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Girls and STEM

Have you heard that STEM will be powered by women?  If you are a young lady between the ages of 13-19 and science intrigues you – you may want to sign up for 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures.  Be partnered with a woman in science who will mentor you one-to-one with two virtual meetings per month and other engagement opportunities.

Nourish your science dreams with professionals and peers bonded in love of the sciences.  Create a space where you can safely explore and build blocks to achieve your dreams.  This program is free to you because the Global STEM Alliance of the New York Academy of Sciences believes in the potential of the expanded involvement of girls and women in STEM.

Please consider signing up to find out more about the 2017-2018 program year:
1000 Girls, 1000 Futures

Looking for a STEM activity this summer?  Consider Future Stars STEAM camp.

 

Anticipation Paired With Expectation

We’re thrilled to announce that June is here! The thought of a new summer conjures up images of sun-splashed days and ice-cream truck chasing. Whatever your association is with summer, and we all have them, we at Future Stars always couple our anticipation of the summer solstice with spending quality time with our campers. What makes our company unique, however, is that our anticipation comes with clear expectations.

Here is a list of our expectations for our campers’ experiences for summer 2014:

Our campers will be active for hours each day;

Our campers will create new friendships and solidify old ones;

Our campers will talk endlessly about how much fun his/her counselor is;

Our campers will finally fall asleep at their bedtime (goes back to the active expectation);

Our campers will look up to their counselors as role-models;

Our campers will learn and enhance their fundamentals in a particular sport;

Our campers will learn what it means to look people in the eye when speaking;

Our campers will learn what it means to win with grace and lose with dignity;

Our campers will gain valuable experiences that will help build and maintain their self-confidence;

Our campers will improve their coordination and balance through age-appropriate drills;

Our campers will learn what it means to be a true team player;

Our campers will be taught how to push themselves to be better people;

Our campers will observe the proper way of treating others;

Our campers will treat others well and with respect;

Our campers will swim;

Our campers will run;

Our campers will smile;

Our campers will sweat;

Our campers will have a blast!

My expectation for this summer: Continue my passion to educate the youth of America on how to grow as people through the blessing of athletic competition. The anticipation is killing me!

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New Baseball Camp Director

ImageWe are pleased to announce Adam Taraska as our new Future Stars Baseball Camp Director at our Purchase College location.

Adam has more than 10 years of coaching experience from the youth to college level. In addition to his current Purchase College Head Coaching role, he has given private and group lessons to players starting at age 6 for the past decade.

He currently is also a Physical Education teacher in Wilton, CT.

Prior to coaching at Purchase College, Taraska has coached at Fairfield University and Iona College during which time he has coached players that were drafted by the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres.

While coaching at Caldwell College the Cougars won the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference regular season crown and conference tournament, advancing to the DII Northeast Regional Tournament.

At the high school level, Taraska worked as the head coach at Greens Farms Academy in Westport, CT.

For the past 11 years, he has been a coach for the AAU Team Connecticut Blue Jays in which time he has led many teams to Top 10 regional and national finishes. He has coached at every level from 13U-18U.

Prior to coaching, Taraska was a decorated athlete and four-year starter at the University of Bridgeport. Captain of the Purple Knights in 2003, he earned a B.S. in Human Services.

click here to learn more about our 2014 baseball camp

Not Just Physical

Two very interesting stories caught my attention. When it comes to sports and athletes, we often think about the physical talent and skills. However, “intelligence” and awareness is important at all levels also.

First the positive story: the Yankees 1 run victory last night can be attributed to smart baserunning and good coaching and alertness (NYTimes).  First base coach Mick Kelleher noticed the positioning of the Astros 2nd baseman in the 6th inning with 1 out and runners on 1st and 3rd. He simply reminded the runner on 1st, Lyle Overbay to not be tagged by the 2nd baseman if there is a ground ball to him. By avoiding the quick tag and then a double play, the runner at on 3rd base managed to score what turned out to be the winning run. Interestingly, during that play an incredible number of different events could have occurred. By being prepared and aware of the entire situation, the Yankees turned this into the difference of the game.

