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Concussion Evaluation, Management, Return To Play Different For Younger Children

The most recent international consensus statement on sport-related concussions identifies several important differences in the way concussions are diagnosed and treated in children and adolescents, including the need for age-appropriate symptom checklists, additional cognitive rest and a longer recovery period before return to sports.

College Cost = It’s Time for YOU to Set a New Standard!

College has become a burden - specifically, a financial burden for families and college graduates all across the United States. At one point in history, receiving a college education was an honor of the highest quality. A college education not only guaranteed you a job but it didn't cost anywhere near what it costs today. In fact, most college students could work their way through college and not have a single cent of debt after graduation.

High school student-athletes and their families need to set a new standard in their college search, says a longtime college soccer coach.

The End of The Hockey Season Is Time to Reflect, Both for Coaches and Players

At the end of each season all players should take some time to review their performance and quality of experience playing the game. This process transcends the win loss record of the team and looks at individual development and overall quality of the experience. There are no so called “life lessons” on the score board and only through intentional review and discussions in the proper context can the real benefits of playing athletics be realized.

All top-level organizations have feedback mechanisms to help individuals develop. Without this type of communication and process between player and coach individual player development is likely to be slowed. This is very true in athletics as well as in the business world.

Youth Sports Heroes of the Month: Ben Baltz (Valparaiso, Fla.) and Pfc. Matthew Morgan (San Diego, Calif.)

Eleven-year-old Ben Baltz was halfway through the one-mile run, the final event in the Sea Turtle Kids Triathlon at Pensacola Beach, Florida on October 7, 2012. He had already completed the first two events, the 150-yard swim and the four-mile bicycle ride. Now he anticipated crossing the finish line without fanfare.

This was Ben’s third triathlon since early summer, but an unforeseen problem would make this one different.  A bone cancer survivor, the sixth grader had had his right tibia and fibula amputated for osteosarcoma when he was six.  Now, with about a half mile to go, he fell to the track because his prosthetic right leg wobbled and broke when its screws came undone.

When Ben Baltz' prosthetic right leg broke as he was competing in the Sea Turtle Kids Triathlon at Pensacola Beach, Florida, the eleven-year-old cancer survivor was down but not out: a new friend from the nearby Marine base was there to help him finish the race.

First National Action Plan For Sports Safety Issued

The Youth Sports Safety Alliance, composed of more than 100 organizations committed to keeping young athletes safe (including MomsTEAM), has launched the first-ever "National Action Plan for Sports Safety" (NAPSS) to ensure comprehensive action to protect America's student athletes.

Concussions in Hockey: A Dark Cloud Hanging Over the Sport With A Simple Solution: Play By The Rules

January 19th  was a great day for ice hockey in North America with the return of the NHL, and especially in my state, which celebrated our annual "Hockey Day in Minnesota." Today, two high school teams played outdoors on Lake Pokegema in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers mens' hockey team played North Dakota, and then the Minnesota Wild played their season opener - all on TV.  Across the state, youth and high school teams were also playing the game they love. But, while it was a day to celebrate hockey, it is also a reminder of the dark cloud that hangs over the game: concussions.

The end of the NHL lockout and the annual Hockey Day in Minnesota should have been cause for celebration, but for a longtime Minnesota high school hockey coach and official the hockey-fest was also a reminder that concussions continue to be a dark cloud hanging over the sport.

Putting All Your Eggs In the Hockey Basket: A Recipe For Success Or Failure?

When is enough, enough? This is a question parents should be asking themselves as their kids go through the programs in search of the elusive scholarship and maybe a shot at a professional career. Yet with less than 1 percent making it to Division 1 status and fewer to the pros, tens of thousands of parents across the country feel that their ten-year-old kid is somehow the exception to the rule, the "Real Deal."

I know one 16-year-old who has all of the tools to be the "Real Deal"  except for one.  He is only 5'4" and has not grown for a couple years.  But he and his parents are still hoping for a growth spurt. What if he doesn't grow any taller? What then?  

When is enough, enough? This is a question parents should be asking themselves as their kids go through junior hockey programs in hopes of winning a college scholarship and perhaps a shot at a professional career.

Extending Body Checking Ban To Age 14 and Stricter Rules Enforcement: The Wrong Approach?

Just a couple years ago USA Hockey banned body checking at the Pee Wee (12 and under) level, based in part on evidence that the risks of concussion and other serious injury resulting from body checking was simply unacceptable.  The primary reason USA Hockey made the change, however, was to promote skill development at an age where kids are still developing, and because that development was being hindered by aggressive play intended to intimidate opponents and a winning-at-all-costs mentality.  In making the rule change, USA Hockey assumed that all kids play because they want to develop their skills.  I think that the majority simply want to play.

Will extending the ban on body checking in hockey to age 14 and better rules enforcement make the game safer? Perhaps we need to take a different approach, argues a longtime youth hockey official.

Giving Back as a Family

The sport of soccer has given our family so much over the years. When I actually look back at the 35 years I have been married soccer has always been part of our daily lives.

From my college education, to my career as a professional player, to my current career directing Twellman Soccer, this sport has always been part of my life.

The same is true for my three kids. From their education to their careers to their love of the game soccer has always
and continues to be part of their lives.

The love of the sport has and will always be present but now our focus has changed.

Are we listening to the injured athlete?

Neuromuscular Training Program in Mid-Teens Most Effective In Reducing Female ACL Injury Risk, Study Finds

Pre- or early adolescence appears to be the best time to start a neuromuscular training program in order to reduce the number of injuries female athletes suffer to their anterior cruciate ligaments, says a new study.
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