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Chris Borland Retirement Decision: 3 Lessons for Sports Parents

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.

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 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.

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.

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. Nocsae decertified two men's lacrosse helmets, and I fielded some troubling emails about child sports safety advocates who allegedly spend their time monitoring social media, especially Twitter, for reports of youth sports injuries to take to plaintiffs' personal injury lawyers.

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.

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.

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.

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.

SmartTeams Play Safe Summit, Pilot Programs, And "The Today Show" : It Was Quite The Week!

Today, I begin my blog again after taking the full summer off from writing.

The reason for my summer hiatus, at least from blogging, wasn't that I was relaxing on the beach or by the pool (oh, if only). 

No, it was because I was at my desk at MomsTEAM Institute working hard on two major initiatives: our inaugural SmartTeams Play Safe Summit at Harvard Medical School, and the launch of our six SmartTeam pilot projects.Brooke de Lench and Coach Bobby Hosea at Smart Teams Play Safe Summit

Today, Brooke de Lench begins blogging again after a summer off while she worked on two major initiatives: MomsTEAM Institute's inaugural SmartTeams Play Safe Summit at Harvard Medical School, and the launch of six SmartTeam pilot programs.

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