Youth co-ed YMCA basketball teams playing in an indoor court, under the basket. A coach wearing a navy blue shirt with a white Y logo watches the team play. Yellow wall padding and climbing rock wall are in the background.

Mike Hollenbeck, a member of the youth basketball team, plays basketball at the New Tampa Family YMCA.

Core Values

At the Tampa Y, we believe every child deserves the support, guidance and encouragement to be who they are and discover who they want to become – often this discovery comes from sports.

Sports are instrumental in a child’s development and practicing in the pool, on the field, gym or court teaches youth more than athletic skills. As any athlete will share, learning to play within the boundaries of a game teaches invaluable life lessons that can be applied to just about any aspect of life.

Eamonn O’Sullivan, Sports and Teens Program Director at New Tampa Family YMCA shares, “The YMCA can be a great introduction to various sports for young athletes, even if they have never played before. At the Y, we focus on things so much more important than the scoreboard. While we recognize that the object of most sports is to score more points than your opponent, our volunteer coaches are focused on helping to build a foundation of lifelong health and activity that will hopefully, last a lifetime.”  

“While participating in youth sports at the YMCA, children are exposed to positive role models in a structured environment of weekly practices and games. This is when you will find our staff and volunteers helping to promote our core values.”

The Y’s values are Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility and we use them to guide everything we do.

“Implementing our core values into our programs provides children opportunities to grow and develop their skills, handle adversity and learn the importance of following the rules.”

Youth sports teaches participants invaluable character development and skills such as improved communication, teamwork, self-confidence, commitment, goal-setting and patience.

Invaluable Life Lessons

Six-year-old Mike Hollenbeck recently played winter and spring basketball at the New Tampa Y and had the privilege of Eamonn coaching his team. Throughout his two seasons, Mike “learned how to be a teammate,” shares Ali Hollenbeck, Mike’s mother.

In addition to teamwork, he learned more about the game.

“One thing I noticed from the winter season to spring was that while in the winter he was really just trying to understand the basics of basketball and the rhythm of the game. In the spring season, he really honed into one specific skill–defense. Mike grew so much as a player and teammate this past year,” shares Ali.


Developing Kids through Sports 

In 2021, the Tampa Y provided Mike and 15,542 other young athletes the opportunity to learn resilience, leadership skills, accountability, respect and patience through our youth sports programs. The Tampa Y’s youth sports include:

  • Basketball 
  • Cheerleading  
  • Dance 
  • Flag Football  
  • Golf with First Tee Tampa Bay  
  • Gymnastics  
  • Martial Arts  
  • Soccer  
  • Swimming 
  • Volleyball  

The Tampa Y believes a well-rounded child today creates a contributing and engaged adult tomorrow! Contact a Y center near you and sign your child up for one of our many fall youth sports today!

Published: Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022