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Youth Sports

We believe that sports help kids to grow personally, clarify values, improve relationships, appreciate diversity, develop leadership skills and have fun. The Y Core Values of Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility are at the heart of every Y Sports program. Sports at the Y allow children of all ages and ability a non-competitive atmosphere where everyone plays and everyone wins. Every child gets equal playing time, and we encourage fair play, positive competition and family involvement.

Y youth sports programs encourage youth development and promote healthy living by placing a priority on family involvement, healthy competition rather than rivalry, the value of participation over winning, team building as well as individual development, a positive self-image and a sense of fair play and mutual respect for others. YMCA coaches and athletes keep winning in perspective. Striving to win is natural, but it is not the primary objective of YMCA youth sports.

The Goal of YMCA Youth Sports

The goals for the YMCA sports programs are to develop self-confidence and self-respect in children, and an appreciation of their own worth as individuals. We encourage you to set a positive environment for your child and the rest of the children in Youth Sports. Our character shows in our behavior, how we practice values, forgiveness, hard work, sportsmanship, perseverance, compassion, respect, responsibility, generosity and honesty. The YMCA practices these values and develops them in others. It builds a moral and ethical foundation for life, with love as the cornerstone. There are no try-outs or cuts at the the YMCA. Everyone is a valuable member of the team, and players share playing time equally.

Parents are an important part of Youth Sports

Parents are encouraged to be more than mere spectators by contributing their time as volunteer coaches and team parents as well as being their kid’s greatest fan. It is our social responsibility to help children enjoy and learn all of the benefits of a quality youth sports program. For more information about how to get involved please contact your local Y location.

Y Youth Sports are Designed Around 7 Key Concepts:

  • Everyone plays
    We do not use tryouts to select the best players, nor do we cut kids from Y Sports programs. Everyone who registers is assigned to a team. During the season everyone receives equal practice time and plays at least half of every game.
  • 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 at every age level.
  • Fair play
    Fair play is about more than playing by the rules. It’s about showing respect everyone involved in Y Sports. Volunteer coaches act as role models of good sportsmanship who guide players to build both skills and character.
  • Positive competition
    We believe competition is a positive process when the pursuit of victory is kept in the right perspective– with decisions made to put best interests of children above winning the contest. Learning to compete is important for children, and learning to cooperate in a competitive world is an essential lesson of life.
  • Family involvement
    Y Youth Sports programs encourage parents to be involved along with their child’s participation as volunteer coaches, officials and timekeepers, and parents are encouraged to be at practices and games to support their child’s participation. Parents can learn about all the ways they can get involved at Youth Sports orientation sessions offered before each season begins.
  • Sport for all
    Y Youth Sports is an inclusive sport program. We offer sport programs for children who differ in physical abilities by matching them with children of similar abilities and modifying their sport.
  • Sport for fun
    We believe sports are naturally fun, and Y Sports are a place for kids to build confidence, develop a life-long love of physical activity, make friends and have fun!

The True Meaning of Fair Play

YMCA sports are based on the concept that fair play is the very essence of competition. Everybody should have an equal opportunity to compete and a fair chance to win. This fundamental virtue is a special inherent attribute of sport. Fair play implies respect for oneself, one’s opponent and others involved in conducting the competition. Players, coaches, officials and spectators share a responsibility for fair play. Fair play sets the game above the prize.

Y Sports programs provide an excellent means of developing a predisposition to play fairly. As this virtue develops, it can influence behavior in everyday life.

Breaking Kids into Age Groups

Age-appropriate sports are safer and give kids the chance to learn at a good pace, building skills while getting accustomed to new challenges. Because sports are important opportunities for social interaction and growth, we keep kids in age groups so that they have the social skills necessary to enjoy the camaraderie and interplay with other kids.

Inter-Y and Community Sports Leagues

Inter-Y Leagues

Inter-Y Leagues give players and coaches the opportunity to connect and play with teams from Ys across Metro Detroit. Not only does this provide a more well-rounded competitive experience, but it allows kids to make inter-personal connections with others from different communities backgrounds.

Community Leagues

Every great person starts somewhere. Community Sports Leagues aspire to be that place. Our focus is helping young children learn about themselves, their surroundings, their skills and the opportunities that sport and friendship bring. Each class will have time dedicated to life, sport, and motor skill development as well as friendship and character building.

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We've partnered with The ACTIVE® Network to provide easy program registration for Y Members and Community participants.

Register for Youth Sports programs