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A Rapid Meets the WAVE: Colorado Rapids Brian Crookham Speaks At The WAVE Program

By Michelle Netzloff-Luna
Cedar Street Times - June 29, 2018

Everyone knows river rapids make the water move fast. But not everyone knows that rapids make the water better. Accelerating water aerates a river nicely, resulting in superior water quality. And you might say that's exactly what Colorado Rapid's Brian Crookham brings to the WAVE Program's Parent Orientation: superior quality. He is Senior Director of Soccer Development for the Colorado Rapids, a professional men's soccer team that competes in major league soccer. Not only has he enjoyed a highly successful coaching career prior to his appointment in 2007 to Senior Director, Coach Crookham is a sought after motivational speaker in the United States and all over the world. He will be speaking on the topic “Parenting the Student Athlete” at The WAVE Program's Parent Orientation. Brian shared some of his thoughts on the WAVE Program and why he feels parents play a vital role in the success of the student athlete. 

Brian Crookham

“Fortunate kids have parental involvement, and that involvement needs to be educated. For me, it's very significant that this program has an orientation just for the parents, it's an absolute key in trying to mentor young people through any program, especially a sport program. I think that 99% of the parents are very well intentioned, but they may not know how to frame their support or their frustration. The stressors that come to the parent of a student athlete are real, and not many people pay attention to managing these stresses for the parents and guiding them through that process so they can be as supportive and as productive a resource as possible for their kids. What I'll talk about is what are the parents true goals for their kids in this sport program, and how do you support that? I'll give them ideas about what to look for, what questions to ask, and how to not derail the process.

I want parents to be able to think before they react and to have a plan to react. If you're the parent of a student athlete, you are going to have setbacks. That is part of the process. So understanding that there will be setbacks, embracing that as an opportunity to take another step forward, and being prepared on how you're going to handle those situations. I would hope that parents will walk through scenarios before they happen, and plan how they might handle a situation of adversity before it happens. We will offer some specifics, but also just give some ideas on how to work out things yourself with your own child, how to find solutions using your own resources, and fitting it into your own life. That's really relevant, to make sure that the situation is rectifiable within the culture and values of the family.

The thing I find most valuable about the WAVE Program is the way they've structured their program. Not only do they expose kids to a variety of activity, but the attention they pay to details in setting up the whole program: having parent orientation, having coach orientation, and having expectations of everyone that affects the student athlete. That's really important because you're either pulling kids in the right direction or you're pulling them off track. This program is doing a very good job at ensuring that everybody is working in the same direction to give the kids the experience they desire.”

Brian's Parent Orientation presentation will begin at 6:30 on Friday night, July 6th at the Pacific Grove High School Gym.

Another notable figure who is helping bring superior quality to the WAVE Program is India Hoffman. India is with the United States Tennis Association and her mission is to bring tennis into the youth programs of Santa Cruz County, Monterey County, and Santa Clara County. She works mostly with non profit organizations like the WAVE Program, Monterey YMCA, and Girl Scouts of the Central Coast, but the USTA is also reaching out to schools and working with their PE Departments. Her enthusiam is tangible as she describes her objectives.

“Our main goal is to grow the game of tennis. We have found that the average age of a tennis player is in their 50's, and as this older main base of players retires out of the sport, we're trying to bring younger players into the game to keep the sport alive. To reach our goal, the USTA donates tennis equipment, and a tennis coaching curriculum that is a very comprehensive program. It is designed for people who have never taught tennis before and trains them how to teach the basics to kids. We also help with registration, advertising or anything else they need to start their program. Last year in 2016 we gave the WAVE Program a $500 grant to buy tennis equipment and we trained their staff members on how to run the tennis program.”

The tennis curriculum went so well with the WAVE Program last year that USTA is helping Pacific Grove schools set up there own tennis programs. India explains, “In addition to summer camps and after school programs, the USTA is also working with schools in their PE Departments. There is a perception that tennis is not really a team sport, so people don't really see it's place in PE, or as a local team like little league, but we are trying to make it a communal thing to get kids to play with their friends and family. We give out free equipment, free training to any school interested in bringing tennis into their curriculum. We are currently working with Robert Down, Forest Grove Elementary, and PG Middle School. We are reaching out and so far we really are seeing results, we are getting a lot of good feedback from program coordinators.

The idea is that we don't want starting a tennis program to be a burden. We want to make tennis accessible to everyone.”



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Contact Information

Phone: (408) 960-5194
Address: 1160 Seaview Avenue
Pacific Grove, CA 93950

What is the WAVE Program?

The Wave Program is a two-week summer day camp for girls and boys going into 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th grade. We aim to provide an active, healthy, positive camp environment that sparks interest in team and individual sports and the arts electives offered at Pacific Grove High School.