The other story that is interesting to think about is the alleged issue as to why Geno Smith NFL: Combineended up not being drafted until the 2nd round of the NFL draft. It is being reported by Yahoo Sports that NFL executives were unimpressed with his actions during predraft meetings. Instead of interacting with the teams and learning from the coaches, he was busy texting and fiddling with his cell phone. While many of us have seen people do this and sometimes attribute it to a sign of maturity or lack of appropriate social skills, the NFL executives also looked at this behavior in a negative light. Could he be a leader? Is he willing to learn? These are critical issues for all athletes and people in general. Shouldn’t we all be trying to learn and improve ourselves?

As parents and coaches it is our responsibility to “teach” the players and help them develop beyond just the physical skills.

Meeting with a College Coach

Congratulations! You have successfully scheduled a meeting with the college coach of your dream university. This is your time to make a lasting impression and to stick out in a positive way.

As a college coach I want to meet the athlete to see if he would be a good fit for my program. Most athletes bring their parents to the meeting as well which is fine. I’m interested to see how the player interacts with his parents. Is Mom doing all the talking? Or is the athlete always looking for reassurance from his parents before answering questions? Keep in mind, I am recruiting the player, not the parents. I want mature players on my team, players that are responsible and independent, players that can make their own difficult decisions and I want players that can think freely and on their own.

I understand that picking a college is a major decision and it’s a decision that needs to be made as a family, especially the financial considerations are often the decision of the parents and not the child. However, I’m amazed how many times the parents are actually the ones doing all the talking. It immediately raises red flags for me. If the athlete is shy, too bad. It is time to step up and be your own person!

A couple of days before the meeting

My last blog entry discussed what you needed to do to get a college coach to notice you. Now you have your meeting set up and you need to do some more homework before the meeting. Educate yourself about the team roster and the game schedule. Ideally you should have watched the team play before your meeting with the coach, either in a game or in a practice. This gives you a general idea of the level of the team and if you can see yourself play for the team. It also gives you a perfect conversation topic for your meeting.

You should email the coach a couple of days before the meeting to confirm the time and the location of the meeting. This shows professionalism and maturity. I also suggest that you bring a copy of your game schedule in case the coach hasn’t seen you play yet.

Meeting Day

On the day of the meeting you will probably be a bit nervous. This is ok. Just take a deep breath and have a couple of questions prepared and you will be fine. Make sure to be on time for the meeting and dress appropriately. I don’t think wearing a suit or khakis is necessary but some coaches might be more old school than I am. Baseball caps and baggy or ripped jeans are a no. Remember you want to make an impression and represent yourself the best you can.

Questions to Ask?

MAKE SURE TO ASK QUESTIONS!

This is the only way you are going to find out if the coach has a serious interest in you and how he or she sees your role on the team. Also, if you are not asking any questions, a coach might think that you don’t have a serious interest in the school or the team. This also gives you an opportunity to ask questions about the school and academics, about the area and campus life and about the goals and expectations of the team and you as a player. Keep in mind that you are the one doing most of the talking and the interaction and not your parents, especially when it comes down to the soccer specific questions.

There are numerous questions that you can ask a college coach and I’ve decided to list 5 questions related to soccer that I think a college soccer coach should be able to answer.

1. How do you see my role in the program?

2. What fitness requirements do you have?

3. How big do you typically keep the roster?

4. What are your future goals for me and for the team?

5. Would you consider offering me an athletic scholarship?

The above questions are not yes or no questions and ideally you want to have a back and forth conversations with the coach. Don’t be afraid to have follow- up questions before you move on to the next question. The first question is a very important question and can dictate the whole meeting. If the coach answers that he sees you as a role player with limited playing time as a freshman and your expectations are that you are a starter and should play every minute then you might have a problem. Make sure that your expectations are in line with reality. Again, if you have studied the roster and educated yourself about the current players on the team, you should have a good estimation on how you fit on the team.

The coach might be very specific with some of the questions such as fitness tests and roster size. If the coach sees you as an immediate starter on the team, he/she should also probably be able to offer you some athletic scholarship. (NCAA Div 1 and 2 offers athletic scholarships) If the coach says that you will be a role player or a practice player and that you will compete for minutes then athletic scholarship might be limited.

