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#C4CT UN Conference: We've Come A Long Way, But A Long Way To Go

When MomsTEAM launched its Youth Sports Concussion Safety channel back in 2001, I suspected that people at the time must have thought the time and energy a team of experts, MomsTEAM staff, and I spent on the topic of youth sports concussions bordered on the obsessive, especially as no other youth sports website, much less the mainstream media, was talking about it at all back then.

When MomsTEAM launched its Youth Sports Concussion Safety channel in 2001, Brooke de Lench suspected that people at the time must have thought the time and energy she was spending on the topic bordered on the obsessive. 14 years later, as Brooke reports from the #C4CT concussion conference at the United Nations during Super Bowl Week, it has become a national obsession.

"Friday Night Tykes": Episode 4

This week's episode of "Friday Night Tykes" hit a new low.

This week's episode of "Friday Night Tykes" hit a new low. In case you missed it, be forewarned: while it is chock full of "teachable moments" which continue to show precisely how not to run a youth football program, it is really getting to the point where it is painful to watch, making it increasingly difficult for me to say that it continues to be "must-see TV" for its educational value.  It was so disgusting, that two days later, two of the coaches were hit with suspensions from the league.

 

Sports Legacy Institute's Hit Count Certification Program: Hitting The Reset Button

Yesterday in New York, the Sports Legacy Institute announced a certification program for head impact sensors to track the number of hits a player sustains above 20 g's of linear force.

It wasn't exactly what I had expected, but, nevertheless, a move that I wholeheartedly support. 

The announcement by the Sports Legacy Institute of a certification program for head impact sensors to track the number of hits a player sustains above 20 g's of linear force wasn't exactly what Brooke de Lench had expected, but, nevertheless, a move that she wholeheartedly supports.

"Friday Night Tykes": Episode 3

 

As was the case with the two-hour premiere, the third episode of "Friday Night Tykes" on the Esquire Network continued to be "must see" television for youth football parents for its educational value. Here are some of the safety issues it raised, with links to MomsTEAM content for further reading.

"Friday Night Tykes": A Viewer's Guide To Episodes 1 and 2

Friday Night TykesYou have probably read a lot already about the new reality television series, Friday Night Tykes (FNT) which premieres tonight on the Esquire Network.  

Like many of those who have weighed in so far, I am troubled, to put it mildly, about what it says about youth football, San Antonio, Texas-style.  [For some of what I think, watch tonight's "Inside Edition"

A lot has already been written about the new reality television series, "Friday Night Tykes." Because, in so many ways, it provides a perfect example of precisely how NOT to run a youth football program, to enhance the viewing experience, Brooke de Lench offers a viewing guide, listing just some of the safety issues raised in the first two episodes, along with links to related MomsTEAM content.

Concussion Summit During Super Bowl Week Promises To Be A Stellar Event

 

On Wednesday, January 29, 2014, during Super Bowl XLVIII Week, I will be participating in a panel discussion at the second annual Coalition for Concussion Treatment (#C4CT) Concussion Awareness Summit to be held this year at the United Nations in New York City.   

On Wednesday, January 29, 2014, during Super Bowl XLVIII Week, Brooke de Lench will be participating in a panel discussion at the second annual Coalition for Concussion Treatment (#C4CT) Concussion Awareness Summit at the United Nations in New York City.

Youth Sports Hero of the Month: Josh Zuchowski (Jupiter, Fla.)

 

Nine-year-old Josh Zuchowski and ten-year-old Reese Branzell are two of Florida's top swimmers in their age group. In fact, they've usually finished 1-2 in head-to-head matchups for the past three years, and each has a slew of trophies and medals to prove it. Josh Zuchowski and Reese Branzell

Nine-year-old Josh Zuchowski and ten-year-old Reese Branzell are two of Florida's top swimmers in their age group, usually finishing 1-2 in head-to-head matchups for the past three years, each with a slew of trophies and medals to prove it.  On December 7, with his rival Reese still in the hospital with a hip infection, Josh cleaned up at the Santa Claus Invitational, winning five gold medals and the all-around trophy as the meet's high point-getter. But it is what he did next that earned him honors as this month's Youth Sports Hero.

Looking Back With Pride, Looking Forward With Excitement

All is quiet at the MomsTEAM office this week. As we have done for the past thirteen years, we take a two-week year-end vacation to gear up for the New Year.

Stopping by to pick up a book, I look around the quiet office, I close my eyes and reflect on the biggest youth and high school sports stories of the year and wonder if we as a nation are any closer to our MomsTEAM mission of making sports safer, saner, less stressful and more inclusive or if we continue to spin wildly out of control in the crazy vortex that is youth sports in the 21st century.  I would like to think we are making some progress on the safety front, but less stressful? More inclusive? Not so sure we are making progress there. 

As much as we look back with pride on what we accomplished over the past year, highlighted by the release of our PBS documentary, "The Smartest Team", we eagerly look forward to the year ahead and the launch of our non-profit arm, the MomsTEAM Institute.

The Road To Varsity: It's Important To Look At The Signs Along The Way

 

It's been a full month and a half since the high school basketball season started, yet I have yet to officiate a varsity game.

Although I have been officiating for eight years, my move from Virginia to North Carolina last May meant that I was in my first year of membership in a new association.  I fully expected some degree of scrutiny, testing and evaluation after the move.  I paid dues, attended clinics, arrived early, stayed late, volunteered for more than the minimum number of scrimmages, and sought feedback from senior officials. Despite all my efforts, energy and experience, and relatively stellar evaluations and commentary from association insiders during the pre-season, my schedule, at least so far, is chock-full of non-varsity games. 

A veteran high school basketball official learns that her move to new state has meant that the road to officiating varsity games is going to take longer than she thought and take more twists and turns, so she will need to keep a sharp lookout for signs along the way in order to enjoy the trip.

Caitlin Cahow: Being Openly Gay Not Only Reason For Inclusion In U.S. Delegation To Sochi Olympics

Sometimes, when it feels like all I read about in the newspapers and hear on television is about war and conflict, along comes a young woman with wisdom, grace, confidence and dignity beyond her years, an "old soul", if you will, ready to bring us together, to teach the world that we are all one people.  Catlin Cahow is just such a person.  

The naming by President Barack Obama of Caitlin Cahow to be a member of the U.S. delegation to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia came as no surprise to Brooke de Lench, not because she is openly gay but because offers the world a perspective on the power of sport in general, and the Olympics in particular, to unite, rather, than divide nations and people.
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