Foreword from “Developing Better Athletes, Better People” By Warren Lichtenstein
OUR TEAM FOUNDER / CHAIRMAN Warren Lichtenstein PRESIDENT/COO Mark Cole VICE PRESIDENT, STRATEGY & OPS Nanette Yang Nathan Clinkenbeard Annette DiGorga Jollene Norton Joe Santilli John Semel Cody Thompson 1221 Hermosa Ave., Suite 210 Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
MISSION To inspire youth to reach their potential, on and off the field, by developing them as athletes and people through the Steel Sports coaching system.
VISION Through our kids first approach we will establish the Steel standard in youth sports and coaching. We will forge the next generation of leaders, on and off the field, by instilling Steel Sports’ core values: Teamwork, Respect, Integrity and Commitment.
Our family became involved with organized youth sports in 2009 when my son was 7 and he began playing baseball, soccer and basketball in youth leagues. As a hands-on father, I became involved with his sporting activities and began to assist his coaches in any way that I could. I soon found that different coaching styles directly affected each family’s and kid’s experience – good and bad. At times, practices and games were disorganized or rigid, which negatively impacted everyone’s experience. All too often, the practices and games strayed from the most fundamental and important reasons that children play sports – to learn new skills, to be a part of a team and most of all, to have FUN! We also had many great experiences with wonderful coaches where everyone walked away happy and wanting more, and the positive effects of team sports were immediately noticeable. I witnessed players become more confident, focused and happy. I started thinking about how we could ensure that each child’s sporting experience was a good one. Around the same time my son started playing sports, I was fortuitously introduced to baseball legend Tommy Lasorda. I never was an avid sports fan, but when I met Tommy that all changed. This chance encounter led me to become more actively involved in youth sports and coaching. Not long after meeting Tommy, we established Steel Sports in an office in Dodger Stadium. Steel Sports encourages a culture of positivity and fun, and as an organization we recognize the value that sports and fitness have in providing meaningful and life-changing experiences for our country’s children. We endeavor to build confidence in our kids through real life experiences. We listen, learn, communicate and, as Tommy says, “become a team which plays for the name on the front of the jersey, not the back of the jersey.” Tommy has influenced many people from school children to professional athletes with his words of wisdom, and the Steel Sports team has benefitted from his advice as well. Tommy describes how we learn through Conversation, Observation and Participation. At Steel Sports, we strive to coach and nurture our kids, and teach life lessons. I can sum up our culture in two words – “KIDS FIRST.” Being a coach is a big responsibility. A coach is vital in determining if a child’s experience is going to be fun, safe, educational and memorable. The coach’s ability and attitude are major determinants of whether a child continues playing sports or quits. As a coach, you may find yourself wearing the hat of an advisor, mentor, life coach or sounding board. Today’s modern family, which can include single parents, divorced parents or stepparents, demands that a child have structure and consistency. At the youth level, a coach’s role is crucial, as players look to their coach for guidance, structure and reassurance. This is why we believe continuous coaching education is paramount. We have developed and promote the Steel Sports Coaching System (SSCS) – our athlete-centered coaching program that is backed by positivity. Our aim with the SSCS is to provide a curriculum that standardizes our ideas, cultures and beliefs and provides a consistent message across all of our platforms. Our coaching system is a product of the collaboration between countless experts and our knowledgeable and experienced team members – without your thoughtful contributions and dedication, this system would not have been developed. Thank you for making Steel Sports an organization that promotes the values of safety, teamwork, respect, integrity and discipline. We look forward to helping every child reach his or her potential on and off the field.
TEAMWORK RESPECT INTEGRITY COMMITMENT firstname.lastname@example.org
Warren Lichtenstein Founder & Chairman, Steel Sports
Warren (left) with Dodger legend Tommy Lasorda.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE – THE STEEL STANDARD Dear Steel Sports Family and Friends, Back in early October, I was given the incredible opportunity to become Steel Sports’ President and Chief Operating Officer. With that comes the privilege of writing the introductory letter for our first issue of Steel Sports Magazine, and I will start by sharing some of my professional background. Upon reflection, it’s easy to see my focus has always been on the development of youth and young adults through sports. I was field instructor and director at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) for 17 years, executive director of the Aspen Valley Ski/Snowboard Club (AVSC) for 15 years and now Steel Sports for the past year and a half. Nearly 35 years in working with our youth through sports! We spend much of our lives in our work, so it’s always been important for me to feel I can put my heart into what I’m doing. Putting my heart into my work is easy as long as the organization I’m with is making a difference, allows me to work with great people, and is trying to be the best at what it does. Steel Sports comes through in a big way on all three! Clearly, we are making a difference in our players’ lives. We are enabling them to have fun, while learning to be better at their sport and in life. I read a recent study designed to determine whether life skills were acquired through sport. Researchers followed a high school soccer team. The conclusion was positive: athletes had learned teamwork and respect. Surprisingly though, the result came despite the fact the coaches never once specifically mentioned those values. Think how much more effective we can be with our deliberate focus on Teamwork, Respect, Integrity and Commitment! Only a small percentage of our players will ever compete at the highest levels, but every one of them will be better off in life – no matter what they do – thanks to the values we instill in them. At Steel Sports we currently have the opportunity to influence the lives of over 100,000 players each year and in the future, even more! With Steel, I also have the chance to work with some of the best and brightest – each of whom brings their passion to our efforts. Founder and Chairman Warren Lichtenstein was my first contact. So easy to be inspired by his vision of keeping kids in the sport ecosystem through the Steel Sports coaching system which couples our kids first philosophy with our positive coaching approach. It is amazing how Warren is able to connect us with thought leaders in so many related fields – from former professional athletes and coaches, the founder of Positive Coaching Alliance, authors on healthy child development - even retired Generals who oversaw training and education for the military. Finally, I am competitive and always want to be on a team striving to be the best. With Steel, we are going to change the landscape of youth sports on a national basis - establishing the Steel standard, becoming the best at what we do. In this, we all have the chance to be part of something special. I hope I have the chance to meet you in the months to come. Thank you for putting your heart into what you do.
Sincerely, Mark Cole President, COO Steel Sports
IN THE NEWS NYBC NAMED BEST AMATEUR SPORTS EVENT SERIES The National Youth Baseball Championships (NYBC) was honored as “Best Amateur Sports Event Series” for its 2017 season during the SportsTravel Awards gala in Louisville, Ky. The SportsTravel Awards are held during the TEAMS ‘18 Conference, the world’s largest gathering of event organizers and travel planners from the sports industry. “We’re thrilled to be honored by SportsTravel alongside so many other prestigious award winners such as the NCAA Women’s Final Four, the Cross Fit Games and the NFL Super Bowl LII,” Steel Sports Chairman Warren Lichtenstein said. “This is a wonderful honor for NYBC and makes all of us proud to be involved with a business that helps build character and teaches children valuable life lessons through sports. It takes a strong team effort from our great employees to put on an event this size every summer, and they do it for the love of the game and to make it a memorable experience for all the kids participating.” The SportsTravel Awards program bestows honors at the amateur, collegiate and professional levels in three categories each. To be eligible, events had to occur between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018. Criteria for nomination and voting included: superior organization of and attendance at the event; the event provided a superior experience for competitors and/ or spectators; and the event’s host city or venue served to enhance the event.
BOBBY VALENTINE AWARDED HIGHEST JAPANESE CIVILIAN HONOR Steel Sports Advisory Board member and former Major League player and manager Bobby Valentine was conferred The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette by Japanese Ambassador Reiichiro Takahashi, Consul General of Japan, August 14 in New York City. Valentine was awarded the highest Japanese civilian honor for his outstanding contributions to the development of Japanese baseball and to the advancement of friendly relations between Japan and the United States. In Japan, Valentine is best known for leading the Chiba Lotte Marines to the Japan Series title in 2005, the team’s first since 1974. He is a member of the Steel Sports Advisory Board and has done a tremendous job working with young athletes and helping to promote a positive youth sports culture. 4 steel sports
Bobby Valentine (left) is presented with Japan’s The Order of the Rising Sun in a ceremony in New York City.
Nathan Clinkenbeard accepts the NYBC’s SportsTravel award for “Best Amateur Event Series.”
UK ELITE SOCCER AND GLOBAL TEAM EVENTS LEAD CHEVY YOUTH SOCCER TOUR UK Elite Soccer and Global Team Events teamed up once again with Chevy Youth Soccer to host free instructional clinics for teams across the country during the summer and fall. UK Elite’s experienced coaches conducted the half-day clinics on the fundamentals of soccer such as dribbling, passing, shooting and more. This year, 77 clinics were hosted, and more than 612,000 kids participated on sponsored Chevy Youth Soccer teams. UK Elite Soccer has been working with Chevy Youth Soccer since 2010 on the tour. During that time, UK Elite has held over 750 free clinics, and Chevy has reached over 6.2 million kids through clinics, leagues and teams.
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Check out The Football Club USA’s Fall Review Show at thefootballclubusa.com, or search FCUSA TV on YouTube and become a subscriber!
Team Steel’s Free Play Day at Baseball Heaven … where kids make the teams and call the shots! More Free Play Days coming to Baseball Heaven in 2019!
@fcusaphiladelphia FCUSA Philadelphia’s 2007 Boys team enjoying a Philadelphia Union MLS game over the fall!
FILLING E-TANKS By Jim Thompson
People do better when their Emotional Tanks are full. The E-Tank is like the gas tank of a car. If your car’s gas tank is empty, you can’t drive very far. If you have a full tank, you can go a long way. The Portable Home Team Advantage The home team wins about 60 percent of the time in professional sports. There are several reasons for this, but there is no doubt the emotional support of the fans is a big part of it. If you and your players routinely fill each others’ tanks, your team can develop a portable home team advantage. It’s as if you play all your games — home or away — in front of a huge supportive crowd who has your back. And we know that means better results on the scoreboard. Be aware of deadly tank drainers like criticism and sarcasm. Nonverbal actions like frowning, rolling your eyes, and sighing dramatically also drain E-Tanks. Ignoring someone when he or she speaks? Ditto. 5 Tank-Filling Tools Tank fillers can be verbal or nonverbal, extended interactions, or quick hits that take virtually no time. Here are some tools guaranteed to fill the tanks of your players, and make your team better, if you employ them.
