Feedly.FS.SportsPsychology.April20.2018.760

Essentials for Athletic Success

Athletic success can be achieved through a combination of factors, including genetics, innate talent, exacting coaching and practice, and just sheer luck.  “But performance is also greatly affected by what is between an athlete’s ears: mindset. An athlete’s state of mind is perhaps the single greatest factor that affects performance.”  Can the mindset of a player be maximized by reducing the interference to their sports potential?

Changing the Game Project shares 3 basic essentials they feel that every successful athlete needs to possess:

  1. Intrinsic motivation
  2. Enjoyment of their sport
  3. Autonomy over their sports experience

When there is enjoyment and autonomy over their sports experience, intrinsic motivation often naturally follows.  When your youth athlete has all three of these basic essentials in their grasp, your child will attain the best state of mind to maximize their potential, and then all of the other factors that come into play will fall into place and enhance their performance.

For details:  The Bare Essentials: Three Things Every Athlete Needs to Succeed

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps

FS.ShortInterview.Chris.April18.2018

Spotlight on: Chris Griffin

“The biggest reward that I’ve received in my life is that after running Future Stars for 36 years is that, I’ve come into the second generation of campers. Parents that attended are now sending their kids to the camp, because they love Future Stars and they fondly remember their experiences.”—Charlie VanDercook

We are proud to be a family tradition.  Enjoy getting to know our Future Stars Camps family. If there is someone at Future Stars Camps that you want to know more about, let us know at:  purchase@fscamps.com

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Meet Chris Griffin, Site Director of Future Stars Camps at Farmingdale State College.  Chris is in his 7th year and previously directed the lacrosse programs at Farmingdale and Old Westbury.  Chris also worked at the camps when he was in college.  In addition, he helped oversee the indoor turf facility at Future Stars Southampton, when it opened 5 years ago.   Chris carries the Future Stars’ tradition of being a camper at SUNY Purchase in the 90’s and now a full-time staff member.

What was your most memorable 2017 winter moment?
Chris:  Drinking mint flavored hot chocolate that David would make in the office.

What are you most looking forward to at camp this summer?
Chris:  Nice weather! Making the rounds and seeing all the different programs in action is always nice. When you see the campers having a great time, it puts a smile on your face. Additionally, I like playing in the staff soccer game and hearing all the campers cheering for their coaches.

What are your hobbies?
Chris:  I like to surf when the waves are good, but typically the better waves happen in the fall and winter.  I’ve found myself surfing less and less through the winter months as I’ve aged, but I hope to still get out there in the future.

What is your favorite memory from camp?
ChrisI’ll answer this two ways, since I used to attend Future Stars as a child.  Back when I attended, there were really only two options, tennis and soccer.  I would attend both programs throughout the summer, and the awards ceremonies at the end of the week in tennis always stood out for me.  We would be having ice pops on the hill and Jordan, site director for SUNY Purchase, and his staff would make it so fun and be joking around.  For soccer, one day that stands out is when we were having a juggling contest, and the director was juggling for about 30 minutes straight, and only stopped because we had to go to lunch.  He even kept juggling as we made our way to lunch, but at that time, the path was like hiking through the woods, so I think he lost it on one of the hills.  I was amazed as a kids and it probably felt more like an hour back then.

Which part of your job do you enjoy the most?
Chris:  Being able to get outside and have some fun with the campers is most enjoyable to me. I love sports, so working in that field is pretty cool. I’ve been so interested in the STEAM programs lately, and wish I was able to spend more time learning and visiting them, but I probably wouldn’t get anything done if I stuck around too long.

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What song do you play most often?
Chris:  One song in particular doesn’t stand out.  I love music and listen to everything from country to old school emo/punk rock.  I don’t really update my playlists, so I have  “workout”/”pump-up” playlists, from college, that I still listen to when I do get to the gym.  I just let my music app pick playlists for me.

Which exercise do you enjoy the most?
Chris:  Riding a bike.

What’s your favorite comfort food?
Chris:  Garlic mashed potatoes or mac ‘n’ cheese.

If you could be the better at something, what would you choose?
Chris:  Playing an instrument or drawing.  The arts are something I’ve never really been very successful at.  Don’t get me wrong, I can sing, but the last instrument I played was a recorder!  Would be great if I knew how to play the piano.  You could literally play anywhere that had one, and it’s pretty impressive.

