Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Hawaii Youth Sports Conference a Big Success

Dana Takahara-Dias

Dana Takahara-Dias

More than 150 student athletes, coaches and parents meet this past Saturday at the University of Hawaii Campus Center for a daylong conference on how to facilitate a more positive experience for those youngsters in sports.

    FEAHY, Facilitating Extraordinary Accomplishments in Hawaii’s Youth, brought together a variety of guest speakers that were divided into two morning sessions, one for coaches entitled Developing Competitors and the other for student athletes called Becoming a Triple Impact Competitor.

   Key note speaker was University of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine basketball coach, Dana Takahara-Dias.

   Takahara-Dias is a former Rainbow Wahine player, 1985-1988, under legendary coach Vince Goo brings the same energy and wisdom as her former coach.

   The new Rainbow Wahine skipper spoke about her years playing ball which began at age nine.  “I believe that there are three areas that made me the person I am today,” she said.  “The first came from what I learned from my parents, second was what I learned in school, and third was the education that I received on the field, the courts and on the diamond.”

   Takahara-Dias spoke about her secret dream of playing college ball one day for the Rainbows.  How she felt on her first days as a walk on freshman at UH and on making the team.  “On the first day of tryouts I gave all that I could and practiced as if there was no tomorrow,” she said.  “But I still didn’t feel like I belonged and I knew that I needed to work harder.”

   By her sophomore year at UH she had been given a full athletic scholarship, then in her junior year she became the starting point guard. At the start of her senior year she was selected by her teammates to be Team Captain.

   “What I learned from team sports has brought me here today,” Takahara-Dias said.  After graduating from UH and playing basketball for the Rainbow Wahine Takahara-Dias spent 15 years as a special needs teacher.

   Prior to signing on as the new UH basketball coach, Takahara-Dias, was working for the City and County of Honolulu as the director of customer service.

   “I have a very simple goal as a player and now as a coach and that is to improve every single day,” she said.

   Following Takahara-Dias’ keynote address participants were able to hear additional speakers on a variety of topics aimed at enhancing the student/athlete experience.

Melissa Schad
Melissa Schad

Laupahoehoe swim coach, Melissa Schad was pleased with what she learned during the daylong conference.  “This conference has helped me be a more positive coach and has showed me what an impact coaches have on their athletes.”

   “Most of the speakers were primarily talking about ball sports, so I had to think outside the box as swimming is more of an individual sport,” Schad said.

    Asked what was the most interesting aspect of the conference Schad replied, “I related well to the speakers stories, I like when they brought something up that was personal because it relates better to my own personal experiences.”

Kamuela Johansen
Kamuela Johansen

Volunteer track and field coach from Waiakea High School, Kamuela Johansen, also came away with ideas that could enhance his coaching.  “I wanted to learn how to become a better coach so that the athletes can gain a better appreciation for the sport that I teaching them,” he said.

   “I liked the many “do’s” and “don’t” for coaches.  There are many verbal and non verbal ways that coaches communicate and sometimes with just a roll of the eyes or a nod of the head that can convey negative feelings towards the player,” Johansen said.

Hilo High freshman, Chris Torrison, who plays soccer for the Vikings, came to learn how to be a better player.  “The speakers were helping us with ways we can boost our emotional feelings to help us become a better player,” he said.

   “One thing they told us was to look in the mirror and repeat to yourself no one can change you, but you,” Torrison said.

   Torrison also provided insight into how various coaches can bring out the best and worst in a player.  “I’ve had coaches that yell and it brings us down and we end up playing worse,” he said.  “If you’re positive as a player it will also help the team as it can determine if we win or lose the game.”

   Numerous speakers were involved in helping conduct the breakout sessions where the emphasis was placed on teaching ways to “honor the game.”

   Dexter Irvin, the newly appointed director of Athletics at UH Hilo, along with Doug Conners, Randy Hirokawa, Amy Malinowski and Mason Souza conducted an hour long panel discussion on “How we do youth sports on the Big Island of Hawaii – Our local culture.”

   The panel discussion was moderated by ESPN Hawaii Radio personality, Josh Pacheco and kicked off a morning full of motivating and positive discussions geared at helping to enhance youth sports in our community.

   The FEAHY conference was hosted by Positive Coaching Alliance who believes that the most important aspect of youth sports participation should be the teaching of life lessons by their coaches.

   PCA nationally works to train youth coaches in the positive ways of working with young people in athletics.

   PCA Big Island has been providing live, research-based training workshops and practical tools development for several years, according to spokeswoman Jeannie Yagi.

    For more information on the PCA go to their web site at http://www.positivecoach.org.



