HAMMOND — A member of the Chicago Cubs organization was among those offering up methods to relax and overcome stress during the Superhero Saturday event at Morton High School.

As a coordinator of the Cubs’ mental skills program, Darnell McDonald helps members of the team improve the mental side of the game through meditation and other techniques.

McDonald, who played 16 seasons of professional baseball, explained some of those exercises and their benefits while leading a yoga class during Saturday's event.

He told participants that through yoga they can work both their mind and body. The group then tried out breathing techniques and different yoga positions.

Saturday's event was hosted by Superhero Training and Supply. The nonprofit organization teaches yoga, mindfulness and creative arts to youth to help them reduce stress, anxiety and depression.

Robin Sizemore, president of Superhero Training and Supply, said students walk into school “with a heavy load on their back.”

Through a variety of in-school and after-school activities, the organization helps students lower stress, increase concentration and improve confidence.

The organization also provides training sessions at schools so staff can learn different breathing and meditation techniques they can use to help calm their students.

Sizemore said her daughter in 2014 suffered from panic attacks and suicidal thoughts. Music and writing were among the effective methods she used to overcome those issues.

Saturday's event also featured several creative arts programs to help participants learn healthy ways to cope with their emotions.

Janine Harrison, a former Highland poet laureate, conducted several writing workshops. Julio Guerra, an artist and creator of the "Deathbag" comic series, offered comic drawing lessons. The Crawpuppies wrapped up the event with a concert.


Senior Copy Editor

Jeanette is a journalist with The Times Media Co. who has worked as both a reporter and editor. She has a master's degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield.