Category: Sports Parents
POV Swap: The Ideal Parent and the Ideal Coach
(Oct 21st, 2014)
This is a collaborative article written by TeamSnap and MamaBear
Sometimes it can be hard to see things from the eyes of another. You might think you have it all figured out, but so does the other guy. But especially when it comes to dealing with someone involved with your children, like coaches or teachers, it’s important to keep their point of view in mind. And of course, they should try to do the same!
Customer Profile: How One Mom Uses TeamSnap to Manage Multiple Teams for Two Teens
(Sep 30th, 2014)
Did you know you could use TeamSnap to manage multiple teams for multiple kids with just one login? Susan Dukes, TeamSnapper and mom extraordinaire to two young athletes in Tyler, Texas; learned how easy it can be this summer.
‘Jock’ or ‘Artist': Why Do Kids Have to Choose?
(Sep 24th, 2014)
Growing up, did you consider yourself to be a “jock,” preferring to exercise your athletic prowess, or an “artist,” pursuing more creative endeavours?
When I was younger, I played sports so, for better or worse, I was considered a “jock” by a society that seemed fine pegging me in one silo instead of encouraging exploration into anything else. Now, with all these years passed, this makes me regretful. Don’t get me wrong; I loved athletic competition (and still do) but in feeling like I wasn’t able to explore other outlets for my energy, I feel I missed out on an opportunity to fully explore who I was, to express myself as an individual, and to develop confidence through self-expression.
Should Kids Get Trophies for Participation?
(Sep 23rd, 2014)
I know I’m going to get some flack for this, but I strongly believe that youth sports programs should give kids trophies just for completing a season.
Yes, I’ve heard all of the arguments a thousand times as to why we shouldn’t … such as the idea that we are somehow “teaching that everyone is the same.”
Confessions of a Crybaby
(Sep 16th, 2014)
I am a crybaby. Sometimes, I cry when I’m inspired or sad. Sometimes, I cry from disappointment or joy. I cried when my high school football team won the state championship. I even cried during an episode of Hannah Montana that I watched with my then 5-year-old daughter.
How Safe is Your Kid’s P.E. Class?
(Sep 4th, 2014)
Growing up, you might have thought P.E. class was nothing more than a period to get out of the classroom and run around cutting up with your friends. But the fact is that physical education is more important than ever.
The First Soccer Tournament: Nobody Told Them It Would Be Like This!
(Sep 2nd, 2014)
This U8 team was formed a few months ago after a lengthy tryout process. A few practices were held during the summer to help the players get familiar with each other. Coaches even had a trainer work with them a couple times per week for the past three weeks in preparation for their first tournament. Coaches, parents and players were eager to participate in their first tournament as the “A” team from the club.
How to Adjust to a Loud Coach
(Aug 26th, 2014)
By Erica Salmon, TeamSnap user, team mom, writer and guest author
With three children playing multiple sports each year, we have had many different coaches with many different styles. Initially, my kids all started out with my husband coaching them, and my husband has a very gentle and calm demeanor. So as my children transitioned to other coaches, they would often describe those other coaches as “loud.”
After thoughtful consideration on the topic of coaches being loud, I have decided that there is “good loud” and “bad loud.”
10 Ways You’re Causing Your Child Sport-Induced Stress
(Aug 19th, 2014)
Participating in a sport is supposed to be fun. In fact, a recent survey conducted by the American Psychological Association estimates that 9 percent of all children use sports to help manage stress. For those children, sports can be fun, but for many children, sports can be extremely stressful.
Dealing with Difficult Parents on the Sidelines
(Jul 15th, 2014)
By Erica Salmon, TeamSnap user, team mom, writer and guest author
In a perfect world, we all show up to our children’s sporting events to encourage them lovingly. When they do well, we give a polite golf clap, and when they have a mishap, we smile and remember that they are only kids, learning one play at a time.
Ha! So the real story is … parent behavior on the sidelines runs the gamut from the disinterested dad reading the paper while his kid is batting to over-the-top mom screaming at the ref for a missed foul. I am sure many of us have stories to tell about what we’ve seen at our kids’ sporting events. I know I have way too many stories!
How Your Team Can Save Lives … If You Coach Them To
(Jul 8th, 2014)
I realized we were on to something the day I heard a 6-year-old baseball player ask his parent how he could help “sick kids in the hospital.”
After having the opportunity to work with thousands of high school, collegiate and professional players all synced with the idea of the necessity of making an impact off the playing field, this question stopped me in my tracks. You can imagine the Minor League Baseball player or college senior trying to knock off a requirement from the team or a class … but a 6 year old? A kid himself? Wanting to help other kids?
