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Youth Sports Culture

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The youth sport industry has placed an increased emphasis solely on winning and achievement, creating an environment with high-stakes and high pressure that caters to only the most talented athletes and those who can pay to play”.


A Team For Every Child transforms this destructive culture through education and by striving to make sports fun again, including all children in an environment that is compassionate, nurturing and focused on facilitating the physical, mental and emotional development of children. 

Education is critical for those who lead and establish the culture for youth sport organizations: coaches and parents. Developmental psychologist and University Professor, Dr. Clark Power created a research-based curriculum, influenced by his 25 years of professional work in child development and his personal experiences with his own children.

  • This curriculum is the Play Like a Champion Today Educational Series, which has served more than 150 youth sports organizations across 42 states since 2006.  Over 125,000 coaches and parents have taken the workshops, which have touched the lives of over a million children. 

  • Fifteen years of rigorous coach, parent, and child evaluations attest to the quality and effectiveness of these workshops.

  • The Play Like a Champion program provides continuous educational content throughout the year through weekly coach/parent emails and consultation that elevates the sport culture.

  • Every June, Play Like a Champion Today hosts an Annual Sports Leadership Conference attended by A Team for Every Child partner communities. This presents an opportunity for all partners to gather in kinship for additional education, inspiration and connection.


The transformative sport culture of A Team For Every Child commits to 4 basic core values:


  1. Serve all children in the geographic community regardless of athletic prowess or ability to pay.

  2. Understand that the activities are for play/leisure and are meant to be fun.

  3. Conduct all activities in a team environment.  A "real" team is a community held together by close personal ties and commitment to the common good of all. Whereas a “pseudo” team is a group formed for the sake of each person’s self-interest. A real team is comprised of members adhering to the adage, “There is no ‘I’ in team.”

  4. Provide coaching that is focused on life mentoring first and improving athletic performance second. 

Adhering to these core values, A Team for Every Child has worked successfully with urban communities in Chicago, IL and South Bend, IN to bring together existing organizations, develop programs and educate coaches. In doing so, we've helped build sustainable assocations that provide the positive opportunities and mentorship children need. Keep reading to learn more about how we do this!

Learn more about the foundation for our work...

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