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Brooke de Lench

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.

Letting Kids Play Football is Not Child Abuse


The last three weeks have witnessed an all-out assault on the game of football, not coincidentally timed with the beginning of NFL training camps. First came a study reporting CTE in 110 of 111 brains of former NFL players. Following closely on the heels of that media circus was the publication last week of a new book by Dr. Bennet Omalu, Truth Doesn't Have a Side, and interviews in which Dr. Omalu, as he has for several years, argues that letting kids play football is the "definition" of child abuse. The not-so-surprising result has been a tsunami of emails in my Inbox asking for my views on the subject.

Are parents committing child abuse simply by allowing their kids to play a collision sport like football before middle school? Not unless it rises to the level of a callous and wanton disregard for a child's safety (e.g. reckless endangerment).

Experts Weigh in on Preventing Exertional Heat Stroke at the Boston Marathon

Marathon weather conditions can be unpredictable, from snow squalls to extreme heat, which may lead to increased risks of life-threatening medical emergencies, including exertional heat stroke (EHS). Monitoring for early signs of an injury is critical. It's also extremely helpful to know an individual's medical history, as athletes with a history of heat illness may be more susceptible to a repeat heat illness experience.

17th Annual Mother's Day Wish List

It's Mothers Day once again. Time for spring sports, warmer weather, longer days, planting gardens, and, of course, watching kids play sports. Each year for the past seventeen years, MomsTEAM has published my Mother's Day Wish list. As you will see, many of the wishes on this year's list will look very familiar to long-time visitors. 

Every year for the past 17 years, MomsTEAM Founder Brooke de Lench has issued a Mother's Day wish list. Here's this year's list.

Fighting The "Trump Effect" In Youth Sports

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 18, 2016 ON HUFFINGTON POST. 

 

The media has been reporting extensively on what the Southern Poverty Law Center's Teaching Tolerance project has dubbed the "Trump Effect": the fear and anxiety which the President-elect's campaign rhetoric - and his policy pronouncements, especially regarding immigrants and Muslims - appears to be engendering among Latino, Hispanic, African-American, and Muslim children, immigrant children, and children of immigrants, and the bullying, intimidation, slurs, and threats which appear to be increasingly directed at them.

The media has been reporting extensively on what the Southern Poverty Law Center's Teaching Tolerance project has dubbed the "Trump Effect": the fear and anxiety which the President-elect's campaign rhetoric - and his policy pronouncements, especially regarding immigrants and Muslims - appears to be engendering among Latino, Hispanic, African-American, and Muslim children, immigrant children, and children of immigrants, and the bullying, intimidation, slurs, and threats which appear to be increasingly directed at them. Sadly, the Trump Effect also seems to be playing out in my domain of youth sports.

Why I'm Not a Football Apologist or Anti-Football Zealot: I'm a Pro-Safety Realist


As I await tonight's advance screening in Boston of Sony Pictures' movie, Concussion, which opens nationwide on Christmas Day, the polarized debate over football has once again reached a fever pitch.

In contrast to recent battles in the now 110-year war over football MomsTEAM Institute of Youth Sports Safety, the non-profit I have headed for the last fifteen years, is not merely an interested spectator this time around.

That's because Sony Pictures chose the Institute as its partner in its Dance or Donate #ForThePlayers social media campaign; an initiative designed not just to publicize the movie but to promote our 15-year effort to make youth football and all sports safer (which is why the Institute is hosting the Boston screening)

With the Boston advance screening of Concussion tonight and the nationwide release just three days away, MomsTEAM's Executive Director explains why she's not a football apologist, CTE denier, or anti-football zealot but is, and always has been, a pro-safety pragmatist.

Pediatrics Group's Position on Tackling in Youth Football Strikes Right Balance

Last month, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) endorsed efforts to limit contact practices in youth football, but declined to make a clear recommendation in favor of delaying the age at which tackling is introduced. The AAP likewise refused to support those calling for an outright ban on tackling in football for athletes below age 18, unwilling to recommend at this time such a fundamental change in the way the game is played.

As someone who has been working for 15 years to make youth football safer, MomsTEAM's Executive Director was glad to see the nation's largest and most prestigious pediatrics group support so many of the evidence- and expert consensus-based recommendations MomsTEAM has been making to improve the safety of the game.

U.S. Failure To Ratify UN Convention on Rights of the Child Is Embarrassing and Unacceptable

ORIGINALLY POSTED IN HUFFINGTON POST 10/9/15 

A longtime advocate for ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child by the United States working to implement the 2014 International Safeguards for Children in Sport, says that the country's failure to ratify the Convention is embarrassing and unacceptable.

Texas Youth Football and Cheer Program: Ten Ways It Is Walking The Talk On Safety

Participation in youth sports in general, and in youth football in particular, is on the decline in some parts of the nation.  One of the biggest factors driving the decline is a concern about injuries. 

Lots of youth sports programs say they want to improve safety, but how many are actually making the effort to implement best health and safety practices?

Lots of youth sports programs say they want to improve safety, but how many are actually making the effort to implement best health and safety practices? I can't speak for every program, but I know one that is definitely walking the talk: the youth tackle and flag football and cheer program in Grand Prairie, Texas, where I spent the first week of August educating and training kids, parents, coaches, and administrators on ways to make football safer as part of MomsTEAM Institute's SmartTeams| UNICEF International Safeguards of Children in Sports project.

Power of the Permit: Improving Youth Sports Safety One Municipality at a Time

 

If you are involved in a private youth sports program which plays on publicly-owned fields, diamonds, rinks, or courts, or are in local government, you have probably been hearing a lot lately about what is being dubbed the "power of the permit": the authority municipalities and towns around the country are using to condition use of their athletic facilities by private programs on compliance with state concussion safety laws from which they would otherwise be exempt, or, in an increasing number of instances, to fill gaps in their state's law.

A growing number of municipalities are using the power of the permit to require private sports programs to comply with state-mandated concussion safety laws, or impose additional conditions beyond those required by state law, but, as MomsTEAM Institute Executive Director explains, it isn't an isolated or new phenomenon. It's been a growing trend for years.
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