As the Executive Director of Trusted Coaches, I am extremely passionate about our mission of educating and training youth coaches. I have always found it peculiar that high school coaches got the necessary training they needed, but the youth coaches who influence our young children the most (besides their parents) do not have any specific training option for them. That is why I am so proud of Trusted Coaches and its role in youth sports! I am so blessed to be able to share a solution to that problem for youth sports organizations. Sports have been a huge part of my life. I went from playing high school sports in Brainerd, MN, to a four-year college football career, then landing my dream job as a youth sports administrator at the Minnesota Youth Athletic Services (1999-2015). I have coached high school football since 1999 and have been a high school basketball official since 2000.
This past year, I began coaching my 6 year old daughter and my 8 year old son in Rookie League Baseball. My current role is as their head coach in the 1st/2nd grade in-house basketball program. When my kids began participating in organized youth sports, I would look around at the coaches and wonder if they had been through any training or a legitimate background screening (not just a FREE local background check). Had they been trained in first aid and/or had concussion training? Now that my kids are at the age where they are involved in sports and other activities, the Trusted Coaches program really hits home with me at an emotional level. We as parents place our kids in the hands of complete strangers in hopes that they will be safe and unharmed. I am lucky enough to say the youth sports organizations my kids are registered with have invested in Trusted Coaches to train our coaches and protect our kids. It gives me great peace of mind, and I can only hope that other organizations adopt the Trusted Coaches program to help give their sports parents that peace of mind as well!
On behalf of the entire Trusted Coaches team, I am truly excited about the traction the Trusted Coaches program has gained since its launch in March of 2015. The support we have received from the 55 participating youth sports organizations with over 3,200 membership codes purchased over the past nine months has been humbling. For so many organizations to realize the importance and benefit of this entire platform for their entire organization has been very rewarding and mirrors my own belief in the Trusted Coaches mission.
We want to continue to offer a fresh product by having the most up to date, new and exciting training, education and screening available. Our goal is to have the 2nd generation of Trusted Coaches ready by January 1, 2018. This will include any necessary updates to the first-aid and concussion training, along with a new coach training program yet to be determined (coaches will not have to repeat the coach education training they did in year 1). I am excited to report that several of your suggestions from our recent survey will be part of our next round of edits that will be completed within the next few months. Around here we have a motto: “If you stand still, you fall behind.” As long as I am directing this program, we will stay ahead of the curve. Please keep your suggestions coming – we are all ears!
The MYAS is proud to see this program come to fruition and have success, but we could not have created it without our “Trusted Partners” that have helped us build, mold and present this online training tool for any youth volunteer coach. Our partners include the Positive Coaching Alliance, the National Sports Center, and Fairview Sport and Orthopedic Care, along with the Minnesota Recreation and Park Association, the Mississippi Recreation and Park Association, and the Louisiana Recreation and Park Association.
Thank you for being a member of Trusted Coaches and for your dedication to youth sports!