JULY 2018
It's once again time to register for fall SYA sports! When you register your child, you will notice that SYA has a new registration system. We are excited to begin working with Demosphere who will now provide our database and registration services. To begin the registration please click here to set up your new SYA Family Account. From there, you can select a sport and register your child for the fall.

SYA fall sports include Babe Ruth and Little League Baseball, cheerleading, field hockey, football, lacrosse clinics, soccer, softball, track & field (cross country) and volleyball. 


Below is a brief description of the sports. For additional information, visit the sport specific website at www.syasports.org.
Babe Ruth Baseball
Offered for players ages 13-18 -- divided into two age groups, 13-15 and 16-18. If there are enough 13's for 2 teams then a 13 only league will be formed. Fall is a teaching league for the players moving up to the 90' field. Tryouts will be held in August and games begin in late August and go through November 4th. Ages for play are based on the Spring 2019 playing year. Games are played twice a week, with one weeknight game and one weekend game.
Little League Baseball
Offered for players ages 4-12. The fall season is considered primarily an instructional program on all levels as it is the beginning of a new baseball year - 2019. The focus is on development as many players move up a level from the past spring. Practices will begin around August 10 with games starting after Labor Day. The season will end by early November.
SYA Cheerleading is open to boys and girls ages 5-18. Team placements will be made in mid-August. No experience is necessary. Teams will cheer for SYA football teams from September through November. Weekly practices begin in August. Cheerleaders will be taught cheers, chants and dances. Cheer also introduces cheerleaders to basic stunting and tumbling skills. We also offer a Competition cheer program which is a year-round competitive cheer program. In May, athletes may choose to be evaluated for placement in our Extreme Competition Cheer program.
Field Hockey
SYA field hockey will be held on Monday evenings from 6-8pm and is open to boys and girls in rising grades 3 through 8. Players will be grouped by age and ability. We will have 3rd/4th grade teams, 5th/6th grade teams and 7th/8th grade teams. The program will run for seven Mondays, beginning September 10th and ending October 29th (there will be no session on Monday, October 8th). The program will consist of both skills training and scrimmages. The registration will be capped at 60 players to please register NOW.
SYA football is open to boys and girls ages 7-16. The SYA football program participates in the Fairfax County Youth Football League (FCYFL) and fields teams in the various weight classes from Anklebiter through 150 pounds. Teams are divided up by a combination of age, weight and experience.
Lacrosse Clinics
The fall lacrosse clinics are held on six Sunday afternoons in September and October and are designed for boys and girls new to lacrosse (novice or first year players) as well as those looking to work on their skills. The basics of the game are taught in clinic style format.
SYA soccer is open to players of all skill levels, ages 3 to 19. Practices are held once or twice a week, depending on the age group. Games are played on Saturdays. Practices will begin mid August and the first games will be held at the September 8. See you on the pitch!!!!
Little League Softball
SYA Softball is moving under the Little League banner and will provide a fast pitch softball program for girls ages 7-16. (Read more about this below!) Girls aged 4-6 can sign up to play TeeBall and Coach Pitch under Little League Baseball, then transition at age 7. The mission of SYA Softball is to make the softball experience as meaningful and enjoyable as possible for everyone who participates. The fall softball season is a less competitive season than the spring, focusing more on improving the skills of the players. Practices will begin around August 10 with games starting after Labor Day. The season will end by early November.
Track & Field (Cross Country)
Open to boys and girls in grades 1-12. Practices will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays with the first practice starting on August 14th. Races are held over supervised trails and off road courses. Bring water and wear comfortable running shoes. We welcome parent participation!
Did you know that Volleyball consistently ranks in the top 10 most popular sports in the world? SYA has offered volleyball as a recreational sport for over 17 years. In the fall we also run a travel league for more competitive athletes. If you are in grades 4 through 8 during the 2017-2018 school year come out and see why volleyball is one of the fastest growing sports in the world.
To register for an SYA fall sport please click here .
SYA Softball is now
SYA Little League Softball!

