Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Youth Sports: Coach's Calls, Texts and Emails

Is your kid's youth sports coach good or bad at communicating with the team parents? 

Let's face it. Some coaches are great at the X's and O's, but not so good with communicating last minute changes to schedules or uniform selections.

I am a contributing writer for the site, so for this fall season, I got both my daughter's soccer coach and basketball coach to start using for all their team's communications. I also convinced my son's fall ball baseball coach to use Coachhub instead of EZTeams. is a custom team website and communication command center.

Coaches can update information on the website and broadcast those changes to the parents via email or text or both with a click of a mouse.

For example. Today practice was changed from 6:00 to 6:30. The coach simply went into the site and updated the calendar entry, checked off email and text to parents and clicked Update Event. Email and Texts were sent instantaneously.

Each update is a triple dose of information (Website, Text and Email), so no parent can say "I didn't get the message."

Other features

Announcements - Any parent or coach can make and announcement on the site and send that announcement out via email. This is a great feature if you need want to set up a car pool for a practice.

Calendar - The site features a web-based calendar to view scheduled games and practices. The calendar can be printed or synched to the personal electronic calendars like Outlook or iCal. Any additions or changes to the calendar are automatically sent out to parents via Text and / or Email.

Stats - The coach can keep the team and individual stats on the site.

Game Results - The site keeps track of the team's wins and loses.

Photos - Any registered parent or coach can upload team pictures into the site for other team boosters to enjoy.

Team Documents - The coach can post any documents on the site like medical forms.

Baseball, softball, soccer, football and basketball are currently up and running. Other sports will be added soon.

The Main Point

Coaches always say that communication on the field is key.

Hey coach, off the field communications is important too. is so easy to set up. You simply need to type in the players name, the parents name and email. The system sends an email to the parents and they provide all the other information you need - like phone numbers, cell phone numbers, alternate email addresses, etc.

Coaches try out as your communication command center. Then yell out, I GOT IT, I GOT IT.

It's Free.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Youth Sports: 1 Weekend, 9 Games, 1 Hospital Visit

I thought that I would take you through a Crazy Youth Sports Parent weekend minute by minute. A weekend that includes 2 kids, 9 games (3 soccer, 5 basketball and 1 baseball) and 1 late night visit to Children's Hospital.

Crazy Youth Sports Parents Series


5:45 am - My alarm goes off. I hit the snooze and thought about my day. It would be a good day because my daughter would have her first CYO basketball tournament game (7:30pm) and the first State Cup Tournament soccer game (6:30pm). I wondered how much of the basketball game we would be able to make.

2:15 pm - While working, I got a alert from our soccer coach saying that the State Cup Soccer Tournament game was cancelled because the refs arranged for the game were not State Cup approved. I am thrilled because my daughter would not miss any of the CYO basketball tournament.

2:17 pm - I texted the basketball coach that my daughter, CC, would be at the game on time. He was thrilled.

4:40 pm - Get a alert from our soccer coach saying the soccer game is back on. We needed to be at the field no later than 5:15. I packed up my office as fast as possible.

4:41 pm Called my wife to make sure that she knew to get CC to the soccer field and asked her to meet with at the field with a pair of shorts, a shirt, my soccer trainer shoes.

4:43 pm - Called the basketball coach to tell him that we would not be there for the start of the basketball game and that we would try to be there for much of the second half.

5:48 pm - I arrived at the soccer field. Jumped in the back of my wife's Honda Odyssey and changed my soccer clothes.

5:53 pm - I'm the team goalie coach, so I started warming up the goalie, my daughter.

6:05 pm - The soccer coach reports that he was stuck in traffic, so I started to warm up the entire team.

6:30 pm - Game time. The coach shows up, but one of the refs is stuck in traffic, so the game was delayed.

6:45 pm - Ref arrived and game started immediately, but the 15 min delay put doubt in my mind that my daughter would be able to get to any of her basketball game.

7:30 pm - Basketball game starts without my daughter.

7:57 pm - Soccer team wins 2-0. My daughter made two exceptional saves to preserve the win.

7:59 pm - CC got in line to shake hands with opponents while I packed her soccer bag.

8:01 pm - We ran across the field. Wife packed up camera and chair, while questioning my sanity. She said we won't be able to make it to the basketball game in time.

8:02 pm - Started driving the 14 mile trip across town, hoping that the basketball game started late.