September 29, 2009 Posted by | Events | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brooks/de Bourmount lead East Division x-country

BIIF boys start at Waiakea

BIIF boys start at Waiakea

Keaau’s Daniel Brooks and Hilo’s Shalila de Bourmont continued to run well at Big Island Interscholastic Federation cross-country meets this season as both captured top individual honors at Waiakea on Saturday.

    At the start of the boys three mile race Brooks opened with at quick pace and rapidly separated himself early on from the rest of the field.

    “I heard some footsteps at the first hill, but no one challenged me,” Brooks said.  “My goal coming into this race was to break 17 minutes, but no one pushed me.  I run better when I’m pushed.”

   Books won the race in 17 minutes and 24 seconds with Hilo’s Tyde Kaneshiro claiming second.

    “I was happy with my race despite not hitting my goal today,” Brooks said.  I went out and set a fast pace and I was strong on the uphill’s while cruising the downhill’s.  Next week I’ll come out harder and hopefully the my whole team will come out harder.”

Tyde Kaneshiro

Tyde Kaneshiro

For Hilo’s Kaneshiro it was perhaps his best race thus far.  “My teammate, Billy (Ray), and I wanted to beat Keaau’s number two runner (Shannon White) so we tried staying with him most of the race,” Kaneshiro said.

   Just before the two mile point Kaneshiro separated himself from a pack made up of Ray and White, along with Kamehameha’s Casey Chai, as Kaneshiro opened up a large gap between himself and third place.

   Kaneshiro attempted to catch Brooks in the last half mile of the race, but ran out of gas with about 200 yards to go.  “Mentally I couldn’t grasp the fact that I could catch him (Brooks) and I gave up rather than suffer through the pain,” he said.

   Kaneshiro  finished in 17:40, just 14 seconds behind Brooks to claim his highest placing finish in his young prep career.  “I feel great physically and mentally, this is the best I have ever felt during a race,” he said.

   Chai took third, 18:04, followed by Ray, 18:11; Hilo’s Johann Kuiper, 18:11; White, 18:12; and Waiakea’s Frank Chi in 18:12.

Second place whet to Waiakea’s Kaitlyn Chock, 21:38; and Kelsie Kobayashi, 21: 43; while Kamehameha’s Bronte Kaneakua was fourth, 21:54; and Keaau’s Dean Nishimura-Thornton finished fifth, 22:06.

     “I think I should have stayed with the pack or go faster at the start,” Kaneakua said.  “I tried to stay with Kaitlyn (Chock) and Kelsie (Kobayashi), but I fell back after 2-miles.”

    While Kaneakua wasn’t very satisfied with her fourth place finish, Nishimura-Thornton was excited with her fifth place time.

Deann Thornton
Deann Thornton

“This was probably the best race I’ve had this season as I tried to stay with the front pack for as long as I could,” Nishimura-Thornton said.

    “At the soccer field portion of the course (2.5 miles) the other girls in the pack started their kick and we got separated.  I’m starting to get better slowly and I like where I’m at this year.”

    Last year Nishimura-Thornton was consistently in the top five of each race leading up to the BIIF championships and she did it as a freshman.  The young Cougar fizzled at the BIIF championships dropping out of the top ten.  “This year I want to put all my focus on the BIIF’s and peak in time for that race,” she said.

    Hilo swept the boys and girls team titles with a surprised Viking coach, Bill McMahon looking on.  “I tell you, I never really expected this (winning team titles) but these guys and girls are really tough in putting it all together,” McMahon said.

   On the north end of the island it was Kohala playing host to the BIIF West Division with a pair of Dragons taking top individual honors. 

    Chris Mosch, who won it all at Kamehameha two weeks ago, won the boy’s race, while teammate Tia Greenwell, the two time defending BIIF champion, won it all for the girls.

   Mosch’s major challenge came from Makua Lani’s Dylan Hardie-Jordan who tried to stay with the senior from Honokaa for most of the race.

   Greenwell had little opposition in her desire to retain a third league title and easily took the girls race in 20 minutes and 56 seconds. Teammate Athena Oldfather captured second in 21:28, followed by Makua Lani’s Grace Choe, 22:46, and Hawaii Prep’s Zoe Sims, 22:56.

   “The HPA girls really had a solid pack of runners that made it easy for them to win the team title,” Kohala coach, Tom McCue said.  “We had some variable weather today with wind gust up to 20 mph and a little rain for the boy’s race, then it got really hot for the girls.”

    Honokaa won the boys varsity race with Ka Makani taking the girls team title.

September 29, 2009 Posted by | High School Runners, Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment