Seth spent part of his childhood in Queens and part of in Long Island. Regardless of where he lived, Seth was always involved in athletics and the coaches and mentors he had in sports shaped his life and career as a coach. Seth attended Adelphi University in Garden City, Long Island where he walked-on to the lacrosse team and was a member of the school’s 1995 Division II National Championship team. After graduating from Adelphi, Seth taught physical education for four years and then moved on to Monroe College in New Rochelle where he spent 12 years as the Women’s Basketball Coach, winning three National Championships while also coaching for the USA U18 team. After retiring from coaching Seth worked at a non-profit before founding Hi Five.
What inspired you to leave coaching and join Hi Five?
The biggest challenge was breaking into a very congested youth sports market and it is still a challenge today. By offering programming that is unique and innovative as well as committing ourselves to high quality instruction we have been able to break into the market and continuously overcome the obstacles we face.
What in your background prepared you to work in youth sports?
I was a physical education teacher for the NYCDOE for three years. I also coached Women’s Basketball at Monroe for 12 years. This enabled me to work and observe kids/players from the ages of 3-22. To this day, I am continuously improving and learning more effective ways to interact with staff and kids on a daily basis.
What do you look for when you hire a coach to work with kids?
I look for a coach who is enthusiastic and has a hunger to learn. Our training program can teach them how to instruct and which drills and games will be effective for different skill levels. But we need coaches to want to learn and have a passion for working with kids.
What makes Hi Five different from other youth sports programs?
Two things separate Hi-five from other programs
1- Our Academic Integration (AI) program. Which not only teaches our children sport-specific skills, but uses sports to teach our children S.T.E.A.M. principles and reinforces what they learn in the classroom.
2- Our coaching- We are highly selective in who we choose to coach. Most of our coaches are certified teachers and coaches from the Board of Ed. We also have a comprehensive training program that our coaches need to finish in order to teach at Hi-Five.
What programs does Hi Five offer?
We specialize in multi-sport programs giving children a taste of many sports. We also have individual sports classes where children can take a specific sport class and have qualified experts teach them how to play that sport. We run after school programs, vacation programs, summer camps, enrichment classes and corporate events (i.e. sports programs during corporate picnics).
At present, Hi Five operates out of PS 116 and The Churchill School, both of which are on the East Side of Manhattan, and is looking to expand our after school programming to school all around Manhattan, We will also be running Spring basketball programs and a pre-K baseball program downtown.
Tell us about Hi Five’s camps.
Our camp ‘Camp In The Hill” is one of the most unique camps in NYC. It is held at PS 116 in Murray Hill. Our camp is based on learning and fun, we teach the kids a variety of sports, some traditional like (soccer, baseball, etc.) and some non-traditional (archery, team handball, etc.). Regardless of the sports we play we always teach the children how to play the sport and emphasize the values sports teaches such as teamwork, sportsmanship and integrity. We also run a S.T.E.A.M program, which lets kids make their own racecar, create their own carnival and become their own superhero. Our camp runs from 8:30am – 5:00pm to fit the needs of working parents and offer discounts for local businesses.
What are the particular challenges of doing what you do in NYC?
Like most business the cost of NYC space is high. We try to keep our prices down so that we can include everyone who wants to participate. That is difficult to do with space being so expensive
You must have lots of great stories from your years working with kids. Tell us about one that inspired you.
We had a child who was mildly autistic in one of our after-school programs. Working with him for two years and watching him grow knowing we were a small part of him mainstreaming was very rewarding. The experience has inspired us to continue to look for ways to help special needs kids within our programs.
What was the best advice you got from a coach? “Pressure is a privilege”
What is your most treasured sports possession? My lacrosse national championship ring from my 1995 season
Favorite sports book? Miracle at St. Anthony’s (Big Bob Hurley fan)
Favorite sports movie? Remember the Titans
Best sports memory?
Winning our first NJCAA national championship at Monroe. We were 36-0 and it was a culmination of 5 years of work building the program. All of our girls graduated from that team at 10 girls received scholarships.See more New York Sports Connection articles
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