10 Ways to Help Your Child Manage Sports-Induced Stress
(Jul 1st, 2014)
Sports are competitive, and young players sometimes have a hard time dealing with the pressures of the game. Add in the demands of school, and you may end up with one stressed kid. Here are 10 tips for helping your child manage sports-induced stress.
How Much Is Too Much to Spend on Tee Ball Gear?
(Jun 17th, 2014)
By Erica Salmon, TeamSnap user, team mom, writer and guest author
This baseball season marks the seventh season my husband has been coaching through our town’s Little League. He started with my son, Luke, through Tee Ball, coach-pitch, modified coach-pitch, kid-pitch, minors and now majors. This year, the youngest of my three kids has shown an interest in playing ball, so my husband is back to coaching Tee Ball with our kindergartner, Holly, and I find myself back on the Tee Ball sidelines.
What Message is Jurgen Klinsmann Sending to Our Youth?
(May 27th, 2014)
As many Americans who love soccer did on Thursday, I eagerly awaited the announcement of this year’s 23-player roster for this summer’s World Cup. And, along with so many others, I was surprised that arguably one of the most brilliant players the U.S. has ever produced, Landon Donovan, was left off the roster by Jurgen Klinsmann.
Should I Let My Kid Quit Sports?
(May 6th, 2014)
By Craig Sigl, Mental Toughness Trainer for Athletes
As an expert working with kids in sports, I get the question often from parents: “Should I let my kid quit sports?” Here’s a typical email I receive from a parent:
What Is Performance Anxiety And What Can We Do About It?
(Apr 10th, 2014)
By Craig Sigl, Mental Toughness Trainer.
Thousands of times a day, worldwide, a child or teenage athlete wakes up on game day with a huge knot in his or her stomach. As they go through their pre-game routine, their tension and nervousness build up and their thoughts run wild turning to worry and then anxiety:
“I have to play well today.”
How Athletes Can Stop Choking Under Pressure
(Mar 25th, 2014)
By Craig Sigl, Mental Toughness Trainer
It’s the 1986 World Series and the Boston Red Sox are winning by 2 runs in the last inning with 2 outs and 2 strikes on the batter. They win this game over the Mets and they win the World Series. Bill Buckner, the first baseman, has a very easy, slow ground ball hit to him that goes through his legs and goes down as one of the worst chokes of all time. The Mets rally and go on to win the World Series.
Should You Speak Up?
(Feb 19th, 2014)
You are at your 8-year-old daughter’s recreational soccer game and you are livid. Why? Because your daughter isn’t getting the playing time you think she deserves. You seethe and stomp back and forth on the sidelines. Should you confront the coach after the game and demand more playing time for Lucy?
Why Wasn’t Marcus Smart “Idiot-Proof”?
(Feb 10th, 2014)
I love the Olympics. Truth be told, I’m more of a sucker for the Summer Games, especially swimming, but what I really love most of all are the amazing stories of perseverance and focus by athletes from around the world. Athletes who toil in obscurity to excel in biathlon, skiathlon, bobsledding, luge, and yes, curling.
Is Your Child Getting Enough Zinc?
(Jan 28th, 2014)
By Claire Gaunt, guest writer and biology and nutritional science specialist.
Growing kids who take part in sports require a range of nutrients for growth. When it comes to minerals, the emphasis might be on calcium and iron, but did you know that zinc is also essential? Not only is this micronutrient vital for their growth, but it also important for a range of processes in the body that are relevant to anyone who participates in regular exercise. As up to 10% of children in the US are thought to have a deficiency of this mineral, it’s helpful as a parent to understand where zinc can be sourced from in the diet.
The Quitting Phenomenon
(Jan 23rd, 2014)
By “Koach Karl” Dewazien, author and producer of soccer resources for all youth levels.
The best preparation for learning to play soccer and keeping them playing is being under the tutelage of a loving coach/teacher at the very beginning. Experienced coaches know that it takes between 7-10 years for most children to have had enough familiarity with playing the game to be able to put it all together and actually master soccer. When we expose beginning players to an adult soccer environment, including over-organized practices with laps/lines/lectures, practices consisting of drills with no ‘theme’, competitive games for league standings and winner take-all tournaments, then we rob them of the inherent joy and purpose that comes from learning to play masterful soccer.
Changing the Game: An Interview with John O’Sullivan
(Jan 21st, 2014)
I recently had the opportunity to speak with John O’Sullivan, a former college and professional soccer player, current youth club soccer coach, and author of Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes.
3 Ways To Get Your To-Do List Done Faster
(Jan 16th, 2014)
Mandy Green is a Division 1 Head Soccer Coach, President of Coaching Productivity Strategies and author of Green Time Management.
