National Alliance for Youth Sports
|Founded||1981 as NYSCA later renamed National Alliance for Youth Sports in 1993|
President and CEO
Chief Operating Officer
Chief Financial Officer
The National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.A. NAYS provides a variety of programs and services for everyone involved in youth sports, including professional and volunteer administrators, volunteer coaches, officials, parents and young athletes.
- 1 Mission
- 2 History
- 3 Membership/Education
- 4 Youth Development
- 5 International Department
- 6 Events
- 7 Awards
- 8 Publications
- 9 Partnerships
- 10 Media
- 11 References
- 12 External links
NAYS seeks to make the sports experience safe, fun and healthy for ALL children. In addition, NAYS promotes the value and importance of sports and physical activities for the emotional, physical, social and mental development of youth. NAYS believes that participation in sports and activities develops important character traits and lifelong values. In addition, NAYS believes that the lives of youngsters can be positively impacted by their participation in sports and physical activities if the adults involved have proper training and information.
NAYS is committed to making sports safe and positive by providing programs and services that add value to these activities. NAYS believes this happens by:
- Providing children with positive instruction and building basic motor skills
- Training administrators (both professional and volunteer), volunteer coaches and officials on their roles and responsibilities
- Having parents complete an orientation program to understand the important impact sports has on their child's development
- Using the National Standards For Youth Sports  as a guide for operating youth sports programs
- Helping organizations understand the importance of conducting their youth sports programs in accordance with the Recommendations for Communities 
Fred Engh, the President and CEO of NAYS, founded the organization in 1981. He has been involved in youth sports for more than 35 years as a coach, athletic director, sports educator and parent of seven children. In 1999, he wrote Why Johnny Hates Sports, a book that examines the state of youth sports in America and provides solutions to many of the problems plaguing organized programs.
Originally named the National Youth Sports Coaches Association (NYSCA), the organization initially focused on educating volunteer coaches on their wide range of responsibilities and the importance of meeting the needs of every child. NYSCA is a volunteer coaches training program that has been utilized by more than 3 million volunteer coaches worldwide. With the realization that volunteer coaches are only one aspect of the youth sports equation, NYSCA evolved into the National Alliance for Youth Sports in 1993.
Today, NAYS is the nation's leading youth sports educator and advocate with national programs that educate administrators, coaches, officials and parents about their roles and responsibilities in youth sports, in addition to offering youth development programs for children.
NAYS programs are provided at the local level through dynamic partnerships with more than 3,000 community-based organizations, which include parks and recreation departments, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Police Athletic League, YMCA/YWCAs, Catholic Youth Organizations and other independent youth service groups throughout the country. NAYS also has a strong presence on military installations worldwide.
|1981||– NYSCA founded.
– Board of Directors formed.
|1982||– Stokely-Van Camp, Inc., maker of Gatorade Thirst Quenchers, sponsors NYSCA.|
|1985||– DeKalb County, Georgia becomes the first to mandate that its volunteer coaches complete the NYSCA certification program.|
|1987||– 46 experts representing different organizations gather to develop the first ever National Standards for Youth Sports.|
|1990||– Hook A Kid On Golf established with its first Introductory Clinic. United States Golf Association announces $90,000 matching grant program and Professional golfer Bob Murphy (golfer) becomes the national spokesperson.|
|1993||– NYSCA evolves into the National Alliance for Youth Sports.|
|1994||– Start Smart Sports Development Program launched and first program held in Naples, Florida.|
|1996||– National Youth Sports Officials Association certifies 1,040 officials during its first year.
– The Alliance website launches.
– Bob King, director of the Bradley County Parks & Recreation department in Cleveland, Tennessee certifies NYSCA's one-millionth coach. King receives a special letter of recognition from President Bill Clinton.
|1997||– 228 recreation professionals from 44 states and 12 countries attend the first Academy for Youth Sports Administrators in Mobile, Alabama.|
|1998||– Start Smart unveils sport-specific soccer and baseball programs to prepare children for a smooth transition into those sports.