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Names People love to hear their own name, so use your teammates’ names often: “Hey, Gabriel, how’s it going?” Praise Praise works best when it is truthful and specific: “Enrique, your hustle in the fourth quarter got us all going!” Check-ins Look out for players who seem down and check in with them: “How you doing, Rashad? You seem a little down today.” Mistake Ritual A person’s tank is lowest after a mistake: “Don’t worry, Marjorie, we’ll get it back. Just flush it!” Nonverbal Actions Tank filling doesn’t have to be talk. Smiling, clapping, fist bumps, head nods, thumbs up, and eye contact all fill tanks. Jim Thompson is Positive Coaching Alliance’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer as well as a Steel Sports Advisory Board member.
THE PARENT ZONE
COACH-PARENT PARTNERSHIP Coaches and parents both play an important role in the development of youth athletes. To ensure a positive experience for the child, and to avoid parent/coach conflict, parents should recognize the part they play in making the season a success. Recognize the Coaches’ Commitment Your child’s coaches have made a commitment that involves many hours of preparation beyond the time spent at practices and games, and sometimes they are volunteers. Respect their commitment and imagine yourself in their place before approaching them to discuss any issues you may perceive. Make Early, Positive Contact with the Coach As soon as you know who will coach your child, contact those coaches to introduce yourself and offer any assistance you may provide. Establishing a positive relationship with the coaches will help you proactively shape a positive experience for your child and will lay the foundation for respectful, productive conversations with coaches should a conflict arise later. Fill the Coach’s Emotional Tank Too often, coaches hear only from parents who have complaints. Filling the coaches’ Emotional Tanks with specific, truthful praise positively reinforces them to continue doing the things you see as benefiting the youth athletes. Don’t Put the Player in the Middle You wouldn’t complain to your children about how poorly their math teacher explains fractions. Don’t share your
NYBC 10U Champions La Mirada Coyotes
disapproval of a coach with your children. Doing so may force the child to take sides, and not necessarily your side! If your child has an issue with the coach and can maturely articulate it, encourage your child to approach the coach and at the very least learn some life lessons in self-advocacy with an authority figure. Otherwise, if you disapprove of how the coach handles a situation, seek a private meeting to discuss the matter. Let Coaches Coach It can confuse players to hear someone other than the coach yelling out
instructions. Also, your instructions may counter the coaches’ strategy and tactics, undermining team performance. Contribute to a Positive Environment Fill all the players’ Emotional Tanks when you see them doing something well. Honor the Game as a spectator, respecting ROOTS (Rules, Opponents, Officials, Teammates and Self), and encourage others around you to do the same. For additional Positive Coaching Alliance coach, parent and even athlete tips, please visit devzone.positivecoach.org.
MEET THE COACH
WITH TEAM STEEL’S SAL TROVATO
Interview by Giovanna Petrillo
Coaches are an integral part of Steel Sports, so in each newsletter we will be highlighting a coach for their outstanding work on and off the field. This issue, we want to recognize Sal Trovato from Baseball Heaven and Team Steel. Sal has coached youth baseball and softball for over 25 years and has been with Team Steel since its inception in 2013.
STEEL SPORTS: How would you describe your coaching philosophy? SAL TROVATO: I would say that I have a laid back coaching style. I teach my players to play hard and to respect their teammates and coaches. Learning that will set a great foundation to be a successful ball player. SS: How do you plan on improving as a coach from year to year? ST: There is always room for improvement, my players challenge me to be better. The seminars with Team Steel have helped all of us coaches grow. Team Steel and Baseball Heaven have a good network of coaches who have coached in all different levels which brings a wealth of knowledge to the organization. This makes it easy for us to learn from each other and keep the big picture in mind. SS: What do you try and teach your players besides baseball. What do you want them to learn from being on your team? ST: I want to teach my players the value of hard work and respect. You want them to learn how to respect one another, pick themselves up when things go wrong, and to work harder when they’re struggling. You can learn a lot about yourself and life through sports. SS: What is the most rewarding thing for you personally when working with young baseball players? ST: Seeing the kids happy. Seeing them grow into something bigger than baseball. Helping them find their true potential, and to give them that friendly push to be able to reach their dreams. I’ve coached kids who have gone on to become community leaders and major leaguers. Seeing them out in my community making a difference and achieving their dreams is what I enjoy most – it’s what keeps me going.
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GET TO KNOW COACH SAL Favorite MLB team: New York Yankees (very confidently) Favorite MLB player growing up: This might be controversial, or throw people off, but it’s Pete Rose. He played the game hard! Tony Gwynn, Steve Garvey - they are ballplayers! Favorite current MLB player: Derek Jeter! But now that he’s retired, I’m a fan of Bryce Harper, he can hit anything… And I want him to become a Yankee, too! What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? I’m always at the field. On the off chance I’m not there, I enjoy spending time with my kids and going boating. My son and daughter were both softball and baseball players. I coached them both until they went to college. We’ve made many memories through sports.
