Meet David Villa

Did you know that Future Stars Soccer is joining with DV7 for 2 full weeks of overnight soccer training?  The DV7 method will develop campers’  soccer skills, as well as, enhance core values. Training sessions run by licensed Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) professionals ensure that campers are able to build their confidence on and off the field and come away with a memorable experience. The DV7 curriculum is based on Spanish soccer methodology, which has proven to be effective and successful around the world. Led by David Villa, campers will be provided with a full soccer kit as well as a meet and greet with Villa himself.

So let’s get to know David Villa, former World Cup winner and Spain’s all-time leading goalscorer.

Please tell us a little about yourself and your soccer career.  Why do they call you “El Guaje” and what does it mean?

David:  Since I was a little kid I wanted to be a soccer player. In Asturias, the word “Guaje” means kid. When I was a kid they called me Guaje because I used to play with older players.

What has been the most memorable accomplishment of your career?

David:  Winning the World Cup in 2010 was a dream come true. I think that most players dream about winning the World Cup at some point during their careers and we achieved it. It was an incredible feeling to make so many people happy in Spain

And the least memorable moment?

David:  Probably the day I got injured during the Club World Cup with FC Barcelona. I missed the Euro 2012 because of that injury.

What would you say has been one of the biggest influences on your success as a soccer player?

David:  It’s been amazing to be surrounded by so many great coaches and players during my career. I had the chance to learn from the best. Now I try to share with our DV7 players what I’ve learned.


Tell us about the DV7 organization: when it started, what inspired you to start it, where does it operate?

David:  I want to be involved in youth soccer and I enjoy teaching the players what I have learned and experienced throughout my professional career. It all began with my business partner Víctor Oñate. We both decided that it would be great to open academies around the world. As of right now, we have academies in Spain, the U.S., Hong Kong, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. We are very happy with how the academies are progressing.

Tell us about the DV7 curriculum and why it’s so effective when learning how to play soccer.

David:  During my career, I have been able to see and learn different methodologies from great coaches. At DV7, we want the players to learn the game by training with the ball at all times. Our players are the main focus. During the past few years, I have seen a lot of improvement in our players and I am very satisfied with the level of training we are providing them.


What are some key success factors when training under the DV7 curriculum?

David:  Each DV7 academy has a Technical Director who is in charge of implementing the DV7 methodology. All of our players enjoy very dynamic and effective training sessions.

Can anyone join a DV7 Soccer Academy? Or do you need to already have a certain skill level?

David:  All players are welcome. At DV7, we all share the same passion about the game, no matter your soccer skills. Our goal is for players to improve day by day.

Soccer has not traditionally been the most popular sport in the USA, compared to most of the world. How do you and DV7 inspire kids to learn and keep playing soccer?

David:  I think that soccer is becoming more popular in this country. I see a lot of boys and girls wanting to become soccer players. I try to show our players that it’s more important to learn lifelong values than winning trophies. Soccer is a collective sport and even if a player doesn’t become a professional soccer player, he or she will have learned important values during their soccer career.

To any kids out there who are thinking about learning to play soccer, or joining one of your camps, what would you say to them?

David:  Come join us! The camps are a lot of fun and a good way to keep your soccer skills sharp, another plus is the players will have a chance to play with me on the field and ask me questions.


Image Credit:  David Villa



A Little Hesitant About Horseback Riding?

Horse Network shares some good tips on overcoming your angst about horseback riding.  First thing to keep in mind is that feeling some degree of fear is normal for everyone, even professional athletes feel it.  So what can you do to manage this disquietude?

  • Face your fears directly
  • Hold onto your purpose for riding
  • Manage, control and use a supportive voice while riding
  • Work on your confidence in practice and bring those successes to the ring
  • Be mindful and stay in the moment
  • Work on improving yourself and not proving yourself to others
  • Talk openly with your coach about your concerns

Riding should be fun for you and your horse.  You will be at the peak of your abilities when you are able to quiet your qualms.  Remember, that there are practical solutions for you to embrace so that you can be the best rider that you can be.

Read more:  7 Ways to Conquer Your Riding Fears

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps


What Does it Take to be an Olympian Parent?

