Building teamwork and mentorship

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jessica Sanchez
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs

With the normal basketball season gone because of COVID-19, the 49th Force Support Squadron, Youth and Teen Center offers a variety of sports programs for the youth of Holloman to participate in.

The youth sports program focuses on providing a safe, positive, and fun learning experience for all participants. Offered sports are: basketball, flag football, running, tennis, baseball, and indoor and outdoor soccer for children from ages 5 to 17.

“The clinics were, at first, an attempt to make sure that we could provide those kids an environment where they could get out and play, exercise, and learn some valuable skills,” said Maj. Ryan Hess, 54th Operations Support Squadron intelligence officer, volunteer basketball coach. “What attracted me to become a coach in the first place was because of COVID—we couldn’t do our normal teams like we did each year.”

The sports coaches are volunteers that first go through a background check and various mandatory training sessions. Then, as required by the National Alliance for Youth Sports, they go through more training; such as CPR, First Aid, concussion training, and training to recognize child abuse. As such involved members in these children’s lives, the volunteers become more than just coaches—they are role models.

“Being a coach is not just about the sport, it is about mentoring and connecting with the kids to the best of your ability,” said Staff Sgt. Jarrett Compton, 49th Equipment Maintenance Squadron non-destructive inspection technician and volunteer coach. “The benefit of the program is the kids being able to get out of the house and participate in group settings, being safe, learning a sport, but also learning about teamwork.”

The Youth and Teen Center sports teams are organized based upon availability of volunteer coaches, so if you are interested in becoming a volunteer coach and mentor, then please apply.

The sessions are an hour and a half long. Currently there are two basketball sessions on Tuesday and Thursday from 05:30 to 7pm each week and they last about a month.

A current sports physical and immunization record are required at time of registration for each participant.

For more information on signing up to participate in a sport or becoming a coach visit or call 575-572-3753.