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The Road To Varsity: My Goal Achieved, It's Time To Take My Game To The Next Level, Too

 

In early November, I received the email I’ve been waiting ten years for: “You have new games”, read the subject line--- and when I logged into the officials’ website— I received my first high school VARSITY assignments!!  I could barely contain my excitement, but being superstitious, I refrained from blogging about it before now so as not to jinx myself.  Now, with several games behind me, I can tell the world:  I'm no longer on the road to varsity; I have finally arrived at my destination!

A long-time basketball official achieves her goal of working high school varsity games but realizes, six games into the season, that she has to up her game as well.

Improving Concussion Safety In Youth Sports: Why I Opt For Grass Roots Activism Over Class Action Lawsuits

Last week was chock full of news on the youth sports safety front.

MomsTEAM continues to believe the best way to make sports safer is not by filing class action lawsuits, spending our time scouring the Internet for media reports of catastrophic injuries to send to personal injury lawyers, but through education and grass-roots activism.

Youth Sports Heroes: Kailee Kiminski, Tierney Winter, Melanie Bailey, and Teagan Monfils

 

Less than 100 yards separated two veteran long-distance runners, senior Kailee Kaminski and junior Tierney Winter, from the finish line in the Minnesota Class 1A girls state high school cross country meet in Northfield on November 1. In her first statewide race, freshman Jessica Christoffer had just fallen nearby, exhausted and unable to continue.

The three girls attend different schools and did not know one another, but Kaminski and Winter made split-second decisions to help the fallen runner to her feet and support her arm-in-arm so that all three could finish at about the same time. A race official on the scene warned them that the consequence for the trio would be disqualification.

This month's "Heroes" column features competitors in three girl's cross-country meets this fall who exhibited true sportsmanship even the face of disqualification.

Buyer Beware: Part III (Unequal Technologies Up To Its Old Tricks Again)

I was scanning my Inbox this morning when an email from Medco Sports Medicine caught my eye promoting the Unequal® Gyro Helmet Liner and Unequal® SOLO Helmet Liner with the claim, in big capital letters, that "HELMETS WITH UNEQUAL® PREDICT A SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER RISK OF CONCUSSIONS."

A claim that helmets equipped with supplemental padding "predict" a significantly lower risk of concussions gave MomsTEAM's Brooke de Lench an overpowering sense of deja vu. With good reason: Turns out, it was the essentially the same claim she had debunked more than two years ago.

Your Child's Coach: Transactional or Transformational?

There are 53.8 million kids playing sports in the United States and, most of the time, when they talk about sports with their teammates and their parents, they begin with these two words: "Coach said... ."

It's not at all surprising, as research shows that, in the hierarchy of adults, coaches occupy the top spot in the minds and hearts of their players. Understanding this stature places quite a responsibility on youth and high school coaches. What they say, and do, really does matter.

Coaches occupy the top spot in the minds and hearts of their players. Understanding this stature places quite a responsibility on youth and high school coaches, who have a choice, says a longtime hockey coach, between being a transactional coach or a transformational coach.

Youth Sports Heroes of the Month: Plainfield (Conn.) High School Athletes


"Sports does not build character. Sports reveals character," said journalist Heywood Broun more than half a century ago. He meant that athletic competition can bring out either the best or the worst in an athlete, depending on the inner strengths or weaknesses that the athlete brings to the game. Sports can be noble or ignoble, depending on who is playing and how they play.

On the night of September 26, 2014, fans displayed the ignoble side of sports at a high school football game in Plainfield, Connecticut. Within hours, however, the noble side prevailed as Plainfield student-athletes confronted a wrong that had reportedly festered in their town's sports programs for years.

Sports can be noble or ignoble, depending on who is playing and how they play. On the night of September 26, 2014, fans displayed the ignoble side of sports at a high school football game in Plainfield, Connecticut. Within hours, however, the noble side prevailed as Plainfield student-athletes confronted a wrong that had reportedly festered in their town's sports programs for years.

Proposed ASTM Standard For Women's Lacrosse Headgear: Why I Voted To Approve

Today, I did something I had never done before. As a member of ASTM International's subcommittee on standards for headgear and helmets, I had the privilege of voting on a proposed helmet standard, in this case a new standard developed for headgear in women's lacrosse.

Today, MomsTEAM Founder Brooke de Lench did something she had never done before. As a member of ASTM International's subcommittee on standards for headgear and helmets, she had the privilege of casting her first ballot on a proposed helmet standard, in this case a new standard developed for headgear in women's lacrosse.

Is A Child's Headache The Day After A Football Game Cause For Concern? You Be The Judge

 

"Mom, I still have a headache." If you are a mom of a teenager, you probably hear them say that every day for various reasons. Life is tough when you are 13- or 14-years-old. You study too much, or you watch too much TV, or play too many video games. You get dehydrated from sports or just stressed by peers and hormones. You get headaches. Who knows why? A headache isn't a big deal, right? So why on this Wednesday morning did my son's announcement send an icy shiver down my spine? That he plays his 8th grade football games on Tuesday nights, that's why!

When her son announces that he still had a headache after his football game the night before, a Texas mom springs into action. Did she do the right thing? You be the judge.

What Do Mothers Want from Youth Sports?


In two days, espnW and the Aspen Institute Sports & Society Project will co-host an espnW: Women + Sports Summit at which they will report the results of a survey in which a nationally representative sample of moms were asked what they wanted and needed for their kids from youth sports. At the conclusion of the summit, a group of thought leaders will react to the survey findings and explore issues facing both moms and their daughters in sports during a Project Play roundtable .

A new survey of sports moms promises to tell us what they want out of youth sports, but MomsTEAM's Founder Brooke de Lench already knows: they want more than pay lip service to the concerns of mothers; they want those who run youth sports organizations to actually take concrete steps to address those concerns, first and foremost among them being to make sports safer.

Youth Sports Hero of the Month: Deven Jackson (Shermans Dale, Pa.)


About three million youngsters will play youth football in the United States this fall.  Only one received sustained media coverage last month, and it was 10-year-old Deven Jackson, who took the field with the West Perry Midget Football Mustangs after a two-year absence from the gridiron.

In 2012, Deven was struck with meningitis. He suffered kidney failure, and his mother told ABC News that doctors gave him only a ten percent chance to live. Doctors amputated both legs six inches below the knees, and playing football seemed out of the question.

About three million youngsters will play youth football in the United States this fall. Only one received sustained media coverage last month, and it was 10-year-old Deven Jackson, who took the field with the West Perry Midget Football Mustangs after a two-year absence from the gridiron.
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