The Seven Pillars of Youth Sports

Pillar One – Everyone Plays

We do not use tryouts to select the best players, nor do we cut kids from YMCA Youth 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.

Pillar Two – Safety First

Although some 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 that you make sure the equipment and facilities are safe and to teach the sport as we’ve prescribed, so that the skills taught are appropriate for children’s developmental level. We also ask that you constantly supervise your young players so that you can stop any unsafe activities.

Pillar Three – Fair Play

Fair play is about playing by the rules – and more.  It’s about you and your players showing respect for all who are involved in YMCA Sports.  It’s about being a role model of good sportsmanship and guiding players to do the same.  Remember, we’re more interested in developing children’s character through sport than in developing a few highly skilled players.

Pillar Four – Positive Competition

We believe competition is a positive process when the pursuit of victory is kept in the right perspective.  The right perspective is when adults make decisions that put the best interests of the children above 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 Sports, we want to help children learn these lessons.

Pillar Five – Family Involvement

YMCA Sports encourages parents to be involved appropriately along with their child’s participation in our sport programs.  In addition to parents being helpful as volunteer coaches, officials, and time keepers, we encourage them to be at practices and games to support their child’s participation.

Pillar Six – Support for All

YMCA Sports is an inclusive sport program.  That means children who differ in various characteristics are to be included rather that excluded from participation.  We offer programs to all children regardless of their race, gender, religious creed, or ability.  We ask that our adult leaders encourage the diversity of children in our society and encourage the children and parents to do the same.

Pillar Seven – Sport for Fun

Sport is 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 sport, they over organize and dominate the activity to the point of destroying children’s enjoyment of the sport.  If we take the fun out of sport, we are in danger of our children taking themselves out of sport.  Remember that these sports are for kids; let them have fun.