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Youth Development - Youth Sports


Kids who play sports discover so much more than their athletic abilities. As part of our mission to help develop and nurture the whole child, the Y is committed to offering dynamic youth sports programs. We believe all kids deserve the opportunity to discover who they are and what they can achieve.

Through our sports leagues and clinics at the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, more than 12,000 kids in our communities are cultivating the character, skills and cooperation it takes to be a team player — aside from getting stronger and enhancing their athletic abilities.

Building on Our Legacy

We offer exciting programs in popular sports like soccer and basketball for kids across 14 of our branches in the greater Charlotte area, from leagues and clinics to sports camps and tournaments. Our programs focus more on enhancing skills with practice, team-building and positive encouragement to reap the rewards of friendly competition, and less on instilling a pressure to win.

The Impact of Playing Sports

Picture what it feels like for a child to gain skills and confidence with each new practice. Imagine the sense of camaraderie and sportsmanship a child experiences after playing a great game. The impact of playing sports helps kids be their best. They learn that becoming a stronger athlete doesn’t start on game day when they step on the field or court, but begins with commitment, training and practice.

Benefits of Playing Youth Sports

The positive effects of being part of a sports team are powerful for kids and set them up for success in other areas of their lives:

  • Sharpens listening, concentration and memory
  • Creates healthy living habits
  • Enhances fine and gross motor skills
  • Improves social skills
  • Builds confidence and self-esteem
  • Teaches sportsmanship
  • Improves muscle, endurance and fitness level
  • Encourages cooperation and teamwork
  • Cultivates self-discipline
  • Makes exercise fun

Our experienced staff and volunteer coaches help bring out the best in kids as they teach skills that extend beyond the game. Our coaches provide a safe, healthy atmosphere, teach fundamentals of the game and promote the benefits of physical activity and teamwork. The positive benefits of playing youth sports at the Y lead to healthier lifestyles, better relationships and a sense of personal achievement. Check the schedule for a sports team near you!

Youth Sports
For Youth Development

Youth Baseball & T-Ball

Our baseball and t-ball programs give kids the skills and passion to enjoy the "national pastime." Players are led by volunteer coaches in drills and games that teach skills like throwing, catching, fielding and hitting as well as the positions of baseball.

Youth Basketball

There’s no better place to learn the basics of basketball than where it was invented in 1891– the Y. Our basketball programs emphasize the values of team sports, including fair play, team work and having fun. Kids who play basketball experience a sense of belonging and learn what working together accomplishes.

Youth Cheerleading

Whether your child is a beginner, interested in joining a school squad or in competition, Y coaches help establish a balance of athletics, coordination and team spirit. Cheerleaders learn age-appropriate dance, jumps, tumbling skills, chants, stunts in a safe and fun environment that encourages self-expression.

Youth Flag Football

We introduce young football players to the fundamentals of the game in our YMCA Flag Football leagues. Led by volunteer coaches, young football players work on the basic offensive and defensive skills in drills and games. Kids learn the value of teamwork, leadership skills and build self-confidence.

Youth Gymnastics

Our gymnastics programs offer a sound foundation for gymnastics or any other sport that interests your child. Children learn skills and drills in carefully graduated steps leading them through basic to more advanced. All classes incorporate fun and fitness. Our experienced, caring instructors provide a safe environment for your child to develop, grow and move to the next level.

Youth Martial Arts

Martial arts is a general term for different traditions of combat practice that exist in many cultures around the world. These traditions teach a combination of self-defense, competition, mental discipline and personal development. Martial arts classes at the YMCA consist of warm-up stretches, kicking, forms, cool-down stretches and meditation.

Youth Soccer

Known as the beautiful game for a reason - YMCA youth soccer combines fitness with finesse and strategy with skill. Trained volunteer coaches introduce players to the fundamentals of the game like passing, possession and defending through drills and exercises.

Youth Sports Clinics

In order to prepare kids to play sports at a league level the YMCA offers clinics with trained staff who lead players in drills and games designed to develop the fundamental skills required for the sport. In these YMCA clinics, participants improve skills, make new friends and have tons of fun.

Youth Volleyball

A true team sport, volleyball helps everyone learn important lessons about collaboration and communication on and off the court. Our volleyball programs serve up plenty of fun for all ages and skill levels. Kids learn the basics of passing, setting, hitting, serving and blocking in a fun, supportive environment.