On Saturday, February 14 Bay Area Disc will host the second annual Youth Ultimate Coaching Conference. Attendees and speakers from around the country will gather at Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, California for a day of presentations, networking and inspiration. The conference aims to foster a qualified coaching community – a key factor for the growth of our sport. Tickets to the conference are available, so register to reserve your spot.
Youth Ultimate Coaching Conference 2015 received some attention in January when Bay Area Disc Youth Director Valerio Iani was interviewed by Skyd Magazine’s Ryan Anderson. Read the full interview below.
Valerio: This year’s theme for YUCC is the Long-Term Athlete Development model (LTAD). LTAD is described as a pathway that guides an individual’s experience in sport from youth through adulthood. Just think: should 8-year-olds be running the plyos gauntlet? What’s really the difference between a middle school and a high school team? Should we play co-ed or split gender in elementary school? Are we training to win States or for a lifelong passion? It’s time for Ultimate coaches and organizations to adopt comprehensive age- and gender-appropriate training. Just last year, Canada Ultimate published the first LTAD model specific to Ultimate. Meanwhile, USA Ultimate is working on its own version under the US Olympic Committee. What can we learn from Canada’s pioneering effort and USAU’s work-in-progress? And what does it mean for our day-to-day coaching experiences? The answers will help us propel our sport to the next level of modern coaching.
Question: YUCC this year will be different structurally from last year. Could you speak about how it will be organized?
Valerio: We’re excited to do something different with this year’s YUCC. In 2014 we had a plethora of great presenters and fascinating topics—almost too much to take in. Starting this year, each Bay Area Disc conference will deal with a central theme. The single-track program for all attendees to follow will provide a more in-depth and rich focus on a topic of importance to youth coaching. We’ve also planned more networking and hands-on activities since we saw that people really loved these aspects of our 2014 conference. Our goal is for attendees to spend more time with each other, establishing connections, trying out new learning tools, and achieving a deeper layer of expertise.
In the morning sessions, Canada Ultimate’s Executive Director, Danny Saunders, will present their LTAD model; while USA Ultimate CEO, Tom Crawford will discuss their approach to developing their own model. After the lunch break it’s on to the networking session and hands-on activities with internationally renowned coaches to round out an energizing practical experience.
Question: Who are the speakers headlining this year’s event? Are you particularly excited for anyone?
Valerio: It’s not every day that the top dogs of Ultimate Canada, USA Ultimate, WFDF and Australia Ultimate are all together in the same room talking about youth programs! On their heels, Positive Coaching Alliance and some of the best coaches from Seattle and San Francisco will share their methods for successfully coaching youth.
We’re also really looking forward to having Diana Cutaia kick off the conference as our keynote, bringing us a fresh perspective on youth coaching from outside the Ultimate world. With 20 years of experience as a sports educator and mentor, Diana and her firm, Coaching Peace, promote gender equity, diversity, and team building in youth sports. A regular media and TV guest, she has a unique talent for breaking down and communicating the key components of coaching youth.
Question: What will the audience experience be like for YUCC? Will there be a lot of participation?
Valerio: This year we changed facilities to accommodate more people. At the same time, we’re keeping the informal and intimate atmosphere to help connect and establish relationships. The conference is on February 14th, Valentine’s Day—the perfect excuse to feed your passion on the latest developments in youth Ultimate coaching followed by a romantic weekend with your sweetie in San Francisco!
Valerio: Our motto is “Share, network, get inspired!” and we are confident that every participant will have a rewarding experience. They’ll have the opportunity not just to listen to speeches but will engage in workshops, meet several national organization leaders, and converse face-to-face with other members of the youth Ultimate movement. Personally, we’re super stoked to bring all these great people to the table and see what happens!
Question: What is the goal/mission of YUCC?
Valerio: Bay Area Disc’s goal is to promote a professional approach to growing youth Ultimate and to foster a qualified and educated community of coaches. Passion for a sport can deeply influence people’s lives. Ultimate, with its self-officiating and Spirit of The Game culture, is a complex sport to teach; therefore, coaches are key to determining what kind of athletes young players will become.
Question: Tell us about YUCC’s partnership with Skyd. Why is it a good partnership for the event?
Valerio: We know not everyone can come, so we want to share what we can of the experience and learning. Starting with last year’s YUCC, we’ve partnered with Skyd Magazine to put some of the content online. People all over the world can view these presentations for free. We hope they’ll get inspired to organize their own youth coaching conferences!