Basics

Youth Sports: Pluses and Minuses For Parents

It is common wisdom that both boys and girls benefit from playing organized sports in a variety of ways, including socially. But do parents also benefit from their involvement? Does the time and money parents spend going to their kids' practices and games benefit them socially? Do they feel it is worth all the effort? According to a study by researchers at Purdue University in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, the answer seems to be a qualified yes.

 

Are You a Parent or a Chauffeur?

Author of new children's book, Hey Dad, Let's Have A Catch!, advises parents to do more than just drive their kids to practices and games.

Unstructured Free Play Important for Kids

Too often these days, parents feel they have no choice but to pack their child's schedules with adult-supervised, adult-driven activities such as organized sports, even in the summer, when kids have the most free time.  But, as a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) makes clear, such activities should not come at the expense of free and unstructured play, which is critical to healthy child development.

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After A Loss: Advice for Parents

With the winter sports season in full swing, it is important for parents to remember that, no matter how talented your child may be, there are going to be days when she doesn't play her best or when, despite her best effort, her team loses. How you manage both the ups and the inevitable downs will play a large role in whether your child has a successful youth sports experience.

When Is Your Child Ready To Play Sports?

I am often asked by parents how to decide when a child is ready to play sports? What sports should she play? When is too early? When is too late? What should a parent's expectations be starting out? While there are no pat answers to these questions and no hard-and-fast rules, here is some general advice.

Buying Athletic Shoes and Socks For Children

A recent study found that a majority of kids wear shoes that are too small, which put them at risk for developing serious foot deformities, such as bunions.  Here are some tips on buying athletic shoes for your child that fit!

To Play Or Not To Play Youth Sports: That Is The Question

While every family’s situation is unique, a former professional football player believes in the Power of Sport to have long lasting, physical and mental positive benefits for girls and boys who participate which far outweigh the inherent risks, especially when sports are taught and practiced in a responsible manner.

A Great Year to Study Leadership

We must present examples of positive leaders with integrity and the values we want to instill in our children, says a longtime baseball coach, and the athletic field provides players with the opportunity to learn and test those values.

SmartTeams Short Talk: Best Predictor of Whether A Child Will Play College Sports Is Parent Or Sibling Who Played College or Pro

Loyola of Chicago's Dr. Neeru Jayanthi says three studies of college athletes shows that the best predictor of whether a youth athlete will play sports in college is genetics: whether they have a first degree relative (i.e. parent or sibling) who played college or professional sports.

SmartTeams™ Talk: Dr. Neeru Jayanthi Explores The Myths And Dangers Of Sports Specialization

A pediatric sports medicine expert asks parents not to buy into the idea that sport specialization will increase their chances of playing sports in college, to listen to the data linking specialization and increased risk of serious overuse injury, and recommends that kids not play sports more hours per week than their age.
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