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Contributing Bloggers

Brooke de Lench
Brooke de Lench

Brooke de Lench, author of HOME TEAM ADVANTAGE: The Critical Role of Mothers in Youth Sports (HarperCollins 2006), is the Founder, Publisher and Editor-In-Chief of MomsTeam.com.

Brooke is an International Institute of Sports Ethics Fellow, and is on the Board of Advisors for the Institute for Preventive Sports Medicine and for the Matthew Colby Head Injury Foundation. She also established and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Teams of Angels, a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to reducing catastrophic injury in youth sports.

Brooke writes a monthly syndicated newspaper column, OUR KIDS, THEIR SPORTS. Her feature articles have appeared in parenting papers across the country. She is a sought-after lecturer on a wide range of youth sport parenting topics. She is also a featured speaker in the Harper Collins Speakers Bureau.

Brooke has been featured on major TV networks -- ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox -- and contributed to two documentaries on youth sports, which aired on HBO and A&E respectively. She has consulted for HBO Real Sports and ESPN youth sports related shows. She is quoted frequently in the print press, including Time, Reader's Digest, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post and her articles have appeared on the op-ed pages of major newspapers nationwide, including The Washington Post and Long Island Newsday.

A sought after public speaker at the community and national level on a wide variety of topics.

A former high school and college athlete and ranked squash player, Brooke is the mother and past coach of three sons. She lives in the Boston area.

Pamela Carey
Pamela Carey

Author of recently published book, MINOR LEAGUE MOM: A MOTHER'S JOURNEY THROUGH THE RED SOX FARM TEAMS; mother of two former Ivy Leaguers who signed contracts within 10 days of each other with the Boston Red Sox.
B.A. from Colby College; M.A. from Columbia Teacher's College; former Information Director for the Delaware State Dept. of Education; former teacher in Connecticut, Georgia, Maine.
M.A. from R.I. School of Design and former owner of Interiors by Pamela.

Bobby Hosea
Bobby Hosea

Football Coachibg career started in 1982.

Debbie Lantz

Debbie Lantz, founder and managing partner of Higher Road Leaders, has been actively involved in athletics her entire life. Sports played a significant role in Debbie’s development as a child, leading her to pursue a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in exercise physiology. As an adult, she coached at public schools and worked in the fitness industry for many years before taking her coaching skills to business executives across the nation. Leveraging the leadership expertise she acquired through coaching, Lantz developed an executive-level coaching program geared to equipping executives with values-based leadership skills.
As a single mom, Lantz experienced youth sports from her son’s perspective. After several years of observing coaches and parents and far too many examples of the “win at all cost attitude,” she found it was easier to teach her son the mental edge principles he needed to survive and thrive in the competitive environment of youth sports. Based on her own experience in teaching her son these vital skills, she was inspired to write I Just Want To Play. The book encourages and teaches parents, coaches, league directors, and athletic directors to focus on the “play” aspect of the game instead of the “winning at all cost” attitude prevalent today. It also shares the secrets of teaching the seven mental edge principles children need to have a positive experience in youth sports.
Lantz has been coaching business leaders since 1991, facilitating change initiatives and team building among Fortune 500 companies such as Hitachi, Nokia, and TI.
Today, Lantz speaks to sports league directors, coaches, parent groups and individuals in the Dallas/Ft.Worth area. Many of the leadership principles Lantz teaches can be found in I Just Want To Play. To invite Ms. Lantz to speak with your sports or church group, send an email to debbie@HigherRoadLeaders.com.
To learn the Seven Mental Edge Principles Debbie taught her son, order a copy of "I Just Want to Play" at http://higherroadleaders.com/store/products.php

Eric  Laudano, M.H.S., A.T.C.
Eric Laudano, M.H.S., A.T.C.

Eric currently serves as the Head Athletic Trainer and Manager of Sports Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in the Ivy League. Eric's 11 year career as a certified athletic trainer spans over multiple levels of athletics including the NFL, Arena Football League, United States Olympic Committee and Division I college athletics. Eric obtained his undergraduate degree from Keene State College in sports medicine/athletic training and his masters degree in health sciences specializing in biomedical and medical laboratory sciences. Eric is a certified athletic trainer through the NATABOC and state licensed in the state of Pennsylvania. He currently holds CPR and AED certification as well. Eric currently resides in Cherry Hill, NJ with his wife Jillian, son Mattox (4), and daughter Bianca (2.5).

