The Cassville YMCA is currently accepting registrations for its spring youth soccer and youth flag football programs.
"Today, you see commercials on TV promoting playing for 60 minutes per day," said Bob Crouthamel. "When I was a kid, we played four or five hours a day. I never wanted to go home.
"The soccer and flag football programs get kids running around meeting new and old friends," said Crouthamel. "They are building relationships and improving their hand-to-eye coordination, and they are having so much fun they don't even realize that they are exercising."
The youth soccer and flag football programs are 10-week leagues that include three weeks of practices. Games are played on Saturdays. Rain-outs are rescheduled for weekday evenings.
"I'm going to hold a coaching seminar to teach the coaches techniques and how to make practices fun," said Crouthamel. "We don't want these kids to only enjoy games. They should enjoy practices too."
Crouthamel utilizes skill-building games and contests to help players prepare for competition play.
"At this age, these kids just need to learn the fundamentals of the sport," said Crouthamel. "Most importantly, they need to learn that these sports are fun. They need to get out there and play and enjoy it."
To help accommodate younger players, Crouthamel is working with City of Cassville staff members to reposition some of the soccer and flag football fields. This year, the smaller fields that are used by the younger players will be located closer to the bathrooms at the Cassville Aquatic Park.
Crouthamel said the park's concession stand will also be open to players and families during games this year.
The Cassville YMCA's youth soccer and flag football programs are open to kindergarten through sixth grade students. Children who are 4 are also invited to participate in the programs.
Practice times for all flag football and soccer teams will be held on weekday evenings. Times will be determined by coaches. Parents interested in determining practice times must volunteer as a coach.
Registrations for guaranteed placement end March 5. Games will begin Saturday, March 31.
YMCA family members can participate in the program for $15 per player. Non-members can take part in the leagues for $40. Financial assistance is available for students who receive free and reduced lunches.
Registrations will be accepted at the Cassville YMCA, which is located at 408 State Highway 248 in Cassville.
For more information, to request a registration form or to volunteer as a coach, call 846-1535.