Beyond the Scoreboard: Choosing a Youth Sports Program that builds better Players and better People


Positive experiences with sports at an early age can benefit a child’s mental and physical health, boosting self-esteem and building healthy fitness habits that young people can carry with them into adulthood.

While it’s easy for parents to get wrapped up in today’s ultra-competitive youth sports environment, it’s important to remember that sports participation can have value that extends well beyond the scoreboard. Whether your child is interested in youth basketball, baseball, dance, swim, or even martial arts, all children benefit from sports programs that help them grow both as an athlete and as a person.

From recreational to competitive youth sports, here are a few things to look for to make sure your child gets the most out of their experience:

Age-Appropriate Skill Development

Programs with age-specific levels encourage children to progress in their sport while developing age-appropriate skills as they move up. In addition to giving your child the proper foundation in technique and movement, age-specific sports programs can provide the best fit for their maturity and ability, creating positive experiences that make it less likely a child will get frustrated or want to drop out.

Character Counts

Since participating in sports provides so much opportunity to shape character, teamwork and sportsmanship should never take a backseat to winning. From problem solving and decision making, to leadership, hard work, and perseverance, programs that have character development integrated into their curriculum set children up for success both on and off the field, teeing them up to gain valuable life skills along the way.

At the Y, our sports staff, coaches, and volunteers all share a singular vision of helping all youth reach their full potential in life. We believe youth sports should create a healthy outlet for children to gain new skills, develop a sense of team, and connect with positive role models, creating the foundation that children need to not only be great players but to also be great people.

Click here to learn more about youth sports programs at YMCA of Orange County, including YMCA basketball, water sports, dance, gymnastics, t-ball and more!

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