8:16 pm - Texted a team parent to see if we should continue to the game or just meet them at the restaurant for the after party. We got a report that the game is still in the 3rd quarter. We continued on.

8:24 pm - I drop my daughter off at the front door of the gym. She ran in while I looked for a parking spot.

8:26 pm - I ran into the gym and saw the score. We were losing 20-23 with the clock running down. Unbelievably, CC was on the court already.

8:30 pm - The coach called timeout and drew up a play for CC to shot a three pointer.

8:32 pm - 22 seconds left, my daughter took the ball up, passed it to a teammate and darted to the spot to take a three. She got the ball and rushed a shot. Air ball.

8:32 pm - 9 seconds left, CC deflected a pass and caused a turnover. A teammate recovered the ball and passed it up to CC, she dribbled to the top of the key and swished a 3 to tie the game. The 200 or so fans erupted.

8:37 pm - Team lost in overtime. CC stole the ball with seconds left and tried to tie the game up again by making a heavily contested layup, but she could not convert.

9:15 pm - Ate dinner at a local sports bar.

10:45 pm - Got our daughter to bed.

11:30 pm - Fell asleep thinking about tomorrow. Soccer game (10:30am) and Basketball game (7:45pm)


5:45 am - Woke up and started to do some work. Big work week was coming up. The only time I had to work this weekend was early in the morning.

8:00 am - The wife and I woke up CC for her soccer game (10:30). 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Youth Sports: Are Pick Up Games Extinct?

In a well written post Who Owns Youth Sports? writer Doug Abrams explores how adults have changed youth sports over the decades and the reasons why. It's an insightful read. The post suggests that youth sports should be returned to its rightful owners - the youth - they know best how to manage it.

The Following is an excerpt from Who Owns Youth Sports
Until a few decades ago, children in communities all across America generally conducted their own games without adult involvement.  When youngsters wanted to play, they rounded up their friends and headed for the local playground or sandlot. They chose sides and perhaps rearranged the teams midway through the game to correct imbalance. They adjusted the rules to suit the circumstances, officiated the game, worked out their disputes, and then went home when everyone got tired or the sun went down. The youngsters accomplished all this (and more) by themselves, without adults on hand to choreograph the games.

Did the over organization of youth sports kill this dynamic or is there something else at play?

Today, children in communities all across America still conduct their own games without adult involvement.  When youngsters want to play, they rounded up their friends on XBOX LIVE. They chose sides in Madden Football 12, NBA 2K12 or MLB11 and perhaps rearrange the teams midway through the game to correct imbalances. They adjust the rules to suit the circumstances, officiate the game, work out their disputes, and then turn off the TV when everyone get tired or the sun comes up. The youngsters accomplished all this (and more) by themselves, without adults on hand to choreograph the games.

The Main Point

Doug Abrams argues that adults have over organized youth sports to the point where kids do not take the initiative to assemble on their own to play sports. He outlines several socioecomonic factors including hectic demands of dual income and single parent families. My question to Doug, "How many kids would play sports at all with all of the electronic distractions that exist in the world today if adults did not organize youth sports?"

My dad talks of the idyllic 50's and 60's when kids would assemble to play pick up games. I grew up in the 70's when the total number of games in any youth league season was 15 games max and no travel was required. We played touch football, stickball, street hockey and basketball all the time. I could never assemble enough kids for two full teams, but I could always find 3 to 8 diehard sports kids to compete against.

Life is not really that different for my sports addicted kids who have played in 200 "adult organized" games combined this year to date, they still gather a couple of kids to play knockout (Basketball), golf, touch football or kickball when time allows.

Sadly, due to electronic distractions, I think very few kids of this generation would show the initiative to get out and play on a consistent basis without organized sports. What do you think? is a comprehensive website dedicated to today's sports parenting issues. This site always has content that makes me think.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Youth Soccer: Full Spectrum of Emotions for Dads of Goalkeepers

In 1980, Robert Plutchik created a wheel of emotions which consisted of 8 basic emotions and 8 advanced emotions each composed of 2 basic ones. I think that he studied fathers of 10 year old girls who happen to play goalie for their soccer team.

I certainly went through a wide range of the emotions just this past weekend watching, coaching, cheering and consoling my daughter, CC, during the opening tournament of the season. 

