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 below to visit our website, and "Like" us on Facebook! 
February 2018
Spring Sports Registration s
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Registration is open for Spring sports! Sports include:

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

Click here to see program descriptions! To register, click below. Interested in becoming a coach or volunteer? You can also register below!

Consider highlighting products or services, sale 20% Off During Modell’s Team Special Event!

SYA has teamed up with Modell’s to offer our SYA families a fabulous deal! As part of Modell’s Team Weeks program, you will receive 15% off your entire purchase until March 15, and 20% off March 10 and 11 . Click  here  to download the coupon.

You will also earn MVP points during this event! Modell’s donates 5% of your purchase to SYA.
A Message from SYA Track & Field

Our mission is to teach rising young athletes fundamental techniques of track and field, help develop running strength, balance, agility, and endurance, and to improve individual performance through comprehensive training and instruction. Our goal is to prepare interested young Olympians for national competition and allow them to experience the rewards and excitement of track and field.

SYA's solid reputation and commitment to youth sports will help us achieve our goal and manage a successful, beneficial, and fun track and field program for our community. Membership is open to youth Pre-K through 12th grade. We will provide instruction in all running and field events described by the USAT&F and AAU. Activities are available for spring, summer, and fall (cross country) seasons.

Youth compete in 2-year age divisions, 8U (Sub-Bantam) through 17-18 (Young) categories. A separate SYATF designation for Pre-K allows competition for younger athletes. Spring: April through June. The spring season officially starts our outdoor programs. Practice (held two evenings a week and Sunday afternoons when not competing) starts in April for spring registrants. Meets held locally in VA, DC, and MD. Athletes have the opportunity to compete in sanctioned USATF and AAU Junior Olympic championship meets.

SYA Track and Field are also looking for volunteers. If you have an interest or for more information about our program, check our FAQs page at our website or contact SYA Track and Field via email at commissioner@syatrackandfield.org.
A Golf Tournament to Raise Funds for Less Fortunate Children
Together, CYA and SYA have over 24,000 annual participants in a host of youth sports. For many years, we have vigorously competed against each other and now we plan to take our healthy rivalry to the Golf Course! 

On a serious note, our programs are very similar and organizationally, we face many of the same challenges. We have worked very well together for many years and in hosting this event, the decision was made that all of the proceeds will be used to support families in need of financial assistance that will enable their children to participate in our youth sports programs.  

The 2nd Annual FrogHair Golf Classic will take place on June 22, 2018 at Twin Lakes Golf Club in Clifton. Bookmark the website:   www.FrogHairGolfClassic.com.   A great big "THANK YOU" to Demosphere for donating this site. We will be updating the site periodically over the coming weeks so stay tuned! 

Welcome to the
SYA Sports Park!

Next time you come to visit the SYA Sports Park you will see our new entrance signage ( pictured right ). This sign is only one of many exciting new additions that are coming to our park!

More great news for SYA members and our Sports Park. SYA is currently in Phase II construction at our site on Bull Run Post Office Rd. As you know, the Sports Park is owned and operated by the members of SYA. 110 acres of land purchased 20+ years ago, we have 5 active ball fields, cross country and fitness trail, playground, snack bar, batting cages, pavilion as well as getting ready to install 2 sand volleyball courts. The current construction is paving the parking lot that we currently have, installing a road and bridge to the back part of the property, and adding a new parking area that will serve the next 7 lit fields! Thanks to Hazel Construction for all the work they have done and are doing and to Thurston Companies for their efforts in managing the project for us. We expect completion of the parking areas to be done by early May of this year. Once completed, we will also be developing a parallel website to our existing SYA website that will be dedicated to our Sports Park. Please visit us for more information at www.syasports.org .
SYA Basketball Food Drive a Success

Thanks to SYA Basketball, a whopping 1,210 pounds of food was collected and delivered to The Barros Circle Facets House, a local Centreville Community Center which supports families who suffer the effects of poverty. This donation, held in conjunction with Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services, will feed 30 families. It all came together at Stone Middle School on Saturday, January 20 th when the food kept coming in by the carload; and then left to the families at Barros Circle by the truckload!  Way to go, SYA Basketball!