– The doors to Hook A Kid On Golf's first-ever state office open in Illinois, thanks to the passionate efforts of Jerry Rich.
|1999||– More than 100 youngsters from 16 cities nationwide arrive in Peoria, Illinois for the first Hook A Kid On Golf Traditions of Golf Challenge.
– Why Johnny Hates Sports, written by Alliance President Fred Engh, hits bookshelves nationwide.
|2000||– The Jupiter-Tequesta Athletic Association becomes the first organization in the country to make the recently launched Parents Association for Youth Sports program mandatory. More than 2,000 parents file into Roger Dean Stadium for the first mandatory PAYS session, which is covered by the NBC Nightly News, ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, ESPN, Sports Illustrated and CNN, among others.
– The National Youth Sports Administrators Association program is launched for league presidents, board members and other volunteer administrators.
– Athletic Business Magazine and NAYS introduce the Excellence in Youth Sports Award.
|2002||– Recommendations for Communities, which were established from the National Summit on Raising Community Standards in Children's Sports, are released.
– More than 300 delegates convene in San Antonio, Texas, for the first-ever Youth Sports Congress. Award-winning writer Lester Munson of Sports Illustrated delivers the keynote address.
|2003||– Parents have the opportunity to go through the Parents Association for Youth Sports program from the comfort of home thanks to unveiling of the on-line program.
– The International Alliance for Youth Sports formed.
– First International Summit held in Atlanta, Georgia.
|2004||– After thousands of NYSCA clinics that have been held in big cities, small towns and on various continents, the 2 millionth coach is trained.
– The Global Gear Drive initiative is created to distributing sporting goods equipment to children in developing countries.
|2005||– High-ranking sports officials from more than a dozen countries throughout the Caribbean, as well as Mexico and Zambia, gather in Roseau, Dominica, for the first-ever Caribbean Conference on Children's Sports.
– SportingKid magazine becomes the official member publication of NAYS. The full-color magazine delivered to volunteer coaches, parents, administrators and officials six times a year is packed with information to enhance the youth sports experience for everyone involved.
– Game On! Youth Sports, a first-of-its-kind approach that creates opportunities for children to participate in healthy physical activities that otherwise wouldn't have the opportunity to do so, is launched in Dominica.
– Coaching Soccer for Dummies (the first in a series) is released in partnership with Wiley Publishing.
– The Sammy Wilkinson Memorial Foundation is established to support NAYS' international efforts.
|2006||– NYSCA Clinics are made available online for the first time.
– Alliance celebrates its 25th Anniversary as the leading advocate for positive and safe sports for children.
– Alliance releases background check guidelines to assist leagues based on findings from a special session on background screening held during the Youth Sports Congress in Denver.
|2007||– The Youth Sports Congress is held in conjunction with the Athletic Business Conference in Orlando, FL.|
|2008||– The National Standards for Youth Sports are reviewed and updated by over 200 youth sports professionals in San Antonio, Texas.
– The first ever NAYS Youth Sports Study was conducted with the results featured in SportingKid magazine.
|2009||– NYSCA members are given access to a personalized online page.
– NYSCA unveils its Coach Ratings Tool.
– The NAYS Chapter Management system is created allowing chapters instant access to training, background check and evaluation information on their members.
|2010||– The Accountability Policies and Procedures for NYSCA members is released to track coach incidents through NAYS chapters.
– The NYSCA Coach Training program is re-released that includes Pete Carroll, Mike Krzyzewski, Vivian Stringer, John Harbaugh and many others.
|2011||– The Ready, Set, RUN! program was created.
– IAYS and the Peace Corps formed a new partnership.
|2012||– A new NYSCA Online area was unveiled to volunteer coaches.
– Alliance releases updated background check guidelines to assist leagues based on findings from screening session held during the Youth Sports Congress in Orlando.
– A new NYSAA Online area was unveiled to volunteer administrators.
|2013||– The NYSCA Select program was created for elite and traveling coaches.
– Alliance unveils a new Concussion and Bullying Prevention Training programs for volunteer coaches and parents. Both programs are offered at no cost.
