Welcome to the Southwestern Youth Association's e-newsletter.  The newsletter is published quarterly to keep you up-to-date on upcoming events, important dates and articles of general interest.  Click on the buttons to visit our website, and Like us on Facebook! 
April 2017
Fall Sports Registration

Registration will open in May for  Fall sports! Sports include:

  • Babe Ruth Baseball
  • Little League Baseball
  • Cheerleading
  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Track & Field
  • Volleyball

Click below to see program descriptions and register! Interested in becoming a coach or volunteer? You can also register below!

Registration is also still open for Summer sports, including:

  • Basketball
  • Rugby
  • Track & Field

Registration will close soon so please sign up quickly!

PCA Featured in 'Ask Amy' Column

Dear Amy: My husband is a very competitive guy.

He is usually a dedicated, loving and fun father, but when we go to our son’s Little League games, another side comes out.

My husband is the loud one on the sidelines — pacing, swearing and turning red; he micromanages our son, and shouts belittling comments at him and other kids on our team.

He argues with the umpires and complains about the coaches.

It is embarrassing and hurtful for our son, and I don’t envy the coach.

My husband has coached a few of my son’s teams, as well, and he has been ejected from games during those seasons.

I’ve tried asking him to be calmer. I have urged him to try to see things from our son’s perspective, but his reply is that you should always demand 100 percent from people.

He says that he’s a lot better than his own dad, who never showed up for anything. How can I get him to see that this behavior is unacceptable and actually harming or son?


Exhausted: Your husband claims that he is “better” than his own father was, but how is getting ejected from a game better than not showing up for the game? Either way, Dad is not at the game!

If your son screamed, yelled, threw tantrums on the field, and got ejected, would your husband endorse this behavior? I doubt it.

I shared your question with Tina Syer, of the Positive Coaching Alliance (Positivecoach.org), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to training parents and coaches to have positive and pro-social experiences on the field.

She responds, “Sports parents too often lose sight of the big picture in youth sports, which are ideal for teaching life lessons that can help kids develop and achieve in all aspects of their lives. ‘Exhausted’ should persuade her husband to focus on the long-term effects of his behavior.”

Syer, who coaches one of her sons’ baseball teams, says, “Learning to compete and give 100 percent is important, and the way to ensure your son takes those life lessons is by providing unconditional love and support, regardless of performance, and by helping him process the youth sports experience.

“Berating him, coaches, officials or others only serves to humiliate the child — chasing him from the sport — and to drive a wedge between him and his father, potentially for the rest of their lives. Research, and the top sport psychologists working with pro athletes, has found that negativity degrades performance.”

Syer and I agree that shooting a video of your husband freaking out might shock him into changing.

Don’t ask him to change; lovingly demand that he apply his famous 100 percent effort to changing.


This article first appeared in The Washington Post on April 5, 2017.

PCA is a national non-profit developing Better Athletes, Better People through youth and high school sports.

$21,000 Raised for Special Love with LAX4ACause!

Following on the success of the past three years, Southwestern Youth Association (SYA) and Chantilly Youth Association (CYA), joined forces again to host the fourth annual “LAX for a Cause” day of lacrosse. The eight-hour lacrosse event featured dozens of lacrosse games at Centreville High School. The goal? Raise $20,000 to directly benefit Special Love and children with cancer. This year we passed our goal and presented special love a check for $21,000. 2017 was our best Lax4ACause passing our fundraising goal by $1,000. In 4 years Lax4ACause has raised over $80,000 and donated it to it’s Lax4ACause recipients.

The lacrosse marathon featured more than 20 teams – with players ages five and up – which will play at a different time slots throughout the day. Funds were raised through both individual player and corporate sponsorships, as well as through concessions and t-shirt sales on the day of the event.

“This year we have chose Special Love because we found out last spring that one of our own Lady Warriors is fighting a battle with Cancer. It was Tatum Bulger’s idea to select Special Love as our 2017 fundraising recipient after she attended Special Love’s Camp Fantastic, a summer camp for children with cancer. Special Love is a great organization dedicated to helping kids find comfort with their battle with this terrible disease.

This year some of our top fundraisers won prizes donated by Lacrosse equipment companies like Warrior, BNS Sports, East Coast Dyes, Gopher Lax and Dark Star Dyes. SYA Vice Commissioner, Scott Stewart and Commissioner Damien LaRuffa presented Tatum with a custom dyed “Special Love” themed stick to commemorate the event, her courage and strength as she fights her battle with cancer.

Lax4ACause 2017 was a great event and a fun day of lacrosse and giving back. We could not make this happen without the support of this great community of players, parents, volunteers and sponsors in Centreville/Chantilly area.

