Rocky Top Sports World Blog

Young women on a volleyball team posing for a photo.

4 Tips for Creating a Positive Culture for Your Youth Sports Team

Although it is often overlooked, culture is one of the most important aspects of a youth sports team. A positive culture makes playing on a team fun and rewarding, while a toxic culture can stress athletes out and sabotage their performance. Bo Hanson, a former Olympic athlete and coaching consultant, defines team culture as “the way we behave on this team.” The behavior of athletes on a team is a reflection of the team’s values, so a good team culture starts with a set of shared principles. To help you create a successful culture for your youth sports team, Rocky Top Sports World has put together the following four tips. Read More

Aerial view of the fields at Rocky Top Sports World.

5 Amenities That Make Rocky Top Sports World the Ultimate Tournament Destination

Attracting over 42,000 athletes each year, Rocky Top Sports World is one of the most popular tournament destinations in the United States! Since opening its doors in 2014, our 80-acre athletic complex has established itself as an industry leader with its superior amenities and friendly staff members. In 2017, the readers of SportsEvents Magazine voted Rocky Top Sports World one of the nation’s Top 10 Multi-Use Sports Facilities. To help you plan your next tournament, we have put together a handy guide to five features that set Rocky Top Sports World apart from the rest. Read More

A nervous soccer player talking with his coach.

5 Tips for Beating Pre-Game Jitters

If you tend to get nervous before playing in a big game, you’re not alone. Athletes of all professional levels and abilities get pre-game jitters, which often include racing thoughts, pounding heartbeats, and/or shaking legs. While these feelings are totally normal, severe performance anxiety can sabotage your ability to play effectively. Fortunately, there are a number of tricks you can employ to keep your pre-game jitters under control. Read More

Beautiful photo of the city of Gatlinburg at sunrise.

Top 5 Ways to Maximize Your Time in Gatlinburg

Rocky Top Sports World boasts one of the very best locations in the United States! Our 80-acre athletic campus is located minutes away from the heart of Gatlinburg, TN and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. When you visit Rocky Top Sports World for a tournament, you’ll have the chance to enjoy the area’s breathtaking natural beauty and world-class family attractions. Read More

A bucket of popcorn with two movie tickets.

The Top 5 Youth Sports Movies of All Time

A movie night can be the perfect bonding experience for a youth sports team! Gathering the whole team together to watch a classic film filled with underdog heroes and uplifting themes is just the thing to inspire your players. Of course, not every movie you watch has to have a thoughtful message; sometimes an evening full of belly laughs is just what your team needs. To help you plan the perfect movie night, Rocky Top Sports World has put together a guide to the top five youth sports movies of all time. Read More

A young football player at practice.

Former NFL Player James “Little Man” Stewart to Lead Gatlinburg Football Camp

One of the best football players to come out of East Tennessee is returning home to lead a special football camp in Gatlinburg. This summer, James “Little Man” Stewart will share his wisdom with young athletes at Rocky Top Sports World. Stewart, who went to high school in nearby Morristown, TN, played for the University of Tennessee Volunteers, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Detroit Lions. Read on to learn everything you need to know about the James “Little Man” Stewart Football Camp in Gatlinburg. Read More

Rocky Top Sports World 5th Grade Girls National Basketball Championship.

AAU 5th Grade Girls Basketball National Championship Coming to Gatlinburg

Rocky Top Sports World is excited to host one of the biggest events in girls basketball! This summer, the AAU 5th Grade Girls Basketball National Championship will take place at our 80-acre sports campus in Gatlinburg, TN. This tournament will bring the best 5th grade girls basketball teams in the United States to the Smokies for six days of spirited competition and fun. Read on to learn everything you need to know about this eagerly anticipated event. Read More

A girls basketball game.

Gatlinburg Basketball Tournaments to Benefit Pat Summitt and Jim Valvano Foundations

Few people have had as profound an impact on college basketball as Pat Summitt and Jim Valvano. These legendary coaches were renowned not only for their success on the court but also for their inspirational leadership and unrelenting positivity. In the coming months, Rocky Top Sports World and the Girls Basketball Association (GBA) will host two youth basketball tournaments that will honor Summitt and Valvano while raising money for their respective foundations.

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A boy with the phrase stop bullying written on his hands.

The 5 Most Effective Ways to Stop Bullying in Youth Sports

Kids play sports for a variety of reasons: to make friends, to stay active, and, first and foremost, to have fun. Unfortunately, the presence of a bully on a team has the potential to overshadow all of the best parts of playing youth sports. According to the National Alliance for Youth Sports, one in seven children in grades K – 12 is a victim of bullying or is a bully themselves. The group dynamics of a sports team can make young athletes especially susceptible to bullying. Read More