What do you miss most about being a kid?
Chris:   Just having fun all the time, especially in the summer, when school was out.  Not a worry in the world and you didn’t really have any responsibilities, besides taking out the trash and recycling.

FS.ShortInterview.ChrisGriffin.April18.2018.1

Chris:   Who is your favorite fictional character?
Ron Burgundy from Anchorman:  The Legend of Ron Burgundy

What kind of movies do you enjoy
Chris:   Comedy/Action

What’s your favorite outdoor activity/indoor activity?
Chris:   Outdoor: Hanging at the beach/surfing.  Indoor: Making Smoothies.

What was the first thing you bought with your own money?
Chris:  My first car.  The summer of my freshman year in college.

What is your favorite quote?

It’s better to have memories rather than dreams.- George Geiser

Image Credit:  Chris Griffin

 

Feedly.FS.MultiSports.April16.2018.760

Should Your Child Specialize in One Sport?

National Scouting Report (NSR) shares varying perspectives on the commonly asked question as to whether it is “better to be single sport or a multi-sport athlete?”   It is important to note that there is no simple answer and perhaps the answer lies more in knowing and understanding individual ambitions.

Many coaches and atheletes are outspoken around their stand on either side of the question, so you have access to a plethora of opinions.  Youth sports players start young, so there is a lot of time to think about the direction that your athlete can take.  Down the road, as an athlete or a parent, you should research and make sense of the pros and cons in relation to specific needs and goals.

Some pros and cons of being a multi-sports athlete:

  • skill set has variety
  • low burnout
  • difficulty making the decision to chose one sport for college recruitment
  • possibility of injury in off season sport

Some pros and cons of being a single sport athlete:

  • mastery of one sport skill set
  • increased confidence in specific abilites
  • increased burnout
  • injuries from repetitive motions

Be mindful in making this decision and keep in mind that nothing is cast in stone, you may start off in one direction and change direction as you become more attuned to your abilities and intentions.  However, if the goal is to be a college athlete you should know that, “college coaches tend to recruit or want multiple sport athletes”.

For more details:  Multi-Sport Athletes vs. Single Sport Athletes – The Pros and Cons

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps

A young boy tries juggling against a bright blue sky.

How Do Circus Arts Bolster Educational Skills?

“Studies show that movement and stimulation of balance helps attentional disorders and improves reading.” C. Hannaford Ph.D

EclipseArts of England, shares some thought-provoking insights on how a circus arts instruction could enhance academic skills.  Their line of thought intimates that because juggling utilizes the part of the brain that processes visual/motion information, this may actually increase grey matter in those areas.

“Children get a great cardio-vascular and pulmonary work-out when they juggle scarves, exercising the big muscles close to the head and close to the heart.” Dave Finnigan.

That’s another reason for encouraging your child who may not be interested in traditional sporting activities to try circus arts.

Interestingly enough, when juggling, both the left and right hand sides of the brain are engaged. “The left hand brain is responsible for procedures, logic, maths, and gets a very thorough work-out from analysing where to aim that next throw, or where the hand should be positioned to catch it. The right hand, or creative side, is responsible for turning juggling into an art – choreographing tricks into routines, remembering to smile! This is the same for all manipulation skills. They get our brains working holistically and sharpen focus, which leads to improvement in academic performance.”

For students who are not comfortable with traditional sports or academic regimens, circus arts is an innovative and experiential arena for them to explore their unique abilities at their own pace.

Read more:  Educational Benefits of Circus Skills

Image Credit:  Deposit Photos

FS.Short.Interview.Emily.April.11.2018.3.680

Spotlight On: Emily Snider

“Future Stars Camps has been around for 37 years and keeping it fresh while maintaining the values that have made this summer day camp a family tradition are why parents, who attended as kids, want their children to come here.”  —                  Jordan Snider

We are proud to be a family tradition.  Enjoy getting to know our Future Stars Camps family. If there is someone at Future Stars Camps that you want to know more about, please let us know at:  purchase@fscamps.com

Meet Emily Snider, our first camper to be featured in our short interview series.  Emily embodies the family tradition, we are so proud of at Future Stars Camps.

