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Wanderlust Festival: Seven Reasons Why It Is A Not-To-Be-Missed Experience For the Entire Family

Once again this year, I had the privilege of attending on behalf of MomsTEAM the fabulous Wanderlust Festival, a 4 day adventure combining yoga, music, nature, and inspiration.  Although I am not yet a parent, I returned from Colorado more convinced than ever that Wanderlust is a not-to-be-missed experience for parents and their children.

The Wanderlust Festival is a 4-day adventure combining yoga, music, nature, and inspiration. After attending again this year, MomsTEAM blogger Tracey Wright shares her list of 7 reasons why attending the festival is a not-to-be-missed experience for the entire family.

Improving Football Safety: Is It Up To Parents?


Now that the concussion lawsuit filed by retired National Football League players has apparently been settled (remember: the judge still has to give her approval), it's time to focus on the upcoming football season, and working to make the sport safer at every level of the game. Missy Womack

Sincerest form of flattery

We could sit back and wait for the N.F.L., National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS), USA Football and Pop Warner to lead the way on football safety.

Football safety is largely up to parents, argues Brooke de Lench, working with all other groups in their community with a stake in making football safer, including independent football organizations, school boards, school superintendents, athletic directors, coaches, school nurses and psychologists, and other health care providers, to improve football safety at the grassroots level.

Youth Sports Hero of the Month: Pierre Garcon (Washington Redskins)


"I'm ready for a sports hero who doesn't treat the world like his spittoon," Golf Digest columnist Tom Callahan told the New York Times two years ago.

I think that Callahan was off-base in his blanket dismissal of professional athletes and their better instincts. Most pros recognize the responsibilities that come with being in the public spotlight; most obey the law, and many devote time and energy to community betterment. Pros make headlines when they stray, but most do not stray. Pierre Garcon with team that won uniforms

Most professional athletes recognize the responsibilities that come with being in the public spotlight; most obey the law, and many devote time and energy to community betterment. But few pros likely serve their community as earnestly as Washington Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garcon.

Two-A-Days: Are You Ready For Some Football?


Mid-August in Texas can only mean one thing: it is time for football season, finally!

Before we can start school and focus on the upcoming schedule, we tune up with "two-a-days."  In its purest form, that means teams practice in the early morning, take a break, and come back in the evening for a second practice, thus avoiding practice during the hottest part of the day. Football player hydrating

A Texas mom of two teenagers - a son in his first year of middle school football and a daughter on the high school drill team - slogs through an  endless series of two-a-days in preparation for another year of school and sports.

Is Education Enough in the Battle Against Concussions?

The growing knowledge and awareness about concussions in contact sports has brought this important issue to the forefront of these games. From youth all the way through professional levels brain injury continues to plague players and teams. 

Winston Churchill is quoted as saying that "Americans eventually will do the right thing, after they have tried everything else first." That may be true when it comes to concussion safety, says longtime Minnesota hockey coach and referee, Hal Tearse.

NOCSAE and Helmet Sensors: An Ounce Of Prevention

There is still confusion about the recent position, or should I say positions, taken by NOCSAE over the past month, first deciding that the certification of any helmet with a third-party add-on would be viewed as automatically void, then, this past week, making a 180-degree U-turn and leaving it up to the helmet manufacturers to decide whether affixing impact sensors to the inside or outside of a helmet voided the certification.  Unless you read my article on NOCSAE's original decision and Lindsay Barton's this past week on its clarification, and perhaps even if you did, you are probably scratching your head and wondering what the heck is going on!

Well, I am scratching my head, too.

With all the controversy surrounding NOCSAE's recent rulings on the effect of third-party add-ons on helmet certification, what Brooke de Lench and others are wondering is why NOCSAE isn't asking the helmet manufacturers to explain to them and the rest of us how a 2-ounce piece of plastic stuck to a 4+ pound football helmet has them so worried?  Whether the NOCSAE rulings were intended to put the brakes on the market for helmet sensors to give the helmet manufacturers time to catch up, it is hard to see how it won't have exactly that effect, she says.

Youth Sports Heroes of the Month: Acts of True Sportsmanship 1200 Miles Apart


In early July, the clock showed less than three minutes to play and coach Brian Murray’s Ellicott Hawks were down by double digits in their Mid American Youth Basketball tournament game in Pueblo, Colorado. With the outcome apparent, the Canutillo (Tex.) Select Junior Varsity put 16-year-old Adrian Martinez into the game for the first time.

Adrian practices hard, but he sees little action in games because his mother says that the coach fears that someone will injure him. She is fine with her son’s limited playing time because “just the simple fact that he sits on the bench with the rest of the team as a player and not just as a manager means a lot to him.”

Fourteen years ago, Adrian Martinez was diagnosed with autism.

Letting a basketball player score points or a wrestler register a pin runs counter to every instinct of athletes who are trained to want to win.  True sportsmen care about the score, and they do not normally let up on the opponent during the game. But true sportsmen also care about respect for the opponent’s dignity, as we find out from Doug Abrams in this month's Youth Sports Heroes.

NOCSAE Voiding of Certification For Sensor-Equipped Helmets: A Big Blow To Player Safety

Last week many of the technology manufacturers who have been working diligently to produce products to make helmeted sports such as football safer were dealt a severe, if not crippling, blow by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) when, out of the blue, it decided to view modification of helmets with third-party after-market add-ons as voiding its certification, which could only be regained if the helmet is retested with the add-on. Newcastle Racers wearing three different football helmets

Brooke de Lench believes that the new NOCSAE ruling voiding the certification for sensor-equipped helmets could not have come at a worse time, just as football - from the youth level to the NFL - is gearing up for the 2012 season. If not reversed or modified, de Lench fears that it will have harsh real-world consequences; not just on sensor manufacturers but on player safety and consumer choice.

"Crash Reel": Not Just A Documentary About Traumatic Brain Injury But Teaches Important Life Lessons, Too

For the past month I have been trying without success to find the time to join the makers of the newCrash Reel poster documentary, "Crash Reel," at one of their premiere screenings. It is a movie I have been very eager to see for a number of reasons. Finally, over the weekend, I was able watch the film, which airs tonight on HBO at 9:00 p.m. EDT.

I am so glad I finally was able to see the film.  Not only did it exceed all of my expectations, but, it evoked in me a mix of both wonderful and sad memories from my past.

The new HBO Documentary "Crash Reel" is a "must see" for all sports parents. It is not just an inspiring story of snowboarder Kevin Pearce's recovery from traumatic brain injury but is chock full of very powerful life lessons, many that will be ones parents will want to share with children, says MomsTEAM's Brooke de Lench.

The Road to Varsity - Mentoring Milestones on the Road Ahead

It's been five weeks since I moved to the Tarheel State, and in that time I have attended two basketball officiating clinics. The first was held at UNC Charlotte and served as an introduction into North Carolina high school basketball. The second was a teaching camp at Liberty University, run by NCAA officials and my fourth summer attending that camp.

A high school basketball official's attendance at two summer officiating camps teaches her some valuable lessons on the Road to Varsity.
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