Youth Sports

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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Every year thousands and thousands of children participate in youth sports.  Parents pack their minivans with their children and teammates, chairs for the sideline, and a cooler full of snacks and drinks and drive to the field or court.  Parents sign up their kids to play sports for a variety of reasons.  Maybe they played the sport as a child, or the child saw the sport on TV and wanted to play.  Or perhaps the child’s sibling plays the sport.   Sometimes the child just has a lot of energy that he or she needs to burn off.  Whatever the reason

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It’s the start of a new season, and your child wants to try to play a new sport, or continue playing the one he or she has been playing in the past.   So, you go online, register, enter your credit card information, and just like that, little Timmy or Suzie is all set for another season.  Why do kids want to play sports?  What do parents hope kids get out of sports?  How should leagues and programs be structured? So many times, we as parents, coaches, and administrators are caught up in the “now.”  “My kid needs to become better

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