Pop Warner Little Scholars
Youth sports organizations are fundamental to building the young people in society. These programs help in developing self-worth in the youth, creating platforms through which the young people can practice their leadership skills, and also in giving back to the community at large as a form of corporate social responsibility (McPherson & Curtis, 1989). The purpose of this research is to critique the Pop Warner Little Scholars on how the program helps develop self-worth and leadership among the participant as well as how the program gives back to the society. The involvement of young people in programs such as sports organization helps in the positive development of their lives through improving self-esteem, reducing anxiety, and creating initiative (Schinke & Hanrahan, 2012). The significance of this research is to help in the planning for and implementing ways via which the Pop Warner Little Scholars can help develop leadership skills and motivate self-worth to the participants, as well as give back to the society in an effective manner.
Physical sports activities serve as an avenue to develop self-worth in young adults as well as increase the life satisfaction of the adolescents that choose to be part and parcel of said activities. Through games and sports, young children and adolescents can learn sensitivity towards the values of others around them, how to handle exclusion and dominance, and even how to manage the various emotions that affect them. Recreation programs that are adventure-based are considered to be better than recreation programs that are social when it comes to enhancing actions and attitudes about building cooperation and trust. Sports programs also tend to give the participants the chance to learn how to manage emotions and also acquire a set of skills to solve problems.
Sports programs are also paramount in instilling leadership skills among the young people who participate in sports programs. Leadership skills are major components about the levels of success an individual can have in the future. It is due to this fact that leadership is a paramount part of developing the young people in a positive manner. Vince Lombardi, who was a great coach in the field of football, postulated that people are not necessarily born leadership qualities but are rather made to be the good leaders that they are (Schinke & Hanrahan, 2012). Several studies claim that the experiences that young people have correlated with leadership styles and patterns they portray later in life. The effectiveness of sport programs in building leadership capabilities in the youth ought to follow several guidelines including: the creation of channels for the young people to develop leadership skills over a period, creating opportunities for the youth t practice planning and decision making, involving them in an organizational structure, and making sure that the program has high standards regarding training with continuous support for the participants.
The leaders of a team are observed to develop positive relationships with the teammates that result in the forging of strong bonds so that all members feel like being part of the group at large. There is an emerging need to come up with models that precisely facilitate the development of leadership in the youth. Several suggested stages in youth leadership building include creating awareness in leadership, providing avenues where the youth can take responsibility, creating leadership opportunities across different age groups, and promoting leadership development that is self-actualized (Martinek & Hellinson, 2009).
Sports programs are also a way through which the companies and various philanthropies can give back to the communities that they are based. The metropolitan cities that host large sporting programs and events invest physical, human, and financial capital and thus ought to benefit the community that hosts them. Channels of giving back include corporate social responsibility and community involvement by the conglomerates. Corporate social responsibility primarily refers to the actions taken by firms that tend to better the community extending beyond the companies’ interests. Currently, CSR has gained popularity even with sporting organizations, and they include outreach programs that tend to further social causes (Churchill, 2013). Sporting organizations CSR activities include giving sponsorships and donations to organizations that are non-profit, civic engagement, and corporate citizenship. Sporting organizations also participate in corporate community involvement through volunteering, strategic philanthropy, and forming partnerships with groups from the community (Nguyen, 2010). To make sure that communities are benefited through the corporations’ CCI and CSR, some of the power needs to be given to the communities as they are in a better position at times to know what is needed to improve the community at large.
Pop Warne Little Scholars
Pop Warner Little Scholars is an organization for a non-profit that primarily focuses on programs such as football, dance, and cheer in various countries all over the world. Pop Warner was founded in the year 1929 when a factory owner in Philadelphia enlisted a young friend to help him solve a primary problem the factory faced. The factory had its large windows constantly shattered by teenagers who hurled stones at the factory. The young friend, Joe Tomlin, was an enthusiastic sportsman, and he proposed that the factory owners come together and fund a sports program for the young kids who were idle to keep them occupied and reduce the cases of vandalism that the factories faced.
