youth sports conference


Preliminary Sessions - More to be added soon!

*Final session times and dates will be released in early October. All sessions will streamed from Nov. 4-6 from 11am ET to 5pm ET.


Allocating Facilities - How to Balance Requests Using Data, Structured Policies and Guidelines

This session will review the latest concepts on allocating your athletic facilities in an unbiased, data driven, and policy guided fashion. We'll discuss how to track data to use to your advantage and what types of rules and guidelines your organization can put forth to hold groups accountable for violations. We'll also discuss the value of economic impact that allocating facilities brings to a community and how it will improve your decision making.

Presenter: Edward Saiz

Inclusion Isn’t Scary! Everyone has the Right to Play!

Children with disabilities are one of the groups that are most excluded from opportunities to engage in sports and physical play. We want to break down barriers and encourage other agencies to build inclusion services into their local youth sports programs. Inclusion to the City of Mesa Parks, Recreation & Community Facilities means that individuals with disabilities are welcome to participate in the same recreation programs and activities as their non-disabled peers. This session will share tools and best practices that can be implemented by all youth sports administrators.

Presenter: Lane Gram

Preventing Bullying with Evidence-Based Practices for Athlete Health and Safety

If bullying and all forms of abuse harm brains, how can we exit this entrenched framework that in far too many cases is normalized in sport? What plan of action can youth sports administrators implement to quickly identify micro-aggressions and use a system of education and awareness to halt any form of bullying in its tracks. This second session will focus on 8 strategies to create a bully-free, high-performing, healthy youth sport organization. 

Presenter: Dr. Jen Fraser

Purposed Based Recognition: Recognizing, Rewarding and Retaining

The intentional implementation of a “Purposed Based Recognition” program helps you reduce turnover, gain buy-in of your organization and you’ll create an environment of support and enthusiasm. Identify goals and responsibilities for leaders that will retain your most important asset; your volunteers and staff! Youth sports administrators need to understand the impact of a timely and consistent recognition program that can be implemented with minimal cost but provides high return with reduced turnover and a positive economic effect on the organization. 

Presenter: Lori A. Hoffner

Regaining Equilibrium – Time & Stress Management for Leaders

This session provides cutting edge strategies for regaining control of your focus to maximize your time, becoming less stressed and identifying free time in your day. Learn to get more done, be more intentional and have more of a personal life. Improve your work/life balance with tools you can use personally, and to pass them on to your students, families and staff. Discover life management skills to literally change your life!

Presenter: John Kriger

Relationships are EVERYTHING!

Youth sports administrators are tasked with creating relationships with so many people and on so many levels. This dynamic presentation revolves around the 5 essentials we need to successfully maintain ALL of the relationships in our lives. Knowing how to navigate through not just some but ALL of your relationships is important. In this session, we discuss why and how to focus on creating long-lasting, loving relationships in every area of your life.

Presenter: Krista Rizzo

Specialization and Player Safety – the Connection in Youth Sports

Specialization can lead to injuries and becomes a safety issue. Anterior knee pain in young adolescents for example is common and often relates to their growth and development (growing pains) and sports. Specifically, we will discuss is it the same or worse with sports specialization. Participants will discuss the risk of an adolescent athlete struggling with anterior knee pain and does it affect their decision to stay in sports.

Presenter: Dr. Ann LeBeck

Toughening Athletes Up for a Tough World or Harming Their Brains?

In this the first of a two-part session that will start by examining what researchers have learned about the impact of bullying on brains. What does bullying do to the brain? What do neuroscientists see when they look at the brain scans of victims who have been bullied or abused? If youth sport truly is a mental game, we need to understand the way young athletes' brains can be harmed or enhanced by the mental climate in which they train and play. 

Presenter: Dr. Jen Fraser

Transgender Inclusion in Youth Sports

This session will focus creating inclusive spaces for transgender youth. Youth sports administrators today must be aware of key issue areas such as inclusion, safety, science, and competitive fairness. Participants will learn about key trans participation policies utilized by sports governing bodies such as high school associations, USOC-affiliated NGBs, and the International Olympic Committee. Participants will also discuss how to create and advocate for fair and inclusive trans participation policies in their athletic communities.

Presenter: Ashland Johnson, Esq.

Youth Sports Program's Role in Developing Physical Literacy

Since there is overall less PE in schools, the youth sports program's role in teaching fundamental movement skills to kids is even more important. Youth sports administrators can structure their programs to encourage the development of physical literacy skills - rules about athletes playing multiple positions, setting the length of seasons, encouraging coaches to incorporate another sport into their practices for a few minutes, etc. Doing this sets kids up for an active life, even if it's not through traditional team sports.

Presenters: Dr. Rick Howard and Dr. Tony Moreno