USA Today interviewed parents of Olympians and asked them to share some nuggets of wisdom on grooming an Olympics bound athlete.  Paramount of course, “I would say back them 100% and don’t force them or push them to do it. If they want to do it, they’ll do it. Just support them.”, shares Ronald Hamlin of Remsen, NY, father of Erin Hamlin, 2014 bronze medalist in luge and 2018 U.S. flag bearer.

Keep in mind that embarking on the Olympic journey does not always end up in achieving the dream.  Whether or not your child becomes an Olympian, the journey that you traverse could be long and perilous.  For these special parents and Olympians, the fruit of their labor and sacrifices was well worth it.  Here are some of of their thoughts:

  • “Allowing him to leave home at a young age (16) to train at the Olympic training center in order to improve and get stronger. I had to learn to let him go. I couldn’t keep him home for myself … He had to leave in order to pursue his dreams of becoming an Olympian.” — Maria Corazon Crain, mother of short-track speedskater Aaron Tran
  • “It actually does take the parents kind of working in harmony. Both parents have to have a good work ethic and they have to be committed and they also have to have a certain amount of toughness. That doesn’t mean being mean, but you can’t allow the kids to quit. You try something once, you don’t say I don’t like it. Nobody likes anything the first time.” — Don and Lisa Little, parents of Broc Little, a forward on U.S. men’s hockey team

The Olympic journey has no guarantees and will require parents and athletes to spend most if not all of their time dedicated to the sport and will require a substantial financial investment to fulfill this pursuit.  It is certainly not for those other than the extremely devoted and passionate.  But for these very lucky few, the personal sacrifices are worth their weight in gold — possibly even Olympic gold.

For more information:  How to raise an Olympian: Team USA parents discuss their paths to success

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps


Spotlight on Omar Lopez

“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:


Meet Omar Lopez originally from Mexico City.  Omar is a full-time tennis pro at Future Stars in Southampton during the winter and in the summer serves as the Southampton Future Stars Camps, Assistant Director.

What was your most memorable 2017 winter moment?

Omar:  Getting engaged. I’ve been with my fiancé, Anya, since 2012 and I asked her to marry me on a beautiful beach in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. We were also there for about a month and I went scuba diving for the first time! It might become my new hobby.

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

Omar:  Seeing the camp running even more smoothly than last year! I also miss seeing the campers.  I’m looking forward to seeing their familiar faces and meeting new campers this summer at Southampton. I also look forward to growing the program and improving it.


What are your hobbies?

Omar:   Besides playing tennis, I like playing all sorts of sports like futbol (soccer) and basketball with co-workers.  I like to try new sports, so last summer, I tried surfing, and this winter I tried boxing, which I really enjoyed.

Which part of your job do you enjoy the most?

Omar:  I love seeing my co-workers and I’m thankful for the relationships that have been formed over the past two years that I’ve been at Future Stars. I enjoy seeing the kids improve their tennis skills and grow throughout their experience at camp.


What song do you play most often?

Omar:  I don’t have a specific song that I play the most because I get tired of songs easily. But being from Mexico, I love reggaetón. But I like all sorts of music!

Which exercise do you enjoy the most?

Omar:  Like I said before, I like playing all sports. Although I have been getting into boxing lately. I also like going to the gym.

What’s your favorite comfort food?

Omar:   It has to be pasta. I could eat pasta with anything and it never fails me.

If you could be the better at something, what would you choose?

Omar:   Tennis! All I wanted since I was young was to be able to compete in the circuit, which I did for a short period of time but definitely not at the level I would have liked.

What do you miss most about being a kid?

Omar:  I would say it’s that excitement you get as a kid from the simplest things. As we grow older, we sometimes take things for granted and we forget to enjoy a nice sunset, a good ice-cream, or even the rain.


What is your favorite quote?

“Success does not require you to look out the window, it requires you to look at the mirror” — Eric Thomas

Image Credit:  Omar Lopez

Meet Marie McCool

US Lax Magazine’s May/June edition sports a great short interview with Marie McCool. Marie’s high school coach, Deanna Knobloch shares, “It’s not that McCool is a stick-skills wizard, Knobloch says. Both at Moorestown and today as an All-American midfielder at North Carolina, McCool’s game is technically sound but not edgy. Instead, the word that comes up repeatedly to describe her game is “flow.” She favors transition and unsettled situations, corralling loose balls and running past defenders who can’t keep pace.”

For details:  The Real McCool: How the UNC Star Found Her Sweet Spot



Interested in Theatre?

