Youth in Sports

Young Athlete Inspiration of the Year

Chris at age 8 with Nike Tennis Camp coaches George, Francis and the writer in Subic Bay Philippines, 2003

7-15-11 Beeyong Sison Harrington Park, New Jersey, USA – “Come on Chris, give me another game.” I insisted after losing four games in-a-row in a lopsided one-on-one basketball game against my 16-year nephew last month. “Let’s make best of nine.

 

"Nah! Let’s throw some football this time,” Chris answers. “It’s getting dark and besides I’m hungry”.

 

“Okay, I won’t ask you to play tennis with me and the ladies tomorrow if you play another game,” I suggested.  “Is that a deal?”

 

“Deal.” This time the game was tight and I lost only by a bucket. The freshman from North Valley Regional Old Tappan High School seemed to have given me an edge (or a handicap) by scoring his points only from long-range a’la Dirk Nowitzki, referrring to a member of the Dallas Mavericks who was to play game 6 of the NBA finals that night.

 

It would have been another rout if Chris had mixed his moves in the paint using his big-boned 210-pound, 5-foot-9 body against my 155/5-6 frame. As a former full-time athlete, I have kept in shape and thought could still use my agility and fitness against him, but to no-avail. 

 

Chris’ shooting skills are fundamentally sound. He has a nice stroke and fluid release of the ball, thanks to the basketball clinic he attended last year.

 

“Good playing Chris, you have a pretty good game,” I said.

 

“I know,” says Chris while dribbling.

 

“Please don’t respond that way, just say thanks the next time somebody says something nice about your game,” I followed.

 

“Okay.”

 

"Are you going to play another violin recital piece for us tonight?” I asked while we were leaving the beautiful Highfield recreation park only a few blocks from his home. I noticed he seemed to know everyone in the neighborhood calling them by their first names. “I like the Rieding piece, Concerto in B minor you played last night.”

 

“Nope not tonight Tito (uncle), I’m too hungry and still have school tomorrow”. Chris had a week left before the summer holidays and he intended to spend more time at the park to work on his game with his buddies. He’s become a ‘gym rat’ or a ‘park squirrel’ as I like to call myself too.

 

His passion for sports seem to have provided him a nice little confidence boost.  A big leap when he attended our Nike Tennis Camp as an eight year old in 2003. Lucky kid, I thought, he feels so much at home in this beautiful neighborhood.

 

Just over a year ago, in 2010, Chris and his younger brother Camillo were members of the Robert Frost Middle School Orchestra near Washington D.C. where their dad works as a foreign service officer.

 

The family had to move back to New Jersey when his father was re-assigned to the United Nations in New York City. Chris' mom made sure he continued with his weekly violin lessons.

 

Out of curiosity, I asked why he didn’t play for his school basketball team. He kept mum.  I found out later from his mom that he was taken out because he couldn’t stand losing and ended up blaming his teammates every time the team came-up short. He subsequently joined the track and field team.

 

Later that evening, we were both watching game 6 of the NBA finals between Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks. Chris was pulling for Lebron and company while I have always followed Jason Kidd, and now also Nowitzki, and JJ Barea.

 

I especially liked them due to the fact that they all played tennis and were into multiple sports as kids. Kidd plays class A level, Barea was a an 12-under junior tennis champion growing up in Puerto Rico while Nowitzki played the Bundesliga Junioren Tennis (German League junior tennis) until he was sixteen, before they both chose basketball as their chosen career.

 

Chris was getting edgy by the second quarter when the Mavs pulled away by double digit points. Chris couldn’t stand the excitement seeing his team struggle. He left for his room and didn’t come back to watch the rest of the game.

Over-Achiever

Chris in 2007: Heifetz in the making?

The previous month, Chris represented his school at the Big North Conference Freshman Track and Field Tournament.

 

He competed in the Shot-Put Event where he qualified, then subsequently placed fifth while throwing a personal best 33-feet, 2 inches, finishing ahead of other participants from bigger schools in the county.

 

I could not be more proud. In today’s youth world, Chris would be considered as an above average-regular kid getting along fine with school work, sports, music, and family life while staying out of mischief, right?  

 

Well, he’s more than that. He is an overachiever and a champion in my book. Chris has Asperger Syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder which affects 1 out of 100 children in America. It is a type of pervasive development disorder (PDD) involving delays in the development of many basic skills including having difficulty socializing with others, communicating, and use of imagination.

 

According to several medical journals, children with Asperger's syndrome typically function better than those with autism, and in Chris’ case, he has the mildest and highest functioning case in the Autism spectrum.

 

Estimates suggest Asperger's syndrome affects from 0.024% to 0.36% of children. It is more common in males than in females, and usually is first diagnosed in children between the ages of 2 and 6 years.

