I had a nice sit-down this morning with John Engh, chief operating officer of the National Alliance for Youth Sports. It's been almost a year since the nonprofit organization introduced the Coach Rating System - a tool that allows parents to provide positive (and negative) feedback to coaches, coaches to discover their own strengths and weaknesses, and program administrators to ensure their coaches are the right men and women for the job. I thought now would be a good time to check in and see how it's going. So far, about 130 NAYS member chapters have taken advantage of the free tool, and initial reaction has been positive. "All of the things that we were focused on in the past - coaches' training, background checks - are still challenges for us," Engh told me. "But now we're trying to draw a parallel between a volunteer coach and an employee." What about those youth sports organizations that already struggle to find coaches? Will they be tempted to set the bar low for coaches who receive negative feedback, worried about creating the need to find a mid-season replacement for a poor-performing coach? "We don't dictate to the leagues what they should do; we give them guidelines for what we think they should do," Engh says. "We're being proactive by saying that this tool is very useful to those coaches who may be borderline. Now all the parents are watching them, and those parents have a voice." Don't worry if your not a NAYS member; Engh says the association is working on ways to get the Coach Rating System out to as many organizations as possible. "If every coach in America is getting evaluated like this 10 years from now, we've done our job."
The thermometer remained pegged above 80 degrees, while high humidity kept air conditioners working overtime for most of July. However, as we wrapped up production on this month's issue, the calendar turned to August and here in Madison we saw our first day below 70 degrees. By the time some of you read these words, school will be back in session and the season's first football games will have already been played.read more
There's no denying that technology is transforming the way we perform many day-to-day tasks. To learn more about how high tech is transforming the fitness industry, I sat down with AB Show 2017 speaker Rachel Koretsky, CEO and Founder of upace, a mobile platform designed specifically for fitness, recreation and community centers.read more