Benefits of Recreational Youth Sports at the Y

The YMCA believes that playing and learning while having fun are the most important parts of participating in youth sports

At the Y, children of all ages can participate in our youth sports programs that introduce them to the basics! Our youth sports programs include: Soccer, Basketball, Volleyball, Short Sports, Running, Gymnastics, and even Martial Arts. The Y’s four core values—Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, and Caring—are incorporated into every program so that kids focus on the value of sportsmanship and healthy competition right from the start! For a description of current and upcoming youth sports, including season dates and fees, please view the current program guide.

At the Y, we believe in seven essential pillars of youth sports:

  1. Everyone plays – We don’t use tryouts to select the best players, nor do we cut kids from a team. 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.
  3. Fair play – Fair play is about more than playing by the rules. It’s about players showing respect for all involved. Our staff models good sportsmanship and guides players in how to be good sports. We are more interested in developing every child’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. The “right perspective” means that we put the best interests of the children above winning the contest. Learning to compete is important for children, and learning to cooperate is just as important.
  5. Family involvement – We try to involve parents with their child’s YMCA sports programs. In addition to being helpful as volunteer coaches, officials and timekeepers, we encourage parents to be at practices and games.
  6. Sport for all – We believe that children who differ in various characteristics should be included in sports. We match children who differ in physical abilities with children of similar abilities and modify sports to meet their needs. We ask our adult leaders to support and appreciate the diversity of children and to encourage other children and their parents to do the same.
  7. Sport for fun – Sport is naturally fun for most children. They love the challenge of mastering the skills of the game, of playing with their friends, and of competing with their peers. If we take the fun out of the sport, our children may take themselves out, too. We remember that these sports are for the kids, and let them have fun.

While our Annual Campaign ensures that every youth can participate in sports by providing financial assistance, the Y Endowment ensures we have the facilities and equipment needed to provide the programs and services for the community. 

The Y welcomes the opportunity to confidentially discuss how a gift to the YMCA endowment can support youth sports for our Frederick County community. For more details, contact Tom Clingman, VP of Social Responsibility at 301-663-5131 or by email at