Kenneth Vincent has impacted a lot of young lives as a beloved volunteer coach through the Fort Huachuca Youth Sports & Fitness Program in Arizona.
Coaching soccer, baseball, and flag football, he brings a big smile, genuine passion, and endless energy to the field for every practice and game, where his young athletes love playing for him – and learning from him.
And he’s this year’s recipient of the National Alliance for Youth Sports’ prestigious Volunteer Coach of the Year award.
“It’s an honor and means a lot,” Vincent says of being recognized. “I’ve been coaching awhile and this is like the cherry on top to get recognized for something that I love to do.”
Focusing on safety, sportsmanship, growth, and development – while teaching life skills along the way – parents continually request to have their children play on his teams. Before a season gets rolling, he reminds his players of the importance of being a model of good behavior at all times as well as devoting themselves to their schoolwork and being the best students they can be.
Well-known for his fun and action-packed practices that ignite skill development, his sessions also enable kids to develop a deep love for the sport and enjoy being part of a team working together.
“You want them to develop a love for the sport they are playing so they want to play it as they get older,” Vincent says.
As the season moves along his practices evolve to match the kids’ growth and fuel their enthusiasm.
But what never changes is the up-tempo pace and action that keeps kids engaged.
“You have to keep every child involved,” Vincent says. “The more touches you have on the ball for soccer, or the more plays you run in football, or the more hits you have in baseball, the more fun the kids will have. So there’s no standing around. I’m not a fan of lines.”
An outstanding coach, mentor, and role model, he exemplifies what coaching youth sports is all about and he has an unwavering commitment for helping all the kids on his teams become not only better players but – more importantly – better people.
Always willing to help other coaches, his Top Three tips for those volunteering to coach for the first time are:
Don’t be afraid to ask for help: Vincent encourages new coaches to talk to those with more experience and grab nuggets of information that they can incorporate into their coaching style.
Be patient: “Kids want to learn,” he says. “So you just have to give them a chance.”
Find what works for you: “If you’re having fun and the kids are having fun, that’s all that matters,” he says.
A constant source of encouragement, motivation, and inspiration, he doesn’t seek out attention for his efforts. He’s all about the kids – all the time. He offers to coach multiple teams per season whenever needed, never wanting to see youth deprived of a chance to play.
And he always makes the most of his opportunities to impact young lives.
“The first thing you have to do is make sure they are having fun because if they don’t have fun when they’re young they won’t want to play again,” he says.Coach of the Year Coaching Kenneth Vincent Fort Huachuca Role Model Mentor Soccer Baseball Flag Football
National Alliance for Youth Sports, Inc
5670 Corporate Way
West Palm Beach, FL 33407
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