Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Recapping the Team Sage Rise Above The Rim event

Rise Above the Rim -- Incorporating Academic and Social Accountability with Organized Sports

Sacramento, CA – Participants attending Team SAGE’s third annual educational clinic for student athletes, coaches and parents, learned that focusing your efforts on the things you can control rather than the things you cannot is perhaps the most important element to elevating their game, and not only the competitive sports arena, but perhaps the most important strategy for winning at life! The event held at the State Capitol, Saturday, October 20th, gave area affiliates of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) winning strategies for what it will take to become a Triple-Impact Competitor. “This year, we wanted to focus on encouraging Team SAGE to explore life without reservations; learning the importance of team collaboration, and the art to conversing with the media,” stated Wornel Simpson, CEO and Team SAGE Founder.

Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) Trainer and Volleyball Coach, Ruben Nievas, kicked off the clinic with a competitive warm-up to teach participants a technique used to create desired outcomes by focusing on what you can control and ignoring what you can’t. The core of Nievas’ workshop was based upon principles found in the book written by PCA Founder Jim Thompson, entitled, “Elevating Your Game, Becoming a Triple-Impact Competitor”.  Nievas provided each participant a copy and guided them through a section referred to as the Elm Tree of Mastery: Effort, Learning and Rebounding from Mistakes. Since 1998, PCA has been committed to providing youth athletes a positive, character-building sports experience, and has conducted more than 10,000 live group workshops to a combined 675,000 plus, youth and high school coaches, parents, student-athletes and school/organizational leaders nationwide. Nievas reminded participants, “Control over outcome is determined by effort, skill, ability and focus.”

Control over outcome was a continued theme in the second half of the clinic as “Tish” Palamidessi; Sacramento News 10 Traffic Anchor & Producer shared proactive strategies for developing and controlling relationships with the media. In her workshop, “Lights, Camera and Athletes,” Tish shared with participants that: Respecting the job of the reporter, Knowing the media in your area, and Preparing for interviews are the most important tactics athletes need to remember as they progress in their game. Tish reminded participants, “In sports media, it is important that athletes take control of their relationship with the media and not anyone else”. Tish encouraged participants to also spend time learning as much about the reporters who cover sports, so that they can anticipate questions and be prepared with responses.

WHO: Team SAGE (Scholar Athletes Globally Emerging) is a Sacramento-based, Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball-scholar program that has earned national and international recognition in the AAU arena because of its focus on academic achievement and social accountability.

Team SAGE is a program constructed to propel Sacramento-area youth to a higher level of educational ownership and civic responsibility, as well as enhance their athletic talents resulting in intellectually prepared student-athletes. Each year workshop participants gain a better understanding of the issues that help or hinder talented young athletes and leave with a renewed sense of commitment to the SAGE mission, “to create an educational experience embodying the principles of sound mind and sound body, by incorporating academic and social accountability with organized sports”.

MEDIA VISUALS: (Team Sage Short Film) (

WHY: Statistics show when youth are unsupervised during the time period immediately after school, they have a greater likelihood of becoming involved in vandalism, gang violence, drugs and other mischievous and illegal activities. These problems are magnified in disadvantaged urban communities. “An at-risk child becomes an at-risk adult”.

History: Founded in 2009, Team SAGE, Inc. through its strategic partnerships provides scheduled tutoring sessions, mentoring opportunities, college tours, specialized athletic training activities, counseling and high level sports competition for SAGE scholar-athletes and affiliates.

Team SAGE served as the model program for a Team SAGE-Salvation Army joint venture coined “Project Tip-Off”. The program, funded by the City of Sacramento, Youth Services Dept., provided academic support including but not limited to professional tutoring services, SAT and college preparation for over 350 kids in several multi-family housing areas of Sacramento, including Oak Park, G Parkway, and Meadowview. Community service activities, health and nutrition education, college recruiting support, competitive AAU basketball team participation, sports camps, basketball clinics and other activities comprised the remainder of the program.

This event was sponsored in part by: Wornel Simpson, CARES (Center for AIDS Research Education & Services), Debbie Manning, Glenn A. Middleton, DDS, Olsen & Fielding Moving Co., PG&E, RCP-Sacramento, Sacramento High School-Varsity Basketball Team, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity‐Gamma Epsilon, Target Excellence, and Wells Fargo.

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