You read that right, SYA Softball is transitioning to SYA Little League Softball starting this fall. As we work through this change, we will be updating the Softball web site as well as communicating information to all our families. Xplosion Softball will remain the SYA Travel Softball program, so no changes with this program at this time. For Little League Softball, while there will be minimal to no impact with the on-field opportunities and play, the administration of the program will differ as we implement the Little League Softball program. We will offer these divisions: Minors (7-11), Majors (9-12), Juniors (12-14), and Seniors (13-16) all based on player’s age on December 31, 2018. Girls from 4-6 will have the opportunity to play Little League TeeBall with the TB (4-6) and Coach Pitch (5-7) divisions under SYA Little League Baseball.
Like Little League Baseball, Little League Softball will have the opportunity to compete against other Little League Softball programs in the area, including Prince William County Girls Softball which plays in our district, and other programs as work towards agreements. House teams will compete during the regular season and the girls will have the opportunity to play All Stars, teams which compete, starting at the District level, for the opportunity to advance to the Little League Softball World Series in Portland, OR, the Junior League Softball World Series in Kirkland, WA, or the Senior League Softball World Series in Lower Sussex, DE.
To continue our tradition of great coaching, we plan on offering a coaches clinic along with player clinics this fall to raise awareness of the game of softball, as well as to continue the advancement of the skills of both coaches and players. Little League University also offers great, free training for both players and coaches, as well as parents. Keep in touch with these and other opportunities by following us on our web site . Like SYA Little League Baseball, the softball program will have ties to the Washington Nationals as they support youth programs like ours through uniforms, clinics, and other opportunities – we were spoiled this year as the MLB All Star Game was right in our area!
Volunteers are a key necessity in any successful sports program and this is not any different with SYA Little League Softball. We need board members, coaches, snack shack help, field chiefs, and many other positions to provide the girls a great environment to learn the game of softball along with life lessons of dealing with challenges and adversity. If you want to be part of the solution, register at the link below. No previous experience required as all you need to come with is the desire to help the young ladies of our area be successful.
Registration is now open for the fall season.  Click here to register using the new SYA Registration system Click here to go to the Softball web site . Any questions please do not hesitate to contact Bob Woodruff at syasoftball@cox.net .
Welcome, Molly Gift, to SYA Field Hockey!
My name is Molly Gift and I am very excited to take on the role as commissioner for the SYA Field Hockey Program. One of the main reasons I wanted to get involved in the program was because the very same program introduced me to field hockey when I was in elementary school!
I graduated from Westfield High School and went to Radford University to pursue a career in teaching. When I graduated, I became an elementary Physical Education teacher in Fairfax County Public Schools. I currently work at Churchill Road Elementary where I am involved in various before and after school activities to get students introduced to a wide variety of activities while teaching them how to exercise and have fun.
In 2016, I graduated with a Master’s Degree in Physical Education, Teacher Education where we focused on best practices for teaching and coaching.
The coaching staff for the Fall season is very excited to work with all levels of players ranging from beginner to advance on skill development while incorporating team building activities and games that will help the participants fall in love with the game and have fun at the same.
If you haven’t signed up for our program already, please click the link below to access the registration screen. We would love to have your children join our program!

Also, if you would like to get involved with our program, we do have leadership opportunities available. We welcome and appreciate any support from the community.

Contact commissioner@syafieldhockey.org if you would like to learn more.
Matdogs Take it to the Mat!

