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The Value of Playing

Posted by robert hopkins at Jan 9, 2006 4:00PM PST ( 0 Comments )
THE VALUE OF PLAYING - Parents: Don't discount the value of simply playing; Common misconceptions within the youth sporting world involve play and how it influences everything from skill development to conditioning. Too often parents, without realizing it, allow their youngsters to participate in training programs and practice sessions that feature endless repetitions of one exercise. These types of practices are counterproductive and impede a young athlete's development. Let's take a look at playing from a few perspectives. Mental - Children do not posses the attention span to concentrate on one athletic skill for a prolonged period of time. Understanding this concept is paramount. Once a child becomes bored with a movement frustration and carelessness will set in, leading to poor execution and incorrect form. Performing a skill without the proper mechanics can lead to acute or chronic injury, and these repetitive movements can inhibit development. Emotional - Young athletes require constant positive and constructive feedback from their parents. Chastising young athletes for a poor performance or incorrect execution of a skill is not conducive to optimal development. Forcing children to perform the same drill over and over again in an effort to help them improve a specific skill will often feel like punishment to them, even though that wasn't your intention. Children learn, develop and grow when they are immersed in a positive and uplifting environment. Now, this doesn't mean that you remove discipline or respect from the equation, but never confuse discipline and respect with fear and loathing. A child that is fearful of the repercussions of a poor performance is going to be hampered in their development. Conversely, a child that knows that they will be supported and nurtured after a poor performance and given every chance to improve is going to reap the benefits of seeing steady progress in their skill development. Physical - A child simply cannot become proficient at a sport without developing a solid foundation of all of the skills that are required to participate. As a parent you have a responsibility to ensure that your young athlete is involved in as much diversification as possible. This could mean playing several different sports throughout the year rather than just concentrating on one or two. Don't make the mistake of immersing your youngster into one sport year-round if that's not what they are truly interested in doing. It will only hurt - not help - them. By incorporating the concept of play into activities and drills that you perform with your child at home, you can transform them into fun and enjoyable experiences that will help develop their athletic skills. Don't discount the benefits of basic game-oriented activities like tag, for example. This schoolyard favorite that can be played in the backyard offers several athletic development and conditioning benefits to youngsters. After all, the game requires starting and stopping, accelerating, changing speeds and direction, and developing strategies in order not to get caught. Other fun games that can enhance your child's athletic development include tug-of-war, single leg tug-of-war, wheel barrel races and partner jumping races. Remember, the act of simply playing is valuable in your child's athletic development. Use it creatively in your own backyard and it will enable your child to reap many wonderful benefits. Brian Grasso is the director of and the author of "Complete Functional Conditioning" that features more than 100 functional and athletic-based exercises. For more information visit This article was reprinted with permission by the National Alliance For Youth Sports. More information can be obtained through their educational on-line program, which is available at Your participation and membership helps support youth sport parent education nationwide, which further benefits our mission to keep youth sports safe and fun for children.
The West Des Moines "Little Pro" Youth Football League, Incorporated, (WDMLPYFL. Inc.) is an independent, non-profit youth-based athletic organization governed by a board of directors and is not affiliated with any school district athletic program or city funded Parks and Recs. department. The League is funded exclusively with private funds and is a registered non-profit corporation within the State of Iowa in accordance with the provisions set forth in Chapter 504A of the Code of Iowa and Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The League was founded in the Spring of 2003 to promote the development and maintenance of a supervised, full contact, youth-based football program serving the communities of central Iowa. Although based in West Des Moines, Iowa, the League also sponsors and administrates programs from various communities in the central Iowa region. To accommodate the growth experienced in each of the first two seasons, the League established two Conferences for the Fall 2005 Season; the Metropolitan Conference and the Western Conference. As a result, 41 teams competed in the League with participants from such communities as West Des Moines, Des Moines, Waukee, Jefferson, Norwalk, Adel, Scranton, Carroll, Minburn, Urbandale, DeSoto, Johnston, Cumming, Clive and Pleasant Hill. West Des Moines participants played the majority of their games in West Des Moines, while outside communities played the majority of their games at shared venues located within their respective communities, many on their home town high school varsity fields. Unlike many other established youth based athletic organizations that adopt exclusionary provisions that restrict participation in programs to residents and youth within their specific communities, we embrace and support a philosophy that is just the opposite. We attempt to advocate, support and enhance any youth based football organization by building productive coalitions based on best practices standards, operational consistency and resource aggregation. We appreciate the important, healthy and satisfying role that structured athletic competition provides for the millions of youth who choose to participate in a variety of sports provided by youth leagues and programs across the country on a yearly basis. We subscribe to the belief that any time youth are provided with an opportunity to participate in structured athletic competition - it is a good thing and should be explored - regardless of where they live. To this end, we understand and recognize that we are in a position to assist communities outside of the immediate metropolitan area in the development and maintenance of their own programs. We welcome the possibility of providing assistance to any community that wishes to expand the opportunities currently available to their youth for athletic participation. If there is interest and support for starting a new program in your community, we can provide information and assistance relative to the following: Identifying and Establishing Program Prerequisites Development of an Implementation Plan Securing Playing Facilities Insurance Considerations Incorporation / Board Establishment Funding Community Information Meetings Player Registrations Selection of Coaches Team Organization Equipment Procurement Equipment Distribution Independent vs. League Affiliation Scheduling Logistics Practice Sessions Officiating Sponsors Community Relations Team Promotions The League assists communities in establishing programs that are independent, non-profit entities with the sole purpose of promoting and developing a youth based football program. The programs are administered by a gruop of local volunteers within the respective community that share the common goal of youth sports advocacy. Boards are established and are responsible for all operational considerations relative to their local programs. The WDMLPYFL assists in this process and local Boards may, if they chose to, petition the League for consideration of becoming a Member Organization. If you are interested in starting a new program in your community, or have an existing program that you wish to create additional opportunities for, we would welcome hearing from you and would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have or discuss the possibilities that may be available. Inquiries may be directed to League Commissioner Brad Hopkins by e-mail at, or by contacting (515)971.0765. Thank you for your interest and support of youth sports in central Iowa. imageimage
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2005 Season Wrap-Up

