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Sports Parents Asking Tough Questions: Are They Troublemakers?

This past weekend,  the Hey Coach Tony show on a local Connecticut radio station devoted an entire hour to discussing one of MomsTeam's most popular  articles: the one listing questions to ask youth sports coaches at the pre-season meeting with parents. 

In case you don't know about Coach Tony, he is what I would call a "guy's guy": a tough-talking "shock jock"-type of radio host who tends to shoot from the hip, and with a reputation for disdaining political correctness and for using outdated terms for people he doesn't like (I cringed while listening to an earlier show when he used the word "retarded" and "retard' more than a dozen times to describe a person he did not care for). 

This past weekend,  the Hey Coach Tony show on ESPN Radio devoted an entire hour to discussing one of MomsTeam's most popular  articles: the one listing questions for parents to ask at a pre-season meeting.  Particularly instructive was the way he chose to end his show: with an email from a listener saying that parents who ask questions will be labeled as troublemakers.

Soccer Development Academies: Elite or Elitist?

Over the weekend I posted a link in the @MomsTeam Twitter account to an article in the New York Times titled "High School Players Forced to Choose in Soccer's New Way."  My tweet generated a lot of buzz, and, as I had commented in the past on the way sports talent is developed in this country, I thought it would be a great topic for a blog.

The United States Soccer Federation's (USSF) recent mandate that elite soccer players who play for Development Academy teams will not be allowed to play for their high school soccer teams after this season is wrong and misleading, says MomsTeam guest blogger, Emily Cohen.

Girls Can Be Baseball Catchers Now Too!

When my sisters and I were growing up, my father loved to spend time with us in the back yard (and later at the local school diamond) playing baseball. We never used a softballs, always baseballs. My dad had been a stand-out baseball pitcher and catcher for his high school during the World War II. He had hoped to play professional baseball but his dreams and elbow were shattered by a bullet while serving on the aircraft carrier Bon Homme Richard in the Pacific. Frankly, I also think the wear and tear of pitching also left him some serious rotator cuff issues, as he had a difficult time throwing very far as he got older.Riverdale School baseball team early 1940s

When I was a child I wanted to play baseball, like my dad, who was a catcher and pitcher in high school but whose dreams of playing professionally ended during World War II. I went on to be a softball catcher, and one of my sons was also a catcher. With spring arriving, the thoughts of boys - and now, girls - turn once again to baseball.

NFL's Super Bowl Ad Obscured Reality

Most of the buzz about the commercials that aired during this Sunday's Super Bowl was about the Chrysler ad featuring Clint Eastwood, but, for me, the one commercial I won't forget was the 60-second spot by the N.F.L. at the end of the third quarter touting the league's progress since its founding to make the game safer.

The N.F.L.'s Super Bowl commercial touting the league's progress since its founding to make the game safer obscured the reality that league has not done enough to protect its current players from the dangers of head injuries and left too many of its former players struggling in retirement with symptoms of early dementia, depression, and thoughts of suicide.

Landon Collins Mom Blog Certainly Got People Talking!

Since my blog on my interview with April Justin last week I have received many emails, tweets, Facebook comments and phone calls with suggestions, comments, questions and advice on all sorts of things, especially on what my blog should be focused on in the future.

The majority of the mail has been positive, congratulating me on taking the time to answer the question many had after watching the Landon Collins video - what was his mother really thinking. Some, of course, has been critical, both for reporting what April Justin told me were her reasons at all, or for the way in which I reported it, or both.

In blogging about the reasons why top college football recruit Landon Collins' mom, April Justin, reacted the way she did to his announcement that he was going to play for the Alabama Crimson Tide, Brooke de Lench wasn't biased in favor of LSU or engaging in poor reporting.  She was just telling April's side of the story.

What Landon Collins' Mother Understood That Her Son Didn't Say

The video clip of Landon Collins went viral almost instantly, not to mention setting the blog- and Twitter-sphere ablaze.

There was the nation's top ranked high school safety announcing his decision to attend the University of Alabama during the Under Armour All-America Game three weeks ago, while his mom, April Justin, looked on with a pained expression on her face, shaking her head in disapproval of his choice.

The video of April Justin's disappointment when her son Landon Collins announced his decision to attend the University of Alabama to play football has provoked a mostly negative reaction in the blog- and Twitter-sphere, but perhaps, says Brooke de Lench, there is another side to the story, one which explains why she reacted the way she did.

Computerized Neurocognitive Baseline Concussion Testing At Home: Why I'm Against It

A couple of weeks ago a team and league management technology provider and a neurocognitive testing company announced a partnership to provide online testing for athletes. The announcement prompted emails to MomsTEAM from parents asking for my opinion on how and where to have their children's baseline neurocognitive tests done, and whether they could do them at home.  While I have been fielding similar e-mails for years, the uptick in emails prompted me to do some digging to come up with an answer.

Computerized neurocognitive tests which athletes can take in the comfort of their parent's home may be affordable, but MomsTeam's Brooke de Lench argues that concussion testing should be left to concussion professionals trained in properly administering and interpreting the results, not sold on line for use without supervision.  Leading experts and the Centers for Disease Control agree.

Missing Gate Receipts A Reminder of Need for Oversight Of Youth Sports Organizations

It seems as if a week doesn't go by these days without a story coming across my desk about money being embezzled from the coffers of local sports teams or lack oversight by a board of directors.

On Friday, it was the case of $4,176 in gate receipts that mysteriously disappeared after a September 2011 high school football game in Huber Heights, Ohio.  Hundred dollar bills

It seems as if a week doesn't go by these days without a story coming across my desk about money being embezzled from the coffers of local sports teams or lack oversight by a board of directors. The latest is the case of $4,176 in gate receipts that mysteriously disappeared after a September 2010 high school football game in Huber Heights, Ohio. 

Sarah Burke's Injury: Hard To Prevent, But Not Always Fatal

I have tried to understand how Sarah Burke's freestyle ski injury actually ended up resulting in her death this week. The information, at first, was pretty sketchy.  Ultimately, we learned that, when Sarah's head snapped back in her fall, the whiplash caused a tear (dissection) of her vertebral artery, which cut off the blood to her brain, causing her to go into cardiac arrest and resulting in irreversible brain damage.

How does a tear to the vertebral artery like the one that took Sarah Burke's life happen and can it be prevented? MomsTeam's Brooke de Lench asked Dr. David Geier, an orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist and the Director of MUSC Sports Medicine in Charleston, South Carolina to explain in a guest article.

The Best Thing Tom Brady, Sr. May Have Done For His Son: Nothing

Yesterday, I had a chance to talk with Tom Brady, Sr. in his Boston office. Yes, that  Tom Brady. Father of  New England Patriot quarterback Tom Brady.

It was actually the second time I had had a chance to talk with Tom.  The first time was at a seminar in Harvard Square a year or two back in which he was on the panel. This time we had a chance to talk at length.  I came away with a much better understanding of the "recipe" he used in raising a super hero: not only an elite athlete, but a wonderful person, too.Tom Brady and Tom Brady, Sr. embracing

The best thing Tom Brady's father may have done for him was not talking to his college football coach at the University of Michigan about his son's lack of playing time.
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