Posts Tagged “parents”

By Alex Lontayo – SportsForce co-founder

Baseball is an amazing game. For as long as I can remember, it has been an integral part of my life. I’m reminded of all that is has done for me everyday. I have pics of myself holding a ball before I was able to sit up unassisted or pics of myself dragging a bat before I was able to walk. The game was taught to me at an early age and helped me grow as a person. With the buzz about Parkview Little League’s run at the World Series (, I’ve found myself really looking back at my days back in little league and all the game offered me throughout my life. All of the opportunities I have been blessed with were through baseball. I see the passion that they play with and the camaraderie they have and it really hits home. That’s what you’d expect when they’ve been a TEAM for over 7 years. For most of those kids that’s half of their life. That’s when I really reflect on my life and what baseball brought me.

You see back in the day (no I won’t mention the long walks to school 10 miles away in the snow as most stories seem to go when sentences start that way), we were that team. Our team had been together for years and we were finally coming into our own. The problem with us was we didn’t complete the journey as they did. What we did do, was STAY friends from that time forward. Our group of guys went onto to play Pony, High School, College, Professional, even had a guy reach the big leagues. Those times directed us along the paths that we took. Each of us still live in the same area and, of course, still remain close friends. In fact, most of us would take a friend label as a slap in the face, since we’re all more like brothers.  Having brothers like that because of a game we loved is special. I’m sure there are stories all over the world about the friendships that were created from amateur sports. You never seem to let those times go. With all of the great people that I have been blessed with in my life because of baseball, there’s a deep reflection of what these kids will face in the coming years.

Teammates possibly going to different schools, guys not making the jump to the next level, whatever the circumstances, there will come a time when the next level will not be realistic. That is something that no player who loves the game ever wants to hear. The reality of the game is a tough pill to swallow. I truly believe that is a driving factor in the minds of all the SportsForce team. We’ve all been faced with that reality whether it was the high school to college process or the AA to AAA jump in professional baseball. There are times in your life that having the insight and experience there to help you, can drive your decision making in a manner that will better suit your long term goals. I know looking back; I wish I had more information about the process by friends who had been there. I’m not saying that my career would have turned out any differently, but I know the journey could have.

I can only hope that these young ballplayers will be guided the right way. I am a firm believer that you “always have a chance, when you put the uniform on.” You just never know. I’ve played against the David Eckstein’s of the world who wouldn’t let their size be a roadblock to their long term goals. I see a lot of that in these kids. I’m actually motivated more in my life because of what they’re doing. I look back at all my brothers, even sisters that I’ve played against and truly thank them for all of the memories. I hope every player in every sport that aspires for something greater gets that opportunity. Watching these kids play the game with passion and without a care in the world is special. I know there’s a great community rallying behind their every pitch and every swing. I know I am. Win or lose, these kids have succeeded. I hope they go on with their lives and keep these friendships to reflect upon when they’re my age, but give back to the game in any way they can. That way someday, the next group will experience it all again, with all of it made possible because baseball is an amazing game…

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This past weekend SportsForce partnered with 16th Annual San Diego Premier Classic . The tournament was held at several different fields throughout San Diego. Over 200 teams turned out for the tournament which offered play for both Boys and Girls U9-19 in Silver and Gold levels.

SportsForce filmed some of the top Mens U18 teams including the Del Mar Sharks 92 Premier, Arsenal FC, PQ Premier Red, SE Cosmos (Texas) and the United FC Black. SportsForce also caught the top action out of the Girls Division, where the SoCal Blues Defeated the San Diego United FC 3-0 in the finals of the U16 Gold Division.

Below is a list of the games we filmed and links to purchase professionally shot and edited games for $30 + tax & S / H.

If you are interested in having SportsForce cover your tournament games please contact us directly here.