I’m sure you can relate — I have way too much stuff to do. I’ve been a coach in youth and collegiate athletics for the past 15 years. In that time, I was having a hard time working all day in my college coaching job and then coming home to organize all of my youth teams and spend quality time with my husband and kids. I no doubt needed a better way to get my work done so I had more time to hang out with family. To solve the problem, I went out and bought every time and energy management book that I could and synthesized it all together. The result was a time management system for coaches.
Being the Coach’s Favorite is No Bed of Roses
(Jan 14th, 2014)
A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog about coaches who play favorites, giving some kids more playing time than others for various valid – and not so valid – reasons. After the blog ran, I heard from many parents of kids who were on the short end of the favorites ‘stick’, but what surprised me was that I heard from parents whose kids were the beneficiaries of being the coach’s favorite player.
The Truth About Youth Sports Tryouts
(Jan 9th, 2014)
By Erica Salmon, TeamSnap user, team mom, writer and guest author
When my son first started trying out for select youth sports teams, I decided not to tell him he was attending tryouts. I was battling leaving our little town “rec” program as it was, and I didn’t think that at the age of 8 or 9, pointing out that a one-hour soccer workout was really a “make it or break it” performance went with his personality. He’s a very intense kid.
How Music Helps You Move
(Dec 5th, 2013)
By Dan Peterson, TeamSnap’s Guest Writer about sports science and skill development for young athletes.
If you visit any gym, weight room or running track, you are sure to see the same critical training device being worn by athletes of all ages – a pair of headphones connected to their portable music. Without it, workouts seem out of sync, longer and more difficult. Researchers have told us for years that there is a motivational link between exercise and music, but an interesting new study has now discovered that the connection goes even deeper, especially when an athlete can create his or her own beat.
Confidence in Sports
(Nov 22nd, 2013)
This article was inspired by Emmitt Smith.
I recently had a conversation with a friend about youth sports. We talked about the lifelong benefits of being involved in sports as a kid. At one point during the conversation, my friend became very serious and declared that “confidence” was the greatest life lesson he learned through his years of participating in sports. I was truly impressed with his confidence when he said “confidence” and I wanted to learn more about it.
Is Your Child’s Coach Playing Favorites?
(Nov 6th, 2013)
I was livid. My son, the back-up second baseman, had been told by the coach that, if the team had a sizeable lead, he would come into the game in the 5th inning. But here we were, up 20-2, and the coach made no changes. Ok, I thought, maybe in the 6th. Nope. In the 7th? Hardly. Game over and my son never played. I couldn’t even see straight. To make matters worse, later that night, I found out that the starting second baseman had implored the coach to put in my son, and he brushed him off.
Healthy Fuel for Youth Soccer Games and Practices
(Oct 7th, 2013)
By Jen Lesea, TeamSnap’s Guest Writer on Nutrition and Health and Founder of FitWise Training.
Practices are a good way to test what snacks work best for your child in regards to energy and performance. Just as the old adage goes for adult athletes, “Do not try anything new on race day;” this also can be applied to youth soccer players. Testing what food works well for pre/post practice can then be applied to pre/post games.
Why Athletes Bonk
(Sep 19th, 2013)
By Dan Peterson, TeamSnap’s Guest Writer about sports science and skill development for young athletes.
It’s late in the fourth quarter, the third period, stoppage time or even that last mile. That is when athletic trainers, strength and conditioning specialists and coaches find out if all of that investment of time and money in physical endurance training was worth it as they watch to see if their athletes will have enough left in the tank to finish. Often though, its not necessarily the muscles or physiological systems that shut down but rather the brain in an overprotective mode. Researchers at the University of Copenhagen think they have found the exact process that contributes to this sense of fatigue while engineers at the University of California – San Diego are piloting a wearable patch that can warn when an athlete is about to hit the wall or “bonk”.
Research Says Young Athletes Need More Than Just Practice To Succeed
(Aug 27th, 2013)
By Dan Peterson, TeamSnap’s Guest Writer about sports science and skill development for young athletes
The 10,000-hour theory has become the American dream for developing athletes. Just work hard enough and your gold medal, Hall of Fame, championship ambitions can come true. It is achievable, measurable and finite.
Why Kids Quit Sports
(Aug 14th, 2013)
For many elite team coaches, the greater challenge in developing top young athletes is not improving the ones on your team, but rather finding the talented kids that got away from the sport.
Becoming More Than a Bystander — On and Off the Field
(Jul 28th, 2013)
By Guest Author Marlo Thomas, an Emmy, Golden Globe and Grammy winner and activist.
Three in every four kids witness bullying, according to a PSA from the Ad Council and the MLB Network.