Boys' Basketball Wins Multiple County Championships

This winter, the SYA Boys 8th grade travel team won an unprecedented 4th straight Fairfax County Youth Basketball League and Playoff title. The players, all from the Centreville/Clifton area, have won the title at the 5th, 6th, and 7th grade levels before taking the title again this year. Their overall record during the 4 years was 67-1. Just as impressive during this run was that the team produced 12 All-Stars and 3 different MVP award winners. The team worked at mastering skills and fundamentals, sharing the ball and learning to play hard on every possession.

The team players are all multi-sport athletes also involved in football, soccer, baseball and lacrosse. Team members were Sean Baker, Joseph Beal, Eric Evers, Avery Ford, Ryan Gertenbach, Jonny Heslep, Chris Kuzemka, Ryan Loveday, Lloyd Nesby-Thomas, Nicklaus Ragano, Ty Wilson. Coaches were Jon Heslep and David Thomas.

Sign up for Summer Track & Field!

Stay in shape! Increase your endurance and strength! Improve your running posture for efficiency and effectiveness. Summer track and field organizations offer local Olympic style competition for the future young stars of the DMV. In concert, SYA track & field provides a unique opportunity for our kids to challenge themselves, compete, increase their track & field acumen and improve their overall physical fitness. Run, jump, and throw! Everyone starts, everyone finishes!

Volunteers and coaches: While no experience is necessary, it's always nice to have the wisdom of experienced ex-athletes to help guide us. Sign up today!

Sponsors are welcome!
SYA Summer Basketball Program

SYA Basketball offers both House and Travel summer leagues for boys and girls.

House league is for rising (the grade in which the child will be in September 2017) 1-12th grades. House league skill evaluations are held in early June. Games are played in local school gyms.

Travel is for rising 5-8th grades (the grade in which the child will be in September 2017). Travel league tryouts are held in mid-May. Games are played in school gyms in Fairfax County. Both seasons run from late June through July with games only on week nights.

Summer Basketball is a great way to get exercise, meet new friends and have fun! For more information and to register for Summer Basketball visit our website.

SYA Field Hockey Needs a New Leader!

After 15 years of leadership, we are sad to announce that our SYA Field Hockey Commissioner, Starr Karl,  is retiring from our program.  SYA truly appreciates all the hard work she has put into our program and dedication she has shown to our players for the last decade and a half!     

With Starr retiring, we have a huge void to fill and we are reaching out to our SYA community to find someone to run our field hockey program.  Are you over 18? Have you played field hockey in high school or college?  Would you be interested in getting involved with SYA more?  We need you!! Knowing the game is helpful, but if you want our program to continue, we need someone to step in.  Joint leadership works for us as well. 

Our program runs in the fall for seven to eight weeks.  There are once a week training sessions geared towards instruction in the game of field hockey.  There are usually two-three tournament type play dates with other local clubs in that time span as well. We have three age groups:  3rd/4th grade, 5th/6th grade – beginners and advanced and 7th/8th grade – beginners and advanced.  Many of our players go on to play in high school. 

We are appealing to all of you in our SYA family to get this position filled so we can continue this great program.  Field hockey is an Olympic sport and is very popular in this area.  Many area field hockey athletes play at the collegiate level too.  

Please contact the SYA office if you need more information, have an interest or know someone that has an interest. 

Fitness Tips Sponsored by OrthoVirginia

Walking to Improve Fitness

According to a recent study published by Arthritis & Care Research, walking 6,000 Steps a Day-the equivalent of 1 hour- May Improve Knee Arthritis and prevent disability. Here are examples to get to 6,000 steps a day:

* Sitting can be harmful to your health. Try replacing sitting with the following.

* Get up from sitting once an hour for 10 minutes

* If you are watching TV, get up and walk around the house when a commercial comes on.

* When you are working in front of a computer, get up and walk around every hour.

* When you go to grocery store or mall, park in a space that is far away.

* When you get up to have glass of water or for a meal, walk around the house or office.

* Take the stairs instead of the elevator, if you are able.

For more orthopaedic and sports medicine information, please visit orthovirginia.com

UPDATE: SYA Field of Dreams Sports Park!
Members, if you have not been to our Sports Park in Centreville, please stop by one day to see what we've done.  Take Rt 29 South and turn right on Bull Run Post Office Rd. Go exactly two miles and you'll see the entrance on your left.  Field of Dreams is a beautiful park, owned and operated solely by our members, with a snack bar, pavillion, playground, two diamond fields, 3 rectangular fields, cross country and fitness trails and more! 

The most exciting news is our effort to move into Phase II of development towards the completion of this $15 million dollar facility.  We are currently in the process of getting our site plan approved and have expectations to begin construction on Phase II in August of this year!  For more information and updates, visit the SYA Sports Park webpage.
We Want Your Feedback!
Please send your comments  about the newsletter to  publicrelations@syasports.org .  Also, let us know if there's anything you'd like to see in upcoming editions.

Southwestern Youth Association | phone: 703-815-3362 | email: admin@syayouthsports.org