It has been just over a month since I stepped in as the Executive Director for the Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Club (CRYSC). In just a few short weeks, I’ve met many parents, coaches, and players and am reassured in the potential we as an organization have to serve the community in a way that has not been done before. While there is a lot of work to be done in the next year, it is exciting work that I believe will propel this Club to become a template for the nation.
While this organization can be one of the best on the technical side, producing some of the nation’s best soccer players, much of my focus will be on making sure our customer service, communication, and organization match our level of the on-field soccer service. While not a small task, I believe it is something that will allow our families to better enjoy their time with CRYSC.
While rather long, I want to thank you in advance for taking a moment to read the information below which will provide an outline of the some of the changes you’ll see over the next year.
Aaron Nagel, Executive Director
Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Club
My Personal Philosophy
Over the last 8 to ten years and four children later, I believe I’ve truly come to understand the value youth sports has on our children’s lives. As parents, we all want our children to excel at whatever they put their minds to. It is CRYSC’s job to foster that love for soccer and help them develop in a way that exceeds their expectations.
Each child defines personal success in different ways. Some define success as scoring goals, some define success as the friendships they create on their team, some want the exercise, and some just enjoy the snacks following games. It doesn’t necessarily matter how each child defines their personal success; instead what matters is how we as a Club, as parents, and as coaches help them achieve what they desire to achieve.
Understanding CRYSC Services
CRYSC is an all-encompassing youth soccer organization, serving all realms of youth from a wide-range of background, from beginner to elite, from three-years-olds to professional, from underserved to advantaged, from all different cultures and backgrounds.
CRYSC is the name we use to to provide an overarching cover to all the services we offer.
Rapids Youth Soccer (RYS) – RYS provides what many of you participate in, which is our leagues, camps, clinics, and trainings. This program serves almost 4,000 children every season from beginner to advanced, from three-years-old to 18.
Rapids Outreach – CRYSC operates the nation’s largest Soccer for Success outreach program, serving over 3,000 underserved children each season in after-school programming teaching physical activity, mentorship, family engagement, and nutrition education. Additionally, the Zarlengo soccer outreach program works on providing focused soccer programming in underserved neighborhoods.
Development Academy – Our members have access to the boys U.S. Development Academy through the Colorado Rapids professional team. Rapids Youth is applying to receive the girls U.S. Development Academy program, which begins in the fall of 2017. The U.S. Development Academy helps identify players and coaches for future Youth National Teams.
Partnership with Rapids Professional – What propels CRYSC to be one of the nation’s most all encompassing youth soccer clubs is our relationship with the professional team. Through shared resources, education, knowledge, partnerships, and marketing efforts, the two organization truly serve to better the soccer community in Denver and around the nation.
What's Ahead for 2016/2017
Below you will find some of the major changes that will be taking place over the next year to provide our families a better experience with CRYSC.
New Website – We will launch a new website in the next few weeks. One you will find much easier to use, find information quicker, and take action in a way that improves your experience with soccer and the organization.
Scheduling Administration – We are in the process of custom building a scheduling administration database system that our members will find so much easier to find game information, find practice information for our competitive teams, and find supplemental programming schedules. This information will be hosted on our website and will provide a one-stop experience.
Coach Resources – In line with our new website, we’ll build out our coach resources in the next year or two, which will provide our coaches access to the information they need to be successful on and off the field.
Fields Resource – We hope to have a fields page built out for members from our Club and surrounding clubs to find directions to fields, field maps, and surrounding benefits from Club sponsors.
Meaningful Communication – In our fast-paced society today, it is important for parents, coaches, and players to have access to information they can act upon. We will focus on decreasing our communication to our membership so as to not overburden you during your busy days and increase the quality of meaningful communication you receive.
Focused Full-Time Staff – We’ve begun rearranging our staffing a bit, mostly within the younger age groups and recreational leagues, to provide more time for staff to assist parents and players operationally and at the fields.
More Facetime From Rapids Staff – Rapids Youth Soccer Directors will be more accessible at practices and games this coming fall, assisting coaches at practices and games and helping to answer questions from parents and coaches about what RYS provide.
Curriculum – We’ve already started reworking our curriculum so that our coaches and members can better understand and act on the Rapids philosophy. We hope to have a full Club curriculum available to all members within the next year.
NexGen Leaders – We are in the early stages of creating a program for older kids to instill a lifelong involvement with the game of soccer. Called NexGen (Next Generation) Leaders, we’ll put resources and energy into getting our current youth Club players licensed to become youth soccer coaches or referees, providing them the mentorship, resources, and commitment to the game of soccer.
Social Enterprise – Through our outreach programming, we’ll develop some strategic objectives to build a long-term sustainable social enterprise to assist with our outreach funding and provide an experience for all CRYSC membership above what they would find elsewhere. More specifics to come on this as we work through some details.
Satisfaction Scoring – We’ll continue to ask for feedback at the end of each season to develop a long-term satisfaction scoring sheet to better evaluate ourselves.
Growth – We will begin putting more focus on growth and marketing, especially at the younger ages, providing opportunities for our members to stay closer to home with neighborhood teams, practices, and games.
Homegrown Commitment – RYS teaches soccer in a way that we believe is most beneficial to individual development, often different than neighboring clubs, but backed by research and history. We believe in a mutual beneficial commitment to our players and our players to the club.