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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.

Five Ways To Support Your Child In Sports

Based upon her experiences as a daughter and mother, a sports psychologist offers five tips for parents to avoid getting caught playing the expectation game in youth sports and to support their kids in positive, constructive ways.

Head Impact Exposure in Youth Football Surprisingly High

Youth football players get hit on the helmet almost as hard as older players but not nearly as often, says researchers at Virginia Tech.

Baseball Safety Equipment: More Than Just Helmets and Catcher's Gear

There's more to baseball and softball safety these days than batting helmets and catcher's gear.  Here's a list of some other important safety equipment, some of which should be mandatory.

Spring Break: Fun Outdoor Adventures For Entire Family

Looking for ideas on how to keep your kids busy over spring break.  Ask your kids to put away the hand-held electronics for a day, get some exercise, and have some fun on an outdoor adventure.

Player Safety Summit Offers Ideas

This morning at the St. Paul RiverCenter, the Herb Brooks Foundation assembled a panel of the leaders in the hockey community to discuss issues and solutions surrounding player safety in ice hockey at all levels. The purpose of the event was to raise awareness in the hockey community about the issues facing the game and to discuss possible solutions. Each of the 13 panelists introduced themselves and provided a brief history of their invovlement in the game. 

Minnesota Governor, Mark Dayton, made the opening remarks and told about his experiences playing hockey as a youth, high school and Division 1 player at Yale College.

Player safety takes the spotlight at the Herb Brooks Foundation Safety Summit as part of the boys sate high school hockey tournament in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Teaching Life Lessons As a Coach: Be Careful What You Teach

There seems to be a phrase that every coach has embraced of late which I think needs a closer look, and it is "teaching life lessons." It's phrase you have probably heard a lot lately, so much so that it seems to have taken on a life of its own, particularly in the context of middle and high school sports.

"Teaching life lessons" seems to be a phrase that every coach has embraced of late, so much so that it seems to
have taken on a life of its own, particularly in the context of middle
and high school sports. But the life lessons a coach teaches can be negative or positive. It's up to the coach.

Girls Can Be Baseball Catchers Now Too!

When my sisters and I were growing up, my father loved to spend time with us in the back yard (and later at the local school diamond) playing baseball. We never used a softballs, always baseballs. My dad had been a stand-out baseball pitcher and catcher for his high school during the World War II. He had hoped to play professional baseball but his dreams and elbow were shattered by a bullet while serving on the aircraft carrier Bon Homme Richard in the Pacific. Frankly, I also think the wear and tear of pitching also left him some serious rotator cuff issues, as he had a difficult time throwing very far as he got older.Riverdale School baseball team early 1940s

When I was a child I wanted to play baseball, like my dad, who was a catcher and pitcher in high school but whose dreams of playing professionally ended during World War II. I went on to be a softball catcher, and one of my sons was also a catcher. With spring arriving, the thoughts of boys - and now, girls - turn once again to baseball.

Pediatric Group Recommends Softer Baseballs For Younger Players

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends softer baseballs for youth players under the age of 12 in a 2012 Policy Statement.
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