Knowledge Can Alleviate Sporting Frustration

Team Snap shares thoughtful insights on how coaches and parents can enhance a player’s ability to manage their frustration levels.  At the base is knowledge – the knowledge of understanding of what it takes to get the perfect pitch, the best defense or offense, and then to practice the techniques and skills required.  A player has to learn to know what they are doing wrong and to make the appropriate adjustments.  That’s a tall order.  So coaches and parents hurling out directions during a game may not be the best way to help your player develop the ability to assess and refine their abilities.

Read more: Replace Frustration With Knowledge


It’s Not Just A Game Called H-O-R-S-E

Changing the Game Project’s John O’Sullivan writes a powerful and very moving reflection that invokes a deeper meaning to the child’s game H-O-R-S-E.  You will be able to relate to it on some level or another.  It may take you down memory lane or it may inspire you to spend time in a more meaningful way.

Sports like life is really about connections – connections that we had, connections that we make, connections that are mutually life affirming and connections that create bonds and memories.

Read more to understand more:  A Final Game of H-O-R-S-E

You Will Be Hearing More About Becca Longo

If your daughter is interested in playing football, you need to know more about Becca Longo. Arizona native, 18 year old Becca is the first woman to be awarded with an NCAA Division II scholarship level or higher. She will be playing at Adams State University, Alamosa, Colorado.

Becca was the kicker on her high school football team and in her senior year she converted 30 out of 33 extra point attempts. Becca is certainly someone everyone not just girls should be keeping an eye on, and perhaps even the till now male dominated NFL.


Summer in the Hamptons

Ahhhh – the dog days of summer, those August days when humidity alternates with hints of autumn breezes.  With thoughts looming of “back to school,” even while the kids are still in camp, there’s still plenty of time to dive into the warmth of summer and enjoy the days of sunshine.

More than just a weekend getaway for New Yorkers, The Hamptons is a destination characterized by beautiful, natural landscapes, farm-to-table dining, and a variety of outdoor and indoor entertainment options.

After you drop your kids off at camp, here’s a way to turn each day into a vacation for you. Better still, book an overnight stay at a local inn, and you can create your own mini-holiday.

If you like the great outdoors:

The beach beckons with daily parking passes at one of the country’s best, Coopers Beach in Southampton.  Surrounded by mansions hidden by the privets that characterize the lives of the rich and famous in the Hamptons, the shorefront is as beautiful as you will find, with white sand, a beach house with bathrooms, a café and plentiful parking.  You can buy a weekly pass to give yourself maximum flexibility.

If you choose a more village-oriented experience, you can stroll through Southampton after the beach or drive to Sag Harbor, a short trip from the camp and spend your day walking through the town that’s as close to New England as you’ll find in New York. Sag Harbor’s charming downtown, mélange of boutiques, and great dining will give you plenty to do. Sagtown Coffee, closed after a devastating fire to the town’s movie theater on Christmas Day, has just reopened. It’s a wonderful place to grab an iced latte, a focaccia and watch the passeggiatta of neighbors. From there, it’s a quick walk to the harbor and you can park by the town green and ogle the yachts parked alongside the dock.

If gardens are your thing, Bridge Gardens on Mitchell Lane in Bridgehampton is a short drive away.  There, you’ll find a decidedly uncrowded setting of multiple flower and vegetable gardens reminiscent of English gardens. In fact, you might have the gardens entirely to yourself, a rarity for New Yorkers.

Indoor Pleasures:

Museums also offer a respite from the summer heat.  The Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill is one of the country’s finest, with a collection of art from local artists. The permanent collection is enhanced by frequently featured exhibits. This summer’s “live” Light Waves exhibit projects videos on the outside of the museum’s distinctive building.  A café and bookstore are welcoming and creative as well.  If you’re in town on August 21, a special Solar Eclipse program in conjunction with the Montauk Observatory will be hosted from 1-4pm on the museum grounds. In Southampton, in the main shopping area, the Southampton Art Center offers changing exhibits as well as other performing arts programming.

Shopping fans will enjoy the options in Sag Harbor and Southampton, where a more private town feeling ensues.  Well-known city stores like Intermix, Calypso St. Barth, and Theory join local favorites Tenet, Dee Jays, and Jennifer Miller Jewelry.  Summer sales are plentiful this time of year, too. My personal favorite is Pottery Barn where you can stock up for this summer or next with outdoor utensils, lights, and furnishings.  And, for outlet shoppers who have sufficient drive time available, Tanger Outlets in Riverhead can provide days’ worth of shopping bliss.

Dining is one of the pleasures of the Hamptons.  Each town has its local favorites, some with outdoor dining.  For a quick lobster fix, the Shinnecock Lobster Factory in Southampton,  Bay Burger in Sag Harbor and Canal Café in Hampton Bays have the best lobster rolls around.  At each, you can choose to enjoy your sandwich outdoors or indoors.  If you like Italian food, you can try Manna in Water Mill or go family-style at La Parmigiana or the casual Paul’s Italian Restaurant in Southampton, where the heroes are large enough to be shared and pizzas by the slice include interesting versions such as Buffalo chicken.  Near the camp, for an early dinner, BOA offers Thai cuisine and Sag Harbor’s LT Burger is as family-friendly as it gets with terrific burgers and tailored kid menus.  Estia’s Little Kitchen in Sag Harbor is a popular choice for breakfast and lunch with Mexican-inflected dishes.

