Tired of reading about all that is wrong in youth sports? So are we! TeamSnap and I have teamed up for the Make It Right Campaign this fall to share stories with you of people who are doing what they can to Make It Right in youth sports.
There are lots of folks out there who are doing something to Make It Right in youth sports and today I want you to meet another one. Keith Van Horn is a former University of Utah All American who went on to play for the New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, New York Knicks, Milwaukee Bucks, and Dallas Mavericks, finishing his NBA career in 2008.
What is Keith Van Horn Doing to Make It Right in Youth Sports?
In 2012, Keith founded Colorado Premier Basketball, a non-profit charity organization that provides affordable, high-quality basketball programs for boys and girls ages 3 to 19. And it is here that Keith is doing his part to Make It Right in youth sports.
Premier basketball is the leading youth basketball club in Colorado, serving over 1,000 youth basketball players each year. But this is one club organization that cares more about whole-child development than about money or politics or staging kids to be seen by college scouts. Premier strives to put kids first in every decision, stressing fundamentals and whole child-development in all of their programs.
We conduct ourself in a way that both respects and honors the game and focuses on creating positive experiences for its athletes that will contribute to their becoming outstanding adults, says Van Horn.
Can a Club organization do that and still win? Apparently so, because Premier Academy teams have won over 50 club championships in the last year, participating in some of the top tournaments in the United States.
Van Horn understands how important it is for adults like himself to Make It Right in youth sports because he has four kids of his own–ages 11-19–who play sports. And as a Dad, he is committed to making club basketball an affordable alternative to every child, not just the “elite” players.
While we want to provide opportunities for elite players, we want to have programs that serve all ages and all abilities so that any player that wanted to get better and be engaged in a positive activity such as basketball has the ability to do so, explains Van Horn. Our basketball club charges 50-70% less than our competitors, but to me it is still too expensive and we are always looking for ways to reduce our costs. A child’s participation in youth sports should not be about how much money their parents make.
Standing behind their commitment to make basketball a positive experience for kids, Colorado Premier requires parents to attend a Positive Coaching Alliance seminar before their child can play in their Club. They want parents to understand that this is one Club program that teaches children lessons to make them better people, not just better basketball players.
Keith Van Horn has been using TeamSnap for nearly three years with the Colorado Premier Basketball. TeamSnap has helped them communicate with parents and coaches and keep the Club teams organized. They use it to develop rosters, communicate via email and text, create schedules and accept payments. Their parent feedback about TeamSnap has been great.
What are you doing to Make It Right in youth sports?
It can be a simple as being a positive voice in a negative conversation or as big as stepping up to coach your child’s team. Or perhaps, you, like Keith, head up a club organization or league. If so, you have an opportunity to build a healthy, positive sports culture. You can help Make It Right.
And I am here to help you do that. My sports parenting and coach’s wife experience has taught me some invaluable lessons that I believe will help you.
Listen to my Sports Parenting podcasts where I talk with youth sports experts about issues your child faces every day in sports.
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