Teaching age-appropriate mindfulness through sports

Mindful Sports

From our headquarters in Brooklyn, NY, Mindful Sports offers after-school programs and summer camps for children; and provides online certification courses for coaches on how to teach mindfulness to young athletes.

Whether your child is playing a sport for the first time or is competing at a travel or showcase level, Mindful Sports is a great way for them to learn valuable emotional regulation skills and have a ton of fun!

Meet the Team

Dr. Sam Faeder

Director/Founder

Enjoys:

  • Korean Food
  • Jon Stewart
  • Yankees & Knicks

Sam is the Director and Founder of Mindful Sports. Sam grew up in Manhattan, playing baseball for Stuyvesant High School. He played college baseball for Swarthmore and professionally in Europe and Australia from 2007-2010. Sam holds a PhD (2022) in Psychology. His research explores how mindfulness training affects stress perception in preadolescent children playing sports. He has run youth sports programs and summer camps professionally for fifteen years.

Robert Napolitano

Senior Coordinator

Enjoys:

  • Cooking
  • Mixed Martial Arts
  • Prospect Park

Robert is the Senior Coordinator at Mindful Sports and is one of our Field Supervisors. Robert has ten years experience teaching yoga to people of all ages. Robert also coached youth soccer in Queens. Robert went to Cornell University, where he played football. Robert also played baseball in high school, growing up right here in Brooklyn. Robert’s favorite mindfulness exercise is breathing. Robert also currently practices mixed martial arts as a hobby.

Chris Hamilton

Coordinator

Enjoys:

  • Stand-Up Comedy
  • Quesadillas
  • Superhero Movies

Chris is a Coordinator at Mindful Sports. He is also a Field Supervisor and Lead Coach. Chris has a long history of working with children of all ages in the tri-state area. Chris has devoted much of his professional life to New York City youth. His favorite sports are basketball, soccer, and flag-football. Chris is passionate about child development, especially helping children express their individuality. His favorite mindfulness activities are our mindful emotion themes. Chris firmly believes we all can be heroes without the capes!

Aidan Rioux-Jones

Associate Coordinator

Enjoys:

  • Software Engineering
  • Action Movies
  • Pizza

Aidan is an Associate Coordinator at Mindful Sports and a Lead Coach. Aidan has worked with children in sports since he was high school – and grew up right here in Brooklyn! His favorite sport is flag-football. Aidan’s skills and interests revolve around his mutual passions for sports and technology. His favorite mindfulness activities are our mindful body awareness themes. In his free time, Aidan works on designing computer software and hardware.

Full-Time Seasonal Team

Davone Mature

Coach Davone (as he says, “say it like Seven!”) is a Field Supervisor and Lead Coach at Mindful Sports. Davone’s background is in skateboarding, which he has been doing for 19 years. Davone loves all sports, especially soccer, flag-football, and all of the creative physical education games we play at Mindful Sports. His dream is to continue to help children discover joy when they are playing their favorite sports, in the same way he feels joy when skateboarding. Coach Davone is originally from the Boston area in Massachusetts.

Mindful Sports believes in the importance of teaching mindfulness and self-regulation while helping kids have fun and learn how to play sports. Mindfulness practice is a research-proven method of helping children learn to manage stress and anxiety, improve focus, and increase their overall resilience. Teaching mindfulness through sports helps children:

  • Learn age-appropriate mindfulness skills in a fun sports environment
  • Build a foundation of self-regulatory skills to use during physical activity

  • Learn the rules and skills of sports

  • Be more prepared for athletic competition

  • Understand how to use mindful skills off the field

Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment, without judgment, and the continuous return to that moment. Breathing and awareness exercises help children learn to be okay with how they feel.  Mindfulness can help with stress, fear, and anxiety. Mindful skills can also improve focus and strengthen overall resilience. Research on children’s mindfulness on and off the field of play shows positive and promising results.