Girls Games:

8/16/09 Girls U16 Championship: SC Blues vs. San Diego United

Boys Games:

8/16/09 Boys U18 Semifinals: Del Mar Sharks 92 vs. SEFC Cosmos

8/15/09 Boys U18-S: San Diego United vs. Carlsbad Lightning

8/15/09 Boys U18-G: Del Mar Sharks 92 vs. Arsenal FC

8/15/09 Boys U18-S: Del Mar Sharks 92 vs. PQ Premier Red

8/15/09 Boys U18-G: PQ Premier Red vs. Arsenal FC

8/15/09 Boys U18-G: PQ Premier Red vs. SEFC Cosmos

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One of the most important steps towards becoming a student-athlete at the college level is confirming your athletic eligibility with the NCAA. The process can be somewhat confusing, but the NCAA is taking steps to make it as pain free as possible.

The NCAA Eligibility center is unveiling a new website that hopes to make the eligibility registration process as easier. The site aims to aid coaches in accessing important information on student-athletes in order to help them with the amateurism certification process and academic registration. The site also hopes to offer a more interactive and inviting atmosphere for student-athletes and their parents.

The site will be launching on June 29th, 2009 and be accessible for student-athletes hoping to register and certify their amateur status for the 2010 season. The new site is

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Hello, my name is Josh Strobl, and this is the first of several blogs that I will be contributing to share some of my competitive sports experience and knowledge. The reality about making the transition from youth to high school to college sports is that there are an infinite number of questions, and many of them go unanswered. My goal is to shed light on the process and provide you some valuable insight and answers to frequently asked questions.

A little bit about myself, I grew umultisportp in San Diego, California where almost all sports are played year round. My parents were not former athletes but they enjoyed sports and gave me every opportunity to play any sport I choose. I grew up playing baseball, soccer, tennis, and basketball as a youth. Prior to high school I found myself playing baseball most of year for a San Diego based traveling team. In high school I ran track & field, played football, basketball, and baseball. Eventually I would play collegiate baseball as a catcher and third baseman, but I did experience a sports burnout at a young age and opted not to play baseball as a high school freshman. This leads me to the first topic: choosing a sport and playing as many as possible.

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As a high school varsity coach, we make a point at the pre-season meeting to set the tone with parents regarding how, when, and why to address the coaches and which topics we are willing to discuss.  This way, it is clear to the athletes and their parents. We are setting the standard for communication before the season begins and we work to manage their expectations in order to prevent headaches later.  We state clearly that at the varsity level we will discuss playing time, practice times, areas of improvement, and time off requests with athletes directly and NEVER with parents!

At the varsity level it is time for student athletes to learn how to manage their time, communicate and articulate their thoughts directly to the coach, without the crutch of their parents. We want our athletes to cultivate their relationship with us (coaches) without the help of their parents.  When this precedent is not set, the coach’s job becomes much too large.  Their job is to coach, not to handle an athlete’s social calendar or to counsel a parent regarding their child’s playing time.  Parents have nothing to do with playing time; everything an athlete must do to increase playing time is 100% up to them, which is why any questions/concerns should be between the athlete and the coach.

girlslaxAthletes can approach either the Assistant Coach or the Head Coach directly. The Assistant Coach is able to gauge whether or not the topic at hand is worth including the Head Coach.  Typically the matter can be handled by the Assistant without distracting the Head Coach, this is part of the Assistant’s job – to handle any extraneous concerns.  If an athlete has a question, it is appropriate to address the coach before or after practice or send an email to schedule a time to discuss one on one or over the phone.  A discussion should never occur via email or text – it should only be used to schedule a time to talk.

That being said, I strongly encourage parents to introduce themselves to the coaches early on in the season, ask the coaches if they need any assistance or help with scorekeeping, management, ordering jerseys, pictures, team dinners, etc.  Recognize when the coach does something you like and encourage other parents to do the same, this makes it much easier to address the coach later on.  Positive reinforcement is not only appreciated by athletes but by coaches as well!

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