7 Pillars of Youth Sports
- Everyone Plays. We do not use tryouts to select the best players, nor do we cut kids from YMCA Youth Sports for traditional sports. Everyone who registers is assigned to a team. During the season everyone receives equal practice time and plays at least half of every game.
- Safety First. Although children may get hurt playing sports, we do all we can to prevent injuries. We've modified each sport to make it safer and more enjoyable to play. We ask you to make sure the equipment and facilities are safe and to teach the sport as we've prescrEMBED so the skills you teach are appropriate for children's developmental level. We ask you to gradually develop your players' fitness levels so they are conditioned for the sport. We also ask you to constantly supervise your young players so you can stop any unsafe activities.
- Character Development. Honesty, Respect, Responsibility, Caring, Faith are about playing by the rules and more. It's about you and your players showing respect for all that are involved in YMCA Youth Sports. It's about you being a role model of sporting behavior and guiding your players to do the same. Remember, we're more interested in developing children's character through sports than in developing a few highly skilled players.
- Positive Competition. We believe competition is a positive process when the pursuit of victory remains in the right perspective. The right perspective is when adults make decisions that put the best interests of the children before winning the contest. Learning to compete is important for children, and learning to cooperate in a competitive world is an essential lesson of life. Through YMCA Youth Sports, we want to help children learn these values, and parents to do the same.
- Family Involvement. YMCA Youth Sports encourages parents to be involved appropriately in their child's participation in our sports programs. In addition to parents helping as volunteer coaches, officials, and timekeepers, we encourage them to be at practices and games to support their child's participation.
- Sport for All. YMCA Youth Sports is an inclusive sport program. That means that children who differ in various characteristics are included in rather than excluded from participation. We offer sports programs for children who differ in physical abilities by matching them with children of similar abilities and modifying the sport. We offer programs to all children regardless of their race, gender, religious creed, or ability. We ask our adult leaders to encourage and appreciate the diversity of children in our society and to encourage the children and their parents to do the same.
- Sport for Fun. Sports are naturally fun for most children. They love the challenge of mastering the skills of the game, playing with their friends, and competing with their peers. Sometimes when adults become involved in children's sports they over organize and dominate the activity to the point that it destroys children's enjoyment of the sport. If we take the fun out of sports for our children, we are in danger of the kids taking themselves out of sports. Remember the sports are for the kids; let them have fun.