Parks & Rec. seeking coaches

The department’s sports programs are major undertakings, and without volunteer coaches, they wouldn’t continue to grow and be so successful.

By: Amy Filippone, Dept. of Parks & Recreation

Youth basketball and soccer are two of the Moorestown Parks and Recreation Department’s largest programs for children from kindergarten through grade twelve. In 2017, the winter basketball season consisted of 10 leagues and 70 teams. Soccer, this past fall, had 54 teams. All these teams require volunteer coaches and assistant coaches — that’s more 250 adults. These are major undertakings, and without volunteer coaches, they wouldn’t continue to grow and be so successful.

Recreation sports programs are designed to fit all sizes. No experience necessary — just a desire to learn and play a sport, be on a team and have fun.

“I think it’s the greatest thing going, I really do. I have four boys and my youngest now is in 8th grade. For all of my boys, [recreation] sports is what they love the most of anything, and they’ve played on travel teams, high school sports ,” said Dr. Ben Blank, one of the department’s coaches.

Blank has coached all levels of sports including travel and club teams, high school, and Rec Sports for the past 14 years. He said he’s coached everything from basketball, flag football, travel soccer, soccer, lacrosse and baseball, but he started with the Rec.

“When I first started coaching my oldest I didn’t have any experience and I was just like the typical first time dad,” Blank said.

He learned throughout the years. He said he’s big on encouraging the kids and trying to make sure all kids play equal time. He said the kids that are better encourage the other kids, and they really want them to do well.

Coaching doesn’t require a large time commitment. Most teams have one hour of practice a week and one game, usually on the weekend. A few initial team emails and the season runs itself. Again, no experience necessary.

So please consider coaching, or possibly co-coaching. It’s rewarding and we need you.

“I don’t know why parents don’t sign up to volunteer. They’re there anyway — the stands are full of parents, they’re there every week, why not just volunteer,” Blank said.