Running a youth sports organization is not easy. Think of this, you have ‘X’ number of boys and girls of different ages in your program. Multiply that by three to include parents and spectators. Now think what that number is and ask yourself, how do you keep that number of people happy? Once you stop laughing you may be able to come up with a couple of ideas, but is it enough to keep every single person happy? The answer is probably not…
The reality is that you’re never going to be able to keep everybody happy all the time, this is ok, and understanding this and accepting this is the first step in creating and developing your youth sports organization. But what can we do to keep our members happy and ensure the continued growth of our youth sports organizations? I believe the answer is in the quality of the coach that you put in place to represent your organization. Your goal should be to surround your members with high quality people that are vested in not only the athletic performance of each member, but to also build a person with high character and strong values. We will explore this a little deeper later on.
Working in youth sports we have to understand that our responsibility to our athletes doesn’t lie solely in teaching the skills the sport requires, it runs much deeper than that. Working in youth sports we have to understand and accept our role in the development of the person, not just the athlete. As we say “99.9% of our members will not be professional athletes, but 99.9% of our members should grow to be professional people”.
Through this understanding I am a big believer in the 360-degree program that we have been able to create and implement at Davie United Soccer Club. This program focuses not only on soccer but all the intangibles that come hand in hand with being an athlete. Academics, health, both physical and mental and also what it takes to be a good community member are all important ingredients in the recipe for developing people.
Our 360-degree program encourages our members to support one another. Often you will see the older members tutoring their younger peers and acting as a big brother, little brother or big sister, little sister. Each year at Thanksgiving we host a food drive to support those less fortunate than ourselves. This builds towards our community service and shows our members what it is like for those less fortunate than us during an important holiday season.
Our role as a youth sports organization is to develop people, not just athletes….