– A new PAYS Online area was unveiled for parents.
|2014||- Free Concussion and Bullying Prevention Training programs were created for non-members.
- A new NYSOA Online area was unveiled to volunteer officials and referees. In addition a new CYSA Online area was unveiled to professional administrators.
- The Sports Parent Pledge was created to promote positivity and have parents advocate for good sportsmanship in youth sports.
- Alliance unveils a new Prevention Against Abuse Training program for coaches and parents.
- NAYS launches a new video web series called Game Changers featuring current and former professional coaches and players.
NAYS’ membership/education programs are designed to properly train and prepare adults for their roles and responsibilities in youth sports.
National Youth Sports Coaches Association
The National Youth Sports Coaches Association (NYSCA) is a membership organization and has educated more than 3 million coaches since its inception in 1981. More than 3,000 community-based organizations offer this program. To become a member, coaches must (1) participate in an NYSCA interactive video training clinic, (2) successfully complete an exam and (3) sign a pledge committing to uphold the NYSCA Code of Ethics. Members not adhering to NYSCA Code of Ethics may have their membership revoked.
The web-designed course delivers an e-learning experience in eight topic areas including philosophy & ethics, sports safety and injury prevention, physical preparation and conditioning, growth & development, teaching & communication, organization & administration, skills & tactics, and evaluations for existing NYSCA members.
Parents Association for Youth Sports
The Parents Association for Youth Sports (PAYS) is a membership organization for parents promoting positive youth sports. The program began in 1999 and since that time, over 100,000 families have become members. PAYS sets a standard for parent education by holding them accountable for themselves through the PAYS Parents’ Code of Ethics and by helping them become positively involved in the youth sports experience.
To become a member, parents must (1) participate in a PAYS interactive video training clinic and (2) sign a pledge committing to uphold the PAYS Code of Ethics.
National Youth Sports Administrators Association
The National Youth Sports Administrators Association (NYSAA) is a membership organization for volunteers responsible for the planning and implementation of out-of-school sports programs. To become a member, administrators must (1) participate in an NYSAA interactive video training clinic (2) successfully complete the exam and (3) sign a pledge committing to uphold the NYSAA Code of Ethics.
Academy for Youth Sports Administrators
The Academy for Youth Sports Administrators (AYSA) is a 20-hour certification program that is designed to raise the professionalism of those delivering youth sports services. The Academy, either on-site or online, is the only way to earn Certified Youth Sports Administrator’s credentials (CYSA). During the Academy, faculty members cover such topics as youth sports philosophy, mission statements, policies and procedures, volunteer management, child abuse, parents, conflict management, insurance and risk management, and inclusion of children with disabilities. Currently, more than 2,900 CYSA’s have graduated from the Academy.
National Youth Sports Officials Association
The National Youth Sports Officials Association (NYSOA) is a membership organization for volunteer game officials to better understand their roles and responsibilities when officiating youth sports. To become a member, officials must (1) participate in an NYSOA interactive video training clinic (2) successfully complete the exam and (3) sign a pledge committing to uphold the NYSOA Code of Ethics.
NAYS’ youth development division consists of three youth sports programs – Start Smart Sports Development Programs, Hook A Kid On Golf and Ready, Set, RUN!
Start Smart Sports Development Programs
The Start Smart Sports Development Program brings parents and children (ages 3–5) together to learn pre-sports skills such as catching, kicking, throwing and batting. The Start Smart curriculum includes six lessons that teach parents how to work with their children to develop motor skills.
Start Smart is conducted in nearly 400 communities each year and has been mandated on every US Army installation around the world. Approximately 22,000 children participate in the Start Smart program annually.
Sports Specific Skill Development Programs
Start Smart offers sport-specific programs in baseball, soccer, basketball, golf, football and tennis, as well as a general sports development program. These programs teach parents and their children (ages 3–5) basic motor skill development and sport-specific skills while preparing the child for organized sports participation. Start Smart sport-specific programs teach children the most basic concepts of each sport.
