Benefits of Individualized Instruction in Sports

Benefits of Individualized Instruction in Sports

We are all used to receiving guidance in our lives: over loudspeakers in airports about terminal changes, from teachers providing directions to students before taking a test, or by skimming the written instructions that come with a new board game. Usually, we don’t stop and think about the fact that these instructions are provided in a format designed to communicate to the majority. This is the case in many sports programs and physical education settings as well: the focus is on the group, and individual attention rarely occurs for any significant length of time. At Be the Best Sport, our goal is to help each participant develop to his or her full ability in self-confidence, motor skills, overall fitness and health, growth in aptitude in any given sport, and success in every area we can influence. One of our core techniques built into each of our programs is individualized instruction that enables each participant to feel motivated, comfortable, and successful.

Individual Support & Motivation

Individualized instruction means our coaches and mentors tailor their teaching strategies based on the interests and ability level of each individual. What motivates and encourages one child may have an entirely different effect on another child. Learning styles vary; one child might pick up a skill by watching, while another child needs to perform the skill steps himself. So we adjust and adapt our instruction on a participant-by-participant basis. This could look like a time of group instruction and then breaking apart into small group interaction times. This could also look like taking each step one-on-one as many times as needed with each child. Because we are working closely with children who have a wide variety of physical, mental, and emotional needs, our coaches and mentors get to know each of these children in a unique way and can become some of the biggest cheerleaders your children will ever have (after you, of course!).

 

Comfortable Development

Our coaches and mentors recognize that any child, especially one with special needs, must feel comfortable when learning new skills and participating in sports settings. We value earning each child’s trust as we work closely, patiently, and encouragingly with each one. By helping children set goals, and then helping them work toward successfully achieving those goals, we get the privilege of watching their confidence and comfort levels increase. We guide group play times so that each child will safely grow more comfortable with the activity and with interacting with others. As the comfort level increases, we can tailor and refine goals to continue helping each child develop to the fullest. Our staff carefully adapts instruction to help each child grow at a comfortable rate.

 

Successful Group Inclusion

Instruction that is geared to each individual actually means that everyone gets included in successful physical activity and sports experiences. Many children with special needs have been unable to participate in sports programs and physical education prior to enrolling in a program at Be the Best Sport, and sometimes they are apprehensive and afraid of failure. Our approach means that as we work in one-on-one and small group settings, our coaches are learning your child’s strengths, interests, and abilities and adapting instruction to meet his/her unique needs in order to succeed both individually and as part of the group. This means that each child can grow successfully, learning new skills while developing self-confidence as “one of the team.”

 

Be the Best Sport welcomes participants of all capabilities, and we offer a wide variety of sports and physical activities in which we implement individualized instruction. We make sure that all of our programs are adequately staffed so that each participant can learn and develop every session. Check out the Programs page to learn more about our classes and the current schedule or to register for a program. You can also request a free trial of a class to see if it’s the right fit for your family. We want both you and your child to be comfortable and confident in our programs.

Winter/Spring Schedule 2017

DaySportTimeDatesDates OffAgesMax KidsPriceLocationRegister
SaturdayMulti-Sport9:30am-10:15am2/18 - 4/22NONE4 - 710$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayMulti-Sport10:15am-11:00am2/18 - 4/22NONE8 - 148$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdaySoccer10:15am-11:00am2/18 - 4/22NONE8 - 148$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayFitness/Kickboxing/Anti-Bullying11:15am-12:00pm2/18 - 4/22NONE12 - 2012$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayTrack & Field11:30am-12:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1510$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayKarate (Beginner) "Little Ninja"12:00pm-12:30pm2/18 - 4/22NONE4 - 78$160Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayAdaptive Karate12:30pm-1:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 128$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayTrack & Field12:30pm-1:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1510$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayBasketball1:45pm-2:30pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1512$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdaySpecial Needs Basketball2:30pm-3:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE10 & Up12$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SundayManhasset Soccer - Adaptive Program4:00pm-5:00pm4/2-6/18April 9,16
May 14, 28
June
Pre K - 6th Gr.40$50Click Here For InfoClick Here

Sources:

http://www.dreambox.com/individualized-learning

http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/cwp/view.asp?a=2663&q=334452

http://exclusive.multibriefs.com/content/determining-individualized-instruction-for-students-with-special-needs/education

http://www.aph.org/physical-education/articles/using-differentiated-instruction-in-physical-education/

Special Needs and Anti-Bullying: Part One

Special Needs and Anti-Bullying: Part One

Self-esteem, self-respect, and self-worth are important areas of development as we grow. They are also areas in which we’ve all experienced difficulty at some point in our lives. Just think of your junior-high years, and you’ll likely recognize what I mean.

