Youth Sports: Get Connected, Wireless not Needed
By YMCA Youth Sports Directors Danny Rubio of the Leaning Tower YMCA and Jason McGriff-Culver of the Indian Boundary YMCA
Where can your child build character, learn about respect, honesty, caring and responsibility, all while working up a sweat? At the Greater LaGrange YMCA, these are just some of the lessons that YMCA members describe as a part of their participation in YMCA’s Youth Sports programs. There’s a whole lot more than just basketball happening on the basketball court and T-ball on the baseball diamond. Of course, they will also learn how to dribble, shoot a layup, hit a baseball, or play goalie.
The YMCA Youth Sports Program is an inclusive and nonthreatening program for children of all ability levels. It is the ideal program for children in kindergarten through 4th grade to build their athletic skills. All participants, regardless of ability, get an opportunity to play and have fun.
Learn Through Experience
All team members are given the opportunity to be an important part of every team on which they play. Additionally, coaches are instructed to spend extra time with any children who need a little more direction or encouragement. This means that even if a child is more timid or afraid, he or she will still be an active participant as coaches help him or her develop to their full potential.
It means that when a penalty or foul is called on a child, the referee takes that extra minute to explain to the child why it happened so that the child understands. It may mean the games are a little slower. But the payoff is that the children gain an in depth understanding of the game and the coaches’ expectations of them as participants.
Participating in our Youth Sports Program provides just the right preparation and skill development for children who want to go on to play in more competitive travel leagues as they get older. And parents can rest assured that their children will not be standing around waiting in long lines for their turn to practice. Coaches use the games approach, which ensures that children are actively engaged for the majority of the time they are at practice. With the childhood obesity epidemic, there is an understanding that it is important for children to move around and work hard.
However, the Youth Sports Program is so much more than skill development and helping children reach their full athletic potential. YMCA coaches help children develop strong character in young athletes. The young athletes learn about respect, honesty, caring, and responsibility.
The coaches take every opportunity to teach the children about respect, honesty, caring and responsibility as they run practices and coach the children during games. While children are participating in sports programs, they are meeting new people and learning how to interact with their peers. Rather than playing video games at home by themselves, they are engaged with other children their own age, developing their social skills and learning more about the world.
Additionally, kids are experiencing different ways of navigating conflict. They are watching their coaches and referees as adult mentors and role models. And they are learning what it means to be a part of a team.
The youth coaches at the YMCA would love to have the opportunity to get to know your children through our Youth Sports Programs. They are passionate about the importance of teaching fundamental skills that will lead to long term success for young athletes.
The special attention the coaches provide to participants helps everyone on the team develop their skills. And as skills develop, everyone has fun. Your children will love spending time learning with the YMCA coaches and participants, actively running around and working hard. Additionally, while your children are honing their skills, they are also learning more about how to get along with others, a life skill that will help them both on and off of the basketball court.
To learn more visit our Youth Sports Classes http://www.ymcachicago.org/programs/sports-classes/ or Youth Sports League http://www.ymcachicago.org/programs/team-sports-and-leagues/ pages!