Annual Open Letter to All OYO Families | 2023
In full transparency, for the last couple months, I confess I have looked ahead to composing this annual missive with some apprehension and overwhelming hesitation. Not that there are not amazing developments happening all around OYO or there would not be meaningful news to report or that OYO’s overall status isn’t highly positive, but that the focus would be it’s coming from the president’s pen.
PLEASE READ! | The State of OYO is strong! I encourage you to read this entire letter, which is written very specifically for you…a member of our OYO Family. In 2022, OYO experienced continued growth in the service offerings to our families as well as extremely high number of young ballplayers throughout our spring season, travel season and fall ball season. This is a testament to the trust and confidence you have in us as a league – and one we accept with great responsibility. And, if you are new to OYO in 2023, then you may discover OYO’s success is rooted in understanding our past, embracing the present and building to the future. This annual letter will attempt to do the same. We understand the need to diversify. We recognize we’re not immune to worker shortages. We value the importance of volunteerism. We know the significance of personal accountability and responsibility. We know the consequences of abandoning our well-documented processes. We recognize the challenging times continue in a tepid economic environment. And, we hear our families loud and clear when they clamor for transparency, fairness, inclusivity and being good stewards of their resources.
OUR HISTORY MATTERS | 49 years is a very long time. In an organization with a tradition of excellence, greatness and evolution like OYO that’s enough to fill a youth’s cherished memory with life lessons, development opportunities and friendships. What’s more, it helps make a small impact on these ballplayers’ journeys in life where they will eventually have a profound impact through their achievements and contributions to the community.
BACK TO THE FUTURE | These goals, hopes and wishes are not new to OYO. They were prevalent 49 years ago when OYO was founded. They were existent 23 years ago when I first joined the league as a Tee Ball coach for my nephew’s team. They were at the core of the board’s focus when I joined 20 years ago. And they are at the forefront of all we do in 2023. I can assure you the OYO Board of Directors will pledge to continue to think proactively, strategically and collectively about how to address these challenges in ways that we convert them into opportunities to ensure we close the gaps where necessary in order to be the fully excellent top-tier youth sports organization we aspire to be for all players and families at every level and from every walk of life.
THE DYNAMIC DIFFERENTIATOR | Over the years, we are often asked what differentiates our program from other leagues in the community. Quite simply, it's because when families come to OYO, they join the OYO Family. And we appreciate you choosing OYO for your baseball and softball experience. Most of our families look forward to their evenings and Saturdays at the ballpark. They welcome the hospitality, assistance, support and convenience our volunteers work tirelessly to provide. We call it The OYO Way.
WITH MUCH GRATITUDE | Yet, I admit that I have fretted tackling this important communique for another reason, too. How difficult will it be to follow the remarkable and incredible two-year span of growth, achievement and opportunity created by our past president, Brittany Anderson, who proved to be a legendary leader and fabulous friend to all? Through her guidance, OYO improved our operational efficiency and consistently exceeded customer expectations. What’s more Brittany’s vision propelled OYO forward by reimagining how the league operates and serves our players, our fans, our coaches, our volunteers, our families and our community is second to none – and being carried out by a dedicated, engaged and purposeful OYO Board of Directors today. It’s important we don’t let that hard work pass by in vain.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT | It is evident that OYO’s future is strong. Let’s take it from straight from the top and review our line-up to build on our momentum and achieve even more for you and your family, including:
- New field to better meet the needs of our Tee Ball and Challenger programs
- Greater investment in field maintenance and upkeep
- Develop and establish respect on and off the field as well as toward umpires
- Improved emphasis on constructing balanced teams
- Selection and support process for rec league coaches
- Continued emphasis on increased communication
- Continue to build an elite travel baseball and softball program
- Broader adoption of The OYO Way
- Increased enforcement of the OYO Code of Conduct
- Greater accountability and responsibility at all levels
Recognizing there are various programs and activities needing your participation, we appreciate your giving OYO a chance to provide a quality baseball or softball experience for your family. I personally invite you to join us in 2023, too. After observing and learning from eight previous OYO Board Presidents perform their duties with such meticulous magnificence, I am humbled to serve in this capacity, once again. Even more importantly, I’m mindful this league is only as successful as its people. From players to coaches, from fans to visitors, from team parents to dugout moms, from volunteer board members to park day prep volunteers, from umpires to concession workers and from sponsors to tournament teams, you make OYO possible. So, with your ongoing support, we will strive to continue to add to our success and the countless memories your ballplayer will enjoy.
NOW’S THE TIME | The OYO Board of Directors is ready to deliver you the best experience and service possible. And we will provide you with exceptional service, when you pull into OYO’s parking lots for each and every practice, game or special event, we want you to know our dedication to our core values, including The OYO Way and Code of Conduct. We hope to create an atmosphere for you and your ballplayer to truly enjoy at Veterans Memorial Park, but also an environment where you feel welcome and accepted and a place for your ballplayer to thrive and grow.
ALONE WE CAN DO SO LITTLE, TOGETHER WE CAN DO SO MUCH | Truth! As president, my commitment to each OYO family is to help deliver a fun, safe, development-oriented baseball and softball experience. However, if there have been times when we have underperformed in this area – or underdeliver going forward – I would like to know so the right OYO board members can help make improvements. Always, on this topic or any matter that you wish to discuss further, please contact me directly.
SO, MY FINAL ASK IS SIMPLE | The OYO experience is nearly exclusively provided by volunteer leaders, some who log hours that resemble a second full-time job outside of their normal careers to make OYO what it is. Take note, every board member is an unpaid servant who goes the extra mile for your family. They will likely log more hours in order to make OYO what it can be! If you have additional ideas and insights about change, then please consider becoming a volunteer for change. Most specifically, help drive positive change by participating as a coach, team parent, umpire, park preparation participant, board member, etc. I have expressed with this letter a Board tolerance to be quick to listen and slow to speak when it comes to new ideas, and I reinforce that with an openness for you to contribute and help, too. There is plenty for us to do and plenty for you to do to help us, too. On a final note, we recognize change is never easy, but necessary to adapt and thrive. As one notable leader once said…
“Change is the law of life, and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy
THANK YOU! | Thank you for your continued support. We’re committed to ensuring your 2023 experience is your best yet. On behalf of the entire OYO Board of Directors, I offer much appreciation and gratitude for your engagement and participation. And, if you are not yet registered, then don't delay, register today! I look forward to meeting or reconnecting with you and your family this spring.
Forever OYO…so let’s Play Ball!
President, OYO Board of Directors
317.345.9006 | email@example.com