For a restaurant experience that’s more sophisticated, lunch at Sant Ambroeus, Le Charlot or Silver’s in Southampton is casually elegant with Italian, French, and American cuisines respectively.


Both the North Fork and the South Fork have some of the most extensive farm stands that you will find in New York, with fresh produce grown from the nearby farms.  Halsey Farm has a bountiful selection of fruit and vegetables plus a beautiful selection of cut flowers.  For corn, Pike’s Farm stand on Sagg Main Street in Sagaponack  justifiably famous for its white, as well as, butter and sugar varieties.  And, don’t miss the area’s tomatoes – they’re sweet and homegrown.

If you love wine, the Hamptons are New York’s answer to the West Coast. The North Fork has 43 vineyards, many of which offer daily tastings. Closer to camp, Wölffer Estate Vineyard and Channing Daughters Winery on the South Fork offer two gorgeous settings where you could spend an entire date touring, tasting, or enjoying an open-air yoga class.  Pick up a bottle of Wolffer’s acclaimed “Summer in a Bottle Rosé” at the new Drive-thru Rosé Stand at the Wine Estate, if you’re short on time, Wölffer also has two restaurants, Wölffer Kitchen in Sag Harbor and a new one in Amagansett, where you can sample their many varietals as well as enjoy their farm-to-table expertise.

Speaking of yoga, there are many studios to help you maintain your practice. Some of the best are Yoga Shanti in Sag Harbor, Five Pillars Yoga in Water Mill, and Ananda Wellness and Yoga in Southampton. Pilates, spin, and barre classes are also offered in various locations including Pure Barre in Southampton, Marvil Fit in Hampton Bays and Uptown Pilates in Sag Harbor.

You can pretend you’ve taken a cruise for the day by driving the short distance to the Shelter Island ferry and crossing to the nearby island.  Shelter Island feels like it’s a million miles away from the traffic and crowds of New York, inviting you to indulge in a handful of attractive restaurants, a laid-back beach, and a nature preserve for hiking.  Best of all, you won’t feel like you’re stuck in the Hamptons traffic on Montauk Highway.

Staying over:

The Maidstone Hotel in East Hampton offers a charming Scandinavian-influenced setting located on the town’s historic mall.  With its own wonderful restaurant, cozy individually themed rooms, and pet-friendly programming, The Maidstone is a dream location for your overnight. Families are welcome!

Image Credit:  © creativecommonsstockphotos

ID 89442047 | Dreamstime Stock Photos


How To Build the Perfect Team

At the 2004 Olympic games, the USA basketball “Dream Team” was poised for what most thought would be dominant rise to the gold.  The team’s roster included past and present greats.  But that was not enough this team that included LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Allen Iverson, Tim Duncan, and others barely made it to come home with a bronze.

What did we learn from this – obviously, gathering the best of the best, is not enough.  Google did a comprehensive research study and amassed volumes of data on what is needed to build the best team.  Professionals from math and science analyzed the data and came up with 5 key ingredients needed to build a great team:

  1. Dependability
  2. Structure and Clarity
  3. Meaning
  4. Impact
  5. Psychological Safety

The study shows that talent is not everything, developing an inner rhythm of behavioral excellence and creating a unifying culture with these 5 key ingredients can create a strong team.

Read more from Changing the Game Project:  Google it! What Youth Sports Can Learn from the Tech Giant About Building Great Teams


Responsibility and Athleticism Can Go Hand in Hand

Most athletic teams have fundraisers to offset the sports cost for individual players and families.  Most sporting parents know what this is all about – parents end up paying for whatever the fundraising product/service is, and then the parents go around and harangue family and co-workers to help out their child.  This scenario is a common occurrence as it eliminates the burden of reminding your child over and over again of the deadline and their responsibility.

Team SNAP shares a parent’s decision to incorporate responsibility in their child, and hand ownership for fundraising for the team to their child.  Though difficult in the beginning, every one wins in the end.  Parents give your child the chance to truly revel in their accomplishments on and off the field.

Worth the read from team SNAP:  Don’t Buy the Almonds: Teaching Young Athletes Responsibility


One Way to Learn to Be the Best

To be a great team mate, the question that every athlete should ask is not what I want out of the team but how I can best serve the team.  “Dr. Jerry Lynch is the founder of Way of Champions, winner of 34 NCAA titles and one NBA World Championship, and a sport psychologist and consultant. He calls this paradigm-shifting question the most effective question an athlete can ask, and an attitude that every coach must try and instill in his or her team.”

Giving not taking provides you the opportunity for sustained success not just during the game but in all aspects of your life.  Parents and coaches nurture your children to have “the selfless attitude that leads to excellence, celebrates the success of others, and makes your player the type of athlete that EVERY COACH wants on his or her team.”

