We look back happily now, but the phrase “Life’s 2 Short 4 Just 1 Sport” really came from a moment of outrage.
Kerry and Steve Boyle, co-founders of 2-4-1 Sports, received a call from the soccer coach of their then nine-year old daughter (now an All-American lacrosse player). The coach called their daughter his “#1 prospect” after a local travel soccer team tryout. Delighted by the comments, the Boyles shared their enthusiasm with the coach along with their concerns about the potential conflict between the spring soccer season and their daughter’s budding interest in lacrosse. When learning about her interest in another sport, the coach declared “We’re no longer interested!” In a matter of seconds, their nine year old child had gone from “#1 prospect” to not even being considered – simply because she was considering participating playing another game.
Kerry and Steve, former Division 1 athletes and local coaches in the high school and youth ranks were shocked that their child was being forced to chose a sport at the age of 9. They both grew up playing whatever was in season and didn’t focus on a primary sport until well into high school (even then – continuing to play multiple-sports amidst that “focus”). They knew from personal experience and years of coaching that the best leaders, the best sports, and the best athletes – were all multi-sport athletes.
They knew that among the kids they had coached that went on to play in college – not one was a single sport athlete. Kerry, the athletic director at a local private school often heard Ivy League coaches share opinions like, “I’d rather recruit a highly competitive, top level basketball player and teach them lacrosse, then recruit a kid who only plays lacrosse year-long”.
It wasn’t long before “Life’s 2 Short 4 Just 1 Sport” became a mantra in the Boyle household. They quickly decided to rough out the idea for a multi-sport camp. The focus was on bringing back the ideal image of the three-sport varsity athlete. As they both coached only girls at the time (and have 3 daughters), they decided to call their venture, “Boyle’s 3-Season Sports Academy for Girls”.
They broached the idea with administrators from the Watkinson School in Hartford and that summer of 2008, they had their first camp of the sort with 65 eager girls in attendance.
The camp met with such incredible success, that a buzz was created in the local youth programs. Parents whispers became shouts declaring, “there’s a local camp full of high school coaches and athletes proving that you DON’T have to play just one sport all year long”. Parents begged for boys to be added the following summer and it was done.
With the camp growing so quickly and folks asking for more than just 3 sports, the Boyle’s decided to take the 2-4-1 from their increasingly recognized tagline and changed the name for good to The 2-4-1 Sports Academy.
Only 4 summers later, the camp was declared “Best Summer Camp” in Hartford Magazine’s Readers Poll and their programs have received tremendous positive coverage from area media outlets (Click HERE to see examples). Now over 1000 kids have come to recognize that “Life’s 2 Short 4 Just 1 Sport” and kids from throughout the U.S. and beyond are attending their programs.
“The counselors were the absolute best. They made everyone feel so important and they had so much fun with us. I can’t wait to go back and have them work and play with me again” Haley Connors