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Yoga Helps Kids Discover Their Strengths In Gentle and Less Competitive Way

Many adults I spoke with at the Wanderlust Festival this summer in Stratton, Vermont were athletes growing up. When I asked them how their lives would have been different had they practiced yoga as children, they all agreed that they would likely have discovered their strengths as athletes and as individuals in a more gentle and less competitive way.

In today’s world of youth organized sports, much of the focus is on winning, moving fast and being the best. Many of these goals come from outside pressures of parents, coaches and society. Yoga dissolves the external pressures to perform at a fast pace, allowing participants to slow down and realize that they are perfect exactly where and how they are, in the moment.

Practicing yoga helps children discover their strengths as athletes and individuals in a more gentle and less competitive way.

Heather McKenzie (Informatics Nurse): Days As Athlete Over, It's Time To Pay It Forward

Being the mother of an athlete is a challenging yet rewarding role. So MomsTEAM has designated May as Sports Moms Month and is celebrating by asking some of our favorite sports moms to share their wisdom by responding to a series of questions.

So far this month we have heard from a fascinating range of sports moms, from a mom of an Olympic athlete to moms who were themselves Olympic athletes, from a mom of two former minor league baseball players to a Minnesota hockey mom and author.

Today, we hear from Heather McKenzie, a nurse, sports mom and cheer coach from Union Bridge, Maryland:

MomsTEAM: Were you an athlete and what sports did you play as a youth (under 19)?

A nurse and sports mom to four active young kids believes that, now that her own days as a youth athlete are over, it is her turn to pay it forward by volunteering as a cheerleading coach for her 8-year-old daughter's team.

Can The Adrenaline Rush From Sports Become An Addiction?

We have all met people with so-called “Type A” personalities: driven, competitive people who believe they can do a better job at work, coaches who believes that their way is the only way, and live to prove it on the field, the court, or the stadium, and, yes, sports parents who are determined to prove that their child is the next sports superstar.  What motivates such people is a need which can become addictive, so much so that there are those who suggest that adrenaline/epinephrine addiction should be considered in the DSM (the manual classifying mental disorders) as an addiction, alongside addiction to illegal drugs. 

Having pushed our children's need to compete and win -and the surge of adrenaline it creates - parents create a craving which makes it hard, when the season is over, for young athletes to slow down and relax. Worse, we may be raising children for an unhappy future, when the wins they achieved in sports are not an everyday occurrence, for a life in which they end up always searching to re-live their “glory days”, and kids who haven't developed an appreciation for small victories and the simple pleasure of relaxation.

Community Basketball League Stresses Three C's

While millions of people worldwide focused this past two weeks on the NBA Finals and superstars like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki playing the game of basketball with grace and fury for a championship at the highest level, area gyms around the nation will be filled with kids and weekend warriors hooping it up with the same intensity but for completely different reasons.  "We play basketball for the three ‘C's,'" explains Jamar Johnson, Chief Commissioner of the Community Basketball Leagues (CBL): competition, comradery and community.

Maximizing Athletic Performance: The Art of the Taper

Whether it be track cycling, swimming, track and field, or cross-country, a taper is an extremely important part of achieving peak performance, but a full taper should only be done before the most important competitions, says two-time Olympic track cyclist and mom, Erin Mirabella.
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