“For over 7 years UYSA and Especially for Athletes have been doing something unique to youth sports. Over a thousand soccer players have joined the Eyes Up Do the Work movement and accepted the challenge from Especially for Athletes to lead with intent and not simply by default. We are excited to be able to reach more athletes and parents with the development of these Leadership Councils and to make the competitive soccer experience an even better one for coaches, parents and especially the players.”
-Dustin Smith, Especially for Athletes Founder
Leadership Council for Utah Youth Soccer Association Athletes
The Especially for Athletes program has been helping thousands of athletes of all ages and sports for over a decade learn how to better handle what they refer to as the “Sportlight” and how to lead in in a way that creates a positive, safe environment for their teammates, but also for those not involved in sports that they interact with daily in the community and at school. Topics like social media use, bullying, mental health in sports, cheating, drug abuse, accountability and resiliency are a focus of Especially for Athletes. Traditionally, Especially for Athletes has been a resource UYSA has relied on for leadership development at TOSH State Select (ODP) combines.
Utah Youth Soccer’s hope is that E4A will help these selected youth leaders in our Association and State master the skills to build and a develop a culture and behavior in our sport that will be a catalyst to positive change regarding certain issues we’ve seen within our leagues and events – issues such as poor referee treatment, racism towards opponents, poor sportsmanship on the field, etc.