youth sports conference


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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

4:00pm - 6:00pm


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

8:30am - 9:30am

Academy Attendee Registration

9:30am - 4:30pm

Academy for Youth Sports Administrators: Session 1

9:30am - 5:00pm

General Attendee/CYSA Registration

5:00pm - 8:00pm

NAYS Youth Sports Congress Opening Keynote, National Awards and Welcome Reception

The NAYS Youth Sports Congress will kick off with a motivational keynote focused on perseverance, presented by Pat LaFontaine – VP of Hockey Development, NHL. Pat LaFontaine will address youth sports leaders who stand on the forefront of grassroots youth sports initiatives. This session will also recognize the winners of the prestigious Excellence in Youth Sports Award, as well as the NAYS Volunteer Coach of the Year and the NAYS Parent of the Year.

Faculty: Pat LaFontaine, VP of Hockey Development, NHL and John Engh, Executive Director, NAYS

Thursday, November 14, 2019

7:00am - 6:00pm


8:00am - 9:15am

Youth Sports Development: What Works! A Panel Perspective

Many organizations, including national governing bodies and national non-profits focused on youth sports believe that youth sports development works! Clay Walker, executive director of the National Fitness Foundation, will moderate this session that explores some new initiatives that are part of the current administration’s National Youth Sports Strategy. Panelists represent a wide array of youth sports organizations.

Panelists: Pat LaFontaine - VP, Hockey Development, NHL; Craig Morris – CEO, USTA Community Tennis; Scott Hallenbeck - Executive Director, USA Football; Chris Moore - CEO, US Youth Soccer; Clay Walker - Executive Director, National Fitness Foundation

9:30am - 10:45am

Confidence is a Game Changer for Leaders

Whether you are a formal or informal leader, being confident is an important trait that can be honed and improved! Confidence is a crucial component of effective leadership. Additionally, successful leaders are able to help instill confidence in those they lead. This session will demonstrate to everyone in attendance how they are responsible for their confidence as well as how they can help instill it in others. In doing so, they will be given simple but effective techniques on how to build and maintain confidence based off 4 key areas - self talk, body language, visualization, and preparation.

Faculty: Tami Matheny, Owner of Refuse2LoseCoaching, author of “The Confident Athlete” and “The Confidence Journal” Greenville, SC

10:55am - 12:00pm

AB KEYNOTE #1 Game Plan for Success - Lou Holtz Legendary Football Coach, Author & Broadcaster

When you talk about legendary college football coaches, Lou Holtz is definitely on the top of the list. One of the most successful college football coaches of all time, Holtz is the only coach in the history of college football to take six different teams to a bowl game, win five bowl games with different teams, and have four different teams ranked in the final Top 20 poll.

Despite never inheriting a winning team, he compiled a 243-127-7 career record that ranks him third in victories among active coaches and eighth in winning percentage. His 12 career postseason bowl victories rank him fifth on the all-time list.

When Holtz took over as Notre Dame’s 25th head football coach in November 1985, he brought with him a well-proven reputation as a fixer of football programs following a series of spectacular repair jobs at William & Mary, North Carolina State, Arkansas and Minnesota. He enhanced that track record quickly, needing only two years to put the Fighting Irish back into a major post-season bowl game.

After his departure from Note Dame following the 1996 season, he joined CBS Sports’ College Football Today for two seasons before becoming head coach at the University of South Carolina for six seasons. Until 2014, Holtz was a college football studio analyst on ESPN. He appeared on ESPNews, ESPN College GameDay programs and SportsCenter.

Holtz has authored three New York Times best-selling books, and has a new book, “Three Rules for Living a Good Life: A Game Plan for After Graduation,” which was released in early 2019. One of the greatest speaking legends in America today, Holtz will present “Game Plan for Success,” on overcoming seemingly impossible challenges by setting your own goals and working to achieve them.

12:00pm - 5:00pm

Expo Grand Opening

1:30pm - 4:15pm

Academy for Youth Sports Administrators: Session 2

4:30pm - 5:45pm

Building Your Mental Skills to be Helpful in Sports and Life

Youth sport administrators often wear many hats and must assume a variety of sport roles (e.g., coach, referee) and non-sport roles (e.g., leader, office worker, director of facilities). Having the ability to handle adversity, avoid emotional upheaval, focus on appropriate stimuli, remain impartial, communicate effectively, and team-build are all critical to reaching one’s peak performance as a youth sport administrator. In this interactive session, we will focus on four specific psychological skills: mindfulness, effective communication, successfully recovering from mistakes, and attentional control. Improving these skills will aid in athletic and non-athletic work performance and is useful to youth sport administrators both on and off the field.