Many children with special needs, however, struggle with these areas on a regular basis, not just during a few gangly pre-teen years.

Add in bullying, which occurs far more often than we usually realize, and special-needs kids and adults can end up with terrible, life-long struggles in these areas. We want to highlight the importance of anti-bullying in this two-part series because recognizing bullying behaviors and having tools to deal with those behaviors is vital for teachers, coaches, parents, friends, siblings, and special needs individuals.

What Is Bullying?

An important first step in dealing with bullying is clearly defining what bullying is, as well as what it is not. According to www.StopBullying.gov, “Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children. It involves a real or perceived power imbalance and the behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.” Let’s unpack that definition. First, bullying is connected with a behavior, not with a person. When discussing bullying with your special-needs child or with another adult, recognize that an individual is displaying a certain behavior but is not defined solely by that behavior (i.e., don’t refer to him/her as “the bully”). Next, the behavior is unwanted and aggressive. Conflict or disagreement between two individuals is not bullying. Conflict can become bullying when a power imbalance occurs, as when one child begins to display dominant behavior over another through name-calling, verbal or written threats, exerting physical force, and the like. He or she may think that the target is weaker (physically, mentally, or emotionally) than himself/herself. When such harassment becomes repeated behavior, or if the power imbalance is not recognized and addressed promptly to prevent it becoming repetitious, we end up with bullying situations.     

One further note: bullying in school settings, including events sponsored by schools, can be more than just a problem behavior–it can become an illegal activity called “disability harassment.” Disability harassment is defined by the U.S. Department of Education (2000) as “intimidation or abusive behavior toward a student based on disability that creates a hostile environment by interfering with or denying a student’s participation in or receipt of benefits, services, or opportunities in the institution’s program.” If you are aware of such a bullying situation in school settings, contact the school administrators immediately so that they can take proper measures.

Emotional, Physical, and Mental Results of Bullying

A natural result of being bullied is that the individual experiences sadness, frustration, and anxiety. Several other common results of bullying include depression, fear/apprehension, physical complaints (such as headaches, stomach/digestive issues, and fatigue), decreasing grades and academic struggles, and suicidal thoughts. Many children experience a combination of these emotions and struggles. Bullying that involves physical force can obviously cause bodily harm as well: bruising, swelling, cuts, etc. If you are around a child who displays one or more of these emotional, physical, or mental distresses, it’s a good idea to keep an alert eye and try to open the conversation to see if bullying may be involved.

A potential response to bullying that we can easily overlook is that the child who is on the receiving end of bullying may react strongly in an effort to feel powerful or in control, turning to bullying behaviors himself. He may not know how to approach an adult for assistance (or may be fearful of doing so). He also may have become so used to bullying behaviors taking place around him, as well as to him, that he instinctively turns to those behaviors when interacting with others. This is partly why it’s important to refer to bullying behavior instead of labeling a person as a bully. Those we view as “bullies” may well be lashing out in a nonverbal cry for help because they have been bullied in some way and don’t know how to deal with it.

Why Special-Needs Individuals Are at a Higher Risk

Many organizations have published statistics about the higher risk of bullying of special-needs individuals. Pacer.org states that “children with disabilities are two to three times more likely to be bullied than their nondisabled peers.” We know that bullying usually targets those who are different in some way. Children who have speech impediments, physical limitations, social skill challenges, mental limitations, or require physical assistance (such as a wheelchair or an oxygen tank) are much more vulnerable to harassment and bullying. Special needs individuals’ differences are part of what make these individuals beautiful and unique in their own way. Oftentimes children who are around special-needs kids have not been taught that differences are a good thing, and they have not received guidance in learning how to play with, interact with, and be friends with their special-needs peers.

At Be The Best Sport, we recognize that we all have differences. We are committed to providing safe, supportive, respectful, and fun environments for kids with special needs to thrive. Bullying is a big deal, and in part two we will address specific ways to help our kids know appropriate measures when bullying occurs. Check our schedule to learn more about the Fitness/Kickboxing/Anti-Bullying and Karate programs we are offering right now; it is designed to increase confidence and self-esteem, and they provide specific tools to deal with bullying behaviors.

