The Nation's Premier Sport Sampling Program
The 2-4-1 Approach
2-4-1 Sports is rooted in play! As a signature program of 2-4-1 CARE, Inc - a 501c3 and a registered charity, 2-4-1 follows the principles of the American Development Model (ADM) and Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD). 2-4-1 is the premier Sport Sampling program in North America focused on fostering Physical Literacy and social emotional development in young athletes -- living their original tagline of Life's 2 Short 4 Just 1 Sport™
Our approach in all of our programs is to get children playing. We help build confidence in young athletes by helping them to quickly learn the rules of different sports and teach them to be creative with equipment and space so they can organize themselves and their friends into games wherever they are. We work to move children away from devices towards a tradition of interactive, sport-based neighborhood play. Sports should be fun and our approach is to remind children and families of that important fact!
What We Do
2-4-1 has worked with community-based organizations around the world. In our collaboration, we discover those ways we can enhance established programs and/or offer new programs that fill existing gaps.
While each organization has its own unique needs and objectives, 2-4-1 CARE can help reach those objectives through many of our signature programs, including 2-4-1 Sports:
- Summer camps
- Before/after school programs
- Vacation/weekend camps and clinics
- Coach training
- Physical Literacy curriculum and implementation
- Sport specific programs tied into a Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model
- Program evaluation and consulting
Impacting the National Conversation on Youth Sports
Even before becoming 2-4-1 CARE, 2-4-1 Sports took part in spreading the message of Sport Sampling and Physical Literacy along side First Lady Michelle Obama. The First Lady’s message was clearly aligned with what has been 2-4-1's life work regarding play and good nutrition.
In her speech Mrs. Obama shared, "We're not developing our next generation of kids and competitors..." She and her brother Craig (a former Division 1 Basketball Coach now with the NY Knicks organization) went on to share their joy of playing multiple sports growing up in Chicago.
Senator Murphy's letter
Letter of support from U.S. Senator, Chris Murphy.
We were humbled to receive such a kind letter from a United States Senator congratulating us for our recognition by the Aspen Institute's Project Play. Since this recognition, our reach has grown significantly in and around underserved communities in Connecticut and around the United States.
Project Play Champion
A Best Summer Camp in Connecticut
After being voted Best Summer Camp in 2014 in the Hartford Courant's Reader's Pole, 2-4-1 Sports Camp has most recently been recognized as a Best Summer Camp once again in 2020 and 2021. Besides how popular our play-based sport sampling camps have been, based on feedback from parents and the community, we believe much of this recognition also occurred because of our response to COVID-19. To see a story by NBC30 regarding our efforts in this area -- click HERE.
More about 2-4-1
"Life's 2 Short 4 Just 1 Sport" is more than a catchy tag-line, it is the basis for everything we believe in at 2-4-1. We believe we are meant to be at play year-long and life-long. We want to honor the days when "just be home by dark" was pronounced every afternoon by parents living in neighborhoods like ours.
We formed 2-4-1 CARE so we could bring this approach to play directly to the communities and neighborhoods we serve.
The past two decades of youth athletics have transformed sports from playing a game to planning your future. We live in an era of fear and exclusivity. Children's play is now controlled by adults. Kids no longer know how to organize a pick-up game of any sport. Young athletes (and their parents) believe they must choose one sport and that is the only sport.
Too many are under the impression that the only way to play professionally, collegiately or even in high school is to play that one sport – year round – and only that sport. Elite, Premier, AAU, ODP, and the list goes on of excluding, self-promoting programs that too often send the wrong message to kids who are at critical stages in their physical and emotional development.
At 2-4-1, all of our staff not only believe in the value of multi-sport participation – we live it. We know from personal experience, that there are multiple advantages to playing multiple sports: reduced injuries, reduced burnout, increased speed and quickness, increased competitiveness and yes, an increase in production and appreciation of your favorite sport.
It’s OK to have a favorite just not an only! We look forward to discussing our philosophy with anyone and hope you will come and share the 2-4-1 experience.
- Letter of support from U.S. Senator, Chris Murphy.
- Recognized as one of 8 model programs in the United States in the original Project Play report (for sport sampling), 2-4-1 Sports has since been recognized as a Project Play Champion.
- We are proud members of the Youth Sports Safety Alliance!
- For the second time in our short history, we have been recognized as a top summer camp in Connecticut by the Hartford Magazine.