Y WAY TO PLAY

The Y Way to Play is essential to the way sports are played at the YMCA. It provides a unique opportunity for all participants to learn, grow and have fun through playing sports.

The Mission of the Y Way to Play

The mission of the Y Way to Play is to deliver quality sports programs that provide fun, foster sportsmanship and create opportunities for all to participate, learn and grow. The Y Way to Play applies varied levels of progressive competition and builds a sense of community, which prepares kids for life on and off the field.

The Five Pillars of the Y Way to Play

  1. FUN: Creating a lifelong enjoyment of sports and the values and lessons they teach.
  2. SPORTSMANSHIP: Fostering the Y values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. 
  3. OPPORTUNITY: Ensuring all kids experience the life lessons learned through sports.
  4. PROGRESSIVE COMPETITION: Providing appropriate levels of competition for all athletes.
  5. COMMUNITY: Integrating the values and life lessons of sports into our broader community.

The Parent, Guardian or Spectator Pledge

I pledge to support the Y Way to Play through promoting sportsmanship, being encouraging and supportive, and playing my part in creating an environment where all athletes can learn, grow and have fun! 

A Parent’s Role in Fostering the Y Way to Play

1. Make it FUN

  • Use the inherent fun of playing sports to teach life lessons and build character.
  • Convey a positive attitude at all times. Negatives are a drag. 
  • Reinforce strengths and assist with shortcomings.  
  • Promote healthy nutrition and habits that increase performance. (Makes playing more fun!) 

2. Promote SPORTSMANSHIP

  • Be a model of sportsmanship with coaches, officials, other players and spectators.  
  • Exhibit the Y Way values — caring, honesty, respect and responsibility — at every opportunity.
  • Recognize examples of good sportsmanship as they occur and reward them.

3. Create OPPORTUNITY

  • Ensure all players are championed, supported and respected from the sidelines.
  • All players need equivalent game time opportunity to participate, learn and grow. 
  • Truly understand that every athlete (individual) improves at their own pace.
  • Focus on encouraging, rather than pushing.

4. Honor PROGRESSIVE COMPETITION 

  • Understand that the levels of competition vary based on age, skill level and a given program’s focus. 
  • Realize that the focus on “winning versus learning” varies across Y Way programs. 
  • Choose programs to help your athlete(s) play at the level of competition right for them.

5. Build COMMUNITY  

  • Create a positive community experience for all players by consciously connecting with other parents.
  • Encourage your athletes to be good role models both on and off the field.
  • Help your athlete(s) identify opportunities to give back to our community.

Our Coach Commitment

As a YMCA coach, I am committed to promoting sportsmanship, being encouraging and showing support while using positive feedback methods to create an environment where all players participate equally, learn, grow and, most of all, have fun!

A Coach’s Role in fostering the Y Way to Play 

1. Make it FUN 

  • Use the inherent fun of playing sports to teach life lessons and build character. 
  • Convey a positive attitude at all times: Reinforcing strengths versus focusing on shortcomings.
  • Promote healthy nutrition and habits that increase performance. (Making playing more fun!) 

2. Promote SPORTSMANSHIP 

  • Be a model of sportsmanship with your team, officials and parents.
  • Exhibit the Y Way values — caring, honesty, respect and responsibility — at every opportunity. 
  • Acknowledge examples of good sportsmanship as they occur and reward them regularly. 

3. Create OPPORTUNITY 

  • Make sure that every player is warmly welcomed and equally respected.
  • Give every player the opportunity to participate, learn and grow through fair playing time.  
  • Fully respect that every player will improve at their own pace to various levels of skill. 

4. Honor PROGRESSIVE COMPETITION 

  • Understand that the levels of competition vary based on an athlete’s age, skill level and motivation. 
  • Adjust the focus on “winning versus learning” to the age group and the objectives of the program.
  • Prepare your players to move to their next level when their skills and desire to do so are ready. 

5. Build COMMUNITY 

  • Create a positive experience for your players by deliberately connecting with the parents. 
  • Teach your athletes to be good role models both on and off the field.
  • Help your players to identify opportunities to give back to our community.