Once you feel that you have gotten all the answers from the coach you can finish by asking the coach if there is anything else you need to do to move forward with the process. The coach typically has a lot of experience with this type of meetings and he/she will be the one to make the meeting move forward and to end on a good note.

After the Meeting

A student who takes the time to meet the coach generally comes away with a decision on how they feel about the coach and the program. This is a time to reflect over your meeting and to discuss with your parents. Either way, make sure to follow up with a thank you email to the coach after the meeting. Thank him/her for their time and if you have any more specific questions or something that you feel you missed you can ask or mention that in this email.

Lastly, remember that college coaches are just regular people too! There is no reason to be nervous. If the coach has a genuine interest in you, you will feel it.

In Pro Sports the coach typically chooses (by a draft) his players, and in college the players choose their coach. You still have the power to make the decision based on your feeling.

If you are not comfortable with the coach or don’t like his coaching style (another reason you should go watch a game) then simply follow your gut and move on!

Good Luck with the college search!

Yours in Soccer,

Andreas Lindberg

Andreas Lindberg is the site director for Future Stars at Farmingdale State College. Lindberg is also the current Head Coach for Nationally ranked LIU Post Men’s Soccer Team. Under his guidance the Pioneers won the East Coast Conference Championship in 2009 and 2012. Lindberg was chosen to the East Coast Conference Coach of the Year in 2009, 2011 and 2012.

Attitude

Ralph Waldo Emerson famously stated, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”  In my humble opinion, there is no greater truth.

As you are reading this, I want you to think back and remember your favorite teacher.  Now think about your favorite coach, or neighbor.  What do all of these people have in common?  I bet that they were all enthusiastic; they all had a zest for life and their energy inspired you.

Now think about the most successful people at your workplace.  If you are still a student, think about the students with the highest grade point average, or are the best actors, or best athletes.  Guess what they all have in common.  Yes!  You guessed it, an insatiable, interminable, supply of energy and enthusiasm.

Okay, so we have established that enthusiasm is probably the most important building block to success.  Assuming we all want to be successful, the question is then how do we become more enthusiastic?  How do we become more like that amazing third grade teacher that always greeted us with a smile and knew the answer to every question about dinosaurs?  The answer is not that simple, but here are some suggestions:

  1. Choose a career that you absolutely love.  For me, I teach and coach.  I get to interact with kids on a daily basis, and I am lucky to enough to learn from them, and I hope that they learn from me.  It is a mutually fulfilling relationship that I cherish, and for that, I am enthusiastic about my job.
  2. Spend your time around positive people.  If I have never met you, I can guess what kind of person you are by meeting your friends.  Surround yourself with good people, and the power of attraction takes root.  Surround yourself with negative people, and your whole outlook on life changes.
  3. Seek out a hobby that you are passionate about.  You may not have one right now, and it may take some trial and error to find one, but your life will change once you do.  Personally, my hobbies have changed over time.  That’s normal too.  What you were passionate about when you were twenty-five may not be appealing to you at forty-five.  What’s important is that you have something to look forward to that pushes your mental status quo outside of its comfort zone.
  4. Cherish your daily routine.  We all get bogged down in the routine of life.  Instead of looking at it as a necessary evil, change your mindset and be mindful of your chores.  Take pride in them.  Notice the smell of the detergent as your washing your children’s clothes.  Pay attention to the smells of the kitchen as you are preparing dinner.  Noticing the small things and taking pride in them can completely change your world.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  We have all been knocked down at one point or another by a life event.  We may also feel like every day is “Groundhog Day”, and we don’t know how to break the cycle.  These are the moments we need to reach out.  We live and work in COMMUNITIES; entities based on communal interaction.  Ask and you shall receive.

Here at Future Stars the most glaring common characteristic of our employees is a sense of enthusiasm; a sense of I’m willing to try this and I can’t wait to try that.  We feed off of each other’s energy, and that creates a special work environment.  We are grateful that so many have entrusted us with the caretaking of their children, and pray that they have felt inspired by us, the same way my third grade teacher did to me.

