Sandusky Area YMCA

2101 W. Perkins Ave

Sandusky, Ohio 44870
916.452.9622 ymcasuperiorcal.org

Table of Contents

Letter to Parents ……………………………………………………………………………….3
About the YMCA ………………………………………………………….…………………….4-5
What is the Y Way to Play…………………………………………………………………..6
What is Your Role in the Y Way to Play? ………………………………………….…7-11
Y Sports Policies………………..………………………………………………………………12-13
What Your Child Should Learn Through the Y Way to Play ………………..…14-15
General Information……………………………………………………….………………..…17-19

Contact Information
Mike Seel, Sports Director:
419.621.9622 EXT. 20 or [email protected]
YMCA: 419.621.9622

Letter to Parents

Dear Parents and Participants,

The Sandusky Area YMCA welcomes you to the Youth Sports Program! A goal of the Sandusky Area YMCA is for all youth sports participants, both parents and children, to have an enjoyable sporting experience. Skill development is the main component of all YMCA Youth Sports. Non-competitive games are a part of every season, and each child will play an equal amount of time in every game. (As close as possible based on roster of team) Of course, a FUN and friendly environment is characteristic of all YMCA programs.

This is the Youth Sports Parent & Coach Handbook. It describes Sandusky Area YMCA’s youth sports program. Please take a few minutes and read the information inside this handbook. This material may answer some of your questions, as well as give you the Youth Sports Philosophy and YMCA mission statement.

Youth Sports programs are possible by the dedication of volunteer workers. Many volunteers put in several hours of work to make the YMCA programs a success. Thank you to all of the YMCA volunteers who invest time and energy into the lives of young people today. If you are interested in future volunteer opportunities, please contact us.

Families are very important to the Sandusky Area YMCA Please take an interest in your child by participating with him/her during the practices and games. Also, time spent with your child at home in sports skills development builds confidence and parent-child relationships.

Thanks for your participation. We look forward to serving you and your child in our Youth Sports program. If you have any comments or questions, please call the Sandusky Area YMCA at 419.621.9622


Mike Seel


[email protected]

Four Core Values of Character Development:

• Caring – To love others and be sensitive to the well being of everyone involved.

• Honesty – To have integrity, ensuring that one’s actions match one’s values through participation.

• Respect – To value the worth of every person, including one’s self, one’s teammates, coaches, opponents and officials.

• Responsibility – To be accountable for one’s behavior and obligations.

Youth Sports Philosophy:

The YMCA’s philosophy is “Athletes First, winning second, everyone’s is a winner.” Please do everything you can do to de-emphasize the score.

YMCA Sports: 7 Pillars

1. Everyone plays. We do not use tryouts to select the best players, nor do we cut kids from YMCA Youth Super Sports. Everyone who registers is assigned to a team. During the season everyone receives equal practice time and plays at least half of every game.

2. Safety first. Although some children may get hurt playing sports, we do all we can to prevent injuries. We’ve modified each sport to make it safer and more enjoyable to play. We ask you to take time to check that the equipment and facilities are safe and to teach the sport as we’ve prescribed, so that the skills taught are appropriate for children’s developmental level. We also ask you to develop your play-ers’ fitness levels gradually so they are conditioned for the sport. And we ask you to constantly super-vise your young players so that you can stop any unsafe activities.

3. Fair play. Fair play is about more than playing by the rules. It’s about you and your players showing respect for all who are involved in YMCA Youth Super Sports. It’s about you being a role model of good sportsmanship and guiding your players to do the same. Remember, we’re more interested in developing children’s character through sport than in developing a few highly skilled players.

4. Positive competition. We believe competition is a positive process when the pursuit of victory is kept

in the right perspective. Learning to compete is important for children, and learning to cooperate in a competitive world is an essential lesson of life. The “right perspective” means adults make decisions that put the best interests of the children above winning the contest. These are the lessons we want to teach through YMCA Youth Super Sports.

5. Family involvement. YMCA Youth Super Sports encourages parents to be involved appropriately along with their child participating in our sport programs. In addition to parents being helpful as volunteer coaches, officials, and timekeepers, we encourage them to be at practices and games to support their child’s participation.

