Catawba Youth Camp (Ages 6-13): July 6, 2018

Curtis Walker Football Camps

Come learn how to work like a champion with the Catawba College Football staff. We will have a fun-filled day where each young man or woman will have the chance to receive instructions and practice the fundamental drills that are involved in the great game of football. Camp attendees will be able to live the life of a college athlete for a day. They will participate in every aspect of a day during fall preseason camp from morning practices and eating in the cafeteria, to having a chance to compete and show their skills.

We look forward to seeing you at camp, where you will learn how to work like a champion! GO INDIANS!

Open to Boys & Girls, Ages 6 to 14 Years Old!

Friday – July 6th, 2018

Check-In: 8:00am
Camp End: 12:00pm

Players will need to bring either 2 canned food items or 2 non-perishable food items. These items will be donated to a summer feed program for children and youth.

What’s Included
T-Shirt, Lunch/Drink, and a day in the life of a Catawba Football Player!

Camp Participation Form (click to open up form)
This form must be filled out and brought on the first day of camp, so your player can participate! Mandatory Policy – NO exceptions! Each participant should have his or her own medical insurance. Certified athletic trainers will always be available.


Five Perfect Youth Football Training Foods

By Vin Sehgal:

As training for the upcoming youth football season kicks into gear, it is pertinent for athletes to focus in on excellent eating habits. The nutritional choices your kids make today will set the tone going forward into their adult lives. For this list we are highlighting highly nutritious, plant and seed based awesome foods that are nutritional powerhouses.

Here’s 5 foods that your athletes need to consume.


Spinach. Vitamins K, A, Manganese, folate and iron. Loaded with nutrients for growing athletes. Cook this slightly in olive oil or add fresh to a sandwich as a lettuce substitute. According to World’s Healthiest Foods, spinach is jam packed with vitamins and anti-oxidents to keep your little guys healthy and is awesome for maintaining optimal bone health.


Dates. Vitamin B6, Niacin, Potassium. Versatile, eat by itself, or combine with natural peanut butter for the perfect quick protein packed snack. Ideally, dates are a perfect natural alternative to refined sugar. Pack these sweet, sticky fruits and snack just before practice for a solid natural energy booster.


Guacamole. Vitamins K, B6, E, C, Potassium, Monounsaturated Fats. Blend a ripe avocado, bell pepper, garlic, a leafy green and a little salt for a nutrient packed sandwich spread. Dina Griffin from says “avocados are a good source of quality calories, but their lesser known nutritional benefits include protection against cell damage/ inflammation, both of which must be managed to keep you healthy and strong.” Guacamole combines several really healthy foods to form a great food.


Pumpkin seeds. Manganese, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Copper, Zinc, Fiber, Iron. Add to cereal or have an alternative to salted sunflower seeds. Packed with protein, zinc and magnesium– a mineral that long distance runners benefit from. Reduce fatigue with this snack.


Watermelon. Vitamins C, A, Pantothenic Acid. Great pre or post-workout fruit. We love this fruit because watermelons are over 90% water. Men’s Fitness highlighted a recent watermelon study in Spain- watermelon juices were found to help reduce athletes’ recovery heart rate and level of muscle soreness.

Learning resources on the internet are plentiful so there are no excuses this season. Remember, it is just as important to train a kid’s tastebuds as it is to train his physical body and mind. Good habits taught early will last a lifetime.


5 Reasons why kids should learn to play chess


Knowing how to play chess can be extremely beneficial to children – here’s why

1. Critical thinking

Moms can really be “mama bears” at times. If you’re a mom who finds it easier to answer a question for your kids instead of requiring them to think it through, or you are always quick to come to their defense, then you’ll want your child to play chess. Chess requires critical thinking skills. Your child will have to think ahead several moves before moving. Chess is methodical. Sometimes as parents we coddle our kids and think for them. We are always quick to do things for them instead of allowing them to use their own brains to conjure up a solution. As a parent, if you’re having problems pulling back and allowing your child to do things on their own, enlist them in a chess class and allow them to learn and think on their own. This is a great way to do that

2. Pump up the brain power

I don’t want to get too technical but there’s something called dendrites in the brain that grow exponentially when kids are engaged in a game like chess. What this means is that your child gets increased brain power potential and capacity. Our children need brain power to survive in the classroom these days with mandated state tests that are truly difficult for some kids to master. Every little bit helps and there aren’t many games that help the brain to get a little pumped.

3. Life skills

Ever heard the saying, common sense is not common? Well at least with chess your kids develop analytical, synthetic and decision-making skills, which they can transfer to real life. We all know real life skills are essential.

