We explore the developments and stories found in the youth sports industry on a platform we hope will better engage our communities
🎧 You can tune in here to listen to the first two episodes or find the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Anchor, Breaker and RadioPublic for a new episode each month.
At i9 Sports we know that youth sports are about so much more than just playing the game. That’s why we are going beyond the field and court on The i9 Sports Show. We hope our new podcast will engage our communities and raise awareness of our exceptional youth sports franchise.
We believe everyone should have access to the knowledge of professionals in the youth sports industry and that parents, coaches and youth sports leaders should always continue to explore ways to help children learn and grow as they play the game. “The i9 Sports Show” was created to take listeners beyond the field and the court, featuring conversations with national leaders in youth sports as well as stories from our very own i9 Sports families.
Playing amid a pandemic
Our first two guests were people near and dear to our hearts: franchisee Micah Nisley, who owns two territories, and Lisa Licata, a senior director with the National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS).
Nisley discussed her personal project to spread joy during the pandemic. When most businesses were ordered closed in March due to the pandemic, the Dallas-Fort Worth area franchisee used letter signs to spell out different messages in her front yard, from humorous (Send TP) to inspirational (Stronger Together).
She was able to keep busy at a time when she couldn’t fully engage in her business, and she managed to keep her i9 Sports family engaged while also getting to know her community better.
Licata joined CEO Brian Sanders to talk about returning to play as people adjust to the ever-changing new normal. “I don’t think anyone has seen anything like this…nothing has shaken the core of youth sports the way this (pandemic) has,” says Licata, who has been with the NAYS for over 25 years.
Sanders and Licata talk about the impact of the nation’s “hyper-local” response to the pandemic on how kids play sports, and what that means for the gradual return to playing fields and courts. The two have a lot of expertise and share some interesting insights on the topic.
Grassroots programs and organizations like i9 Sports have an opportunity to take youth sports in a new direction, especially with so many school programs delayed, Licata tells Sanders.
Why physical literacy matters
Our second episode of the podcast featured Brett Kilka of SPIDERfit Kids, who talked about the importance of physical literacy. “Research has shown that children learn physical skills much like they learn academic skills,” he said. “Physical literacy is essentially an observation of a child’s confidence and competence with a physical activity across the gamut of different activities.”
Kilka is a lifelong athlete who spent the first part of his career working as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at the Olympic Training Center in San Diego.
“It was also fascinating working with the world’s best athletes,” Kilka said. “A lot of times when they had performance limitations, I found that we would have to reverse-engineer them down to what they should have been practicing when they were 6, 7, 8, 9 years old. And we had world class athletes crawling and skipping and rolling and doing some of these very, very basic skills.”
Children who register with i9 Sports can make great gains in physical literacy thanks to our unique approach to youth sports. To achieve our mission of helping kids succeed in life through sports, we focus on how the game is played and how much fun we can make it for the kids (and how convenient we can make it for the parents).
We’re looking forward to exploring the developments and stories that interest everyone in youth sports, from families who play to the entrepreneurs who invest in our youth sports franchises. To find out more about the business opportunity with i9 Sports, fill out the form on this page to download our free franchise report.