Note: In John Wooden’s ‘Pyramid of Success,’ enthusiasm, along with industriousness, serves as the foundation.

Wooden-Pyramid-for-Web

March Madness Tidbits

For those that cannot get enough of the NCAA basketball tournament, we have compiled a few “interesting” tidbits for you this week.

 

Information about picking your brackets that will not help you

  • According to DePaul University math professor Jeff Bergen, your chances of getting every single pick correct are roughly one in 9.2 quintillion.
  • Put another way, your chances of getting every game right is 1 in 9,223,322,036,854,775,808.
  • Only once have all #1 seeds made the final four (2008)
  • Only once in the past 16 years have all 4 of the #2 seeds survived the first weekend  (2009)
  • At least one #4 seed has lost a first round game each of the last 5 years
  • While #6 and #8 seeds have won the title in the 1980s, a #5 seed has never won the title. The #7 seeds have never reached the finals, reaching the final four only once
  • A #16 seed has NEVER upset a #1 seed
  • Only once have the numbers 13, 14, and 15 seeds won a round of 64 games in the same tournament, which was in 1991, according to ESPN
  • According to ESPN, 27.3 percent of tournament games have been decided by three points or fewer (or went to OT), in the past three years.

Does DNA Help?

  • Shane Larkin, Miami’s leading scorer and a John Wooden Award candidate for national player of the year, is the son of 1995 NL MVP and baseball Hall of Famer Barry Larkin.
  • Gonzaga Junior guard David Stockton  is the son of Gonzaga’s most famous basketball alum, John Stockton — but John never reached the NCAA postseason.
  • Southern Senior 6-9 center Madut Bol, son of the late Manute Bol is a role player for the Jaguars.
  • Notre Dame Junior G Jerian Grant is the older brother of Syracuse freshman Jerami. The two are sons of former NBAer Harvey Grant.
  • Michigan junior guard Tim Hardaway Jr and freshman forward Glenn Robinson III’s are sons of former NBA All-Stars with same names. And sophomore forward Jon Horford is son of former NBAer Tito Horford and brother of Atlanta Hawk Al.

NCAA Student-Athletes

Kansas State’s media notes call it “a tremendous semester in the classroom” — the Wildcats’ cumulative 2.839 GPA during the 2012 fall semester was the team’s highest in 12 years.

Harvard’s trip to the NCAAs may be more gratifying to Amaker and the Crimson after a major academic scandal involving cheating forced this season’s senior co-captains to withdraw from the school.

Foreshadowing?

Wichita State nickname – Shockers

Feel free to post any of your own useful or useless facts about the tournament.

College Recruiting – how do I get a college coach to notice me?

Many times parents and players are seeking information on the recruiting process and how to go about being noticed by a college coach. There are so many questions to ask and so much information to process. When do I need to apply? How important are test scores and grades? How do I contact a coach? Do I need a video? What is the eligibility center?

Even though each school and each coach deals with recruiting differently I think that there are a couple of general statements that are true for everyone:

–      Do well in school

–      Do well on the SAT’s or ACT’s.

–      Look for a school that has your major

–      Try to be realistic when it comes to soccer

When it comes to the soccer team – DO YOUR RESEARCH!!

Educate yourself about the team and the conference. Go and watch a game or two so you know the level, the team’s style of play and see for yourself how the coach is interacting with the players and what type of coach he or she is. I personally think that this is very important and something that many players and parents forget during the process.

LIU Post Men's SoccerECC Champs 2012

LIU Post Men’s Soccer
ECC Champs 2012

Communication – How To Stand Out In a Positive Way

According to NCAA less than 6% of boys high school soccer players will go on and play soccer at a NCAA institution. That means that out of 100 graduating seniors only 6 of them will have a chance to play soccer in college, at the NCAA level. Figuring that each high school soccer team has about 8 graduating seniors it would have to take two highschools to find one college soccer player.

