Wichita Kansas YMCA Juniors Program

Wichita, Kansas, YMCA how we did it and lessons learned.

 

Ken Cook

Wichita, Kansas

YMCA

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  1. Work through a club that will allow you to host a night for juniors to play.
  2. Invite parent players (and other parents that you have a relationship with) to bring their kids to learn/play
  3. Have them invite their friends
  4. Invite kids at the club that are "hanging around"
  5. Invite adult players to help coach
  6. You can also contact the athletic directors at schools to post information about a racquetball night.
  7. Nights we did are 1:45.  15-20 min of coaching, the rest is playing time. Most kids less than 10 years old will need a great deal more attention and it is hard for them to go and keep their interest that long.
  8. No more than 4 kids per adult coach
Notes/lessons learned:
  • This effort requires a great deal of endurance don’t give up!
  • The 1:45 session is too long.  An hour is probably good.
  • Must have the adult/coaches to help in each court.  Too many kids is bad and will lead to some leaving or possible injuries.
  • The club part is typically the most challenging.  Find one where their courts are not being utilized if possible.  We did this at the YMCA where the courts have heavy pressure on them, so we had parents call in and get courts reserved for a specific time slot each week until the YMCA saw that we had all the courts filled with kids.  They came around and are now in full support.  This is not ideal given that you cannot commit to a time when you have that kind of system to reserve courts, but you have to do what it takes to get this going.
  • Most of this is seat of the pants, you will find out what works in your case.
The coming year:
  • We will have the structure in place to have a specific night with a sign up, sponsored by the club.
  • Sessions will be no longer than one hour, with two possible per night (6:30-730 and 7:30-830)
  • Will have infrastructure for a Team Kansas junior racquetball team which will include a uniform and commitment to play a specified number of tournaments (from Andrea MSP)
  • Will have a fundraiser tournament to raise money for junior nationals

Ken Cook Phone: 316-305-7573