youth sports conference


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All times listed are in Eastern Time. Registrants can attend any NAYS Youth Sports Congress session or Athletic Business session.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

4:00pm - 6:30pm

NAYS Opening Keynote and National Awards Presentation

The 2022 NAYS Youth Sports Congress will kick off with a motivational keynote presented by Charles Davis, CBS broadcaster. Charles will address the youth sports leaders who stand at the forefront of grassroots youth sports initiatives today. We will also highlight the winners of the NAYS national awards, including the prestigious Excellence in Youth Sports Award, as well as the NAYS Volunteer Coach of the Year and the NAYS Parent of the Year.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

9:00am - 10:15am

Making It Safer to Compete: A Panel Presentation from NCMEC

For almost four decades, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) has gathered data from hundreds of thousands of reports of missing children and tens of millions of reports of suspected child sexual exploitation.  These reports come from every corner of the nation.  Join NCMEC staff as they provide a look at some of their most recent data and trends related to missing and exploited children, discuss the CyberTipline as an essential resource to report, walk you through what happens when a report is made and the ways we can all do our part to try to make youth serving organizations safer for children.  

Panelists include: Callahan Walsh, Executive Director, NCMEC Florida Branch, and Jodi Wheet, Program Director at the NCMEC

10:30am - 11:45am

The Art of Dealing with Difficult People in Youth Sports

People can be challenging. Especially when it comes to youth sports. Managing difficult situations involving the athletic triangle – coach, athlete, and parent – is crucial for ensuring a good experience. Dealing with difficult people is a skill that can be learned and when mastered, creates a great environment. In this engaging and interactive session, attendees will learn methods of effectively communicating expectations, the art of having crucial conversations, and other skills for dealing with challenging situations.

Presenter: Chris Stevenson, former Power-Ranger stuntman and Empower Group Founder

12:00pm - 5:00pm

AB Show Expo

1:00pm - 4:00pm

Academy for Youth Sports Administrators 

For NAYS General + Certification Registrants:: Bonus Session for CYSA Candidates ONLY

4:15pm - 5:15pm

Powerful Promotion: The Keys to a Successful NEW Program Launch

Although we may have great new programs to offer our participants, we don’t always market or launch them properly. This impedes our ability to maximize the full potential of our programming. The key component to successful programming launches is to create a strategic plan for getting them off the ground. In this inspiring and engaging session, discover the key elements necessary for planning and executing a memorable and successful launch guaranteed to fill your programs.

Presenter: Marisa Hoff, Director of Operations, The Empower Group

8:00pm - 11:00pm

AB Show Welcome Reception - Ole Red Orlando

Join AB Show as we get together for a fantastic night of music, dancing, food and beverages at Blake Shelton's Ole Red Orlando. Listen to live entertainment, enjoy food and beverages, dance and connect with AB Show full-conference attendees, exhibitors, speakers and attendees from show partners NIRSA, MFA and NAYS. The event is free for AB, NIRSA, MFA and NAYS full-conference attendees and exhibitors with your show badge. Must be 21 years or older to attend.

Friday, November 18, 2022

8:15am - 9:45am

Youth Sports Officials: We NEED YOU! 

The nation has seen a shortage in officials at every level for a variety of reasons. So how do we combat this? First, as youth sports administrators, we need referees and officials! We also need to make sure that our officials possess essential traits and are trained since these are the biggest tools to keep the officials that we have and to attract even more. During this session we will explore ways to effectively and efficiently recruit, train, and evaluate youth sports officials. You will come away from this session with proven strategies to ensure your youth sports officials are the best.

Presenters: Trenton Buchman CYSA, Recreation, Coordinator, Blue Valley Recreation Commission , KS; Michael Craig Oswald CYSA, Recreation Manager, City of Nephi, UT; and Gordie Wetmore, Kansas Youth Soccer Director of Referee Development

10:00am - 11:15am

Recreation Leagues vs Travel Ball - The Battle Continues

Youth sports can be recreational and competitive but many communities struggle to find balance. Hillsborough County Athletics (the A-TEAM) has developed new and innovative programs providing viable options and opportunities to address the constant struggle between competitive and recreational sports. This session will use the Hillsborough County Competitive League (HCCL) and Travel Elite & Advanced Members (TEAM HC) as an example to ensure that all program providers are on the same page by sharing tools that have been creatively used to eliminate the battle for field time and space.

Presenters: Aileen Henderson, CYSA, Business Operations, Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation; and Dave Ramirez, Athletics Manager, Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation

11:30am - 12:30pm

Athletic Business Show Keynote: Jesse Cole, Owner, Savanah Bananas

Everything Jesse Cole’s Savannah Bananas do is unconventional. It shouldn't work. And yet they sell out every game, have a waitlist in the thousands, ship merchandise around the globe, and entertain millions of followers on social media. ESPN calls the Bananas "the greatest show in baseball." How is this even possible? Jesse Cole puts Fans First. From the stage, Jesse relates behind-the-peel stories, hard-earned lessons, and a few other surprises. With his 5 E’s, he teaches you how to stand out in your marketplace, drive explosive growth, and inspire fanatical loyalty. Jesse has been featured on MSNBC, CNN and ESPN – including a 6-part TV series to air on ESPN in Fall 2022. Cole and his teams have been awarded Organization of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Business of the Year and have won multiple CPL Championships.

12:30pm - 4:30pm

AB Show Expo

4:00pm - 5:00pm

Learn to Lead Like a Pro in Youth Sports

With each passing year, people who work in youth sports are asked to take on increased leadership responsibilities; however, they don’t always have the opportunity to receive the necessary leadership education and training. This session is designed to teach participants foundational leadership knowledge and techniques to help them practice the best leadership style and behaviors. This seminar will also teach participants leadership behaviors that can help them avoid, de-escalate, and resolve conflicts.

Presenter: Dr. Matthew Raidbard, author, consultant and college athletics administrator at the University of Hartford, CT

Saturday, November 19, 2022

8:30am - 9:45am

Let’s Make our Programs Better 

Explore topics that every type of youth sports program deals with today. Using a format similar to Pardon the Interruption, we will explore many topics to provide as many ideas and alternatives as possible to make programs stronger. Topics include participation trophies, selecting teams, controlling parents, single sex vs coed, age for travel teams, handling difficult kids, and more. This interactive session will be full of audience participation to identify ways to help as many areas as possible!  

Presenter: Jeff Bernstein, CYSA and Executive Director, Simply Sports, New York, NY

10:00am - 11:00am

Know What is Available to Ensure Quality – A Roundtable

This roundtable, interactive discussion will dig into the benchmark standards that quality programs should meet, will provide an overview of available resources that every organization can utilize and will provide a chance for every attendee to ask questions and share success stories.

Presenter: Lisa Licata, Senior Director, Professional Youth Sports Administration, NAYS