Attracting Children to Drama

Children are attracted to acting for various reasons.  And not all kids interested in drama are ready to get out there and perform on stage in front of a number of strangers.  So how do you draw out the children that are interested but a tad reserved?  Drama Notebook, an organization with a 14 year world’s largest collection of drama games, lesson plans, scripts and drama activities for kids and teens, has some thoughts on how draw children into the world of acting. Here are some tips to consider:

  • Show children that you believe that they are capable of all that they want to do
  • Give children the space to observe first
  • Entice participation at a comfortable pace
  • Be supportive
  • Patience pays off
  • Every step counts as success
  • Not every child needs to be the star and any boost in confidence is a giant stride

” Drama doesn’t have to be about ‘showing off’ at the end. Rather, it is a process that can have a powerful, transformational effect on a person.”

For more heartwarming details:  Teaching Drama To Shy Students

Check out:  Future Stars Drama Camp

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Parents Advocate for Your Child When Needed

As parents, it is important to know when to stay out of a “situation” and allow your child to work out and resolve a problem and when it is appropriate to step in and advocate for your child.  Parenting Aces shares a situation where a rule or an official’s interpretation of a rule did not work in the best interest of children.

In this event on an extremely hot day, 3 backdraw matches were scheduled to be played with an hour rest between matches.  After the first match, which lasted  2 1/2 hours, the parent spoke to the official and asked for extra time between matches, so her son could refuel and re-hydrate appropriately before his next match.  The official granted an extra 15 minutes over the one-hour mandated period.  After he won his second match, the same request was made and he was again given only 15 extra minutes.  In the third match’s second set, an official recommended that he come off the court and retire due to heat illness.

The parent shared, “It turned out that every single boy who had to play 3 matches that day either lost or retired during their 3rd match.  It was just too much tennis in that heat!”

This parent wrote to the appropriate head official of the competition and shared his response which was, ” that the next time, I could use his name and insist on at least as much rest time as the length of the previous match. He told me that I needed to be my son’s advocate and make sure he wasn’t put into a situation that would jeopardize his health or well-being.”

As parents, it is important to recognize that the safety, protection, and well-being of your child is your primary responsibility.  You are entitled to question rules that endanger your child’s health and to share your concerns, experiences and suggestions with the appropriate officials.  When needed hold the officials accountable to change the rules to protect the health and well-being of all tennis athletes.

For more information:  Advocating for Your Child

Check out:  Future Stars Tennis Camp

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Resilience Training for Tennis Players

Martin Method Tennis Fitness shares 6 ways to build resilience in young tennis players drawing from their experience from coaching and playing in Australia, Spain and the US.   Here are some things to work on with your budding tennis player to work on their resiliency:

  • Practice humility – A humble attitude paves the way to viewing a tough situation with acceptance, then moving on and and finding a way to think clearly of a positive plan to overcome the obstacle.
  • Encourage gratitude – A player that doesn’t sit on their laurels is more apt to stay competitive.
  • The team should be motivated by the same message – Parents, coach and player should work in tandem to nourish their shared mindset towards the game.
  • Seek challenge and stretch your abilities – Stay competitive by setting personal goals and seek competitors that test your skills.

For more information: 6 Ways to Build Resilience in Tennis Players

Check out:  Future Stars Tennis Camp

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Nurture Your Mindset

Training an athlete’s mindset is just as important as all of the physical workouts.  Scott Hojlo, CoachUp Nation goes as far to say, “I know that many professional athletes would support me in saying this; athletes should also be training their own mind, as it to plays an integral role into athletic dominance.”

Many athletes and coaches recognize that it is indeed important to nurture and assess your mental attitudes.  All of this can be done through consulting sports psychologists, mental skills coaches, and life coaches whose goal is to help athletes with whatever mental barriers that they may experience.  Mental coaching can be extremely helpful to:

  • build confidence
  • lower anxiety and stress levels
  • maintain composure and confidence levels
  • work on positive mental reinforcement
  • overcome fear of returning to a sport after an injury
  • improve mindset

Professional sports athletes utilize the services of mental coaches to help them master mental strategies to polish up their game.  It may not be necessary to hire a mental coaching professional, it might just be fruitful to be aware and have an understanding that a strong healthy mindset can only enhance your abilities.

For more details:  The Forgotten Side of Sports: The Mental Side

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The Wonders of American Youth Sports

Jim Taylor, Ph.D., shared on Psychology Today, some of the great things happening in youth sports in America.  Dr. Taylor has  50 years of experience in youth sports which includes his participation in Little League baseball, soccer and his main sport which was alpine ski racing.  Currently, he is a mental coach in youth sports.

There is a huge concern that youth sports has metamorphosed from a fun team activity with health benefits and life-long skill acquisition to being just about winning at all cost.  Sadly, there is some truth to the down-side of what he calls the “professionalization of youth sports”.  But in this article at the dawn of 2019, Dr. Taylor highlights the positives, so as unite all those involved in youth sports, to continue to hold onto all the good stuff.  Here are some notable positive mentions:

  • tremendous passion surrounding youth and sports
  • investment in practicing, whether it is for the joy of loving the sport, fine-tuning skills, or part of a regimen to attain a sports dream
  • young athletes dedicated to their chosen sport/s
  • parents who make financial and personal sacrifices to provide their children with opportunities to participate in sports, so that their child will learn valuable life lessons and/or pursue an athletic goal
  • coaches and others who dedicate their energy to sports and ingraining the same passion for sports in the next generation

Dr. Taylor ends with, “What I know for sure is that when you combine smart and passionate people with a shared vision, an openness to change, a culture of innovation, and a spirit of collaboration, good things will happen. And the real winners are our children.”


