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Effectively Managing & Overseeing Volunteer Youth Sports Coaches John Engh Chief Operating Officer National Alliance for Youth Sports
A Brief History of Youth Sports in America…
Professional and college influence
Pop Warner – 1929
Little League – 1939
AYSO – 1964
Where are we headed?
The Changing Culture of Youth Sports
Age of Participants
For the Parents or the Children? Travel/Select/Elite Specialization
YOUTH SPORTS ISSUES…
For the Recreation Professional:
Reactive vs Proactive
Who is running “OUR” programs??
What positive aspects would you want children to gain from youth sports participation?
play by the rules
What positive aspects would you want children to gain from youth sports participation?
The Sport Parent Paradox
Parents enroll their children in sport because they believe that sport participation has tangible benefits – and they are right!
For the child: It’s enjoyable, builds character, increases self-esteem, lowers school drop out rates, etc.
For society: Persons who were involved in youth sports are more likely (as adults) to volunteer, donate money, vote, attend to news and current affairs – thus, they are more active members of society!
It IS a fun, safe and healthy activity
Shift Happens - Parents voluntarily sign their children up for a fun activity and then do all they can to eliminate the fun their children are having
#1 Issue - Identification
Identification in Today’s Youth Sport Culture is the #1 Issue
Identification - living through your child’s experience but applying your own set of values
Identification is based on outcomes
fitting into society
Adults are Product Oriented Who won? Did my child play? How many hits/tackles/points did they get? Children are Process Oriented Was it fun?
Question #1 If you are applying for CEU’s please answer the poll question on your screen.
“ We also have the huge issue of TRAVEL sports. I am torn between preserving the values that I truly believe in with youth sports - emphasizing developing children over winning and the shift towards winning first, sitting those less talented, etc - which seems to be the travel motivation.... Travel teams started at 5th grade but now it’s down to 3rd grade - even some 2nd grade teams have formed. So what to do ... sell out on my values and support a product that I have trouble believing in? Know that if you have coaches in place that believe winning is what is most important, then the less talented will be brushed aside and forgotten about! Can I do that? Travel is only good when the entire team is talented. It is appropriate and challenging at the level. But what we are seeing is 3-4 talented kids and the parents of those kids creating a team around those kids... thus taking recreation kids and putting them in a situation that is not benefiting the rec kids. Strangely, the rec parents are happy to pay the bigger price tag for the prestige of travel and to be part of the team ... How do we combat this social pressure? Can we?” Recent email from a Certified Youth Sports Administrator…
Overuse Injuries…an epidemic??
Overuse injuries are responsible for nearly half of all youth sports injuries . Immature bones, insufficient rest after an injury and poor training habits are the main culprits.
Most organized sports related injuries (62 percent) occur during practices rather than games. Parents often do not take the same safety precautions during their child's practices as they would for a game.
A recent survey found that among athletes ages 5 to 14, 15 percent of basketball players, 28 percent of football players, 22 percent of soccer players, 25 percent of baseball players and 12 percent of softball players have been injured while playing their sports .
The remodeling process involves both the breakdown and buildup of tissue. There is a fine balance between the two, and if breakdown occurs more rapidly than buildup an overuse injury occurs. 3.5 million children under 14 were treated for sports injuries last year
We must be Proactive NOT Reactive to change the culture of youth sports
Tools to Utilize
Recommendations for Communities
National Standards For Youth Sports
Codes of Ethics/Conduct
Professional Development for Youth Sports Administrators
Training for Volunteer League Leaders
Training for Volunteer Coaches
Orientation for Parents
Pre-Sports Preparation for Kids and Parents
Effective Screening Program
Ongoing Coach Evaluation System
Question #2 If you are applying for CEU’s please answer the poll question on your screen.
1. Screening 2. Training 3. Evaluation 4. Accountability What are we doing to manage and oversee the volunteers running OUR programs?
Step 1: Screening
To make an unwelcome environment for anyone who doesn’t put children’s needs first.
To keep people who have a history of inappropriate behavior or who are unfit to work with children out of your organization.
To select the ‘best’ volunteers and staff for positions.
To clarify what the standards and expectations of the organization are in terms of child protection.
Screening it’s not JUST a background check!