Anticipation - Fathers of young athletes anxiously await the first games of a season. All week long, I couldn't wait for the weekend to come so I could see my daughter, CC play. CC was being featured as the starting and full time goalie for her elite soccer team for the first time. 

Optimism - I did not schedule any golf for the weekend because I assumed that CC's team would advance to the finals.

Boredom - My daughter's team dominated the first game of the tournament. As such, CC recorded a shutout, but did not touch the ball more than two times the entire game. The highlight of the 8-0 win for the goalie's dad was one punt and one goal kick.
One punt in 60 mins, boring.
Apprehension - Before the second game, My daughter and I looked over at the other team. CC saw the big, strong girl who injured her last season on a 1v1 fast-break. Bad thoughts ran through my mind. 

Last season 1v1 vs Number 59
Drilled by #59, CC saved the ball, injured thigh
Annoyance - In the second game, the wing defenders were not getting back on defense while my daughter was getting pounded with shots. 

CC faced a barrage of shots
Disapproval - My daughter did not call for a ball in the box that she could have easily picked up. The defender hesitated expecting CC to pick it up before she decided to kick it. The weak clearing pass was intercepted and ended up in the back of the net.

Disgust - I was disgusted that the coaching staff did not make any defensive adjustments to try to protect my daughter.

The barraged continued all game long
Sadness - My daughter gave up 6 goals. After the 4th goal she was weeping in the goal thinking it was all her fault. I felt her sadness and yelled out words of encouragement.

Bad first half

Remorse - Should I have encouraged her to be a goalie. Is she tough enough mentally and physically to endure the long stressful season on a top regional team?

Fear - My daughter had to come out of the goal to shut down a breakaway threat against, you guess it #59, the strong girl who ran her over last year.

I think that I was more scared than my daughter

Admiration - I admired her courage as she deflected the point blank shot.

Ball deflected over the goal

Awe - CC made 9 truly amazing saves in three games. Saves I could have never made as a 10 year old boy.

Great tip save

Amazement - I was amazed at how CC bounced back after giving up 6 goals to just the day before to perform with absolute confidence.

Another save to preserve the lead
Surprise - I was surprised when she made a game saving stop with one hand.

Great one handed game saving stop
Anger - I was angry that the Refs did not call a handball in the box that would have led to a game winning PK chance.

Handball caught on film, but not by the ref.

The Main Point

These are the most important emotions that I felt this past weekend as the team went 1-1-1.

Joy - Several moms came up to me after the last game and were very complimentary of CC's performance. That made me feel great.

Acceptance - I accept that there will be ups and downs as the goal keepers dad.

Love - Win, lose or draw - I love my daughter.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Youth Sports: What to do if your kid is not a starter

Typically a team carries more players than positions on the field, so logically everyone cannot be a starter. Regardless, every parent thinks that their kid should be a starter.

I believe that everyone on the team should be given a chance to become a starter, but a starting position should be earned on the practice field, at home in the driveway, in the weight room and during games.

So, what should you do if your kid is not starting? Before you call the coach consider the following.

Lou Holtz once said,

“Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”

You need to evaluate your kid's situation through that lens before you become THAT parent who complains to the coach or conspires behind his / her back.

1) Honestly assess your kid's physical ability vis-a-vis the other kids on the team.

Is your kid fast enough, quick enough, strong enough or coordinated to standout as a starter? I'm not talking about polished skills, we will discuss skill later. I am just talking about physical ability. If not, think about strengthening or acceleration programs. But as a strength / acceleration trainer friend of my once said, "I guarantee that I can make anyone faster, I cannot guarantee that I can make everyone fast."

Once you honestly evaluated your kid's physical potential, decide if the chosen sport is really the best choice. Maybe there's a sport more suitable for your kid's physical abilities. But be careful, you need to have some foresight because physical abilities change as your kid matures.

For example, my older son was a small, agile finesse soccer player when he was younger. He was a pretty good player and fast enough to compete on B level teams. He had enough skills to make the 9th grade team of the very competitive HS he attended. He grew to 6'3" and lost what little speed he had. He was cut from the team after his 10th grade year because he didn't have enough speed. Competitive soccer is about speed. Perhaps volleyball would have been a better sport for him.

My youngest son has a heart condition. (Read God Loves Baseball to learn about his heart issues) He has played some endurance sports like soccer and did very well, but looking forward to longer games on bigger fields, he would not have been able to keep up. He gave up soccer to play football where every play is less than 30 seconds. He excelled at football, but didn't like it. He won two city championships then stopped playing football to concentrate on baseball and golf.

