Purpose & Benefits of Youth Sports Participation in youth sports, whether it be school related or with a local organization, can clearly be a constructive force in the lives of student athletes. It is important that parents and coaches recognize that youth sports present a unique opportunity for introducing and reinforcing positive life lessons that will prepare our children for the future.
Adults who emphasize good sportsmanship help young athletes take pride in their accomplishments and in their improving skills, so that the kids see themselves as winners, even if the scoreboard doesn't show the numbers going in their favor. The best coaches and parents encourage their kids to play fair, to have fun, and to concentrate on helping the team while polishing their own skills.
By participating in sports, the young athlete will:
Develop skills needed to socialize with their peers as well as adults.
Develop independence and confidence.
Develop a sense of achievement, which helps develop a positive self-image.
Develop leadership skills and qualities.
Learn how to cooperate and compete.
Develop agility, coordination, endurance, flexibility, speed and strength.
Develop the ability to make decisions and accept responsibilities.
Learn to understand and express emotions, imagination, and appreciation for what the body can do.
Develop an interest in continuing sports participation as an adult.
To ensure a high standard for child safety and positive youth development within youth sports leagues, the Board of County Commissioners approved the Raising Community Standards in Youth Sports initiative in March 2006.
Article 1: Two youth sports league administrators in each league must be certified in the National Youth Sports Administrators Association (NYSAA) Program.
Article 2: Teams
in each league must have the head coach and one assistant coach, if more
than one coach is assigned to a team; participate in a positive youth sports
development training program. The NAYS training is preferred but leagues may
conduct a comparable training program which must be approved by the Sports
Article 3:Any adult who has care, custody
or control of youth participants in any youth sports program or activity is
required to successfully complete a background check through St. Mary's
County Department of Recreation and Parks. Recreation & Parks policy is that
the background checks are valid for one year.
It is expected that all parents and spectators demonstrate positive behavior
during all youth sporting events. If negative and inappropriate behavior
occurs it is recommended that those involved are asked to leave the
spectator area immediately by league representatives. Parents must sign a
Parents Code of Conduct prior to their child participating and a copy should
be kept on file with the league for the entire season.
Article 5: Smoking is limited to beyond 150 feet of the playing field.
Coaches and administrators should refrain from the use of any tobacco
products at all team activities and in the presence of your players.
Article 6: Two youth sports league administrators in each league must be certified by the
CDC’s Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports program.
A youth sports program must also make the information on concussions
available to coaches, young athletes, and parents.
Need More Information?
Contact our Sports Program Coordinator for further details regarding how St. Mary's County has established Community Standards in our Sports programs.
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, caused
by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your
brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a blow to the
body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth.
Concussions can occur in any sport or recreation activity. A
concussion can have long term impacts on young athletes such as
their health, memory, learning and even their survival. This has
lead to a new effort to improve prevention, recognition and response
to sports-related concussion. To help ensure the health and
safety of young athletes, Recreation & Parks has begun an awareness
campaign to offer information about concussions to coaches, parents,
and athletes involved in youth sports.
The following are a list of
symptoms that may suggest a concussion has occurred.
Difficulty remembering or paying attention
Balance problems or dizziness
Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
Feeling irritable, more emotional, or “down”
Nausea or vomiting
Bothered by light or noise
Double or blurry vision
Slowed reaction time
Loss of consciousness
Should You Do If You Think a Concussion Has Occurred?
Seek medical attention right away
- A health care professional will be able to decide how serious the
concussion is and when it is safe to return to play.
Do not return to play until
medically cleared - Concussions
take time to heal. Don't return to play until a health care
professional says it's OK. Children who return to play too soon
while their brain is still healing risk a greater chance of having a
second concussion. Second or later concussions can be very serious.
They can cause permanent brain damage, affecting the injured
student-athlete for a lifetime.
Inform all coaches about any
recent concussions - Coaches
should know if an athlete has had a recent concussion. The coach may
not know about a concussion in another sport or activity if he or
she is not informed by the parent, guardian or athlete.