TheatreFolk shares some interesting things to consider when pursuing your interest in theatre.  Having the right combination of “hard” and “soft” skills can aid you in all of your pursuits.  “Hard skills” are abilities or the knowledge you have required to perform certain tasks, for example the ability to sing to audition for a musical role.  Depending upon the job, hard skills can often be taught, such as how to operate a sound board or design lighting.

“Soft skills,” on the other hand are harder to define as they tend to be more subjective.  Soft skills include personality traits and personal attributes that you may inherently possess,  or can learn to emulate by being taught and practicing them in a safe group environment.  These soft skills are very helpful to achieve a common group goal and are great to possess as they are transferable to any group effort on or off stage.

Here are some essential soft skills to enhance or work on developing:

  • Be trustworthy – show up on time, be prepared, and always be prepared to perform your work
  • Be able to work independently – when you are given a task be able to independently achieve what you are asked to do without constant supervision
  • Be a team player – know when to jump in and help, also know when to not interfere, stay positive even in the hardest of times
  • Stay calm under pressure – be prepared for the inevitable “meltdown”, something will always go wrong – it’s the nature of the beast, but the ability to remain above the fray and find a solution is something to aim for
  • Be proactive – perform your required tasks, then always offer to do more – on a set there is always some loose end that could use your help

If you embrace some of these soft skills, you may find your theatre experience more enjoyable and fulfilling!

Read more:  What Skills Do You Need to Work on a Show?

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps


Spotlight on Jess Lindsay

“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:


Meet Jess Lindsay, Assistant Director of Future Stars Basketball Camps,Purchase, and our Lead Graphic Designer.  Jess also coaches college lacrosse at Mercy College, and High school lacrosse at School of the Holy Child.

What was your most memorable 2017 winter moment?

Jess:  The biggest moment of my winter came when I made the switch to coach Basketball at Rye Neck High School. It was my first winter at a new school, as well as, making the jump from Assistant to Head Coach, and my first team is a group of young women I will never forget.


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

Jess:  Getting to see all of my basketball kids again! I’ve coached so many of the same campers over the years that it’s always great to see them come back every summer and watch them grow as athletes and as people.

Which part of your job do you enjoy the most?

Jess:  My favorite part of coaching is when I can teach an athlete the life skills that go along with playing basketball, how to think for themselves and how to get the most out of the game. It’s not always about winning, but it is always about learning how to work hard, to not give up and how to control what you can in order to stay focused.


What are your hobbies?

Jess:  Anything where I can work with my hands and make something. I spend a lot of my free time working with paint or building/refinishing furniture for my apartment. I also spend literally all my free time hanging out with my dog Clyde.


What song do you play most often?

Jess:   Currently, I haven’t stopped playing “This is America” by Childish Gambino, but that changes pretty frequently. haha!

Which exercise do you enjoy the most?

Jess:   Basketball! I’d rather play a game of pickup instead of hitting the fitness center any day.


What’s your favorite comfort food?

Jess:   Pizza, I could eat it any day of the week, with just about anything on it.

What do you miss most about being a kid?

Jess:  Being able to just take time off. With all my jobs and teams that I coach, it’s tough to get a full day to myself to recharge, I miss being able to just have time for adventures.


Who is your favorite fictional character?

Jess:   Michael Scott from the office.

What kind of movies do you enjoy?

Jess:    I’m not super big on movies, I’d rather re-watch episodes of the office for the millionth time, but if I’m watching a movie it’s probably something starring Melissa McCarthy.

What is your favorite quote?

“The world is changed by your example, not your opinion” — Paulo Coelho

Image Credit:  Jess Lindsay


It’s Never Too Early to Learn Money Management

Thinkfun shares an interesting series of blogs about fostering life skills in children with fun activities.  Sometimes  teaching children simple life skills like laundry, cooking, and money management that can be taught as early as three is sometimes overlooked in the home and in school.  Having a young adult mismanaging their finances early in life is a situation that most would want to avoid at all cost.

Teaching children to understand and appreciate delaying their gratification is a foundation builder.  “The famous Stanford marshmallow experiment, which involved 40 years of research, found that the children who waited longer for a larger reward were generally more successful into adulthood.”  What a great reason to work with your child to work towards a long term goal over short term gratification.

