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Joy of the People is celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2024!


Started by lifelong friends in soccer, Joy of the People was put together under the idea that soccer is a game of life long skill mastery. The idea is that the best players have always developed by playing a lot, with and amongst friends. Along the way we saw how well the kids learned when allowed to play for fun.  We began to research and refine the Powered By Joy Development Model--creating an elegant and intuitive pathway for kids, not just in soccer, but all sport and perhaps all disciplines.  



Joy of the People

In 2009, when the opportunity came up for the recreation center in St. Paul, we formed Joy of the People, naming it after Brazilian soccer player Mané Garrincha, who was so fun to watch that people called him Alegria do Povo, meaning “Joy of the People.”


“Alegria do povo,” also is a Brazilian expression for soccer at it’s best: played by everyone, played with skill, and played with joy.  


Through the patient building of skills kids are allowed to accept and expand on each challenge, growing their love of the game, discovering the joy of play, joy of friendship, joy of creativity, and the joy of the people.

A Simple Idea

JOTP promotes the simple idea of soccer free play as a way to build healthy kids and communities. In 2009, JOTP partnered with the City of St. Paul, Minnesota to provide programming at South St. Anthony Rec center where we created an inviting environment of play.  If we want healthy, strong men and women we must dedicate resources to bring back the lost language of play.


The Powered by Joy Model

JOTP has developed a new youth sport model, the Powered By Joy (PBJ). Science based, best practice system that puts play and joy back into learning.  Our motto is-- As many as possible, as long as possible, in the best environment possible. JOTP is cogently leading the change to create a better future for our kids!


The Science behind Powered by Joy

The Powered by Joy Model is based and grounded in science of development and the best practice delivery of its elements including-- Culture, Play Spaces, Low Anxiety Environments, Acquisition, Futsal, Differential Learning, Constrains-led approach, mixed with lots of variable Play--creating the Optimal Learning Environments.


The Powered By Joy Model is building interest from around the world as a new and refreshing delivery of sport.

   Our Theories

  • Self-determination theory

  • Maslow hierarchy of needs theory

  • Mosston's slanty-line theory

  • Dr. Marianne Torbert - Expansion, Equalization, Interactive challenge

  • Flow State theory - Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

  • Wolfgang Shullhorn - Differential learning - overload and underload theory

  • Constraints-Led approach & Non-linear pedagogy theory

  • Implicit vs. Explicit learning theory

  • System 1 and System 2 thinking theory

  • Self-organized theory

  • Stephen Krashen's Acquisition-Learning theory 

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