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

Registration Deadline Extended for Youth Sports Conference

Waiakea prepare for opening BIIF meet

PCA Conference is set for Saturday, Sept 26 Registration deadline is Tuesday, Sept 15

Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii – Organizers today announced a registration deadline extension for the youth sports conference set for Saturday, September 26, 2009 at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

Tuesday, September 15 is the new deadline for conference registration.

The community conference, “Facilitating Extraordinary Accomplishments in Hawaii’s Youth (FEAHY),” is designed for participants to examine “how we do youth sports—our local youth sports culture.”

Request registration forms by email from PCABigIsland@hawaiiantel.net or at the County’s Recreation Division office at 799 Piilani Street in Hilo.

logo positive coaching

The community conference is organized by the County of Hawaii’s Recreation Division, the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s Campus Center and Athletic Department, the Big Island Interscholastic Federation (BIIF), Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) and Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) Big Island.

Opening for FEAHY 2009 will begin with registration and a continental breakfast served at 8:30 a.m. in UH-Hilo UCB 127.


Hawaiian Airlines is sponsoring inter-island transportation for Coach Takahara-Dias, head coach for UH-Manoa women’s basketball, who will deliver the day’s keynote address.

Mayor Billy Kenoi, BIIF president and Hilo High School principal Bob Dircks will help open the conference. 

County Parks and Recreation director, Bob Fitzgerald, is scheduled to discuss the County’s PCA program at the end of the conference.

During the conference, participants also will hear from a panel of sports and education leaders, parents and coaches. 

Josh Pacheco
Josh Pacheco

ESPN Radio commentator, Josh Pacheco, will serve as panel moderator. 

The panel includes Dexter Irvin, the new UH-Hilo athletic director; Randy Hirokawa, UH-Hilo dean of arts and sciences; Mason Souza, County recreation specialist; Doug Connors, North Hawaii community activist and sports parent; and Amy Malinowski, athletic trainer at Kea’au High School.

Two PCA workshops—“Becoming a Triple Impact Competitor” for high school student-athletes, and “Developing Competitors” for coaches—will be provided for participants.

Afternoon break-out sessions will enable participants to hear additional presentations on the following topics.

  • “What is leadership and why does it matter?” by Harvey Tajiri
  • “The Four Fishes:  a unique understanding of leadership” by Kurt Dela Cruz
  • “The importance of planning and preparation to improve not only efficiency and effectiveness, but maintain motivation and concentration” by Robin Takahashi
  • “The meaning of self-discipline”   by Dexter Irvin

 PCA Big Island facilitates workshop training for adults who shape the youth sports experience and for high school student athletes.

Get Positive Coaching Alliance information on the web at http://www.positivecoach.org.

September 14, 2009 Posted by | Events | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment