Register now for spring, summer Youth Sports

Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Rodriguez coaches youngsters on their soccer techniques on the newly completed soccer fields in the Youth Sports Complex, finished after four years of renovations. (File Photo)

Balmy winter temperatures may have you thinking about an early spring. That’s a good idea, particularly if you’re interested in youth sports.

Registration for the Child and Youth Services’ spring sports season is underway.

Spring sports include soccer, baseball, lacrosse, NFL Flag Football, and Ready-Set-Run, a program geared to preparing youngsters to run a 5K.

Registration for summer sports started last month and is ongoing. The summer season runs from July through August.

Summer sports include beach volleyball, dodge ball, tennis, bowling and track. The track season actually starts with practice in May, leading up to track meets through the summer.

So, why should children and parents worry about registering for a sport that may not start for six months?

One big reason is that recruiting and retaining youth coaches is not easy.

Youth Sports Director Hunter Davis urges anyone with an interest to make the call.

“As always, we need [coaches] for everything, for all the sports,” he said.

No experience is necessary, noted Davis.

Free training is provided by the National Alliance for Youth Sports.

There is another bonus to coaching.

“They receive discounts for their children participating in the program,” Davis said.

Another time element involving volunteer coaches is a background check that must be completed.

“It’s important that if anyone is interested in volunteering, they need to contact us as soon as possible so we can get them the paperwork to get the ball rolling,” Davis said. “It can be a lengthy process.”

New volunteers may be interested in a couple of new offerings this spring. Not only will NFL Flag Football be offered, but an NFL clinic will be held for the younger players.

“It’s for 4- and 5-year-olds with parent participation, just to introduce the basics to the younger kids before they jump into league play,” Davis said.

The other new springtime offering is MLB Play-Ball.

“It’s an initiative by Major League Baseball and USA Baseball, just to get kids back out on the diamond playing fun baseball games and introducing them to activities like MLB’s Pitch, Hit, & Run,” Davis said.

A big bonus for anyone registered in the baseball programs is an invitation to an annual clinic with the Baltimore Orioles.

CYS plans to sponsor the clinic for the fourth straight year. Last year, all-stars Zach Britton and Darren O’Day were among the Orioles players who participated.

To register, stop by Parent Central Services at 1900 Reece Road or call 301-677-1149.

For more information or to register online, visit https://meade.armymwr.com.

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