Shana Tova to all of your families! Gabriel had a tremendous year! Granted he went there for Basketball and all the training , discipline, focus that goes with it! What we didn’t expect is the mental training he received! The positive outlook of oneself and how to perceive what is in your life! Being a teenager, there is so much changes and loving oneself so that one can accomplish greatness is what Step it UP did for our son. The positive training made him so mature and happy! Starting high School was uplifting and has made goals for the year! Goal is one word that he took with him from your camp!! Thank you so much and may hashem bless you with tremendous success and health in the months to come!! The Fellus family!!
Yogev, no need to reply, yet I felt I had to text you to say “thank you”. I JUST received a note from one of Avi’s teachers at TABC saying what a well mannered, well demeanored student he is. In my heart I feel that this excellent report is due in part to the respect and “derech eretz” which he learned at Step it Up this summer. You should be very proud that you are having such a positive impact on young men’s basketball skills, yet perhaps even more importantly, on their “life skills”.
“Few men on this planet have spent more time at a basketball camp than I have, after running no less than 100 camps on 3 continents in the past 20 years. So I come with an earned set of standards that I hold to any camp I associate myself with, standards that are set impossibly high, as I have featured NBA Hall of Fame coaches at my camps, along with superstar players and brilliant basketball minds from around the world. But I did my homework before agreeing to send my one and only son to “Step It Up” last summer, his first true overnight camp to attend. It is fair to say that the experience topped the goals I had hoped to achieve for him, and more importantly, my 14 year old son had the best summer of his life.
The passion for details, the closeness between players and staff, the hours of basketball playing, and the rigorous efforts the staff makes to know the intimate “goings-on” between every camper is what truly sets the experience apart from the other camps existing today.
I witnessed superior teaching on the court, outstanding lectures in a structured setting, and creative and constructive staff meetings (at midnight!!) that enabled every camper to best enjoy his camp experience. It’s no accident that the kids get better day to day, nor is it a surprise that they are smiling and laughing while working so hard.
“This is a well run business, solely focused on the end-user experience, disguised as a basketball camp in a gorgeous setting.”
Here is my favorite anecdote from my son’s time at camp, and it comes a few months after camp ended. My son was invited by friends to go away for a long weekend to a beachside resort on the Atlantic Ocean, about a 4 hour drive across the state from our home near the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. It can get chillier on that side of the state in October, though it can also be just as hot and humid there as it is where we live. My son came home and handed his dirty laundry to his mom as he told me about the weekend, when she noticed there were a few sweatshirts in the laundry pile. She asked him why he packed sweatshirts for a beach trip, and her 14 year old son simply said “I looked up the weather before I packed and saw that it was going to get cold there at night”. She looked to me and said, “that’s Step It Up camp right there-it taught him how to think for himself”.
Now, he loved the camp, he is in touch still with so many of his friends from that month in New Hampshire, and he came home more confident and driven to be a great player than ever before. A drive he still holds, almost a year later. But we are all looking for help to raise independent, bright, loving, and caring young men. And the fact that Yogev and his staff added some maturity to my beautiful boy, while exposing him to quality young men from so many varying backgrounds, is something that I will be grateful for as long as I’m alive.”
Words cannot express how much I appreciate what you gave to my son, Shiah Maisel. This is his second summer and my only regret is that we did not find out about Step it Up sooner, since he will be going into 12th grade at MTA this upcoming year.
The way you interact with the boys is incredible. Shiah has developed confidence, self-esteem, independence and discipline. These are life skills that are more important than anything he could learn in school. When Shiah told me on the phone that he was waking up an hour earlier to work out in the gym, I couldn’t believe it. Each time we spoke he was so happy, enthusiastic, not stressed out- ZERO complaints. To hear him say that he really loves Shabbat at Step it up is so incredible. The respect Shiah has for you and his coach this year, Coach Mo is tremendous. What you, the coach and Shimmy have given to Shiah can never be repaid.
So it is with tremendous gratitude that I thank you, your mother and all of the staff at Step it Up for giving my son a second summer experience he will take with him forever.
All the best and may Hashem bless you and your family in the upcoming New Year.
