OCYSA's main goal is to help youth make the best life choices they can and put them on positive life trajectories. We believe that athletic training, life lessons learned through sport and competitive enhancement challenges youths to be the best versions of themselves that they can be. The life journey of learning through continually striving to improve ourselves creates a mind-body-spirit engagement that creates healthy, happy, strong and intelligent human beings who give back to their communities.
OCYSA is all about the next generation. That’s who it starts with; that’s who it ends with. This may sound simple & trite but our work never ends and we embrace that fact.
Our organization is comprised of not only knowledgeable professionals but people whose deepest desire is to empower youths to not only increase their athleticism but to learn the positive life lessons that sometimes only sports can provide.
If we can teach youths to constantly strive for the most perfect version of themselves they can become, we feel we’ve done our job.
In order to walk this path, many lessons must be learned. We strive to teach youths:
- Believe in yourself, we can do anything we set our minds to
- Invest in yourself and you will receive the biggest payback ever
- Happiness is not an external status, it is an internal state
- There are no short-cuts in life
- Quitters never win and winners never quit
- How & why to respect others and treat them how we want to be treated
- Each hurdle is a disguised opportunity
- Lessons learned through failure are meant to strengthen us and prepare us for the future
- We need to adapt to change as it is the only constant in life
- Success comes from ingenuity, hard work, discipline and dedication
- Life is the largest stage and we all have a chance to play a part, what will your part be?
The results of what we do are palpable. Exercise, structure, mentoring of young athletes not only during the season but off-season not only helps them develop socially, but it’s proven to increase their grades, mitigating or prevent injuries by increasing their physical robustness. Further, in our environment youths get a chance to learn from positive role models the lessons, leadership and communication skills that last a lifetime.
Gene Patino is anything but a self-made man as he truly realizes how much he owes to his mentors, coaches and teachers past & present. A lifelong voracious learner, born in East LA to a very young single father in Pico Rivera, early in his life he was raised by his grandparents before his father moved to Huntington Beach. Growing up a short, chubby latch-key youth Gene enjoyed reading JRR Tolkien, playing tennis, soccer and D & D. He then went to Edison H.S., where as a 95lb Freshman he traded tennis, soccer and D & D for Cross County, Wrestling and Track garnering 10 varsity letters and a 3.9+ GPA. Gene later attended Lehigh University, transferred to NYU and finished his education at the University of Salamanca in Spain. After traveling throughout Europe for a year hoping to stay there for life he later returned to SoCal because he learned of his grandmother's failing health. Having been educated in the East Coast as well as in Europe, Gene learned more about family from a traditional sense although he did not experience it growing up. Gene then married and found success in technology world, specializing in semiconductor-based subsystems for OEMs in the supercomputing world and telecom CPE. Devoted to “creation from scratch” Gene developed and ran (from VP-level and Director-level positions) some of the most successful OEM sales & marketing business units in the industry while working for firms such as King Memory, Southland Micro, VCI – Viking Europe, Smart Modular Technologies & Netlist Inc.. He also co-founded a start-up in the telecom industry (“Infinilink Corp.”) and together with some amazing technologists & engineers helped create the early broadband industry’s first ADSL CPE-side with auto-configuration software (“DSL-ON”). In the high performance computing industry, Gene also later co-authored super computing white papers with engineers at prestigious labs such as Los Alamos National Labs (LANL) in the area of DRAM performance in the super-computing environment.
While work was doing great, Gene’s marriage fell apart (non-coincidentally), however he retained 90% visitation of by far the more important part of his life, his high functioning autistic (Asperger’s) and ADHD son, Domenic. Gene found that helping his son navigate the world was his true calling not technology – it was actually through helping his son that Gene learned that youth training and character development truly filled his soul. After years (2009-2012) of trial and error studying on how to care for his son and keep him off of the medication his school, psychologists, psychiatrists and the medical industry wanted to tell him would help Gene founded OCYSA (and later OCG oc-grappling.org) by partnering with the best athletic and academic industry professionals he could find to create opportunity for all mainstream and at-risk youth (neurotypical and non-neurotypical).
The philosophy Gene is that each experience when looked at from a 50,000 foot viewpoint can provide a teaching or learning moment. Further, that the truest gift we can give youth is to inspire their curiosity to grow, their passion to grow and their love to become contagious on the grass, on the court, on the mats and in life.