Cody Miller, Olympian Swimmer Shares His Warm-up

People are drawn to sports for varying reasons, for Cody Miller it was medical.  Cody has a medical condition known as Pectus Excavatum (which means his chest is sunk-in).  In his childhood, Cody started swimming to help him to monitor his heart and his breathing. Fortunately, for Cody he took to swimming like a fish in water.

Miller had numerous successes in high school and at the collegiate level at Indiana University.  More recently, in the summer 2016 Olympics, he earned a bronze medal in the men’s 100 meter breaststroke and a gold medal in the men’s 4 × 100 meter medley relay, in which he swam the breaststroke leg.

See what Cody has to share about how he warms-up.


Win Vs Lose on green two-way road or street signs to illustrate a turning point where you must choose a direction or path that will lead to winning or losing a game, competition, job or career

Losing can be Rough

There may come a time when when some kids see winning as the only reason for playing.  Are you concerned that your child doesn’t know how to lose well? shares an interview with licensed psychologist, Dr. Jason Youngman on how to help young athletes cope with losing.  If you can relate to these questions you should read what Dr. Youngman has to say:

  • How can losing at sports actually help young athletes become better?
  • How should parents and coaches of young athletes handle their kids losing?
  • Is there anything a coach can do to stop the downward losing spiral before it gets out of control?
  • How can a coach motivate a player that hates to lose who is on a losing team?
  • Should young athletes on a losing team focus on making themselves a better player, or helping their team win?
  • Should parents remove their child from a losing team?

Find out more:  Does your young athlete hate losing?


Pre-Stage Jitters?

No matter how well prepared a performer is, pre-stage jitters are very common and befall beginners and veteran actors alike.  If your child is having a hard time coping with performance anxiety, Kerry Hishon of Theatrefolk shares some pointers:

  1. Apply yourself during and outside of rehearsals.  Practice your lines, cues, blocking, and dance routines; work on your voice and get the right amount of rest.  The more prepared you are, the more confident and comfortable you will be in your role.
  2. If you are really worried about something going wrong, play it out in your head or with other cast members, and come up with solutions to solve the concern.
  3. Perform breathing exercises, slowly inhale and fill up your abdominal cavity, then slowly exhale while contracting your abdomen.  Repeat this exercise as many times as you can till you feel calmer.
  4. Sometimes writing down what is causing you anxiety can also be calming.  Writing grants you the opportunity to express your feelings; now allow yourself to let it go.
  5. Remind yourself that the audience wants you to succeed and they are all there to root for you and have a great time.

Most audiences especially for youth performances are more than delighted to be there and are in awe of all the work that goes into the production.  They are proud of you even before you get on the stage and show them how hard you have worked on stage and behind the scenes.  Be in the moment and enjoy the show!

Read more:  Dealing with Nerves


Top Lefty Tennis Players

Only 10 percent of the world’s population is left- handed and among them are some of the most prominent tennis players of this era.  Jeffrey Ruth of Bleacher Report ranks the top lefty tennis players of our time.  “They are also among the game’s all-time greats.These players have a host of things in common. They have won seven or more Grand Slam events, and claimed more than 50 total titles each. All but one of them were ranked No. 1 at some point in their career.”

And here they are as ranked by Mr. Ruth:

6.  John McEnroe Stats:

Grand Slams Won: 7
Major Titles Won: Wimbledon, U.S. Open
Total Titles Won: 77
Highest Ranking: No. 1

5.  Jimmy Connors Stats:

Grand Slams Won: 8
Major Titles Won: Wimbledon, U.S. Open*
Total Titles Won: 110
Highest Ranking: No. 1

4  .Monica Seles Stats:

Grand Slams Won: 9
Major Titles Won: Australian Open, French Open, U.S. Open
Total Titles Won: 53
Highest Ranking: No. 1

3.  Rafael Nadal Stats:

Grand Slams Won: 13
Major Titles Won: Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, U.S. Open
Total Titles Won: 60
Highest Ranking: No. 1

2.  Martina Navratilova Stats:

Grand Slams Won: 16
Major Titles Won: Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, U.S. Open
Total Titles Won 167
Highest Ranking: No. 1

And finally, the number 1 player is Rod Laver and here are his stats:

Grand Slams Won: 11
Major Titles Won: Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, U.S. Open
Total Titles Won: 52
Highest Ranking: No. 3

“Rod Laver is the best left-handed tennis player of the modern era. Despite his not holding the most Grand Slam titles, and being ranked only as high as No. 3 in his time, there are two reasons why he tops the list.” They are:

Calendar Year Grand Slam 1969
Calendar Year Grand Slam 1962

What more do you need to say?

