Every year as club season rolls around and our team here at Side-Out looks to make a positive impact on players and coaches in the club community . A few years ago we launched a really cool program called The Assist Project where players, coaches and parents designed inspirational and motivational cards to give to cancer patients in their communities. While the project was well received and produced thousands of amazing cards, we found there were some significant challenges that make it hard to continue with the project. Simply put, we need to try something new.
The Search for a New Program
Last year our Executive Director, Rick Dunetz, did a project with his high school program that he called I’ve Got Your Back. Each player and coach was asked to make a team promise and a promise to a loved one that expresses that they have their back and then share each promise. The project was a great success so we thought that we would give it a try in 2017 and we are calling it the I’ve Got Your Back Initiative.
The best coaches in the game realize that coaching young athletes is not only about the Xs and Os but also about developing the whole player and creating valuable experiences. This is one of my favorite parts of coaching, so every year I try to develop something for our young players that will give them an experience that will help them grow.
Why Should You Do It?
Really good coaches can manage a club season with little or no “distractions”, but playing time issues and parent concerns sneak their way into our coaching world. This project can help manage these somewhat negative occurrences. The IGYB project teaches the players and coaches ownership of their weaknesses, togetherness, selflessness, and accountability. All good stuff, all good lessons. Not only that but it teaches them the importance of caregiving to people we care about.
The IGYB Initiative is perfect for teaching young athletes to think outside themselves, consider how they can help others, and teach them to set goals and follow through on them. Coaches are encouraged to take this project a step further, using it as a team bonding project. Allowing players to make a commitment to their team will help get the best out of those individuals and gives coaches a tool to hold players accountable.
A great promise is about more than just locking pinkies with your BFF on the playground. A promise should be a genuine statement indicating your intention to do or refrain from doing something, and coming up with the perfect promise isn’t always easy.
How Can Our Team or Club Participate?
The IGYB Initiative will officially launch in February of 2017 and we will have a cool new website for you to officially complete the project. There are 4 basic steps:
- Make a promise to your team that you have their back.
- Make a promise to a loved one that you have their back.
- Make a donation showing that you have the back of metastatic breast cancer community.
- Inspire others to make their own promises.
If you love the idea behind the IGYB Initiative and would like to learn a bit more about the project (and get a notification when our new website goes live), click here to request more information.