It’s early on Christmas morning. Little Timmy is awake early because of the excitement to see what Santa left for him under the tree. As Timmy opens a present, his eyes light up. It is the perfect gift: a toy that he has always wanted. Timmy loves it, but after playing with the toy for about five minutes, he seems more interested in playing with the box. Mom and dad get frustrated because they were finally able to get him the toy he always wanted. And now, he’s playing with the box. But here’s the thing: it’s okay to play

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As fall sports start to wrap-up around most of the country, winter sports have just begun or are right around the corner.  The anticipation is building for an exciting new season.  New equipment, new uniforms, and new teammates are all fun things we all look forward to before the first practice or first game of a new season.  But even with all this newness we look forward to, many coaches go back to their old ways, old habits, and old expectations for the new upcoming season.  Every season is different, and before every season, youth sport coaches must evaluate, and

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Children who grow up watching sports all have big athletic dreams when they are young.  It’s hard to blame them.  Who wouldn’t want to believe they can hit the walk-off home run in Game 7 of the World Series at Yankee Stadium, or catch the game winning touchdown in the Super Bowl, or make a 30-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole at Augusta National to win the Masters?  Some kids even imagine themselves in that situation when they are practicing or playing with their friends.  That’s all fun and games, and that is what sports at the youth level

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As fall sports for youth sports start earlier and earlier (but, that’s a different topic for another day), practices begin in the dog days of summer – early to mid-August.  In the majority of the country, early to mid-August is very hot and very humid.  It is important for children playing sports in August (or July, or June, or any time when a child enters a hot and humid environment) to undergo a process called heat acclimatization. Heat acclimatization policies were first implemented in 2003 by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and first by state high school athletic associations in

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July is National Parks and Recreation Month, and this year’s theme is “Get Your Play On.”  I think this is a perfect theme.  Parks provide a great place to play, and recreation departments should embrace that and market their parks to their residents and to the public at large.  As a parks and recreation professional, I want people to use our parks.  They are a place to relax, a place to get exercise, a place to explore, a place to enjoy the fresh air, and, most importantly, a place to play.  But is it possible to just “play?” The word

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