Play Like You Mean It
Unpacking the goals behind CSP’s Play 60 Flag Football League
The Chappapeela Sports Park team recently kicked off their Fall 2018 Play 60 Flag Football League. This fall commemorates the fourth year of the league. The program focuses on creating a fun environment for children to remain active and learn football fundamentals through flag football exercises and games. Photo Credit: Larshell Green/ CSP Content Editor
The NFL Play 60 Flag Football League at Chappapeela Sports Park returns with a polished agenda, and more goals than ever for the team, players, coaches and parents.
Executive Director Ryan Barker shares that his team was inspired to make improvements by listening to coaches and customers, while engaging in self- provoking reflections prior to entering the fourth season of the Play 60 league.
“We believe that children should be taught character as much as technical and fundamentals of any sport,” said Barker. “Having a strong character is one of the major keys to success.”
In an effort to increase youth development, CSP has gained access to a database of coaching information, tips and practice plans to assist coaches.
Deputy Director Amber Grose unpacks the park’s current and prominent missions:
“A recreation league to many, would mean a basic product, but at Chappapeela we really try to do the most we can for our players and their families. This is our fourth year having this program at the park and every year we are able to learn how to make the next better for our players and their families than the last. With participation ever growing, we are excited to see that our community is enjoying our resulting product.”
This year’s league includes seven 4-6 teams, nine 7-8 teams and six 9-11 teams that engage in flag football games and practice sessions. Starting next season, CSP will welcome a tackle program for ages 11-12 after teaching fundamentals in the league for four years.
A focus on character development is stronger than ever to ensure that lifelong learning goals are integrated.
Grose explains: “We are bringing in character development coaching to help coaches hit on themes over our 10-week program. It touches on character within sport and beyond. Being on time, work ethic and sportsmanship are just a few of the topics that we cover.”
Fourth year returning coach of the 7/8 Chiefs Justin Proctor shares why he enjoys educating young athletes.
“This gives me an opportunity to teach a game I enjoy,” said Proctor. “I look forward to learning about them and their skills, and being in their lives for a few weeks.”
Addarius Booker, who is a first time Play 60 coach, reveals why he joined the league and what he is apprehensive about.
“I enjoy interaction with the kids,” said Booker. “I look forward to making sure the kids are happy about football. I’m a little nervous about the parents. I don’t want to upset them because they are the reason the kids are here.”
Barker encourages parents to be engaged and show positive support for all children during games and practices, while remaining behind designated areas.
Youth Sports Commissioner Heath Brunies shares why CSP spent time developing new procedures for sideline traffic.
“From now, the home teams will not be responsible for keeping score, it will now be the responsibility of the referees.” said Brunies. “This allows the coaches and players to concentrate on the game. We want to teach players independence and allow them to have practice in concentration and being coachable.”
Although it is the intention of the park to keep parents involved, CSP representatives express the need to incorporate strict rules for the league to aid in the mental and physical development of players and the continuation of a positive and supportive learning environment:
“Here at CSP, the athlete’s experience is our top priority. An athlete in our NFL Play 60 Flag Football program will gain technical and tactical development, character development, be assisted by a knowledgeable coaching staff, and will be in an environment that encourages them to stay in the sport for longer. That’s a CSP guarantee.”