Archive for July 2015

Competitive vs Elite: What type of training should my High School athlete be doing?

11693944_10153329027854718_6965280497664852898_nFor the first time in program history, high school athletes will have the opportunity to tryout for two different programs in the Extreme with the Competitive and Elite Programs. Our goal is to help families match their expectations with the right environment. Both programs are built to support athletes who are pursuing higher competition levels in the game. Each family will have more support in making the decision for which environment is right for them. Our coaches are better equipped to support all high school athletes by helping the families place their athlete in the environment that is ideal for them.

Competitive Teams:

  1. Regional tournaments
  2. High level high school ball
  3. Collegiate bound athletes with local and regional goals

The competitive athlete has high goal aspirations. The athletes who join the competitive teams are transitioning into developing structure and a plan to accomplish their goals. Most of the competitive athletes strive to play past high school but haven’t spent extensive time in a weight room or a skill training session utilizing professional coaches. The competitive program helps athletes and families stair step towards the extra work needed to expand their game and playing experience. Most competitive athletes are focused on making their high school teams and gaining Varsity playing time while competing at a strong high school level. Competitive athletes are looking for opportunities to go on and play college ball, in a regional setting. The competitive program gives players an opportunity to transition into further development and into a regional competition level.11540927_10152971663016198_4984132703536939291_n

Elite – National Program:

  1. National competition playing against the top 100 programs in the country
  2. All-inclusive development for the team to close the gap and chase out inconsistencies found between the mid-west and the rest of the country
  3. College bound and beyond – goals to play at the highest levels

The Elite brand has been around since 2010. It was the first time the program went outside the region and competed on the national level. Running into long-standing programs with traditions of top-flight scholarship athletes showed us that we had gaps to fill in our Midwest talent. Through our evaluation of the previous Elite program, we began to see what held us back from achieving our mission. The program was inconsistent in the development plan of athletes, the approach of coaching, and the expectations of parents. The new Elite – National Program is designed to close the gap on these inconsistencies. To have the right experience your athlete needs right environment and development.

Which environment is right for your athlete?   For families making the decision we encourage them to consider the distinction between the environments, commitment, and competition level. Our coaches, support staff, and executive directors are here to help you through the decision process. Both programs will be 3D experiences and have success – the key is matching the right environment with the right expectations. Fundraising support will be extensive for families in all our programs, especially those participating in the Competitive and Elite – National Programs.

Training: How much is appropriate at what age?

Junior Pic2Proper amount of training is a question every family faces. Should my 6 year old be training as often as my 16 year old. What type of training should each age group be doing? Is training with just their team enough? Should they be training year round? A component of stress on the youth athlete and their families today is understanding and making decisions around the appropriate amount of training for their sport as it relates to the age and commitment level of that athlete. Parents are faced with tough decisions such as:

At what point do we participate in college camps?
At what point do we need more individual attention in training with a private instructor?
How often should I be training when my child is 8, 14, and 18 years old?
At what point do I need to invest in the best equipment, play in the top tournaments offered, and increase our travel for competition?

Currently all these questions are sitting at the dinner table with families while burnout of youth athletes is at an all-time high. Listen below to hear co-founder Brett Swip discuss the physical and skill development issues facing families in youth sports today.

Fundraising Benefits to Relieve Financial Stress for Families

istock_000002308797xsmallThe goal of the Extreme is to make fundraising options available to every family no matter what their need is so as to better help their child have a 3D experience in youth sports. Our families range from single parent income trying to make ends meet to two income households who are able to write the player fee in one check. It is our mission to provide the 3D experience to every family and kid who wants it – regardless of financial stature.

“For more than a decade Tom Matysik made sure any child could play in the Extreme – even if their family had money problems.” For more about Tom – see this article about him in the Suburban Journals.

Tom’s impact on the organization will forever be felt even though he is no longer with us as he went to be with our Lord and Savior during the spring of 2012.