4. Higher order thinking

Chess calls upon higher-order thinking skills, helps them analyze actions and consequences and visualize future possibilities. What are higher-order thinking skills? With kids you want them to be able to truly analyze information on a higher level. Students must master the lower-level skills before they can engage in higher-order thinking and playing chess helps them do that.

5. Learning discipline

Chess teaches discipline from a very early age. This is one of the best parts of having your child learn chess if you know what I mean. Chess teaches kids to anticipate and to plan ahead. That’s a very useful skill that they can apply to planning out their clothes for the week for school. Also with playing chess, you have to plan things out. Another plus is that your kids learn if they plan well, they get rewarded in chess. if you don’t plan well, you suffer the consequences and get punished. That also applies in real life.


By Frank E. Bartscheck II

No matter which side of the equation that you may personify, the relationship between a parent and coach often presents challenges for both parties.

The Alabama Media Group recently invited over 1,300 high school coaches in Alabama to take part in a survey regarding their experiences within the parent-coach dynamic. The replies from the 300 coaches that participated provide an enlightening insight into a coach’s side of this relationship.

While the majority of high school coaches engage in positive interactions with parents, it is the negative interactions that often gain public notoriety and create the biggest headaches for coaches.

As a result, many coaches have come to realize the 95% of the parents they deal with will usually account for only five percent of the problems within the parent-coach paradigm. Conversely, 95% of the problems will occur as a result of five percent of the parents.

These numbers are not static, but they nonetheless effectively illustrate the playing field that coaches often must inhabit when engaging with parents.

The characteristic of the parent-coach relationship that is cited as most problematic revolves around communication. Coaches are often apprehensive to open direct lines of communication with parents; they view it as opening the barn door and letting the proverbial horse out of the barn.

The logic goes: once lines of communication are open, it gives an overbearing parent the green-light to offer suggestions or apply pressure.

Many coaches dread the day when a parent attempts to bend their ear. Jason Outlaw, a baseball coach at Vigor high school in Ala., summed it up by saying, “Any time a parent comes to a coach, it’s almost always with a negative and we get bombarded with negativity a lot.”

When a child is involved, it is often difficult for parents to remain calm, uninvolved emotionally and realistic. All parents want what is best for their children. However, the heat-of-the-moment can sometimes blind parents from seeing what is truly best for the child.

An article published by Gregg S. Heinzmann, head of the Youth Sports Research Council at Rutgers University, examines the relationship between parents and coaches in youth sports. The article identifies four key points that coaches wish parents always kept in mind:

Your child is not as talented as you believe.

It is almost impossible for a parent to be truly objective when it comes to judging their child’s athletic ability. Therefore, it is up to parents to trust in the judgement of the coach as much as possible.

Your child is more resilient that you realize.

Parents are always expected to look out for their children. However, when it comes to youth competition, it is necessary for parents to take a step back and allow their children to learn and grow.

It is unhealthy for parents to try and solve all of their children’s problems. Children benefit by learning from mistakes. Athletic competition provides an excellent forum for children to learn from their mistakes and develop character.

However, this can only be done by experiencing failure, which means that parents must allow their children to not always succeed.

Don’t live vicariously through your children. Remember, your athletic career is complete.

Regardless of the level of competition you may have reached or how distinguished your athletic accomplishments may or may not have been, it is in a child’s best interest that parents not live vicariously through their experiences.

While youth athletic experiences can often bond parents more closely to their children, the parent must remember living vicariously through their children is incredibly unhealthy for all parties involved.

Remember that your child’s coach is most likely doing the best he or she can.

It is often easy to point out the negatives in someone’s performance, especially when it involves your child’s coach. However, it’s always effective to first look for the good in someone’s efforts before identifying the bad. Only when this tact is taken, can a balanced point of view be attained.

Remember, it is exceedingly rare that a coach is purposefully mistreating, or worse yet, actually out to get your child.

I personally know how difficult it can be for a coach to interact with parents. As a coach and human being, we want to be friendly and engage with parents. However, as a coach, one quickly learns this type of friendly interaction can often lead to cultivating a relationship that is more difficult than it is worth.


Youth Sports Parents – The Golden Rules


All too often we hear not only of coaches who are way too intensified for the level of coaching they are doing, but also we inevitably hear of youth sports parents who are out of control. For true youth athletic development, we would like a nice balance of positive behavior on both the coaching and youth sports parenting side.

Developing the youth athlete is much more than simply getting the kids the proper instruction they need. It is more than providing them the resources they require to help get their physical talents reaching out to their full potential. We also need to provide the necessary tools emotionally for kids to not only succeed in youth sports, but also to enjoy them. They work hand-in-hand. The more you enjoy something the more you are apt to do it and try and get better at it, right?

