Pickens County SOCCER YOUTH SPORTS LEAGUE DEFIES “WIN-AT-ALL-COST”
Pickens County Kids and Families Join Sports Program That Teaches Skills for Sports, Values for Life
In an era of sports when trash talking, win-at-all-cost mentalities and fights on the field seem to be the norm, it’s no wonder that 70 percent of U.S. children playing organized sports will quit by age 13 and never play again. Pickens County kids and families, believing that sports can be a positive experience, are participating in an unconventional youth sports league which teaches that the process of competition is just as important as the outcome.
For more than four years First Christian Church has hosted sports leagues through Upward Sports—the world’s largest Christian sports league for children—coaching and mentoring more than 500 Pickens-area kids. The church offers three Upward Sports leagues: basketball, soccer and cheerleading.
"Kids seem to really grow—both as athletes and friends—in an environment that one practice and one game per week focuses on skills, sportsmanship, teamwork and integrity while having fun,” said Tim, a volunteer coach of the Upward Soccerl League at First Christian Church. “It’s been exciting seeing families from several neighborhoods come together for the first time. One soccer team can often represent more than three schools. This soccer program is building friendships and community."
Focusing on healthy competition and positive sports environments that build strong self-confidence, Upward Sports equips churches with everything needed to run a competitive but fun, 10 week sports program for children K3 – fifth grade. Each year, more than 1 million people play, coach, referee or volunteer in Upward Sports Leagues throughout the country.
To avoid player and parent burn out, Upward Sports limits time commitments to one practice and one game per week. Other distinctive aspects of Upward Sports Leagues include: