As the parents and kids file out of the gym, the scoreboard over the door reminds us in sports there is always a winner and a loser. Some kids show their competitive spirit and the look of disappointment fills their face. Similarly, smiles from ear to ear cover the face of the winning team. No matter if you win or lose, the life lessons sports can teach you is whats important. That’s what Dannika West and Katie Stout look to pass on to the first and second grade boys basketball teams they coach at the Laramie Rec Center.
Dannika explains the importance of coaching the kids at a young age. “For me, I knew I wanted to coach because growing up Sports had a great impact on me.” She went on to explain how she remembered coaches from her past and how they inspired her to play sports throughout High school. She goes on to say that “I want to provide this experience for these kids as well.”
Katie knows how much of an impact starting sports at a young age can provide. She said “Sports for little kids is important because you build friendship and learn more than just the skills of that sport.” She credits sports with teaching kids discipline, teamwork, communication, and hard work.
But, in the end the thing Katie and Dannika agreed most on was that the kids had fun. “Its rewarding for me when you see how happy and excited the kids are when they score; or even when their teammates score” Dannika goes on to say. They think its important to make it fun for the kids and keep the smile on their face the whole time.
Katie acknowledges that although the kids like to win, they really have fun no matter what the score is. “Its important to keep not only basketball for these kids fun, but all sports in general” Dannika Explains. She remembers having fun in youth sports and it was a major reason she continues to play today.
Growing up, you sometimes forget about the innocence of the game. All some people care about is the final score and winning by any means necessary. We have witnessed an era where steroids and cheating has become a reality of sports. Major sports stars have more money and celebrity status than about any other group of people. This makes it easy to see how sports can be all about results. At a young age, the purity of sports is on display.
Dannika loves to see the kids outside of basketball because they will come up and say hi to her. “They tell me whats going on with there day, and how excited they are to come back and play basketball.” Dannika explained that “this shows that all the time I give up to teach them is worth it because that shows its making an impact and we have a good connection.”
Its great to see, that the youth of Laramie is in good hands. Most of the kids, wont go on to play sports professionally or even play in college. But, its the important things sports teach you at a young age these kids will be able to hold onto the rest of their lives.
To learn more about Laramie Youth Activities click here.
Until next time…