All Articles by Brooke de Lench

Reducing Sexual Abuse in Youth Sports Requires A Team Effort

NOTE: This article is from an earlier  blog, yet remains important.

Earlier this spring  I had the honor of being invited to speak at the "Safe to Compete: Protecting Child Athletes from Sexual Abuse" summit in Washington, DC, sponsored by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation.  

The summit brought together over fifty of the nation's largest youth-serving and youth-sports organizations, as well as child development, youth sports and prevention experts, to discuss strategies for protecting children from sexual abuse while playing sports.

The need to redouble efforts to prevent sexual abuse of athletes by their coaches was driven home to Brooke de Lench over the past couple of weeks, which has seen a sharp spike in reports in the media about youth sports coaches accused and convicted of, and sentenced to probation or jail for sex crimes against young athletes.

Newcastle-Moore, Oklahoma Tornado Hit Close To Home

Two things have weighed heavily on my mind the past two weeks: the tornadoes that have ravaged the Oklahoma City area, and the professional and amateur storm chasers who risk their lives to follow them.  

On May 20, 2013, as I watched coverage of the EF-5 Newcastle-Moore tornado on CNN, I was worried about the football community in Newcastle, a town I had grown to know, respect and appreciate over the 8 months I spent visiting last year while producing and directing The Smartest Team documentary.  

Two things have weighed heavily on Brooke de Lench's mind the past two weeks: the Newcastle-Moore tornado that ravaged the Oklahoma City area, and the professional and amateur storm chasers who risk their lives to follow them.

Safety Comes First, No Matter Sport or Season

The winter sports season is in full swing, and spring sports are a ways off, but safety comes first, no matter what the sport or the season. Here's a sixteen-point safety checklist to keep athletes in the game.

A Mother's Day Wish List

It's May once again. Time for spring sports, warmer weather, longer days, and, of course, Mother's Day. This year, instead of celebrating mothers with the usual cards and flowers, I have put together a special wish list for the mothers, grand mothers, step mothers and other caregivers in this country with kids playing sports.

Brooke de Lench and Taylor Lench

Here's this year's list:

This Mother's Day, as has been her Brooke's practice in years past, she has a wish list for making youth sports better. Here's this year's list.

Improving Concussion Safety in High School Football: Promising Developments, But A Long Way To Go

It has been a good two weeks for parents looking to make high school football safer, with a number of promising developments. But it is not time to declare victory, and many questions remain to be answered.

The last two full weeks of April 2013 have been a good one for parents looking to make high school football safer, but it is not time to declare victory, and many questions remain to be answered,

ASTM Standard for Women's Lacrosse Helmet: Beginning of Debate About Whether Good For Game, Not End

Approval of an ASTM standard for women's lacrosse likely in early 2015 is not likely to end the debate about whether mandating such helmets is good for the game, experts say, but is a necessary step towards finding the answer to that question.

Stricter Enforcement of Rules Against Helmet-to-Helmet Contact: The Time For Action Is Now

The most recent consensus statement on concussion in sport (1) states that "rule enforcement may be a critical aspect of modifying injury risk."    

Watch any high school football game and you will see a lot of helmet-to-helmet contact in the trenches, much of which has been technically illegal for over three decades. The problem is that penalties are rarely, if ever, called; so much so, that linemen see leading with their helmet, perversely, as a form of self-protection. The time for that to change is now.

The Smartest Team Is Out!

It's hard to believe that, after over a year of hard work, MomsTEAM's high school football documentary, "The Smartest Team, is finally being released

The release of MomsTEAM's high school football documentary, "The Smartest Team," is the culmination of everything we have learned over the last 13 years as the pioneer in youth sports concussion education, and 13 months working with a high school football community and a team of experts to implement a concussion risk management program we call the Six Pillars.

The Six Pillars of Concussion Risk Management: The MomsTEAM Approach

Head injuries in football, as in other contact and collision sports, cannot be completely eliminated, but there ARE steps that can be taken to minimize risk. MomsTEAM's high school football concussion documentary, "The Smartest Team," focuses on "The Six Pillars" of concussion risk management: education, protection, identification, treatment, return to play and retirement.