Hook A Kid On Golf
Hook A Kid On Golf is the largest junior golf program in the country and has benefited nearly 75,000 participants and has been in more than 500 communities in the United States. Established in 1990, the program focuses on providing communities with a junior golf program with three levels: the Tee Level Introductory Clinic, Green Level Training Program and Challenge Golf League. Hook A Kid On Golf also hosts a junior golf event, the Traditions of Golf Challenge, which combines a team’s playing score with rules, etiquette and history knowledge.
Tee Level Clinic
The Tee Level Clinic is designed as a 15 hour introductory program, typically spread out over 5 days, for children ages 8–13 who have no previous introduction to the game. Tee Level Clinic participants receive an introduction to the game as well as the necessary items to begin playing golf, including a starter set of clubs, upon completion of the program.
Green Level Training Program
The Green Level Training Program is for ages 8–15 and acts as a bridge between youngsters who have a basic introduction to the game and those who are ready for on-course play by providing practical training in the rules, etiquette and fundamentals of the game.
Challenge Golf Leagues
Challenge Golf Leagues, also for ages 8–15, provide an opportunity for team-oriented, recreation league play in which fun, learning and sportsmanship are stressed. Local leagues are modeled after other successful youth sports programs, which mean that parents and volunteers are trained as coaches and administrators.
Ready, Set, RUN!
Ready, Set, Run is a character building running program that trains kids ages 8–13 to participate in a 5k run. This curriculum-based program equips kids with the physical training and goal-setting mentality needed to accomplish their running goals. Issues like enhancing confidence and self-esteem, respecting authority, dealing with peer pressure and fueling their bodies through proper nutrition are covered during the 12-week session.
International Alliance for Youth Sports
The International Alliance for Youth Sports (IAYS), the international division of NAYS, created the Game On! program to provide children throughout the world with the opportunity to gain the benefits of sports while addressing the issues that hinder youth sport participation—particularly in developing countries where there is a lack of training, programming, nonexistent facilities and poor equipment. Game On! has impacted the lives of more than 350,000 youth in developing countries around the world and is designed to provide countries with sports programming for children at the school, after-school, and community levels. Game On! Youth Sports programs are designed to give children the ability to develop sports skills while learning how to make healthy lifestyle decisions and avoid the negative behaviors that lead to the dangers of crime, violence, drug abuse, obesity and diseases such as HIV/AIDS.
Global Gear Drive
The Global Gear Drive is one of the charitable programs under the National Alliance For Youth Sports which places new and gently used sports equipment in the hands of children throughout the United States and around the world who wish to take part in sports activities but are unable to do so due to shortages of equipment and gear. The Global Gear Drive identifies areas where children are most in need and then coordinates by collecting sports equipment that specifically fits those needs and ships it to their respective group or community. Since its inception it has sent more than 400,000 pounds of equipment to children across the U.S., as well as Africa, India, Mexico and the Caribbean. As of 2014, the Global Gear Drive program has been discontinued.
The Sammy Wilkinson Memorial Foundation
The Sammy Wilkinson Memorial Foundation was created by NAYS’ CEO in honor and memory of his grandson, Sammy, who died in an accident in 2003. The Sammy Fund is today the charitable fundraising arm for the Global Gear Drive helping to raise funds to help ship youth sports equipment to children throughout the U.S. and worldwide.
Youth Sports Congress
The Youth Sports Congress is a three-day educational training discussing new topics in the field of youth sports and is a preferred venue for all professionals involved in youth sports. The Congress allows administrators to discuss issues that are pertinent to youth sports and interact with other administrators to obtain practical information regarding their youth sports community as well as giving them the opportunity to earn CEU credential.
NAYS joins forces with Athletic Business magazine annually in November to host the Youth Sports Congress in conjunction with the Athletic Business Conference & Expo.
Traditions of Golf
The Traditions of Golf Challenge is an annual event that combines playing scores with rules, etiquette and history knowledge. Communities that conduct any level of the Hook A Kid On Golf program are eligible to participate in the Traditions of Golf Challenge. Each team's score from their round is combined with their "Traditions of Golf" score to determine the overall champion of the two-day tournament.