In the year 1960, Pop Warner Football was popular in metropolitan areas and cities around America. By around 1969, teams in the Pop Warner program surpassed 3000 teams. Girls were not involved before 1970, and thus Pop Warner introduced the cheerleading program to involve the young girls. Today, over 400,000 teenagers, both girls and boys, participate in the programs run by Pop Warner in the USA. Teams from Japan, Mexico, and other countries add up to over 5,000 teams in football. The Pop Warner command chain consists of a board of directors at the top, followed by the medical advisory committee, the Pop Warner Nationwide staff, the executive director, the chief marketing officer, the various commissioners and managers, the leagues in the several regions, the associations, and finally the teams. The important point is that the participants of Pop Warner are aged 5 to 16, and they have to maintain the required academic standards to be a part of the program.
The Pop Warner program has an ideal platform where the participant’s self-worth can be developed in a couple of ways. First, it has the cheerleading and football programs where the participants get to belong to a team and have a sense of satisfaction. Unlike other sports programs where only the best players get to play frequently while the not so gifted watch from the sidelines, Pop Warner has mandatory requirements that ensure that all participants get to play. Pop Warner is more than just a sport and athlete program because for one to be a participant in the program and play, he or she must first perform well in the classroom. The fact that one is a member creates a sense of self-worth since one has first to achieve in the classroom before participating in the program. In as much as Pop Warner has excelled in developing self-worth in the youth, they ought to increase avenues via which the participants can develop self-worth. Instead of just honoring just the first and second teams in their annual national banquet, they should find a way of honoring all participants.
When it comes to developing leadership skills, Pop Warner does not do much as the only observation of leadership opportunities that the program offers are on the team level where one can be a team captain at best. Pop Warner should come up with a more comprehensive program that creates opportunities where the youth can build on their leadership capabilities. They should involve the participants even more in the structure of the organization and create ways through which they can create leadership awareness (Guenzi & Ruta, 2013).
The Pop Warner program gives back to the community in a couple of ways. One of them is the Little Scholars program where the organization rewards the participants when they perform outstandingly in the classroom. It also gives college scholarships to the most deserving members who are in the highest grade level. The program has awarded almost 1,000,000 dollars in college scholarships to the participants within the last seventeen years. Pop Warner together with its sponsors also awards national grants to the teams like the travel grants to the national championship, grants for sporting equipment, and grants for start-up teams. Pop Warner should create better ways of involving the community in their CSR activities to ensure efficiency in how they give back to the community.
Pop Warner is not perfect in how it develops self-worth, leadership, and in giving back to the community and thus to make it efficient, the following recommendations should be considered. There should be a creation of more opportunities to expose the participants to leadership roles that enable them to take responsibility for various tasks. Pop Warner should also involve the members of the organization structure like creating a platform for members to be representatives in the various regions. The organization should also participate in volunteer work in the community to better their community involvement. Outreach programs where members can with disadvantaged peers in the community also be formulated to help the non-members also better themselves. The program should further motivate the participants to bring about leadership that is self-actualized. There should also be an expansion of the programs that help develop self-worth in the participants like the creation of more platforms to recognize and award the participants. Finally, Pop Warner should come up with short courses to create leadership awareness among its members thus enabling them to take leadership roles in society both now and in the future.
The Pop Warner program is broad and does try to develop leadership skills, create self-worth among the participants, and give back to the community at large. The current program is good but upon the consideration of the recommendations proposed in this research paper, it sure will stand out from the bulk of sporting organizations. While conducting this research, the major limiting factor was the use of only web-based sites as the primary source of information. This results in lacking more in-depth analysis as opposed to conducting an interview and using it as an additional source. In the case of future research, there should be the inclusion of several sources of information to ensure that the final results are detailed.
Churchill, D. (2013). Communicating social responsibility in professional American motorsports an analysis of organization generated content. Gainesville, Fla.: University of Florida.
Guenzi, P., & Ruta, D. (2013). Leading teams tools and techniques for successful team leadership from the sports world. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley.
McPherson, B., & Curtis, J. (1989). The social significance of sport: An introduction to the sociology of sport. Champaign, Ill.: Human Kinetics Books.
Martinek, T., & Hellison, D. (2009). Youth leadership in sport and physical education. New York; Palgrave MacMillan.
Nguyen, S. (2010). Influence of perceived shared corporate social orientation of employees and volunteers with sport organizations on attitudinal outcomes. Tallahassee, Florida: Florida State University.
Schinke, R. (2012). Sport for development, peace, and social justice. Morgantown, WV: Fitness Information Technology.