Project First Team

By putting the children first, we can be the best team

Photo of Micah Martinez
5 3

Written by

Eligibility: Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth

August 2000 for both

Where are you located:

Renton, WA 98059, Kirkland, WA 98074

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

http://bettersportsmanship.org/
Micah: Instagram: Micahlaurence
Sachin: Instagram: Desilva.sachin

Date Started

We have brainstormed about this project for awhile and recently we have been motivated to start making a change. We have known each other and have been soccer teammates for 5 years.

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Idea (hoping to get started in the future)

1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."

Youth sports has become a highly competitive environment in which parents and fans have grown accustomed to witnessing hostility, verbal abuse and sometimes even violence where winning or losing becomes the only thing that matters. Rather than value the experience and use the competitive nature of sports to teach life lessons, parents allow their emotions to dictate their actions which too often results in poor sideline behavior and ultimately ruins the experience for their child. Sachin and I want to change the way in which parents approach the sporting events, interact with one another and how they can make the experience positive for everyone, especially their own child. We believe that the focus should be on teaching life lessons to children such as leading by example.

2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Youth sports has become highly competitive with parents investing more time and resources than ever before and so there seems to be greater pressure on children and their teams to win at any cost. Parents seem to believe that their poor sideline behavior is appropriate cheering when in fact they are allowing emotions to guide their actions with no regard to the children who are affected.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

We have created Project First Team with the idea that parents should be engaging one another in a positive way, through social interaction, and they should understand that they are part of the same community, whether it is the basketball community, the Seattle community or simply the “sports parent” community. We want parents to show children, through better sportsmanship, that life lessons such as good character, the golden rule, etc. are far more important than winning or losing; and that these lessons should be those that are taught through youth sports competition. Through our organization we want parents to understand, that as parents, they have a responsibility to set high standards in terms of sideline behavior and encourage others to do the same. We also want our organization and website to be a resource for important and relevant topics for sports parents such as nutrition, injury prevention, head injuries, etc.

4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

We will approach sports club organizations, teams and parents directly. Our goal is to encourage parents/fans to sign up by taking the parent promise of pledging to make the sports experience for their child a positive one where the focus is on life lessons, not winning or losing. Once the parent signs up they are invited to become a Project First Team ambassador volunteer for their child’s team and be willing to reach out to the other team’s parents (or ambassador) to socialize or provide any assistance (i.e. local restaurants, etc.), and encourage best sideline behavior as well as social interaction with other parents. Each team can have numerous Project First Team ambassadors and if a parent does not wish to volunteer as an ambassador, by signing up and taking the parent promise, they are showing a willingness to become an unofficial ambassador by displaying nothing but goodwill.

5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

The fact that we, as youth athletes, are creating this organization rather than as parents seems to be one of the X factors. Also, we wish to promote social interaction amongst parents of competing teams who may or may not otherwise talk or interact. The websites that we have seen that may be deemed similar, focus on providing informational resources, which is good, but do not include the important element of encouraging parent engagement towards a unified community.

6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

We have just started our organization and created our website but we believe that we can have a great impact on a lot of parents and children throughout the U.S. and if we are able to get our website translated to different languages such as Spanish, etc. then we are optimistic about reaching out to many parents in different communities, perhaps worldwide. Competitive youth sports seem to be common throughout the world and we believe that what we are promoting goodwill in communities and a change for the better.

7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

Hopefully, with enough recognition through showcasing the ideas of Project First Team through social media or even people that will see our participation in this contest. We collectively as an organization will garner enough support through people who share the same desire as us on trying to help secure the wellbeing of our future generations. We also hope to incorporate and apply for official non-profit status.

8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?

As of right now, the best that is offered for any advice and support comes from the direct relationships between friends that are aware of Sachin and I trying to start up this non-profit organization and our families that have tried to put in their two cents. In the future, as this idea gains traction. We hope to gain guidance and mentorship on marketing and non-profit management, as well as seed money.

9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Mentors/advisors
  • Donations between $100-$1k

10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.

We believe that since we will be working with parents and sports organizations that it makes sense that we work with other changemakers, other organizations who also work with parents and children and who have common goals/interests. Specifically, to unify the community. We would like to work with schools, especially junior/high schools in communicating the same message and for developing Project First Team ambassadors who will represent the future of the organization. We also would like to partner with sports figures, coaches who represent our core values and possess the same passion for being a changemaker in the community - giving back to the community.

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • White (for example: German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, French) (6)
  • Asian (for example: Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Pakistani) (9)
  • Native American or Alaska Native (for example: Navajo Nation, Blackfeet Tribe, Mayan, Aztec, Native Village of Barrow Inupial Traditional Government, Nome Eskimo Community) (10)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • Communities of color
  • Other

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media
  • Word of mouth

5 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Manju-Suba De Silva
Team

All my kids were paying soccer and I experienced many times, how poorly some parents behave when things are very completive. I think this is a great idea!

View all comments