For more information:  What’s Right about Youth Sports in America

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Strengthen Your Hamstrings

Dr. Dev Mishra, Soccer America, shares how important it is to take care of the hamstrings.  Over the years, it has become apparent that the hamstrings play an important role in preventing injuries and affects overall athletic performance.

Hamstring injuries can keep you off the field for some time, so strengthening your hamstrings may help prevent but not completely avoid injuries.  Hamstring injuries may also have as high as a 30% reoccurrence rate. One particularly effective but tough exercise is the Nordic hamstring curl.


When your hamstrings are strong and healthy they are directly related to your sprint speed.  When they are injured they will keep you off the field.  So take care of them.  Here are some facts to keep in mind:

• Your hamstrings impact your overall athletic health.
• There is a correlation between strong hamstrings and a lower risk to the ACL, and improved sprint speed.
• Make sure you include a hamstring strengthening program in your normal strength and warmup routine.


For detailed information:  Take care of the mighty hamstring

Check out:  Future Stars Soccer Camp

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Some Good Soccer Reads to Start off 2019

A good way to start off the new year for soccer fans is a chance to relax with a good book on your favorite sport.  The 2018 Soccer World Cup added to the publishing boom for soccer books and World Soccer Talk shares their guide and here are some of their suggested good reads:

  1. How Soccer Explains The World by Franklin Foer.
  2. The Ball Is Round: A Global History Of Soccer by David Goldblatt.
  3. Football Against The Enemy by Simon Kuper
  4. Soccer In A Football World by David Wangerin
  5. The Beckham Experiment by Grant Wahl
  6. The World is a Ball: The Joy, Madness, and the Meaning of Soccer by John Doyle.

For details:  The Ultimate Guide To the Best Soccer Books

Check out:  Future Stars Soccer Camp

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Balance is More Important Than You May Realize

Why exactly is balance considered an important athletic skill?  How can it be improved?  Stack.com shares some very interesting insights.  Keep in mind that “balance refers to the ability to maintain equilibrium in relation to the force of gravity”.  There are two types of balance:

  • Static balance – the ability to maintain equilibrium while being still
  • Dynamic balance – the ability to maintain equilibrium while being in motion

Balance could be considered a foundational skill that other forms of movement develop from.  Balance is connected to other cornerstone basic movement skills like running, jumping, twisting, rotating, etc., which are all intrinsic to many sports skills.  Balance is intergral to sports skills, so when should you train young athletes?  Youth training expert Józef Drabik suggests balance training for:

  • Boys at 10-11 years of age
  • Girls at  ages 9-10 for girls

Most often children can continue developing balance throughout pre-adolescence into early adolescence. even though balance reaches maturity at around the ages of 12-14.

Before dashing into formalized balance training, consider simple activities that support the development of balance such as:

  • playing at the playground
  • riding a bike
  • roller skating
  • swimming
  • skiing
  • ice skating

And here are some forms of balance that you can train for:

  • Supporting balance
  • Rolling/Rotational/Falling Balance
  • Gliding/Sliding/Cutting Balance
  • Air balance

Incorporate activities that develop balancing skills in the early stages and as your child matures, do consider looking into ways to improve and strengthen balancing abilities.

For detailed information on balance training and exercises:  How to Develop Better Athletic Balance

Check out:  Future Stars Basketball Camp

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Shooting Drills to Work On

It almost always goes back to practice, practice, practice the fundamentals, staying the course and staying determined to improve. Consistent shooting practice develops better shooting habits.  Pro Skills Basketball has 5 shooting drills for you to work on and here are 2 of them for you to tryout:

1.  Dribble Form Shooting Drill – The purpose of the drill is to help players maintain their balance when making a basket after dribbling. This drill trains players to shoot off the dribble with the correct footwork while ensuring balance.

Create 3 lines with to an equal number of players with each player holding their own basketball.  Position each line to be a couple of steps outside of the 3-point line.”The drill starts with a triple threat stance. The players will bounce the ball at the same time and then step with their dominant foot. Each player will then gather the basketball by planting the non-dominant shooting foot which their pivot foot. Each player will shoot the basketball as they step through with their dominant shooting foot.”

2.  Chase Down Lay-up Drill – The purpose of this drill is to help players practice their layup skills at full speed while under pressure from a defender.

“The drill starts when the coach brings the offensive player out a few steps from one side of the court opposite the basket where he will make the layup. This is to give him a fast break advantage.The coach will signal the offensive and defensive players to sprint from the floor. The goal of the offensive player is to make a layup while the defensive player challenges the layup without fouling. After the make or miss, both the offensive and defensive players will join the end of the lines at the end of the floor.”

The right drills will eventually strengthen good shooting techniques.  Confidence in your shooting will enhance your overall work on the court.

For more information:  5 Shooting Drills to do During Basketball Workouts

Check out:  Future Stars Basketball Camp

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Stay Occupied While “Riding the Pine”

It happens to every player on the team, time to sit on the bench.  As parents, coaches and baseball enthusiasts, what is the best advice to give young players?   Travel Ball Parents has some good insights to share:

  • Preparation is a good place to start, let your player know in advance that time on the bench is inescapable and happens to everyone.
  • Spend this time improving their fielding or hitting.
  • Watch and observe what is happening during the game.
  • Learn from the players on the field.
  • Time on the bench affords them the opportunity to cheer on their team.

Watching and waiting are a huge part of baseball and life.  Valuable lessons are availed during both times, teach your children how not to waste these valuable learning moments.

For more details:  How To Make the Most of Time on the Bench

Check out:  Future Stars Baseball Camp

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