SPORTS WORKSHOP at SEEDs for Autism Hosted by Jake M

A person always doing his or her best becomes a natural leader, just by example.
Joe DiMaggio

Communication skills, flexibility, organization, and the ability to inspire and motivate others are just some of the qualities of being a great leader. At SEEDs for Autism we work to develop these skills in our participants, and encourage them to step outside of their comfort zone with confidence. Jake has demonstrated great leadership abilities, and we were excited to provide him with an opportunity to lead a workshop and share his knowledge and love of sports with his peers. We asked Jake to share his thoughts on his experience.

Hi my name is Jake. I’m writing to talk about a sports workshop that I taught. During the covid-19 pandemic, Seeds has been doing online learning with lessons and zooms with teachers. There also have been different extracurricular zooms. Some of those include movie club, Disney parks club, writing, and others. These are all teacher led. Now Seeds is looking to have student led workshops, and I got to do a sports workshop, which was great because I love sports.

Before I presented the sports workshop in front of my peers, I had to take various steps to prepare. These steps include picking a topic, doing research, finding fun videos, making a slideshow, and doing a practice run with the staff. I also had to make sure I picked questions to get student engagement.

In order to come up with a topic, I sat down and brainstormed ideas and wrote those ideas on a notepad. I picked the best topic and began researching it. I went online to find links and videos to provide information on the chosen topic. The topic I picked was amazing sports plays.

Once I finished my research, I inserted that information into a slideshow using google slides. I had to organize the information in a way that would make sense when explaining to the class. I also had to find fun videos to watch. Part of the assignment for this workshop required me to come up with questions so that the students can be involved.

Once I finished making the slideshow and was ready to present, I did a dry run with the staff members. This helped me receive great feedback, and gave me more confidence before presenting.

The day of the sports workshop was great because I was ready to present. The group was small. I think the workshop was a success because all of the students were very engaged and answering the questions. Some of the students had questions for me to answer, which was good because that means it was a give and take workshop and the students wanted to learn more about sports. It was a success.

This workshop allowed me to share my interest and was good for practicing my presentation skills.

An informative slide from Jake’s presentation

Jake shares video footage of amazing plays with workshop attendees

DANNY (Social Skills Instructor at SEEDs)
As an instructor the best moments are when the students exceed expectations set by others and demonstrate their ability to overcome the fears and uncertainty of self-growth and mastery. Jake, a model example of hard-work and flexibility, did an exemplary job with creating and leading the sports workshop. He took the feedback from other staff and incorporated his own ideas into an engaging and informative lesson about various historical moments. Although I knew he was nervous, it wasn’t obvious. He asked great questions to the other students, made an effort to engage EVERYONE who attended and utilized all of the skills he has learned over the years. To say that I am proud of Jake would be an understatement. Many educators struggle with connecting to students and allowing their passion of a subject to shine through but Jake seemed to have a natural ‘feel’ of the qualities. While the workshop was fairly small due to there being other options at the same time each student shared appreciation for his work and lesson. I’m excited to hear what his next workshop will be about and can’t WAIT to attend!

Image from Jake’s Daily Sports Report: from left to right: Luke Weaver (starting pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks), Jake M. (winning the Employee of the Month for the 50/50 raffle staff), Derrick Hall (President and CEO for the Arizona Diamondbacks).
Jake’s Daily Sports Report


This article was featured in an issue of the SEEDs for Autism Newsletter. If you would like to subscribe and hear more stories from SEEDs participants, please visit our websiteThank you!


Bob Brenly


Jake M.

Image result for bob brenly

Bob Brenly is an American TV broadcaster for the Arizona Diamondbacks. His first stint with the team was from 1998-2000. He is now back as a TV commentator for the team since 2013. He also spent eight seasons broadcasting for the Chicago Cubs from 2005-2012.

Prior to his career in journalism he played as a catcher for the San Francisco Giants from 1981-1988 (All-Star in 1984) and the Toronto Blue Jays in 1989 before being traded back to the Giants in the same year.