When Eitan came to us last year and told me he was interested in attending camp Step-it-up, a basketball camp in New Hampshire, I was initially reluctant to send him there. But after talking to approximately two dozen parents, current and past campers, I decided to give my son the opportunity to challenge himself and learn new skills on the court. It seems that all of the positive feedback I heard from folks, who have sent their kids there, is absolutely true! Eitan came home with a new sense of confidence, a renewed passion to push himself beyond his perceived boundaries and a better understanding of what it takes to achieve success on and off the court! He shared with me his daily routine that included early morning drills on the court, talks about working hard, not taking short cuts, nutrition and respect. When I asked him about the coaches, he told me that they were all excellent. And when he wasn’t sweating buckets on the court, he appreciated all the fun day trips and activities to unwind and just have fun! The experience of living in the dorms gave him a taste for what it’s like to be more independent, an added bonus! I don’t think he could have gotten onto his high school basketball team had he not had the experience at your camp!
Thank you for putting your heart and soul into creating a camp that truly aims to teach our kids how to reach their own personal best and at the same time have fun! You make our job as parents just a tad easier 🙂 !
With admiration and gratitude,
Liat & Benjy
Max arrived home today from step it up (both New Hampshire and Israel). “I had the greatest time of my life” words a parent wants to hear! Max’s stories about his experience are truly amazing!
Yogev, step it up is not a camp it is a family! Max has forged the beginning of many friendships . Not just with campers but, also with counselors, coaches, and staff members.
Thanks so much for giving my a slam dunk of a summer!
I want you to know that Eli is a changed young man. He was great before he left for camp and he came back even better . Your team does a great job!! I love seeing a professionals results!!
Thank you so much for the birthday wishes. Also I lost 16 pounds from you and Step It Up staff teaching me to push myself more than I ever have. I use the life skills that I have learned over the summer. Instead of slouching over in class I sit up straight and I figure it out if I don’t get something. Last thing is I got SO MUCH better at basketball than I thought I would and I thought I was going to get way better.
Just wanted to say hi, wish you a Shana Tova and update you on Aaron. We last spoke over a year ago at the end of the summer, when we were in NY and trying to figure out what to do with Aaron for his 11th grade schoolyear. It was that phonecall and conversation with you, that was the impetus for us to push to get him into Waterbury (CT) Yeshiva High School at the last minute (wasn’t an easy task). You were also nice enough to meet up with Aaron on short notice. We all really appreciated that. The “no pressure” attitude and independence (us being far away in Boca) there in Waterbury was, and continues to be great for him. His relationship with us and his siblings has been fantastic. It’s a lot more pleasant to parent him from afar, and thankfully, he has grown to appreciate his parents and the relationship we have all worked hard to foster and maintain. Aaron has really taken responsibility for himself, his actions etc. and has matured leaps and bounds over the past year plus. This past summer, he came back home to Boca for six weeks. His Dad found him a job working for a property manager getting some homes ready for rental. He worked hard, learned a lot, made great money and was tired at the end of the day (no time to be bored). He saved up enough money and planned a trip to LA with a friend to visit his brother, another great experience.
As you know, every person’s life experiences, big and small, shape them as a human being. Although Aaron was only at Step it Up for three weeks, those weeks were such a powerful experience and the lessons learned there will no doubt remain throughout his life. Thank you Yogev. From the email(s) and reading what the parents and kids have to say, it seems Step It Up continues to be a “game changer” for many boys. We (Aaron and I) recommended the camp to our good friends The Maisels and I know that their son Shaya had a fantastic experience, like no other, this past summer.
Keep up the great work Yogev. May you continue your mission in good health, providing so many with a unique life changing experience.
Hey Yogev, Shana tova, I just wanted to let you know how different life is for me right now because of my summer. My discipline is amazing in every aspect of life from focusing in school and keeping ahead of my work to on the court.
I play pick up with these kids from school who I played with last year and struggled with, and now I see how much I’ve improved. My rebounding is stronger, I have a set shot that I know what I’m doing wrong when I’m not hitting, my court IQ increase dramatically, and most of all I have this fire in me when I play that I never had before. I’ve never been more confident in my game and in myself. There are things I can say I learned at Step it Up and try to explain to people my experience, but it’s not something I can easily explain. Rather I just know I’ve grown as an individual and as a player and my mentality is far from where it used to be. I’ve become tougher mentally and it has helped me through my tryouts which were unbelievably tough and the mentality has made life easier.
What really opened my eyes to how much Step It Up helped was by my tryouts. It felt so similar to a day in camp except a little more extreme. There was a warm up with high knees forward backward and sideways with sprints sprinkled in and duck walks up and down the court. There was no walking allowed during the tryouts at all and I couldn’t help but laugh because I had never been more prepared for a tryout in my life. It hit me hard and I was dead tired and sore but I was so prepared because of Step It Up. So I just wanted to let you know that Step It Up was a life changing experience and thank you for everything. Thank you Yogev and all the best
I assume you know that Josh “two minutes per game, no run in the championship!” made varsity. I like the fact that you’re going to remind of that!