First and foremost, when talking about ways we as parents can best be supportive of our kids in sports, I think of the Beatles tune “Let it Be.” Why? Because that is what we need to do for our youth sports coaches – Let Them Be. Let them be coaches and do what they are capable of doing. Hovering over coaches at practice and games, consistently tossing our comments in whenever he or she turns around is akin to having someone constantly poke you in the back. It’s annoying, intrusive and rude. Stop and let them do the coaching the way they know how. Back off some. That doesn’t mean not paying attention and not making coaches accountable. It seemly means that they are doing the coaching, not you. Let them do it.

I see some parents pacing the sidelines as if they were coaching the Super Bowl, cringing with every move the coach would make, and perhaps even throwing in a couple of choice comments. I coached an all-star baseball team one season. I had a habit of hanging out in the on-deck circle, which was outside of the dugout but almost part of the dugout area, while the game was going on in front of me. I was ‘exposed’, if you will, to the crowd. One player’s dad was in the crowd letting me know that his son (when he wasn’t playing) should be in the game. His son was a center fielder. If a play was in the direction of where his son would be playing and wasn’t made by the player we had out there at the time, I would hear it. The boy’s parent was quick to let me and everyone else know that his son would have had that ball if he was in the game. That kind of parent behavior is distracting, and makes the child uncomfortable as well as probably all of the other folks in the stands.

Let the coach do the coaching. As a parent, what you can do, and what I have encouraged parents to do when I coach, is to work with the child on his or her own. I will use baseball as an example. Play catch with the child. Hit them some grounders or fly balls to practice their fielding. Take them to the batting cages to work more on their hitting. In other words, get them more practice time outside of the regular practice.

Secondly, I would encourage all parents to not bring a stop watch, or pen and paper to a game. What am I talking about here? I have seen too many of us (yes, even though I’ve coached, I’m a parent, as well) keep detailed accounts of how much playing time our child is getting as compared to other kids. Holy smokes, a couple of times I thought that I would hire a couple of them to keep track of my financial stuff seeing how detailed they were. I have seen some of my family members do the same. Not only will you drive yourself nuts but you are going to inevitably say something after the game in the presence of your child. Your child probably has not paid attention as closely as you have and would not normally be aware of it. Now you have, so you have probably thrown this bit of emotional baggage onto him or her.

Let them play. Don’t worry about the playing time. You will enjoy watching the game a lot more and your young sports athlete will have one less thing they have to worry about when playing. Now, if you feel that playing time is so obviously egregiously out of whack, then it might be time to simply set up a time to talk with coach one on one.

Umpires, referees, line judges, you name it, are targets of parental frustration, as well. As with the coaches, leave the reffing to the referee. Sure, they’re going to make a bad call, maybe even at a critical part of the game. They are human. Get over it. Your child needs to be able to see that sometimes life doesn’t play ‘fair’ and you get a bad break. They need to be able to see how they can react to that in a positive manner. Seeing you go off on an umpire because of a bad call sets a lousy example. It also sets up a convenient crutch. That can sometimes be an excuse used as to why a team lost a game. I have heard that explanation more times that I care to, unfortunately. “We would have won, but the ref was so bad… blah… blah… blah.” It’s a nice scapegoat to have, and certainly an unhealthy practice.

Enjoy your child participating in youth sports activities by being as supportive and encouraging as you can, both at practice and games, as well when at home. Leave the coaching and refereeing to the appropriate folks and your child will benefit and so will you, seeing that your future Hall-of-Famer is enjoying the experience.

As a coach I know the value of proper training. Get the training you need off to a fast start with this free guide! Whether you are trying to make the 1st team varsity squad or simply a weekend warrior, kick your program into gear for free right now… Grab your free “Jump Start Your Training” guide at

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The Importance of Your Children Reading Every Day


I recalled one sunny afternoon sitting at home in the Sunshine State. I felt like a volcano was being erupted from my stomach. I thought perhaps I had contracted the flu. After a few days I decided to look further into these moments of motion sickness. Only to discover that my wonderful husband and I had made our dreams of being parents a reality.

Some may say I was being prescient, but I have been reading to our son since he was merely a zygote. I recall my husband laughing. He thought it was funny, but cute. The stage of development at that point was immaterial. After all, I had a life growing inside.

It is with deep pleasure that I share that today, at age five, my son is an avid reader. He spells words that I am not ashamed to say, at eight years old, or a tad bit older, I would have found challenging. So would most eight-year-olds.

