Our Mission: To empower young people through sport.
Sport is simply a vehicle to teach strong values applicable throughout your life. It is our strong belief that we find success not despite this philosophy but because of it.
In a nutshell
Beyond Sticks was founded in August 2011. It has grown from Coach Chrissy (Lewis) Sumers working with 11 athletes to an experienced coaching staff developing over 500 athletes per season. We now include a non-profit branch, Play Beyond the Game, While the numbers have changed and our organization has expanded, our core message has always remained the same; we empower young people through sports.
While many athletic opportunities for young people focus only on the technical aspects needed to achieve success on the field, Beyond Sticks systematically empowers student-athletes to become better and stronger physically, mentally and emotionally. Our staff focuses on giving young people a high skill level and technical knowledge of the game, but also believes success comes when athletes are able to translate these skills into other areas of life. We offer this unique approach to the game through summer camps, development academy, clinics, the Loudoun County League and our affiliate field hockey club , Southeast Storm. Our partnership with the Positive Coaching Alliance helps us become better coaches and role models as we empower the next generation of young people.
Where are you located?
We run programs in Washington DC and Northern Virginia. Starting in 2015, we will also run programs in New York and the Hudson Valley.
What do you do to empower athletes?
We believe we create a culture of positivity throughout our programs by training our athletes in the Positive Coaching Alliance philosophy. We also incorporate our Play Beyond the Game sessions throughout the year to address specific issues to make our athletes think about their own character and how to positively impact others.
What is the difference between Southeast Storm, LCL, Play Beyond the Game, and Beyond Sticks?
We know, all our projects are confusing! We have three main areas we focus on and each one project has a different name.
Beyond Sticks is a small business. We were founded in 2011 and most other projects branched out from this organization. We run our camps and clinics under Beyond Sticks.
Play Beyond the Game is our newest project-our non-profit wing. We formed 3 years ago when parents in Loudoun County came to us with a desire to run a parent run, volunteer based league. Now, our development Academies also run under the non-profit. We have expanded our mission to also include our Play Beyond Initiatives, where we run free programs in two charter schools- in DC and the Bronx.
Southeast Storm is our partner club. Many coaches work in our development programs and club. We believe we are stronger working together. We both believe in growing the game, developing competitive field hockey players, and imparting our core values to those within our teams. Our largest joint venture during the year is the academic year club and development leagues.
What is Southeast Storm?
Southeast Storm Field Hockey Club is a competitive, USA Field Hockey sanctioned club based in Maryland and with practice locations in Alexandria, VA, Mclean, VA and Washington DC. Southeast Storm is open to both girls and boys. As of 2015 Southeast Storm carries:
- 1 Under 12 team
- 2 Under 14 teams
- 3 Under 16 teams, including 1 Elite team
- 2 Under 19 teams, including 1 Elite team
What is Beyond Sticks Development Academy?
Beyond Sticks Development Academy is fall, winter and spring weekly field hockey sessions for players aged 3rd-12th grade. The groups are placed in loose teams, but the intention is not competition, but to increase the joy in the game and give players the opportunity to play. Through the use of paid, USA Field Hockey certified and background checked coaches, we strive to teach a strong technical and tactical base of the game so all athletes can learn the joys that come from playing field hockey and the comradery that comes with team sports. As our league is non-competitive, our development players can “graduate” to club as they get older or after a few seasons of development. We encourage those new to non-school based sports to try a season of development before attempting to play club, as it will give players a strong foothold into our culture and style of play. We also encourage those who simply do not have the time or want a lower level commitment to play development with us during any season.
Development Academy, Camps, & Clinics
During the fall, winter and spring seasons, Beyond Sticks runs a Development Academy program at various Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. locations. This is a great place for new players to learn the game and for current players to continue to grow and develop. In the summer, Beyond Sticks runs two different camps: a field hockey camp and a youth multi-sports camp. We also run a summer league where high school and club players can come to scrimmage. Throughout the entire year, Beyond Sticks hosts various clinics for different age groups and levels of experience. We offer anything from a one-day clinic with an Olympian or a college coach to a multi-week session like our eight-week clinic at the Dulles Sportsplex.
Beyond Sticks is the partner of Southeast Storm, a USA field hockey club. The affiliation with Southeast Storm allows Beyond Sticks to introduce the competitive side of teams sports, while at the same time sticking with our joint philosophy of empowering young women through sport. Southeast Storm has U12, U14, U16, and U19 teams that participate in fall, winter, and spring seasons.
Loudoun County League
Loudoun County League (LCL) is a parent managed substitute high school league for Loudoun County Schools. LCL is facilitated by Beyond Sticks through our non-profit: Play Beyond the Game, Inc. We are extremely proud to support the parents, coaches, umpires, and players who work so hard to ensure that the young women of Loudoun County are able to have a high school playing experience. We are also proud of the field hockey coalition in Loudoun County that successfully lobbied to get field hockey into public schools for 2016. We are currently fighting to ensure funding for all schools, and not just the affluent areas of the county.
Our Core Values:
- Character: We believe sport can teach players a myriad of traits: conflict resolution, not fearing failure, bouncing back, teamwork, acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses, receiving and responding to feedback, pushing through plateaus…really we could go on, but you get the picture-sport is a conduit for life lessons!
- Leadership: Sport prepares you to better lead yourself and learn to lead others. By focusing on how different personality styles can effectively lead, we hope to better prepare athletes for leadership positions on and off the field.
- Team above Self: Sport is a competition where one team wins and another loses. All players need to look at their own preparation, mental toughness, and decisions when assessing the result after an event. Losing is an opportunity to learn; it can disappoint you or fuel you. We encourage commitment, responsibility and hard work to show players that teammates, coaches, and self should be held accountable for their own actions and continuously improve. The stronger an athlete\’s system of accountability and team above self becomes the more success they will encounter-both as individuals and as a team.
- ELM philosophy of Play: ELM, from our partnership with the Positive Coaching Alliance, teaches players to focus on what they can control. If they focus solely on winning, which they can’t control, players tend to get more anxious and less self-confident, which undercuts how well they end up playing. ELM stands for:
- Effort: Give your best every time. Leave it all out on the field.
- Learning & Improvement: No matter what happens on the scoreboard, focus on what you can take away to get better.
- Mistakes: Setbacks and mistakes are inevitable. What is crucial is how you respond to them.