Read more from Changing the Game Project:  The One Quality Great Teammates Have in Common


Is Head Gear for Girls’ Lacrosse More or Less Protection?

The debate over head gear for girl’s lacrosse has been going on for a long time.  Recently, 2 companies have started to sell head gear specifically designed for girls that adhere to sports industry standards.  The use is currently optional except in Florida where it will be mandated for 2018.  If your daughter plays lacrosse then you’ve heard all about some of the pros and cons:

  • the fear that wearing head gear will foster fiercer play
  • recent studies do show that girls’ lacrosse had the fifth-highest rate of concussions in high school sports
  • other sports have had success with helmets so why not girls’ lacrosse
  • there’s the added cost for individual sports players, teams and high schools

As parents, it is important to be educated on all the safety considerations for your youth sports player.  While the use of head gear is optional, this would be a good time to spend some time researching the topic,  talking to your athlete, your child’s coach and other parents.  It would be tough to make a decision without having all the facts to consider.

Read more from the New York Times:  With Headgear Here, Girls’ Lacrosse Just Got Safer. Or Did It?


Ian Reibeisen’s Future Stars’ Adventure

Future Stars (FS) isn’t just a “camp.” Admittedly, it is a camp, but it’s also a potentially life-changing place. This doesn’t mean that attending FS Camps will automatically turn you into a sports star. With attending, comes time, training, and an abundance of passion and dedication. You may ask, however; how can FS Camps change lives? Check out what former camper Ian Reibeisen had to say about his awesome experience and the years he spent at Future Stars Camps.

Future Stars Start

Ian couldn’t wait to begin FS Camps. His older brothers were campers before him and Ian couldn’t wait to jump into their footsteps. At age four, Ian convinced Jordan Snider, Camp Site Director at SUNY, Purchase, to let him enroll at Future Stars – a year or two earlier than most kids do.

That first year, Ian was more like a “director in training.”  No, he didn’t actually tackle the director’s duties. He did, however; follow Jordan around during all his daily tasks. Jordan wasn’t just a camp director to Ian. “I really looked up to him,” reminisced Ian.

Camp Continues

As the years went by, Ian attended FS Tennis camp at SUNY Purchase college, Armonk Tennis, and the sleep away camp at Ascutney (VT). Even though each camp was special to Ian, it was really the one at SUNY Purchase that held his favorite memories. What was so magical about SUNY Purchase? Ian said, “There was always something exciting going on – some of my favorite memories include when the whole tennis camp would participate in an activity together. For the first time in my life, I was in a group setting where a large group of people were all excited for the same thing.”

Even though Ian started attending camp with his older brothers, he made plenty of friends throughout the years. Not only did he make friends along the way, but he also got the chance to enjoy spending time with some pretty amazing counselors and coaches. Ian explained, “Every day at Future Stars was a dream come true for me because I was able to enjoy the things I loved the most while being surrounded by great coaches, counselors and friends.”

Lessons Learned

Did Ian have fun at camp? Of course! But that wasn’t all. He learned pertinent life lessons as well. Not only did he improve his tennis game, but he also learned about hard work.

“The weekly competition (tournament) taught me that I always needed to work hard to reach my potential – in this case, play smart and do my best. Because I worked so hard I had a lot of success on the court!” said Ian. The ability to work hard kept churning even when Ian stepped off the court, “I use that same work ethic off the court to pursue and achieve all my goals.”

Special Times

Along with learning life and tennis lessons, Ian also had the chance to form some special relationships. He looks back on his FS Camp years, remembering the fun times he had there. “One fun memory I had, as a 6-year-old, was when I was leaving on the bus; I would yell out to counselors and order hamburgers, pretending that I was going through a drive thru.”

Ian also remembers how the other FS campers and counselors became like a family to him. “It felt like the coming of age time in my life – I came into myself through the summers. I didn’t really enjoy school, so summer was a great time to find myself, be with friends, and play a sport that I loved.”

Growing Up

As Ian went through FS Camps (as a camper, and then eventually as a counselor), he trained and improved his tennis game. “Tennis runs in our DNA”. Ian and his brothers played USTA tournaments all around the country. Ian considered playing in college, but ended up following a different path. All three of Ian’s brothers (he has two older and one younger brother) played at Bucknell University.

So why didn’t Ian continue in tennis? Even though he loved tennis, he also fell in love with music. He’s now 27, has a business degree with a concentration in marketing from Quinnipiac University, and is pursuing a solo music career.

He credits Future Stars for helping him with his musical ambitions. How? He told us, “Without the confidence I gained as a camper I believe things wouldn’t have gone the way they did.” Not only did FS help Ian’s confidence, but it also helped him meet his first band-mate. “I started my first band with a friend that I met at FS day camp. We wrote and played music together for over 10 years.”

Now that Ian’s an adult, he still keeps in touch with some of his FS friends. He kept in touch with Jordan after his camp years and continues to look up to him. Having gone to camp for almost a decade, and then working as a coach and counselor, Ian considers himself a “lifer.” He still hears from some of his camp friends once in a while, and says, “It makes me happy to see that everyone is doing well. They’re definitely a group of people I will remember forever.”