Past Winners Include:
1999 – West Palm Beach, Florida
2000 – Derby, Kansas
2001 – New Braunfels, Texas
2002 – Cuernavaca, Mexico
2003 – Cuernavaca, Mexico
2004 – Prospect Heights, Illinois
2005 – Prospect Heights, Illinois
2006 – Cuernavaca, Mexico
2007 – Prospect Heights, Illinois
2008 – West Palm Beach, Florida
2009 – Bloomington, Indiana
2010 – Prospect Heights, Illinois
2012 – Prospect Heights, Illinois
Excellence in Youth Sports Award
The Excellence in Youth Sports Award, is presented in partnership with Athletic Business magazine. The award recognizes organizations and agencies that conduct multifaceted sports programs. Five winners from these organizations are recognized each year. The organizations that apply include YMCA/YWCA, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Jewish Community Center, Catholic Youth Organization, Parks and Recreation, Independent Leagues/Organizations and Military Installations.
Past Winners Include:
2003 – Southeast YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids, Pleasant Dale Park District, Peoria Community Services, Child & Youth Services Fort Campbell, Kadena Youth Sports &Fitness
2004 – Boys & Girls Club of Green Bay, St. Andrews Parish Parks & Playground, Town of Hamburg Recreation Department, Tyndall Air Force Base, Schweinfut Army Base
2005 – City of Greensboro Parks & Recreation, City of Westerville Parks and Recreation Department, Gainesville Parks and Recreation, Mountain Home Air Force Base Youth Programs, Peterson Air Force Base Youth Center
2007 – Botetourt County Parks and Recreation Department, Fort Knox Child and Youth Services Sports and Fitness, Commander Fleet Activities Youth Sports, Misawa Youth Sports Program, St. Andrews Parish Parks and Playground Commission
2008 – City of Clearwater Parks and Recreation Department, City of Evans Parks and Recreation Department, Hickam Air Force Base Youth Sports Program, Tinker Air Force Base Youth Center, USAG Fort Belvoir Youth Sports
2009 – Andrews Air Force Base Youth Sports, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Sasebo Youth Sports, Town of Huntersville Parks & Recreation Department, USAG West Point Youth Sports & Fitness
2010 – Glynn County Parks & Recreation, MCAS-MCCS Miramar Youth Sports Programs, Oconee County Parks & Recreation, Spangdahlem Air Base Youth Sports, USAG Hawaii Youth Sports and Fitness
2011 – MCCS Cherry Point Youth Sports, Village of Evendale Recreation, Kaiserslautern Military Community Youth Sports and Fitness Program, Town of Westport Parks and Recreation, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Youth Sports Program
2012 – Camp Lejeune Youth Sports, Churchville Recreation Council, Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation, Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department's Youth Athletic Services, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Youth Sports & Fitness Program
2013 – Botetourt County Parks, Recreation and Tourism, Fort Rucker Youth Sports and Fitness, Glynn County Recreation & Parks Department, Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation, Tinker Air Force Base Youth Programs
NYSCA Coach of the Year Award
The Coach of the Year award is given annually to a coach who has positively affected youth sports in his/her community and upholds the National Youth Sports Coaches Association Code of Ethics.
PAYS Parent of the Year Award
The Parent of the Year award is given annually to an outstanding parent that upholds the Parents Association of Youth Sports Code of Ethics. This parent encourages good sportsmanship, demands a safe and healthy environment for their child and others, demands their child’s coach be trained, supports coaches, players, officials and administrators and respects and demonstrates good treatment of players, coaches, fans and officials.
SportingKid magazine is the official member publication of the National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS). The magazine is published four times a year and provided in both print and electronic versions. Each issue is packed with news, tips and expert information for volunteer coaches, parents, administrators and officials.
Why Johnny Hates Sports
Written by Fred Engh, founder and president of the National Alliance For Youth Sports and an advocates of children’s sports, this book examines organized sports from all angles. Engh wanted to discuss the ever-increasing number of children that are dropping out of organized sports because the system they play in is failing them. Engh explains how and why many of the original goals of youth leagues have been affected by today’s win-at-all-cost attitudes and he documents the negative physical and psychological impact that parents, coaches and administrators can have on children. He also provides a wide variety of solutions to each and every one of the problems covered. Throughout the book Engh relates stories drawn from hundreds of real life experiences.
