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Improving Football Safety: Is It Up To Parents?


Now that the concussion lawsuit filed by retired National Football League players has apparently been settled (remember: the judge still has to give her approval), it's time to focus on the upcoming football season, and working to make the sport safer at every level of the game. Missy Womack

Sincerest form of flattery

We could sit back and wait for the N.F.L., National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS), USA Football and Pop Warner to lead the way on football safety.

Football safety is largely up to parents, argues Brooke de Lench, working with all other groups in their community with a stake in making football safer, including independent football organizations, school boards, school superintendents, athletic directors, coaches, school nurses and psychologists, and other health care providers, to improve football safety at the grassroots level.

Self-Awareness Is Critical To Successful Sports Parenting, Says Author of New Book

Do you possess sports parenting self-awareness?Have you considered how you appear to your child if you look upset, disappointed, or angry at their games? If not, it's time you do. Being mindful of your own behavior and moods are critically important for every mom, dad, grandparent, or anyone else involved in youth sports, says the co-author of the new book,  "Raising Your Game - Over 100 Accomplished Athletes Help You Guide Your Girls and Boys Through Sports."

Is Education Enough in the Battle Against Concussions?

The growing knowledge and awareness about concussions in contact sports has brought this important issue to the forefront of these games. From youth all the way through professional levels brain injury continues to plague players and teams. 

Winston Churchill is quoted as saying that "Americans eventually will do the right thing, after they have tried everything else first." That may be true when it comes to concussion safety, says longtime Minnesota hockey coach and referee, Hal Tearse.

Return-to-School Tips: Regular Check-Up with Pediatrician Tops List

As summer winds to a close and parents prepare their children to return to a regular routine of packed lunches and homework, it is important for parents to take steps to ease anxiety, keep kids healthy and improve concentration in the classroom. To ensure the best academic performance, kids need to be in good physical and mental health. So before going back to school, we advise parents take their children for a regular check-up with their pediatrician.

Why Tougher Rules for Dangerous Hits in High School Hockey Will Not Work

 

As I watch the Stanley Cup playoffs I am reminded each spring about the ever-changing rules in hockey: One set for the regular season, and one set for playoffs. Or should I say one rule book and two or more interpretations of the enforcement of the rules in the book. Clearly there is much more leeway from the rule book during the playoffs. Players tripped on breakaways do not draw a penalty. Obvious rule violations are ignored. But lets be clear about the NHL: the league is an entertainment business that happens to play hockey. Fans like the brutality and violence. It sells tickets so it is allowed to happen. 

Tougher rules against checking from behind and blind-side hits in hockey won't make the sport safer. The problem is a lack of training, certification, education and compensation for on-ice officials, argues one longtime Minnesota hockey official and coach.

Concussion Evaluation, Management, Return To Play Different For Younger Children

The most recent international consensus statement on sport-related concussions identifies several important differences in the way concussions are diagnosed and treated in children and adolescents, including the need for age-appropriate symptom checklists, additional cognitive rest and a longer recovery period before return to sports.

First National Action Plan For Sports Safety Issued

The Youth Sports Safety Alliance, composed of more than 100 organizations committed to keeping young athletes safe (including MomsTEAM), has launched the first-ever "National Action Plan for Sports Safety" (NAPSS) to ensure comprehensive action to protect America's student athletes.

Putting All Your Eggs In the Hockey Basket: A Recipe For Success Or Failure?

When is enough, enough? This is a question parents should be asking themselves as their kids go through the programs in search of the elusive scholarship and maybe a shot at a professional career. Yet with less than 1 percent making it to Division 1 status and fewer to the pros, tens of thousands of parents across the country feel that their ten-year-old kid is somehow the exception to the rule, the "Real Deal."

I know one 16-year-old who has all of the tools to be the "Real Deal"  except for one.  He is only 5'4" and has not grown for a couple years.  But he and his parents are still hoping for a growth spurt. What if he doesn't grow any taller? What then?  

When is enough, enough? This is a question parents should be asking themselves as their kids go through junior hockey programs in hopes of winning a college scholarship and perhaps a shot at a professional career.

Extending Body Checking Ban To Age 14 and Stricter Rules Enforcement: The Wrong Approach?

Just a couple years ago USA Hockey banned body checking at the Pee Wee (12 and under) level, based in part on evidence that the risks of concussion and other serious injury resulting from body checking was simply unacceptable.  The primary reason USA Hockey made the change, however, was to promote skill development at an age where kids are still developing, and because that development was being hindered by aggressive play intended to intimidate opponents and a winning-at-all-costs mentality.  In making the rule change, USA Hockey assumed that all kids play because they want to develop their skills.  I think that the majority simply want to play.

Will extending the ban on body checking in hockey to age 14 and better rules enforcement make the game safer? Perhaps we need to take a different approach, argues a longtime youth hockey official.

Giving Back as a Family

The sport of soccer has given our family so much over the years. When I actually look back at the 35 years I have been married soccer has always been part of our daily lives.

From my college education, to my career as a professional player, to my current career directing Twellman Soccer, this sport has always been part of my life.

The same is true for my three kids. From their education to their careers to their love of the game soccer has always
and continues to be part of their lives.

The love of the sport has and will always be present but now our focus has changed.

Are we listening to the injured athlete?
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