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Why we L-O-V-E sports today and everyday!

Valentine's Day is the time to reflect on all the things we love in life. At Kids in the Game, our love for sports is pretty darn high on that list. Between summer camps, sports clinics, travel teams and school programs, we feel super lucky to be immersed in sports on a daily basis. To celebrate today's day of love we wanted to share some stories of why our coaches love sports not only today but everyday.

Michael Murphy- Kids in the Game Co-Founder

Why do I love sports? Let me count the ways....I love sports for all the amazing doors they have opened for me in my life. Playing sports have allowed me to travel the World, make new friends and experience new cultures. I have run a road race in Sweden. Played basketball in Fiji and Australia. Coached basketball in Belgium, France and The Netherlands. Played soccer with kids in Denmark. And most recently experienced shooting hoops while wearing flip-flops in The Philippines. All of this because of a bouncing ball and a desire to have fun playing the sports I love. I love sports for everything they have taught me about teamwork, leadership, community, hard work, the pursuit of excellence and achieving goals. All of these positive skills helped me to make sports not only a passion, but a career. My career in sports is not a job, it is a passion. I love to coach, teach and inspire student-athletes around the World. Sports inspire all of us to do great things. All while cheering positively for our favorite teams. All while having fun in a safe environment. I love sports. They are a true love of mine.

Matt Murphy- Kids in the Game Co-Founder

Sports taught me work ethic, goal setting, leadership, teamwork, and how to handle things when they don't go your way. Sports taught me how to be humble, as I went through periods where I was a starter, scoring points, and winning games and times where I sat on the bench, played terrible, or lost a heartbreaker. Why is that important? Because those are all lessons you need to develop in life to be successful. Life isn't easy! On top of that, sports naturally develop deep relationships. A majority of my best friends, even today, are those I grew up with playing sports in elementary, high school, or college. That's why watching our King Kids play sports is so inspiring for me - I know they'll keep learning those lessons through sport and developing friendships that last forever.

Tatum Boehnke- KING Staff

Not to sound pessimistic but the world's reality is often a far cry from always wearing rose colored glasses. However, there is this one thing that no matter what seems to bring people of all ages, all races, all genders, and all different backgrounds together: sports. Everyone can identify with that anxiety, that excitement, that pit in their stomach when going for it on 4th and 1. Cities can rebuild their identity with one swing of the bat. Nations can unite and inspire the world in just two weeks. We can all rally behind that unranked tennis player taking the world's #1 to a 5th set.That is what I love about sports. I love that the reach of sport is far beyond the basics of a win/loss column. Fan bases become families and everyone can just agree that summer nights are for baseball, March is for basketball and no one should have to work the day after the Superbowl.

Paul O'Connor- Director of KING Hoops

I think what I love most about sports is getting a group of individuals to come together as a team. Instilling the confidence in young kids and then being able to watch them do what they thought they would never be able to is the best feeling.

Cara Hudson- Program Coordinator and UWS Summer Camp Director

I love sports because they teach everyone about sportsmanship and how to work as a team. These are two very important things to learn throughout life to help people grow into strong and respectful human beings. I love that sports bring people together for all over the world.

Sheryl Katz- Director of Marketing

Movement has always been a major part of my life from gymnastics to playing soccer (being slightly scared of the ball still counts, right?) to dancing. My passion for all-things music combined with my intent to express a feeling through movement makes dancing my ideal outlet. It's during this time that I can let all of myself go and live in the moment. Every time I do, I leave feeling stronger - mentally and physically.Dancing requires us to focus on controlling all parts of our bodies while thinking about applying the emotion we're meant to exude. The combination of sport and art evolves into a multi-faceted pastime.

Bonus: I've discovered some of my favorite songs while watching dance performances!

Katherine Higuera-McCoy- Sr. Program Coordinator and KING Spikes Director Ok, what do I love about sports? To be honest, the competition and training. I love watching athletes compete and do the best they can to excel in their particular sport. As a former college athlete myself, I know what it takes to push your body to the limit. I respect and admire others in every sport for pushing and testing their bodies to the fullest capacity. I love seeing the drive in people and the want/urge to win, or in some cases just trying their best. Working with KING just further pushes my love for sports as we get to see the beginning of prospective athletes. We get to train the future and teach them what we know and love about sports. Our staff really makes it great for each child to excel and learn a new passion at such an early age. I love sharing my expertise in volleyball to the student athletes I coach because I am passing on everything I know to them. Plus, as an added bonus I get to learn new skills from other former collegiate athletes and get to continuously push myself to new limits.

Frances Niduaza-Murphy- Director of Performing Arts

Even though my training is in classical music (finished my doctoral studies in Collaborative Piano), I have always loved sports, fitness, and the great outdoors. I was a volleyball player from grade school until my senior year in high school, not to mention being actively involved as a church pianist and choir member. Also, I'm still brushing up on my swimming skills. Music and sports have a lot in common: they both teach and enable one to study, to listen, to manage time, to organize, to resolve conflict, to manage stress, to collaborate (being a team player), and to be willing to learn.

Adam Garrison- KING Staff

I love sports because it has provided me the foundation for the development of many lifelong friendships. Sports can also provide a link between generations and strengthen family relationships.

Ramsey Freeman- KING Coach

Working with kids has always been so rewarding. With KING, there are countless opportunities to make an impact on the children that we work and play with. I love the chance to make the kids happy. Seeing them smile and making them laugh is a great perk to the job!

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