I have been thinking about the wonderous evolution of HYSL and how to keep us up and running and sustainable for all ages, all skills for much more time to come. Throughout my contemplations, I have come to new idea that I would be looking to implement into HYSL starting next (spring) 2013. I find it necessary to make these announcements now because it will affect the coaching and practicing now, and throughout this current season. And hopefully get coaches, families AND the children excited about the seasons to come!
So, as I look at the growth of HYSL this current season, I found it very hard to break down the older kids as they pertain to age. For some of the kids, they had already done a season with us, but they were being put on a smaller, somewhat different team make up. Likewise, for the older kids who were put on the older teams, along came newer kids who had never played before. When I analyze the league as a whole, I feel that the 3-8 years olds are running just as they should be. They get lots of team building time, and familiarity with the ball and the game. When they get to be about 9 years old and older, more skills, drills and attention to the details of the teams come into play. And it gets to be quite the challenging task for coaches to help out various skill levels on a single team. Those that are return players may feel a bite bored by the pace of practices. And/or players that are brand new to the game may find it very frustrating to be on teams that have a stronger grasp of the game.
So…. next season…. there will be “try outs” for the 9+ years of age child(ren). Any child who is at least 9 years of age or older may try out. And “try out” does NOT mean that you will not make a team. “Try out” refers to “Come on out and see which team you are best suited for”…. so maybe we should simply call it ” Team Evaluation Day” or something to that extent. This is NOT meant to discourage children. It is NOT meant to (at all) have children feel pressure about “making” the team or not. ALL CHILDREN WILL PLAY.
The teams of children ages 9 years of age and up, will be: 1) Beginner 2) Intermediate and 3) Advanced. Each child will make one of these three teams, not based on their ages, but on their skill levels, ability and knowledge of the game.
I feel deeply that this will allow and nuture sustainability for this age group. I am thinking about the 3 year repeat players who will be coming back and ready to advance, while the league is still an “open community” (and will remain so, as that is its sole purpose!) and welcoming brand new players all of the time. I feel that this will allow us to keep this age group thriving, or HYSL could potentially drop to just a “beginners 3-8 year old” kind of league.
I am VERY excited about this idea. And I think that this could work wonderfully for this age group and have all children feel like they are being challenged, supported and growing. I feel this makes the most sense with this age group as many have the skill but the not age, or they have the age but are quite new to the game. So this will be a nice even balance to find everyone the right place for themselves.
Now, the reason I bring this up now is that I would like to have a coaches meeting with ALL REGIONAL coaches on Saturday, Sept 22nd right after the tournament. If you could spend 20-30 minutes with me after the tournament while your family plays or eats their lunches, I would *greatly* appreciate this. I will have a break down of skill levels for each of these teams, and you will be able to work with your kids now and throughout *this* season to prepare them for *next* season. I can answer questions and we can discuss this further at that time.
I am really looking forward to seeing you all at the tournament!!!