Here is the best of this week’s content at MomsTeam.com, a health and safety website for youth sports:
* It might seem a little odd to think about a 10-year-old football or basketball player suffering from performance anxiety, a term usually reserved for adult athletes who choke under pressure, but chances are, that as a parent, you have seen a youth athlete, either your child or one of his teammates, suffer from performance anxiety too. One of the easiest relaxation skills that a parent can teach their young player is learning how to exhale effectively, says sports performance expert, Dr. Keith Wilson.
* Using a sophisticated brain scan, researchers at UCLA have for the first time identified the telltale signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (C.T.E.) in five former NFL players. While the results are preliminary, the study opens up the possibility of using the scans to develop strategies to prevent C.T.E. and provide treatment for those who have it.
* Being injured is one of the hardest parts of being an athlete. If your child is unable to exercise due to a broken bone, knee surgery, stress fracture, or concussion, you may wonder: What can she eat to heal quickly? How can she avoid getting fat while she’s unable to exercise? Should she be taking supplements? Top sports nutritionist Nancy Clark has the answers.
* Every sports training program looks to achieve two main objectives: improve performance and reduce risk of injury. One particular exercise that does not get enough attention is the single leg squat. For lower body strength, balance, and overall reduced risk of injury, regular performance of this exercise is crucial to athletic success, says physical therapist Keith Cronin, DPT.
* A certified athletic trainer (AT) is an invaluable member of the sports medicine team, particularly when an athlete suffers a concussion, because they have specialized training, and see athletes on a daily basis. Because they are trusted by athletes, they can encourage the honest self-reporting that is key to avoiding delayed recovery or catastrophic injury. The problem is that only 42 percent of U.S. high schools have access to an AT. If a high school football program can afford a coach, an AT should be the next hire.
– MomsTeam.com and NFLEvolution.com