2) Honestly assess your kid's motivation. Does your kid really like the sport? Sit down with your kid and determine that. Perhaps there's a sport that your kid would be more interested in. Consider that a sport that matches his or her physical abilities might be more motivating. Let your kid decide which sport he / she would enjoy. Lots of parents push the sport that they know or played as a kid. That would be the parent's motivation, not the kid's.

I loved baseball growing up. Still do. I could not wait to teach my first son how to play baseball. He had an outstanding arm and was a good fielder, but was literally scared to death in the batters box. I made him play for a few years thinking that he would eventually get over the fear. He never did. He loved playing the outfield and pitching, but didn't want to hit. That really is not an option in little league. He decided to quit baseball and play soccer year-round. I was ok with it. My second son was born with the baseball bug and plays baseball at the highest level every year he has played. He loves it.

3) Honestly assess your kid's attitude regarding the sport. Is your kid working as hard as the other kids on the team. At the end of soccer practice when the team is doing wind sprints, is your kid in the front of the group or the last one. When your kid gets home after a basketball tournament, do they go in and sit on the couch or go right from the car to the hoop in your driveway? Does your kid whine about going to practice or are they always eager to go? Do they seek out the coach for extra reps or ask you if they can work with a professional trainer? Is your kid really interested in improving his or her skills to get better so that they can earn a starting sport and keep it?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Youth Sports: How Far Can Natural Ability Take a Young Athlete

Nic at age 2
There are some kids who are born with natural athletic ability. They seem to come out of the womb with superior hand eye coordination. They can run, catch, throw and kick before other kids can even walk steadily. At 4 or 5, they play up on teams with kids one or two years older just to find compatible players.

Will these young athletes be high school standouts, college scholarship studs or professional phenoms?

CC at 6, played
with 8 and 9 year olds
The answer. Who knows? Each kid develops at their own pace. Some kids develop coordination early and dominate in sports but then plateau. Others start off awkwardly but turn into good athletes. Some kids grow early others are late bloomers. All kids are born with confidence, but some lose it. Some kids love for sports grows, others lose interest. 

Yes success in sports requires natural ability, but passion for the sport and a strong work ethic are equally essential. A kid will not likely succeed at their chosen sport long term if he or she does not have all three qualities.

What happens to a young athlete who is born with natural ability, develops a love for the sport, but has no work ethic?

It can be a real blessing when things come so naturally to an athlete at really young age. These kids use their natural ability to achieve early success. Success builds their confidence and their love for the game. They love the game because success and its associated praise from parents and coaches comes so easily. This passion and natural ability will likely motivate the young athlete to tryout for a more competitive team.

This is when the naturally gifted player may come to the realization that they aren't so special anymore. It may be the first time that they are surrounded by other equally gifted players or perhaps better players. Their confidence will be tested for the first time. They might lose their grip on a favorite position. The praise that fueled them before doesn't come as frequently. They might start losing playing time. Self-doubt creeps in and suddenly they start thinking instead of reacting instinctively. This is when mistakes happen. They had never failed before so they do not know how to overcome adversity. Their passion for the game wanes. They never had to work hard to be good before, so they never developed a work ethic. They start to "not try" because they would rather be viewed as a kid who's not trying hard instead of a kid who is trying hard and failing. Then they quit.

What happens to a young athlete who has natural ability and a work ethic, but no passion for the sport?

Some kids who were born with athletic ability, show up to every practice, work hard and have a desire to improve, but they do not really love the game. Perhaps they stick with it because they are so good at it. Perhaps they stick with it because they are being forced to play by parents who are living vicariously

Monday, August 15, 2011

Youth Sports: Is your family obsessed?

Crazy Youth Sports Parents Series

Is your youth sports schedule as crazy as ours. I know we're not alone. Share your craziness here.

At the beginning of last year, I wondered how many official youth sports games my kids would participate in during the 2010. It was actually the impetus for this blog. They played in 225 games last year.

At the beginning of this year, I wondered how many practices my kids would participate in to prepare for all of the games the would play during 2011. Here are the astonishing numbers to date for this calendar year.

Today is August 15th or the 227th day of 2011. My two kids ages 10 (girl) and 14 (boy) have participated in the following schedule.

