As a parent of a youth athlete, it can be hard to make decisions for your child. How can you find a team/club that has great coaching that teaches fundamentals and has a positive environment, yet also promotes health and safety? You can also be a leader in your community to ensure that youth sports are child-centered while promoting the love of the game.
Ways you can promote a healthy youth sports culture:
• Talk to your child about healthy/safe sports practices and behaviors, good sportsmanship, and fair play, and encourage them to let you know when this is not happening at their practices or games.
• Write articles about the benefits of a healthy, positive youth sports program for local/national newspapers, newsletters, blogs.
• Be active on social media to promote the positive aspects of sport, but demand safe policies to keep kids safe.
• Give presentations to coaches, schools, sport organizations, local/state government.
• Help create policy for school boards and sport organizations.
• Promote programs and opportunities in your community that increase options for safe sports as well as recreational free play.
• Participate or lead an advocacy day at the state capitol, testify at a legislative committee, or help write legislation to improve health and safety in youth sports.
• Help improve access for all kids for youth sports – advocate for low cost alternatives, free and safe playground access, free open gyms, and promote development of in-town leagues to reduce the cost and time burden of travel.
• Start your own league!
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