All Articles by Brooke de Lench

Early Sport Specialization: Does It Lead To Long-Term Problems?

Sports specialization, including year-round sport-specific training, participation on multiple teams in the same sport and focused participation in a single sport, leads to long-term problems.

Post-Concussion Syndrome: New Therapies Offer Hope, Says Mother Of Hockey Star, Caitlin Cahow

In her long road to recovery from post-concussion syndrome, two-time Olympic hockey star Caitlin Cahow had the best help a daughter could ask for, a mom who was there for her, no questions asked.  Caitlin's mom, a physician herself, shares with MomsTEAM's Brooke de Lench her perspective on new treatment therapies.

Impact Sensors: Frequently Asked Questions

The last several years have seen a growing number of companies introduce to the consumer market the first generation of impact sensors intended for real time monitoring of impacts to the heads of athletes in actual games and practices. Here are our answers to the most frequently asked questions about sensors.

Concussion Identification and Removal from Play: It's All About the "Five E's"

To minimize the risk of delayed recovery from concussion, long-term injury, or, in rare instances, catastrophic injury or death, it is critical that athletes suspected of having sustained a concussion are removed from play as early as possible.  the chances that a concussion will be identified early on the sports sideline can be maximized by following a multi-pronged approach utilizing the "Five E's." 

"The Smartest Team": Staking Out The Sensible Middle In The Polarized Debate About Football

It has been an exciting week for those of us who worked so hard over the past two years to produce The Smartest Team: Making High School Football Safer.   

After kicking off with our premiere on Oklahoma Educational Television (OETA - PBS) in August, and with stations in North Carolina and Colorado having aired the documentary in September, the beginning of October marks the first full week of broadcasts on PBS stations in more than ten states. 

The buzz about the PBS documentary, "The Smartest Team," has been overwhelmingly positive, but some appear to be working overtime, on Twitter, through a whisper campaign, and via other back-channel means, to cripple MomsTEAM's ability to get its message out. Brooke de Lench explains.

Improving Football Safety: Is It Up To Parents?


Now that the concussion lawsuit filed by retired National Football League players has apparently been settled (remember: the judge still has to give her approval), it's time to focus on the upcoming football season, and working to make the sport safer at every level of the game. Missy Womack

Sincerest form of flattery

We could sit back and wait for the N.F.L., National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS), USA Football and Pop Warner to lead the way on football safety.

Football safety is largely up to parents, argues Brooke de Lench, working with all other groups in their community with a stake in making football safer, including independent football organizations, school boards, school superintendents, athletic directors, coaches, school nurses and psychologists, and other health care providers, to improve football safety at the grassroots level.

NOCSAE and Helmet Sensors: An Ounce Of Prevention

There is still confusion about the recent position, or should I say positions, taken by NOCSAE over the past month, first deciding that the certification of any helmet with a third-party add-on would be viewed as automatically void, then, this past week, making a 180-degree U-turn and leaving it up to the helmet manufacturers to decide whether affixing impact sensors to the inside or outside of a helmet voided the certification.  Unless you read my article on NOCSAE's original decision and Lindsay Barton's this past week on its clarification, and perhaps even if you did, you are probably scratching your head and wondering what the heck is going on!

Well, I am scratching my head, too.

With all the controversy surrounding NOCSAE's recent rulings on the effect of third-party add-ons on helmet certification, what Brooke de Lench and others are wondering is why NOCSAE isn't asking the helmet manufacturers to explain to them and the rest of us how a 2-ounce piece of plastic stuck to a 4+ pound football helmet has them so worried?  Whether the NOCSAE rulings were intended to put the brakes on the market for helmet sensors to give the helmet manufacturers time to catch up, it is hard to see how it won't have exactly that effect, she says.

NOCSAE Voiding of Certification For Sensor-Equipped Helmets: A Big Blow To Player Safety

Last week many of the technology manufacturers who have been working diligently to produce products to make helmeted sports such as football safer were dealt a severe, if not crippling, blow by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) when, out of the blue, it decided to view modification of helmets with third-party after-market add-ons as voiding its certification, which could only be regained if the helmet is retested with the add-on. Newcastle Racers wearing three different football helmets

Brooke de Lench believes that the new NOCSAE ruling voiding the certification for sensor-equipped helmets could not have come at a worse time, just as football - from the youth level to the NFL - is gearing up for the 2012 season. If not reversed or modified, de Lench fears that it will have harsh real-world consequences; not just on sensor manufacturers but on player safety and consumer choice.

Active Schools Acceleration Project (ASAP) Awards $1 Million In Grants To Schools To Fight Childhood Obesity

On June 27, 2013, the Active Schools Acceleration Project ASAP named 1,000  elementary schools in all 50 states as recipients of a $1,000 ASAP Acceleration Grant to help them implement in September three new activity programs designed to fight childhood obesity. The program is the third in First Lady MIchelle Obama's "Let's Move! Active Schools" initiative.

Moms Can Help Keep Young Athletes Hydrated and Performing At Their Best

Today's sports moms do much more than juggle schedules and drive athletes to and from games. Many also serve as coaches, assistant coaches, and team moms, or volunteer to bring snacks and drinks. Regardless of her role, one of the most important things a mom can do to help every athlete on the team perform at their best is to ensure that they are well-hydrated, before, during and after practices and games.