Raising the bar for youth sports administrators is essential because these are the folks who ultimately oversee youth sports in any given community. To date more than 2,800 professionals have earned the Certified Youth Sports Administrator (CYSA) credential by successfully completing the Academy for Youth Sports Administrators. This group of dedicated professionals has gone above to ensure that they have a foundation of information, resources and tools while demonstrating a professional commitment to their chosen career.
Why is this important? A quick review of the Recommendations for Communities will reveal that the professional youth sports administrator is the key to ensuring a positive youth sports philosophy is adhered to in the local community.
Also certification and continued professional development are especially important in a field that many may not fully understand. Ask any CYSA about the varied duties, tasks and responsibilities that they address every day – from scheduling, registrations and volunteer management to safety, risk management and dealing with parents, just to name a few. Then ask the general public about their perceptions of these professionals. Most likely the views will be very different.
Take a moment to read a recent Certified Youth Sports Administrator’s opinion about the importance of this career choice:
In my experience, sometimes sports programmers can be viewed as high school jocks that didn’t want to get a real job. There are people out there that think we shoot baskets in the gym or play catch on the fields all day.
To show these people that I do take my profession extremely seriously, I need to become a resource for them regarding all things youth sports related. I need to show that every decision I make is researched beforehand and is in the best interest of the children that participate in my programs. I need to keep my organization ahead of the curve regarding safety in our programs. I must prepare my staff and volunteers for every possible situation that might occur so we can respond swiftly and accurately.
I’m a big believer in continuing education and professional development. I believe that if you’re not pushing forward in your profession, then you’re actually falling behind. I intend to continue to educate myself in youth sports administration and directly apply the principles learned to my youth sports programs. Along with continuing my youth sports administration education, I will also educate those in and around my programs. This includes my co-workers, coaches, officials, instructors, supervisors, parents and children who are involved in youth sports.
I consider myself extremely lucky to be working in the youth sports field. Our patrons literally come to us to have fun. I have the chance to provide children with amazing life experiences which they will remember forever. It is my job to provide the patrons I serve with the highest quality of programs possible and that is what I will do.
Brice Soeken, CYSA, Sports Program Coordinator
Blue Valley Recreation Commission, Kansas
Every community should have a Brice Soeken! Don’t you agree?
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the National Alliance for Youth Sports.
National Alliance for Youth Sports, Inc
2050 Vista Parkway
West Palm Beach, Florida 33411
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