STUDENT ATHLETE SUMMIT
STEEL SPORTS ATHLETES’ COUNCIL KICKS OFF WITH LEADERSHIP SUMMIT by Cody Thompson
Steel Sports puts athletes first in all that we do, and with that in mind we created the Steel Sports Athletes’ Council to ensure that the athlete’s voice is heard, valued, and integrated into the decisions that affect them. The council consists of a diverse group of emerging leaders within the Steel Sports community, and their participation began with a half-day Leadership Summit. The summit began with an opening statement focused on the Steel Sports core values of Teamwork, Respect, Integrity, and Commitment. Through a series of activities and indepth discussions, council members shared their insights on what these values mean to them and how they integrate each value into the way they play and the way they live. This was followed by
STEEL SPORTS ATHLETES’ COUNCIL MEMBERS
a leadership development workshop where they refined their leadership skills and identified ways to apply their newfound capabilities both on and off the field. To close, the council members participated in a marketing “shark tank” where they developed and pitched slogans and taglines that reflected the core values and their experience with Steel Sports. The event was capped off by a memorable Q&A session with baseball legends Dusty Baker and Gary Matthews Sr. Baker and Matthews shared personal stories about their playing days and parted with inspirational closing remarks. Council members will meet throughout the year with Steel Sports leadership with the dual goals of developing as leaders and guiding Steel Sports into the future, a future where athletes are always first.
Kyle Allen TEAM STEEL Bradley Battaglini TEAM STEEL Jack Beaman FCUSA Pete Devito TEAM STEEL Bobby Dicapua TEAM STEEL Freddie Forgione TEAM STEEL Kyle Haff TEAM STEEL Nick Hofacker TEAM STEEL Aiden Hutchins TEAM STEEL George Mulry FCUSA Michael Pearlstein TEAM STEEL Connor Pedersen TEAM STEEL Michael Quinones TEAM STEEL Rylee Sant’Angelo FCUSA Chloe Suddell FCUSA Richard Trotta TEAM STEEL Andrew Wolbruck FCUSA Jake Woods TEAM STEEL
RYLEE SANT’ANGELO Hometown: Bridgewater, NJ Team/School: FCUSA NJ 03 Blue and Bridgewater-Raritan High School JV Position: Defense Number: 4 I grew up as a very shy kid, and soccer always helped me come out of my comfort zone and let me do new and challenging things. One of the biggest challenges for me was to meet new people and make friends. I was scared to talk to people I didn’t know, but soccer helped with that. I switched teams a few times and that forced me to get to know my new teammates. Even though it terrified me then, now I am a more confident person. This year, I started to help train 4
and 5 year olds at the FCUSA NJ Junior Academy. Working with these future soccer players taught me how to be patient and that even the simple things take a lot of work before they can be mastered. All of these experiences helped me to be named captain of the Bridgewater Raritan JV soccer team. In the future I would like to do something with pediatric sports medicine. I want to give parents a place where they feel confident they are getting diagnoses and treatment specific for young athletes. steel-sports.com 9
ONE FOR THE
RECORD BOOKS THE NYBC WELCOMES ITS LARGEST FIELD AND FIRST INTERNATIONAL PARTICIPANTS AS 5 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS ARE CROWNED Photos by Major League Photos Canes NC Gallaher celebrates the 13U title.
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Dusty Baker and All-Star Luis Severino join Ed Randall for the annual MLB Roundtable.
Steel Sports hosted the 11th annual National Youth Baseball Championships on July 23-29 at Baseball Heaven in Yaphank, New York, as over 70 teams from a dozen states competed for national titles in the 10U-14U age divisions.
he 74 teams were the most to ever compete in the NYBC Championship Week, and the NYBC also welcomed two international teams, Dominicana and IPL Caribbean All-Stars, for the first time in its history. CBS Sports Network provided live television coverage of 10 games during the week, and each of the 10 games were streamed online at MLB.com. One of the highlights of the week came off the field during the NYBC Festival Day when New York Yankees pitcher and 2018 American League All-Star Luis Severino visited Baseball Heaven along with MLB legend and Steel Sports advisory board member Dusty Baker. Severino and Baker joined New York radio host Ed Randall for the annual MLB Roundtable and spoke to the players, coaches and families in attendance about a variety of topics. The two also spent time taking photos and meeting with teams.
On the field, the five national championships were won by teams from four different states. California’s La Mirada Coyotes and MVP Hustle Garcia took the 10U and 12U divisions, respectively. New Jersey Select won 11U, North Carolina’s Canes Gallaher captured the 13U title, and the Bronx Bombers from New York took home the 14U championship. The NYBC also hosted its first Showcase Invitational featuring 40 top 2019-2020 high school graduates who excel on and off the field. The players went through a morning showcase in front of college coaches and then played an East vs. West game on national TV. Former MLB managers Dusty Baker and Bobby Valentine took their familiar place in the dugouts once again and coached the two teams. The 2019 NYBC will be held July 22-28 at Baseball Heaven with the top teams in travel baseball converging in Long Island. Qualifiers begin February 16-17 in Southern California with 15 events held nationwide.
New Jersey Select captures the 11U championship.
A 3N2 Warriors player takes a swing during 13U bracket play.
MVP Hustle Garcia players celebrate a home run.