Faculty: Daniel L. Wann, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Murray State University, KY and Julie A. Partridge, Ph.D., Professor of Sport and Exercise Psychology, Department of Kinesiology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL

8:00pm - 11:00pm

AB Welcome Reception at B.B. King's

Friday, November 15, 2019

8:30am - 9:45am

Impact of Tech on Teams, Communications and Performance

This session examines the negative impact of technology on individual and systemic learning and development. Relying on the most current data available this session shows how team sports are negatively impacted and why even some professional sports teams are banning players from gaming during the playing season. How team communication is impaired and the negative impact of tech on interpersonal and social interactions will be discussed, as well as how tech is reducing focus and attention, even making it harder for many to be socially involved or join teams. Discover what you can do to assist your players to develop more socially, emotionally and physically in this technological world.

Faculty: John Kriger, adjunct faculty at Rutgers Center for Alcohol Studies, and School of Social Work Office of Continuing Education, author of “The Pond: A Small Book About Making Big Changes” and “Turned On & Tuned Out, A Guide to Understanding and Managing Tech Dependence” New Brunswick, NJ

10:00am - 11:15am

When Terror Strikes at a Youth Sporting Event: Planning and Response

Active shooter incidents have occurred in schools, workplaces, cinemas, and open-air environments, such as concerts. Indoor and outdoor sporting events are no exception. When safety is the #1 priority of our youth, learning how to respond to a threat while at practice or a game is critical to any program. Learn actions your coaches must take if confronted with a potentially dangerous situation that will protect your athletes. Then, learn tips to jumpstart planning efforts!

Faculty: Steven S. Smith, co-founder and president of Guardian Defense, Boca Raton, FL

11:30am - 12:30pm

AB KEYNOTE #2 Normal is Overrated — Aim Higher!

Bonnie St. John, Paralympic Ski Medalist, Fortune 500 Business Consultant, Rhodes Scholar, Former White House Official and Best-Selling Author

Elite international Paralympic athletes are all about achieving excellence when the circumstances are less than ideal — a perfect metaphor for today’s dynamic economic times. Instead of wishing and waiting for things to get back to “normal,” Bonnie expands the dialogue to go beyond traditional thinking. Disabled athletes — including wheelchair basketball players, blind runners and others — never expect things to be “normal.” Bonnie’s story is proof that you can strive for excellence no matter what obstacles are thrown in our way. Hailed as “one of the five most inspiring women in America” by NBC Nightly News, Bonnie St. John uses her unique experience as a one-legged ski champion, Rhodes Scholar and White House official to encourage audiences to aim higher and achieve extraordinary results.

12:30pm - 4:30pm

Expo Hall Open

2:30pm - 3:30pm

Happy Hour in Expo Hall

4:00pm - 5:15pm

Best Practices for Specific Emergency Situations in Youth Sports

National governing bodies for youth sports strive to promote fair play, increase physical activity and foster life lessons while providing a safe environment for youth to thrive. We will review the best practices for health and safety policies as outlined in the 2017 NATA Consensus Statement and discuss challenges, strategies and resources to implement the established recommendations. Case studies on the implementation of these guidelines will be shared.

Faculty: Katie Scott, MS, ATC, Senior Special Projects Coordinator, National Athletic Trainers Association, Dallas, TX

Saturday, November 16, 2019

8:30am - 10:30am

Focus on QUALITY: A Roundtable on Youth Sports

The Better Sports for Kids Quality Program Provider designation is a critical way to recognize and promote youth sports organizations that meet the industry’s most important standards. This session will dig into the benchmark standards that quality programs should meet in five areas: written policies, volunteer screening, coach training, parent education and accountability. This round-table, interactive session will provide a chance for every attendee to ask questions and share success stories.

Faculty: Moderator Erice Wingate, NAYS Program Coordinator, West Palm Beach, FL, Lacy Freeman Recreation Programmer, City of Mesa, AZ, Rance Gaede, Recreation Superintendent, City of Tamarac, FL and Miste Adams, Recreation Programmer, National Trails Park District, OH