By Molly Hayden, U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr Public Affairs August 19, 2013
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- Child, Youth and School Services is in great need of volunteer coaches for its fall youth sports, particularly cheerleading, soccer and flag football.
The current season has been delayed due to staffing issues with a new start date to begin Sept. 9. The season will run through the end of October.
Volunteer coaching is an investment of time, energy and heart, and while rewards are not measured monetarily, according to Spc. Justin Potter, 615th Military Police Battalion, the payoff is simple.
"When you do something you love, it's not work," said Potter, who currently coaches tackle football for ages 12-14. "This is something I love. I can't play football anymore, but I can teach these kids to understand the game."
Potter said being a Soldier has helped him become a better coach.
"It goes back to the Army values - discipline, leadership, respect for your fellow man. It's all executed on the field," he said. "And when you see these kids start to understand the game and make a play or make a catch, that's all the payment you need."
Soccer coach Kristin Valverde agreed.
"I love seeing the look of accomplishment on their faces," said Valverde, who coaches a soccer team of 10 to 12-year-olds. "This is a great age group as they are starting to really understand the game. They are learning and growing and I'm a part of that."
Valverde, who is new to the Grafenwoehr community, said that volunteering is also a great way to learn more about the community.
"You're a part of something when you volunteer," she said. "I've meet some really great people doing this and it has helped me transition and establish new friendships."
Becoming a volunteer can seem like a daunting task. There is a mound of paperwork and the process is slow.
Since the implementation of new background check procedures, the program review board has increased from two weeks to up to six months. But the staff at CYSS is there to guide potential volunteers through the process.
"Our Youth Sports and Fitness volunteers are the backbone of our program," said Anita Payne-Landgraf, chief, CYSS. "With an all-volunteer coaching staff, we count on community members stepping up to give their time to the youth."
For more information, or to start the process of becoming a volunteer coach, contact the Youth Sports and Fitness Office at DSN 475-6655, CIV 09641-83-6655.