Work with your child on the concepts of “saving”, “spending” and “sharing”.  Talk about the values of each of those concepts.  Find fun containers, decorate and mark them clearly as save, spend, and share.  Let your child decide how they want to distribute the money they receive.  Discuss that saving is for larger items, spending is for fun smaller items, and sharing is giving to those who may not have as much as they do.

Next steps include, tracking how the money is saved or spent by making fun charts.  Discuss the importance of making good choices and dissect the poor choices.  Learn from errors and move on with the wisdom gained from mistakes.  Deciding on how to spend from their “sharing jar” is a great life lesson, sharing often is accompanied by feelings of warmth of inclusivity.

Your child is not too young to be fiscally responsible and making it fun will make a life lesson easier to achieve.

For more information:  Fostering Life Skills Without Home Ec: Money Management

Image Credit:  Deposit Photos


Fastpitch Softball Gloves Anyone?

If you are in the market for a fast pitch softball glove, you realize quickly that there are a lot of choices and reviews out there.  The price points are all over the scales for softball gloves like any other sporting equipment.  If your player is just starting out, you may not want to drop hundreds of dollars on gloves, so do shop around just in case your child plays for just one season.  Of course, as with everything else, you get what you pay for and a well broken-in glove that fits well goes a long way.

In alphabetical order, here are some of the fast pitch softball gloves that Dugout Debate and Softball Ace mention in their reviews:

  • Akadema Fastpitch Series
  • DeMarini Diablo Series
  • Easton BX1300B 13- Inch Baseball Glove
  • Easton Z-Flex Youth Series
  • Mizuno GPL1200F1 Prospect Fastpitch Series Right
  • Muzuno Premier Series
  • Rawlings Fastpitch Series 11-inch Infield
  • Louisville Slugger 10.5-Inch FG Diva Softball
  • Nokona X2 Buckaroo Series
  • Nokona Walnut Leather
  • Wilson A200 Series 10 Inch Youth Fastpitch
  • Wilson A360 series

Another thing to keep in mind is that the often times the off-season, is the best time to get last year’s deals, so keep your options open.  For a newbie, think about purchasing an entry-level glove that fits well and will hold its own for at least one season.

For detailed additional information:

Best Softball Gloves for the 2018 Season: Reviews of Fastpitch, Slowpitch, and Youth Gloves

What are the Best Youth Softball Gloves?

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps


Spotlight On Pablo Montesi

“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:


Meet Pablo Montesi, Tennis Club and Camp Director at Future Stars Camps, Southhampton.  This will be Pablo’s 10th summer working along side your children.

What was your favorite moment of the winter?

Pablo:  Running my Tennis Academy in Miami Beach, living next to the beach and the tennis courts are my 2 favorite things.

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

Pablo:  I always look forward to having everything ready, every detail planned, meeting with our staff and going through all our training. Making sure our campers have everything they need as well as our staff, so we can have another great and fun summer full of positive and unforgettable memories.


What is your favorite memory from camp?

Pablo:  I’ve got so many good ones, but one that made me really happy was when the whole camp was under the tent and I spontaneously told everybody that we were going to challenge other FS camps to be the loudest, most energetic, passionate, and most spirited group of campers and staff.  So I recorded them running around and everyone was showing their emotions, it was so memorable!


Which part of your job do you enjoy the most?

Pablo:  I love seeing kids having fun, smiling and watching them progress. Being part of their growth and finding positive ways to impact them as a good role model, that is my ultimate goal and it’s the most rewarding of experiences.

What are your hobbies?

Pablo:  Playing the guitar, piano and singing are my absolutely 3 favorite hobbies (although my singing is out of tune).

What’s your favorite comfort food?

Pablo:  I Love food, I enjoy all kinds, pasta probably is my favorite but I try to stay healthy (no carbs). Chocolate is my weakness.

If you could be the better at something, what would you choose?

Pablo:  Singing (told ya!).

What’s your favorite outdoor activity/indoor activity?

Pablo:  Tennis and Soccer. I also love skiing and ping pong.

What was the first thing you bought with your own money?

Pablo:   When I was 16 years old, I was in a rock band, we played covers and wrote our own songs. We participated in a contest in Santiago, Chile, the winner would receive $1,000, and we won!!  There were 5 of us in the band, so we split it and I bought a big guitar amplifier. I was ready to play at Madison Square Garden!

What’s your favorite quote?

I live by the Golden Rule: “Treat others as you would want them to treat you.”