2018 NYBC CHAMPIONS AND FINALISTS 10U CHAMPIONS La Mirada Coyotes (CA) 10U FINALISTS New Jersey Axemen (NJ) 11U CHAMPIONS New Jersey Select (NJ)
La Mirada Coyotes 10U
Canes NC Gallaher 13U
New Jersey Select 11U
Bronx Bombers 14U
11U FINALISTS HDMH Titans (NY) 12U CHAMPIONS MVP Hustle Garcia (CA) 12U FINALISTS Crawdads by YETI Baseball Club (TX) 13U CHAMPIONS Canes NC Gallaher (NC) 13U FINALISTS Tri State Arsenal National (NJ) 14U CHAMPIONS Bronx Bombers (NY) 14U FINALISTS Team Citius Northeast (NY)
MVP Hustle Garcia 12U
PROVIDING OPPORTUNITIES BRITA SUPPORTS 2 TEAMS TO ATTEND THE NATIONAL YOUTH BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS By Nathan Clinkenbeard Water filtration brand Brita provided two teams the opportunity of a lifetime to travel to New York for the 2018 National Youth Baseball Championships. For many of the players, it was their first trip to the Empire State, and both teams showed tremendous skill and sportsmanship on the diamond. California’s Team MLB Urban Youth Academy 14U and Georgia’s South Dekalb Tribe 12U both received funding from Brita to attend the NYBC after winning qualifiers in their areas. Since the inception of Brita’s Urban Youth Initiative in 2016, it has helped pay expenses for four teams to attend the NYBC championships in New York and more than 40 teams to participate in qualifying events. Brita’s goal is to give young athletes in urban communities the opportunity to play in the NYBC.
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“We are committed to providing young athletes the opportunities to play in competitions which otherwise may not have been a reality,” said Ed Huber, General Manager of Brita. “Team MLB Urban Youth Academy and South Dekalb Tribe are two organizations that provide their young athletes more than just baseball but a pathway for life. Brita was honored for them to participate in the NYBC, an experience they will remember for the rest of their lives.” Team MLB finished 2-2 in NYBC pool play and narrowly missed out on the championship bracket. Formed in 2006, Compton was Major League Baseball’s first Urban Youth Academy. Each academy aims to set the standard for baseball instruction and teach ways to enhance quality of life in communities. “We are so proud of our 14U travel team for advancing to the
championship of the NYBC,” said Del Matthews, Senior Director of Baseball & Softball Development, MLB. “This is a great testament to the hard work and dedication of both our players and coaches at our Youth Academy in Compton.” The South Dekalb Tribe 12U from metro Atlanta went 2-2 in NYBC pool play and fell in the quarterfinals to Banditos Black out of Houston. The Tribe’s mission is fostering good character and building productive citizens and communities through athletics. “We are so grateful that our kids had the unique opportunity to travel to New York to play in the NYBC,” said South Dekalb Tribe Head Coach Charles Johnson. “Thanks to Brita and Steel Sports, our kids had an amazing opportunity to be a part of an experience they will remember for a lifetime.”
A HEALTHIER LIFE Baseball Heaven’s Chris Zitaglio takes us through his weight loss journey and the motivation that energizes him through SteelWell’s initiatives Interview by Giovanna Petrillo
The Steel Partners Wellness Council along with the SteelWell initiative encourages Steel Partners and its companies to maximize the overall wellness of employees and empower them to help create positive change in communities where we work and live. As part of the SteelWell initiative, we will be highlighting a member of our Steel Sports family who has demonstrated success in creating a healthy lifestyle for themselves. Meet Chris Zitaglio, assistant general manager at Long Island’s Baseball Heaven. Chris’s competitive nature and motivation took him on an unbelievable weight loss journey, losing over 150 pounds between 2016 and now.
CZ: I had a big picture goal. But at times, I felt overwhelmed. I took the goal, broke it down into smaller chunks – monthly, weekly, and daily. I found that if you turn your big picture goal into a daily one, you’ll become more productive.
STEEL SPORTS: Was there a single moment or event that kickstarted your journey? CHRIS ZITAGLIO: My family and I were visiting my brother at Flagler College where we went on a walking tour of the campus. I found myself having to take breaks, felt short of breath, and almost passed out from heat exhaustion. It was that day that I decided that I couldn’t live like that any longer. SS: What was the first step in making that change? CZ: After a lot of research, I underwent the gastric sleeve surgery in 2016. I lost 20 pounds from it, but made it a point to listen to my nutritionists and doctors because they know best. My doctor tells me that I am one of his greatest success stories because of all the work I put in after my surgery. SS: How do you set your goals? What keeps you motivated to accomplish them?