Lorrie Miller, Ph.D.
Lorrie Miller, Ph.D.

Lorrie Miller is a mother of four, a teacher and writer in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Though she is an avid tame-wild camper, forest-trail runner, and transportational bide-rider, she primarily engages in organized sport at the sidelines, whether it is on the fieldhockey or soccer pitch, or behind the hay bales of a downhill longboard race.

Erin Mirabella
Erin Mirabella

It was Erin's honor to represent the United States at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games in track cycling. Her career highlight came at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, where she placed 4th in the points race. In 2006, she was the recipient of the prestigious Jack Kelly Fair Play Award for sportsmanship. Erin has used her experiences as an Olympic athlete to create a series of children's books, The Barnsville Sports Squad Series. The first book, Gracie Goat's Big Bike Race was released May 2007. The second book, Shawn Sheep The Soccer Star was released July, 2008. Erin Mirabella lives with her husband Chris and their son Micah, in Woodland Park, CO. They are expecting their second child in January.

Kemi Oguntala, MD
Kemi Oguntala, MD

Kemi Oguntala The Teen DocAdekemi Oguntala, MD is TheTeenDoc. She is an adolescent medicine physician, author, speaker and educator from the San Francisco Bay area. She is recognized for her energetic, and hip approach to difficult teen issues such as eating disorders, club drugs, as well as sexual development, orientation and health.
Dr. Oguntala received her medical training at Drexel University in Philadelphia, her pediatric training at Saint Christopher’s Hospital for Children also in Philadelphia, and her adolescent medicine training at Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California. Following fellowship, Dr. Oguntala practiced at Oakland Children’s Hospital & Research Center at Oakland where she co-directed specialty clinics in asthma and overweight as well as general teen clinics at both hospital and school-based clinics. She currently heads the teen clinic at Kaiser South San Francisco in Daly City. There, she sees teens who are overweight, use and abuse substances, sexual orientation and gender identification issues, family planning and reproductive health concerns, depression, eating disorders and victims of sexual, physical and verbal violence.
Dr. Oguntala has presented at national conferences and educated medical students, residents, high school students, parents and teachers. She is a dynamic speaker whose lectures are consistently described as full of practical information, as well as an excellent speaker whose energy and passion keep the audience attentive. Dr. Oguntala presents and discusses the difficult issues involving teen development that have traditionally challenged parents, teachers and healthcare professionals.

Hal Tearse
Hal Tearse

Hal Tearse is the Coach in Chief for Minnesota Hockey and long time USA Hockey Associate Coach in Chief for the Minnesota District. In addition he serves as the Chair of the Safety Committee for Minnesota Hockey and is a member of the planning committee. Hal has written/edited a monthly E newsletter titled "Thoughts from the Bench" for hockey coaches and families across the county. He also contributes to the USA Hockey e newsletter "Inside the Game" that is distributed to all 60,000 registered youth coaches in the country. Hal is also active with the Positive Coach Alliance and was named a Fellow in 2009. As a 39 year veteran of coaching youth, college,junior and now high school hockey he offers insights that can only be obtain with decades of experience. The newsletter archive can be found at www.minnesotahockey.org in the coaches resource center.

Meredith Rainey  Valmon

An American runner who specialized in the 800 meters.

Her personal best time was 1:57.04 minutes, achieved at the 1996 Olympic Trials. She is also a two-time Olympian, in 1992 and 1996.

Douglas Abrams

Douglas E. Abrams is a professor of law at the University of Missouri and a nationally recognized youth sports expert . A youth hockey coach for more than 40 years, Prof. Abrams is a prolific author and lecturer on the subject of youth sports, including sportsmanship, character development, and community sports programs, and a frequent guest on radio and television. Most recently, Prof. Abrams contributed a chapter to the book, "Learning Culture Through Sports" (Rowman and Littlefield 2010), entitled "Achieving Equal Opportunity in Youth Sports," a blueprint for maintaining equitable community sports programs.