What We Don’t Know In Athletics Can Hurt Us
(Jul 1st, 2013)
What we don’t know can hurt us. Those words are true across much of sports, but especially when dealing with kids. Young athletes depend on parents and coaches for knowledge and guidance for the few decisions left up to them. How much to train, how much to listen to their bodies and how much to rest are influenced by the advice of adults.
Encouraging Your Child in Youth Sports
(Jun 12th, 2013)
Guest Post By Lamar Hull, former college and professional basketball player and writer for Direct4tv
More than 40 million children participate in youth sports, and approximately 400,000 of them will eventually play at a collegiate level. You will quickly begin to understand one of the many reasons that it is a good idea to encourage your child to stick with sports. However, simply having an interest in a specific sport is not going to be enough to carry them to the next level. Therefore, you should take the time to encourage them to develop good habits and study professional players.
Synthetic Turf Fields: Friend or Foe?
(Jun 12th, 2013)
It’s summer and temperatures across the country are soaring into the triple digits. Most of us are doing everything we can to stay cool and indoors, out of the scorching heat, but it’s ‘high season’ for sports tournaments. That means hoards of young and teenage athletes are participating in baseball, soccer, lacrosse, softball, and other field sport games from early morning until sundown—and often even later, with lighted fields.
Staying Hydrated, Happy and Healthy for the Summer Sports Season
(Jun 5th, 2013)
Did you know that young athletes are at a higher risk for heat-related illnesses than adults? This is because kids don’t sweat as much as and absorb heat faster than adults. Plus, kids tend not to want to drink water or other fluids while they’re exercising. Even though most pediatricians recommend that kids should drink half of their total body weight in ounces of water each day, we all know that, in reality, that is the exception rather than the rule.
How to Build a Successful Team: #4 Know How Hard to Push and #5 Seek Help
(Mar 5th, 2013)
Part III of III
Parents and coaches, keep your cool. Manage your expectations of your athlete, or they won’t find it enjoyable on a deeper level… and that would violate rule #1, which is to have fun! We’ll highlight these points and more:
The Benefits of Private Coaching Extend Beyond The Field
(Mar 4th, 2013)
By Grant Covington from our partners at CoachUp.com
In today’s world of ultra-competitive sports, more and more parents are turning to private coaches to help their child excel. From an outsider’s perspective this might seem like a decision based purely on athletics, but what many people fail to realize is that when you find a great private coach, he or she will not only help your child on the field, but off the field as well. Finding a great private coach at an early age can establish a powerful relationship that enables the coach to help your child in multiple capacities.
How to Build a Successful Team: #2 Keep Mom and Dad Happy and #3 Find a Balance
(Mar 1st, 2013)
Part II of III
Aside from making sure the kids have fun, most coaches and team managers are concerned with keeping parents happy. Some say that if mom ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. And let’s be real – if parents know what’s going on and expectations are clearly presented up front, they’ll have less to complain about. Here are more ways to manage a successful team that’s a win/win for all.
How to Build a Successful Team On and Off the Field
(Feb 27th, 2013)
Part I of III
When your athlete is involved in any sport, parents and coaches want to be as supportive as possible. You do everything — your drive your budding athlete to practices and games, lug around gear and sprint for pizza after a game. It’s all for the love of the athlete.
Six Ways Parents Can Help Prevent Sports Injuries
(Jan 24th, 2013)
Last week, I was invited to participate in the NFL Health + Safety Conference in New York City along with more than 40 other bloggers and writers. Sitting at a huge conference table at NFL headquarters, we heard from representatives of the NFL and USA Football about the success to-date of the Heads-Up Football program in reducing head injuries in youth football, as well as plans to expand the program in the coming year.
Is Cheerleading a Sport?
(Jan 11th, 2013)
Since writing my last two blogs on concussions, the first focusing on youth football and then on soccer (based on reader requests), I don’t think a day has passed where I haven’t read an article, a statistic, or a quote about concussions. The topic has clearly risen to the point where it cannot be ignored any longer, and this week’s announcement by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), part of the National Academies of Science, of a sweeping study of the rise in youth sports-related concussions is a huge step in the right direction.
Preventing Concussions: Is it Possible?
(Dec 12th, 2012)
A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog on the heightened awareness of concussions and brain injuries (“A Concussion Epidemic?” November 5, 2012), focusing on youth football. In the blog, I mentioned USA Football’s “Heads Up Football” program, which focuses on specific tackling techniques and other measures, such as limiting physical contact in practices, to reduce the risk of concussions.
A Concussion Epidemic?
(Nov 5th, 2012)
“Just back from Children’s Hospital. Concussion. Out of football for 2 weeks!”
The Coach’s Child
(Oct 16th, 2012)
The Coach’s Child
By Deb Zacher
In my early athletic career I remember watching the coaches of my teams interact with their children. I remember being glad that I wasn’t the coach’s child, because there usually seemed to be more tension between them than any other players on the team. It wasn’t until my husband and I started coaching our own children that I became aware of how rewarding, yet difficult it can be.