Coaching Baseball for Dummies
The book, written by the National Alliance for Youth Sports and Greg Bach, gives you advice on teaching essential skills to different age groups, running great practices and leading your team effectively during games. Along with providing all sorts of information on everything from how to teach bunting to the best ways to determine how to position players, there are tips for helping players relax and stay focused before the game, clever ways to ensure the season is a memorable one for all the right reasons, and special ways to end the season on a high note.
Coaching Basketball for Dummies
The book, written by the National Alliance for Youth Sports and Greg Bach, gives you innovative drills to teach your players a variety of offensive and defensive skills, as well as tips on all other aspects of coaching a youth basketball team. Readers will also find chapters on the best things to say to the team before a game, ways to stay realistic when coaching children, and how to properly evaluate the team, among many other areas.
Coaching Football for Dummies
The book, written by the National Alliance for Youth Sports and Greg Bach, helps your work with children of all different ages and abilities, and successfully handle all of your game day responsibilities. The book has you covered in all these areas. Plus, you’ll find lots of football information for safely teaching players offensive, defensive and special teams skills, as well as determining which positions kids are best suited for playing.
Coaching Hockey for Dummies
This book is written by Don MacAdam and Gail Reynolds. You’ll find information on teaching the basics of offense, defense, special teams and goaltending, plus there are specific chapters devoted to working with beginning, intermediate and advanced players. There is also insight on refining your coaching strategies to meet the needs of your players and keeping them healthy and injury free.
Coaching Lacrosse for Dummies
The book, written by the National Alliance for Youth Sports and Greg Bach, helps you grasp the basics of lacrosse. You get advice on teaching skills to different age groups, determining positions for each player, promoting teamwork, keeping kids healthy and injury free, helping struggling players, and leading your team effectively during a game. You'll also find all sorts of drills to help beginners get a handle on the fundamentals of the game, as well as more complex drills to help advanced players take their skills to the next level.
Coaching Soccer for Dummies
The book, written by the National Alliance for Youth Sports and Greg Bach provides the proper technique for the game of soccer, regardless if it’s a beginning level team looking to learn the basics, or a more advanced squad wanting to enhance their skills. The book also features a variety of drills to teach both fundamental and advanced skills, as well as tips for dealing with common coaching challenges that often pop up during the season.
Coaching Volleyball for Dummies
The book, written by the National Alliance for Youth Sports and Greg Bach helps you grasp the basics of volleyball. You get advice on teaching key skills to different age groups, running safe and effective practices, helping struggling players, encouraging good sportsmanship and leading your team with confidence during a match. You’ll also find lots of information for teaching more advanced offensive and defensive skills to help raise your players’ level of play.
BlazeSports America, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, National Recreation and Park Association, Parent-Teacher Association, National Sports Center for the Disabled, Police Athletic League, United States Golf Association, Women’s Sports Foundation, American Youth Football
The National Alliance for Youth Sports has been featured in the following media.
ESPN, USA Today, Golf Channel, Sports Illustrated, US News & World Report, CNN, ABC News, NBC News, Dateline NBC, Reader’s Digest, Family Circle, Time Magazine, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Parents Magazine, The Washington Post
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- "Recommendations for Communities" (PDF). NAYS. Retrieved 2014-05-16.
- "The National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS)". Retrieved 2008-08-15.
- "Shaw JCC demands accountability from youth sports coaches". Retrieved 2008-08-07.
- "CHALLENGE: It's more than just the score". Retrieved 2008-08-05.
- "All Work and All Play". Retrieved 2008-12-01.
- "Do parents need rule book for kids's sports". Retrieved 2014-05-16.
- "Youth Coach Accused of Breaking Boy's Arm". Retrieved 2014-05-16.
- ""Parent Rage" at Youth Hockey Game Ends in Death". Retrieved 2014-05-16.
- "How to put the fun back in youth sports". Retrieved 2014-05-16.