6. Sport for all. YMCA Youth Super Sports is an inclusive sport program. That means that children who differ in various characteristics are to be included rather than excluded from participation. We offer sport programs for children who differ in physical abilities by matching them with children of similar abilities and modifying their sport. We offer programs to all children regardless of race, gender, religion or ability. We ask our adult leaders to support and appreciate the diversity of children in our society and to encourage the children and their parents to do the same. We do not forfeit games; instead, we share players and proceed with planned games.

7. Sport for fun. Sport is naturally fun for most children. They love the challenge of mastering the skills of the game, playing with their friends, and competing with their peers. Sometimes when adults become involved in children’s sport, they over-organize and dominate the activity to the point of spoiling chil-dren’s enjoyment of the sport. If we take the fun out of sport, we are in danger of our children taking themselves out of sport. Remember, that these sports are for the kids; make sure the kids are having fun.
What Is the Y Way to Play?

The Y Way to Play is a commitment for all to learn, grow and have fun through sports. Our goal is to build a community in which everyone has opportunity for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility through Y Sports programs. Sports provide everything—whether it is enjoyment and values to coaching and learning to rise to another level. Sports teach life and the right way to play it. Play the Y Way.

The Y Way to Play Is: Fun. Sportsmanship. Opportunity. Progressive Competition. Community.


Providing a lifelong enjoyment of sports and the values they teach.


Teaching the core values of the YMCA through the golden rule of sports.


Programs for all to be involved in a healthy lifestyle through sports.


Kids learn to develop skills and character in a positive sports environment.


What is Your Role in the Y Way to Play?


• Be respectful to all involved in Y Sports.

• Always demonstrate good sportsmanship.

• Be a good listener and attend practices and games, on time.

• Learn, grow and have fun through sports.



• Always conduct yourself in a manner which is in accordance with the principles of caring, honesty, respect, responsibility. Your actions will set the culture for your players and parents to emulate and follow.

• Recognize players displaying good sportsmanship and behavior in front of the entire team. Make sure to look for and find examples of good sportsmanship.

• Recognize that each child is unique in terms of personal development goals and do your best to help them be successful in their own way.

• Address bad sportsmanship and unacceptable behavior on an individual basis with the child and his/her parent. Never criticize the child in front of others and when you do, do so in a positive, reinforcing manner.

• Work towards a positive, fun experience for every child and parent on your team.

• Facilitate a season focused on sportsmanship and building self confidence in every child.

• Teach your team members to win and lose graciously and that the score board is not as important as the way they carry themselves.

• Work to create familiarity and trust among all of the players and parents.

• Encourage first, then critique.

• Set an example of good sportsmanship, motivation, and positive energy.

• Expect your players to want to learn new skills and improve on what they already know.

• Encourage players to put in some practice outside of the team practice. This can be with a parent, a teammate, a sibling or just on his/her own.

Plan your practices! No one keeps players moving like a coach who has a plan. This allows you to move smoothly from one activity to another without stop time in between. You can also use your assistant coach to help set up a new activity while you are finishing one. 6


• Commend healthy habits! If you notice that a child has been bringing apples to practice each week, praise him/her in front of the team, just as you would if s/he had displayed an act of good sportsmanship.

• Remember water breaks! Hydration is a key piece of accessing the nutritional value of certain foods and without it children lose out on a lot of the potential energy that they consumed with their last meal. Water also helps blood flow and sweat flow so that the body can regulate itself during activity.

• Get moving! Move with the players. Not only will this elevate your heart rate, but it will provide an example of a healthy adult who has fun being active. As with most of your habits, the players will follow in your footsteps and be more active themselves.

• Set expectations! Give them goals or benchmarks to reach for (i.e. everyone on the team eats at least one fruit each day during the season). Enroll the parents in these expectations to make sure they are supporting the development of good habits at home. Also, talk to parents about bringing snacks that are healthy and nutritious, as well as delicious, so that the players can enjoy healthy food as a group.

• Be sure to mention it when you see improvement in your players¡¦ habits or fitness.

• By the end of the season, players should have discovered that a healthy lifestyle is FUN and EASY!

• The players should have an understanding of what it takes to stay in good health as well as some methods to do so.

Parents should have picked up a few tips about what they can do with their children to keep them active and eating well. Teach them as the season progresses so that they can maintain the progress through the off-season



• Talk to your child regularly about the importance of sportsmanship, integrity and fairness in sports. Remind them that winning is not the ultimate measure of success in sports.

