US Performance Performance
A New Partnership
This was my first time seeing this whitewater course. The water was the brightest aqua-blue I had ever seen. This course is known for having the biggest wave-drop that is used in the entire canoe-race circuit. I have never seen anything like it. The water was loud and pumping hard. I took my first few runs, going under the cold, icy water every time. I was quite scared by this point, as were many others.
Many coaches, including my own, had told their younger-athletes that there was not any pressure to race on a whitewater canoe course that was this big, and that the younger athletes did not have to race. The competition was mainly made up of the world's top senior-level athletes, so the group of young-athletes was quite small. I was almost positive I would not race, as all of my practice sessions ended up with getting beat-up by this giant drop.
It was September 7th, 2016, on a warm autumn afternoon in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The leaves were vivid shades of orange, red, and yellow. "Alright everyone, get geared up and get on the water," my coach says. I had just arrived in this beautiful area, excited for the Whitewater Canoe Slalom World Cup Final. This particular day was for training, and the race would start just two days later, September 9th.
Our Student's Experience
The day of the race came, and I had to make my decision. I took accepted the risk, and said I would compete. Fast-forward to a few hours later, and there I am sitting in the start-gate surrounded by athletes having their final thoughts before their competition-run. I could only hear the paddle strokes of the other competitors, with the occasional whispers of teammates discussing their race strategies. I had one last chance to get out of my boat and not compete. Then, I heard the judge say, "3...2...1... GO!" My heart dropped.
I paddled as hard as I possibly could, taking on this very first big drop. Water was splashing, my heart was racing, the crowd was roaring with cheers, and then I head my coach say, "YOU GOT THIS." Those three words changed everything. Maneuvering from different sides of the waves, I felt the rush, and I took advantage of it. It was the most perfect run I had the whole week. The race went fantastic, and I was so happy. I did not have a top-level winning run, but I felt like I had won myself in that moment. I overcame one of my biggest fears, and learned a new meaning for the word "confidence."
After the race ended, I realized that my age has nothing to do with these races. Bringing confidence and a smile to the race will allow me to accomplish anything. I would not have been able to do this without the support from my coaches and teammates at this race. This race changed the way I look at anything- from sports, to school, to daily life. This moment was a true game-changer.
I overcame one of my biggest fears, and learned a new meaning for the word "confidence."
At USPA, we have the privilege of watching our students celebrate their proud moments. We love to share the smiles and joy on their faces. Enjoy!
Two of our hockey student-athletes working on their courses in their skates at the rink.
Juan sporting some school pride on his sleeve while preparing for racing season.
Grace at the AAU Red, White, and Blue meet. She placed 1st in 14-15 tower and 3M and 2nd in 14-15 1M event.
Ceci is helming a GC32, getting ready for the Youth America’s Cup in June.
The Championship Game 3-11-17. THA Boys lined up for National Anthem at The Rinks in Anaheim.
US Performance Academy (USPA), an accredited, private, online school created for athletes, and the Seacoast Spartans, an elite AAA ice hockey program, have partnered to provide elite players with the opportunity to develop their hockey skill sets all while focusing on a strong academic curriculum.
Located in Exeter, New Hampshire, the Seacoast Spartans and The Rinks at Exeter will develop a state-of-the-art blended learning environment allowing for athletes to excel in both athletics and academics through the USPA education platform. USPA will create an integrated and individualized academic experience for each of their student-athletes.
“Finding a rigorous yet flexible academic option was an important aspect for our growth.” says Travis Bezio, co-owner of The Rinks at Exeter. “Our strategic focus includes developing our athletes not only on the ice, but in the classroom as well. Blending athletics and academics together was important for our athletes so they can be excellent students as well as excellent athletes. The USPA program enables our athletes to get more on ice training time in an affordable way. This philosophy, although new in US team sports, is prevalent in Europe and even with high performance individual sports in the US such as tennis or skiing. High end academics and athletics need not be mutually exclusive.”
“We couldn’t be more pleased to partner with an organization like the Seacoast Spartans and The Rinks at Exeter.” said Peter Smith, USPA President. “What is most exciting about this program is that the team has continued to focus on excellence at every level of their program’s development. From the innovative learning environment that the student-athletes will be working, to their unique daily schedule, the smallest detail is carefully examined resulting in an incredibly exciting program.”
For more information or to apply for the Spartans/USPA Academic program please contact Travis Bezio at TBezio@LEGACYglobalsports.com.
Seacoast Spartans Partners with USPA for the Benefit of Youth Hockey Players
1 frozen puff pastry
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow squash
1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes
1 cup or package of basil
1 tsp olive oil
1. Thaw the puff pastry and then roll out to about an inch thick with some flour. Place on a baking sheet and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
2. While the pastry is re-setting, slice the zucchini, squash and cherry tomatoes. Toss with some olive oil and salt. Chop the basil and then mix with the ricotta and mozzarella cheese. Also add a pinch of salt to the mix.
3. Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
4. Take the puff pastry out of the fridge. Dock the dough and by docking I mean taking a fork and piercing it. Leave the outside though because you want to it to puff up. Spread the cheese mixture on the bottom of the puff pastry. Lay out the squashes and tomatoes on top. Place in the oven for 45-50 minutes.
5. Once you've got a nice color and the dough is crisp, remove and garnish with some basil.
Healthy Recipe for Athletes: Zucchini Tart
US Performance Academy