Volunteer of the Month: Ken McDonald

Feb 15, 2017, 15:27 PM by

Get to Know Our Volunteer of the Month

Ken McDonald

How long have you volunteered for the Y? 10 years

I support the Y by: I am a youth basketball coach, and I coach one or two teams per season. I particularly enjoy working with the younger kids.

I volunteer with the Y because: In Boulder, the Y is the best choice for young kids who want to learn basketball. I love that the Y allows very young kids to enjoy the game in a relaxed environment. The Y definitely promotes learning over focusing on the scoreboard, which I believe is super important, especially at the younger ages.

Volunteering in general is important to me because: Sports were a huge part of my childhood and remain an important part of my life. I have learned a tremendous number of life lessons from sports. I think it is important for kids today to have that same experience and be able to learn life lessons from sports the way I have.

What’s your advice for people who are thinking about volunteering for the Y? I would encourage prospective coaches to look inward and ask themselves why they might want to coach. In many cases, coaches were really impacted by sports when they were growing up and want to pass that along. If a prospective coach knows why they are coaching, they can build their program around that. They also can better communicate to players and parents how they plan to run the season.

What’s your favorite part of volunteering?
I really enjoy watching the kids grow.  I am all about building confidence.  I like working with kids who have never played basketball before, teaching them a few fundamental skills, and seeing how they light up when they get to successfully apply those skills. 

At the other end of the spectrum, I have seen many of my players go on to play highly competitive basketball at the club or high school level.  That has been very rewarding to see as well.

Volunteer Impact

"Ken McDonald has served our community by coaching basketball for the YMCA for ten years. He consistently shows a commitment not only to helping our youth become better basketball players, but also truly adheres to the Y Way to Play standard of Sportsmanship that we all deeply appreciate in our adult leadership in the YMCA of Boulder Valley Sports Department. He goes above and beyond, going out of his way to make sure the parents of his young players are communicated with consistently, making our jobs here in the sports department easier. When it comes to Ken’s teams, we can trust that they are in good hands! Ken showed an even greater capacity to go above and beyond in Fall 2016, when he took on not one, but two 3rd grade boys teams. We greatly appreciate having Ken involved in our program year after year!" — Moss Butler, Associate Program Director of Sports

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