Winter/Spring Schedule 2017

DaySportTimeDatesDates OffAgesMax KidsPriceLocationRegister
SaturdayMulti-Sport9:30am-10:15am2/18 - 4/22NONE4 - 710$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayMulti-Sport10:15am-11:00am2/18 - 4/22NONE8 - 148$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdaySoccer10:15am-11:00am2/18 - 4/22NONE8 - 148$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayFitness/Kickboxing/Anti-Bullying11:15am-12:00pm2/18 - 4/22NONE12 - 2012$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayTrack & Field11:30am-12:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1510$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayKarate (Beginner) "Little Ninja"12:00pm-12:30pm2/18 - 4/22NONE4 - 78$160Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayAdaptive Karate12:30pm-1:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 128$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayTrack & Field12:30pm-1:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1510$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayBasketball1:45pm-2:30pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1512$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdaySpecial Needs Basketball2:30pm-3:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE10 & Up12$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SundayManhasset Soccer - Adaptive Program4:00pm-5:00pm4/2-6/18April 9,16
May 14, 28
June
Pre K - 6th Gr.40$50Click Here For InfoClick Here

 

Sources:

http://www.pacer.org/bullying/resources/students-with-disabilities/

https://www.stopbullying.gov/at-risk/groups/special-needs/BullyingTipSheet.pdf

http://www.stompoutbullying.org/index.php/information-and-resources/parents-page/special-needs-kids-and-bullying/

http://www.ldonline.org/article/20001/

https://blog.ed.gov/2013/08/keeping-students-with-disabilities-safe-from-bullying/

http://www.bbc.com/news/education-27902500

https://canchild.ca/en/resources/32-bullying-risk-in-children-with-disabilities-a-review-of-the-literature

Helping Special Needs Kids Learn Unfamiliar Things

Helping Special Needs Kids Learn Unfamiliar Things

Unfamiliar things come into everyone’s life on a daily basis. For most of us, these unfamiliar things do not cause too much confusion. However, for the special needs child, anything that is unfamiliar has the potential to become a huge challenge for them. Some will get frustrated trying. Some will look at it from every angle and try to figure it out. And some will just curl up and not even attempt to figure out what they need to do. There are several steps that you can take to help a special needs kid through the unfamiliar circumstances that they encounter.

1.     Start with the familiar.

In every situation, there is some kind of familiar factor. Start with that. Help them to see a color they know, a favorite shape, or a familiar person. They may need help becoming comfortable with the familiar in an unfamiliar setting, but it will become their rock. Be sure to point out the familiar in every unfamiliar situation to help them gain initial confidence!

 

2.     Look for the easiest adjustment.

When helping a special needs child learn unfamiliar things, it is important that you break down the situation and start with the simplest step or component. Starting with the simplest component will go a long way in helping them gain confidence and familiarity with the unfamiliar task or concept they are being asked to tackle.

 

3.     Watch for nonverbal and verbal clues.

It is so important to watch for clues when a special needs child is being asked to do something that is unfamiliar to them. As you are helping them, they are going to be constantly giving you indications that will let you see how they are adapting. Be sure to pay attention and adjust the situation as needed. If the child feels that their mode of communication is not being understood, they will get frustrated and will not be willing to move on and learn the unfamiliar that is trying to be taught.

 

4.     Be consistent.

Who doesn’t like consistency? This one factor is very important to a special needs child. As you are introducing them to an unfamiliar item or concept, be sure to be consistent with how you introduce it. Special needs children thrive on consistency, and if you try to introduce the unfamiliar in a totally different way from how you normally introduce changes, this will make the process so much harder for you and the child. Be consistent! It’s so important!

 

5.     Give praise.

Special needs children also thrive on praise. It gives them a reassurance that everything is okay, and it motivates them to move on and keep trying things. When they face an unfamiliar situation, they need that reassurance even more. It will take baby steps all along the way when it comes to introducing anything that is unfamiliar to them, but the praise that comes with every baby step will motivate them even more to achieve the ultimate goal!

 

At Be the Best Sport, our goal is to work in these ways to help your special needs child become comfortable with the unfamiliar things that they encounter in the sports arena. Each child will have their unique way of learning unfamiliar things, but with these steps, we are confident that we can help them learn each unfamiliar concept in a fun and effective way!