Is the Monday Night Football Furor Fueling Bad Sportsmanship?
(Sep 26th, 2012)
I, along with several million other football fans, watched in disbelief on Monday night as the Seattle Seahawks were awarded a game-winning, last-second touchdown after Golden Tate clearly pushed the Green Pay Packers’ defender in the end zone. The replacement refs (filling in for the regular NFL refs, who are being locked out) made no call on that, disagreed with each other whether it was a touchback or a touchdown, and have had everyone from first-graders on the playground to the President of the United States in an uproar since then!
Say Goodbye to the Clipboard!
(Aug 31st, 2012)
Summer is winding down and many kids are already back to school—and back to fall sports—especially soccer. Some estimates state that nearly 14 million children under the age of 18 across the United States participate or play soccer today. That’s a lot of kids! And a lot of soccer coaches, some with more experience than others. Maybe you are one of those coaches and you’re wondering how you’re going to manage practices and games this season.
TeamSnap All-Stars: Twin Cities Little League is Snapping Up the Bay Area
(Aug 20th, 2012)
Team: Twin Cities Little League
Location: Corte Madera, CA and Larkspur, CA
We were able to branch outside the landlocked state of Colorado to the Bay Area, where we caught up with Bruce Reed of the Twin Cities Little League. Bruce runs his league on TeamSnap, and says he wouldn’t have it any other way. Here’s why:
The 7 Best Ways to Prevent Overtraining
(Jul 25th, 2012)
By Dan Wu from CoachUp.com
As parents, we strive to ensure our athletes always put in their best effort; to lay it all on the line and to never quit. Parents are willing to do almost anything to turn their kids into future stars. Practices are now longer, more intense, and more frequent. But these changes constitute a double-edged sword. While practice and repetition may inch the athlete closer to perfection, athletes also run the risk of overtraining and injuring themselves. These injuries can rob players of valuable training and competition time, as well as impair their ability to achieve long term goals. So how do we know when an athlete is overtraining?
Is My Player Ready for Competitive Soccer? Part 2
(Jul 11th, 2012)
Last time we looked at several topics I believe should be considered in determining if your player is ready for the jump to club soccer. Things such as whether the lifestyle of club soccer was a good fit for your family, if your player had enough passion for the game, and examining your own motives. You can see the entire article here. My list is by no means definitive, but I have been managing and coaching soccer teams for 10 years now and these are the most common mistakes I see parents making for their children. This time around I will wrap up with a few more hot topics for your consideration:
Rethinking Vince Lombardi
(Jun 5th, 2012)
Walking to our car with my 12-year-old daughter after her soccer game last week, I was in the middle of telling her how proud I was of her entire team for the effort they showed that day — they lost 3 to 2 — when another player and her mother walked by. “If only your defense wouldn’t have let in those goals, then you would have won,” the mother said.
An American in Paris
(May 31st, 2012)
Even if you’re not a tennis fan, the fairytale that was American Brian Baker at the French Open this week was riveting, exciting, and offers many lessons for young athletes in all sports who suffer career-threatening physical setbacks.
How Young is Too Young to Travel?
(May 10th, 2012)
Flying home from Spring Training a few weeks ago, our flight was packed with 7- and 8- year-old boys. Had they gone to see their beloved San Francisco Giants or Oakland A’s play up-close and get autographs? No. They were returning from a four-day baseball tournament where they played against other 7- and 8-year-olds from up and down the West Coast and neighboring states.
Those Darn REFS!
(Apr 25th, 2012)
I started playing organized sports at the ripe old age of 5. I played tennis, basketball and soccer, so two of the three called for a referee. I continued to play all the way through college, and in the years since, have been a parent watching my kids play, as well as being a coach. I’ve seen the game from every point of view…except from the eyes of a ref. So here I try to elicit some compassion for probably the hardest position of all…the one with the black and white striped shirt and the whistle.
Is My Player Ready for Competitive Soccer? Part 1
(Apr 11th, 2012)
This is a question every parent should be asking themselves BEFORE they bring their player to a club (“travel team”) tryout. I have seen time and time again where parents bring their player out to one of our practices and the player is clearly in over their head and not ready for the challenge of playing on our gold-level team. You can help avoid confidence crushing rejection – and rejection will happen at some point, no matter how good your player is – by taking your time and considering the important issues I will be covering over the next two articles.
Should Your Child ‘Play Up’?
(Mar 12th, 2012)
Every year at tryouts, no matter for which sport the tryout is held, hyper-competitive parents can be heard boasting to their friends that their child is going to ‘play up’ because he or she is so much better than his or her peers, needs to play up to improve, has grand ambitions of playing in college, or any number of other reasons. Statements are thrown around with much confidence:
Five “Linsanity” Lessons for Youth Athletes – and their Parents
(Feb 22nd, 2012)
Who doesn’t love the Jeremy Lin story? Whether or not you are a basketball fan, it’s pretty hard to escape the catchy, punny headlines: Linsanity! Another Win for Lin! Lincredible! At 23 years old, Lin has defied all odds to help the New York Knicks win 8 of their last 10 games, including a decisive victory against the defending NBA champs, the Dallas Mavericks. Even Mark Cuban, the opinionated owner of the Mavericks, had to acknowledge that Lin is ‘for real’.
What is your worst memory from playing youth and high school sports?
(Feb 21st, 2012)
Any of you remember those uncomfortable trips home with your parents after the game? Here’s a great post on The Post Game about how to avoid falling into the same trap now that we are parents, and how to make the sports experience overall a more positive one for our kids – http://www.thepostgame.com/blog/more-family-fun/201202/what-makes-nightmare-sports-parent
Handling the Stress of Sports Team Tryouts
(Feb 8th, 2012)
For several years, I was a division commissioner and later player agent for our area’s Little League baseball organization. The most stressful time each year was the team formation (for the younger kids) and tryout (for the older ones) process. One group of parents complaining loudly about the coach and their children’s teammates. Others blaming the surely Machiavellian league of ‘stunting’ their child’s development because their ‘clearly exceptional athlete’ was not drafted into a higher division. And, yes, even accusing me of denying their child the “unalienable right to play baseball” because he was drafted onto a team by a coach he didn’t already know and, horrors, with some kids he didn’t already know and therefore would not be interested in playing.
Sports and School Performance: How Exercise Helps Kids Do Better In School
(Jan 30th, 2012)
When I started high school, there was nothing I wanted more than to join the swim team – really, any team, but my best friend was joining the swim team so I wanted to as well. No matter how much I begged, my mom still said “no.” Why? First of all, it would take my attention away from my schoolwork and ruin my all-important GPA, she said. Second, according to her, I would never be a good enough swimmer to really compete so why would I want to set myself up to fail? (But that’s a story for another blog on another day).
Athletes and Eating Disorders: Understanding the Risks
(Jan 12th, 2012)
A few weeks ago, a girlfriend from college invited me to go sailing on her boat on the San Francisco Bay with some other women. I eagerly accepted. The day was resplendent and the company was equally sunny. Lots of laughs – until one mom mentioned that her daughter was repeating her sophomore year of high school and I asked why. “Bulimia,” she said. Her daughter, an athlete, first became too weak to play the sport she loved. Then, her eating disorder led to her missing so much school that the family finally pulled her from school and sent her to a rehab facility in another state. She’s doing better now, back in school, but she’s a year behind.
Facing Concussions Head On – What Sports Parents Should Know
(Jan 4th, 2012)
NHL Superstar Sidney Crosby knows all too well the lingering effects associated with suffering a concussion. After sitting out for an extended period – nearly a full calendar year – the man thought of as hockey’s Superman made a triumphant return to the ice. Unfortunately, this Superman isn’t indestructible – Crosby is once again sidelined after just an eight game comeback, as concussion-like symptoms have once again reared their ugly head. Crosby’s story offers a cautionary tale and important advice to parents with children participating in youth sports.
Trophies For Everyone Makes For Everyone Mediocre
(Dec 1st, 2011)
Once a week, my family of four drops everything for 30 minutes of ritual ‘gathering around the hearth’. The moment? Wednesdays at 9pm watching the hit TV show, “Modern Family”. In last week’s episode, Jay gets upset at Gloria for applauding their son’s not-so-artistic Thanksgiving table centerpiece and says, “These days, kids get a medal just for crossing the street!”
Should Girls Play on Boys’ Teams?
(Nov 17th, 2011)
I recently had the opportunity to interview Alex Morgan, the 22-year-old U.S Women’s National Team forward who made a huge splash at this past summer’s Women’s World Cup, for Soccer America. After the article ran, a reader posted a comment that proved the seed for this blog post. The reader asked, “What about girls playing on boys teams to elevate their play?
Why Do They Quit? Five Ways To Keep Kids Playing Sports
(Oct 7th, 2011)
So I was alarmed to find out that 70% of youth athletes quit playing sports—all sports—by age 13. That’s BEFORE HIGH SCHOOL, before sports get truly competitive. If sports are so beneficial, why are kids quitting? The top reasons kids give for quitting are losing interest (#1) and not having fun (#2). Other common reasons are because sports take too much time (#3) and they want a non-sport activity (#6) or need more time for studying (#8) and because there was too much pressure (#5) or an over-emphasis on winning (#11).