The SYA Matdog Wrestling Team experienced continued growth in participation during their latest season, with more than 65 wrestlers participating this past Winter. The program aims to p rovide fun, instructional, and competitive wrestling opportunities for kids of all skill levels in grades 8 and below to foster their love for the sport and provide technique and lessons to support continued growth as a person and athlete. A team-based approach ensures an appropriate experience for newcomers to the sport up through highly competitive wrestlers looking to take their performance to the next level.
All participants had the option to compete against children of similar age, weight, and experience level from other local youth wrestling clubs through the Northern Virginia Wrestling Federation (NVWF). Many Matdogs achieved great success during the season, which culminated in the NVWF Championship tournament in late February. Congratulations to the following Matdog NVWF Championship placewinners:
1 st Place: Oden Barr, Robbie Estabrooke, Sean Pena, Bryce Brown, and Maximilian Sifuentes
2 nd Place: Drake Winslow, Joe Bowman, Ziggy Levake, Devin Haverly, Ben Herndon, Noah Friesen, Gavin Helmick, Sankalp Agarwal, Samantha Gray, Joel Alvarado, and Gyuha Kim
3 rd Place: Madden Somsapya, Nathan Lim, Tyler Weader, Hunter Helmick, and Jean-Pierre Tejada
4 th Place: Max Chen, Eli Helleberg, Elijah Friesen, Mason Lim, and Zorawar Sandhu
Several Matdogs also competed in postseason Middle Atlantic Wrestling Association (MAWA) tournaments where the competition draws from 17 different states. Congratulations to the following Matdogs for their postseason success:
MAWA District Placewinners: Ziggy Levake (1 st), Jacob Brubaker (1 st), Joel Alvarado (1 st), Bryce Brown (2 nd), Sean Pena (2 nd), Ben Herndon (3 rd), Brendon Sholders (3 rd), Ben Weader (4 th)
MAWA Regional Placewinners/MAWA Eastern Regional Championship Qualifiers: Joel Alvarado (1 st), Ziggy Levake (2 nd), and Brendan Sholders (5 th)
Save at Modell's
SYA Weekends
Aug 11/12 and Sept 8/9

Mark your calendars for savings! Thanks to Modell’s, SYA families will enjoy 20% savings on two upcoming SYA Team weekends -- August 11/12 and September 8/9. What’s more? While YOU save 20%, Modell’s will send the SYA organization a 5% rebate! You win, we win, we all win! (P.S. – Even though the coupon says 15%, if you bring it in on those special weekends, SYA families will actually get 20% off…) 
News from the Fairfax County Athletic Council
The Fairfax County Athletic Council continues to meet to assist our area with sports-related issues. Most recently, the Council is working on identifying opportunities to improve diversity in all sports.   At our last meeting, new leadership was elected, and we also approved new by-laws document which has been sent to the Board of Supervisors for approval. Please visit the Fairfax County website for more information.

Patriot Park North (new diamond development near Willow Springs Elementary currently referred to as LLV) – no updates at this time. 

News about FAST -- Fairfax Athletes Stand Together, aka FAST, is a program designed to help Fairfax County citizens (and one in which SYA regularly participates).  To date, SYA has collected several THOUSAND pounds of food which is distributed amongst the many shelters throughout Fairfax County. Visit our website to find out about our next F.A.S.T. collection date!

Champions of Character awards. Nominations are now open and deadline for submission is August 1. This is a great opportunity to recognize volunteer athletes, coaches and parents. Go to the Fairfax County website for more information. 
Sports Park News
Construction of the new roadway and parking area to the back of the property is complete. This part of the Sports Park Development Project was necessary to adhere to all Fairfax County regulations and give us access to building the next lit ball fields! Very exciting!  However, the next phase cannot begin without needed funding. Look soon to find out how you may help in getting us to the next goal! 
On the bright side, part of the construction was to pave and stripe the current parking lot that is used daily. We think it turned out great and will give parents a better solution to parking. No more gravel and railroad ties --- Yay!!  We did lose our playground to the construction and are hoping to replace it soon. Stay tuned for new updates! 
Please visit us for more information at www.syasports.org
What to do After a Workout: 
Refuel (Hydrate and Nutrition)