Whenever I sit down to read with my son, we don’t just read to read; we read with a purpose, and he enjoys it.

Parents, I am not here to sell you on the idea that reading to your children at conception will gain or motivate their interests in reading. The two may even be unrelated.

I am simply sharing my perspective on the importance of reading.

I am very mindful of the fact that sometimes with our busy schedule it may seem like a daunting task, but 15 minutes a day will go a far way.

I do have a very hectic schedule myself, so I can totally relate. However, we take 15 minutes out of our schedule on a daily basis to have what we like to call “a reading session” with our five year old. It is a great and rewarding experience. Our son does build a stronger relationship with us during this time as well.

I can affirm that when our son was born, he was not “connate with reading”. Neither were your children. But we have instilled such positive practices in him by making reading a part of our everyday lives.

There are countless reasons why it is pertinent to encourage your children to read every day. These reasons are not only vital to your child’s academic excellence, but they are crucial to their literacy level in and out of the classroom.

So what other compelling reasons should you have to read with your child every day?

1. As they grow, their mastery of language is extremely important. Beginning kindergarten with the key fundamentals is an essential path to success.

2. There is a social benefit. Have you ever visited a children’s section at your local library? Notice how fascinated the kids are with the books, while taking the time to observe each other and their selections. It brings them together in a positive way, teaching them how to behave appropriately, sitting quietly to listen to story- telling and so forth.

3. Clean and productive fun. Reading is a great opportunity for children to try their hands at some fun, while being productive. I advertise the joy of reading within my household. Therefore, before I even say on your mark, get ready, my son runs to his play room to get his book. He does not even wait for me to say go. FUN! FUN! FUN!

4. Making use of the mind. It is distressingly bad to waste the mind.

5. Blooming into adult literacy. As cute and adorable as our children are, they will not stay that way forever. They do grow up. Unfortunately, there are too many adults lacking the minimum literacy skills. Do not let your child join this group.

Read with your child today, and let literacy be a vehicle for their future and identity.

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Capture the Benefits of Sports Camp

Written by:  Gayla Grace | Piedmont Parent Magazine

Camp has a unique way of teaching kids their value while giving them fun opportunities they would never experience at home. Sports camps, in particular, offer new adventures as kids explore hidden abilities or build on already developed skills while making friends and learning life skills in the process. Sports camps offer benefits that extend far beyond the basics of practicing a sport.

1. Character-building opportunities. Sports camps teach kids what perseverance feels like and what it means to reach outside their comfort zones. “Sports themselves are great for the physical aspect but also teach sportsmanship, camaraderie and discipline,” says Matt Davanzo, director of an all-sports academy. Tennis pro Eric Fromm says sports, particularly tennis, help kids develop skills they can use their entire lives. “These skills carry over into schoolwork and life skills — dealing with adversity, problem solving, overcoming obstacles, focusing, learning how to lose and pick yourself up.”

2. Exercise. Childhood and adolescent obesity rates continue to climb, and lack of exercise contributes significantly to the problem. Technology seduces kids to stay indoors in front of a screen. Sports camps offer a great alternative as kids choose what sports they’re interested in and reap the rewards of exercise in the process. Fromm says the No. 1 reason to send kids to camp is because they are meant to be active over the summer. Regular exercise doesn’t happen naturally, however; there must be planning, effort and encouragement from parents.

3. Fun. The fun of summer break wanes if days drag on with nothing to do. Sports camps provide fun and learning at the same time. They often include high-school and college students who work with kids in a playful and energetic manner, creating a natural atmosphere for fun.

4. New friends. Kids find new friends at sports camp who share similar interests and often go to the same school. When our family relocated to another state during the summer, our elementary-age son found new friends through a baseball camp that helped him acclimate to his new school in the fall. Kids experience natural and friendly camaraderie with others through sports camps.

5. Focus on specific skill-building techniques. An athlete gains more confidence and greater ability in his sport by working on the mechanics of a sport repetitively. Playing a sport through the school year doesn’t incorporate everyday skill-building repetition like camps do. As kids move through middle school and high school, it’s particularly important they improve in their sport to stay competitive.

6. Find new sports of interest. Sports camps are the perfect place to explore sports that a child hasn’t tried before or aren’t always offered at school, such as tennis or soccer. With a friendly camp staff and encouraging environment, kids are less intimidated and more likely to seek new interests.

7. Develop healthy lifelong habits. Through regular exercise at sports camps, kids also develop accompanying habits of discipline, commitment and responsibility. These habits translate into leadership skills and a strong work ethic when kids begin to move into career-minded opportunities in their middle- and high-school years.

