Leading The Way

I also have kids working for me now that I had in a program when they were 3 years old. No, I am not getting older; the kids are just quickly catching up with me!

Do you think recreation professionals are as important to children outside the classroom as teachers are to them inside the classroom?

Miste: Absolutely! I think teachers have such a responsibility to provide the best education possible, but with all the standardized tests, they no longer have the flexibility to have fun. That is where the recreation professional comes into play.

Youth sports teach teamwork, discipline, physical activity, and so much more that you might not learn in the classroom. We need to make sure as professionals we are providing a safe, fun learning experience for all kids and realize the impact we have on their lives.

Fred Engh is founder and CEO of the National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS) in West Palm Beach, Fla. He can be reached via e-mail at fengh@nays.org. To join more than 3,000 communities by starting a NAYS chapter, visit www.nays.org or contact Emmy Martinez at emartinez@nays.org or (800) 729-2057.

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