Local Clubs Celebrate Youth Sports Week

By: JD Hurd II
| Published 07/24/2020

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THE WOODLANDS, TX -- Woodlands Online is recognizing National Youth Sports Week by recognizing a few of the many important youth organizations in The Woodlands area. Each organization was asked a set of questions, allowing them to explain the importance of youth sports in their own words.

For this discussion, we reached out to Houston Dynamo-Dash Youth Soccer Club Director of Soccer Operations, Simon Boddison, SCFL President, Rich Walters, and YMCA Sports Director, Jonathan McLean, and YMCA Community Liason, Roxanne Davis.

Q1: Describe your organization and its goals?

Dynamo-Dash Youth: “The Houston Dynamo-Dash Youth Soccer Club is the only club in Houston providing a full range of programming and a complete pathway for the beginner through to the collegiate and professional levels. Our goal is to provide youth soccer opportunities for all ability levels serving the greater Houston community”

SCFL: “We have been doing youth football in The Woodlands area for 48 years. We are laying the foundation for football for the kids but not only football skills but teaching them valuable life skills such as work ethic, unity, teamwork, resiliency, and character. We are proud to have helped guide so many SCFL alumni, including NFL wide receiver Danny Amendola.”

YMCA: “The Y is so much more than a ‘Gym and Swim’. The Y is a cause-driven organization that is for youth development, for healthy living, and for social responsibility. The Y is committed to providing programs and services that serve to eliminate drowning, increase academic performance, reduce chronic disease and childhood obesity, and increase opportunities for social equity. A strong community can only be achieved when we invest in our kids, our health, and our neighbors.”

Q2: How do kids benefit from participating in youth sports?

Dynamo-Dash Youth: “The kids benefit as it’s a healthy, fun environment where learning takes place daily building positive self-esteem, enhancing life skills, and providing soccer development for the individual.”

SCFL: “The kids learn what it means to be a part of a team and work towards a goal. There are many ups and downs throughout a football season and we are giving kids the experiences that will benefit them as they grow older.”

YMCA: “All kids should participate in team sports at some point in their life. You learn valuable lessons on the field or on the court that you would not learn otherwise. Like, “You win as a team, you lose as a team” or “The team is only as good as your weakest link”. These lessons are taught through team sports better than in any classroom.”

Q3: How has working in a youth sports organization benefited you?

Dynamo-Dash Youth: “Every day in youth soccer is a time to make a difference in a young person’s life using soccer as the vehicle. Making a positive impact and being able to share the enjoyment of the greatest sport on the planet is not really a job, it’s a passion.”

SCFL: “The skills you learn with being part of that is something you really do benefit from as you grow older in life. Having to put the team first, seeing the rewards of the effort and work put in, learning how to compete, bouncing back from a tough defeat, and also the enjoyment of reaching a goal with your coaches and teammates are just some of the many benefits that youth sports can give.”

YMCA: “Working in youth sports has been very beneficial to me. Being that we, as the Y, are an organization that starts most sports programs as early as 3 years old. We often work with kids that have never had any introduction to any sport. Working with kids that sports do not come naturally to, has always been the most rewarding. There is no better feeling than seeing a kid that cannot shoot a basket and after working with them for a few weeks they finally get it. To watch their face light up and to watch them run to their parents for a high five is a feeling like no other. Knowing you had a hand in the first basket they ever scored is unmatched.”

Q4: What would you like to see improved in youth sports?

Dynamo-Dash Youth: “I think we have to continually remind ourselves that youth sports are for the development and advancement of our players. The direction of youth sports and the decisions that are made must prioritize and benefit the growth of the individual. It may sound cliché, but it’s not purely about winning or losing, it’s how you play the game.”

SCFL: “One thing I would like to see improved in youth sports is to keep the focus on the important thing, the kids. Sometimes as adults we can all lose focus a little but if we step back and remember why we are doing this, it is for the kids and we have to show the kids a good example of how to act. The kids soak up a lot just by observing coaches and parents, so we need to be a good example for them to follow.”

YMCA: “The problem with youth sports is often the behaviors surrounding them. I would like parents and coaches to understand that fun should be the number one priority followed closely by skill development. A lot of parents and coaches lose sight of the fact that if the sport is not fun for the kid they will stop playing the first chance they get. Also, remember that no college scholarships will be given out during youth sports games. That they should be building towards that goal, but that will only happen at the right time.”

Upcoming Events

Youth sports can be very beneficial to both children and parents. Woodlands Online encourages everyone to find ways to get involved with youth sports. Here are some upcoming events to look into:

Dynamo-Dash Youth: Soccer Camps, Fall Season, Tournaments

SCFL: Registration (now until August 13), Tryouts - August 7,8, and 14.

YMCA: “The Y will be prepared to offer sports clinics in the fall and looking at the possibility of offering league play, depending on the increase of COVID cases in the greater Houston communities and the current CDC guidelines. The focus will be on outdoor sports since it has proven to be the safest option as far as sports go. YMCA Kids Triathlon that was originally scheduled for July 18 is tentatively scheduled for September 26 as a live/virtual or virtual-only event, based on the CDC guidelines at the time.”

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