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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.

Youth Sports Heroes of the Month: FC Brossard (Quebec) U14 AA Soccer Team

 

Ordinarily, teen athletes do not assume the initiative to defend the civil rights of vulnerable minority children. Amid their other activities and interests, teens usually join sports teams to play, and not to take political stands. But when they faced Granby in suburban Montreal on Saturday, June 8, the previously undefeated FC Brossard U14 AA boys soccer team took a stand that helped make life better for dozens of other boys they had never met. FC Brossard soccer team

Teens usually join sports teams to play, and not to take political stands. But when they faced Granby in suburban Montreal on Saturday, June 8, the previously undefeated FC Brossard U14 AA boys soccer team took a stand that helped make life better for dozens of other boys they had never met.

The Cost of College & Your Post-Graduate 1:1 Ratio

 

Today, there is an increasing number of college graduates with student debt. While the sources and numbers may vary, recent estimates suggest that the average student debt for a college graduate is rising from around $25k to $35k. While many factors play a part in this national average, the fact remains that the college graduates are graduating with more and more student debt every day. And, many of these recent grads don’t even have jobs…

Do you understand your post-graduate 1:1 ratio?

Season Tickets For Texas High School Football: Priceless


I wonder how much a ticket would cost to see Game 7 of a Boston Red Sox World Series game at Fenway Park. What would some "Cheeseheads" in Wisconsin do to get tickets for the NFC championship at Lambeau Field, January snow and all? A ticket to any NBA final with Michael Jordan playing would have been priceless. In some years, a single ticket to the Texas/OU game during the State Fair of Texas can cost thousands. Map of Texas with fooball pin in Dalls

No doubt about it, sports fans love their teams and the games they play.  Because for some games and some teams are so iconic that the money and time spent are priceless. High school football is that way for one Texas mom.
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