|
|
|
Wayne Post
  • Lessons learned transcend all types of sports

    • email print
  • Readers of this column and listeners of my radio show ‘Youth Sports Now’ often ask for stories and information about what we tend to call the non-traditional sports. And ports like swimming, field hockey, tennis, golf, extreme sports and others do deserve more attention. So in response to those requests, I recently had the opportunity to hear the story of a remarkable youth athlete who at age 14 traveled to and from Korea to train with the masters of his sport. Dylan Nadler is a student-athlete from just across the lake in Ontario, Canada. His story is one of adventure, maturity and true love for his sport.
    At age 14, Dylan has been training in taekwondo since he was a toddler. What began as a recreational activity quickly turned into something much bigger for him and his family. The maturity that Nadler displayed at such an early age provided him with the insight to see the deeper meaning of the ancient sport. Taekwondo, while called a martial art and defensive sport, it is also defined as a sport that delves into the soul and teaches self-control and respect.
    Nadler worked hard, encouraged by his mom, Marci, who made sure he got to and from trainings. Little did she know that all her scheduling and transportation provisions would lead her to putting Dylan on a plane that would travel over 6,000 miles and would set down in the land where the sport was founded — Korea. Dylan had the opportunity to train with taekwondo masters and university students, many years older than he. He was one of only six from all of Canada to go, and he went there with no parents or familiar coaches.
    A scene right out of ‘The Karate Kid’, Dylan found himself training in the mountains of Korea with a 2,300-step staircase between training facilities and his meals. That staircase became a symbol of his training as it was the only thing separating him from daily meals, but the older students challenged the younger ones to compete for their supper if you will — running up the stairs two-by-two in a competition. Dylan says that it was tough at first and he lost many runs but as the training went on he became stronger and began to have his cake and eat it, too, by winning the races. The “cake” coming in the form of rice, the main staple of his meals.
    His days were filled with training followed by a meal, followed by training and a meal, and then one more repetition as his days ended around 9 p.m. each night, a time when back in Canada his mom was eating lunch and fretting about how her son was doing. The time difference between Ontario and Korea is 13 hours.
    So 12,000 miles, countless hours training, strange meals and foreign languages later, Dylan says it was the experience of a lifetime and would love to go back. Today, his training in Canada continues and he hopes to move on to another big trip — the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.
    Page 2 of 2 - The Youth Olympics is like the regular Olympic Games with the mission to boost self-understanding, active participation and creativity in young people both in sports and everyday life. The games help young people to appreciate responsibility, advocate fair competition and respect for the rules and generate awareness of a healthy lifestyle and protection of the environment.
    And isn’t that what youth sports is about?
    Greg Kamp is a 23-year veteran of youth sports as a coach and administrator and is currently the President of Penfield Little League and sits on the board at the District level. He is the host of Youth Sports Now, a weekly radio show on WYSL-AM/FM and also runs Strategy First, his own public relations and marketing business.
      • calendar