Who Are The Role Models In Women’s Team Sports?
(Oct 3rd, 2011)
Cape Cod League baseball provides an unrivaled environment for baseball fans – young and old – to meet and mingle with top college ballplayers, many of whom go on to become MLB stars. My family has been going to Chatham to root for the A’s (now the Anglers) for the past 10 years. Some of our sweetest memories are of Jeremy Cleveland sticking his bat through the fence during a game in Brewster to have my son and his friend rub it for good luck, talking with Chris Young about Princeton in the Chatham dugout, Zane Carlson beaning my son in a game of pickle during a week-long baseball camp run by the players, and Grant Green’s enthusiastic encouragement of my daughter in a mostly-boy camp. The players clearly knew — whether it happened when they arrived in Chatham or before – that part of their experience would include being a role model to the youngsters who came to see them play.
Youth Sports Parents | Sleep Deprivation Deprives Kids of More Than Just Sleep
(Sep 20th, 2011)
The date: June 24, 2011. The time: 3pm. The scene: The Panama City airport. Between waiting for our two-hour-delayed-and-counting flight back to San Francisco (via a connection in Houston) and the commotion in the airport as the Panama Men’s National Soccer Team arrived from its match against the United States earlier that week, my husband’s cell phone rang.
“When are you guys back?” asked our son’s summer baseball coach. “Either late tonight or early tomorrow morning, depending on our connection,” answered my husband. “Well, tell Josh he’s the starting pitcher tomorrow at 9am! Welcome home!” Click.
A Team Manager’s Guide to Getting Ready For the Season
(Sep 8th, 2011)
Labor Day weekend marks the official end of summer, as well as the official beginning of the fall sports season. Whether your child is playing soccer, football, water polo, volleyball, hockey, or a host of other sports, if you are the ‘team parent’ or ‘team manager’, you have a lot to accomplish in just a few short weeks.
Focusing on Healthy Snacks
(Sep 2nd, 2011)
It’s that time again. Not just “Back to School” time, with backpacks, books and new clothes, but also “Back to Sports” time. Fall sports – football, soccer, water polo, cross country, and volleyball – are all about to be in full swing in just a few short weeks, and that means rushing kids from school to practice or games and then back home. Meals – or some semblance thereof – in the car and snacks at the field.
Don’t Miss A Game or Practice Again! Set Your E-mail Notifications
(Aug 22nd, 2011)
If your son has a football game at 3:00 and your daughter has soccer practice at 4:00, will you make it home in time for the Dancing With the Stars finale at 8:00? Trick question. The answer is no because your son ALSO has soccer practice at 7:00. With all of the games, practices, and events, it can be hard to keep track and that one never made it on the calendar. Solution: TeamSnap’s e-mail notifications (and a DVR).
Is Sugar The New Crack?
(Aug 19th, 2011)
Two months ago, at the beginning of the summer, I wrote about the sugar content of sports drinks in this blog. After the blog ran, we conducted a survey of TeamSnap users, asking you to guess the number of teaspoons of sugar in a 20-ounce bottle of Gatorade (answer: 9 teaspoons!). Forty percent of respondents guessed 6 teaspoons or less, vastly underestimating the amount of sugar in a bottle of the most popular sports drink on the market.
Players Use Tricks To Master Skills With Trick It Out Sports (Now That’s Tricky)
(Aug 8th, 2011)
It’s hard not to appreciate a great sports trick. Because we can all kick a soccer ball but we certainly can’t freestyle juggle for minutes at a time like Daniel Cutting. And most golfers can’t juggle a golf ball and then launch a perfect shot, like Tiger Woods. To master a trick, an athlete has to precisely master their touch, timing, and body movement and he or she is simultaneously improving all-around skills. This is the basis of the idea behind Trick It Out Sports, which makes learning the fundamental skills of sports more fun and engaging by breaking it down into tricks.
Concussion Symptoms and Recovery: More Than Just “Getting Your Bell Rung”
(Jul 27th, 2011)
Last Monday evening – a gorgeous, fog-free evening in the Bay Area – I had one of those ironic moments in life. Earlier that day, I had decided to write my blog on concussions. As the game ended, my son’s baseball coach motioned me over. “Are you taking Chris home?” he asked. When I answered, “Yes,” the coach said, “Well, I think he may have a slight concussion. I took him out of the game right after he made that diving catch in center field, because he slammed his head pretty good and he was groggy. His pupils seem normal but you should watch him on the drive home.”
What Every Sports Parent Should Know About New Concussion Legislation
(Jul 21st, 2011)
It’s a moment I’ll never forget. I was on the phone with my husband, who was picking up our son from baseball practice. All of a sudden I heard a lot of commotion and then sirens. I asked what had happened. He said, “The pitcher for Marin Catholic was hit in the head with a comebacker.”