  • 85 Basketball Games
  • 12 Volleyball Games
  • 32 Soccer Games
  • 61 Baseball Games
  • 1   Golf Matches - Started today.
  • 191 Total Games
  • 111 Total practices for all of the above.
  • 302 scheduled events or 1.3 events per day.
  • Over 10,000 miles traveled for games in 6 states.
  • Over $9,000 spent

The Main Point

We're nuts. And we are not alone. 

Share your insane schedule with my audience. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Youth Soccer: The Pressure of Playing Goalie

Thoughts from the dad of a soccer goalie regarding specialization at a position and the pressure to perform at a high level at a young age.

Last year, my daughter, CC, was the #1 goalie for her team, but she only played the second half of each game. I really didn't realize that she was the #1 goalie until overtime of the Ohio State Cup Quarter Final game. When the score was tied at the end of regulation, I really wasn't sure which goalie the coach was going to send out for OT. As it turned out, my daughter ended up playing the first OT period, so I expected the other goalie to play the second one. At the end of the first overtime period however, my daughter stayed in the game and therefore was the goalie on the field for the crucial PKs. PK participants can only be selected from the players on the field at the end of the second OT period.

I didn't realize she was the #1 until this day because the other goalie was very capable too. My daughter ended up shutting out the other team in both OT periods and made two great saves in the PK shootout to help the team win the game. I wrote about that in Youth Soccer: The Pressure of the PK Shootout.

This year, the coach decided to go with one goalie for this season and my daughter was chosen. I had mixed emotions about this decision.

  • I was thrilled that my daughter stood out enough to be selected to be the starting and primary goalie for one of the best teams in the state of Ohio, 
  • But, I really liked the dad of the other goalie
  • And I really liked the other goalie who happened to be one of my daughter's best friends on the team. 
  • I was also concerned about the team without a backup plan in case of illness or injury.
  • And I was concerned about my daughter specializing at goalie at age 11. Lets say you specialize at striker and are not quite good enough, the coach can move you to midfield. While a player is spending the majority his or her time working on perfecting the goalie position, he or she is rapidly losing ground to other players on his or her foot skills. So if a player is not quite good enough for goalie, then there may not be another option. It's not impossible for a goalie to move back onto the field, but let's face it, it makes the chances tougher.
  • Finally, I wasn't sure my daughter nor I were ready for the pressure that comes with being "THE" goalie on a top team. A team that parents invest a lot of money and emotion for their kids to play on. We all know that goal scorers get a disproportionate amount of credit for wins and goalkeepers get a disproportionate amount of blame for loses.

The Fall season starts today with a scrimmage against one of the best teams in the state of Kentucky and we would start to understand the last point.

The Main Point

Regarding specialization: My daughter didn't want to play soccer this fall if she were not going to be full time goalie. She has allergies and sports induced asthma so outside sports with lots of running are problematic. The wheezing and shortness of breath during games takes the fun out of the game for her. As such, she decided that she would rather concentrate on improving on basketball and volleyball (indoor sports) if she could not play goalie full time. We do not force sports on our kids, so that made the specialization issue easy.

Regarding the pressure: She seems confident and ready. She didn't like being on the bench during the crucial AAU Championship basketball games. She wants to be in the spotlight and she wants the ball. Well, she will be getting lots of balls this soccer season as the primary goalie for a team playing in an elite regional soccer league where the best teams from Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana compete. I am ready too. I am feeding off of her confidence but I did remind her something her cousin Dineen said, "If the other team scores a goal, I know that that ball had to go through 10 other players first before it went by me."

Friday, August 12, 2011

Youth Baseball: Curve Balls Not Taboo Anymore?

Study shows: The force of a fastball on an 
elbow is equal to or greater than a curve.
I faced my first curveball when I was 11 years old. Very few 11 year old kids threw the taboo curveball, so I still remember the pitcher's name, Ricky Franco. His curveball was nasty. Well it was nasty for kids who had never see one up close before. He was not overpowering, but he made me look foolish with knee buckling curves on more than one occasion. I remember our coach saying that that kid's arm will never last. I was thinking I will never last if I cannot hit a curveball. I'm not sure how long Ricky pitched.

A recent 5 year study conducted by North Carolina and backed up by another 10 year study The American Sports Medicine Institute which was founded by the famous Dr. James Andrews, indicates that overuse and not curve balls is the problem.  Read the USA Today article STUDY: Overuse, not curveballs leads to injuries.

