Thoughts on Single Sport Specialization and Multi-Sport Participation

Mark Rerick, athletic director shared with the National Federation of State High School Associations his thoughts on:

Single sport specialization:

  1. Sometimes a push towards single sport specialization comes from adults and not the athlete.  Keep in mind that “less than seven percent of high school athletes move on to college sports (and only three percent earn an athletic scholarship)”.
  2. Often students that specialize can burn out sooner for varying reasons.  Specialization can also cause serious overuse injuries.  Over scheduling may also be a consequence and often impacts the quality of free time, if there is even time for other leisure activities.

Multi-sports participation:

  1. For the majority of athletes playing multi-sports gives them opportunities to explore and even excel in multiple sports.
  2. Playing multi-sports even for athletes interested in playing at the college level increases their cross-sports skill levels.


Read more:  The Importance of Multi-sport Participation

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps


A Moment in the Life of Future Stars Campers

This summer, we featured “Camper Moments” every Wednesday from our different camps.  Though, Future Stars Camps 2018 has come to a close, we will continue to share our campers’ and counselors’ experiences.  Please contact us with any requests to know more about Future Stars Camps at: purchase@fscamps.com


Meet Grace! She had been in camp for 2 weeks, and has improved a great deal in diving since attending Diving camp.  I chatted with her at lunch and loved to hear about the fun that she was having at camp!


Megan:  Hi Grace! How has camp been for you so far?

Grace:  “Its been great.  I was here last week too.”

Megan:  So you decided to come back because you liked camp last year?

Grace:  “Yeah, I liked diving so I came back this summer.”


Megan:  Do you dive during the year too?

Grace:  “No but I have been thinking about joining Mike’s team (the diving director) here at SUNY Purchase (High Dive Champions).”

Megan:  Oh awesome! So what is your favorite part about diving camp?

Grace:  “I think it’s really fun to learn new dives and make new friends at camp.  I also really like to go on the trampoline.”


Megan:  That does sound like fun!  So what types of dives have you learned while you have been at camp?

Grace:  “I learned how to do an inward, a backflip, and have been doing back dives off of the 3 meter with the help of one of our coaches, Alec.”

Megan:  That’s great! Is there any dive that you like the most?

Grace:  “Yeah, I love inwards.”

Megan:  Are there any dives that you specifically want to work on?

Grace:  “Yes, I want to improve on my front flip.  Back flips are kind of scary for me and I want to work on that fear.”


Megan:  Do you have any siblings that go to future stars?

Grace:  “Yes, my sister is in Swim camp now but she did diving last week and last year.  She is on Mike’s team during the year.”

Megan:  Ok, awesome! So have you ever done other camps here too?

Grace:  “Yeah I went to Horseback Riding camp last year but this year I am just doing diving.”

Megan:  Great talking with you Grace, see you around camp!


Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps



Who will represent the US in the 2018 Youth Summer Olympics?

USA Diving shared that Team USA announced last week that Jack Matthews (Powell, Ohio) and Bridget O’Neil (Southlake, Texas) will compete for Team USA at the Summer Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018, in Argentina.  Mandy Eby (Powell, Ohio), coached both divers and their qualification was  based on their performances in group A competition this summer at Junior World Championships in Kiev, Ukraine.

Matthews, who finished 11th in the group A men’s 3-meter and 16th in the group A men’s platform in Kiev, will compete in the men’s 3-meter and platform events. “I am extremely excited to be able to represent my country and compete against the best kids in the world,” Matthews said. “I am also very grateful to have this opportunity.”

O’Neil placed sixth in the group A women’s 3-meter at the Junior World Championships and will represent Team USA in the women’s 3-meter in Buenos Aires. “I am extremely grateful for another opportunity to represent the United States at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games,” O’Neil said. “Good luck to all the Team USA athletes!”

Diving competition will begin October 13, with Matthews competing in the men’s 3-meter on October 14 and the men’s platform on October 16. O’Neil will compete in the women’s 3-meter on October 15.


For more information:  Matthews and ONeil to Compete in Summer Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps


Ways to Build Resiliency

Merriam Webster, defines resilience as “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change”.  Being resilient is an ability that every one should strive for, as life is often filled with change and at times also hardships.  Strong youth leaders need to be resilient to steer their team members through change and adapt to new circumstances.

The Center for Creative Leadership shares 8 steps to help build your resiliency:

  1. Accept change
  2. Learn continuously
  3. Take charge
  4. Define purpose
  5. Create balance
  6. Cultivate relationships
  7. Reflect
  8. Reframe skills

Working on this framework of steps will help you to cultivate your resiliency.  This is a lifetime journey, so don’t be too hard on yourself, if you don’t always meet your expectations.  Use the steps as a guide, refer to them when necessary, and keep in mind that resiliency also comes with time and life experience.

