Recently, the Rising Stars girls basketball team participated in “Get in the Zone,” an innovative program offered by the Youth Empowerment Seminar (YES!). This latest addition to Rising Stars community seminars and life enhancement program, according to founder Paul Savramis, teaches personal calming strategies, such as stretching and focused breathing.
Savramis is very pleased to see these programs continue to grow in popularity as the focus of Rising Stars continues to be self help and promoting life skills to its student athletes.
During the program, the students were taught the “straw breath” breathing technique, which has been used by a number of famous athletes. Lebron James has been known to use straw breath to improve his concentration on the court. This focused breathing exercise involves creating a small straw-sized hole in the lips from which to exhale breaths taken in through the nose. Paul Savramis reports that breathing out for 10 to 15 seconds three to five times helps put the mind at ease and allows it to focus on whatever task is at hand.
Paul Savramis reports that during the program, the teens learned that straw breath could help lower a person’s heart rate by up to 20 beats per minutes and is often recommended to blood pressure patients. This technique is also in widespread use at colleges and universities to help ease the anxiety that comes with high-stakes testing.
In addition to breathing techniques, Paul Savramis notes that students also participated in a number of team building exercises to help improve concentration, communication, and on- and off-court attentiveness.
The Get in the Zone program was taught by YES!’s own Juan Mosquera, a relaxation technique expert. The YES! Program has been featured on a number of high-profile news outlets including PBS Nova, Psychology Today, and the Nassau Community Herald.
Rising Stars leaders, including Paul Savramis, encourage parents and teachers to speak with their student about the program and offer support as they continue the practices they learned.