The Main Point

Let's face it, anyway you throw a baseball is a physically abusive and unnatural motion. Proper mechanics and proper rest are imperative for young pitchers, no matter what pitches they have in their repertoire.

Still I am glad my son did not throw a curve while he was younger.

Are you going to let your son throw curves now?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Youth Basketball: The Climb to an AAU National Championship (Part 8)

My daughter, CC, and her team are making a run at a AAU Division I National Championship. I am following the process through this series of blog posts.

The following describes how the AAU National Basketball Tournaments are structured.

Pool Play

Once the qualifying process is over and all the teams have registered for one of the AAU National Tournaments (Div I, II, or III), the tournament committee ranks the teams and forms the pools for each division.

The 2011 4th grade tournament only had 26 teams divided up into 6 pools. Pools A - D had 4 teams each and Pools E-F had 5 teams each. As such, teams in pools A-D had 3 pool play games and teams in pools E-F had 4 pool play games each. I am not sure if the extra game is an advantage (extra experience) or a disadvantage (exhausting). All of the final 4 teams came from pools with only 4 teams so you can draw your own conclusions.

I was told that the committee ranked our team 6th going into the tournament so we were the first team in the sixth pool (pool F). The returning champs from the 2010 3rd grade National Tournament were the first team in the first pool. So our placement makes sense. I am not sure how the committee placed the other teams, but every team in our pool was a district champion.

Pool play games were held on Tuesday and Wednesday. Our team had 4 pool play games so we played 2 pool play games each day. The teams in pools with 4 teams played 1 game on one day and 2 on the other day. Each team's pool play record determined a team's placement in Championship bracket. Every team advances.

Our team started off with a very surprising 0-4 pool play record, yet we still had a very good chance to win the National Title.

Championship Bracket 

All teams advanced to the single elimination Championship bracket. Each position on the bracket was predetermined and populated after the results of pool play were determined. Each pool first place finisher got a bye. All of the other teams fell into the spot that corresponded to their pool letter and placement in the pool. For example - the 3rd place finisher of pool D was schedule to meet the 3rd place finisher of pool E for the opportunity to face the 1st place finisher of pool A (the defending champion). I was a bit surprised that the teams were not re-ranked after pool play and placed into the Championship bracket based on that.

2nd place and lower teams needed to win 5 straight games to win the National Title. The 1st seed teams needed to win 4 games to take the title.

First Round Consolation Bracket

Teams that lost their first round game (not including the teams with byes) were placed into the first round consolation bracket. These teams vied for 11th and 12th place. A team would need to win 4 games in this consolation bracket to earn the 11th place finish.

Click here to understand how the 10th through 1st place teams are determined.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Youth Basketball: The Climb to an AAU National Championship (Part 7)

My daughter, CC and her team are making a run at a AAU Division I National Championship. I am following the process through this series of blog posts.

Opening Ceremonies

The Opening Ceremonies for the AAU National Championship in Disney at the ESPN Wide World of Sports was a pretty special event for the 10 year old girls (4th grade) and 9 year old boys (3rd grade) who are competing in the tournament. I can only image how my daughter felt. I know that I never experience anything like it in my sports career in the 70's and 80's.

The event started at 8:00pm, but the teams needed to assemble in uniform at 7:00pm. The entire event with a Parade of Champions of about 50 teams took exactly 1 hour. After the parade was compete, the kids sat on the floor, listened to a few short speeches from a Disney official, Mickey Mouse and an AAU official and watched the Toy Story Green Army Men put on an acrobatic trampoline show. The event concluded with an explosion of streamers. The kids and their proud parents loved it.

Tip: The HP Pavilion fills up quickly. Our team of 10 girls had about 60 people in attendance. We did not get there early enough to secure a single section for all of the boosters for our team so we had to split up in to two sections. If you have a big group get there 45 minutes early to secure a big section.

Parade of Champions AAU Basketball 4th Grade Girls
Parade of Champions
Big Crowd in HP Pavilion
Short Speeches from Disney, AAU and Mickey
Disney Entertainment - Acrobatic Show
Conclusion Explosion of Streamers
The Main Idea

Disney puts magic into everything to delight the kids. The AAU National Tournament Opening Ceremonies was a special event. If your son or daughter is lucky enough to go one day you will not want to miss it.



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