SS: What was that “big picture” goal? CZ: To live a long and healthy life. Taking my personal safety and well-being into account is what made me want to do this in the first place. My quality of life has become so much better. I’ve got my confidence back, and I’m feeling great every day. Why stop now? SS: What kept you motivated throughout your weight loss journey? CZ: The words of encouragement and support from my friends, family, and coworkers. My parents were my biggest support system throughout this process. My mother was with me at every doctor appointment and meeting. She helped me see the big picture when things were getting difficult. And once my parents saw how well I was doing, they started making daily adjustments to become healthier, too! SS: What advice would you give to someone who is starting their own weight loss journey? CZ: You can do anything! I would suggest that getting help from a doctor or a nutritionist is a great place to start. From
Chris Zitaglio there, find an activity you like, and make sure to eat for nutritional value, even when you’re on the go. Focus on diet, exercise, and your well-being. But most of all, get moving! SS: How has the SteelWell program helped you create and maintain your healthy lifestyle? CZ: The Fitness Challenge and Walker Tracker where we tracked our steps created a friendly competition between my coworkers and me. People didn’t even realize that they were doing good for themselves while trying to beat their friends and get incentivized for it. SS: What goals will you strive for in 2019? CZ: To maintain this life that I’ve built for myself, make daily adjustments, and have another great year with Steel Sports and Baseball Heaven.
STEEL SPORTS NAMES JOHN PALLADINO AND GEORGE TAYLOR ITS 2018 COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNERS
teel Sports has named UK Elite Soccer’s George Taylor and Baseball Heaven’s John Palladino as its 2018 Coach of the Year Award recipients for their dedication to Steel Sports’ mission of inspiring youth to reach their potential, on and off the field, by developing them as athletes and people through the Steel Sports coaching system. A record 42 coaches between UK Elite and Baseball Heaven were nominated to receive the 3rd annual Steel Sports Coach of the Year Award, designed to identify and honor those coaches that encourage their players on the field while helping them develop important life skills such as teamwork, respect, integrity and commitment. Athletes, fellow coaches, parents, and
mentors nominate the coaches with the award given to someone that had a positive impact on the lives of their athletes. George Taylor is currently Cascade FC Director of Coaching & Professional Development in Washington. As a
Nominee Glen Waudby – UK Elite / FCUSA
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“Glen is the unique blend of a coach who truly cares about his players being good people as much as he cares about developing their soccer skills. Glen goes above and beyond to take a role in the boys’ lives as a mentor.”
coach, Taylor strives to have a positive impact on each of his players. “I want my players to achieve success on and off of the field as I want them preparing for their lives,” Taylor said. “I want my players to be strong, confident young men that can set their minds to any task and achieve it. I want them full of personality, with a great sense of humor that has been built on the soccer fields with me. I want them to remember their youth soccer careers forever.” In addition to the Steel Sports core values, Taylor focuses on Steel Sports’ foundational concept of fostering positive, compassionate relationships with all of his players, by aiming to instill trust among his entire team. “When coaching youth players I teach
Nominee Caroline Moran – UK Elite / FCUSA
“I love Coach Caroline’s philosophy that the second a girl on the team scores, the girl who scored the goal runs over to congratulate every other girl on the pitch. In a game where so much of the focus is on scoring goals, this idea that it is all about a team game and that each girl contributed to the goal is a massive lesson.” George Taylor
them the value of trust,” Taylor said. “Trust that your teammate is going to cover you if you press the ball. Trust that your teammate is going to keep the ball if you pass it to him. Trust that the style of play we try to replicate is the strongest way we can play.” In the Coach of the Year nominations, Taylor had glowing remarks for his coaching and leadership abilities. One parent said, “George works nonstop to better our boys. He always focuses on the positive. He always encourages our parents and players to be respectful to opponents and refs. Not all clubs focus on that and it shows. It lets our boys play their game and improve.” Baseball Heaven’s John Palladino coached the Team Steel Black 8U and 9U teams this past season, and he has been coaching with Team Steel for three years. “John has proven nothing comes between him and his love for coaching John Palladino
kids,” a Team Steel Black 9U parent said. “He has proven time and again that having a winning team isn’t always the point of being on a travel team at this age. He is always so positive even after consecutive losses. He has to face a group of disappointed 9-year-olds with their spirits crushed, and he will find the positive for each player.” Another parent said, “John is an inspiration in what can be a very ugly travel baseball experience with many coaches just being way over board and competitive.” Taylor, Palladino and all of the nominees continue to have a lasting impact on their athletes and families and ensure that through Steel Sports’ kids first approach they will establish the Steel Standard in youth sports and coaching. By instilling Steel Sports’ core values of teamwork, respect, integrity and commitment, each coach helps forge the next generation of leaders. Nominee Kevin Earlie – Baseball Heaven / Team Steel
“Love the Hustle Helmet … It’s goofy. At first, I could see the boys rolling their eyes. Now they all want to wear it but are truly happy when their teammate earns it. After every game a player is awarded the helmet for hustle on the field!”
