Capture the Moment with SYA

December, 2020 Newsletter
The SYA Moments is a monthly e-newsletter to keep you informed on all
SYA sports and community events
SYA Offers 14 Different Sports!

Babe Ruth Baseball, Basketball, Cheerleading, Cricket - NEW!, Field Hockey, Tackle and Flag Football, Lacrosse, Little League Baseball and Softball, Rugby, Soccer, Track & Field, Ultimate Frisbee (NEW SPORT coming), Volleyball and Wrestling

SYA Also Offers Travel Programs

SYA Registration For Winter Sports is OPEN!!

SYA Registration for Spring Sports is also NOW OPEN!!!

With the current COVID pandemic, all youth sports programs have had to modify their programs as well as adjust their normal registration periods.

Currently as we understand it, Fairfax County gyms will be released to us after the holidays. Therefore our winter registrations have been open and dates modified to reflect those changes. We will continue to monitor and make changes if necessary

After a successful fall season outdoors, we are fully expecting to resume normal activities for our spring sports and have opened registrations for those as well. We fully expect to be on the fields as we normally would be with regular start and ending periods. We will of course monitor Fairfax County guidelines and protocols to follow and keep you posted by newsletter, email and social media.

Please also consider volunteering as a coach, assistant coach or any other volunteer positions in our winter and spring programs.

SYA is committed to following all CDC, VA state and Fairfax county guidelines for return to play. Please visit our website and click on the header NEWS for all the documents.

We look forward to seeing you all soon. Stay safe!

SYA Thanksgiving Turkey Trot a Great Success!

SYA hosted our first Thanksgiving 3K and 5K races Thanksgiving morning, November 26. While thankfully the rain stopped before the races began, the course did have a Spartan mud run atmosphere with several mud puddle obstacles along the way. Needless to say, the kids loved it!! We had 235 runners participate in the two races and couldn't be happier with the turnout for our first Turkey Trot.

Are You Ready For the Holidays? Are You an Amazon Shopper? Support SYA While You Shop!

For those Amazon shoppers, here is a way to shop and donate to SYA!
SYA is a registered organization in the Amazon Smile program. Amazon Smile is a simple way for you to support SYA every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you will find the same prices and selection as Amazon.com with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to SYA.

To participate go to smile.amazon.com/ch/51-0139457  and lock this in as your standard Amazon link so that you can donate easily to SYA! You only need to do this the 1st time you go to smile.amazon.com. Shop as you normally would and Amazon will donate 0.5% of your qualified purchase to SYA. It’s that simple!!

SYA's Fields of Dreams SPORTS PARK
* Note about dogs. SYA is pet friendly, however we must ensure the safety of our fields and our players. Please remember no dogs within 10' of any fields and
Please feel free to bring your pet, but please also keep your pet on a leash at all times and respect all participants and fans. Clean up after your pet. If you wander on our trails also be aware that there is wildlife that inhabit our woods, so please be careful and do not feed the wildlife. Thank you.

The Sports Park will shut down November 30 for the winter. Stay safe!

Located at 6626 Bull Run Post Office Rd, Centreville VA 20120
Visit our Sports Park website - click here
Get to Know Your SYA Board!
Each month we will highlight one of our SYA board members.

Meet our Lacrosse Commissioner DeAnna Hughes!

SYA Lacrosse Commissioner, DeAnna Hughes, has been a part of the SYA community for nearly 25 years. From being a player in the lacrosse and cheerleading programs, to coaching lacrosse as an adult for seven years. She won one of the first Girls Championship trophies for SYA Lacrosse in 2006 as a player; and has coached a few teams to the second round of playoffs or higher. Her whole family played SYA sports and her father, Bill Hughes, was previously a Commissioner as well.

DeAnna finds great joy in volunteering with her community through this sport and being a mentor to her players. She learned the importance of sports and the life lessons they teach from a young age and is happy to share those lessons with the next generation of players. As the youngest Commissioner for lacrosse, her focus has been on fostering more involvement from the players so that they develop strong bonds as they head off into high school together. She primarily coaches at the 7th/8th grade level on the girl’s side of the program, but has been known to jump in wherever needed to help out. She is excited to continue to see the program and the sport grow in the NOVA area through SYA’s great efforts to promote sportsmanship both on the field and off. 
Two of SYA Soccer's Technical Staff Win Awards!

We are proud to announce that two of soccer's technical staff members were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the game!

Congratulations to SYA Technical Director Paul Ellis who has been selected to the Virginia-DC Soccer Hall of Fame. The induction will be held in February 2021. This well-deserved award is in recognition of his Meritorious Service to Soccer. Paul, who coaches our 03G and 05G Red teams, has been the Technical Director at SYA Soccer for a number of years.

Read more about Paul here.

Congratulations also to Gary Malebranche who was recognized as the Virginia Youth Soccer Association (VYSA) 2020 Girls Competitive Coach of the Year! Gary, who holds a USSF "A" Youth License, won this award for his work with our 09G Red Team. The team won the Nations Capital Cup in November and were Finalists in the WAGS Rael Vodicka Tournament in October. 

