To Improve Youth Sports, We MUST First Change the Narrative
Coming this March, there is a new collaborative game in town aiming to score real solutions to the issues plaguing youth soccer and youth sports in North America and beyond.
Under the banner of GO! Chase Excellence, four seasoned youth sports professionals in the United States and the United Kingdom have teamed up to host a new kind of online event. The 2019 GO! Chase Excellence Think Tank to Improve Youth Sports will bring together some of the world’s leading experts in the many fields that are vital to the success of youth sports.
The focus is not to dwell on what is not working. Rather, from the foundations of science, research, and professional practice, expert presenters will offer practical ideas for solutions that can be easily implemented by youth sports clubs and organizations to improve the experience for our young athletes.
- Early registration opens: Feb 20
- Regular registration opens: Mar 1
- Think Tank dates: Mar 20-29 (Sessions available online through Apr 30)
“This promises to be a unique event. Whatever your interest in the world of sport, whether you are a board member, administrator, coach, volunteer or parent there will be something for everyone. No more discussing the issues, but simple and practical strategies for all parties to implement immediately in order to improve the whole youth sporting landscape and experience.”– Gordon MacLelland, Working with Parents in Sport
The 2019 Think Tank is the brainchild of Reed Maltbie, Founder of Raising Excellence, and Ruth Nicholson, founder of GO!
They have been talking for over a year about how to bring together their “Boardrooms to Benches” approach that focuses on integrated solutions.
For the past decade, the narrative has been what is wrong with youth sports – the issues, the mistakes, the impact on our child athletes. Reed and Ruth believe that if we want real change and improvement, we must first change the narrative.
“2019 must be about solutions. The narrative has traditionally been one of discussing what’s wrong with youth sports. We know what’s wrong, but what are we actually doing to change that? As Scott Berkun says, ‘All progress hinges on the gap between those who will talk in private and those who will act in public’. That narrative has to change from talking about what’s wrong to showing people what they can do to change it. That will happen if we lean on the experts to provide scientifically-based, professionally-proven, and easily-implementable tactics for actually creating change in youth sports at all levels of the game.
In the past, scientists, program managers, and elected officials did not just talk about important issues. They found solutions in the form of medical breakthroughs, new technologies, and vital legislation. This Think Tank is no different than the Think Tanks employed by the world’s experts in other fields. It is about taking action. See it. Solve it.” – Coach Reed Maltbie, Raising Excellence
The 2019 Think Tank is organized into six tracks.
- Compete – Coach the Sport
- Compute – Coach the Brain
- Collaborate – Coach the Parent
- Coordinate – Coach the Club
- Cultivate – Coach the Coach
- Correlate – Coach the Person
Each track will offer 10 sessions from experts representing at least a dozen sports on four continents. The ability to secure the participation of such a wide range of professionals lies in the vision and networks of the four co-hosts:
- Sam Snow, retired national technical director of US Youth Soccer and founder of American Made Soccer Consultants,
- Gordon MacLelland, CEO, Working with Parents in Sport, which supports parents and coaches working together to provide children with the best possible sporting experience,
- Reed Maltbie, Founder of Raising Excellence, Co-Creator of Positive Discipline Tools for Coaches, and Curriculum and Coach Development Advisor for Soccer Shots Franchising, and
- Ruth Nicholson, Founder, GO! and a national finalist for 2018 HUDL Innovator of the Year in youth soccer.
The list of experts for this event is shaping up to be an all-star lineup. The Fab Four Co-Hosts have already secured experts spanning the globe, including
- Richard Bailey from the International Society of Sport Science and Physical Education in Germany,
- Dan Abrahams, PGA and English Premier League consultant in the UK,
- Ian Barker from United Soccer Coaches in the US,
- Cindy Burwell from Inside Game Coaching in Switzerland, and
- Craig Gunn, a coach developer from Australia.
Other participating sports and organizations include AYSO, USA Volleyball, USA Swimming, US Lacrosse, USA Hockey, Equilibria in Sports, the Positive Discipline Association, and The Magic Academy (Rugby).
“The development of Think Tank 2019 has been delightfully rewarding already. Not only are my co-hosts tops in their fields, we have been able to reach across sports around the world to connect with people who are hungry to improve youth sports in their countries and communities.”– Ruth Nicholson, GO!
The Think Tank format is designed to offer participants the opportunity to learn from multiple sports and professions from around the world representing varying levels of play. Each presentation will offer specific suggestions for actions that can be implemented at the local level. Participants will receive a workbook and reflection journal, as well as opportunities for online forum discussions and follow up question/answer sessions for each of the six tracks.
There will also be an optional Mastermind for sharing best practices after the Think Tank concludes.
“OK, people – game on! Think Tank 2019 will bring you solutions that you can act upon NOW! Many of the best minds in sports from around the world will join our team captains to identify the issues and give practical solutions. The result will be a better youth sports experience for us all. Join us this March for Think Tank 2019.”– Sam Snow, American Made Soccer Consultants.
Related links: GO – Governance & Operations