We believe sports can be used as an avenue to help deter kids from crime and succeed in life by providing a context for students to learn life/social skills such as respect, work ethic, teamwork, leadership, and responsibility.
Therefore, Miami YFC created the Train U Urban Sports League which will offer three sports throughout the school year for students in grades 3 – 12; flag football, basketball, and soccer in 8-week league formats for our elementary and middle school athletes. And, for our high school athletes we will offer the same sports but in tournament format after the Miami-Dade Public School sports season is over.
Numerous positive outcomes have been associated with sport participation. The Train U Sports program gives students opportunities to learn and apply important life/social skills as well as enable youth to practice problem solving and decision making. Coaches teach these skills in conjunction to the sports activities and students are able to learn these skills through interactions with peers in a sports context. This will help them achieve increasingly higher levels of learning, critical thinking and self-efficacy, further igniting their motivation and persistence to excel academically, socially and as emerging leaders. The result is a stronger community for future generations.
In addition, Train U uses sports as a way to attract youth from the surrounding communities to youth programs such as KIX, Branches, Touching Miami with Love, etc. so that they will benefit from the other services these programs offer, including free tutoring, homework assistance and mentoring.
Mentoring is an essential component of the Train U program since many young men in the program lack positive male role models in their lives. We will match up our Middle School and High School athletes with adult mentors from the community. Mentors make a difference in the lives of youth by providing them with a healthy relationship with an adult. Mentors will spend time with youth in a group environment or one-on-one. The Elementary School athletes will be mentored by High School athletes participating in the Train U program. This gives High School students an opportunity to further develop leadership skills. Mentors attend games to support youth, assist with homework, offer college and career guidance, teach students about money/budgeting, take youth out for pizza or ice cream after games, etc. All staff and volunteers undergo a background screening process.