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Our Children Are Amazing – So why do we keep messing with them?

Our Children Are Amazing – So why do we keep messing with them?

– SO WHY DO WE KEEP MESSING WITH THEM? What if we looked at our youth, as they learn, grow and change in the same way we are in awe and appreciation of the changing of the leaves in the season. I find out too often that we are worried about what our children will become rather than appreciate who they already are. I remember when my kids were young I got so caught up in their future that I forgot to just sit back and enjoy who they were, what they had already accomplished and trust that they would learn and grow in their own time. When my son Mason learned to walk, it was not because I yelled at him, motivated him or challenged him. Instead, when he was ready, he got up and fell down then got up again and fell down again, until eventually he learned to walk. It did not matter what the book said about what age he “should” be crawling or walking, he just wanted to walk, so he did. He had the desire inside him to walk and no matter what we said or what obstacles came in his way, he was determined to walk. I believe our children have an innate desire to do things, that “they” want. If we take that lesson and use it with our children in school, sports or anything that we would like them to excel at, you might be surprised at what I’m about to say. I think the most important thing we should be doing for our children is to encourage them to...
5 Steps to Mentally Get Your Players Ready for the First Day of Youth Sports Practice:

5 Steps to Mentally Get Your Players Ready for the First Day of Youth Sports Practice:

1. Talk about it – Playing an entire season is a long commitment – especially for your children – explain the time it will take and discuss their goals and your goals for the season. 2. Don’t be afraid to fail – Coaches will ask your players to push themselves to get better and learn – failure is part of the process. 3. Get ready to compete – Players who come to practice to learn but are ready to compete, even in drills, have more fun and get more out of practice. 4. Come ready to learn – help your child understand that the coaches are their to help them improve. 5. Be grateful – teach your child how to be thankful and respectful to the coach – Parents need to lead by example. The following is what has helped me to help my son and daughter to fall in love with playing sports to the point that they both play 3 different sports each year in High School. Take a Look at the Journey We live in a society where many parents are trying to get their child every little advantage to help them become the best athlete in their area, earn a college scholarship and maybe even play in the pros. The bad news is that players can only improve within the limitations of athletic ability, natural talent, determination, size, aggressiveness and coachability. Good news, there are many places where players can go to get the instruction needed to help them along in their sports education. What parents and coaches can do is to help them to...
Dear Youth Sports Parents

Dear Youth Sports Parents

First, let me say, I am one of you. I have two kids, a son now 16 years of age and a daughter of 14. They both have played at least two or three sports throughout the seasons, every year since they were five or six years old. As a coach, I am now entering my 33rd year working in youth sports and there’s a couple of life lessons I would like to share with you that will hopefully help keep perspective on the upcoming season for you and your child. 1. Although in our society “winning” is perceived to be a direct reflection of effort when a child is participating in a team sport, I have found that it is more important that we focus on their “individual effort” rather than team results. Most all team sports rely on other players to perform their skills—passing a ball, making a basket or throwing someone out at first base. This means to me, that if we measure our success on wins and losses throughout the season, it is very likely that your child will not feel that they have been successful even if they personally learned new skills, experienced competition, made new friends and had tons of fun. 2. The division or level your child plays, or their individual athletic skills and prowess, is not a direct reflection of how good you are as a a parent. Often times we feel that we are judged based on whether our kid is a good athlete or not. Although tough at times, we should remember that most of this is out of...

NAofA Expands their Youth Sports Programs in Santa Clara

For Immediate Release National Academy of Athletic Aaron Locks, Founder & CEO nationalacademyofathletics.com Phone: 866.90.SPORT info@NAofA.us   ANNOUNCEMENT: The National Academy of Athletics has promoted Alberto Juarez to become the Santa Clara Regional Area Captain and will be expanding their Youth Sports Programs in Santa Clara County. The NAofA partners with schools, leagues, and municipalities to provide first class youth athletic programs at affordable rates. With headquarters in Santa Rosa, California, they have successfully grown to 84 cities and run over 800 sports programs since their inception in 2012. Over 175,000 kids have participated in the camps and clinics designed by the National Academy of Athletics founder, Aaron Locks. The NAofA has already run many well attended programs in Milpitas, Los Gatos, Morgan Hill and Gilroy and parents have reached out wanting more. The NAofA hires local Area Captain’s and well-qualified coaches within each county to service their Community Partners. As City budgets and resources continue to decrease, they satisfy the demand for youth sports programs. They do not want children to suffer from lack of healthy activity and miss out on the enrichment and life lessons sports teach to children at an early age. PROGRAMS
: Summer Sports Camps Athletic Fund-raising Programs School Break Clinics After School Sports Club League Support Programs School Fitness Programs The professional staff is setting introduction meetings with Recreational Departments throughout the Santa Clara area. Alberto Juarez will be contacting schools, leagues and municipalities to set up a short introduction meeting to learn what programs are being offered in your community and to see if the National Academy of Athletics programs can be of...
Sports for kids in San Diego

