NYSCA Online helping Paulding County Parks and Recreation (Ga.) prepare more coaches for their responsibilities

4/14/2009

Although Tommy Dooley, superintendent of athletics for the Paulding County Parks and Recreation Department (Ga.), regularly schedules National Youth Sports Coaches Association (NYSCA) clinics for his coaches to attend, it can still be a challenge to accommodate everyone’s busy schedule.
 
That’s why Dooley allows coaches who can’t attend live clinics to receive their NYSCA training online at their own convenience.
 
“We have to hold classes that start at 6 p.m. and it is difficult for some coaches to be on time,” Dooley said.
 
The NYSCA, a volunteer youth sports coaches training program offered by the National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS), traditionally trains coaches in live classroom settings that encourage group discussion. However, in recent years the easy-to-use online version has been growing in popularity.
 
Now that Dooley allows his coaches to complete online NYSCA clinics, only about 40 percent of his coaches attend live clinics.
 
“It helps that we do not have to hold as many clinics to get coaches certified,” Dooley said.
 
Dooley has long been an advocate of NYSCA training for volunteer youth sports coaches, which he likes for the simple fact that it lets coaches know what is expected of them in their role. Since NYSCA began offering clinics online, Dooley admits that he is reaching more coaches than he would normally be able to with live clinics.
 
Paulding County Parks and Recreation Department regularly holds NYSCA clinics in softball, basketball and baseball.
 
Although NYSCA training has been available online for several years, many administrators like Dooley still prefer the live clinics for its interactive nature. However, recent additions to the NAYS Web site, like the all new coaches forum, has enabled those who receive their training online to interact with others from the comfort of a home or office. 
 
The Coaching Forum allows volunteers the ability to tap into the expertise of more than 100,000 coaches to gain insight on a variety of issues that are typically encountered while coaching children.   
 
Through the coach rating system, volunteer coaches can now obtain comprehensive feedback on their coaching skills and the type of impact they are having on the kids.
 
Plus, recreation programs can utilize the system to evaluate their coaches to ensure that they are abiding by the program philosophies and policies regarding coaching children’s sports.
 
The system allows league administrators who are associated with NAYS to provide a digital link for parents to evaluate coaches anonymously. The link can either be placed within an email or posted directly on a league or organization’s Web site. The questions hit all the key coaching areas, such as safety, sportsmanship and how well they teach skills, among others.
 
Coaches also have access to other innovative sections on the new NAYS Web site, including a Skills and Drills section that features hundreds of animated drills, as well as those that can be printed out and taken to practice to use as a handy reference while working with players.

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