How Many Teaspoons of Sugar Are in a 20 Ounce Gatorade?
(Jun 17th, 2011)
The American Academy of Pediatrics recently issued a report titled Sports Drinks and Energy Drinks for Children and Adolescents: Are They Appropriate? So in our last newsletter, we polled our customers with this question: How many teaspoons of sugar do you think are in a 20 oz. Gatorade?
Must Have Apps For Sports Parents and Team Managers: Location, Precipitation, and Hydration
(Jun 15th, 2011)
Summer tournaments mean travel and travel means planning accommodations, meals, and activities in places you probably don’t know very well. Or at least not as well as your hometown. And summer weather—heat, humidity, and thunderstorms—can throw a wrench into many tournament schedules and downtime plans.
Getting Organized For Summer Tournaments? Must Read Tips on Managing Your Team at Tournament Time
(Jun 8th, 2011)
Six beach soccer games in two days, second-place medals, exhausted but happy girls, and everything but the weather went as planned (some things team managers can’t control) at the first tournament of the summer. While coordinating a dozen or more families for a tournament is a huge undertaking, I think the team bonding that occurs at these tournaments is more than worth the effort.
The Truth About Sports Drinks and Why Young Athletes Don’t Need Them
(Jun 1st, 2011)
Last week, I talked about staying hydrated in the hot summer months to prevent heat-related illnesses. And although most experts recommend plain old H2O, I’m sure many of you thought, “I’ll just buy a six-pack of [insert your favorite sports drink here] and that’ll be just as good or even better.” Guess what? You’re wrong.
Sports Parent Challenge: How To Find The Right Summer Camp For Your Kid
(May 11th, 2011)
This is the second part of our series on selecting the right summer camp for your young athlete. Click here to read last week’s post on What Sports Parents Should Know When Selecting Summer Camps.
Considering a Camp For Your Young Athlete? What Sports Parents Should Know When Selecting Summer Camps
(May 5th, 2011)
Over the last few years, the number and types of summer camps has grown exponentially. One of the areas of greatest growth is in sports camps. But how do you know which one to pick? And how do you not overload your child with too many?
Balancing the Scales: Avoiding Overscheduling in Youth Sports
(Apr 25th, 2011)
My husband and I were thrilled when our 11-year-old daughter was selected for a Class I soccer team earlier this spring. It’s something she wanted and drove—she’s pretty headstrong—and we followed her lead. She loves soccer and wanted the greater challenge on the field. At the parent meeting, the coach clearly stated that once the calendar hit August 1st, it was serious soccer. From that date on, he expects the girls to be at every practice leading into the season. We were on board 100 percent.
It’s Just A Game: Keeping Fan Rivalry In Check
(Apr 18th, 2011)
I apologize in advance for the somber note of this blog, but I really can’t find any humor here. Every so often, a senseless act of violence—in the name of ‘fan rivalry’—occurs, and takes the joy out of a sport I love. Last week, it was professional baseball. On Opening Day, two so-called ‘fans’ of the Los Angeles Dodgers beat Bryan Stow, a 42-year-old father of two, a paramedic who typically helps others, into a coma. Why? Simply because he wore the orange and black of the Dodgers’ main rival, the World Champion San Francisco Giants.
Bag Check: The Well-Equipped Team Manager
(Apr 14th, 2011)
If you’re old enough to remember the television show, Let’s Make a Deal, then you have a pretty good idea what my team manager’s bag looks like: a large duffel-type bag with everything but the kitchen sink inside. I’m ready for just about anything the coaches and players throw at me—and maybe I’ll win that new car behind Door #2.
Bleacher Basics – Guidelines for Youth Sports Parents
(Apr 8th, 2011)
Maybe you’re a seasoned veteran with many years of schlepping your children to multiple youth sporting events under your belt. Or perhaps you’re entering this spring sports season as a ‘newbie’, with a youngster eager to play T-ball for the first time. Either way, you’re likely to find yourself in the stands with other parents for the next few weeks, and I guarantee you it’s not all going to be fun and games. Some of the parents will scream so loudly, you’ll start bringing earplugs to the games. Others will drive you to bring a roll of duct tape!
Introducing the Playbook Blog and Starting Lineup
(Mar 30th, 2011)
With the spring sports season officially beginning, it is an exciting time for young athletes, parents, and coaches gearing up for another round of practices, games, tournaments, fundraisers, and fun! You have been busy preparing, and so have we. We are thrilled to announce the launch of the TeamSnap PlayBook, an awesome new section just for coaches, managers, and parents to talk about youth sports, share personal experiences, and ask questions.