The next SYA sponsored food drive will be held by SYA Soccer on Saturday, April 14th. Stay tuned to the SYA website for details.
Babe Ruth Updates

This spring season Babe Ruth baseball will be adding travel teams for our 13, 14 and 15 year old players. All players interested in playing on one of the travel teams must tryout and must play on a Babe Ruth house team. These teams (13, 14, and 15) along with out 16-18 travel will become our Tournament teams. Travel games will be played on Sundays. 

In addition, beginning this spring season we will be looking for umpires. Umpires must be at least 16 years old. We will supply the training and uniforms. To register, please click here .
NEW! Spring Rugby Clinics
SYA is excited to announce a series of Tag & Tackle clinics this spring. The clinics will begin in mid March and are scheduled every other weekend. The sessions are scheduled in such a way that kids can play their primary sport yet come out and try rugby.

The purpose of the Spring clinics are two-fold: (1) introduce the game to new players without significant time or cost commitment and (2) provide kids a head start on summer play.   No experience required!

Two-hand touch TAG clinics will be held every other Sunday afternoon in March-May for elementary-aged boys and girls, players will be divided by grade groups. 

TACKLE rugby clinics, for boys 4 th  through 8 th  grade, will focus on safely initiating contact and gaining confidence in playing a tackle sport. Sessions will be offered every other Saturday afternoon. 

Please check the Rugby website for additional details and registration information. Click here to view more.
INOVA Online Concussion Education FAQ

Parents, Players & Coaches:
One of the primary goals of SYA is to ensure the safety of all of our players during practices and games. As such, beginning with the winter season, and going forward,  we are now requiring that parents, players and coaches complete an online concussion safety and training program annually.

This program is offered in conjunction with INOVA Health Services and has been specifically designed for our players, parents and volunteers to ensure the safety and education of all our participants. This online program  MUST be taken annually by the player, one parent and all coaches before being assigned to a team.

To answer all of your questions, INOVA has put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Who is required to complete concussion education?
  • ALL SYA coaches, assistant coaches, and athletes
  • ONE parent/guardian for each athlete (multiple athletes can be linked to one parent)

If I'm a parent volunteering as a coach, do I have to complete the parent and coach education?
No. You only need to watch the coach education video because it meets the parent education requirement.

What is the concussion education?
A 15-minute or less online presentation from the Inova Sports Medicine Concussion Program that can be viewed on most computers, smart phones, and tablets.

When do I need to complete this online education?
Athletes/Coaches: Video must be watched before you are placed on an SYA team.

Parents: Video must be watched before your child(ren) is/are placed on an SYA team.

Where do I go to complete the online concussion education?
Create a free concussion education family account with the Inova Sports Medicine Concussion program.

Please note: When creating the Inova account, all First Names , Last Names , and Dates of Birth must match EXACTLY what you entered during the SYA registration process.

Why do I have to complete concussion education?
Virginia's Concussion Law requires annual concussion education for all athletes, parents, and coaches.

How long will it take?
Athlete age 5-9: 5 minutes
Athlete age 10+: 15 minutes
Parents/coaches: 15 minutes

Is there a test once the video is completed?
No. However, a completion code is shown at the end of the video and must be entered to confirm completion.

What should I do if I have questions?
Contact the Inova Sports Medicine Program's 24/7 concussion hotline at 703-970-6427 or email IMGSportsMedicine@inova.org.
News from Fairfax County

SYA has two members of their Board of Directors that are engaged in what’s happening in the County as appointee’s to the Fairfax County Athletic Council. We thereby are able to give first hand information about activities that affect sports in your area.

Recently, bonding was approved and Fairfax County is moving forward with the development of Patriot Park North. This park is adjacent to Willow Springs Elementary (currently called LLV). As a full Adopt a Park partner at this site, SYA will continue to have priority use of this facility at its completion. Slated to be completed over the next few years , this park will have four 90’ turfed diamonds and two 60’ turfed diamonds. This will be the first multi field project in Fairfax County for diamonds. Go to the Fairfax County website for more information.

F.A.S.T – this acronym stands for Fairfax Athletes Stand Together. It is a program designed to help Fairfax County citizens and one that SYA participates in regularly. To date, SYA has collected several THOUSAND pounds of food that are distributed amongst the many shelters throughout Fairfax County. Look to our website to find out about our next F.A.S.T. collection date!

