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 courses for young athletes on how to learn mindfulness that is directly applicable to their sport.

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

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.

Enjoys:

  • Korean Food
  • Jon Stewart
  • Yankees & Knicks

Chris Hamilton

Program Manager

Chris is the Program Manager at Mindful Sports. He is also a Site Leader 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!

Enjoys:

  • Stand-Up Comedy
  • Quesadillas
  • Superhero Movies

Aidan Rioux-Jones

Associate Operations Coordinator

Aidan is an Associate Operations Coordinator at Mindful Sports. He is also a Site Leader 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.

Enjoys:

  • Software Engineering
  • Action Movies
  • Pizza

Daniel Miller

Associate Program Coordinator

Coach Daniel is an Associate Program Coordinator at Mindful Sports. He is also a Site Leader and Lead Coach. Daniel grew up in Manhattan and won a NY state baseball championship playing for Trinity High School. He went on to play rugby at the University of South Carolina where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Sports and Entertainment Management. Daniel has worked with youth sports programs on and off since high school and enjoys playing, watching, and teaching a wide array of sports.

Enjoys:

  • Baseball, football, golf
  • Cooking
  • Soul music

Full-Time Seasonal Team

Shikynah Vaz

Coach Shikynah is a Lead Coach at Mindful Sports. Shikynah grew up and lives in Brooklyn, NY. She loves playing all sports, especially football, hockey and basketball. Shikynah played rugby for nine years in both high school and college. She enjoys working with kids to help them learn life lessons through sports. Shikynah also enjoys hanging out with her friends in the city!

Corey Dan

Coach Corey is a Lead Coach at Mindful Sports. Corey grew up in Daytona Beach, FL and played basketball his entire childhood – including varsity basketball in high school. Coach Corey also officiated youth basketball and soccer. Dan’s multiple dimensions of experience as player, coach, and referee give him unique tools to enrich kids’ athletic experience. Coach Corey’s personal goals are to help kids learn to be respectful of each other while having fun!

Archie O’Dell

Coach Archie is a Site Leader and Lead Coach at Mindful Sports. He’s played sports his whole life. A few of his favorites are soccer, basketball, and kickball. Archie enjoys getting to know each child in the program and finding out what sports and games excite them the most. When he’s not coaching, Archie loves to DJ, listen to music, and hang out with friends!

Vanessa Argonza

Coach Vanessa is a Lead Coach at Mindful Sports. Vanessa grew up in California and has played soccer her whole life. She has been working with kids for the last six years and enjoys being able to teach and play different sports with them! She is excited to have fun and get to know all the Mindful Sports children this season!

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.