The best of the week from MomsTeam.com, which focuses on health and safety for youth sports:
* Are you a parent coaching your child’s hockey or basketball team this winter? Here are some tried-and-true advice from child psychologist Shari Kuchenbecker, PhD, on walking the fine line between parent and coach.
* Ignorance is sometimes bliss when it comes to watching your kids play sports. The more you know about the sport they are playing, the harder it sometimes is to watch and resist the urge to coach. MomsTEAM’s Brooke de Lench shares some stories
that taught her the difference between being a fan and thinking you are at your kid’s game to coach.
* Concussions, and even lesser subconcussive head trauma, may speed up the brain’s natural aging process, says a new study by researchers at the University of Michigan
, which found changes in gait, balance, and in the brain’s electrical activity in areas measuring attention and impulse control in otherwise healthy college students with a history of concussion. But Steven Broglio, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Director of the Neurotrauma Research Laboratory at UM, stressed that, at this point, the study is only advancing a yet-to-be-proven theory that concussions and head impacts may accelerate the brain’s natural aging process. “The last thing we want is for people to panic. Just because you’ve had a concussion does not mean your brain will age more quickly or you’ll get Alzheimer’s,” Broglio was quick to emphasize.
* The food and beverages available to and consumed by youth athletes when they participate in organized sports is often unhealthy, according to a recent study by researchers at the University of Minnesota
. The authors recommended a number of steps to improve nutrition, including enlisting coaches and older peer mentors to deliver key nutrition messages, developing nutrition guidelines for sport leagues regarding the types of food and beverages that are appropriate for organized snack schedules and concession stands; and exploring feasible ways to improve the nutritional quality of food and beverages available and sold in youth sport settings.
* Plyometrics is an Eastern European name for jumping, popping, and throwing exercises which train an athlete’s nervous system to become more explosive. For young athletes, says strength and conditioning guru Mike Boyle
, a little bit of plyometrics (around 25 to 30 jumps a couple times a week) is good; more – not so much.