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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.

Baseball and Softball: Most Popular and Among The Safest Youth Sports

Baseball and softball are among the most popular and safest sports in which children and adolescents participate in the United States, says an updated policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Preventing Commotio Cordis in Youth Baseball

Young baseball and softball players who receive direct ball impact to the chest wall directly over the heart may develop sudden cardiac arrest, a condition called commotio cordis.  Teaching batters to turn away from an inside pitch, and pitchers to react as quickly as possible to a batted ball hit back at them can help reduce the risk, and an AED and a someone trained in CPR should be on-site.

Parent's Buying Guide To Buying Catcher's Gear

There's a reason baseball catcher's gear have long been called the "tools of ignorance": its because most parents and players don't know very much about a catcher's armor! Here's a handy guide for baseball moms and dads to use when it's time to go shopping.

The Endless Hockey Season: Is It A Good Thing?

The off-season for hockey will start in a few weeks.

Or will it?

Apparently not. These days, it seems many hockey parents and players consider what used to be the traditional off-season, when kids played outdoors and changed sports until the next winter season, as the real season, because it is the time of year when AAA all-star teams are formed and tournaments are played, weekend after weekend. The off-season teams have cool jerseys, expensive jackets and warm-ups for players and parents. It's also a time for tournament organizers to rake in the big bucks. 

How to make $100,000 in 4 days of youth hockey or "Whatever Happened to the Off Season?"

Post-Concussion Syndrome: Possible Therapies

While no medicine has been shown to effectively speed the recovery from concussive brain injury, some new and non-traditional therapies have been shown to help relieve the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome, as well as the value of strict cognitive and physical rest.

The Future of Ice Hockey: What Kind of Game Do We Want?

What kind of game do we want ice hockey to be? Do we want a very physical game with lots of hitting from behind and head contact or do we want the game we once had, a game of skill and respect along with legal physical play?

The game of ice hockey has not always been played as it is now. Checking was not permitted by attacking players in the offensive zone until the mid 1970’s. The center red line created another point that slowed the game down a bit and there was no tag-up offsides, so defensemen actually had to learn some skills to survive in neutral ice until their linemates got back onside.

What is the future of youth ice hockey? Will it continue to be a game of illegal hits to the hitting, interfering, intimidation, and trash-talking opponents, or one rewarding speed, skill, and physical play within the rules?  Only time will tell.

Cyberbullying: A New Threat to Our Kids

Recently, I learned that one of the players on my hockey team was Tweeting negative statements about another player. He claims he though that only the other player could see it. We discussed the situation with him, told him it was unacceptable, and asked him to remove the Tweets and apologize to the team. He started out by saying to his teammates,  "I was told I need to apologize for Tweeting," and then promptly quit. Wow, talk about lack of sincerity or honesty.  The incident offered several "teachable moments", which we will take advantage of as we work through this issue. 

Cyberbullying is rampant in the teen-age culture today.

Youth Sports Is About Far More than Wins and Losses

I recently received an e-mail from a hockey parent in Vermont that was so powerful, I wanted to share it:  

Hi Hal

An email from a hockey parent and coach puts winning versus having fun in its proper perspective.

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