For details: 8 Steps to Help You Become More Resilient

Image Credit:  Deposit Photos


A Moment in the Life of Future Stars Campers

This summer, we featured “Camper Moments” every Wednesday from our different camps.  Though, Future Stars Camps 2018 has come to a close, we will continue to share our campers’ and counselors’ experiences.  Please contact us with any requests to know more about Future Stars Camps at: purchase@fscamps.com


Meet Peter! He has been a long-time friend of Future Stars and is a light to everyone he passes every summer.  You can find him giving just about anyone a big hug and smile. He has been a Multi-sports camper for 6 years, and now has moved on to our youth leadership program.  He has taken initiative and started camp-wide events such as Summer-ween, Peter has been a youth leader in over 4 camps this summer, and is overall a joy to have at camp.


Megan:  Hi Peter!

Peter:  “Hi Meg!”

Megan:  So, I am here to interview you about your experience at Future Stars.  You have been here for a while so I know you will have a lot to say!

Peter:  “Yes I do!”

Megan:  Ok, great I thought so! So overall, what have you loved the most about Future Stars?

Peter:  “Probably the good friends that I have made every summer has been the best part, and also just the fact that we always have such great coaches who make camp so much more fun.  I honestly haven’t had any coaches here that I haven’t loved.”

Megan:  Aw that’s great.  I know that you and Anthony Bonsignore, Director of Multi Sports and Youth Leadership Program are close.  I understand that Anthony encouraged you to join the youth leadership program, is that right?


Peter:  “Yeah! So now that I am old enough and now that Anthony started the Youth Leadership Program, I am able to be a part of it.  And yeah, Anthony and I are close.”

Megan:  So, how have you and Anthony gotten so close?

Peter:  “Well, since I have been here for so long, we have just gotten close over time.  But Anthony has been such a great role model for me throughout the years. To be honest, if I have Anthony by my side I feel like I can do anything.”

Megan:  That is so sweet.  What types of things do you do in the Youth Leadership program that empower you like this?

Peter:  “Well the youth leadership program is meant to help give us life skills for the future.  We get these skills through weekly meetings with Anthony, and through helping out at other camps and acting as essentially additional helpful hands throughout the week.  His motto is ‘always stay positive no matter what’ and I really think that his repetition of this has not only helped me at camp, but in my life.”

Megan:  So, what types of things do you talk about at your meetings?

Peter:  “We talk about how to be better leaders, where we can improve, where we have been successful, and basically anything else that either we ask for advice on or Anthony brings up regarding life skills and leadership.”


Megan:  So what camps have you been a youth leader for?

Peter:  “I have been a youth leader for Multi-sports, Rising Stars, Horseback Riding, S.T.E.A.M. Education,  and Swim.”

Megan:  Wow that’s a lot!  What is your favorite part about it?

Peter:  “I love making kids feel happier if they are sad, helping them, and just overall making them feel better.  Being a counselor is one of the best jobs in the world. In the summer, I peak!”

Megan:  You are so sweet.  I know that you love the summers so much, and that makes me so happy, but what makes you happy during the other seasons?

Peter:  “I do Young Life and I really like that.  It’s kind of like camp!”


Megan:  Since you are going to be a sophomore in high school, do you have any sense of where you want your life to go in the future? No worries if not, I sure did not.

Peter:  “I want to work for the United Nations.  I want to help people not just in the US, but around the world.”

Megan:  You are amazing Peter.  I am so glad that I was able to talk to you. Hope you have a great rest of your day and I will see you around I am sure!


Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps


8 Ways to Develop Your Leadership Skills

Young people all over the world are making great strides in solving old problems, raising awareness and funds for great causes and taking on roles of responsibility in their communities.  Let us applaud these important contributions that youth are making.  The National Society for the Gifted and Talented share that “Effective leadership abilities are dependent on attitudes, interpersonal abilities, knowledge, and goal-attainment skills.”  Here are some ways to develop leadership skills and character:

  1. Identify historical or current people that exemplify strong leadership skills and strength of character.  Discuss and think about what makes them good examples and examine yourself  and see if you share some of their characteristics.
  2. Think about how obstacles and making mistakes can help fine-tune leadership abilities.
  3. Understand the value of having short and long term goals.  Create goals and work on meeting them.
  4. Work on inter-personal communication skills.  Practice these skills in one-on-one and group scenarios.

