state, defining priorities, setting goals and planning.


The ability to delay gratification, stick to routines and rules and exhibiting self-control.

Social Confidence

The ability to share your opinion/ thoughts, ask questions and take a stand for what matters to you.

Pro-Social Connections

The positive connections you have to people in your life, being connected to one or more people who genuinely care and support you.

The above 8 high-impact attributes have been converted into 6 action-oriented, sport-focused skills

In the right environment and with the right kind of caring adult, these attributes can be practised and developed. Young people can work on these attributes in the medium of physical and sport activities and can apply them to their lives. Each of these Sport2Life skills are designed to trigger a mind-set or an action in the classroom or on the field. However, the real power of these skills can be seen in their ability to have meaning and application in the everyday life experience of young people. These 6 action-oriented sport-focused skills provide the basis for themes which are discussed and emphasised in lessons and provide a vocabulary values based system for broader programming.


Realising that their voice is a powerful tool.

Realising that their voice is a powerful tool that they can use to help themselves and their peers to make better decisions. Use Your Voice is about not being afraid to share their thoughts and opinions. When they Use Your Voice, they have the confidence to ask difficult questions and to speak their mind. This is also called social confidence.

A young person who can ask questions, voice their opinion and even take a stand for what they believe is potentially more likely to do the same in high risk situations. He or she may ask questions to learn more about a situation or a consequence, voice their opinion about what makes them feel safe and healthy and even take action against social pressure and other social injustice. Too often, young people knowingly enter into dangerous situations even though their intuition may be telling them that the situation is dangerous. They can lose control of the situation as soon as they lose control of using their voice.

  • Asking Questions: When they hear something, they do not understand they raise their hand and ask for more information. They seek to know as much as possible about what is going on around, they and don’t let shyness or fear of embarrassment prevent them from learning.
  • Turning Feelings/Thoughts into Words/Actions: They will speak their opinion comfortably and respectfully. This does not mean that they are outspoken or manipulative. Instead, it means that they have the confidence and voice to speak up and take physical action to protect themselves by leaving dangerous situations.
  • Asking for Help: When they are confronted with a problem or difficult situation, they feel comfortable turning to a trusted peer or adult and asking for guidance.
  • Negotiating: They see situations as more than yes/no or black/white.  If someone says no to a request or denies they something that is important to them for their wellbeing, they will engage that person in a negotiation. They will explore alternative solutions, use their words and relationship building skills to resolve the situation and keep themselves safe. They are willing to compromise when appropriate, but never when there is a real threat to their safety.
  • Taking a Stand: If they see an injustice, they will use assertive communication to speak up and take a stand.


Know who you are and have a strong, positive self-identity.

The higher the regard young people have of themselves, the more likely they are to make healthy lifestyle choices. This skill includes a number of very important personal development qualities which enable young people to:

  • Pay attention to their feelings and being able to name them.
  • Know their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Believe in themselves and growing positive feelings about their value and importance in their world.
  • Know personal boundaries and comfort zones.
  • Use self-talk: Also known as self-coaching; the ability to have an internal dialogue with oneself and breaking the cycle of negative thoughts.


Peer influence can be positive or negative.

Young people are greatly influenced by the actions and decisions of their peers. The more connected they are to positive people, peers and adults, the less likely they are to engage in risk-taking behaviours. These pro-social connections provide a powerful protection for them.

Build Your Team is about young people surrounding themselves by strong, trustworthy and dependable people that they can count on for support.

Being a part of something bigger can give young people special meaning and significance in their school and community. When young people identify with groups that are making healthy lifestyle choices, they tend to make similar choices.


Making important decisions.

When young people Look and List, they do their best to understand everything they can about a situation and what options are available to them when making important decisions.

After they have assessed the situation (Look) and understood everything there is to know (List), then they are able to make the best possible decision. This is called situational awareness

The majority of important decisions in life are not simple.  In many situations, young people need to be able to turn towards a back-up plan or adapt to a situation as it is unfolding. This is especially true in many social situations with peers. This is called plan B thinking.

Young people know that they are skilled in reading the game when they don’t just react well to situations but actually start to anticipate them. This is called reading the game.


Finding the focus and discipline to keep going, even in difficult situations and despite failure.

Stay in the Game means that young people are always focused on their goals and what needs to be done to make sure they are successful. Stay in the Game is about:

  • Self-Control: The ability to actively manage or restrain one’s actions and feelings, set personal limits, etc.
  • Delayed Gratification: The active choice of delaying something pleasurable to experience it or waiting for something better at a future time.
  • Personal Routines and Rituals: These are the positive activities and habits they do on a regular basis.
  • Commitment to a Behaviour Code: A behaviour code is a set of rules that they follow over time. It includes rules they create for themselves about how they want to act in their life. Behaviour codes include important choices that they make about how they treat other people, their choices around alcohol use, being sexually active, etc.


Prioritise. Goal Set. Plan.
Every young person must develop the capacity to formulate goals with a plan on how to achieve these goals.

P-G-P enables young people to formulate a plan that will help them to work towards their long- and short-term goals. This future focus helps guide young people as they make important choices in life. Discipline helps them to stick with their plan. P-G-P has the following three steps:

  • Prioritise: These are the things that matter to most in the lives of young people. It is essential that they have priorities, things that are positive for them in their lives and that they care about. These priorities correlate with them being more likely to make healthy lifestyle choices. If they do not have priorities or things that matter to you, they may be more likely to make choices that serve an immediate need/want but which may actually put them at greater risk. Priorities can be values, beliefs, hopes, dreams, people, skills, school, responsibilities, etc.
  • Goal Set: Once they define your priorities (what is most important to them), then they must define what exactly they want to achieve. This is called goal setting. There is evidence that young people with specific goals, with something to aspire to, are more likely to make lifestyle choices that keep them on track to achieving those goals. Choices about sexual behaviour, alcohol, drug use and other risky behaviours, all change for the better when a young person has specific goals, she/he is reaching for. Goal setting gives a young person something to strive for.
  • Plan: This is the hard work young people need do to maintain their priorities and achieve their goals. When they plan, they break their goal down into steps they can work on, they make lists of things to do and they measure their progress.


This discussion-based approach and self-reflection on the wider life implications of physical education and sporting experiences provides an integrative mechanism for our programmings’s core vocabulary.

For example, learners may try to leave school early and exit the school gates. However one youth leader may stop them from leaving saying ‘don’t leave school, stay in the game!’.

This approach, is participatory and developmental. Learners are encouraged to discuss and explore issues and ideas, using this vocabulary, which is tangible and easily reinforced by themselves.

All educators or coaches, even if they are not physical education, life orientation or sport educators can use the same vocabulary once they understand the principles. SGB’s, parents, community leaders etc. can also be taught to understand and reinforce these principles.

Furthermore, this approach, based on discussions and self-exploration, also underpins the involvement of youth leaders or community leaders whose success depends wholly on the participants’ ability and willingness to ‘use their voice’.