Posted by robert hopkins at Oct 28, 2005 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )
Commissioners thank our Western Conference teams for helping make the 2005 West Des Moines “Little-Pro” Youth Football League a huge success. The competition was every bit as good as expected culminating in some of the most exciting play-off games in the League’s 3-year history. All indications point to continued League growth in 2006. Future expansion will only occur so long as there is no compromise within the League’s quality standards. If it cannot be done and done right, it will not happen. Once again, special thanks go out to the West Des Moines School District for all their assistance in facility and field acquisition. It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to this year’s 7th graders. Many of these athletes have been with us for 3 years and we will miss each and every one of them. The good news is that our 7th graders have been “formatted” by some of the best youth football coaches in the State of Iowa and they are more than prepared to take their game to the next level both in life and on the football field. Please monitor this website during the off-season months in order to stay updated on League developments, coaching meetings, clinics, and player registration. We anticipate a large number of new players into the League in 2006 so make sure your athlete gets registered within the posted time frames. Our players were phenomenal, the coaching was fantastic, and the bleachers were packed with some of the best football fans ever for 2005. The future looks brighter than ever as we prepare for the 2006 WDMLPYFL season We appreciate your continued support for youth football and thank you for caring enough to help mold the development of some of Iowa’s finest young men and women! Happy Holidays! League Commissioner David Murillo League Commissioner Brad Hopkins
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2005 Final League Standings

Posted by robert hopkins at Oct 25, 2005 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )
2005 Final League Standings Junior Division: WDM Lions Carroll Cardinals Carroll Panthers WDM Packers WDM Jaguars Waukee Gold Ravens ADM Red Falcons Norwalk Vikings WDM Bengals Waukee Purple Ravens ADM White Falcons Jefferson Blue Rams Jefferson Gold Rams WDM 49ers 5th Grade Division: Waukee Purple Ravens Carroll Panthers WDM Packers Carroll Cardinals Norwalk Vikings WDM Chiefs Jefferson Rams ADM Falcons WDM Bengals Waukee Gold Ravens 6th Grade Division: WDM Lions Waukee Ravens WDM Packers Carroll Panthers Norwalk Vikings Carroll Cardinals WDM 49ers ADM Red Falcons WDM Jaguars ADM White Falcons WDM Bengals Jefferson Rams 7th Grade Division: Dolphins Bengals Packers 49ers Lions Please Note: All Division teams were ceded for post season play based on their won-loss record in the regular season within their respective Conference with tie-breaking criteria utilized to cede teams with identical regular season records. Conference Champions played for first place in the Division, #2 cedes in each Conference played for third place, #3 Conference cedes played for 5th place, etc. Post season games were included in the website schedules for reference, but the website standings are not reflective of the final standings due to the website's inabilty to differentiate regular season and post season games. Accordingly, some Division Champions that won their first place post season game, may be listed below the team they defeated, contingent upon overall records. Likewise a team may have finished with a victory and/or played in a higher ceded game which placed them ahead of another team with a similar record.
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Equipment Distribution Procedures

Posted by robert hopkins at Jun 8, 2005 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )
Attention League Coaches and Assistant Coaches. Click here for information concerning equipment distribution for the 2005 season. Commissioner Brad Hopkins handles registration, game scheduling, and League Rules and Regulations. Commissioner Dave Murillo handles the ordering, distribution, and care of all League-owned gear and equipment. When you (coaches) have your initial parent-player meeting scheduled, contact me, Dave Murillo at I will provide you with 3 sizes of all League-provided equipment so you can size your athletes at said meeting. After you have compiled a list of required sizes, send that information to me at and I will pull you a "grocery list" of needed attire/gear. Equipment can be picked up at 1617 Holly Drive, Norwalk, Iowa. I will provide directions to my house after receiving your order. Please schedule your player-parent meeting as soon as possible so we have time to orchestrate equipment needs with our Riddell Representative. DO NOT affix athletic tape to our helmets so you can write player names on the back of head gear! Put name tape on the backs of practice jerseys if you must. DO NOT alter the snaps on League helmets. An after-market chin strap is okay so long as it is designed and approved specifically for football use and is purchased from a reputable athletic outlet. WDMLPYFL will provide to teams using League-owned equipment the following for each athlete; 1 helmet 1 chinstrap 1 set of shoulder pads 1 game jersey 1 game pant 1 girdle 1 complete pad set (7 pads - hip,tail,thigh and knee) 1 practice pant 1 mouthpiece 1 belt Game socks can be purchased at any Soccer Connection Outlet once the team color is identified. Parents supply game socks, athletic cups if desired, practice jersey (mesh type) and shoes. I can be reached at 515-971-0739 if you have any additional questions. Dave Murillo, League Commissioner