Winter/Spring Schedule 2017

DaySportTimeDatesDates OffAgesMax KidsPriceLocationRegister
SaturdayMulti-Sport9:30am-10:15am2/18 - 4/22NONE4 - 710$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayMulti-Sport10:15am-11:00am2/18 - 4/22NONE8 - 148$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdaySoccer10:15am-11:00am2/18 - 4/22NONE8 - 148$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayFitness/Kickboxing/Anti-Bullying11:15am-12:00pm2/18 - 4/22NONE12 - 2012$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayTrack & Field11:30am-12:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1510$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayKarate (Beginner) "Little Ninja"12:00pm-12:30pm2/18 - 4/22NONE4 - 78$160Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayAdaptive Karate12:30pm-1:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 128$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayTrack & Field12:30pm-1:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1510$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayBasketball1:45pm-2:30pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1512$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdaySpecial Needs Basketball2:30pm-3:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE10 & Up12$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SundayManhasset Soccer - Adaptive Program4:00pm-5:00pm4/2-6/18April 9,16
May 14, 28
June
Pre K - 6th Gr.40$50Click Here For InfoClick Here

 

 

How To Volunteer In Special Needs Sports Programs

 

Special needs kids often don’t play team (or even individual) sports at school, so they aren’t given the opportunity to get to know people of all abilities over the fun of playing a game. Volunteering to help in special needs sports involves understanding how to include those with differing levels of ability in ways society should but often doesn’t. A vivid example of this is the Special Olympics Unified Sports, which promotes teamwork by playing special needs and non-special needs individuals alongside each other in the same game. Such inclusion removes unjustified “preconceptions” of what it means to have special needs by a bonding love for sports.


Going Beyond

Some potential volunteers assume they might not have what it takes or the “forbearance” to work with special needs individuals. Those who move past these concerns find it well worth the effort. Working alongside those with special needs requires kindness, not merely forbearance. Wanting to aid another is a human emotion. Empathy, placing yourself in the other person’s situation, is necessary when interacting with special needs kids who may experience all kinds of behavioral, physical, or emotional disabilities—kids who often find it hard to fit in. The volunteer’s concern goes far beyond “how well would I interact with them?”

Life Lessons
Anyone can meet another’s need for friendship, understanding, and compassion. In working with special needs children, attitudes change and circumspection and empathetic responsiveness emerge. Volunteers gain the opportunity for self-growth and a unique insight into the obstacles those with special needs must overcome daily, which in turn grows an understanding of the lasting effects of disability. Sometimes working with special needs spurs the desire to seek a career in special needs education, and volunteering can boost that skill set and solidify commitment. Besides teaching tolerance, volunteering with special needs youth sports just plain ol’ gives such children a great time and a confidence boost through physical activity.

 

Where to Start

Seeking out local organizations is the best way to start. Volunteers can aid with things like build up and tear down for equipment and events, registration, support staff for participants, getting players and family or friends around the event campus, helping to find willing sponsors, advertising the events, or filling in with administration at the organization’s home office. Who volunteers? Anyone can volunteer but especially people wanting to perform community service like professional business teams, retired individuals, high school and college students, and service groups.

Be the Best Sport loves volunteers! We offer a year-round program that accepts ages 12 and up. It’s great for our special needs athletes because they are given opportunity for social growth, friendship, and teamwork. It’s great for our volunteers because they are shown an aspect of life they might otherwise never have been exposed to. Volunteering with us creates a sense of dependability and accountability. Like Unified Sports, we want to break down the barriers of misconceptions and prejudice and foster tolerance among everyone at all levels of ability. Athletes and volunteers come together, play together, and cheer each other on as we all work together on being the best sport.

 

Importance of Our Volunteers

At Be The Best Sport, we value our volunteers and they play a vital role in the success of our programs and mission to help the athletes gain new skills and increase their physical capabilities. Our athletes have smiles on their faces each week when their volunteer shows up to class and they look forward to spending time with them each week.

What Our Volunteers Gain By Helping

Volunteers will develop and build valuable skills for understanding and working with children with special needs in an athletic and recreational setting that will prepare them for future employment at either Be The Best Sport or another similar facility.  Volunteers will also develop a sense of who they are as part of their community and in the larger world around them. Many of our former volunteers have changed their majors in college or even career path and are now working with children with special needs because of the experience they had volunteering at our program(s).

