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A Decade of Excellence: West Point Child, Youth and School Services Sports and Fitness

Comprehensive coaches training is at the core of this program's success.

Military communities, more so than others, excel at preparation. And the youth sports program at the United States Military Academy at West Point reflects that.

West Point Child, Youth and School Services (CYSS) Sports and Fitness has the ultimate game plan for educating their youth sports coaches. Along with certifying them through the National Youth Sports Coaches Association, West Point CYSS Sports and Fitness staff members ensure that each coach receives ample training in such topics as child abuse, medication administration, CPR and first aid prior to the start of every season.

Volunteer coaches and parents must adhere to information supplied by the Army, NAYS and the Parents Association for Youth Sports, according to Brian Szeli, sports and fitness director for West Point CYSS. Additional sport-specific training also is offered.

West Point CYSS Sports and Fitness strives to provide quality programs that promote, support and encourage the development of character, athleticism, sportsmanship and healthy lifestyles. "Through self, participant, volunteer and community assessments, the Youth Sports and Fitness department is able to continually grow, adapt, change and improve upon programming for the community we serve," Szeli says. "Because of this, we feel our program symbolizes a model youth sports and fitness program."

West Point CYSS Sports and Fitness offers multiple health, fitness and sports options throughout the year in safe, effective and developmentally appropriate learning environments. Paramount to providing those environments is making sure that volunteer coaches are prepared for their role. In addition to rigorous training, coaches must pass background checks and undergo seasonal instruction from both West Point Sports and Fitness staff and NCAA equipment managers on the proper fit and maintenance of protective equipment - an extra step that helps ensure the safety of their athletes.

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