I think the 10 days he spent with you was important in his development as a player, and you helped to change his attitude and demeanor. Like a lot of teenagers, he still has a lot to work on in terms of his work ethic and attitude (dont we all?), but he’s come a long way, as you know, and I couldn’t be happier that he made the team and with how he has handled himself, especially after last year’s tough situation. Onwards….
Thanks for all!
My name is Merav, I am Natis oldest sister.
I hope beezrat Hashem everything is going well!
I am writing you this email to thank you…
Firstly, you should know that he looks up to you tremendously and during this time in his life- due to a family situation- he really was in need for a role model that would believe in him and be there for him and the support you showed him through out the summer meant so much to him.
Nati, by nature, is a very closed person. Growing up, we all noticed that it was difficult for him to fully express himself and I believe this led to low confidence.
However, when he got back from Step it Up this past summer, my siblings and I noticed a huge transformation.
Nati started speaking more and it’s obvious that he makes an effort to engage in conversation and make constant eye- contact. Moreover, he started loving himself and realizing how much good he has to offer. He holds himself to high- standards and is honest with himself when he is not doing his best.
Nati constantly speaks about the different lessons you taught him in camp and how certain quotes you said don’t leave his mind.
Thank you so much for dedicating so much time to him and for really impacting him.
I am sure you are very busy but if you ever have time to reach out to him and give him some “chizuk” I would really appreciate it.
What Shaje had to say…
“Coach Yogev and the Staff at Step It Up are masters in their craft. Step It Up helped me completely transform my body in preparation for my college basketball career. I went from barely being able to dunk when wide open, to being able to dunk on defenders whenever I pleased.
Something that goes unadvertised with Step it Up is that the work ethic the Coaches instill in a camper actually gets carried over to other aspects of life. The work ethic that Step it up instilled in me was actually carried over to my schoolwork and classwork. College basketball might be a totally new level, but the college classroom is also levels above the high school classroom.
After Step It Up I was able to apply a “go-getter” never quit attitude to studying and schoolwork. This made the transition to college much easier for me overall and eventually helped me in my professional life and will continue do so.”
“In the summer of 2012, after my year in Israel at Reishit Yerushalayim, I had the honor to meet my coach, mentor, and friend, Yogev. That was the summer that I attended the second annual summer of Step It Up, and the tools that I learned that summer have stayed with my until today.
At Step It Up, Yogev taught me that discipline, hard work, and drive are the only ways to bring about success. Yogev incorporated weight training and skill development into my game; “perfect your craft”, he would always tell us. Yogev taught me so much that I was able to apply both on and off the court. Everything that I learned at Step It Up has been applicable to my everyday life, including now as I currently begin my professional career in Real Estate.
In my junior year of college at Yeshiva University, I had the privilege of being coached by Yogev Berdugo, who along with coach Elliot Steinmetz, guided me through my final two years of my basketball career, which were the most exciting years I have had in my life. My coaches pushed me to grow, to learn, and to fight. “Respect the game, and it will respect you back”, Yogev always told us. I am able to look back on summer 2012 and see how much my game, both physically and mentally, has improved since meeting Yogev.
Yogev, I look at myself today and I cannot begin to express my deepest gratitude to you for having taught me these life lessons. Thank you for helping me “perfect my craft” each and every day.”
Along with Shelby Rosenberg, Shaje Weiss, a 2 year sleep away camper and Yeshiva University basketball star, posted averages of 14.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game, all while shooting a staggering 56% from the field.
A graduate of JEC in Elizabeth, NJ, Shaje’s work ethic laid the groundwork for future YU basketball players to emulate and is a perfect example of how you can succeed as a student athlete both on and off the court.
Shaje is graduating from Yeshiva University this May with a degree in Finance and Accounting and is also a Pre Law student.
I keep getting flashbacks of last summer. It was truly amazing. Camp really helped me grow as a person, Jew, and basketball player.
I felt that I had such great opportunities, on and off the court, to be productive and to have fun. I thought last summer was much more lax off the court and the camp maintained its intensity on the court, as we discussed two summers back.
I look at some of my friends from Seneca and I’m shocked at how negatively influenced they were by the kids there. I felt that at Step It Up I was able to be the kid I wanted to be. I was able to grow religiously and maximize my time there. The campers, as well as the staff, are supportive of everything that their peers do and no one brings their friends down.
I admire this about the camp and it is something I value very much. Thank you for an amazing summer Yogev!