8. Give parents a break. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, work-at-home dad or in the workforce outside the home, sports camps give parents a chance to take their mind off their child and focus on their own needs and wants for a change. Every parent deserves a break from the 24/7 parenting responsibilities that summer warrants.

As a mom of five children, I’ve watched our kids emerge from summer sports camps with enthusiasm for a new sport, rediscovered self-confidence, like-minded friendships and regular exercise habits that propelled them into a new school year. While unplugged from technology in an active environment, sports camps offer friendly competition and valuable life lessons for kids.

Camp increases kids’ self-esteem as they try new things, taking them outside their comfort zones and forcing them to work through their fears. Kids at camp also become acquainted with those who come from varying home situations, allowing them to see the world through different eyes.

Sports camps create lifelong memories amid fun, learning and exercise. Don’t wait! Find a sports camp for your child and watch him or her thrive.

– See more at: Piedmont Parent


7 Things Successful Youth Football Athletes Do Everyday

7 Things Successful Youth Football Athletes do Everyday

  1. In season, they arrive at practice a few minutes early. We note the importance of tardiness as practice time is tight, and nothing frustrates coaches more than starting late. At practice, a successful kid displays an intense work ethic. They will listen a lot more than they talk.
  2. They embrace support from family. Mom, Dad and other family members are consistently involved in the athlete’s development.
  3. They train with intent.  ‘Hard work all the time’. They train in the offseason while others play video games or waste time online. Highly successful youth athletes sincerely want to train to get better each day.
  4. Time Management. They know how to structure their schedule with school, practice time and friend and family time. They pre-plan and have set goals to accomplish each day.
  5. Show consideration and respect to all. One Cardinals player’s teacher once explained to us that hey says hello to everyone, even teachers he does not know.
  6. Eat nutritious foods for fuel, they avoid fast food. Successful kid football athletes understand the benefits of eating nutritious foods, they limit junk foods.
  7. They read. Have an interest in reading books, stories. We notice a trend of leaders on the football field, these kids are often times successful students. They understand the importance of success in the classroom.

3 Essential Youth Football Off-Season Exercises


The off-season for many youth football organizations is here. A season of training, drills and workouts comes to a grinding halt for many athletes, though it really does not have to be over. Physical training year-round keeps kids along that disciplined and structured route, and we encourage the consistency.  Many kids transition into other sports, such as basketball, which is also a great way to keep to train for football. It’s all about consistency and keeping busy. The alternative could be laziness, and this is not beneficial to your athlete.

Here are 3 essential exercizes to incorporate into your child’s off-season schedule:

1. The push-up. No weights needed for this, what is widely considered the ultimate strength training exercise. 4 sets of 7 reps.

2. The air squat for leg strength and power.  Squats are important for building leg muscle strength, this exercise, as the name implies, does not need weights. Just bring in determination. 4 sets of 5-10 repetitions is ideal, vary the amount of reps just to switch it up.

3. Jump Rope.  Fun! Portable, cheap and a fundamental exercise. It’s not just about cardio. Strength training for hamstrings, thighs, calves and even arms. Jumping rope, with the right technique is low impact with high benefit. Balance and coordination improves greatly as well. 4 sets.


3 ways your child will benefit from playing youth football

Players benefit physically, socially and emotionally from playing football

Football is blue-collar America. It’s working class, working together.

In this game – America’s favorite game – there are no isolation plays that cast a team aside. Nor are there intentional walks to avoid an obstacle. In life, like in football, the easy route is rarely an option.

Reflecting early America, football fields are wide and open, but a stout defense – like challenging terrain – can hinder the most determined advance. And great teams are united, like the states we call home.

By playing this sport, young athletes learn football’s timeless qualities of leadership, responsibility, perseverance and teamwork.

The passion evoked by football is as timeless as its values of sacrifice and discipline, standing forever firm regardless of society’s swings.

Every year, nearly 3 million children age 6 to 14 take to football fields across America to play the game they love. They may not realize it, but these young athletes are enjoying the benefits of physical exercise while learning life lessons through the sport.

Studies show that being physically active through football lowers body fat, strengthens muscles and increases the likelihood of continuing good health habits later in life.

Football introduces young players to new social groups and to a set of coaches who serve as role models.

Research shows athletes tend to have higher levels of self-esteem and lower levels of depression.
To the kids, though, the game is about fun, friendships and camaraderie. It’s about achieving success or learning from failure then lining right back up to try again.

Football has captured America’s imagination for a century, but its best days are still ahead. There’s no better time to be a part of the game than right now.