Swim, Sports & Play

Not only did Coach D. help Vanessa regain gymnastic strength and skill, she transformed her life. Watch how youth development staff and volunteers can help children and teens reach their full potential as they journey from birth to career.

"You brought back my confidence, Strength and Courage." liZ2tcklEXQ

More Y Stories

Rachel & Kyle K.

Santa Monica Family YMCA

"It gives me confidence that I can use in everyday life."

Rachel and Kyle’s dad originally enrolled them in judo at Santa Monica Family YMCA so that they could learn how to defend themselves. They both took to the sport quickly and now they’re helping Sensei Jim teach younger kids. See how they’ve gained confidence and leadership skills while having a whole lot of fun in the process. This is their Y. Their camera. Their story.


Alex R.

Garden City YMCA

"Trying Hard Gets You Results."

To Alex, swim team is more than learning the strokes.  It's about working hard, setting goals, surpassing them and cheering on your teammate (also sister).  This is his Y. His camera. His story. 


Diana C.

Downey Family YMCA

"As a Team, You Have to Take Care of One Another."

No one knows better than Diana that there's no "I" in team, even if being the first female player on the team was a bit daunting at first. Yet the opportunity to overcome her shyness and make new friends was a slam dunk! This is her Y. Her camera. Her story. 


Koby B.

YMCA of Greater Rochester

"It's Taught Him to Be a Leader."

For Koby, flag football is just one of the Y activities helping him to be a great student, leader and son.  This is Koby’s Y.  His camera. His story.


Our Approach to Youth Sports

At the Y, our sports staff, coaches and volunteers all share a singular vision of helping all youth reach their full potential in life. We leverage the excitement and passion around recreational and competitive programming to create a healthy outlet for children to gain new skills, develop a sense of team and connect with positive role models. 

The YMCA is committed to working with The Aspen Institute’s Project Play in an effort to reimagine youth sports in America and build a new model based on a holistic approach to youth development that is inclusive of all children. Learn more about Project Play’s proposed solution and stay tuned for how the partnership may benefit your YMCA in 2017.


The Youth Development Roadmap

Our approach to youth sports is guided by the Youth Development Roadmap, which outlines critical milestones that impact a child’s development. Youth Development is defined as the social-emotional, cognitive and physical process that all youth uniquely experience from birth to career.

Learn More about the Youth Development Roadmap



Swimming is a life skill as well as great exercise and a challenging sport. Ys offer swim lessons for all ages, family swim, competitive swimming and diving teams, and many kinds of adaptive swim programs for kids with special needs, so we can all safely enjoy the pleasures of an aquatic environment.



National Events

Swimming, diving and gymnastics are the most popular national competitive sporting events at the Y. The Y hosts state, regional and national championships annually, helping kids value hard work, reach for excellence and enjoy spirited competition.



Ready to Play?

Baseball, soccer, volleyball, flag football, karate, basketball, gymnastics—check out the sports offerings at your Y and get in the game. Improve skills, make new friends, be active with other kids and learn to love a sport at the Y.

Find your Y to learn more about sports offerings

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The YMCA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.