As a varsity hockey goalie at Wesleyan, Prof. Abrams set an Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III record for most saves in a game (64) and was the first Wesleyan hockey player named to the weekly ECAC All-East team. He has coached youth hockey at all age levels for more than 40 years, and he now writes and speaks about sportsmanship, character development, and equal opportunity for children who wish to play in community sports programs.

In 1990, Prof. Abrams created the first organized youth hockey teams in mid-Missouri. During his eleven-year tenure as president of the mid-Missouri youth hockey program, the program grew from nineteen players to 180, while enrolling every interested child, encouraging beginners, and stressing citizenship education. Over the years, his teams collected toys and stuffed animals for the University of Missouri Children's Hospital, collected new and used backpacks for abused and neglected children in the local family court, collected cans of food for local food banks that serve needy families, conducted children's book drives for county health department clinics, and accomplished similar community service projects. For their charitable initiatives, his teams won the 2006 Honoring the Game Award, presented by the Positive Coaching Alliance at Stanford University. The Governor issued a proclamation stating that his teams had "brought honor to Missouri," and a local newspaper called one of his teams "a philanthropic organization on skates." Douglas E. Abrams coaching youth hockey

Prof. Abrams recently wrote "Achieving Equal Opportunity in Youth Sports," a blueprint for maintaining equitable community sports programs. It appears as a chapter in the book, "Learning Culture Through Sports" (Rowman and Littlefield 2010).

The Manchester (N.H.) Union Leader has called Prof. Abrams "one of the people who help serve as the conscience for anyone involved in youth sports." He serves on the Expert Panel of the Center for Sports Parenting, which is part of the Institute for International Sport at the University of Rhode Island, and in 1998 recevied the Citation of Merit from the Missouri Park and Recreation Association.
Academics and teaching

Prof. Abrams teaches family law and children and the law at the University of Missori. He holds a B.A. summa cum laude from Wesleyan University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and received the Scholar-Athlete Award. He earned his law degree at Columbia.

Prof. Abrams has written or co-authored four books about Family Law and Children and the Law, and the books are required reading in more than one-third of the nation's law schools. The U.S. Supreme Court has cited his law review articles in four decisions. With his book royalties, he has created the Happiness For Health (HFH) program, a permanent endowment that provides toys, stuffed animals and games for the sick and injured children at the University of Missouri Children's Hospital. HFH also provides parties for children hospitalized on their birthdays and other special occasions.

Prof. Abrams has served on the Missouri Bar Commission on Children and the Law, and helped draft fourteen laws enacted by the Missouri legislature to improve the lives of the state's children. He serves on the bipartisan 15-member Advisory Board of the Missouri Division of Youth Services, considered to be the nation's finest statewide juvenile justice treatment agency. He also serves on the board of directors of the Missouri Juvenile Justice Association, which promotes justice for the state's children, youth and families.

In 1994, Prof. Abrams received the Meritorious Service to the Children of America Award, presented by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges to recognize his public service. In 2000, the Missouri Bar Foundation honored him for outstanding service to the cause of justice. At the University of Missouri law school, he has received the Administration of Justice, Distinguished Faculty Achievement, and Teacher-of-the-Year awards.

Allison Adams
Allison Adams

I am a married, full-time working mother of two great kids; Nicholas, 8 and Zoey, 6. My husband Greg and I raise our two great kids and three dogs, on an acre of beautiful land in a small agricultural community in Northern California. I am an energetic and active mother and participate regularly in both my children's classrooms. I am an avid writer, constantly inspired by my children and my son's athletic and emotional experiences. Our family travels frequently in our motorhome throughout the country for Nick's racing and although the stress and anxiety is tough right now, we are always together making memories and giving love and support for Nick on the track. BMX racing is a huge part of our life; my husband raced BMX as a boy and our son is avidly following in his footsteps. Greg makes it clear though that he was never as good as our son, God gifted him as an athlete as well as a person. We are truly a BMX family; I race at home often, even after visiting the ER myself with a laceration to the achilles. We enjoy just about any outdoor sport but being on our bikes is second nature to all of us. My friends at home like to call me "Crazy Mom", in light of my super-stellar screaming at races and off the trackanticts. I have joined this site in another attempt to educate myself further about kids and sports and look for some guidance with regards to my son's performance anxiety and some of the challenges he faces and has as a Highly Sensitive Child.

