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Incognito-Martin: Has Bullying In Sports Become The New Normal?


Last week, Miami Dolphins player Richie Incognito was suspended indefinitely for allegely bullying teammate Jonathan Martin.

The story has me searching for answers to questions such as:

If we think that the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin bullying incident is atypical, we are blind to what is really going on in sport, says the founder of Safe4Athletes, who is concerned bullying as become the new normal in sports, and calls for policies and procedures to be put in place, not just to hear them when they have been bullied, but to prevent the bullying from happening in the first place.

New Concussion Report's Failure To Discuss Impact Monitoring Unfortunate Omission

The MomsTEAM staff and I are still digging into the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council's three-hundred-some-odd page report on sports-related concussions in youth sports,[1]  but one thing jumped out at me at my first pass: When I did a search in the report for a discussion of impact monitoring devices (a/k/a hit sensors), I found only one brief mention of sensors in the committee's recommendation that the Centers for Disease Control fund large scale data collection efforts for research purposes, including data from impact sensors.

Conspicuous by its absence from the new IOM/NRC report on concussions in youth sports was any mention of the use of real-time impact monitoring systems on the sports sideline. Unfortunately, the lack of any such discussion will just end up making it that much more difficult to get the message out that the benefits of real-time impact monitoring, and place an additional obstacle in the path to their use.

Youth Sports Heroes of the Month: Matt Labrum and Staff (Roosevelt, Utah)


On Friday night, September 20, Judge Memorial Catholic High School of Salt Lake City downed the Union High School Cougars, 40-16. Football games played in rural Utah normally do not make news outside the local area, but this matchup on Union's home turf in Roosevelt (population: 6,100) attracted national attention for the post-game bombshell that Union head coach Matt Labrum and his staff dropped in the Cougars locker room. Football gear in locker

The coaches assembled the team, suspended every player, and collected their uniforms.

Football teams in rural Utah normally do not make news outside the local area, but after Judge Memorial Catholic High School of Salt Lake City beat the Union High Cougars, the post-game bombshell Union head coach Matt Labrum and his staff dropped on his team in the locker room attracted national attention for the lesson they were about to teach about character.

Misplaced Priorities: Parents Should Spend More Time Helping Kids Prepare For Life, Less Time Preparing For Next Game

 

American athletics has become so all consuming that many parents have lost sight of the reality of youth sports. What started a hundred years ago in the New York public school system has now morphed into big business, which is feeding unrealistic expectations for parents and kids alike.

Here are a couple of examples, just from today: 

American athletics has become so all consuming that many parents have lost sight of the reality of youth sports. What started a hundred years ago in the New York public school system has now morphed into big business and unrealistic expectations for parents and kids alike.

A Homecoming To Remember


The doorbell rings at precisely 6:00 p.m. The handsome football captain is here to pick up the beautiful drill team lieutenant for their Senior Homecoming Dance. The flowers are exchanged, and the conversation is easy.

By now, the date is an extended member of our family. Instead of grilling him about the plans and curfew, my husband is more interested in a play-by-play recap about last night's football game. We make this look sooooo easy. A "Seventeen" magazine dream scene taking place in our formal living room.

Don't kid yourself. Nothing is ever this easy. This flawless precision takes years to come together. Don't I know it well. We tell the incredibly gorgeous couple to have a great time and shut the door.

When the doorbell rang precisely at the appointed hour announcing the arrival of her daughter's date for her senior Homecoming Dance, a Texas football and drill team mom remembers back to her first Homecoming Dance three years earlier, when everything did not go according to plan.

"Thoughts From the Bench" and Defending The Blue Line: A New E-Book On Amateur Hockey And A Great Charity

I am thrilled to announce the publication of my new e-book, "Thoughts From the Bench."

The book is a collection of my columns for Minnesota Hockey and takes a refreshing and common sense look at amateur ice hockey from my perspective as USA Hockey Associate Coach in Chief/Minnesota and past Coach In Chief for Minnesota Hockey, and on my 40 years coaching hockey at all levels, including USA Hockey elite level programs.

"Thoughts From The Bench" is a new e-book by longtime hockey coach and MomsTEAM blogger Hal Tearse with advice for hockey coaches, parents and players with the proceeds donated to Defending the Blue Line.

Youth Sports Hero of the Month: Terrance Washington (Louisville, Ky.)

For West End Yellow Jackets football coach Terrance Washington, practice at Russell Lee Park in Louisville, Kentucky on the night of September 12 seemed just like any other practice. Then, as he was putting the Mighty Mite Division team through its paces, he heard parents yelling that a two-year-old girl had just fallen 15 feet into a dark abandoned well 50 yards from the field.

"We were scared, we were screaming, we couldn't get it together," the little girl's cousin said later. "Fortunately . . . , Washington didn't hesitate."

It started out like any other practice for Lexington, KY youth football coach Terrance Washington. But then, as he was putting his team through its paces, he heard parents yelling that a two-year-old girl had just fallen about 15 feet into a dark abandoned well about 50 yards from the field, and he didn't hesitate.

"The Smartest Team": Staking Out The Sensible Middle In The Polarized Debate About Football

It has been an exciting week for those of us who worked so hard over the past two years to produce The Smartest Team: Making High School Football Safer.   

After kicking off with our premiere on Oklahoma Educational Television (OETA - PBS) in August, and with stations in North Carolina and Colorado having aired the documentary in September, the beginning of October marks the first full week of broadcasts on PBS stations in more than ten states. 

The buzz about the PBS documentary, "The Smartest Team," has been overwhelmingly positive, but some appear to be working overtime, on Twitter, through a whisper campaign, and via other back-channel means, to cripple MomsTEAM's ability to get its message out. Brooke de Lench explains.

Margaret Stafford Taught NFL QB Matthew To Feel Confident, Not Entitled


Role models are hidden in our everyday lives and neighborhoods. You just have to find them. Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Margaret Stafford, mother of Detroit Lions quarterback, Matthew. As I journey further down the football mom tunnel, I thought it might be a good idea to pick up some tips from the best. Margaret did not disappoint. After all, she is a pro now, too!Matt Stafford

A Dallas football mom learns from her neighbor, Margaret Stafford, that the secret to the success of her son, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, both on and off the field is to be confident, but not feel entitled. 

The Truth About Sexual Abuse Of Athletes By Coaches: It's All About Power

Since the Sandusky case, many have jumped on the bandwagon to address child sexual abuse in sports. We show videos of adolescent aged girls and boys being targeted and abused. Without a doubt, we react emotionally and with revulsion to something so horrific as the taking the innocence of a young child.Girl swimming butterfly

Yet, that isn't the whole truth when discussing coach-athlete sexual abuse. If you look at the list of banned swim coaches on the USA Swimming website, there isn't one coached banned for sexual abuse who was accused of having a relationship with a swimmer under the age of 13.

Since the Jerry Sandusky case, many have jumped on the bandwagon to address child sexual abuse in sports. The problem is that we are still not seeing the issue as the abuse of power that it is, says the founder of Safe4Athletes, a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting sexual abuse of athletes.
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