Options to pay my Player Fees:

  1. Out of pocket from family funds
  2. Fundraised by participating in monthly fundraising opportunities presented by the organization
  3. Any combination of family or fundraised funds.

Player fees vary based off the age and development plan for each team. The total fee is broken down into monthly installments over a 12 month period. Where the family can choose to pay out of pocket or participate in fundraing the fee for that month. By knowing upfront what that looks like the family can proactively plan their finances around fundraising, out of pocket pay, or a combination of both.

Families may choose to participate in any or all of the fundraising opportunities made available to lower or eliminate the out of pocket player fee for that month.   Any combination of parent paid or fundraising is acceptable. If funds from fundraising are over the amount of the monthly installment the remaining funds go to future months installments. 100% of dollars from fundraising by a family goes to their player fee account balance. Families have complete transparency on the remaining player fee amount due to participate so they can determine if fundraising is something they want to consider. They will know where they stand so they can plan and not be surprised.

Our Athlete Roadmap & Fundraising is how we combat against the below scenario:

A family had a recent first time experience with their son & some friends who wanted to dive deeper into soccer. The kids were 8 year olds & it was many of the parents first time in the world of sport outside of school. At the end of it all the family spent around $600 for all the activities he participated in. The coach didn’t communicate that it would cost $600 because he really didn’t know. He just went from activity to activity seeing if the families wanted to participate each time. The families loved the coach, the environment but by the end of the year they were more focused on money than enjoying the experience.

First is was $100 for a fall league, next $100 for ball handling and skill practice with some instructors, into indoor league, spring league, uniforms, etc. The kids were having a blast and loving it, but for a number of families the pressure was building. They didn’t want to be the ones to say no to their kid or the team. Had they known their son would spend about 6 months in different soccer activities and the total budget would be $600 they could have gotten organized and planned. By being organized upfront, the families would have seen a 6-month plan and immediately budgeted $100/month.

Planning can eliminate the out of pocket cost altogether if the families choose so. The Extreme Organization prides ourselves on providing the roadmap for families so they have the choice and opportunity to decide the best option –  to participate in fundraising their fees or just pay, and to be able to look ahead so they understand when time commitment and financial commitment will increase. The roadmap & fundraising efforts continue to represent Tom in the Extreme – that no kid gets turned away because of family financial hardships.

Youth Sports and the Stress Families Feel

The discussion around youth sports continues to heat up. Our society is STRESSED and our youth sports culture is no different. Much of the stress comes from youth sports not being transparent.  Where is the plan? What are we doing this year, and the next? Coaches are not intending to withhold that information, the honesty is most don’t know how to look that far out in advance and plan everything it takes to develop their team and the costs that go along with that. The Extreme Way was created to effectively and openly communicate to the parents upfront what this year would look like for their kid and what each year after that would look like as they grow and mature in sports. By creating a roadmap the Extreme Way helps coaches navigate the progress of their team year in and year out making transparency a top priority for the parents.

Parent benefits:

  • Allow parents to see when the increased commitments around time and finances will occur so they are prepared for it.
  • Eliminates reactionary responses, last minute decisions, and lowers stress.
  • Eliminates Parent Peer Pressure – that need to say yes to everything until you have to say no to even a small thing. No more worry of your child being left out or their development not being the caliber of other kids on the team.
  • Less financial worries
  • Transparency around your kid and their path through youth sports

Kid benefits:

  • Calendar of events that supports the kids to plan and participate in multi-sports activities
  • Diversification by being active in other school functions and activities
  • Fight against burnout in sports with age appropriate commitments that increase as the get older.
  • Playing for coaches who have a plan and who can focus on a deeper relationship with your kid and supporting their youth sports experience.
  • Sports Injury prevention by having professionals oversee their development in key areas of the game.

Transparency solves many problems for a team. The Extreme Way is our commitment to the families that your kids development is being considered from all angles. We will not operate a week at a time, we know what a great 3D athlete looks like at the end of their youth sports experience and we are committed to helping our coaches put in a progression that gives each kid a chance to develop and fall in love with the game.