Sandra Austin Goldstein
Sandra Austin Goldstein
Bob Bigelow
Bob Bigelow

Bob is one of the foremost youth sports speakers in the country. He advocates fully meeting the needs of children as the top priority in youth sports programs, and provides new approaches for positive change in youth sports. Bob is a former NBA first round draft choice and played four years for the Kansas City Kings, Boston Celtics, and San Diego Clippers. He played collegiately at the University of Pennsylvania for Hall of Fame Coach Chuck Daly. He has devoted several thousand hours researching and lecturing about organized youth sports and its effects on children - and adults. Since 1993, he has conducted over 700 talks worldwide . Bob has also been selected as one of the “100 Most Influential Sports Educators” by the Institute for International Sport at the Univ. of Rhode Island.

With the August 2001 publication of his new book, "Just Let The Kids Play", adults throughout the country are reflecting on how they can give youth sports fun back to the children.

Barbara Bleiweis
Barbara Bleiweis

Barbara Bleiweis is a working mom, high school basketball official and youth sports advocate.  She lives in McLean, VA, raising two teenagers and two cats.

Rick  Collins
Rick Collins

I have been teaching elementary school and middle school English in Simsbury, CT since 1984. I have been the varsity girls' track and field coach in Simsbury since 1989, and last year received the Connecticut High School Coaches' Association Track and Field Coach of the Year. I have coached varsity, JV, freshmen, and 8th grade middle school football, as well as serving as head girls' basketball coach at various CT high schools. In 2002, I started the Connecticut Youth Sports Initiative, with the goal of bringing balance and perspective to youth and high school sports in Connecticut.

Greg Covi
Greg Covi

Youth football coach and Advocate for fair playing time and fairness for youth athletes.

Keith Cronin, DPT, CSCS
Keith Cronin, DPT, CSCS

Dr. Keith J. Cronin is a physical therapist in the St. Louis, MO area. After years of high school and collegiate sports, particularly in baseball, Keith pursued a career in physical therapy motivated by many years of injuries. During his time in school, Keith was a Legion Baseball coach, participated in research to further understand elbow injuries in softball pitchers, and focused his education on the treatment and prevention of sports injuries in youth athletes.

After years of study, Keith determined that many of the injuries he sustained during her athletic career could have been prevented had he, his parents, and his coaches been better informed about injury prevention. Keith had the opportunity to intern with Champion Sports, a physical therapy clinic associated with Dr. James Andrews, a world renowned orthopedic surgeon who has dedicated a portion of his practice and energies to making everyone aware of the growing epidemic of preventable injuries in youth sports. Keith has dedicated himself to helping parents, coaches, and athletes reduce the overall risk in youth sports so every individual has the chance to reach his or her full potential.
Keith also is the co-creator of a devise known as Medibite, a jaw rehabiliation system to assist patients with TMJ dysfunction return to normal life. The device earned him 2nd place in the Olin Business Cup at Washington University in St. Louis and a $20,000 investment.

Keith is currently focusing his efforts to create a trifecta of educational materials, training programs, and products to encourage a reduction in youth sports injuries while still maintaining a competitive level of play.

Bob Davis

Founded Strength of America in 1989 after 4 years as Student Assistant Strength and Conditioning coach at the University of Nebraska. I created the program to reduce the risk of injuries due to muscular imbalances of strength and flexibility. We have found that not only have we reduced the risk of injury to our young athletes, but their self esteem has shot through the roof.
We primarily work with children ages 10-14 of all different skill levels. We use special strength equipment which I have designed as well as a compliment of nutrition and speed development workouts to help teach the young athlete how to move more efficiently to increase speed and agility and therefore confidence on and off the field.
You can visit us at www.strengthifamerica.us

Dustin Fink, MS, ATC
Dustin Fink, MS, ATC

Dustin Fink is a certified athletic trainer (ATC) working in Central Illinois. His experience with concussions and TBI in athletics extends 10+ years as a professional, and another 8 as either a student athletic trainer or athlete himself. Having sustained multiple concussions and beginning to feel the effects years later, and seeing kids at the high school level report concussions on a more frequent rate, this has become his passion. Add to that he would like to see his 3 kids grow up and play full-contact sports in a safer environment.

