According to USSA Executive Vice President, Athletics, Luke Bodensteiner’s address at the 2013 Club Excellence Conference, culture is a set of shared standards and beliefs that drives decision-making in an organization.
Through Club Development the USSA is committed to partnering with USSA clubs to provide the optimal athlete development experience guided by the following principles:
Clear, consistent approaches to long-term athlete development at all phases
Providing optimal coaching at all levels
Measuring club performance against consistent standards
Fun, safe and satisfying development experience, with opportunity to reach full potential
A balanced approach to character development and athletic performance
Shared culture across all USSA clubs
Fostering the appropriate culture in your club is what ties us all together: athletes, coaches, volunteers, parents, communities, regions, the USSA and individual clubs. It will help define expectations and success at all levels, and keep us all focused on what’s important.
According to a survey of almost 800 coaches, club leaders and administrators the current priorities of USSA clubs is to:
Provide a positive experience (fun, friendships, learning, life-long enjoyment of sport)
Help kids develop strong values and self confidence while also acquiring specific skills
Deliver high-quality coaching
Further, this survey indicated that the vast majority of USSA clubs are aligned with USSA’s vision and shared culture even though relatively few clubs focus on developing elite athletes.
Parents surveyed indicate that they want the following from USSA clubs:
A healthy lifestyle for their children
Development of mental aspects of performance
Fundamental skill development
Long-term athlete development
With all this in mind USSA clubs are tasked with providing a balanced approach to character development and athletic performance, as that is the shared culture as stated by the USSA, clubs, club leaders, parents and the athletes.
Below are resources and information about best practices that will help USSA clubs meet these principles. For more in-depth access to these types of resources, as well as direct support, forums with other club leaders, resource sharing, potential deployment of Club Expert Consultants and other opportunities for developing your club, see USSA Club Certification.