The Y is a starting point for many kids to learn about becoming and staying active, and developing healthy habits they’ll carry with them throughout their lives. Whether it’s gaining the confidence that comes from learning to swim, or building the positive relationships that lead to good sportsmanship and teamwork, participating in sports at the Y is about building the whole child, from the inside out. And, the Greater Joliet Area YMCA’s sports instructors are an integral part of a young athlete’s experience at the Y.
At the helm of the Sports Department at the Galowich and Smith Family YMCAs, you will find Sports Director Michael Taylor. Taylor started his Y career as a part-time employee at the C.W. Avery Family YMCA, working in the Sports and Youth and Family Departments. During his time at the C.W. Avery Family Y, Taylor taught a variety of sports classes, led sports camps, and reffed many youth sports games. He then went on to work in the Y’s Kid Zone and summer day camp programs. In 2014, Taylor joined the Y’s leadership team as the Galowich Family YMCA’s first Sports and Fitness Director.
In the last five years, Taylor has successfully developed the Galowich and Smith Family YMCA’s Sports Departments, including the Y’s beloved youth basketball leagues in Joliet. With an exciting 2019-2020 basketball season on the horizon, Taylor is eager to welcome new and returning athletes. The Y’s highly-anticipated youth basketball season will tip-off in early January 2020.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Taylor: I grew up in Hanover Park, IL. and I moved to Plainfield, IL. when I was a freshman in high school. I graduated from Plainfield Central High School in 2007. I attended Joliet Junior College for my associate’s degree. Then, I transferred to Trinity Christian College where I earned a bachelor’s degree in sports exercise studies and minored in sociology and coaching.
I recently got married in 2018 to my wife Adrian.
Q: What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not at work?
Taylor: I enjoy spending time with my wife, working out and playing sports. I am also on a softball and basketball league.
Q: What are you passionate about in life:
Taylor: My faith and my family. As I get older, I am realizing how important family is to me and the time I spend with them.
Q: What is your favorite part about working in youth sports?
Taylor: I enjoy seeing my previous sports program participants evolve and go on to play sports in high school and college. It’s great that the Y gets to be that ‘stepping stone’ for young athletes and their future sports careers.
Q: What are you looking forward to most for the 2019-2020 basketball season?
Taylor: I am excited about the changes we have made to improve our basketball leagues and the partnership we have created with Joliet School District 86. And, I am excited to continue to grow our youth basketball league in the seasons to come.
Q: What is your favorite basketball team?
Taylor: The Chicago Bulls
There is still time to register your young athlete for an action-packed basketball season! Registration for the Y’s youth basketball leagues is available online or in-person at your local branch. If you have questions about the Y’s youth basketball leagues in Joliet or sports programs, be sure to stop by Taylor’s office the next time you visit the Galowich Family Y. Or you can email Taylor directly at [email protected].