Raising the Grade
Youth Sports Organizations are failing their key constituents when it comes to serving them with qualified and trained coaches according to a new report recently filed by the Aspen Institute of Sports and Society program. The 21-page report directed by Tom Farrey examined a number of aspects in youth sports and among their key discoveries was an overall lack of sufficiently trained coaches in the areas of safety, training and education. The Aspen Institute is a nonpartisan forum for values based leadership and the exchange of ideas.
The study was aimed at getting kids off the couch and playing sports without burning them out. A report card that covered 8 key points points included an emphasis on prevention including brain and other injuries. The report found that youth sports nationally graded out a C- in prevention when members of the study from the Project Play Summit held on May 17th, 2016 in Washington D.C. Answers from the study were gathered by the thought leaders through online survey, on-site, an electronic polling.
Project Play is projected to provide economic and health benefits of $20 billion in direct medical costs and saves $32 billion in productivity losses saved if half the kids projected get active. The Project Play study proved that trained coaches go beyond the economic benefits, and that only 5% of the players that played for trained coaches quit the next year while the overall attrition rate was 26%.
Using baseball as an example, the efforts to increase awareness in coach training has had a positive impact, yet three in four baseball coaches still remained untrained in motivational technique and two in three baseball coaches say they have received no training in skills and tactics.
One such baseball association that Trusted Coaches is having an impact on is the Blaine Minnesota Area Little League. With 200 coaches that have successfully completed the Trusted Coaches online program, Blaine Area Little League President Chris Bentrott said that his program has benefitted from the program in a number of ways.
“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,” Bentrott said. “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.”
It was noted in the Project Play report that the Minnesota Youth Athletic Services (MYAS) which built the Trusted Coaches program, offers key competency training in one spot. Included in the Trusted Coaches program are the national background check, concussion training course that follows CDC guidelines, a Double-Goal Coaching workshop administered by Positive Coaching Alliance® (PCA), and a first-aid seminar that addresses injury prevention, emergency treatment, hydration, and nutrition.
Partnering with a number of leading organizations in sports, health, and training such as Positive Coaching Alliance, the National Sports Center, Fairview Sport and Orthopedic Care, Minnesota Park and Recreation Association, Wisconsin Sports Services and the Louisiana Recreation and Park Association, Trusted Coaches provides the necessary tools in a cost-effective and productive fashion for coaches and youth sports organizations to manage a critical element to providing the best possible experience for youth athletes.