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About WAYA

Who We Are

West Austin Youth Association (WAYA) is a privately funded, non-profit organization founded in 1980 to provide recreational and educational opportunities for the youth of Austin. Today, WAYA serves over 10,000 youth from over 60 zip codes throughout the Austin area in over 30 sports programs and activities annually.

Mission Statement:
WAYA offers an array of activities in a fun, and safe community environment, providing children with the opportunity to reach their potential.


Honor The Game

WAYA has adopted a positive youth sports culture philosophy, which we describe as "honor the game". We do NOT embrace a "win at all cost" mentality. Instead, our aspiration is to be an outstanding educational-athletic organization that provides a high-quality experience to every athlete.

A high-quality experience is one in which every participant:

  • Is coached using the principles of Positive Coaching
  • Has fun playing the game
  • Feels like an important part of their team regardless of performance
  • Learns "life lessons" that have value beyond the game itself
  • Learns the skills, tactics and strategies of the game and improves as a player.

We will strive to provide every coach with the tools to be successful as a Double-Goal Coach (where winning is important, but teaching life lessons is more important). As such, we are utilizing many of the concepts advanced by the Positive Coaching Alliance, a non-profit established in 1988 at Stanford University. For more information on Positive Coaching Alliance, please visit www.positivecoach.org.

We want to create a culture at WAYA where kids love to play the game. They look forward to practices and games as times when they will have fun. The joy they find in playing will last a lifetime.

Our philosophy is based on collective empowerment, where coaches, parents, fans, officials and athletes work together to honor the game.

Our Culture

Before the Game:

  • Tell your child that you are proud of him regardless of how well he plays.
  • Tell your child to play hard and have fun. Remind her that it's okay to be nervous. ("Nervous is normal.")
  • Make a commitment to yourself to Honor the Game no matter what others may do.

During the Game:

  • Let the coaches coach. Avoid giving your child or other players advice during the game.
  • Fill your child's and teammates' Emotional Tanks.
  • Cheer good plays and good efforts by both teams.
  • Have fun and enjoy the day!

After the Game:

  • Thank the officials for doing a difficult job.
  • Thank the coaches for their effort.
  • Let your child tell you about the game (avoid giving a post-game analysis unless asked.)
  • Ask open-ended questions:
    → "What was your most/least enjoyable part of the game?"
    → "What did you learn from the game?
  • Tell your child again that you are proud of him/her.

What if:

  • The official makes a "bad call" against your team?
    → Honor the Game and be silent!
  • Another spectator begins to berate the official?
    → Remind them to Honor the Game!