• Always conduct yourself in a manner which is in accordance with the principles of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. Your actions will set the example for your child to emulate and follow. You are a key role model!

• Talk to your coach before and during the season about the personal development goals you have for your child. This will allow him/her to monitor and aid your child’s growth on an individual level.

• Address any behavioral or sportsmanship issues with your child immediately. Do so in a discreet manner that doesn’t berate or embarrass them in front of their teammates.

• Recognize and reward your child for good sportsmanship.

• As a parent, the best way to have an impact on your child and yourself is to be involved and focus on fun!

• Introduce yourself to the coach and the other parents, and whenever possible make yourself available to help the coach/team. Not much help may be needed, but when everyone takes the initiative to be supportive, it creates a universal sense of ownership over the program and helps create a sense of community. Also, all coaches will need an assistant coach and someone to coordinate other team activities (snacks, post-season parties, etc.).

• Respect what the coach and the YMCA are trying to accomplish, and to this end, if you ever have questions, please ask the coach or the Y Sports Director.

• Keep in mind that the coaches are also often parents and are volunteering their time in order to help provide a fun and healthy sporting experience for your children. If their experience seems to be lacking, please be patient as this is a program designed to develop coaches as well as players.

• If you believe your child is being led astray on skills and techniques, please discuss this with the coach, as you may be correct, or you may learn something new. It is important to speak directly to the coach so that the team’s trust in the coach is not undermined by having a player saying, “My mom/dad said that this isn’t the right way to do that” etc…

Encourage your child first and foremost. Never begin discussing a game with critical analysis or suggestions. That is the coach’s job, and what each child needs more from their parent support; someone to be proud. 8

• If you feel that there are things you can add, or that need to be addressed, ask them to let you know when they are ready to hear some of your thoughts on the game or their performance.

• Never hesitate to give your child positive feedback based on what you saw, especially if it is regarding something that you know they have been working on.

• Find out what your coach’s expectations for your child are and then support them. Do this the same way you support your child’s teachers when s/he is assigned homework.


• Spend some time each day with your child being active. This will help improve your child’s fitness, coordination, skills and interest in staying healthy. It will also help you get active each day!

• Always have healthy eating in mind when planning your child’s meals. It is especially important to encourage healthy eating during a sports season because their energy and attention levels will be directly impacted by how well their bodies have been nourished.

• Ask your child to help you with the menu for the week. Work with him/her to work with you to plan healthy, delicious meals.

• Be sure to mention it when you see your child improve in terms of habits or fitness.

• Keep an open dialogue about what your child has been eating at school so that you can influence his/her habits while s/he is away from you.


• Consider and understand what you’re committing to before making a decision to join. Look at the schedule, understand basic rules, and engage with all of your team’s players.

• Engage with your child about activities and sports. Ask questions about how they feel about the sport, the team, and the other players.

• Communicate with the coach, volunteer, help out, and be visible, rather than dropping your child at the field and returning when the game or practice is over. See how you can get involved in practices. This will also help you to learn the names of the other parents and players on the team.

• Talk to the other parents! This program is designed to give you an opportunity to expand your community as well! If you are enjoying yourself at games and practices, then so will your children.

Ask your child about how s/he is feeling about his/her team. This way you are in tune with who s/he is enjoying spending time around so that you can cultivate those relationships. You will also be giving your child an outlet in which s/he can tell you about relationships that aren’t going well so that you can discuss it with the 9

Y Sports Policies

Code of Conduct:

I pledge, as a participant, parent, spectator, staff or volunteer involved in Y Sports programs, to display good sportsmanship, be encouraging and supportive and provide an environment where children can succeed and have fun.

Payment Policy:

Team Sports:

• No registration will be placed on a team UNTIL payment in full is received.

• Priority on any team will be given to those participants who have paid in full, no spots will be held for those who have not paid.

Refund/Credit Policy:

1. A credit voucher or refund will be issued if the YMCA cancels a class.

2. A credit/refund may be issued due to illness or injury of participant.

3. Checks for refunds will be made by mail.

4. No credit or refund will be issued after the first game.

Weather Information/Cancellations

Games are played rain (light sprinkle) or shine. The only exemption is thunder storms. If this occurs YMCA Staff will contact all parents and coaches through our One call, email and Facebook

Player Age/Division Policy:

• The Y Sports Policy on players playing outside of their division is as follows:

• Players may play in the division consistent with their age, OR-

• Players may play in the division one step ahead of their age group, if that is what will provide the best experience for the player (i.e. a 1st grade player may play in the 2nd grade division).

