Y's Youth Sports Volunteer Coach Helps Kids Advance in Skills
Within the past two years, Adam Swenson has moved quickly up the volunteer ranks at the YMCA. Give credits to Adam's love of sports and his "people-person" personality, along with the support of the staff and members at the Y North Branch. "The people are like my family here, my second family that is," says Adam with a grin.
He began working out at the Y to keep active and healthy and to continue to spend time around other people, after graduating from Melrose-Mindoro High School in 2011. With his outgoing attitude, he started to volunteer by assisting with the youth sports programs. From there he advanced to volunteer coach status for Happy Bats baseball, Happy Feet soccer, and Happy Hoops basketball, as well as youth kickball and flag football leagues. His goal is to eventually work as an employee at the Y.
Adam keeps busy with all of the Y's seasonal sports, reminiscent of his high school days. He played basketball, soccer, football, and baseball, and participated in track field, too. What's his favorite sport to teach and to play? Basketball!
His enthusiasm for sports is reflected in his coaching skills. His most enjoyable aspect of coaching is when he practices a skill with a participant and the player achieves it. He thinks it's "just great" when a Y youth member learns something new with his help. Adam sees first-hand how practice and perseverance pay off for young members, and he's glad to be a part of the learning and growing process as a volunteer coach.
As for himself, he worked for a long time on shooting a basketball with one hand, and he's finally achieved it. He uses his newfound skill at the Y's noon basketball leagues he looks forward to playing in every week. "At noon basketball, I get to meet a lot of new people," Adam says. "The people here are amazing; they're really nice." Along with playing noon basketball, Adam likes to work out on the weights in the Wellness Center. Adam enjoys spending time with his "second family" every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday when he's at the Y. His schedule varies, depending on what sport he'll volunteer coach that day and/or evening.
The son of Bruce and Trudy Swenson, Adam, age 21, has two older brothers and a preschool-age nephew. When he's not at the Y, Adam enjoys being with his family and helping out on their two farms. He especially relishes spending time outdoors and working on their farms. Adam also is an avid reader, his mind swept away in his favorite fantasy series of books at the time, including "Harry Potter" and "The Kingdom Keepers," as well as books starring the fictional character Percy Jackson. He looks forward to watching the movies based on the books too.
While spending time and volunteer coaching at the Y, his confidence levels and independence have truly soared. He enjoys his own adventures and motivating youth program participants to achieve their own goals. It's not a work of fiction that Adam has a bright future ahead.
- By Kim Seidel, Seidel Ink LLC. 2013