Pat Grecco
Pat Grecco

College Athlete Profile Service (CAPS) Academics first. CAPS Founder Pat Grecco works closely with high school student-athletes to open that heavy door to admissions.Prospective college players are linked to College Athlete Profile Service ‘s extensive network of college coaches, 100% placement rate proves there is a place for everyone to study and compete in his or her sport.

Greg Kropkowski
Greg Kropkowski

High School and Collegiate Athlete and father of two daughter who are now entering the most competitive phase of their athletic development. My girls are looking for character and skill development abd just old fashioned joy in truly participating in youth sports - both at the high school and club levels. What I've seen in practice over the last few years is truly disturbing and I'd like to be a force that changes this forthe good.

Stacie Mahoe

Stacie Mahoe is a former fastpitch softball player, mother of 5, current softball coach, and owner of a number of fastpitch softball sites. Learn more about Stacie at: AllAboutFastpitch.com, FastpitchParents.com, and listen to Stacie discuss fastpitch softball issues at FastpitchTalkRadio.com.

Carrie Matsuo

We live in suburban Portland, Oregon, and our son is a high school baseball and football player. My husband and I are both in education: I am a Special Education Assistant and he is a principal, both at the elementary level, but not at the same school :) We love spending time at our son's games and at events at any one of our three schools. We road-trip for sports and follow our college alma mater (St. Mary's College - Calif.) as well as baseball, softball, football and basketball at any level.
In 2008, I agreed to become the President of our local Little League. Wow, as well as being a time-consumer, the ins and outs of volunteer youth sports administration became our life. I wish I had more time to write...

Michael Messner

Michael Messner is Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at the University of Southern California, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on sex and gender, and sport. He has conducted several studies of gender in sports media for the LA84 Foundation in Los Angeles, and for Children Now. His books include Paradoxes of Youth and Sport (2002), Taking the Field: Women, Men, and Sports (2002), and It’s All For the Kids: Gender, Families and Youth Sports (2009). He is the father of two teenaged sons.  See his web page at:  http://college.usc.edu/soci/people/faculty_display.cfm?person_ID=1003528

Craig Morton

I love to watch my kids when they love sports, when sports becomes agonizing for them, then I notice it hurts us as parents too. I guess the growing and learning never really stops! Each of their successes gives us joy, and each loss requires us to take a deep breath and persevere as together.

I am independent organizational development consultant. That has allowed me to organize my time to include hurdle coaching, speed training, and working on pitching and catching. More than anything, it's given me priceless opportunities to interact with my kids.

Coach Pickles, MHR, NYSCA Member

Brad Kayden a.k.a. Coach Pickles, is the Chief Fun Officer of Chicago-based Jelly Bean Sports. It develops Sports Made Simple, Learning Made Fun children's books, youth sports instructional programs and fun sports merchandise feature its unique brand of sporty jelly bean characters. Everything Jelly Bean Sports, Inc. does is designed with beginner athletes in mind.
At Jelly Bean Sports, Inc., we cater exclusively to park districts and recreational facilities, nationwide, who service a predominately upscale clientele. We provide them the opportunity to market our Sports Made Simple, Learning Made Fun world-class instructional programs for beginner athletes ages 2-6 to their members and merchandise our fun brand of Jelly Bean uniforms and apparel.
Our service offering is narrow. It consists of four core Sports Made Simple, Learning Made Fun classes-Jelly Bean T-ball, Jelly Bean Soccer, Jelly Bean Basketball and Jelly Bean Football. These popular classes are based in research from experts of athletic development such as medical doctors, psychologists, top coaches, champion athletes, and the parents of champion athletes. We have established the only Gold 5-Star World-Class Instruction in the market. One example of this, we offer instructional modes that have a 60-90% learning retention rate. What this means is the lessons children learn in our Jelly Bean sports classes, they better remember giving them the competitive edge heading into team sports.
Our contractors are privileged and pleased to receive the notariaty and recognition each time one our sports children's books are published. They know sales of books means parents will seek out our Sports Made Simple, Learning Made Fun programs. This following makes for larger class sizes and greater residual returns for everyone. We enjoy providing this opportunity to the select organizations we decide to work with.