He also coached the Diamondbacks from 2001-2004 during which he lead the team to their first and only World Series Championship victory in 2001

The Voice of the Phoenix Suns: Al McCoy

Image result for al mccoy


Jake M.

The Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association (NBA) had their inaugural season in 1968. Their radio play-by-play announcer Al McCoy, commonly dubbed as the Voice of the Phoenix Suns, has been with the team since 1972, which makes him the longest tenured NBA broadcaster.

McCoy began his broadcasting career in Webster City, Iowa during his freshman year at Drake University in 1951 covering the college basketball games. He then moved to Arizona in 1958.

While in Arizona, prior to his job with the Suns, McCoy did play-by-play for the Phoenix Giants, a Triple A affiliate of the Major League Baseball team San Francisco Giants. He also covered college football and basketball for Arizona State University and the Phoenix Roadrunners hockey team.

Al McCoy just finished his 47th season with the Suns and has expressed that he will only retire when it stops being fun.

The Fascinating World of Tennis



Hi my name is Jake and I am going to talk about one of my favorite sports, tennis. Tennis is a fast paced game and is highly popular throughout the world. Originally started in the United States, tennis is now played in 120 countries. Most of the well known players are from either the US or Europe. Tennis is a great way to bring players from around the world to come together for peaceful, cultural cooperation and friendships.

The rules of tennis are simple to understand. There are three stages of the game: game, set and match. To win a game a player must score 4 times. The points are 15, 30, 40 and then game point. If both players reach 40 then that is called a deuce and from there a player must score twice to win the game. If they only score once, it goes back to deuce and continues until someone wins the game by two points. There are boundaries in which a the ball needs to land. If a player’s rally ends with putting the ball in bounds, they receive the point. However, if the player hits the net or hits it out of bounds, the opposing player receives the point. For a player to win a set they must win six games. A player must win by at least two games, so if you are up six to five you would need to win a seventh game in order to win the set. If however, both players wins six games, it then goes to a tiebreaker in order to win that set. In order to win the match, a player must win 3 sets in a best 3 out of 5. The fifth set, with the exception of the US open, lasts for an infinite amount of games until one player wins by two games.  The average length of a tennis match ranges from one hour to 3 and a half hours. The length depends on how quickly a player can score points and how many sets are played. It can be real easy to miss something if you are not paying attention.

During the course of the tennis season, players will play multiple tournaments and earn points for the world rankings. Depending on their world ranking and the tournaments they’ve won, they earn prize money on top of the money they receive from their sponsors.  Both the ATP which is the men’s tour and the WTA which is the women’s tour play final tournaments. The women’s final tournament is played at Singapore and the winner becomes the world champion. The men’s final is played in London.

In addition to all of the side tournaments played, tennis has four major tournaments played in four different countries. These tournaments are the French Open, British Open, United States Open and the Australian Open. Each of these are called Grand Slam singles and if you win all of them in the calendar year you win a trophy called the Grand Slam. Also, every 4 years tennis players compete in the summer Olympics. The next summer Olympic Games is in Rio de Janeiro in August of this year. These tournaments are a great way to bring many people and cultures from around the world to come together for a time of peace and and friendships.

Like every sport there is always that one player, play or match that becomes a legendary moment for decades to come. For example the longest match in the history of the game lasted 11 hours and five minutes . This was a result from the 5 set match in Wimbledon where in the fifth set John Isner finished the match with a 6-4 ,3-6, 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (7-3), 70-68 win over Nicolas Mahut. Due to the fact that they had to pause the game a couple of times due to darkness, this match actually lasted 3 days even though the recorded match length was 11 hours and five minutes. The player with the most Grand Slam singles titles on the men’s side is Roger Federer with 17 and Pete Sampras in second with 14. On the womens’ side Margaret Court has won 24 Grand Slam singles titles with Steffi Graf in second with 22 and Serena Williams in third with 20. If you were to try and keep track of every statistic in tennis past and present you would drive yourself crazy.

While tennis may seem boring on the surface when you dig deeper in you might find a different perspective to the game and that’s what happened to me. The sport is fun, fast exciting and very entertaining. So the next time you find yourself bored with nothing to do try watching tennis.



Jake M.