These articles represent the best of the week at MomsTeam.com, another site that focuses on health and safety in sports:
* Retiring from contact or collision sports due to concussion history can be emotionally difficult for both athlete and parent. In this instance, athletes who play other sports and have clear academic goals, high self-esteem and supportive and responsible parents fare best, said sports concussion neuropsychologist Rosemarie Scolaro Moser, PhD.
* The holidays present a unique set of challenges for parents of athletes. If you have a child playing a winter sport, not only are you trying to find time to watch all the college football bowl games and NFL games with playoff implications, and juggling family, food, friends, parties, and trips to the mall, but you also have to fit in the kids’ holiday tournaments. The good news is not much changes nutritionally; you just need to do a bit of advance planning, wrote registered dietitian Hillary Monroe.
* While the general trend in the United States has been toward early sports specialization, and while some degree of sport specialization is required to achieve elite status, for most sports, intense training in a single sport to the exclusion of others should be delayed until late adolescence to maximize chances of success while minimizing risk for injury and burnout, recommends a new study.
* Many sports injuries are preventable but continue to occur because of misconceptions about sports safety; uninformed behaviors by parents, coaches and youth athletes; and a lack of training, reported a recent survey from Safe Kids Worldwide. Perhaps most distressing of all is the finding that nearly half of all coaches say they have been pressured by parents or the kids themselves to allow athletes to play hurt.
A lot has been written about the subject of stretching and flexibility in sports. Studies abound on the effects of flexibility on muscular strength, joint motion, and injury prevention, but the picture seems to become more muddled with every passing day, with even the conventional wisdom that static stretching improves flexibility over resistance training recently called into question. But the fact remains: stretching improves flexibility, a foundation for athletic success, according to physical therapist, Keith Cronin, DPT.
– MomsTeam.com and NFL Evolution