Volunteer Training

New candidates applying to volunteer with Be The Best Sport will be required to attend at least one initial training session, three refresher sessions, and at least 10 hours of on the field community service. The initial training session will introduce all aspects of the program and what is expected of them as a volunteer so that they can help fulfill the mission.  Initial trainings will present an in-depth overview of the different types of physical and/or and mental disabilities that may be associated with a child with special needs and how they differ from each other. This will give new volunteers insight into the way children with special needs function and how each disability has its own set of unique characteristics.

Each hour-long refresher session will focus on scenarios of specific situations that can occur during program and appropriate solutions for addressing them.   This will provide our volunteers with an opportunity to ask questions and discuss any challenges encountered during class time as well as the necessary tools to effectively and appropriately problem solve if a difficult situation were to occur in future weeks. Although Be The Best Sport volunteers are required to attend three refresher sessions during the year, those wishing to eventually seek employment with Be The Best Sport as a Program Assistant, will be required to attend a minimum of four or more refresher sessions per year.

Once a volunteer is enrolled in the program, they will receive a t-shirt and binder with information detailing requirements and expectations of being a Be The Best Sport Certified Sport Coach Volunteer and the opportunity to fill out a questionnaire that will allow us to have a better idea of their strengths, weaknesses, areas of interests, and goals. Volunteers will also receive a certificate of completion that acknowledges completion of the required number of training sessions as well as required community service hours. Volunteers will also be required to complete a self-assessment that will be reviewed and discussed with our lead instructor. 

Current Opportunities

1. Sport Coach – Work 1-on-1 with one of our athletes at any of our various programs throughout the week.

2. Events – We host various events throughout the year and are always looking for help preparing for the days festivities.

3. Fundraising – Want to help us raise money for our cause? We have a variety of ways to get involved and help us raise funds to provide more opportunities and scholarships to our athletes.

 

If you would like to volunteer for one of our many opportunities, please fill out the form below and one of our team members will get back to you!

Volunteer Form

Munsey Park Women’s Club Supports Be The Best Sport

Submitted by Munsey Park Women’s Club

Manhasset Press

November 18 – 24, 2015

 

Every year the Munsey Park Women’s Club (MPWC) reaches out to the community to search for philanthropic opportunities. They ask residents of Manhasset to apply for a grant that will help support a cause that benefits the residents of Munsey Park and/or Manhasset. The grants are then reviewed and one or two are chosen by the MPWC board. Valerie Siener, the cochair of philanthropic steering with the MPWC, leads the outreach effort and advocates for funding for small organizations. The MPWC strives to diversify giving and utilize local resources. One of the groups that the MPWC has chosen to support is a sports enrichment program for children with special needs. So many local children go to Unlimited Sports Action (USA) in Port Washington for all sorts of sporting lessons, clinics, and activities. Be The Best Sport is a nonprofit arm of USA. Be The Best Sport advocates, develops, creates, and builds specialized hands-on adaptive sports programs for children 18 and younger with developmental disabilities as well as physical impairments. There is a lack of such organizations in the area that are dedicated to providing support for youngsters with special needs.

Be The Best Sport accepts donations so that they can keep the cost down for participation in the classes, buy specialized mutli-sensory equipment and provide trained staff and coaches.

The Executive Director of Be The Best Sport, Michael Furino, explain, “We are so excited to receive generous funding from the Munsey Park Women’s Club for new equipment for our special needs sports program. It is because of organizations like the MPWC that allows Be The Best Sport to provide sports enrichment services to children and adults with special needs at a low cost. Funding like this enables our organization to grow and continue to offer special needs sports services to children and adults of all different ages and ability levels.”

“On behalf of the MPWC Philanthropic committee, we are happy and proud to support Be The Best Sport with a donation towards their continuing effort to offer opportunities for special needs children, so they may develop and strengthen their self-esteem, confidence, and sportsmanship. We also applaud Michael Furino for reaching out to this underserved population,” says Seiner.

The MPWC hopes to continue to assist groups like these and thanks the Manhasset community residents and MPWC members for support.

 

 

Ad Council and Autism Speaks Launch “The World of Autism” PSA

Autism Speaks, Ad Council and BBDO have united to create a series of Public Service Announcements designed to help parents recognize signs of Autism and take action. The PSA was inspired by real stories from children with ASD told from the child’s perspective using 3D and stop-motion animation. These new PSA’s are an extension of BBDO’s campaign “Learn the Signs”, which has taught many parents to recognize early signs of Autism.

For more information and videos please click here.