How old were you when you started at Future Stars Camps?  If you have siblings, do they attend the camp too?  Did your parents go to Future Stars Camps?

Emily:  I started Future Stars Summer Camps when I was 4, and have gone every year since. My younger brother, Eli who is now 10 also goes to Future Stars. My dad, Jordan Snider went to Future Stars as a kid. My dad and mom actually met at Future Stars when they both worked there. Now, my dad is the director.

What are your favorite television shows?

Emily:  My favorite TV shows are Gilmore Girls and the Big Bang Theory. I never get sick of Gilmore Girls! The Big Bang Theory is hilarious! My dad can’t breathe throughout most of the episode because he laughs so hard.

Do you have a pet?

Emily: I do have a pet. I have a calico cat. Her name is Sunset and she is 5 years old. I love playing and napping with her.

What grade are you in?  What do you most enjoy about school?

Emily:   I am in 8th grade. My favorite part of school is seeing my friends.

What are you most looking forward to this summer at camp?

Emily:  This summer at camp, I am most looking forward to playing soccer and seeing my favorite counselors and friends again.

FS.Short.Interview.Emily.April11.2018.340

When you have some quiet time, what do you choose to do?

Emily:  When I have some quiet time, I like to watch TV and listen to country music.

Which program at FS camps do you attend?

Emily:   At Future Stars, I mostly attend soccer camp, while also spending a week or 2 at another program each year.

FS.Short.Interview.Emily.April.11.2018.1.760

Share some things that are important to you?

Emily:   My friends are important to me. I love hanging out with them. We always have such a good time, laughing and talking.

FS.Short.Interview.Emily.April.11.2018.2.680

What is your favorite memory from camp?

Emily:   My favorite memory from camp was a 3 v 3 tournament one week at soccer camp. 2 of my good camp friends were on my team. It was competitive and still a blast! We were joking around, and still putting in 100% effort. We ended up winning the tournament in Penalty Kicks!

Feedly.FS.Volleyball.Vertical.April9.2018.760

Need Help With Your Vertical?

Volleywood.net shared an IG post by Carly Wopat on how to increase your vertical.  Carly was the middle blocker and former star player at Stanford University.  “To preface this post, I am no master of the matter. But I do have a Human Biology Stanford degree w/ a concentration in human performance, I play professional volleyball & train daily, and I’m a major nerd when it comes to anything performance & health related.”

Carly makes it quite clear, like most things there is never one single answer to improve your vertical but rather an amalgamtion of factors that include workouts, mechanics, mobility, use of the full body, etc.  Keeping in mind that the two important components in your workout that your train for are speed and power.

Carly shared a few sets she did in her last workout:

  • power jerks (Olympic lifts)
  • ankle hops
  • consecutive hurdle jumps
  • approach jump test

For details and video:  How To Increase Your Vertical By Carly Wopat

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps

Feedly.FS.Misc.FunComp.April6.2018.760

Can Fun and Competitiveness Thrive Together in Youth Sports?

Changing the Game Project shares insightful perspectives on how fun and competiveness should reside symbiotically in sports.  “There is this overwhelming myth in sports that fun and competitiveness cannot coexist. To have one, you cannot have the other, and at some point, we have to choose between whether we are there to have fun in our sports experience or to compete.”  This myth must be false otherwise there would not be successful happy athletes.  Of which, we know there are many.

How do you make sports fun?   Understanding what children consider fun is essential.  “In fact, Amanda Visek, in her groundbreaking Fun Maps research, decided to ask children to help her define fun. What she discovered was that children have 81 different determinants for having fun in sports!”

Some ways children define fun:

  • working hard
  • being challenged and competing
  • learning a new skill
  • being with friends
  • having a coach that cares
  • getting compliments from coach
  • learning from mistakes
  • working as a team
  • fun is getting playing time

Not surprisingly, winning is one of the fun determinants but when ranked it comes in as 48 out of 81. Children stop playing sports when they cease to have fun. So what should adults be looking at to keep children in sports so that they imbibe valuable life skills and solid values.  “If we made sports about fun, following their 81 determinants as a roadmap, it would fulfill their needs and our wishes for youth sports!”

For more details:  Can Youth Sports be Both Fun and Competitive?