Proper fueling before exercise is important to optimize performance, but nutrition for recovery from exercise is often overlooked. Our bodies rely upon a well-balanced array of nutrients, vitamins and minerals to aid in rebuilding the parts of our body that have been stressed during exercise. Refueling after a workout with a well-rounded set of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats will help your body reap the most benefit from your hard effort.
Water is also absolutely essential to overall health. In particular, following exercise, proper hydration is key to replace the fluids that you have lost during your activity. Water also helps regulate your temperature, maintain healthy joints, and eliminate wastes that build up in your system during activity. Pay special attention to your total water intake if you are exercising in extreme hot or cold climates or if you feel as though you may be getting sick. Make a habit of keeping a water bottle in your purse, gym bag, car, or workplace for easy, reliable access. 
For more orthopaedic and sports medicine information, please visit www.orthovirginia.com
Ten Tips for First Time Sports Parents from the Positive Coaching Alliance

Rather than concern with scoreboard wins and losses, PCA hopes that you, as a sports parent, keep your eye on the Big Picture – the life lessons in teamwork, resilience, overcoming adversity, communication skills, etc., that sports can uniquely teach.
Here are 10 tips for parents of kids new to organized sports.
1. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of youth sports – we all want our children to succeed. But before your child’s season starts and emotions run high, write down your goals for your child in sports. Keep this list close by and refer back to it throughout the season to help maintain your focus on the bigger picture.
2. There are a lot of youth sports organizations out there. Take the time to evaluate options for where your child may play. Look at various organizations’ websites to understand their mission statements and what kind of training they offer their coaches. Talk to other parents whose kids have played in those organizations to learn what kind of experience they had. You may want to take as much care in this matter as you would in selecting the school your child should attend.
3. Learn the names of the other kids on the team, and during a game cheer positively for all the players…even the other team! You can try “no-verbs cheering” or otherwise limit yourself to shouts of encouragement. Either way, let coaches coach, and don’t confuse or overwhelm your child by shouting instruction from the sidelines or stands.
4. Sometimes, parents or other spectators behave in a way that feels out of place or just too intense for the situation – berating officials or screaming at their children or other players. You may be unsure how to respond. One key is to consistently model the appropriate behavior. Then, if you want to help an over-exuberant spectator, sometimes all it takes is a glance or a gesture, such as lowering your palms to indicate “calm down.” You might choose to distract them with conversation about another aspect of the game, or if you feel comfortable, you can remind them about the role of parents in upholding a positive sports culture.
5. After the game, resist the temptation to critique. Ask open-ended questions that elicit longer responses, “What was your favorite part of today’s practice?” Kids love sports so much they will even talk to their parents about it! When they do, listen. Put the phones away. Maintain eye contact. Nod and interject and smile so your child knows you’re engaged.
6. When you do have that conversation with your child about their teams or games, focus on the life lessons available from the experience. If your child seems discouraged by his or her performance, reinforce a sense of self-worth with “You’re the kind of person who…” statements: “I know you are disappointed with the loss, but one thing I like about you is you’re the type of person who bounces back and tries hard the next time.”
7. Coaches put a lot of time into planning practices and ensuring a successful season, so be sure to acknowledge their efforts often! Encourage your child to thank the coach after each game or practice. Offer to help the coaches however you can. That may mean anything from occasionally helping out at practice to creating the snack schedule or coordinating carpools. Coaches need parents’ support, and your children may appreciate seeing how enthusiastically you support their team.
8. One key to a positive relationship with your child’s coach is a pre-season parent meeting, where the coach explains his or her philosophy and goals for the season to the parents or guardians of all the players on the team. If any of your children’s coaches do not call such a meeting, be sure to ask about their goals so that you know what to expect.
9. If you’re asked to coach, or to be an assistant, strongly consider accepting! You do NOT need to be a sport specific expert to provide a fun environment for kids to participate. Good organizations provide training and resources to coaches to help them do great work with their players. Remember, the top goal of a coach at this age is to be positive and create a fun and safe place for kids to play!
10. At every possible turn, let your children know that you love them unconditionally (by saying it!), regardless of their athletic performance. Enjoy your child’s time in youth sports. It is fleeting, and you will want to look back, in conversation with your grown children, on the good old days.