An open letter to youth sports leaders


Honestly, I don’t get it! We hear so many stories from the literally thousands of agencies that we work with about how incredible their volunteers are.  Things like, “We have five people that do the work of about 25, because they are the ones that we can depend on.” Or, “I don’t know what we would do without (fill in the blank name). They are the only reason that our league even exists!”

How about the coaches that go above and beyond?  “Mr. (insert awesome coach’s last name here) is here every day for these kids. Not only does he coach his own children’s teams, but he also helps out all the new coaches in our league. I don’t know what we’d do without him!”

When we ask how youth sports are run in your communities – these are the types of things we hear.  Almost unanimously, professional youth sports administrators who oversee the fields at parks and recreation facilities across the country will say what a great group of volunteers they have but they will almost always concede that it’s a very small group, or even an individual who ends up taking a majority of the responsibility.

And that’s what I don’t get! For years we have been taking nominations for our parent and coach of the year awards and it’s like pulling teeth to get a nomination.  These people get a free trip to our annual Youth Sports Congress, prizes from our award sponsors, the opportunity to meet our celebrity keynote speaker (this year it’s NBA legend Magic Johnson) and receive a beautiful award in front of an international group of youth sports administrators. 

You’d think we’d get thousands of applications right?

Well, I’m sorry to say, the answer is usually “not really.”  Yes, we get hundreds of great nominations, but I just don’t understand why every single youth sports administrator in this country isn’t taking a moment to nominate someone for each of these awards.

Remember, it’s not whether they win the award, they’re obviously already winners. (Just read some of the inspiring things they say when asked why they volunteer coach.)  It’s about recognizing them in your local community.  What an honor to know that the staff at the youth sports program you volunteer time at appreciates your work so much that they would nominate you for a national award. I think any volunteer would be touched just to be nominated – even if they don’t win!

Help us reach our goal of getting over a thousand coaches and parents nominated. 

Nominate a Parent of the Year and a Coach of the Year today!  

Also, share this article with as many league leaders as you know and encourage them to nominate a coach and parent of the year too – you know it will be greatly appreciated!

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the National Alliance for Youth Sports.

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