You can read more about Gary here

Well done Gary and Paul!
SYA Social Media Part Time Position 

  • 40 hours per month average 
  • Works remotely, office time occasionally 
  • Reports to CEO and Executive Board of Directors 

Position goals and scope of duties:
SYA is seeking to hire a part time Social Media/Marketing person to recommend and execute a social media and marketing strategy that will increase our membership and support our fundraising efforts. This position will be dedicated to increasing our brand awareness, social media presence, SEO optimization and provide us with a well-rounded strategy for growth. We are looking for someone, preferably associated with SYA, that has a graphic designer background with a nod towards creativity and strategic thinking to help lead our growth efforts. 
Tasks will include but may not be limited to the following: 
  • Perform a complete review of our existing brand guidelines, policies, platforms, and strategies 
  • Provide recommendations for a social media and marketing strategy focused on increasing membership and fundraising 
  • Execute an approved plan to include production of creative materials (videos, photo’s, flyers, etc) 
  • Develop and execute online marketing campaign (such as Facebook, Twitter, and others) 
  • Website enhancement within existing platforms (we have two websites) 
  • Newsletter enhancements (open to complete redesign) 
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization) improvement 
  • Recommend and determine how to capture video/photo in a “library” for use in approved plan 
  • Assist with Brand Awareness and compliance 
  • Other communications and/or marketing-related assistance as required 

If interested, please submit your resume to ADMIN@SYAYOUTHSPORTS.ORG and type “Social Media Position” in the subject line. Applications will be accepted until December 18, 2020 with expectation for selected person to begin January 4, 2021.  
Ten Tips For Emotionally Supporting Athletes, Right Now

By Linda Flanagan

  • Check In Regularly: You can do this through group texts and emails with the whole team or with team captains. (But texts and emails between you and a single player should be avoided, in keeping with the need to maintain appropriate boundaries.) Demonstrate sincere interest without fixating on how they’re managing their workouts. Don’t be afraid to ask, “How are you feeling? How can I help?”

  • Create and Uphold Routines: To the extent you can, develop procedures for the team that they can count on, as you would in ordinary times. These could include a warm-up and cool-down series, regular drills, a weekly strategy talk, etc. Give them predictability when it’s lacking everywhere else.

  • Over Communicate: Tell players what you know, what you don’t know, when you might know, and what you expect will happen in the weeks ahead. Being mum during these times will only generate worry and invite conflict. Keep parents in the loop, too.

  • Be Honest and Reassuring: Uncertainty and change are the guiding principles of the time, in sports and everywhere else. Your players will know they can count on you if you’re truthful, especially about the unknowables, while also projecting competence. About new hygiene procedures, for example, you might say, “We don’t know exactly how this is going to work, but we’ll follow the guidelines as best we can and modify them as the situation evolves. We’ll figure this out together.”

  • Help Them Connect with Teammates: Kids join teams to play and compete with their friends; sports are inherently social. Coaches can encourage team connection several ways: For squads that are meeting in-person, include time at the end of practice for kids to talk amongst themselves. (Coaches: listen, but let them lead.) For teams trapped online, hold Zoom workouts. Set up Google hangouts or Zoom gatherings just for players. Assign a sports movie for all to watch and then discuss, virtually if necessary. Invite individuals to share their workouts as a way to inspire others.

  • Encourage Athletes to Focus on What's Controllable: Feeling out-of-control provokes dread, a miserable sensation that the pandemic, with all its suffering and mystery, just intensifies. Coaches can help ease their players’ anxiety by discussing all that kids do control: when they wake, when they go to bed, what they eat, their time on screens, their time with friends. Help them seize what’s in their power and remind them that despite the chaos they still have agency.

  • Recognize That Kids' Pandemic Experience Varies: For some, the quarantine has been just a hassle—an annoying disruption of routine and forced family time. For others, it has been a profoundly traumatic experience, possibly involving the death or illness of a family member, economic hardship, hunger, and even homelessness. Coaches need to be sensitive to the range of hardship kids have been through and adjust their conduct accordingly.

  • Keep It Fun: Kids’ top reason for playing sports is to have fun. Do your part and prioritize the enjoyment to be had in sports. With so many championship games already cancelled, and fall schedules up-in-the-air, there’s no better time to get back to this core principle. It’s what kids want and need.

  • Give Your Competitive Athletes Some TLC: For kids in high school with hopes of playing in college, the cancellation of entire seasons and termination of big competitions has been especially upsetting. Coaches can remind players that all competitive athletes face the same obstacles and disappointments, and then work together to craft a training plan that will sharpen skills and address weaknesses. In some individual sports like running, where hard training is still possible, coaches can help athletes focus on long-term goals, beyond any particular season.

  • Help Them Take the Long View: Remind them that this too shall pass. As disruptive as the quarantine has been to kids’ sports pursuits, it’s likely a blip in their lives as athletes. If they’re truly committed to their sport, young athletes will be playing for many years to come.


Want to be a sponsor? Contact Scott below:

Questions? contact Scott Liskey - sliskey@syasports.org
All funds raised support the SYA Sports Park and All SYA SPORTS!
THANK YOU for Supporting the Southwestern Youth Association!
SYA (Southwestern Youth Association)
5950 Centreville Crest Lane
Centreville, VA 20121