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Yoga Helps Kids Discover Their Strengths In Gentle and Less Competitive Way


Many adults I spoke with at the Wanderlust Festival this summer in Stratton, Vermont were athletes growing up. When I asked them how their lives would have been different had they practiced yoga as children, they all agreed that they would likely have discovered their strengths as athletes and as individuals in a more gentle and less competitive way.

In today’s world of youth organized sports, much of the focus is on winning, moving fast and being the best. Many of these goals come from outside pressures of parents, coaches and society. Yoga dissolves the external pressures to perform at a fast pace, allowing participants to slow down and realize that they are perfect exactly where and how they are, in the moment.

Practicing yoga helps children discover their strengths as athletes and individuals in a more gentle and less competitive way.

Parents Rethinking Contact Sports

Local youth football organizers in Minnesota say they are experiencing a 20 percent decline in registrations this year, citing increased awareness of the potential of serious injury and parents who are apparently picking other sports for their 3rd and 4th grade children.

Changing Hockey Culture: Are We Reaching A Tipping Point?

Playing the game of ice hockey within the rules would seem like a simple concept.  Yet all efforts to accomplish this objective have thus far proven elusive, from the NHL all the way down to the youngest levels.  In a previous post I reported that Minnesota Hockey has retained the much harsher penalties for two of the three most dangerous plays in the game. In fact, Minnesota has the toughest rules in youth and high school hockey in the country. The question is, will this be enough to change the culture of the sport?

Playing the game of hockey within the rules would seems like a simple concept. Yet all efforts to enforce the rules have thus far proven elusive.  Will making the rules for dangerous play tougher be enough to change the culture? This coming season may be the tipping point.

Handling Pressure In Sports: Parents Can Help

As a parent, you can help your child learn how to positively deal with pressure and stress during sports events, teaching them a valuable life skill that will benefit them in other areas of their life, too.

There Is Life After Sport: It's Called Work

All athletes, all levels will have to adjust to life after their playing careers are over. This is a very difficult time in most players' lives, and it can happen most unexpectedly.

This is exactly what happened to all three of my kids as well as myself.

My daughter Alexandra broke her nose, which was so dramatic she decided not to play and hasn't played ever since her senior year in college. She is currently working, and has adjusted very well to life after sports.

My son James tore both ACLs in a matter of 12 months, which ended his professional playing career. He is also currently working and doing well. A devastating year for James, but he has poured his energy into working and is very successful.

All athletes, all levels will have to adjust to life after playing. It is a very difficult time in most players' lives and it can happen most unexpectedly.

Minnesota Hockey Retains More Severe Penalties, Aims for Better Enforcement

Minnesota Hockey, the governing body for 40,000 youth hockey players in the state, has voted to continue with the pilot program begun last Janaury that made checking from behind and boarding 5 minute major and 10 minute misconduct penalties.  The program was instituted after high school player Jack Jablonski suffered a spinal cord injury from an unpenalized check from behind. The USA Hockey rule book allows for escalating levels of penaly time depending on the incident. That discretion no longer exists in Minnesota in youth or high school hockey. 

Minnesota Hockey, the governing body for 40,000 youth hockey players in the state, has voted to continue rule changes enacted last January which stiffened the penalties for checking from behind and boarding and hope for better enforcement.

Walking Is Great Way To Stay Fit For Entire Family

Looking for a way to keep you and your entire family fit and healthy? Take a walk, says fitness expert and the author of a new children's book, Abby Gets Fit, Doug Werner.

Sharing A Child's Sports Experience: A Gift For Parents

Have you ever taken the time to sit back and really think how fortunate you are as a parent to be able to share your child’s athletic experiences with them?  Do you appreciate how such moments can actually bring the family together?  Do you know just how excited your kids get knowing that we are watching them play? 

I know that, when you are going through the experience, it is sometimes hard to stop to realize just how fortunate you are to be given these years with your kids.

Someday you will look back at these years, and hopefully in a positive way.  I know I have.

As sports parents, it is important to slow down long enough from the whirlwind of raising kids to realize just how lucky we are to be able to share with our children the gift of athletics.

Heather McKenzie (Informatics Nurse): Days As Athlete Over, It's Time To Pay It Forward

Being the mother of an athlete is a challenging yet rewarding role. So MomsTEAM has designated May as Sports Moms Month and is celebrating by asking some of our favorite sports moms to share their wisdom by responding to a series of questions.

So far this month we have heard from a fascinating range of sports moms, from a mom of an Olympic athlete to moms who were themselves Olympic athletes, from a mom of two former minor league baseball players to a Minnesota hockey mom and author.

Today, we hear from Heather McKenzie, a nurse, sports mom and cheer coach from Union Bridge, Maryland:

MomsTEAM: Were you an athlete and what sports did you play as a youth (under 19)?

A nurse and sports mom to four active young kids believes that, now that her own days as a youth athlete are over, it is her turn to pay it forward by volunteering as a cheerleading coach for her 8-year-old daughter's team.

Journalist Julie Deardorff: Modeling Healthy Lifestyle For Kids Is Key

Being the mother of an athlete is a challenging yet rewarding role. At momsTEAM we think sports moms deserve to be honored, not just on the second Sunday in May, but for an entire month. So we have designated May as National Sports Moms Month and invited some veteran sports moms to share their wisdom by responding to a series of questions. We will post a new blog for every day of May, which we hope you will find interesting, empowering, and informative, and that you will share them with your family and friends.

Today we hear from one of momsTEAM's favorite journalists, Julie Deardorff, a health reporter and consumer watchdog for the Chicago Tribune, avid cyclist, and sports mom:

An award-winning health journalist and sports mom says the biggest lesson she has learned from her five-year-old son is not to push him to sports: if he wants to dig holes or play with trucks instead of kicking a soccer ball, she's okay with that.
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