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Youth Sports

The Ugly Parent in All of Us

Fred Engh | Posted 05.06.2015 | Sports
Fred Engh

Sports for kids would be a great experience if parents could control their emotions, but that is like asking a person who has never been skiing before to just relax as they look straight down from the top of the mountain. Relaxing just isn't in the cards.

5 Things the Non-Athlete Parent Needs to Know About Youth Sports

Emily Cohen | Posted 05.05.2015 | Sports
Emily Cohen

Your kid wants to play sports, and that's a great thing except for this: You were never an athlete and you aren't one now. You might not even watch sports. Now what? Non-athletic sports parents suffer from a double disability

That's My Kid Out There! Aren't I Great?

Fred Engh | Posted 04.29.2015 | Sports
Fred Engh

All seven of my children played sports while they were growing up and I can tell you that there is hardly anything that can compare to the joy, frustration, triumph and disappointment of watching our kids compete.

10 Ways Parents Can Help Their Kids Avoid Overuse Injuries and Burnout in Sports

Brooke de Lench | Posted 04.27.2015 | Sports
Brooke de Lench

According to Safe Kids Worldwide, more than 3.5 million children age fourteen and under get medical treatment for sports injuries each year.

Misplaced Priorities in Child Safety and Youth Sports

Fred Engh | Posted 04.22.2015 | Parents
Fred Engh

The bottom line is that to me letting your kids go to the park unsupervised is a whole lot better than putting them in the hands for a full season with someone you haven't a clue about.

Ouch! 4 Steps to Fewer Sports Injuries

Emily Cohen | Posted 04.20.2015 | Parents
Emily Cohen

You are the expert on your own kid, not the coach. The coach can't read your kid's body language the way you can.

If Schools Have a Superintendent, Why Don't Youth Sports?

Fred Engh | Posted 04.15.2015 | Parents
Fred Engh

Whether we want to admit it or not, youth sports are really about education. Our organization says that sports are the outdoor classroom whereby young people are learning a host of life lesson and they are not always good lessons.

6 Ways Parents Can Help Make Youth Sports Safer

Brooke de Lench | Posted 04.08.2015 | Parents
Brooke de Lench

New child protection laws aren't the only way to help improve youth sports safety. There are numerous steps that parents can take, along with other like-minded parents, to make the sports experience safer for all children in their local communities.

Background Checks... Don't Be So Sure

Fred Engh | Posted 04.08.2015 | Impact
Fred Engh

Whatever we can do to prevent child abusers from abusing children in organized sports, I'm all for. Throughout the last several years, the phrase "background checks" has been floating around as if it's a panacea for making sure youth sports leagues are doing the right thing.

In Honor of Opening Day, Signs That You Might Be a Baseball Sacrifice

Alisa Schindler | Posted 04.06.2015 | Parents
Alisa Schindler

When your husband asks you for a cup, do you immediately head to the underwear drawer? Is your floor littered with all sorts of baseball paraphernalia -- gloves, bats, balls, bags, cleats, etc?

Why I'm Raising My Son to Be a Mets Fan

Evan Mandery | Posted 04.06.2015 | Sports
Evan Mandery

My legacy to him is a passion for a profoundly inept team. He reached sports maturity just in time to watch the Mets get awful; since his seventh birthday they've gone 453-519.

Participation Trophies Are Bogus

Samantha McGarry | Posted 04.02.2015 | Parents
Samantha McGarry

My daughter calmly informed me she was "pumped up." They weren't cocky, just self-confident, assured that they knew what to do in the ring, no matter the belt, size or gender of their opponent.

Is a Sexual Predator Lurking on Your Kid's Team?

Fred Engh | Posted 04.01.2015 | Impact
Fred Engh

Ever since Jerry Sandusky became a household name and rocked the national sports landscape, it also shined the spotlight on a chilling topic that all too often gets shoved to the side because it's too uncomfortable and unpleasant to talk about.

5 Signs Your Child's Team is Toxic

Emily Cohen | Posted 03.31.2015 | Parents
Emily Cohen

If a coach tries to say your child isn't allowed to play on another team or any other sport, or worse, asks you sign to a form to that effect, that coach doesn't have your child's best interests at heart--only his own. And his ego.

All-Star Teams Turn Fun Into Frenzy

Fred Engh | Posted 03.25.2015 | Sports
Fred Engh

When youth sports began way back in the late '30s, it was so kids would have something to do during their time off from school in the summer. With the advent of all-star teams, on a team with 15 players, 14 would be left with no baseball for the rest of the summer.

What Truly Matters in Youth Sports? Hint: It's Not the Sport

Bethany & Daniel Henderson | Posted 03.24.2015 | Impact
Bethany & Daniel Henderson

We adults tend to think we have all the answers when it comes to youth sports. We adults can pontificate all we want, but the thing that should matter most in youth sports isn't the sport, it's the youth.

An Open Letter to My Son's Coach

Jen Cohen | Posted 03.24.2015 | Parents
Jen Cohen

Coach, your words of advice, "Arrive on time, prepared and ready to deliver a best effort," were met with an eager-to-please attitude from my 10-year-old son. When other young players neglected to demonstrate this same courtesy, your actions spoke louder than your words.

Travel Teams: Youth Sports' New Headache

Fred Engh | Posted 03.18.2015 | Sports
Fred Engh

Sadly, sandlot games have pretty much evaporated though, a casualty of the travel team frenzy that has been sweeping through communities for quite some time now, disrupting recreational programs and saddling children with a mind boggling schedule of practices and games.

Fun, Fitness And Fostering Character: 8 Tips To Make Youth Sports Great For Kids

Anne Josephson | Posted 03.16.2015 | Sports
Anne Josephson

Parent brawls, coaches who belittle athletes and the kids who are suffering from injuries, eating disorders or stress and exhaustion. It can leave a parent wondering: why is it valuable for my child to play youth sports?

The Responsibility And Privilege Of Coaching Youth Sports

Jackie Bledsoe, Jr. | Posted 03.16.2015 | Sports
Jackie Bledsoe, Jr.

I still run into people to this day who share with me the impact my dad had on them as a coach. Over 30 years later the impact he had through coaching us and our friends is still there. That is a tremendous responsibility, but an even greater privilege.

Life Lessons From Sports

Blayne Davis | Posted 03.16.2015 | Sports
Blayne Davis

Our kids don't have to hit the game winning shot to be heroes, but rather by showing up, working hard and being accountable, they become heroes. And sometimes that isn't reflected in the final score.

How A Group Of Outcast Teen Boys Taught Me The Value Of Youth Sports

Brooke de Lench | Posted 03.16.2015 | Sports
Brooke de Lench

Don't expect to win any games, they said. Some of the boys have attention issues, they said; several chronically misbehave. Some lack "talent" or are slow footed. And we think so and so is selling weed, and, oh, by the way, we don't think a woman should be coaching a boys' team in the first place. I had a different perspective.

Are Youth Sports A Societal Panacea?

Luis Fernando Llosa | Posted 03.13.2015 | Sports
Luis Fernando Llosa

Our intentions are good, but the end result can be surprisingly toxic.

Finding Acceptance -- On (and Off) the Field

David Jacobson | Posted 03.13.2015 | Sports
David Jacobson

Sports provide the chance to learn teamwork, persistence through adversity, and basic human respect for oneself and others that could literally save lives from Ferguson to Fallujah.

Youth Sports: A System In Dire Need Of Direction

Rick Wolff | Posted 03.12.2015 | Sports
Rick Wolff

When a sport is transformed into a highly competitive, win-at-all-costs activity, with one's parents foaming at the mouth while yelling at refs, who wants to play anymore?