Developing these and other skills will help develop confidence in young people to be strong leaders.

For more details:  Eight Great Ways to Develop Youth Leaders

Image Credit:  Futures Stars Camps


Meet the Boston Slammers, Champion All Girls’ Travel Baseball Team

The Boston Slammers is an all-girls’ travel baseball team that usually plays in the co-ed division of the Jamaica Plain Regan Youth League in Massachusetts.  The Boston Slammers celebrated its second year by becoming the  2017 Baseball For All 11U National Champions held in Rockford, Illinois.   The same Rockford, Illinois which was the home to the Rockford Peaches (1943-1954), an all-girls’ professional baseball league team that was portrayed in the 1992 movie “A League of Their Own.”

The team was also the first all-girls’ team to participate in the Mayor’s Cup baseball tournament and made it through the quarterfinals and appeared in the semi-finals.


Image Credit: Future Stars Camps


A Moment in the Life of Future Stars Campers

This summer, we featured “Camper Moments” every Wednesday from our different camps.  Though, Future Stars Camps 2018 has come to a close, we will continue to share our campers’ and counselors’ experiences.  Please contact us with any requests to know more about Future Stars Camps at: purchase@fscamps.com


Meet my new friends Lucas, Max, and Christian (left to right)! I met them at lunch and we just got talking! They are 3 sweet friends who are in baseball camp this summer.  This is Max’s first week of camp, Lucas’ 4th year at Future Stars, and Christian’s second year at Future Stars.  They are all the same age as well, 11!   Lucas and Christian met through their Moms, and Max just met them at camp!  Here is my interview with these sweet friends.


Megan:  Hi guys! So how has baseball camp been for you so far?

Lucas, Max and Christian:  “Great!” (in unison)

Megan:  So, how did you hear about camp?

Christian:  “Well, I knew Lucas before camp and I knew he always liked it, so I started to come here last year!”

Megan:  And Max I hear this is your first week, so do you think you would want to come back?

Max: “Yeah definitely!”


Megan:  Have any of you guys tried other camps?

Christian:  “Sometimes, I join soccer camp

Megan:  Awesome.  Alright, so boys what has been your favorite part about camp?

Lucas:  “Probably the afternoon when we play games.”

Megan:  So, what does your typical day look like?

Max:  “In the morning, we do stretches, and then we will work on something new like pitching, batting, catching, it depends on the morning.”

Christian: “And then we usually start a game.  And then we go to lunch and then we swim.”

Megan:  Do you guys usually go swimming?

Christian:  “We usually do to cool off when it gets hot.”


Megan:  What do you do after swimming?

Lucas:  “We usually finish the game that we started in the morning.”


Megan:  I saw you guys doing something called the home run derby this morning, want to tell me a little about that?

Max:  “The home run derby is when we compete on things like our throwing, catching, runnning speed, and hitting speed.  Christian won a lot this morning (Christian beams), he’s really fast.  I won the ground balls portion.”

Megan:  So which counselors do  you guys like the most?

Christian: “All of them are really nice.”

Max: “Yeah, all of them are really nice.  I mean Alex is our main counselor so maybe I would say him because he has taught us a lot.”

Megan:  Do you guys think that you will all come back next year?

Lucas:  Yeah, I think I will just do baseball again. (all others nod their head in agreeance)


Megan:  Well, thank you for talking to me! I hope that you enjoy the rest of the week!


Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps


And Yes, a Key to Great Baseball is …

Baseball Positive shares what they consider vital to good baseball and that is of course, lots of practice.  They compare sharpening baseball skills to learing how to play an instrument, like the piano.  The once a week musical instrument lesson is not enough to become a master musician, practice at home is key.  So what kind of homework are we looking at for baseball or softball?  Consistent repetition of drill reps in the fundamental skills of batting, fielding and throwing are most helpful.  Even 15 minutes of daily practice can make a difference.   Work on some or all of these skills into a daily 15 minute practice session with your athlete:

  • Catching and throwing –  Encourage them to “move their feet” and “reach forward to catch”.
  • Pitching – “A simple tip: when practicing the pitching delivery between games have our kids work from 30′-35′.  This doesn’t work their arm so much, and keeps them fresh and strong.”
  • Batting – 30- 40 swings a day off a tee and 30-40 more off of live batting helps to maintain and improve timing.
  • Fielding – You don’t need a field to do this, roll the ball and toss the ball to them.

Keep in mind that this practice time should also be enjoyable for you and your child, as you help them to be better at their sport.

Fore more details and drill videos:  Baseball is Like Playing a Piano … both require extra practice at home

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps