Youth Sports News

Check in each week to see the latest in Youth Sports News and Education

Budgeting and Managing Finances in Youth Sports

Every strong program has strong management of their funds. Depending on your type of organization and your role, you may not have control of the funds once they come in but all administrators can still plan and manage your funds, regardless of your role.

Successfully Managing Your Staff and Referees

Each league has its own set-up and needs for staffing and referees. Some programs may be reliant on volunteers to supervise fields, keep score, and referee while other organizations are able to staff these positions. Other organizations may have these positions in-house while some may contract out those positions. Regardless of how a program is set up, it is imperative to have a staffing plan to recruit, retain, train, and schedule staff members and referees.

Girls in the Game

Girls in the Game Professional Development Session Recap presented by the Positive Coaches Alliance

Concussions Impact on The Mental Game of Sports

New concussion rules and regulations can build respect in young athletes for their opponents. In addition, the rules don’t hurt kids’ other mental game skills.

How to Run an Effective Coaches Meeting

To participants in a program, coaches are its face, so it is imperative that the goals and expectations be engrained in them. A coaches meeting is the kick-off to a season, and teams generally begin practice shortly thereafter. This is likely the only time all of the coaches will be in the same room, so make the most of it. Make the meeting mandatory—even for returning coaches.

Tips on How to Coordinate Youth Sports Registration

A well-run and organized youth sports registration will give a great first impression to your participants. Whether it is done in-person or online, you want to make sure the participant leaves with all the information they need on the upcoming season. Registration also provides the opportunity for you to get all the information you need on the participant for the upcoming season.

League Documentation: Why It Helps and What to Keep Track Of

It is extremely important to keep well-organized documentation and records on league operations as well as administrative aspects of a program. Make policies on managing and retaining documents to ensure they are consistent. Here is a list of important records that should be kept. Large organizations may have separate departments for some of this, but it is always a good idea to have copies of every type of documentation that comes from a league.

Paving the Way for Gender Equity in Youth Sports

Research shows that when children play sports, they increase their chances to grow up healthy, build friendships, and develop skills like teamwork and respect. And while 94 percent of park and recreation agencies offer youth sports, there are significant disparities in who has access to and benefits from sports participation.

Break Body-Image Barriers: Help young athletes embrace who they are

Developing self-esteem and confidence is one of the leading traits parents hope their children will attain from sports, and it is important to focus on self-image and skill development so children will fall in love with a sport or activity and want to continue. After all, it’s been true since children started playing organized sports that about two-thirds of players quit by age 13, and the number-one reason is they just aren’t having fun.

Coaching Parents for a Positive Youth Sports Culture

The news is filled with stories about parents behaving badly at sporting events, and coaches and game officials are often on the receiving end of that poor behavior. PCA workshops designed especially for parents focus on the specific role parents should play in creating a positive sports experience for their child and could go a long way towards redirecting parents’ energy.

Amid Increasing Abuse, Officials Flee Youth Sports

When one looks at the ugly bruise encircling Kristi Moore’s left eye, it’s not surprising so many refs and umps are hanging up their stripes. Why put up with incessant taunts and threats from out-of-control parents?

Study: Team sports linked to fewer mental health difficulties for kids

A large-scale study of U.S. children and adolescents has found that participation in a team sport is associated with fewer mental health difficulties, but that kids who are exclusively involved in an individual sport -- such as tennis or wrestling -- may face greater mental health difficulties than kids who do no sports at all.

Confidence is a Feeling, Competence is a Behavior

We have all seen the interview many times. The star athlete comes off the field or court, and the first question the interviewer asks is “You were looking really confident out there today, what was your secret?” We might even say the same thing to our own young athletes that we coach and mentor: “Wow, you were playing with so much confidence today, well done!’ But is that the case? Can we really see confidence? Can we read minds?

Pay to play: A revised narrative to keep kids in the game

In January, Rick Burton and Norm O’Reilly’s column in this space addressed how the pay-to-play model in sport is going to destroy the natural involvement of children entering the youth sport ecosystem.

Recruiting Volunteers for Youth Sports Programs: 4 Tips

Your recreation center’s volunteers are essential to keeping your youth sports programs running smoothly. They’re the coaches, assistants, and other cheerleaders that create a positive experience for the young athletes in your community, helping kids develop lifelong skills and friendships.

Why You Should Keep Score in Youth Sports

Teams can keep score, even when kids are young, and the players will still have fun and learn physical and mental game skills. That was the message from former Walt Disney Studios executive Sasha Graham, a sports mom, former youth sports coach and author of “Whitney Wins Everything” during a recent interview with our Ultimate Sports Parent podcast.

Delivering practice sessions that are productive and fun

9 Tips to running a fun and productive youth sports practice!

Part Two: Sportsmanship and Gamesmanship in Youth Sports

To review, two terms that can be often related within sport are sportsmanship and gamesmanship. Sportsmanship frequently occurs when an athlete plays fair, follows the rules of the game, respects the judgment of the officials and treats opponents with respect. Gamesmanship, on the other hand is when athletes use methods that are suspicious, or outwardly inappropriate but not exactly illegal, in other words, trying to gain an advantage without breaking the rules.

Ace In The Hole: Mini-golf course captures a new audience to increase revenue

Faced with the same challenges of other municipal-golf programs, the city of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, took a creative approach. What resulted was a facility that provides recreational opportunities for individuals with disabilities and the entire community.

Developing Team Leaders

Focusing on the development of leadership inside and outside of sports, Dan Helfrich led the discussion by asking Jesse about his role model and former coach, the late John Thompson.

MLB Names EL1 Sports Training Partner for Youth Baseball and Softball

The partnership will support existing local youth sports ecosystems around the country and promote the game by expanding access to youth baseball and softball instruction for players of all skill levels and socioeconomic backgrounds. In this multi-year partnership, MLB clubs will have the opportunity to leverage EL1’s facilities and instruction to establish or expand training academies and community programming in their markets.

Youth Sports Safety

Forget the walk-it-off, rub-some-dirt-on-it mentality. March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. Everyone involved in youth sports should know the facts. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury. As a youth sports coach or administrator, parent or other caregiver, if you suspect one of your athletes may have sustained a concussion, remove them from play or practice.

Helping Kids Choose Sports

Letting Kids Decide What Sports They Want to Play. What are the Habits of Supportive Sports Parents? To be a supportive sports parent, you first have to ensure your kids are having fun.

Winning the Mental Game

Helping young athletes learn to shove aside all the negative thoughts that bombard them and consistently compete with a clear, focused, and confident mindset is one of the biggest challenges for coaches and parents, and one of the most important too. 

Enough is Enough

We hear of the accolades. The conference titles, the national champion rings, the goals scored, and the records broken. We don’t hear of the pressure, the loneliness, the stress, the fear of failure, and the need to succeed.

The Importance of Budgeting and Managing Finances in Youth Sports Programs

And that was even before COVID-19 disrupted the world. Now, not only do venues have to make sure that the technology is up to date, but the health and safety protocols and processes that for so long were hidden from attendees are now front and center to the fan experience that is crucial to the success of any sporting event at any level.

The Future of Sports Venues After COVID

And that was even before COVID-19 disrupted the world. Now, not only do venues have to make sure that the technology is up to date, but the health and safety protocols and processes that for so long were hidden from attendees are now front and center to the fan experience that is crucial to the success of any sporting event at any level.

Alternative Programming: Are you innovating or stagnating?

Here’s a quick look at some of the programming that was rolled out during the pandemic. Perhaps one (or more) of these program ideas will work well in your community. Or maybe reading about some of these ideas will ignite an idea of your own.

Moving Forward to Create an Equitable Playing Field

Having diverse and inclusive leaders and decision-makers at all levels, from administrators, to coaches, to team captains, is a major step in improving the overall culture of your youth sports organization.

Sportsmanship and Gamesmanship in Youth Sports

Sport has continued to permeate deep into the fabric of society, and provide an opportunity to institutionalize further morals, values and ethics necessary for building and maintaining a positive society. Sport also has the power to provide an audience for behavior that can teach negative lessons and leaving lasting marks.

Helping Young Athletes Build Connection and Confidence

With the start of a new season, it provides a much-needed opportunity to enhance youth sports in a way that provides kids with more fun and human connection, and ultimately, more confidence.

Physical activity three days post-concussion is safe, study suggests

Resuming non-contact physical activity 72 hours after a concussion is safe and may also reduce symptoms and the risk of delayed recovery, suggests the first and largest real-world, randomized clinical trial on the topic to be conducted with children and youth aged 10 to 18. 

Social Media & Sport: Always On

Always on. Always connected. Always in the spotlight. Social media has benefits for athletes, but also creates a new level of pressure. For many sport parents, getting media coverage was fun back in your day. It meant getting your name in the local paper when you played well. Maybe your parents or grandparents would cut out the article so you could have it for your scrapbook. As we all know, times have changed.

Youth Sports Supervision: Monitoring Checklist

Proper youth sports supervision is of the utmost importance to ensure the safety of your participants and should be taken very seriously. It only takes a few seconds of complacency for an incident or accident to occur. Here are several things you should be monitoring to provide the best youth sports supervision possible for your participants.

Risk Management in Youth Sports

Risk management is never fun, but it is essential in preventing a catastrophic incident that may cause serious harm and shut a league down for good. Risk management does not only include a hazard or physical accident, but can include financial losses or the loss of important records. Here are several tips to help mitigate risk.

Can You Over-Sample in Youth Sports?

Is it possible to over-sample on sports in the early years (younger than 12)? You mention that we should focus on developing the athlete first, and sport specific skills second. That said, we feel like if our kid takes a season or two off to try out a different sport, will they have challenges catching up in the future if they go back to the original sport?

The Time for Gender Equity in Sports Is Now

According to a report from the Women’s Sports Foundation, 40 percent of teen girls do not participate in sports compared to 25 percent of teen boys. Additionally, by age 14, girls are dropping out of sports at two times the rate of boys. As one of the primary providers of youth sports in communities, park and recreation professionals are well-positioned to increase gender equity in youth sports.

Concussions: Safeguarding Kids from Long-Term Injuries

Despite the increased attention on concussions these days, many young athletes remain reluctant to speak up when they may have sustained one for fear of missing playing time. But here’s another important reason to encourage kids to alert their coaches when they have hit their head or aren’t feeling well: they are at increased risk of other injuries that can sideline them for long stretches.   

The Benefits of Preventative Maintenance Within a Recreation Facility

The inspection procedures and recommended frequencies are usually based on national and state codes, regulations and standards, preventative maintenance, and best loss-prevention practices.

Helping Sports Kids Build a Growth Mindset

There are numerous advantages to kids’ embracing a growth mindset in youth sports. Kids who have a growth mindset tend to see mistakes as opportunities for growth. They rarely say, “I can’t do this.” They generally don’t feel “stuck” but instead feel as if they’re learning and growing.

Kids are losing interest in organized sports. Why that matters.

For more than a century, team sports have been a mainstay of American childhood. What began as a way to keep boys in cities occupied and out of trouble has evolved into a $19-billion industry, with much of that revenue being generated by elite travel teams. Yet the number of kids involved in team sports has been falling. In 2018, 38% of kids ages 6 to 12 played an organized sport on a regular basis, down from 45% in 2008 — mainly due to increasing costs, time commitments and the hypercompetitive nature of many sports.

Why massive new youth sports facilities may not lead to the tourist boom many communities hope for when they build them

Parents who travel with their kids to compete in regional sports tournaments tend to be too focused on the competition to turn them into family vacations and spend like tourists, according to our recently published research. This is bad news to the many communities that spend millions of dollars on state-of-the-art sports facilities to host such tournaments in hopes of recouping the costs in increased economic activity.

Valuing Volunteers

With the exception of 2020, which wiped out youth sports, one of my favorite moments each year is reviewing the final applications from the NAYS volunteer coach- and parent-of-the-year nominations. Applications come in from around the world from member organizations on almost every U.S. military installation that organizes youth sports.

Healthy Habits: Empowering Young Athletes

As childhood obesity continues to be a national epidemic, it’s become more important than ever to help youth develop a greater understanding and interest in seizing control of their health, says a leading expert.

An Athletes Perspective: What Makes a Caring Coach

There is a good amount of research out there from a coach’s perspective on what he/she feels creates a caring and positive environment in sports. This new research, however, takes a look at the perspective of former high school athletes and outlines their experiences with coaches, and their takeaways on what stood out as important aspects of past coaches who created a caring environment that influenced not only their sports experience but in many cases, their life as a whole.

Help Sports Kids Turn Comparisons into Growth & Comradery

When Breanne Smedley was a college volleyball player, her roommate earned the role of starter in Smedley’s position. Smedley, who is now a certified female athlete Confidence Coach, at first felt as if her friend shouldn’t have gotten the position.

Preventative Field Maintenance - Invite user groups to assist in the quest for pristine facilities

Whether you own and operate sports facilities or have a user-group agreement, you still have the responsibility to ensure those facilities are safe and last the test of time. Maintaining them properly is the key.

Teaching Kids to Love Baseball

James Lowe, aka Coach Ballgame, combines his creative skills with sandlots across the country to build in sports kids a love of baseball.

The I of the Tiger

he importance of safeguarding the mental health of young athletes has rocketed into the spotlight these days. And it’s become clear that it must be a focal point for volunteer coaches in all sports, and at all levels.

When Residents Reject Youth-Sports Fields

Youth-sports fields generally offer positive benefits for communities. Most notably, they encourage children’s participation in team sports, where they can establish healthy habits, hone their skills, and fortify social bonds.

The Importance of Communication Within Your Youth Sports Program

In order to run a program at a high level, you have to be an effective communicator. You can never communicate too much! Keeping your participants, staff, referees, coaches and other volunteers in the loop in every aspect of your program is key and can only help your operation. Communication is ingrained in every aspect of your program. Here are some tips to be a great communicator within your program.

8 Goals for Youth Sports Programs

All youth sports programs should have very similar goals to bring the best out of your participants. These should be outlined in your policies and procedures along with your mission statement. Engrain these things in your parents, coaches and players to ensure they know what your program is all about and understand what is expected when they participate. This will create the positive culture you want at every level of your program.

Complaints and Conflict Resolution in Youth Sports

If you run a well-organized youth sports program and you are a great communicator, parent and coach complaints will be at a minimum. Although, sometimes things will happen that are out of your control causing someone to complain, no matter what you do and how great your program is. Regardless of the type or validity of the complaint, you should always listen. Most of the time, that is all the complainer is looking for.

Youth Sports Program Planning

Planning is the cornerstone of any well-run youth sports program. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail! Proper planning prevents poor performance! Planning is extremely important in coordinating any high-level program. Planning can come in many forms and most all plans are open and customizable to how you want to operate. Below are some tips on different plans you should have in place within your youth sports programs.

Tough Love or Verbal Abuse?

For coaches and parents, the new lines are hard to define. DaLawn Parrish had rarely raised his voice at his players all night, but late in the fourth quarter, his team up 35 points, he saw an opportunity to teach a lesson.

Explanations On An Elevator

Delivering quality information to parents about youth programs offers peace of mind. One of the great lessons I learned from my dad, who founded the National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS) in 1981, is that, if someone asks what you do on a elevator, you should be able to explain it before getting off on the next floor.

Help Young Athletes Avoid Freezing Up During Competitions

Understanding Fight, Flight and Freeze. Learning about the nervous system can help parents and young athletes better understand some of the feelings they experience, especially before games and competitions.

How Friendly Competitions Helps Athletes

Young athletes can reap many benefits from embracing friendly competition. Often, kids shy away from competing with their teammates. They feel as if they’re not as talented as their teammates or are afraid of being embarrassed in front of them.

For The Love of The Game: Making Tennis Courts User-Friendly, Fun, and Safe

A tennis court (or a pickleball court, for that matter) is so flat. So rectangular. So symmetrical. It’s easy to think of it as a simple venue that doesn’t need much attention.

Bonanza of Benefits: How Golf Impacts Young Lives

Contrary to popular belief, golf isn’t an outdated sport meant to keep seniors fit and retired businesspeople entertained. It is also an excellent way to keep children physically fit and mentally stimulated, especially amid the pandemic era.

Football Bringing People Together, Building Mental Toughness, Confidence, Resilience, Flexibility, and Teamwork.

Sports and COVID-19: The Impact on the Sports-Event Industry

The coronavirus outbreak has forced difficult decisions for the sports-event industry. Nearly every major sporting event has been canceled, moved or postponed. Here is a look at where things stand.

A Letter to Youth and High School Coaches: The Gruden Incident

Last week in the news, I read some of the emails that Jon Gruden wrote many years ago to others involved in the NFL that led to his recent resignation as Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. I’m sure you’ve seen them too. The choice of words, messages, and mindset expressed in those emails were offensive and hurtful.  This was not about an isolated email, but rather a pattern of behavior over time.  The emails revealed a lot about Gruden - who he is and what he communicates when he thinks "no one is watching."

Dream chasing: Enjoying the Pursuit

Four-time Olympian Katie Uhlaender’s path to greatness involves hurtling head-first on a sled down icy tracks at speeds of 90 miles per hour across the globe. And while her sport – the skeleton – certainly isn’t for the faint of heart, the two-time World Cup champion eyeing her fifth Olympic appearance four months from now in Beijing hopes her high-speed journey can help other young athletes trying to figure out theirs.

American Rescue Plan Funds Now Flowing Into States and Local Communities

Shortly after President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 into law, $1.9 trillion in federal funding quickly began to flow into states and local communities to help those most impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to recover, and critically, to build resiliency.

Leadership in Youth Sports: Revisioning Organizational Sport Strategy

Over the course of the next few months, leadership in youth sports will be highlighted from the perspective of various levels. Those familiar with youth sports will understand leadership in youth sports comes in many levels; organizational-wide youth sports philosophy, staff leadership and volunteers. While staff leadership and volunteers are critical components of the organizational-wide youth sports philosophy, this article serves as the starting point to consider – or reconsider – your strategy.

How the Pandemic Impacted Youth Sports (for the better)

The pandemic is responsible for changing nearly every facet of our lives. As life went virtual, it also returned to simplicity, pushing us to consider what’s most important.

Aerobic Exercise Speeds Concussion Recovery in Youth, Study Suggests

Adolescents can speed their recovery after a sport-related concussion and reduce their risk of experiencing protracted recovery if they engage in aerobic exercise within 10 days of getting injured, according to a new University at Buffalo study.

Webinar: Developing Team Leadership - Advice from Coaches

Dan Helfrich, Coach Adia Barnes, Women's Basketball Coach at University of Arizona, and Coach Brian Wiese, Head Men's Soccer Coach at George Washington give advice on Team Leadership

Inspiration and Planning in Nonprofit Fundraising

To conduct a successful capital or endowment campaign, the agency executive must inspire his constituents. The project must be visionary. It must make sense and be consistent with the agency mission and strategic plan. It must be well thought out, well researched, well focused and well presented.

Creating Positive Experiences

“Yes, I was upset over a bad call, but I would never fistfight anyone in front of kids! I will stand up for my team 10/10 times, and you tell me one coach who wouldn’t.” This quote is from a recent article on another alarming youth-sports incident—this one involving as many as a dozen parents and coaches fighting on a baseball field full of 5- and 6-year-old T-ball players in Kentucky. And, of course, there was a championship on the line!