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps

Throwback.AdamT.March10.2018

Spotlight On: Adam Taraska

“The biggest reward that I’ve received in my life is that after running Future Stars for 36 years is that, I’ve come into the second generation of campers. Parents that attended are now sending their kids to the camp, because they love Future Stars and they fondly remember their experiences.”—Charlie VanDercook

We are proud to be a family tradition.  Enjoy getting to know our Future Stars Camps family. If there is someone at Future Stars Camps that you want to know more about, let us know at:  purchase@fscamps.com

Meet Adam Taraska, in his 5th summer as Future Stars Baseball Camp Director at our Purchase College location.  When not at Future Stars Camps, Adam is in his 5th season as head baseball coach of the Purchase College Panthers.

What was your most memorable 2017 winter moment?

Adam:  Crusing in the Bahamas and wave running in the Bahamas.

What are you most looking forward to at camp this summer?

Adam:  Being outside and on the field all day every day with the counselors and campers. I’m over the snow!

Which part of your job do you enjoy the most?

Adam:  Sharing this great game with today’s youth, who will be tomorrow’s high school players and camp counselors.

FS.Short.Interview.Adam.1

What song do you play most often?

Adam:  Hero of the Day by Metallica. When I was a high school baseball player, I used to listen to it before every game. Now, my new tradition is the night before opening day, I take 4 minutes and make sure I play it at home.

What do you miss most about being a kid?

 Adam:  How long the days are.  As an adult, the hours, days, weeks, and years fly by. When you’re a kid, time moves so amazingly slowly.

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What kind of movies do you enjoy?

Adam:   I enjoy historical timepieces with great plots.  My favorite movies are L.A. Confidential, Gangs of New York, and Almost Famous.

What’s your favorite outdoor activity/indoor activity?

 Adam:  I enjoy playing racquetball in the winter and grilling in the backyard in the summer.

FS.Short.Interview.Adam.2

What is your favorite quote?

A quote by the longtime NHL coach, John Tortorella. He used this quote with his 2004 Stanley Cup winning Tampa Bay Lightning, meaning that if you play the game to not make a mistake, you will lose. If you play aggressively and don’t worry about making a mistake, instead drive yourself to make a great play, you stand a much better chance to win.

“Safe is death” — John Tortorella

Image Credit:  Adam Taraska

Feedly.FS.Swimming.TrngBikinis.April2.2018.760

Training Bikinis or Traditional One-Piece?

The one-piece swim suit used to be the only option women had whether they were training for a race or competition, or swimming to be and/or stay fit.  Having the right swimming costume is important, so it’s wonderful that now there is the extra option of a training bikini.  ProSwimwear shares some great reasons that you might want to consider using a training bikini:

  1. Training bikinis are very comfortable and the design offers a completely unrestricted range of motion
  2. Training bikinis offer different styles, colors and patterns to meet individual styles
  3. Training bikinis are made from the same materials as one-piece swimsuits which makes them just as durable

Try one out and see whether you like this different look.  Training bikinis are available in women’s and girl’s sizes.

For more details:  Discover The Benefits Of Training Bikinis

Image Credit:  Deposit Photos

Feedly.FS.Misc.Losing.March30.2018.760

Is there Glory in Not Winning?

Is there truth to what coach Bill Courtney says to his players in the Oscar-winning documentary, Undefeated, “The measure of a man’s character is not determined by how he handles his wins, but how he handles his failures.”  In an insightful article, on Positve Coaching Alliance, Jack Bowen, shares the merits of losses and wins.

The tales he weaves around the winners and non-winners at the Olympics is worth the short read.  Not to mention, some of his insights like:

  •  ” Winners and non-winners can each borrow a little something from the other in their experiences of wins and losses.  The winner can reflect on the game and seek areas for improvement, as the perfectly played contest has yet to be achieved.  And the losers can take solace in the process of the game, allowing the character building to run its course.  The only way to achieve the personal growth from such instances is to be fully conscious of it all.”
  • Given that the majority of teams and athletes end up as non-winners (euphemistically speaking), this whole sporting endeavor must, then, be about process, about journey, and not about the objective of winning.
  • “So, yes, to the victor go some of the spoils, but not all of them.  It just might be that to the loser go some pretty good spoils as well, which works out nicely for all athletes, Olympic or not.”

For more information:  The Olympic Pursuit Of Life Lessons

Image Credit:  Deposit Photos