Have a written screening policy
Provide job descriptions
Obtain completed applications
Have a consent/release form signed and dated
Interview the applicant
Conduct a criminal background check
Review results check against disqualifiers
Access to results
Step 2: Training
Indoctrinate the volunteers with the philosophy of your organization – be PROACTIVE
Comprehensive sport specific information
Behavior stressed – Code of Conduct, etc.
Important needs beyond the training
Training Follow Up
Reinforce learning points from clinic
Commitments (Code of Ethics)
Drills & Skills
Peer to Peer Resources
Step 3: Evaluation
As a training tool to make coaches better
To better oversee satisfaction
As a response to coach complaints
Timing is essential
What happens with a bad evaluation?
Question #3 If you are applying for CEU’s please answer the poll question on your screen.
Step 4: Accountability
Coach Accountability Committee/Individual
Codes of Ethics
Specific Penalties for Specific Offenses
Responding to Complaints
Four components of providing quality youth sports programs: 1. Screening – Guidelines & Management 2. Training – Live and Online Clinics – continuing education – membership benefits - value 3. Evaluation – Coach Rating System 4. Accountability – Code of Conduct/ Reporting & Revocation Procedures It’s not just about TRAINING…
Psychology of coaching
Tips on communication
Parents as partners
Child abuse in sports
Introduction to Coaching Youth Sports On-Site and Online PLUS Sport Specific
Now at NAYS.org, every NYSCA member gets a personalized homepage with tons of tools and resources…
Coaching Forum: Ask questions & share knowledge with over 150,000 NYSCA members Coach Ratings: Provides feedback from parent evaluations all season long SportingKid Magazine: Youth sport magazine packed with news, tips & expert info ShapeStuff: Interactive communication tool connects coaches to players Skills & Drills: Video and printable exercises for practice preparation Educational Resources: Additional content relevant to coaching youth sports
Coach RATINGS Parents can rate your coaches in 14 key areas…
Coach RATINGS Results are displayed as an average between 1-10 Or view a grid of all scores for each question
Sporting kid magazine the official member publication offers key information on all aspects of youth sports and coaching. NYSCA members can view all past SportingKid issues online and/or request to have current issues mailed to their address.
Skills and drills
Choose a category
Add your own comments
Search entire forum
Interact with other coaches
View topics being discussed
Establishing a chapter gives you access to a number of tools to ensures your youth sports volunteer workforce is made up of quality, reliable individuals. In addition to the NYSCA coach training program you have access to:
Background Screening & Management
Online Evaluation Tool
Accountability Policies and Procedures
Plus many other youth sports resources Chapter Management
View members : All relevant information is available in one database Manage your Coaches
Question #4 If you are applying for CEU’s please answer the poll question on your screen.
Select a member for more detailed information: Edit information, check background information or initiate an online evaluation for a coach. Manage your Coaches
Background Screening *stored securely by screening company Using your own screening system: Chapters can enter their own screening results so that they can be viewed in the system as well Use NAYS program: If you register for the NAYS system you can view results in the Chapter Management system*
View All Results: Historical results can be exported to a spreadsheet for management. View Individual Results: Results can be used to follow-up with coach complaints or to reward coaches for great service. “ Rate Your Coach” Evaluations
View Categories: You and coaches will be able to see the areas where they need to improve their coaching. “ Rate Your Coach” Evaluations
Coach Accountability National Guidelines: Created with input from youth sports professionals Revocation : Coaches not living up to the Code of Ethics can have their memberships revoked -permanently Reporting Feature: Allows NAYS to keep track of incidents and report back to chapters
Question # If you are applying for CEU’s please answer the poll question on your screen.
“ During a football tournament for 7 year olds the coaches knowingly falsified birth certificates and had 10 year olds memorize false information.”
“ Coach bribed his players to win by offering them $30 to take them paintballing or buy them a video game system.”
“ The coach continues to yell at youth players in a demeaning way and places the emotional welfare of the youth athletes below his own desire to win games.”
“ One of the coaches bumped into the other coach and the coach reacted by hitting, drawing blood. The other coach required stitches.”
Quotes from recent coach complaints…
Certified Youth Sports Administrator Trained League Board/President or Professional Staff Screened, Trained, Evaluated Coaches/Volunteers held Accountable for their actions Knowledgeable Parents Working Together for the KIDS Our Vision for Every Community