Get­ting to the top starts right here

The Advance of Bucks County - - SPORTS - By Steve Sher­man

Buck­sLo­calS­ports Ed­i­tor

Be it bas­ket­ball football or base­ball, kids the world over dream of one day play­ing in the big leagues. The glitz and glamor view­ers see on tele­vi­sion aside, the road to star­dom can be a long and lonely one, how­ever.

It all starts with phys­i­cal fiWnHss, sDys 3T TUDn­sIRU­ma­tions ath­letic trainer and life­long Bris­tol Bor­ough res­i­dent Scott Lynn.

More than that, ath­letes need to learn at a young age WKH UHflHxHs DnG mRYHmHnWs needed to play a cer­tain sport.

“A lot of these kids have no idea. They wanna run out onto the bas­ket­ball court and dunk the ball be­fore they learn how to drib­ble, be­fore they learn how to move side to side,” said Lynn.

“vou have to learn all about the move­ments be­fore you play the sport.”

He cites the Subur­ban One LHDguH Ds D gRRG HxDmSOH; the teams that do well are those that have in­cor­po­rated these types of con­cepts, he says.

“vou see the teams out there that are thriv­ing – the 1HsKDmLnys WKH 3Hnns­burys.

“There’s a rea­son for that and it’s be­cause they’re teach­ing the kids more than just play­mak­ing.”

Two weeks ago, 60-some bor­ough chil­dren re­ceived SHUKDSs WKHLU fiUsW WDsWH RI Lynn’s medicine at a health & fiWnHss cDmS KRsWHG by the 21st Cen­tury Community Learn­ing Cen­ter at Sny­der-dirotti Mid­dle School.

Lynn and his trusty as­sis­tant Daniele Har­gen­rader have put the kids through their paces – re­lay races, cone drills and head-to-head races.

“vou make it com­pet­i­tive be­cause they like to com­pete against one an­other,” said Scott.

“hids are al­ways try­ing to com­pete,” added Daniele.

As part of the Aug. 13 to 16 camp, the kids com­peted in three-legged races, sidesKuIflH UDcHs, Wug-RI-wDU DnG kLck­bDOO. 3DUW RI WKH train­ing in­volves demon­stra­tions on team­work.

“Sports is all about the team so we try to teach them that it’s not all about one per­son,” said Scott.

“The kids are al­ways say­ing ‘I wanna be the best’ but that’s not what we’re here for – it’s all about team­work if you’re gonna get to the nHxW OHYHO.”

In the four-day camp funded by the rnited tay of Bucks County and op­er­ated by the Manto Sports GU­RuS, WKH 3T WUDn­sIRUmD­tion team comes up with some­thing to please ev­ery­one.

“te have kids with all GLIIHUHnW fiWnHss OHYHOs sR you have to try to come up with some­thing that ev­ery­body can do,” said Scott.

“A ORW RI HxHUcLsH Ls mRUH than just the phys­i­cal,” he con­tin­ued. “vou have to OHDUn Dn HxHUcLsH bHIRUH yRu can do it.”

LDsW yHDU, WKH fiWnHss cDmS wDs KHOG DW WKH 3T Trans­for­ma­tions gym on Mill Street. This year, the site was switched to Sny­der-dirotti to ac­com­mo­date a larger num­ber of campers.

Har­gen­rader be­lieves it was eas­ier to keep the kids fo­cused in the gym set­ting.

“Last year at the gym, it was more cen­tral­ized. Here, it’s much eas­ier for them to get dis­tracted,” she said. “In the gym, it’s eas­ier to keep them fo­cused. Here, it’s been much more of a chal­lenge.”

Both Lynn and Har­gen­rader see the kids all year long through the after­school pro­gram op­er­ated by the 21st CCLC at St. James Parish Hall. The train­ers see who is uti­liz­ing – and who’s not – these new­found skills that are taught at sum­mer camp.

Par­ents with the means pay train­ers like Lynn up to $90-an-hour to teach ath­leti­cism to their chil­dren these types of skills. This camp is free how­ever to any child in the bor­ough en­ter­ing fourth through 12th grade.

“A lot of par­ents don’t have the money to al­low their kids to go to a sports camp where they learn skills from pro­fes­sion­als,” said Daniele. “This is free.”

“In­stead of stay­ing home and watch­ing TV, they’re get­ting out and get­ting a taste of what it’s like to stay ac­tive.”

As op­posed to sit­ting home on the sofa play­ing video games, like so many of our na­tion’s youth.

“That whole 60-min­utesa-day of ac­tiv­ity – 90 per­cent of our youth isn’t do­ing it,” said Scott.

And it’s af­fect­ing kids, na­tion­ally. Ac­cord­ing to the Cen­ter for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion, ap­prox­i­mately 17 per­cent – 12.5 mil­lion – of chil­dren and ad- oles­cents aged 2—19 years are obese.

Video games do noth­ing wLWK rHJDrd Wo fiWnHVV, VDyV Daniele, not to men­tion the skill level needed to mas­ter a given sport in the real world.

“vou need core strength to ski; you don’t get any of that by ski­ing on your liv­ing rooP floor,” VKH VDyV.

“If you are go­ing down­hill and your core is en­gaged, you’re go­ing to be us­ing mus­cles you never even thought about us­ing stand­ing on your liv­ing rooP floor.

“It’s the whole gui­tar-hero thing,” adds Scott. “hids that are so good at that video game, they go out and buy a gui­tar they have no idea what they’re do­ing. It’s the same thing.”

It’s the dif­fer­ence be­tween stand­ing on a car­pet WKDW’V flDW Dnd DcWuDlly JHWt­ing out­side and run­ning on D fiHld oI JrDVV, WKHy VDy.

“te in­ter­act with the world around us – where our bod­ies are in re­la­tion to our legs, and that’s what we’re teach­ing here,” said Scott. “te’re try­ing to be pos­i­tive role mod­els for these kids.”

There are dance video games, says Daniele, that get users in­volved enough that it’s ex­er­cise.

“They’re danc­ing

and ac­tu­ally mov­ing their feet around and that’s great,” said Daniele. “It’s a work­out.”

It’s good to get kids mov­ing, says Scott, be­cause when kids move for more WKDn fiYH PLnuWHV DW D WLPH, a bunch of them have a ten­dency to com­plain.

“They come to me and say ‘I’m so tired; I have base­ball to­day.’”

“I ask them ‘don’t you think base­ball is gonna make you tired?’”

then it comes time for campers to at­tend football and base­ball tryouts, the ex­er­cises taught by these two ath­letic train­ers hope­fully will help.

“I tell them ev­ery­thing we do here is go­ing to help them,” he says.

“They have an ad­van­tage that a lot of other school dis­tricts don’t have be­cause all this is free.”

Most of the kids are re­spond­ing well, says Scott.

“I’ve been here my whole life so it’s nice to see our sports teams and not just our sports teams, our kids thriv­ing and do­ing the work – want­ing to learn,” he said.

veah, but how do they know for sure?

“The ones who wanna learn, they keep com­ing back,” said Daniele.

Touché.

Photo by Steve Sher­man

Parker races through an in­flat­able ob­sta­cle course two weeks ago at the fit­ness camp di­rected by the 21st Cen­tury Community Learn­ing Cen­ter, the United Way and the Manto Sports Group in Bris­tol.

Pho­tos by Steve Sher­man

Jes­sica, left, and Gis­selle, right, en­gage in the tug-of-war two weeks ago in Bris­tol’s fit­ness camp.

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