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Youth Sports Hero of the Month: Deven Jackson (Shermans Dale, Pa.)


About three million youngsters will play youth football in the United States this fall.  Only one received sustained media coverage last month, and it was 10-year-old Deven Jackson, who took the field with the West Perry Midget Football Mustangs after a two-year absence from the gridiron.

In 2012, Deven was struck with meningitis. He suffered kidney failure, and his mother told ABC News that doctors gave him only a ten percent chance to live. Doctors amputated both legs six inches below the knees, and playing football seemed out of the question.

About three million youngsters will play youth football in the United States this fall. Only one received sustained media coverage last month, and it was 10-year-old Deven Jackson, who took the field with the West Perry Midget Football Mustangs after a two-year absence from the gridiron.

A New Football Season, But The Same Old Superstitions!


The first of September finally turned up on the calendar. It's a month which I look forward to every year because it comes with it the promise of a new school year, a break from the Texas heat, and yes, my friends, the beginning of football season.  I know I am not alone in saying that, for football fans, the seven long months between the last play of Super Bowl Sunday in February and the beginning of September without football is like spending time on the dark side of the moon! We football moms are still working, just not at full capacity. Celebrating a touchdown

Her son finally recovered from a stress fracture of his back, a Dallas mom begins his sixth year of football with a mixture of anxiety and excitement.

SmartTeams Play Safe Summit, Pilot Programs, And "The Today Show" : It Was Quite The Week!

Today, I begin my blog again after taking the full summer off from writing.

The reason for my summer hiatus, at least from blogging, wasn't that I was relaxing on the beach or by the pool (oh, if only). 

No, it was because I was at my desk at MomsTEAM Institute working hard on two major initiatives: our inaugural SmartTeams Play Safe Summit at Harvard Medical School, and the launch of our six SmartTeam pilot projects.Brooke de Lench and Coach Bobby Hosea at Smart Teams Play Safe Summit

Today, Brooke de Lench begins blogging again after a summer off while she worked on two major initiatives: MomsTEAM Institute's inaugural SmartTeams Play Safe Summit at Harvard Medical School, and the launch of six SmartTeam pilot programs.

Youth Sports Heroes of the Month: Jammers Youth Basketball Team (Punta Gorda, Florida)


On Saturday, July 19, 2014, it took 11-year-old Cole Bissonette five tries to sink a basket for the Light Blue team in the Jammers summer youth basketball league run by the Punta Gorda (FL) Police Department. His first shot was an air-ball, but 13-year-old Black team opponent Kenny Scribner saved the ball from going out of bounds and passed it back to Cole, whose second shot hit the front of the rim and bounced away. 

Youth basketball players do not usually get standing ovations, certainly not for scoring after four missed shots. Nor do they ordinarily get newspaper coverage for a made basket after four missed shots. And, of course, they do not usually get five tries to score because a player on the opposing team keeps passing them the ball. But that's what happened recently in Florida.

The Empire (Of Moms) Strikes Back - The Benefits Of Yoga In Recovering From A Sports-Related Back Injury (Part IV)

Six months ago my son was complaining about persistent back pain. He ended up being diagnosed with two small fractures in his lower back at the L-3 vertabrae. The pain and startling realization finally set in that his spring and summer sports activities would not happen. I remember standing in a hospital hallway feeling like a riptide had swept over me. I could not breathe. I could not think. I was consumed with how and why this injury had occurred. My son was beside himself with grief and a fear of the unknown: would he be ready to go in the fall for his beloved sport of football?   

In the latest chapter in her ongoing series of blogs chronicling her son's recovery from a stress fracture in his back, a Texas mom discovers that football players, from the National Football League on down - can benefit from yoga.

Destined to Play…

Are you Destined to Play?
Student Athletes 
Back to School..How important is this upcoming school year for you?
Let’s Check your Progress
Are you doing what is necessary to play at the next level?

Youth Sports Heroes of the Month: Annie Donnell and Allison Moehrle (Ladue, Mo.); Rob McQuay (Hanover, Md.)


In suburban St. Louis, Ladue Horton Watkins High School sprinter Annie Donnell ran the 400-meter dash for the first time this spring, after having run the 100-meters in her first three years on the track team. "I wasn't really sure what to expect," the junior told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch after the longer race. "It's always different when you run in a meet than when you practice on your track."

Nothing unusual here, except that Annie has been blind since birth.

This month's heroes not only deserve respect for pursuing their passions in sports, despite their disabilities, but also set an example for students with disabilities who might have second thoughts about confronting barriers of their own, on and off the field.

The Plank And The World Cup: Recovering from A Sports-Related Back Injury (Part III)


The end of June and first part of July became an exceptionally busy time at our house, juggling the final stretch of Physical Therapy for our son while trying to watch every second of the soccer World Cup coverage! Lucky for us, the Physical Therapy gym is well equipped with TV monitors, all tuned in to sports! Physical therapy

A Texas football mom and her son juggle his final stretch of physical therapy after a stress fracture of his back with watching the Team USA in the FIFA World Cup.

ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex At Disney World: The Happiest Place On Earth?


After my recent trip to Orlando, I now have the answer to the question that millions of parents and children ask on a daily basis.

If the Happiest Place on Earth is defined by the Magic Kingdom at Disney World with the Iconic Castle and Princesses galore, then the answer for this MomsTEAM blogger is No.  For her, and thousands of youth athletes, the Happiest Place on Earth resides in another Magical Realm within the World of Mickey Mouse: the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at Walt Disney World!

The Road to Varsity: Learning About 'Dead Ball' Officiating A Sign That Goal Is In Sight

I have just completed my annual summer mini-thon of two consecutive weekends of basketball officiating camp, one at UNC Charlotte, the other at Liberty University. 

A 10-year veteran of high school basketball officiating talks about focusing at summer officiating camp about the subtle "dead ball" aspects of her game, a sign that she is very close to reaching her goal of varsity status.
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