Mission and purpose

Why another youth sports organization?

The idea for 205 Sports began in early 2018 during my coursework for the Ohio University online coaching education program. After retiring from Silicon Valley in 2014, I’ve worked for local soccer clubs in recreational and younger-age programs as a method of influencing player development at formative stages. Concurrently, I’ve been a varsity girls coach for a local high school after a succession of positions on both the boys and girls side. The OU program started a process of self-inventory and evaluation – what do I like (and dislike) doing, what impacts do I want to make, and what are my competencies and passions. I also began to consider the kind of life that I want outside of soccer – how and when I spend time with my wife and family.

In late 2018, it became clear that there were disconnects between my values and objectives and the roles that I was taking on. 205 Sports was an outcome of that thought process. Disconnecting myself from the agendas (financial, organizational, scheduling, etc) of others in order to provide programming required some formalization of a corporate structure. I was able to find individuals within my circle who shared my passion and who agreed to be part of the 205 Sports Board of Directors. Armed with Bickford (2018), we were able to put together the appropriate paperwork to get IRS 501(c)(3) approval.

Formally, the purpose of 205 Sports is the following (from the corporate Bylaws):

[A]ddress, educate, coordinate, and provide support for the athletic development of youth athletes related to soccer and soccer-related activities. We look to improve the physical efficacy of athletes in our programs through evidence-based best practices as part of our training methodologies. We provide educational materials that foster the growth of athletes in sports-specific and non-sports specific activities.

The idea of having an organization that is not intended as a financial revenue stream for its founders and coaches but is instead meant as a driver for change in the community separates 205 Sports from the traditional sports/soccer club. A focus on athletic development and positive outcomes along the standard dimensions – physical, psychosocial, technical (skills), tactical (game understanding) – is at the heart of 205’s mission. A concurrent focus on coach and parent education and coaching development serves as a means to positively influence youth athletes both on and off the field.

The application of evidence-based best practices delivers empirically sound methods to 205’s programs.

Why the name “205 Sports”?

The name “205 Sports” derives from a geographic reference and a statement of intention.

“205” comes from Interstate-205 which connects the Mountain House and Tracy communities of California to the Central Valley. Although 205 Sports is based in these communities, the intention is to influence youth athletes throughout Northern California.

The use of “Sports” rather than a soccer-specific acronym (for example, “Soccer Club”) serves as a statement that our purpose is to develop athletic abilities in youth rather than limiting the influence to one sport. Many players in the Zone 1 age groups (Under-6 to Under-12) are in the process of learning the basic motor skills that will allow them to be lifelong athletes. We encourage “late specialization” – the model in which children are exposed to a variety of sporting activities – to develop the physical and mental tools to be successful in lifelong sports.

What sorts of activities and programs does 205 Sports provide?

As we roll out 205 Sports over the 2019 calendar year, we will be developing programs that align to our mission and values.

  • We are planning to provide a youth skills camp during the summer of 2019.
  • We are working with a local soccer club (UC Premier) on developing coaching and player development programs.
  • We are coordinating with parents in our community on programs for youth advocacy and mental skills development.

We are hoping to add additional plans and programs as we develop connections locally (within the Mountain House and Tracy communities) and throughout Northern California.

How can I find out more about 205 Sports?

Email us at pres@205sports.com for more details on our mission, plans, and programs.

References

Bickford, K. (2018). California Do Your Own Nonprofit: The ONLY GPS You Need for 501(c)(3) Tax Exempt Approval (Volume 5) Do Your Own Nonprofit. Chalfant Eckert Publishing.