2018 STEEL SPORTS COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD NOMINEES Michael Alexander UK ELITE Glenn Alpert UK ELITE Nick Attardi BASEBALL HEAVEN George Bish UK ELITE Bren Bleasdemel UK ELITE Eric Brown BASEBALL HEAVEN Ashleigh Coley UK ELITE Akeem Cyprian UK ELITE Chris Day UK ELITE Pete Dunbar BASEBALL HEAVEN Kevin Earlie BASEBALL HEAVEN Andre Estridge UK ELITE Rich Evans UK ELITE Jonathan Farmer UK ELITE David Glaser UK ELITE Tom Greenaway UK ELITE Emma Hankins UK ELITE Steve Hassan BASEBALL HEAVEN Gwyn Jones UK ELITE Josh Lewis UK ELITE Hermes Lima UK ELITE Sean McMurray BASEBALL HEAVEN David Milroy UK ELITE Joe Mongiello BASEBALL HEAVEN Caroline Moran UK ELITE James Morris UK ELITE Jim O’Neill UK ELITE Heather O’Rourke UK ELITE Sean Quinn UK ELITE Sean Rickards UK ELITE Brad Sellar UK ELITE Stuart Sharples UK ELITE Ben Stuart UK ELITE Sal Trovato BASEBALL HEAVEN Roger Vaughn UK ELITE Glen Waudby UK ELITE Mike Welsh UK ELITE Alex West UK ELITE Luke Williams UK ELITE Joe Wooding UK ELITE
UK ELITE CELEBRATES 25 YEARS OF CAMPS Celebrating 25 years of camps in 2018, UK Elite Soccer has made its mark on the beautiful game reaching over 1 million players, 500,000 camp participants and conducting 7,000 plus camps and programs in 23 different states. The numbers are staggering, but what truly matters is the immeasurable impact UK Elite has had and continues to have on young athletes to reach their potential both on and off the field. Founded on November 6, 1992, UK Elite Soccer was one of the first professional youth soccer training organizations in the United States. The first year started with seasonal team training, game day coaching, clinics for parent coaches and summer camps. The Residential Soccer camps, which many players and coaches have enjoyed through the years, were created in 1998. Global Team Travel was founded in 2004 to offer international soccer and culture to players, and The Football Club USA has become the nationâ€™s fastest growing soccer club with operations in seven different states. More recently, Steel Sports acquired UK Elite in 2013 to help take the company to the next level. Today, UK Elite operates in over 20 states and continues to build on its powerful legacy and impact within the youth soccer community.
THE FOOTBALL CLUB USA EXPANDS IN 2 STATES, ADDS OFFICIAL JERSEY PARTNER
K Elite Soccer and The Football Club USA expanded its operations earlier this year through two significant acquisitions in New Jersey and Massachusetts. FCUSA acquired Jersey United Soccer Club in north-central New Jersey in April and John Smith Soccer outside of Boston in August. FCUSA is one of the nation’s largest growing soccer clubs with operations in seven states: New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, Maryland and Rhode Island. The club currently fields 150 teams and 2,000 players.
opportunities in a national network.” “With our vision and values aligned, Jersey United is a perfect match,” UK Elite CEO and FCUSA Board Member Mick Smoothey said. “Together we’ll provide youth soccer players in New Jersey even more paths to grow on and off the field.”
FCUSA and John Smith Soccer John Smith Soccer produces club teams, camps, tournaments, soccer schools
core values to John Smith Soccer, with a strong emphasis on excellence on a national scale, and they have an impressive 25-year history providing soccer opportunities across the United States,” Smith said. “While we have been instrumental in starting youth soccer programs in numerous towns as well as teaching thousands of coaches and parents the joy of working with young soccer players of all abilities, I have no doubt the UK Elite methodology and
FCUSA and Jersey United Jersey United was formed as a training services company in 2004 and has evolved into a multi-faceted organization consisting of camps, clinics, facility management and a college showcase soccer club. It has graduated over 250 players into college programs. The merger doubles FCUSA New Jersey to a 30-plus team club. “In this ever-changing landscape of youth soccer, it’s important to innovatively stay ahead of the curve, and this merger achieves that,” said Martin Brown, Jersey United owner and new FCUSA Director of Operations. “Working together under the FCUSA banner gives our players greater advancement
and other programs for boys and girls of all skill levels in Massachusetts and the Northeast region. The owner, John Smith, has been running his John Smith Soccer Schools for 45 years. “For the past 45 years, John Smith has been instrumental in the growth of youth soccer and development of young athletes in the New England area,” Smoothey said. “We both strive to forge champions on and off the field, and together we’ll provide youth soccer players in New England even more paths to success.” The John Smith Soccer acquisition will push FCUSA Massachusetts, currently FCUSA’s largest club, to nearly 100 teams from ages U8-U18. “UK Elite Soccer has similar
resources will provide an experience that cannot be matched.”
Yokohama Joins as Official Jersey Partner This past spring, Yokohama Tire was unveiled as FCUSA’s first official jersey partner with all 2,500 players and 200 teams wearing the Yokohama brand. PUMA & Soccer.com continue to serve as the club’s existing apparel and service providers. “We are excited to welcome Yokohama Tire to the rapidly growing FCUSA family,” FCUSA Executive Director Craig McGinn said. “This partnership represents the progressive structure of our club both on and off the field. We look forward to working together on many community orientated projects while continuing our soccer mission to establish an environment for youth soccer players to thrive.”
S N O I P M A H C E H ET
R A WE
Team Steel Select 12U claims first Cooperstown championship in program history
By Nathan Clinkenbeard
aseball Heaven’s Team Steel Select 12U capped off a perfect 10-0 week and outlasted 52 teams for the organization’s first Cooperstown championship on August 23 at the AllStarVillage in Oneonta, New York. After going 6-0 in pool play and earning the No. 3 seed, Team Steel Select won all four of its games on August 23, defeating teams from New York, Maryland and Virginia. In the title game, Team Steel Select knocked off Virginia’s RBA South Prep Green, 14-2. Head Coach Rich Montchal said it was a complete team effort from players and coaches that helped Team Steel Select maneuver through a 10-game schedule over five days. ͞ It really was a team effort all the way through,͟ Montchal said. ͞We went there with 11 players, hit 39 home runs and had nine different kids hit a home run. Every game had a different contributor, (bottom left) John Margolies, Joe Chanis, Dan Rubin (left to right) won the Fastest Double Play. (bottom right) Peter Beisel shows off his championship ring.