• Players may NOT play in a lower division than their age group (i.e. a 2nd grade player may not participate in the 1st grade division).

• Players may NOT play in a division that is more than one step ahead of their age group (i.e. a Kindergarten player may not participate in the 4th grade division).

24 Hour Policy:

• The Y Sports department does NOT permit any individual to confront a YMCA Coach or referee or Y Sports official at any time. If a situation arises in which a referees actions create a problem, give the situation 24 hours to cool down.

• After the 24 hours have passed, if you still feel strongly that something should be done, please contact the Sports Director.

Procedure for Head Injuries during YMCA Sports Programs:

1. Remove the athlete from play

2. Accident report filled out by either staff or volunteer (given to Sports Director same day)

3. Ensure that the athlete is evaluated right away by an appropriate health care professional

4. Inform the athlete’s parents or guardians about the possible concussion and give them the fact sheet on concussion

5. Allow the athlete to return to play only with permission from a health care professional with experience in evaluating for concussion

All parents and coaches will be sent the CDC website with further information about concussions:

http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/sports/resources.html 11

What Your Child Should Learn Through the Y Way to Play


3-4 Years Old – Little Kickers

• Understanding how your feet direct the ball.

• Being able to learn to listen to and learn from a coach.

• Understanding the objective of scoring a goal.
• The concept of sportsmanship.

• Be introduced to the concept of a team.

• Have fun playing (smiling a lot and wanting to play) and be involved in at least half of the games.

• Chase the ball and kick it (any direction).


• Play the game without getting upset when someone else (opponent or team mate) kicks “their” ball.

• More consistently chasing the ball and going the correct direction

• Most can run slowly backwards and sideways with a heel click sideways run

• Can use the bottom of the foot to stop the ball

• Should play to the whistle (stop when and only when they hear the ref’s whistle)

5-7 Years Old

• Should share the ball and start to make passes in the general direction of a teammate.

• Pass (or gentle kick) with the inside of the foot.

• Beginning to manipulate the ball from side to side and change directions while dribbling.

• No hands being used on the field except for self-protection or in goal (some players will use their hands in goal, but most just try and get in the shooter’s way).

• Run backwards and sideways faster and some will start to turn from a frontward run to backward or sideways run.

• Going the right direction almost all of the time.

• Begin to run back and play defense.

Should play to the whistle (stop when and only when they hear the ref’s whistle) 12

Competitive Leagues:
4 –5 Years Old – Little Dribblers 8 –9 Years Old
• Introduction to rebounding skills
• • Dribble with either hand
• Lay-up
• How to run backwards •
• Defensive slides: shuffle/drop step
• Identify your “person” on defense
10 –11 Years Old
• The concept of a team
Free throw
• Use two hands to catch the ball •
Box out
• Bounce pass, chest pass w/two hands •
Rules of game
• Learn boundaries of court •
• The concept of Sportsmanship •
• Passes to get around defense/Post Entry
• Basic fundamentals of shooting
12 –13 Years Old
• Play until whistle blows
6 –7 Years Old •
Outlet Pass
Double dribble/traveling •
• Reading Defense
Introduce pivot foot •
• Full Court Press

• Defensive stance

• Offensive Spacing

• Triple Threat

What Your Child Should Learn Through the Y Way to Play


5-6 Years Old– T-Ball

How to throw a baseball with correct form How to tag for an out

How to hit off a tee

Where to run after hitting the ball The concept of sportsmanship

7-9 Years Old – Coach Pitch The concept of a team

The infield/outfield on defense

What a base runner is/how to run the bases Rolling/catching grounders

Hitting off a pitch

Flag Football:
5-6 Years Old

How to throw a Football with correct form
Basic Offensive and Defensive Position
How to pull a Flag
Running, Ball handling

7-9 Years Old

The concept of a team
Learning Plays Offensive
How to defend,
Running Pass Plays

General League Info/FAQ’s

Coach/Team/Player/Practice Requests

• We believe that children have the best experience when they are allowed to participate with their friends. Therefore, we try our best to honor each request. Requests are NOT guaranteed.

