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The Politics of Youth Sports Injury Prevention

The politics of prevention and the barriers to preventive efforts - whether it is in sports medicine, heart disease, cancer, or terrorism - are similar. Over the past seventeen years, I have found that the single greatest barrier to preventive efforts is the fact that we are taught throughout our educational system to be reactive rather than being proactive. To think in a proactive or preventative manner is a much different mindset than thinking in a reactive mindset. It involves a different set of observation skills and a different set of implementation skills.

Stretching, Warm Ups and Cool Downs Prevent Youth Sports Injuries

While not all youth sports injuries are preventable, sport specific strength and conditioning training and adequate rest between games go a long way in preventing both serious and minor injuries. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that children and adolescents include fitness exercises during each training session to develop specific skills required for that sport. While fitness activities may be geared towards the strength, endurance and flexibility requirements of that sport, they should not exclude other components of a well-rounded general fitness program.

Should I Let My Daughter Play On the Boys' Team?

There are many factors for a parent and an aspiring young female athlete to consider when deciding whether she should play on a boys' team. Is she pretty adept at the fundamentals? Are her skills on equal footing with the boys? Does she thrive on the competition? Is the coach gender-blind - giving equal opportunities to every one? Is it an environment where masculinity and femininity are not questioned? If you can answer yes -- then let her play!

Parenting Elite Athletes Is A Special Challenge

Parents of elite athletes face special challenges. No matter what sport they play, elite athletes' goals require a commitment that is by its very nature all-consuming, and parents' involvement is ratcheted up to the point of often swamping other concerns or projects involving their child. Parents needs answers to questions such as is the financial sacrifice worth the outcome, and what is the effect, positive and negative, of allowing a young athlete to aspire to elite status on the athlete, her parents, and her family?

College Recruiting for the Elite Athlete

Sooner or later, as the parent of a star athlete, you are going to hear about the "edge" your child supposedly has over the competition for college admission. Whether the end of the rainbow holds a pot-of-gold scholarship from a Division I school or admission to an Ivy League college, sports success carries more weight, on average, in college admissions and non-need-based scholarship awards than being the son or daughter of an alumnus/ae or a member of a minority.

About Shari Kuchenbecker

Shari Young Kuchenbecker, Ph.D. is a sports psychologist, educator, researcher and author of RAISING WINNERS:  A Parents Guide to Helping Kids Succeed On & Off the Playing Field (Three Rivers-Random House, 2000).

Ten Signs of a Good Youth Sports Program

Part Two examines five more important signs of a good youth sports program, from required coaching training and evalutations to sensible limits on number of practices and games per week.

Ten Signs of a Good Youth Sports Program

Part one explores the top five signs of a good youth sports program, Risk management and child protection programs, Child-centered or not, Inclusiveness, Equal playing time...

Oversight of AED Program by Medical Director/Physician Essential

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are manufactured and sold under guidelines issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Current FDA regulations make AEDs, like many drugs, available only to those with a physician's prescription. Simply finding a physician willing to write the necessary prescription, however, is not enough; in order for an AED or Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) program to be safe and effective, the program needs constant oversight by a medical director.

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