Recently, I received the following letter from a mother who had attended one of my talks to a group of sports moms.
It is sad, but true, that some kids think that one way to keep moving up the sports pyramid is to eliminate the competition and drive kids to quit, especially if they perceive them as competitive threats, through bullying or teasing. We start off October is National Bullying Prevention Month with a personal story about bullying.
I am the mom of a nine year old Little Leaguer and I am worried about the safety of my child, and all the other innocent children who step on fields across the country, who are at risk of having their lives destroyed by sex offenders and convicted criminals who prey on them as youth sports coaches.
Coaches who concentrate on the well-being of their young athletes
encourage them to cross-train and enjoy other activities during parts
of the year, not threaten them with the loss of a place on the
team if they don't drop other sports.
Because most athletes don't want to admit that they aren't psychologically ready to return to sports, a parent or athletic trainer needs to look for subtle clues, most often expressed in terms of a hesitancy, lack of confidence or certainty that seems out of character.
About 50 young athletes go into sudden cardiac arrest each year and die from a rare congenital heart defect called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM ). While some parent groups advocate for routine electrocardiogram (ECG) screening for youth athletes, sports administrator Donald Collins says attacking the HCM problem through education, by forming alliances between schools, leagues and sports governing bodies with
medical organizations and by the taking of detailed family history during a young athlete's pre-participation physical evaluation is a cost-effective approach to early detection.