5 th Annual LAX 4 A CAUSE Charity Lacrosse Event

SYA lacrosse will once again be hosting our annual pre-season tournament against CYA on Saturday, March 17 th at Centreville High School from 8am–8pm to help raise money for SPECIAL LOVE, a non-profit dedicated to helping children with cancer. This annual event has been a huge success over the past 4 years with both SYA and CYA donating over $80,000 to various charities, including Wounded Warrior Foundation, Fisher House and Special Love. 

Our goal this year is to surpass $100K in donations given to these great organizations. The event will feature a full day of boys and girls teams of all age groups competing in full game scrimmages, a former SYA players' game as well as a coaches' game. Our hope is that many from our SYA community will come out and join us for this great event. 

Donations can be made through any SYA lacrosse player or by sending a check made payable to SYA Lacrosse to the SYA office. Business owners are also encouraged to donate as well. Contact Damien LaRuffa at damien@laruffafinancial.com for more information. Come join us and watch some fun lacrosse, enjoy some great food from the CVHS Snack stand and show your support for a great cause!
"Fun" Is Different For Every Athlete, And Changes With Age

This resource stems from a question submitted to the Ask PCA blog. Responses come from our experts including PCA Trainers, who lead live group workshops for coaches, parents, administrators and student-athletes.

Overall I feel he's well grounded with sports, not overly competitive, he seems to enjoy playing the sports he's in. But also can't have him quitting especially if he signs up for this team. It will only be the number of players they need. He also recently quit karate after 6 months, which he begged to start. I really do like him trying things at 8 so don't want to penalize him, but also frustrating to pay $250 for a camp and not go. His younger brother is going to the camp and is really enjoying it. Any advice?

PCA Response by Joe Terrasi, PCA Lead Trainer

This is a tough question. Our children enjoy sports for a wide variety of reasons. We tend to lump all those possible reasons under one important term: “fun.” What is fun for an athlete will vary from athlete to athlete and will usually change with age.

We often mistakenly frame “fun” as the opposite of “serious” training in sport. What we find in the world of elite athletes is very different: Maintaining a love of the game and a sense of fun is a crucial component of development. In his research on talent development in children, Dr. Benjamin Bloom cautions us to take care not to rush to the technical stages of development. This helps children build a love of the sport during the earlier “romantic” stage where fun is the core goal.

Dr. Amanda Visek at George Washington University has done significant research in what is fun for youth athletes. I would suggest looking at her “fun map” and talking with your son about what he really enjoys or hopes to enjoy in the sport (and appreciate that it may be different for baseball than it is for karate). If you can get a clear sense of that, ask yourself whether the process of the team he’s on aligns with what he finds to be fun. Simply, are his baseball practices fun for him? We’ve seen a lot of athletes quit sports because of practices or teams that just aren’t enjoyable.

Baseball is particularly tricky. I’ve seen more baseball practices than I’d like to admit that featured a lot more standing around than activity. If you’re at an 8 year-old baseball practice and you don’t hear kids laughing and enjoying themselves, that should raise a cautionary flag.

I have great empathy for your parenting decisions around the topic of quitting a sport. One of the reasons I love team sports for my own child is that they teach challenging lessons about commitment and service. It will be helpful to give your son an opportunity to try a sport with a short season commitment and to discuss with him at the outset that he is committing to his teammates for the entire season. If he’s not ready for that, camps and clinics might be a better option until he’s settled into the sport and mature enough to make a commitment. 8 years old is not “too young” to learn this necessarily, but readiness varies significantly from child to child.

I admire your commitment to working with your sons to address these difficult issues. However he develops and grows, your constant encouragement and support will be a great foundation. Thank you for your commitment to youth sports!

This article was provided courtesy of Positive Coaching Alliance . PCA’s mission is to make high school and youth sports a Development Zone to develop Better Athletes, Better People.

Fitness Tips Sponsored by OrthoVirginia

Importance of Sleep When Exercising

Often taken for granted, sleep is your body’s prime opportunity to recover. When the body is at rest, the repair of our muscular, cardiovascular, skeletal, and immune systems can go to work. The CDC recommends that, in general, teens have 9-10 hours and adults 7-8 hours of sleep each day. These guidelines are especially important if you are demanding more of your body through regular exercise or stressful daily activities.

To get the most out of your shut-eye, strive for consistent bedtimes, avoid stimulating activities in bed (like TV and electronic devices), and a comfortable environment. You may find that you sleep better on days that you exercise, and will definitely notice a more effective, pleasant exercise experience if you are giving your body the rest it needs and deserves.

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