The Y Way to Play is essential to the way sports are played at the YMCA. It provides a unique opportunity for all participants to learn, grow and have fun through playing sports.

The Mission of the Y Way to Play

The mission of the Y Way to Play is to deliver quality sports programs that provide fun, foster sportsmanship and create opportunities for all to participate, learn and grow. The Y Way to Play applies varied levels of progressive competition and builds a sense of community, which prepares kids for life on and off the field.


The Five Pillars of the Y Way to Play

  1. FUN: Creating a lifelong enjoyment of sports and the values and lessons they teach.
  2. SPORTSMANSHIP: Fostering the Y values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. 
  3. OPPORTUNITY: Ensuring all kids experience the life lessons learned through sports.
  4. PROGRESSIVE COMPETITION: Providing appropriate levels of competition for all athletes.
  5. COMMUNITY: Integrating the values and life lessons of sports into our broader community.

Our Coach, Parent, Guardian or Spectator Commitment

I am committed to promoting sportsmanship, being encouraging and showing support while using positive feedback methods to create an environment where all players participate equally, learn, grow and, most of all, have fun!

Fostering the Y Way to Play 

1. Make it FUN 

  • Use the inherent fun of playing sports to teach life lessons and build character. 

  • Convey a positive attitude at all times: Reinforcing strengths versus focusing on shortcomings.

  • Promote healthy nutrition and habits that increase performance. (Making playing more fun!) 


  • Be a model of sportsmanship with your team, officials and parents.

  • Exhibit the Y Way values — caring, honesty, respect and responsibility — at every opportunity. 

  • Acknowledge examples of good sportsmanship as they occur and reward them regularly. 


  • Make sure that every player is warmly welcomed and equally respected.

  • Give every player the opportunity to participate, learn and grow through fair playing time.

  • Fully respect that every player will improve at their own pace to various levels of skill. 


  • Understand that the levels of competition vary based on an athlete’s age, skill level and motivation. 

  • Adjust the focus on “winning versus learning” to the age group and the objectives of the program.

  • Prepare your players to move to their next level when their skills and desire to do so are ready. 


  • Create a positive experience for your players by deliberately connecting with the parents. 

  • Teach your athletes to be good role models both on and off the field.

  • Help your players to identify opportunities to give back to our community.