With less than 20 percent of high school students involving themselves in sports, it is becoming clear our communities need to work harder at stressing the importance of teamwork, civic engagement, and physical training. Likewise, according to a USA Today and NBC poll on youth sports, 95 percent of those surveyed would rather just have “fun” than worry about “winning.” It seems that today, kids simply are not interested in traditional sports – they don’t like the pressure and they don’t like the style.
In response to this, we pose a question: how can we take a dynamic approach to these two problems – the dropping rate of school involvement and the worry of success – and come out with more involvement in sports, along with more enthusiasm about playing those sports?
Well, we think we have found the answer: The Trick Pit.
The Trick Pit is a local, community-orientated sports training center in Teton Valley, Idaho. At The Trick Pit, there is no focus on winning or losing; rather, there is focus on the experience of sports, the connections forged to others as well the community, and the positive effects of regular physical exercise. It hopes not to create an atmosphere of nail-biting tension, where you go home either happy or sad, but instead one of support, passion, and confidence.
The Trick Pit is all about pursuing one’s dreams. With growing emphasis in pop culture on extreme sports, many youngsters today find themselves idolizing icons like Travis Pastrana, Tony Hawk, and Shaun White. However, while the media focuses more on this culture, rarely is there a place for aspiring young athletes to actually go and pursue this endeavor. Across the country, it is hard to find many outlets like the Trick Pit; sure, there are private approaches to extreme sports, but there are hardly any community initiatives. The creators of the Trick Pit (as well as millions of others) have become resolved: we need this.
So how does this better the community?
The Trick Pit emphasizes, and will continue to emphasize, that it is a place to practice your craft, have fun, do homework, stay out of trouble, and support your fellow classmates, citizens, and friends. This drug and alcohol free environment is all about feeling good while doing good things. The fact of the matter is that 92 percent of parents feel sports are important to their children’s overall development, but that number is hardly representative of the amount of children involved in sports. The Trick Pit will engage the youth (as well as their parents) and encourage them to try to new things in a safe, sound, and supportive environment. This translates into more kids staying out of trouble and more parents feeling their child(ren) are actively participating in a positive, communal activity.
The benefits don’t stop there, however.
By Teton Valley and its localities supporting the Trick Pit, through funding, publicity, or any other means possible, it can expect to stir up serious national interest, perhaps even visits by celebrities like Rob Dyrdek, who are known for their spontaneous clarion calls for the causes they support, or even national media attention, which is consistently drawn to unique stories coming from unique towns. Surely, the Trick Pit in Teton Valley fits this bill.
In addition to that, however, because Teton Valley is considered among some as an epicenter of professional winter sports, the Trick Pit will be able to offer a unique and lucrative off-season attraction to these same patrons. This being so, with community investment in the Trick Pit, Teton Valley can expect to see increased tourism rates, more media attention, and more credibility as an area that supports outdoor activity and community engagement.
Aside from community support, the Trick Pit is currently looking for sponsors or investors to help fund further development and community outreach. The Trick Pit offers advertisement opportunity, unique integrative marketing approaches, and, above all, authentic consumer connection. Those interested have already voiced strong support for the venue’s direction – a trend that is sure to be continued.
It is our hope that with the combined effort of the creators, local government officials, local media, and all other supporters, the Trick Pit will become a model for others to follow. The mission does not hope for explosive economic exploitation; rather, it hopes to provide a platform for people to build a relationship with their community, each other, and the passion and love of their sport.
We urge you to embrace risk – we urge you to involve yourself – we urge to test your boundaries. If nothing else, just stop by and say hello. We’ll be more than happy to sit down, chat, and jump into some foam.