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Celebrating National Foot Health Awareness Month And A New MomsTEAM Sponsor

 

People often ask me often what I think the most important piece of safety equipment is for a particular sport. I know I catch them off guard when, instead of saying a helmet, mouth guard, shin guard, or safety goggles (all of which are very important, of course), I say that it is best-made and best-fitting pair of shoes and socks which are the critical to a successful day of activities.

In honor of April as National Foot Health Awareness Month, Executive Director Brooke de Lench talks about the importance of socks and welcomes a new corporate underwriter and sponsor, Thorlo Socks.

New Year's Revelations-- the Journey Continues


Happy New Year!  Duke Won!  UConn won! Basketball  season is officially over, and in a few months, my new year begins.  Thats right, at the end of June I'm headed for officiating summer camp.   In preparation for the new season, my eleventh year of officiating  I begin with  New Years Revelations.   Revelations, not resolutions  are important to me for they are more than  lessons learned. They are major stopping points during the season that force a confrontation with myself.  This is the time of year that I reflect on those unforgettable moments of pain, elation and confusion that have the force of redefining my goals.  There are four revelations from last year:

Chris Borland Retirement Decision: 3 Lessons for Sports Parents (Link to HuffPo Blog)

The decision by San Francisco 49er Chris Borland to retire from the NFL after just one season out of concern for the long-term effect of head trauma has predictably generated a media firestorm. But lost amid the hoopla is what it means for sports parents.

Here are two lessons I think parents with kids playing -- or considering playing -- football or other contact and collision sports can take away from the Borland retirement, and one lesson they shouldn't take away:

The decision by San Francisco 49er Chris Borland to retire from the NFL after just one season out of concern for the long-term effect of head trauma has predictably generated a media firestorm. But lost amid the hoopla are the lessons for sports parents.

Artificial Turf: On The Fence About Risk

Over the past few months questions have been raised about the safety of artificial turf. I have followed the issue with interest, of course, and get e-mail requests every week asking for my views.

Frankly, I have mixed feelings about artificial turf.  I graduated from college with a full leg cast after suffering a torn ACL one March playing college lacrosse on a still partially frozen grass field in New Hampshire.  I wonder to this day whether the injury would have happened had I been playing on artificial turf.

Chris Borland Retirement Decision: 3 Lessons for Sports Parents (Full Blog)

The decision by San Francisco 49er Chris Borland to retire from the NFL after just one season out of concern for the long-term effect of head trauma has predictably generated a media firestorm. But lost amid the hoopla is what it means for sports parents.

Here are two lessons I think parents with kids playing -- or considering playing -- football or other contact and collision sports can take away from the Borland retirement, and one lesson they shouldn't take away:

The decision by San Francisco 49er Chris Borland to retire from the NFL after just one season out of concern for the long-term effect of head trauma has predictably generated a media firestorm. But lost amid the hoopla is what it means for sports parents. Here are two lessons, parents with kids playing -- or considering playing -- football or other contact and collision sports can take away from the Borland retirement, and one lesson they shouldn't take away.

How a Group of Outcast Teen Boys Taught Me the Value of Youth Sports

Two weeks ago I was invited by the editors at Huffington Post to participate in a special blog event.  

Brooke de Lench and Concord U-14 boys soccer team

The invitation read: 

When the Huffington Post invited the Executive Director of MomsTEAM Institute to participate in a social campaign leading up to the start of March Madness about why she thought sports were so valuable for children to play, her thoughts turned to a boys' soccer team she had turned from a bunch of misfits and castoffs into a championship-worthy side.

King-Devick Test: MomsTEAM Has Championed From The Start

In a  March 11, 2015  "Well" blog  New York Times health reporter, Gretchen Reynolds, reported on a new study by NYU researchers, including Laura Balcer, a member of MomsTEAM Institute's Board of Advisors, about the use of a simple, rapid, and inexpensive visual test called King-Devick as a sideline screen to help identify athletes as young as five wit

A mounting body of peer-reviewed research has shown that a rapid, simple, and inexpensive visual test called King-Devick can be used as a remove-from-play sideline screen to identify athletes as young as five with possible concussion. MomsTEAM has been charting the test's progress since the very beginning and is glad to see it getting the recognition it deserves.

Coaching Youth Sports: Getting To The Heart Of The Matter

The heart of every team and player experience is the coach. Coaches have a choice of going down one of two paths. One is a win-based approach. The other is often called developmental, but I prefer to call it "relationship- and experience-based coaching. "

Win-approach coaching is the most common by far (especially these days).  It involves short benches, and scheduling more and more games to build a winning record.  As a result, the dialogue between coach and players is one-sided and mostly counter-productive. It can result in brawls during the post-game handshake line, reckless play, lack of respect for the rules, opponents, officials, coaches and the game itself.

Impact Sensors: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back (Part I)

If you follow the subject of sports-related concussions, you've probably seen a flurry of news on the subject of impact sensors in the last couple of weeks. As someone who has been writing about and beta testing impact sensors for the past five years, I have, of course, been monitoring developments, too.

The subject of impact sensors has been in the news a lot in the last couple of weeks. As someone who has been writing about and beta testing impact sensors for the past five years, Brooke de Lench weighs in on the controversy.

Youth Sports Heroes of the Month: Sophia and Elizabeth Glazer (Wellesley, Mass.)


The American Medical Association calls domestic violence a "public health problem that has reached epidemic proportions." Most victims are vulnerable women and children assaulted by male perpetrators. Most victims emerge physically battered or emotionally scarred. An alarming number end up being murdered.

"It's Not Right"

Sophia and Elizabeth Glazer have a game plan that uses youth sports to help stem domestic violence in their community. Their efforts in the local youth football league this past autumn set an example which will hopefully prompt students elsewhere -- athletes and non-athletes alike -- to help make their own communities better places to live and raise families.

Disturbed by the national epidemic of domestic violence, two sisters started a group called Youth Football Cares, which not only holds bake sales to benefit local battered women's shelters but is trying to use youth sports to instill healthy relationship behaviors among children and adolescents which they can carry into adulthood.
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