 

Affected children like Chris can also be exceptionally talented or skilled in a particular area, such as music or math or on their area of interest such as sports. This is where the diligence of his parents and the support of facilitators within Chris’ community are commendable.

 

Well-designed programs focused on healthy development, integrated with other community level interventions, and involving parents, teachers and peers, can positively affect the lives of children with disability like Chris.

 

Chris is supposed to have limited interests and have problems with bio-motor skills like being clumsy and awkward. However, his interests in multiple sports, music and making friends have shown he has overcome these challenges. Chris’ achievement in the shot put competition last May is phenomenal as well as inspirational.

 

Award winning columnist J.C. Baumuller who has been covering the local high school sports scene since 2002, went to Chris' school last May to interview a coach. Instead he "walked in to a better story". Baumuller, also a sports editor, writes positive accomplishment on and off the fields and most importantly on family values. Read his  article on northjersey.com

 

Disability and Youth Sports

Chris at right with sibs Camillo and Clarissa in 2009, Washington DC.

Participation in sport, recreation and play is valuable in empowering children with disabilities and teaching them key life skills. Sport is an important channel for reaching and engaging young people like Chris in their own development. It can help them become active participants in decision-making, express their own views freely and build self-esteem.

 

In these cases participation in sport activities alone, however, will not necessarily deliver the benefits. If programs are overly focused on competition and winning at all costs, or if it fails to place the healthy development of children and youth at the center of the experience, it can create negative outcomes.  These negative experiences can also undermine the gains acquired over the years resulting in low self-esteem and unhealthy behavior.

 

The positive environment Chris belong to has struck a good balance. His parents, his special mentors - on and off the field - administrators, coaches in his school have integrated physical education and sport experiences during school days. They have made sport accessible to children like Chris regardless of their physical ability, gender, socio-economic or ethno-cultural background.

 

This integration can build on children’s early experiences by ensuring children develop their physical and motor capacities to lead active, healthy lives, and most importantly improving children’s relaxation, concentration and mood state in school — helping them focus and learn.

Chris in Action in Virginia

    To raise awareness about the contributions of children with disabilities that can make in their communities, and to help build more inclusive societies, International Tennis School has chosen Christopher Sorreta as our “Young Athlete Inspiration of the Year”. 

 

Home > Education & Sports

Comments

Please enter the code
* Required fields
  • uninstall google plus android (Sunday, September 07 14 11:45 am EDT)

    Wow, this piece of writing is nice, my sister is analyzing these kinds of things,
    so I am going to convey her.

  • power up whole body garcinia cambogia (Saturday, September 06 14 06:42 pm EDT)

    Pretty! This has been an extremely wonderful post. Many thanks for supplying this information.

  • garcinia cambogia formula and safe colon (Saturday, August 23 14 03:31 am EDT)

    Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something.
    I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that,
    this is magnificent blog. An excellent read. I will certainly be back.

  • original garcinia cambogia 1300 reviews (Thursday, August 07 14 10:53 pm EDT)

    I'm not sure where you're getting your info, but good topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more.

    Thanks for wonderful info I was looking for this info for my mission.

  • Hollie (Thursday, July 31 14 10:48 pm EDT)

    I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
    I don't know who you are but certainly you're going
    to a famous blogger if you aren't already ;) Cheers!

  • league of legends beginner Guide (Sunday, July 27 14 09:32 pm EDT)

    Its such as you read my mind! You seem to understand so much approximately this, such as you wrote
    the e book in it or something. I believe that you simply could do with some % to pressure the message house a little bit, however
    other than that, that is excellent blog. An excellent read.
    I'll definitely be back.

  • league Of legends guide for noobs (Friday, July 25 14 10:10 pm EDT)

    Pretty! This was an extremely wonderful post. Thanks for providing this information.

  • garcinia cambogia dosage (Friday, July 18 14 08:00 pm EDT)

    garcinia cambogia customer reviews I have to show
    my appreciation to the writer just for bailing me out of this specific circumstance.
    Just immediately after exploring throughout the world-wide-web and locating options that had
    been not effective, I figured my life was more than. Living with out the approaches to the difficulties you have fixed through your good short post is
    actually a crucial case, and those that would have badly impacted my entire profession if I had not encounter your
    web page. Your personal expertise and kindness in touching the whole factor was
    useful. I do not know what I’d have carried out if I hadn’t come across such a factor
    like this. I may also now relish my future. Thanks a
    good deal so substantially for the extraordinary and amazing support.
    I won’t be reluctant to suggest your net web page to any particular person who desires
    guidance on this matter. garcinia cambogia extract gnc

  • league of legends guide for noobs (Wednesday, July 09 14 01:05 pm EDT)

    Great delivery. Solid arguments. Keep up the great effort.