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whether it was hitting or pitching. I’ve been doing this for a long time and to win a long tournament like this it’s based on your success as a team, a little bit of luck and peaking at the right time. Our commitment to the Steel Coaching System and keeping the focus on the process of improving our performance while having fun put us in a position to perform well in high pressure games.͟ Home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Cooperstown has long been considered a go-to destination for 12U travel baseball teams. Cooperstown All-Star Village and Cooperstown Dreams Park host nearly 200 teams between the two complexes for 12 weeks during the summer. Players and coaches stay together in bunkhouses and get to enjoy team camaraderie throughout the week, an experience most youth baseball venues don’t offer. Team Steel Select not only took home
“Our commitment to the Steel Coaching System and keeping the focus on the process of improving our performance while having fun put us in a position to perform well in high pressure games.” — Head Coach Rich Montchal the team championship, but it also claimed victories in the various skills competitions. Logan Alberto won the Home Run Derby with 19 home runs and the combination of John Margolies, Dan Rubin and Joe Chanis won the Fastest Double Play. Jack Fanning placed second in the Fastest Player. Team Steel Select was invited this past July to compete in the National Youth Baseball Championships (NYBC) and squared off against several of the top teams in the country, including the eventual 12U National Champions California’s MVP Hustle Garcia. Montchal credits the NYBC and its competition level
Team Steel enjoys a day at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
Jack Fanning, Joe Chanis, Peter Beisel and Thomas Chanis take the field.
for setting his team up for success in Cooperstown. ͞”The kids talked about how competing in the National Youth Baseball Championships prepared them for the Cooperstown tournament more than any other tournament they played all year long,͟” Montchal said. Founded in 2013, Team
Coaches George Beisel (left) and Rich Montchal.
Steel is Steel Sports’ elite youth baseball organization focused on player and character development and helping young athletes reach their potential on and off the field. All Team Steel coaches are guided by the Steel Coaching System, which is built to create a positive coaching environment and reinforce a culture of Teamwork, Respect, Integrity and Commitment. ͞ “At Steel Sports, we strive to provide our athletes and families with the best possible youth sports experience,͟” Steel Sports Director of Baseball Joe Santilli said. “͞The environment in Cooperstown is very special and provided a platform for our players to further develop lifelong relationships and memories. We are extremely proud of Team Steel Select’s accomplishments.” ͟Team Steel Gold and Team Steel Black also competed at Cooperstown All-Star Village the same week and finished with a combined 11 wins, including three in bracket play. As an organization, Team Steel fielded over 30 teams in 2018 and look to expand even further to help even more young athletes reach their potential on and off the field.
GLOBAL 5s CROWNS
11 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS Global Team Events hosted the 3rd annual Global 5s National Championship on July 28 at the picturesque Sinatra Park in Hoboken, NJ. After eight regional tournaments throughout the spring and summer, 64 teams competed to be crowned 5-a-side national champions. The 64 teams represented 10 states (MA, RI, NY, CT, NJ, PA, MD, DE, TX, WA), and all teams received a unique branded PUMA soccer uniform to compete in during the tournament. The champions also took home a generous swag bag and the national 5v5 title. “Global 5s has demonstrated that soccer is a joy to play,” Global Team Events Executive Director Craig McGinn said. “The 5v5 format allows for non-stop creativity and action. As you can see from the players’ energy and enthusiasm they absolutely love this event. The backdrop is spectacular, and the City of Hoboken has been a fantastic partner for the past three years. It’s been a tremendous effort by everyone involved to execute this event and we are so proud to provide this kind of opportunity for the participants and their families.” A total of 86 games were played on tournament day, spanning 12 hours on four small-sided 5v5 fields, with 313 goals scored. Partners PUMA, SKLZ, and City of Hoboken made tremendous contributions in helping make this national event possible.
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GLOBAL 5s NATIONAL CHAMPIONS GIRLS U9 – SoccerStarz (NJ) U10 – Providence United Pumas (RI) U11 – NJ Fire Blue (NJ) U12 – YESA Academy Crazy Tigers (NY) U13 – NJ Fire White (NJ) U14 – FCUSA Massachusetts 2004 NPL Girls (MA)
BOYS U9 – City FC Gunners (PA) U10 – SEFT Academy En Fuego (NJ) U11 – Brazil Elite Soccer (MA) U12 – Sudbury Stingers (MA) U14 – Titanes Phoenix Lanzini (NY)
For players, parents, coaches or any sports fan! Steel Sports features the latest highlights from its companies Baseball Heaven, UK Elite So...
Published on Jan 15, 2019
For players, parents, coaches or any sports fan! Steel Sports features the latest highlights from its companies Baseball Heaven, UK Elite So...