Discover more:  Ranking the Best Left-Handed Tennis Players of the Modern Era


Consistency is the Base of Excellence in Cheerleading

Cheer Magazine shared an article that considers consistency the foundation for the success of all cheerleading routines.

“Consistency is what leads to a routine “hit”. A cheerleader that has been consistent at practice can enjoy their performance without internal worries. If there’s been inconsistency at practice it’s natural to have a fear that the skill might fall during competition.”

Consistency helps enhance:

  • Accountability
  • Accurate Measurement
  • Reputation and Relevancy

Solid cheerleading skills are based on consistent training and maintaining a routine lifestyle that includes proper nutrition, sleep, and exercise.  Confidence is the end result for an athlete who has been consistent in training their body and mind with the support of team mates and a good coach.

“The more we practice consistency and the more confident we feel about our ability to be consistent when we take the floor, the better the result. Routines may be predictable but cheerleading never is.  So as long as the human element exists in this exciting performance sport, fans will continue to hold their breath for the two and a half minutes and only exhale after every skill hits.”

Read for details:  The Power of Consistency

Pylometric Exercises for You

In our previous post, we shared that pylometric exercises are helpful to improve your chances of making your dunk shot dream a reality.  Pylometric exercises though in short intervals require you to exert maximum effort for that specified time.

The goal of pylometric training is to increase power through training exercises that activate the quick response and elastic properties of the major muscles in the body.  Pylometric training is most often used by athletes and commonly by high jumpers, sprinters and martial artists.

The video will share 23 types of pylomtetric exercises for you to try out:

Young african american basketball player scoring a slam dunk.

Tips for Your Dream Dunk

It’s probably safe to say that almost every basketball player dreams of laying a slam dunk.  Some players make it look so smooth and easy, some of them are lucky to have a leg up due to their height.  But a lot more players have to train consistently and rigorously to realize their dream dunk. guest writer A.J Kenrick. shares some tips on how to achieve your first dunk.

“In order to improve your jumping ability you must train with particular jump specific exercise variables in mind.”  Here are 3 training variables to incorporate into your training routine:

  1. Incorporate the same movements used for the slam dunk such as split squat and deadlift that replicate the “triple extension” of the ankle, knee and hip.
  2. Strength training really bolsters your jump so work on barbell squats, deadlifts and single leg lunges.
  3. After attaining a strong and stable foundation, you need to work on improving the reactivity of your muscles and tendons.  Include plyometric exercises and consider including a few Olympic lifts.

Read more:  3 Jump Training Variables That Can Help You Achieve Your First Dunk

Pressure cooker ready to explode on a red hot burner

Subtle Signs of the Over-pressured Athlete

Pressure to succeed and the desire to be the best is prevalent in these times.  Youth athletes are under a lot of constant pressure.  Parents, you are probably aware of the clinical signs of pressure such as:

  • loss of appetite
  • suffering grades
  • trouble sleeping
  • sluggish game-time performance.

CoachUp Nation shares some less conspicuous signs that your child athlete  could be  succumbing to the pressures induced by competitive athletics:

  • your child has no interest in talking about the sport
  • your child is not interested in practicing and improving
  • your child is extremely obsessed about improving
  • your child seeks other avenues to escape from the sport

Any, or a few of these signs could show that your child is feeling pressured.  If you notice some of these symptoms, you should talk to your child and coach, and work things out together.  These signs could be interpreted as an athlete feeling burnt out, losing interest in the sport, or just needing some time to rest.  Paying attention and communicating can resolve concerns before they become major issues.

Find out more:  Are You Putting Too Much Pressure on Your Athlete?

Laura Wilkinson Continues to Pursue Her Passion for Diving

The 2017 International Swimming Hall of Fame class included Olympic Gold Medalist and World Champion Laura Wilkinson.

“Beating what many said were impossible odds in one of the biggest upsets in Olympic history, Laura, starting in eighth place and with a broken foot, came from behind to win the 2000 Olympic platform gold medal.Laura has also won the 2004 World Cup and the 2005 World Championships, becoming the first woman in history to win all three coveted world titles in platform diving. Along the way, she has won 19 US National Titles, been voted by the American public the 2000 US Olympic Spirit Award winner and was nominated for an ESPY award.”

Laura is 39, a mother of three, and this is not hindering her from planning a 2020 comeback to qualify for the Tokyo Summer Olympic games. Visit Laura’s website, and share her journey as she continues to pursue her passion for diving.


Congratulations Jordan!

Congratulations to our very own Jordan Snider who has been named as the new head coach of the Panther men’s tennis team.  The announcement was made by Athletic Director Chris Bisignano of Purchase College. Not to worry Future Stars Campers and Families, Jordan will continue in his job responsibilities at Future Stars. When you see Jordan, don’t forget to congratulate him!


Read more:  In the Panther Spotlight: Jordan Snider