  • Coco Amo LOVE (Monday, July 07 14 12:14 am EDT)

    Hеllo, yup thiѕ paragraph іs truly pleasant and I hаve learned lot
    of things fгom it regaгding blogging. thanks.

  • garcinia cambogia where to buy (Thursday, July 03 14 02:14 am EDT)

    of course like your website however you need to take a look at the spelling on quite a few of your posts.
    Many of them are rife with spelling issues and I to find
    it very bothersome to tell the truth then again I'll certainly come back again.

  • garcinia cambogia extract (Monday, June 16 14 04:28 am EDT)

    garcinia cambogia extract reviews Hello! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing many months of hard function due to no backup.
    Do you might have any solutions to protect against hackers?
    pure garcinia cambogia extract

  • Buy Here Pay Here Dallas (Sunday, June 15 14 09:07 am EDT)

    This does not mean that you are devoid of your favorite and the most lovable dream machine.
    Buying second hand cars or used cars is a good decision as it can save lots of your money which otherwise would have gone in buying a new
    car. So knowing about extra can help you in negotiation.

  • natural garcinia cambogia reviews (Thursday, June 12 14 02:44 am EDT)

    research verified garcinia cambogia reviews You actually make it appear really easy torrpeq along with your presentation however I find
    this matter to be actually one thing that I believe
    I would by no means understand. It kind of feels too complicated and
    very wide for me. I’m having a look ahead in your subsequent post,
    I will attempt to get the cling of it! pure garcinia cambogia reviews

  • garcinia cambogia review (Saturday, June 07 14 02:09 am EDT)

    garcinia cambogia extract An outstanding share!
    I’ve just forwarded this onto a coworker who was doing a little homework on this.
    And he actually ordered me lunch because I found it for him… lol.
    So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanks for spending the time to discuss this subject here on your blog.
    garcinia cambogia reviews

  • local movers MA (Wednesday, June 04 14 12:36 pm EDT)

    I used to be able to find good info from your blog posts.

  • cure panic attacks (Monday, May 26 14 04:16 pm EDT)

    When I initially commented I clicked the "Notify me when new comments are added" checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get three e-mails with the same comment. Is there any way you can
    remove me from that service? Thank you!

  • homeschool reviews (Saturday, May 24 14 11:37 am EDT)

    I like what you guys are up too. This kind of clever work and reporting! Keep up the superb works guys I've incorporated you guys to my blogroll.

  • safest car seat 2014 (Wednesday, May 21 14 10:37 pm EDT)

    These are really wonderful ideas in regarding blogging.
    You have touched some good points here. Any way keep up wrinting.

  • New Jersey movers (Saturday, May 17 14 04:54 am EDT)

    Quality articles is the important to invite the users to
    pay a quick visit the web page, that's what this web site is providing.

  • Jaclyn (Sunday, September 09 12 12:45 am EDT)

    Thanks for sharing. Your post is a uefsul contribution.

  • Ulrich (Friday, September 07 12 12:35 pm EDT)

    Hey Jessica,Its pretty silpme but can sound complicated, but there are several ways to do it. First you can download your pictures to Flickr or a site like Flickr and attach the photos through the
    html section. Or you can just pick a stretch blog option and change all the 400s to 800s in the html section. Hope that makes any sense. It took me about 6 months to figure it out =)Take care,Candi

  • Asmat (Wednesday, July 04 12 02:54 am EDT)

    I feel the same way that the person who wrote the atlcire in Tennis Life magazine does, tennis clothes have gone way too far over the top style wise. Please go back to the classic styles that made so
    many of us fall in love with Tail clothes, we don't want to dress like we're going to a cocktail party on the tennis court. I've worn Tail tennis clothes for years and have always love them, the
    fabric and the styles until last year, there were only one or two lines that I would have bought all year and it looks like this year will be the same.PDRTJS_settings_3830102_comm_371 = {"id" :
    "3830102","unique_id" : "wp-comment-371","title" :
    "I+feel+the+same+way+that+the+person+who+wrote+the+article+in+Tennis+Life+magazine+does%2C+tennis+clothes+have+gone+way+too+far+over+the+top+style+wise.++Please+go+back+to+the+classic+styles+that+ma...","item_id"
    : "_comm_371","permalink" : "http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tailactivewear.com%2Fblog%2Findex.php%2Fproducts%2F%23comment-371"}

  • Simon (Monday, July 02 12 06:20 pm EDT)

    a family after my own heart. coaruatglntions on your new arrival, you guys! (Thank you so much to Sheylo and Collin for the referral.) Parker and Callie, may you have many fun adventures growing up