• If you forgot to designate a specific player please contact the Sports Department and we will add the request to your registration. Please remember, requests are NOT guaranteed.

• IF your request is not met, here are some possible reasons:

• The date you registered

• The amount of space available on a team

• The number of teams to place your child on

• If you feel that your request has been disregarded, please contact the Sports Department for an explanation.

When Will I Know Which Team My Child Is On?

• Leading up to the season, we will be recruiting volunteer coaches and setting up teams, to build rosters.

• There will be a parents meeting before season begins.

• At this time, all registered and paid players will be placed on a team and can be found online or an email will be sent with team information.

How Many Players Are On Each Team?

The number of players on each team is ideally proportional to the number of players on the field for any given division

Coaches and Volunteers

• Y Sports teams are run entirely by volunteers. Without volunteer coaches, assistant coaches and team parents, our programs will not run. Volunteer coaches are parents, older siblings and community members who want to make a positive impact in the community. Please respect and appreciate their time and commitment to the kids-they are to be valued.

If there is ever a problem with a coach or volunteer, please contact the Sports Director.

• Fingerprinting: All volunteer coaches must complete finger printed as part of their application process. Applications can be found online at the Y Sports Website, Coach Corner.

What If Our Team Doesn’t Have A Coach?

Your Y team will have a coach. We recruit coaches extensively leading into a season. There may be times, however, when there has not been a coach assigned to the team that your child has been placed on. In this case:

• The Y staff will run practice for the first two weeks.

• Parents on the team may be asked to coach, if necessary.

• If you are interested in coaching Y Sports, please contact the Sports Director. Practice

• Teams will have two practices prior to their first game.

• Practices are once a week, for an hour

• Coaches will choose practice day and time, based on availability from the Y and the coach.

• Contact the Sports Director or your coach for more information.

• Parents need to check their child in with the coach at each practice. Please do not just drop your child off.

The Y does not cancel practices except for extreme circumstances. Sometimes, events beyond our control prevent teams from practicing. Please be assured that the Y will do everything we can to schedule a make-up practice for the team.

Practices are ONLY cancelled if:

• Level 2 or 3 Snow emergency

• Thunder/ Lighting


• Games will be held at the Y). Please try to arrive to games 15 minutes early, so that we can keep our game schedule running on time. Parents must check their child in with the coach at each game. Please do not just drop your child off.

• The game schedule for each season will be released 1week prior to the first game. We will email the schedule out to all participants, as well as post on the Y Sports website.

• For information on cancellation/postponement of games, please refer to the Weather/ Cancellation Policy.


• Y Sports referees are trained extensively on the rules of the game, positioning and mechanics, controlling the game and the Y Way to Play. Referees understand that their job is to not only officiate the game, but to give the children a great experience.

• What sets our referees apart from other leagues is our ability to teach. Y Sports referees are trained to interact with the children, teach the game and reinforce what the children are learning, and to have fun with the kids!

• Please be respectful of the referees and their judgment. No referee is perfect; so, yelling at and berating the officials will NOT be tolerated. Please understand that Y Sports referees are here for the kids; and we all share a collective responsibility to provide an environment in which the children are able to learn, grow and have fun.

• Any problems with a referee should be addressed with the Sports Director. Please do not confront a referee (refer to the 24 Hour Policy).

Financial Assistance

The Y is proud to offer Financial Assistance to those who qualify; so, that all have the opportunity to play Y Sports. To apply for Financial Assistance, please visit the customer service representative will be glad to help you.

This process may take up to 2 weeks, so please plan accordingly.


Coach Corner

On the left side of the page a coaches corner, devoted to providing you with useful information and links regarding Y Sports.

• Concussion Information/Training

• Rules, Regulations, Standards, Policies

• Coaching Manuals/Training

YMCA Youth Sports E-Learning

• http://training.ymca.net/

• Available Courses:

• YMCA Youth Sports Programs

• A Parent’s Role in Youth Sports

• Volunteers Make the Team

• Safety and Emergency Action

• Coaching YMCA Youth Sports

• Officiating YMCA Youth Sports

• Coaching YMCA Basketball

• Coaching YMCA Soccer

• Coaching YMCA Baseball/Softball

The Y Way to Play is a commitment for all to learn, grow and have fun through sports.