Steve Smith has been a YMCA member for nearly four years now. Steve comes to the Y regularly for pick up basketball and has a true passion for the sport as evidenced by his reputation as the most vocal and animated player on the court.
Younger players seem to gravitate toward him for help in learning the unwritten rules of this long-standing tradition of Open Gym a the Y. Steve was approached by Sports Director Josh Henson about coaching a basketball team. Steve was hesitant at first. Steve’s mother, Helen Dianne Johnson, lives with him and regularly attends the Y for water aerobics. A basketball star herself in high school, she got Steve into basketball at a young age.
Born and raised in Baltimore, Steve’s a veteran, served in the Navy for four years during Desert Storm. Steve has been coaching on and off for nearly 20 years, in and around the Baltimore area, for various teams and organizations.
According to Steve, youth sports teaches so much more than just the “how-to’s,” it teaches teamwork, dedication, and how to work with others from all backgrounds towards one common goal. These “life lessons” are important for everyone and Steve credits this and basketball with saving his life.
One of Steve’s most memorable moments was taking a group of youth that barely knew each other and had just one practice before their first game. Due to them working together as a team, they won their first game. Steve is reminded how much he loves teaching and coaching on a regular basis, taking a team and watching the improvement over the weeks
Parent involvement in sports is so important as well, to encourage not pressure. He learned that from his mom and Steve’s mother still comes out to all his games to cheer on all the young players!
When asked what the future holds, Steve plans to continue to coach and is training basketball players one-on-one. Steve says “My mom says it’s my gift.” She won’t let him stop sharing his gift.
The YMCA Annual Campaign is set up to collect funds to help offset the cost of programs and memberships to allow more community members to attend. Your gift to the Annual Campaign provides life-changing programs such as Youth Sports to those that cannot afford, ensuring all Frederick County youth that want to participate in sports, have that opportunity. You can make any size donation by texting Text 2020campaign9 to 71777.
If your gifts lie in other places, the YMCA needs coaches and volunteers to continue to make the sports programs a success. When you volunteer at the Y, you take an active role in bringing about meaningful, enduring change in your own community.
For more information on youth sports, contact Josh Henson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-663-5131 ext 1274.