Sports for kids in San Diego

July 2, 2018 For Immediate Release National Academy of Athletic Aaron Locks, Founder & CEO nationalacademyofathletics.com Phone: 866.GO.SPORT info@NAofA.us ANNOUNCEMENT: The National Academy of Athletics has been approved as a Preferred Vendor for the City of San Diego Parks & Recreational Department and will expand their services throughout San Diego. The NAofA partners with schools, leagues, and municipalities to provide first class youth athletic programs at affordable rates. With headquarters in Santa Rosa, California, they have successfully grown to 78 cities and run over 720 sports programs since their inception in 2012. Over 175,000 kids have participated in the camps and clinics designed by the National Academy of Athletics founder, Aaron Locks. The NAofA hires local Area Captain’s and well-qualified coaches within each county to service their Community Partners. As City budgets and resources continue to decrease, they satisfy the demand for youth sports programs. They do not want children to suffer from lack of healthy activity and miss out on the enrichment and life lessons sports teach to children at an early age. PROGRAMS • Summer Sports Camps • Athletic Fund-raising Programs • School Break Clinics • After School Sports Club • League Support Programs • School Fitness Programs The professional staff is setting introduction meetings with Recreational Departments throughout the San Diego area. A Sports Specialist will be contacting schools, leagues and municipalities to set up a short introduction meeting to learn what programs are being offered in your community and to see if the National Academy of Athletics programs can be of assistance to them and the families within each community. HISTORY
Founded in 2012, the National...
KIDS JUST WANNA PLAY

KIDS JUST WANNA PLAY

So how do parents find the right sports program for our kids when we want them to develop skills, learn team work, get exercise and all they want to do is have fun! There are several concepts that I feel will help parents as they go through the process of deciding which program will best suit their needs and the desires of their child. KIDS WANNA PLAY Play is very important part of any youth sports program. If we look back at when we were kids, we fell in love with playing sports and being active by doing one thing… playing with our friends around the block. The challenge is that it is not safe for us to allow our children to just go play down the street with their buddies and be home before the street lights come on. The overriding premise of the report is that free play or down time as some call it is essential to the cognitive, physical, social and emotional well-being of children and for that matter, adults too! So what is the answer? We suggest that you be very selective in which league, camp or team you choose to sign your child up to play.  Take a look at these factors: INSTRUCTION Most quality leagues or camps will include some level of instruction. The ones that many parents will agree are best have the correct blend. That is why I created, TALK – TEACH – PLAY.  Talk is keeping the conversation to a minimum. In fact, we limit instruction to just 3 minutes. Next is Teach. We keep this to 6 minutes....
Let Them Play!

Let Them Play!

LET KIDS PLAY! Sign your kids up for Youth Sports and keep them healthy and...
Aaron Locks, A Man On A Youth Sports Mission

Aaron Locks, A Man On A Youth Sports Mission

Aaron Locks is 6 years old. He is trying to play baseball. He’s not doing a very good job of it. He strikes out. He starts bawling. He throws the bat down, the helmet down. He is ready to chuck the whole thing. “Who’s your favorite baseball player?” his coach asks. “Willie Mays,” Locks responds. “Well, Willie Mays made an out seven of every 10 times he went to bat,” the coach says. “And half of those times he made an out, he struck out. You’re 6 years old.What makes you think you’re better than Willie Mays?” Thirty-nine years later,Aaron Locks still remembers that conversation. It has become a cornerstone on who Locks has become and what he does for a living. That coach,Marty Islas of MillValley,now in Petaluma, gave Locks one of the most essential values necessary to handle the inevitable peaks and valleys of sport. “Perspective,” said Locks, who lives in Santa Rosa, owns a health club in Rohnert Park and operates sports youth camps in Northern California. That perspective gained some depth after Locks graduated from Sonoma State university. He worked one year with UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, helping Wooden run his sports camps at California Lutheran University. It was advanced further when he worked for the Los Angeles Lakers for three seasons, running youth sports camps for Pat Riley and Magic Johnson. It gained permanent traction when Locks worked in the same capacity with the Golden State Warriors for three years during the era of Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullin. “With Coach Wooden I learned the value of discipline and hard work...
The Case for the Multi Sport Child

The Case for the Multi Sport Child

Over the years, there have been a lot of conversations about what age kids should start to specialize in sports, and narrow it down to just one. As someone who has been involved with youth sports for over 30 years and has a 15-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter, I can tell you this: Statistically, 78% of what our kids here every single day is it direction or a correction, for the time they get up we tell them to wake up, eat breakfast, get dressed, brush your teeth, get in the car, don’t forget your backpack. At school and after school it is the same routine. Children don’t really get to explore or play the same way our generation did when we were kids. We used to be able to go down the street and play multiple sports, make up games, compete and just have fun doing what we love. This diversity of play allowed us to use our bodies different ways and develope balance, coordination, quickness and strength. Then when it came to organized sports, there were seasons. Those of us who played multiple sports would have football during the fall, basketball in the winter and baseball in spring. These days, kids at young ages are being encouraged to specialize and play one single sport for nine or 10 months in a row.  This is where the challenge comes in,.   without diversity of sport the level of competition rises as each child is “all in” on their chosen sport.  Not only is a child’s body not ready for that much repetitive motion, it is equally challenging for a young child to focus mentally on...
National Academy of Athletics is Heading South!

National Academy of Athletics is Heading South!

National Academy of Athletics has been a leader in youth sports instruction in California since 2011, and now we are heading to Georgia.  Our sports education programs partner with community organizations like cities, schools, YMCA’s and churches to bring multiple sports and fitness opportunities to children around the country.  Our focus is to “Play Hard and Have Fun” while learning the skills and confidence engendered by success at team and individual sports like basketball, football, volleyball, track & field plus many more! Founder Aaron Locks’ passion for sport and what it has to offer both kids and adults has fueled his company to be the largest sports camp organization in Northern California. The quality of his camps and programs are based upon his belief that you must have the right combination of enthusiastic staff and quality instruction. Aaron has seen over 150,000 participants since his first camp in 1991. He is a proud father of two young children, Mason and Mia, who both play multiple sports as well as many other activities. Form more information about how to bring National Academy of Athletics to your city, fill out our discovery form here....