CHANGE THE GAME TO CHANGE THE ODDS

The value of sports participation for children is undeniable. Playing sports can improve grades and physical fitness, enhance social and emotional outcomes, and strengthen relationships with peers and adults—many of the habits that help young people combat the long-term impact of adverse childhood experiences associated with structural racism and poverty. But in the U.S., youth sports are the least accessible to the kids who need them most: In 2018, children from low-income families were half as likely to participate in regular sports than their more affluent peers—a disparity that disproportionately affects children of color. 

Coaches help change the game to change these odds. Start getting ready now so we can be there when youth sports come back.

RESPONSE TO COVID-19

We are activating all our resources in new ways to meet the immediate and urgent needs of children and families in the communities we serve.

“Great coaches don’t leave kids in times of need. Neither does Coaching Corps. We train people to be great sports coaches for kids in low-income communities. Central to our training is the importance of always being there for your athletes, in good times and bad. With the suspension of youth sports, kids need us even more now. While we can’t match great coaches with after-school youth sports programs in the communities where we work, we can continue to recruit volunteers to meet the urgent needs of kids and their families during these uncertain times. That’s where you come in. See below for how you can help.”

– Janet Carter, Chief Executive Officer

“We are currently dealing with two viruses in this country, COVID-19 and RACISM-20. One kills the body, and the other kills the spirit. We must not let either win.”

– Arnold Perkins, Coaching Corps Founding Trustee

SEE THE CORPS IN ACTION

I'M HERE TO HELP

JOIN THE #CORPSCOMMUNITY

If you are not in a high-risk category for exposure to COVID-19 and are wondering how you might help, please click into the map below to select the service and volunteer opportunity you would like to provide.

IN-PERSON YOUTH SPORTS COACHING limited opportunities available.

VIRTUAL YOUTH SPORTS COACHING opportunities available.

VOLUNTEER: 

Delivering food and basic necessities qualifies as a government-approved essential service during this time.

VIRTUAL VOLUNTEERING options are also available.

DONATE SUPPLIES:

Kids and families are in need of basic supplies such as diapers, formula, hygiene products and more. Please click into the map below to find locations to donate supplies in your area.

DONATE

If you cannot volunteer and want to support us in these urgent efforts to keep kids safe and fed, please donate here.

NEED SUPPORT OR VOLUNTEERS?

Does your organization need support or volunteers? Click the button below and complete the form to list your opportunity.

Today is National Coaches Day!

We’re Teaming Up with Positive Coaching Alliance to Reach Coaches! 

Going Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

Benita Vargas-Brown, Volleyball Coach at Hampstead Hill Academy

Benita Vargas-Brown grew up in one of the poorest parts of Baltimore. She always wanted to make a difference in the city, which is why she became a social worker. That same passion eventually led her to coach and mentor kids in sports. Learn more about Benita’s journey in her own words.
How did you become a Coaching Corps coach?
I didn’t go looking for coaching, it found me. I was really stressed with my job and my final semester in undergrad, so my husband said, “You’re really not helping yourself. Why don’t you leave your job, take the semester off, and figure out what you want to do next?” So, I went to a volunteering fair, and that’s when I got to know Coaching Corps. It was destiny: They were looking for a volleyball coach, and I am qualified to coach volleyball. They said they needed a coach for Hampstead Hill Academy, which is literally just a walk away from our home. So, it was really perfect.
Can you tell us more about the challenges that the kids you coach face at school and at home?
When people hear Baltimore, crime and violence are among the usual challenges that come to mind, so it was extra important to keep the kids off the streets. I’ve had to drive some of the girls home so they don’t have to take the bus when it’s dark.
There have also been some differences among the girls. The school is located at Patterson Park, where on one side you have the million-dollar houses, and on the other you have boarded-up houses. So you wind up having kids coming from privileged and underprivileged situations. This created some interesting dynamics within the team that led to some difficult conversations, but we got through it eventually. That’s one of the benefits of team sports. We got this whole learning experience that wound up really positive at the end.
You mentioned something about “interesting team dynamics.” Can you share more about that?
This is actually one of the things I’m proudest [of] about my team. The girls take it upon themselves to address differences within the group. At one point, it became very clear during our practice that something wasn’t right. We were on this championship drive but there was obvious tension within the team. The girls came to me and gathered as a group to talk things through. The fact that they came up with that strategy on their own is really amazing. For me, it meant that we’re doing something right. After that talk, we got back together as a team. I’m so glad we did it because I know for a fact we wouldn’t have won the championship without sorting things out. Everybody makes mistakes. At the end of the day, what’s important is to be there and have each other’s backs.
What changes or improvements did you see in the girls as a result of being on the team?
The most obvious one would be the sense of maturity. To be in a position where you have a responsibility over something, to be able to practice and play, there are expectations. If you didn’t come to practice on Wednesday, you’re not going to play on Thursday: that’s the consequence for skipping practice.  Eventually it wasn’t the consequence that really drove them. It was their commitment.
All my [Coaching Corps] girls who tried out for high school sports made their teams. There are two highly-rated schools in Baltimore, Baltimore Polytechnic institute and Baltimore City College. To get into those schools is every parent’s and kid’s dream. They have great education and high graduation rates, and they don’t tolerate gang-related violence, which creates a safer environment for the kids. Fifteen of the girls from the team got in and played for Poly while 13 went to City. That makes me really happy.
Wow! If there’s one way to describe success and promoting equity, that would be it. With all these experiences, what advice would you give aspiring coaches and mentors for kids?
Show up. You have to be there. You have to be consistent. You can’t cancel on these kids. Over the course of my time, if I know something’s going to come up in my schedule, I plan for an assistant coach to take over. Kids know if you care. You can figure out everything else, there are Youtube videos for that. You just have to show up because these kids expect you to be there for them.
Afterschool Partners

Orlando

Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida

City of Orlando Athletics

Afterschool Program Partners

Other

JT Dorsey Foundation

Afterschool Program Partners

San Diego

Gompers Preparatory Academy

High Tech High

La Maestra Foundation – Center for Youth Advancement at Generations

The Monarch School

Pro Kids | The First Tee of San Diego

Soccer Kids America

YMCA of San Diego County

Afterschool Program Partners

Los Angeles

A Place Called Home

AFFIRMATIVE ATHLETICS

After School All Stars: Los Angeles

Boys & Girls Club of Venice

Boys & Girls Clubs of Carson

Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles

Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica

Boys and Girls Clubs of the LA Harbor

Brotherhood Crusade

City of Huntington Park Department of Parks

East Los Angeles Rising Youth Club

Equitas Academy

Girls on the Run of Los Angeles

Girls Play Los Angeles

ICES Education

IMPACTO

L.A.C.E.R. Afterschool Programs

Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine

Los Angeles Rec and Parks

Major League Baseball Youth Academy

Norwalk La Mirada Unified

P.F. Bresee Foundation

Sloane Stephens Foundation

Street Soccer USA: Los Angeles

Team Prime Time

Variety Boys & Girls Club

Watts Rams

YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles

Afterschool Program Partners

ATLANTA

Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta: Samuel L. Jones Boys & Girls Club
Afterschool Program Partners

Boston

All Dorchester Sports and Leadership

Boston Centers for Youth & Families

Boston SCORES

Cambridge Community Center

East End House

Oak Square YMCA

Sole Train: Boston Runs Together