Attention Youth Sports Administrator!
Are these questions or statements familiar to you?
Do I have to do this stuff again?
I just did all this for Basketball!
Why can’t all the sports just work together with concussion certificates and background checks!?
In today’s youth sports, a volunteer coach is mandated to complete concussion instruction and the majority of organizations mandate background checks prior to the start of each sports season. Over the past year, the Trusted Coaches team has had the opportunity to speak to many parents who also coach multiple sports as well as being leaders of youth sports organizations. As youth sports administrators implement their coach development and risk management training and screening in their organization, there is a growing concern by the volunteer coaches that time and money are being wasted repeating background checks and tracking down certificates. It would be ideal if the volunteer coach was to be handed that task once a year. When a volunteer coach repeats these necessary tasks two to three times in a calendar year, it becomes cumbersome. This process becomes extremely frustrating for a volunteer parent who is donating his time and efforts as a coach.
The administrators are simply doing their due diligence and making sure to protect their organization by mandating the state concussion law or required training and providing a background check for a coach applicant. Each year, the annoying process of collecting a pdf of a concussion certificate and finding a place to file them electronically or hard copy and then directing all coaches to a background check provider to complete their screen becomes tiresome. The real questions by the administrator ends up being; “Are all my coaches compliant?” AND “Why do I have to put so much work into this process when I am already volunteering countless hours to make this sports organization a safe, positive and productive experience for the participants”.
Here is an example of this growing frustration dealing with and managing Risk Management:
- A parent has been selected to coach in the youth football association and is asked to show proof of concussion instruction or is asked to complete the training. They are also asked to complete a background check application.
- In the winter, the same parent has been asked to coach in the youth basketball association to submit their concussion instruction and complete a background check. Because the football and basketball association’s work independently from each other, he needs to repeat this process again like he did in the fall.
- This parent now gets to the spring/summer season and thinks he will be able to just be a fan but the baseball association has asked him to coach his son’s team because they are short coaches. Guess what he has to do, you got it, submit his concussion certificate and again complete a background check.
In this scenario, all three sports work independently from each other but are located in the same community or school attendance area. Why wouldn’t these youth sports associations want to collaborate with each other in order to limit the time and effort that a coach goes through in completing and managing the appropriate training and screening? This question goes through the mind of many coaches in a community just like the parent volunteer coach in the example above.
This same situation happens in umbrella organizations that administer multiple sports within a community. In most cases at least five sports are administered under the umbrella of one community association. You would think that things would be streamlined and all appropriate certificates and background checks would be managed and tracked by the executive board or someone within that association. Think again! Over half of these organizations put the responsibility on each sport and therefore they all work independently from each other. So once again, a volunteer parent within this organization that coaches two or three sports must provide proof of concussion training and go through multiple background checks because each season because each sport works independently from each other.
Trusted Coaches, the education division of the Minnesota Youth Athletic Services (MYAS) has the solution to minimize the time and burden for the coach, administrator and every youth sports association/organization in your community. We have created a comprehensive, convenient and cost-effective solution to youth sports organizations Coach Development and Risk Management needs while establishing a platform that any sports organization may utilize to keep track of coaches’ certifications and renewal dates.
Many of those directors are very enthusiastic to finally have a solution to what many have called a “nightmare” for them and their coaches. To help one understand here is a perfect scenario. If the football, basketball and baseball association are all utilizing the training, screening and education of Trusted Coaches, it automatically connects all of them. They would then be able to limit their time during this process and save money for all associations in the process.
In Blaine, MN, many organizations have realized how valuable Trusted Coaches is if they all work together. Currently, the Blaine Backcourt Club, Blaine Area Traveling Baseball, Blaine Area Little League are all utilizing Trusted Coaches. Now other youth sports organizations in Blaine, MN like the Football, Softball and Lacrosse are considering Trusted Coaches for the 2017 season.
Here is what Chris Bentrott, President of Blaine Area Little League said about Trusted Coaches:
“We have over 200 coaches who have gone through the Trusted Coaches training program. We were excited to offer this program to our coaches and families this year. We felt it was a good value and long term investment in our program and our community. The Trusted Coaches training is able to give us all of the coaches training we need in one stop. This is a more cost effective method to get our required background check and concussion training and also offers the additional components of first aid training and Positive Coaching Alliance training. We have been looking for a way to incorporate the Positive Coaches Alliance program into what we do, and this was a perfect fit for us. It was easier to administrate than our old system with all of the information on all coaches in one report. Long term it will save our returning coaches time, while offering more comprehensive training. With other youth sports programs in our area using this system, this will also give our multi-sport coaches a head start on training for their next season.”