(The percentage is slightly higher for women soccer players and the percentage is less than 4% for both men and women basketball, statistics for more sports can be found at the link below)

http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/eligibility_center/Athletics_Information/Probability_of_Competing_Past_High_School.pdf

I receive over 50 emails per week from players, parents and recruiting agencies with player resumes, videos or general emails. Most of these emails I directly delete and the biggest reason for this is that the email isn’t customized for me specifically. It is obvious to me when the email is sent out as a mass email. My name is not included, it simply states: “Dear Coach” and the name of my school is not included, it says “Your School”.

If the interested student athlete doesn’t have the time to customize their email, I simply feel that I don’t have the time to send them a reply email either. It doesn’t take much to stand out. I strongly suggest the student take the time to customize the email. Address the email to the coach with the coach’s last name (make sure you spell it correctly!) and mention that you have looked at the school’s and the team’s website.

Maybe a line about a recent game or an upcoming game?

Example:  “Coach Lindberg – Congratulations on a great result vs ABC University…” or I saw on your website that you have a big conference game coming up, I will try to make the game”

This goes a long way and it shows the coach that you have a real interest of the school and the team. If I receive an email like that, I will make sure that I reply to that potential student athlete.

I also think that it is important that the student and not the parent(s) are the driving force when communicating with the coach. Obviously the parents have a major role in the process, and especially the finances involved, but I look for players that are mature and independent, and can keep a conversation via the phone or in person without Mom answering the questions every time. Start with creating an email account in your own name.  Your parents can certainly help you drafting the email and help you out, but when I get an email from MarySmith@emails.com from a player named Justin Smith it is pretty obvious to me that I am in fact communicating with the Mom and not with Justin.

Once you have sent an email, wait a few days and then follow up with a phone call to the coach. It is amazing to me how few times this happens. A simple call to the coach — introducing yourself, checking to see if the coach has received your email and once again expressing your interest of the school and the team — would go a long way and make a very good impression on me. It tells me you are serious about your interest and that you are a mature and responsible young man. Once you have the coach (or the assistant coach) on the phone ask the coach if you can set up a visit to the school and come and meet with the coach.

Once you have a meeting set up, you need to prepare for the meeting. In my next entry I will discuss what you need to do to prepare yourself for such a meeting and how you can increase your chances of making a great impression.

Yours in Soccer!

Andreas Lindberg

Andreas Lindberg is the site director for Future Stars at Farmingdale State College.

Lindberg is also the current Head Coach for Nationally ranked LIU Post Men’s Soccer Team. Under his guidance the Pioneers won the East Coast Conference Championship in 2009 and 2012. Lindberg was chosen to the East Coast Conference Coach of the Year in 2009, 2011 and 2012.

Skill

ImageSKILL. Definition ‘Special Ability in a task, sport, etc.,esp ability acquired or developed by training’.

As an avid Soccer fan — be it as spectator, player or coach — skill is something that is always wonderful to see from players, especially in the game environment. With the UEFA Champions League resuming play it’s a great opportunity to see many of the most accomplished players in the world showing off their skills at the highest level.  Players like Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), and Robin Van Persie (Man Utd) are perhaps the more recognizable names we identify with when it comes to skill but these players – along with many others –  can be used as a visual aid for our youth players to strive towards in terms of skill.  At the highest level we see not only skill, but more importantly players performing at pace, whilst under pressure and showing great balance throughout.  As an active coach for players from the youth through collegiate level it is often the case that our players have ‘skill’ and show this in training at a comfortable pace, but when it comes to the game environment it is not always evident. The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) Best Practices for Coaching Soccer in the United States booklet states “The most fundamental skill in soccer is individual mastery of the ball and the creativity that comes with it”. To that end the focus of developing youth players should be to ensure our athletes have a sound technical base to allow them to apply the specific sports skills in the game environment. To give our players the best chance to succeed and perform in games, we as coaches should ensure every training session is well structured and follows suitable progressions whilst challenging our players to perform outside their ‘comfort zone’. There are a variety of coaching styles and methods, and it is important that a coach creates an environment that works for him/her and the players on the team. David Beckham was perhaps the most recognizable name in the professional game in the US in recent years and was famously quoted saying “I still look at myself and want to improve”. Hopefully we can encourage our youth players to have the same attitude and then enjoy the moments of skill that follow and celebrate them with our players.