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Brooke de Lench

Misbehaving Youth Sports Parents Too Common

Clearly, some parents are taking children's games far too seriously. The games are for our children, yet time and time again, we are witness to parents losing control. What lessons are our children learning when they see mothers and fathers yelling insults at referees, hands clenched, faces red with anger?

Attend Child's Game As Fan, Not Coach

Young players need to learn from their mistakes, as much as from their successes. Not only do they get confused if parents and coaches are constantly yelling criticism or plays, all that yelling can do long-lasting psychological damage.

Ten Things To Remember After Your Child's Team Loses

No matter how talented your child may be, there are going to days when he doesn't play his best, or when, despite his best effort, his team loses.  How you manage both the ups, and the inevitable downs, will play a large role in whether your child has a successful youth sports experience.  Here are ten things to keep in mind after your child's team loses or he doesn't perform up to his expectations.

Parents Can Protect Their Children Against Sexual Abuse in Sports

By far the most important step a parent can take to protect her child from a sexual predator is to make sure the coach is never alone with a child. Demand that a two-adult rule be instituted. A two-adult rule not only protects the player but the coach: if he is never alone with a child then inappropriate behavior cannot be alleged. Private or closed practices are a red flag. If the coach wants to exclude you from practice, ask why.

Playing Fields Near Busy Highways Pose Risks for Youth Athletes

Locating playing fields near busy highways pose serous risks to the developing lungs of young athletes. A substantial and growing body of scientific evidence has linked airborne toxic pollution from motor vehicles, trains and aircraft to significant health problems, especially in children, including aggravated asthma, chronic bronchitis, reduced lung function, irregular heartbeat, heart attack and premature death in people with heart or lung disease.

Pre-Participation Physical Evaluations (PPEs): A Primer for Parents

Most experts agree that you should have your child undergo a thorough pre-participation physical evaluation or exam (PPE) every year. Not only can a PPE be an effective tool in identifying athletes who should not be playing sports because they have congenital heart defects or a history of concussions, but it is also useful in identifying medical problems effecting sports participation, such as asthma or the female athlete triad.

Conditioning Program Helps Prevent Youth Sports Injuries

Proper conditioning can reduce the risk of injury in all sports, including baseball and soccer. It is particularly important for female athletes, who are predisposed to instability or dislocation of the kneecap (patella), pain and problems under the kneecap, and non-contact injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), especially in sports like soccer and basketball that require twisting and cutting.

Overuse Injuries An Unfortunate By-Product of Youth Sports Boom

Overuse injuries have become commonplace among young athletes in the last decade (although "Little League elbow" has been a problem for decades). They are not the kind suffered by children and adolescents engaging in free play or "pick up" games, but are clearly a product of the organized youth sports boom. The damage to hard and soft tissues resulting from undetected, unreported and often untreated overuse injuries can be permanent and lead to problems later in life, such as arthritis.

Youth Sports Organizations Need Bad Weather Policies

Chances are wherever you live the weather is subject to change at a moment's notice. Squalls, tornadoes, or electrical storms can occur with little warning. If your child is playing or practicing in less than ideal weather conditions, you need to be aware of the possible hazards and have a plan worked out ahead of time to avoid the kind of potentially dangerous situation that can develop without a weather policy.

The End (Winning) Doesn't Justify the Means (Abuse)

e-mail from one of MomsTeam's readers illustrates in a powerful way the kind of abuse that is too often condoned in today's "win-at-all-costs" youth sports culture, abuse that, simply put, has to stop.
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