Children who play sports at the YMCA discover so much more than their athletic abilities. They build character, develop self-confidence, create healthy relationships—and you can have a role in this transformation.
When you volunteer as a coach, you’re helping others, meeting new people, keeping your mind and body healthy and learning new skills—and all of this feels great.
Positively impacting the lives of children
Association Sports Director, Tunde Lawal says that as a volunteer coach, you can be a role model for kids in pre-K through high school—and that the impact you have now can stick with children for life.
The youth sports program is designed to reflect the Y’s core values—caring, honesty, respect, faith and responsibility. Although youth sports include healthy competition, at the Y it’s not about wins and losses—it’s about fun and youth development more than anything.
In Y sports, children:
Are active and exercising
Learn sports and life skills
Have an outlet to feel comfortable and not feel judged
Look forward to playing
A long-time volunteer with the youth sports program, Coach Espiridion "Speedy" Zuniga says that over the course of a season, he’s seen kids grow to be better listeners, more focused and less likely to act out.
Doing something you love, while making a difference
Whether you love the sport, working with kids, coaching, or giving back—you can enjoy your passion in a family environment, while using your life experience to make a difference in the lives of kids.
“Although it’s not a huge time commitment, just a couple hours a week can make a difference, build future leaders and set the groundwork for kids to play sports for years,” says Coach Speedy.
Picking up new skills from pros
Being an expert in the sport you coach isn’t required—the Y can coach you to be a coach. The Y provides:
A practice plan that you can use as-is, or modify
YMCA staff to assist at practices
A mentor coach if you are new to coaching
Coach Speedy says that he’s always learning new sports drills to use in practice, plus ways to keep kids motivated and focused.
Ready to get started?
To be a volunteer coach at the YMCA, you:
Need to be at least 18 years old
Commit to working with kids about two hours a week for an eight-week session (season)—one hour for practice and one for games
Are asked to complete a background check and online training, plus attend coaches’ meetings
Can make a request to coach a specific sport or age group—the Y works to accommodate as many of these requests as possible.
Complete a brief form to start your journey as a volunteer youth sports coach.