Slugging Through Maintenance: A few tips on keeping softball fields playable and safe

As parks administrators—and parents—know all too well, children are plugged into electronic devices and tuned out of “live” action for too many hours in the day. The quintessential childhood experience of running out the back door and spending the day outside has largely disappeared, as have other critical developmental processes: group socialization, physical fitness, competition, and just plain play.

Who Says I Can't?

For more than 15 years, Rob Mendez has been motivating young football players in Northern California to work hard, dream big and believe in themselves both on and off the field. And along the way his messages have resonated with young athletes and adults worldwide. Mendez was born with no arms or legs – a condition called tetra-amelia syndrome. It is so rare only a few cases are known globally. But it never blocked his dream of coaching kids and impacting lives.

Ref Watch: 'I got the ball' doesn't mean you didn't foul

Doing my best to help out during what seems an unprecedented referee shortage, I've have already managed to referee 14 games this fall. I've been pleasantly surprised at the good behavior of parents and coaches.

How to Help Your Athletes Build Great Habits and Break the Bad Ones

Today I want to cover how we can help those around us, and ourselves, build better habits and break a few bad ones, so I go straight to the source, James Clear. James is the internationally bestselling author of Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones.

Crash Course: Concussion Education

To help bring the latest education around head injuries for our sports community, the National Council of Youth Sports has forged a special partnership with TeachAids, a nonprofit leader in global education innovation. Spun out of Stanford University, TeachAids developed CrashCourse concussion education.

Deadly Disease: Pediatric Cardiomyopathy

It happens every year across the youth sports landscape: athletes collapsing and dying from a heart ailment that was never detected. Through the years, cardiomyopathy has claimed the lives of several well-known athletes like Hank Gathers, Flo Hyman and Reggie Lewis, and each year it is responsible for taking the lives of boys and girls competing on fields and courts in organized sports programs around the country.

What Youth Sports Should Be: 3rd grader seen helping fellow runner finish race

That's the consensus after a sweet moment unfolded during a cross country meet in Kentucky this week. St. Edward Athletic Ministry shared a heartwarming story on social media showing two girls running together Monday at the annual meet held by Holy Cross in Louisville, Kentucky.

PCA Interviews Dr. Amy Saltzman on Mindfulness

PCA Founder, Jim Thompson, interviewed Dr. Amy Saltzman on September 16, 2021. Amy is a holistic physician, parent, athlete (was a gymnast and competitive cyclist), author, and occasional poet. She is the author of three books: Still Quiet Place (for Athletes; for Teens; and Mindfulness Program for Children and Adolescents).

Leadership Lessons: Coaching great Mark Richt shares insights

Longtime University of Georgia head football coach Mark Richt won a lot of games during his illustrious career. And he impacted even more young lives along the way. One of the sport’s most respected leaders, and author of the newly released book Make the Call, Richt encourages today’s youth coaches to teach young athletes the values of competing and striving to win, while making sure to fully emphasize helping them learn those all-important life skills every step of the way, too.

Field Of Study: What to do with tired-looking grass and turf

The old axiom, “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence,” might be appropriate for almost any sports field this time of year. With play returning and athletes absolutely determined to make up for lost time, it’s not surprising fields aren’t looking their best.

Prescription opioid misuse: What you need to know to protect athletes

As the opioid epidemic rages on nationwide, young athletes – who are more likely than their peers to suffer injuries that may result in opioid prescriptions – continue to be at risk for developing dangerous addictions that pose serious health problems, and can even lead to death. More than 750,000 youth ages 12 to 17 misused prescription opioid pain relievers, such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, in the U.S. in 2017.

Michael Jordan Was So Competitive He Wouldn't Even Lose To Let Kids Have Free Air Jordans

You don't have as highly decorated a sporting career as Jordan without being at least a bit competitive, but the former Chicago Bull star certainly seemed to take things further than most.

Sport is the Athletes’ Journey, Not Parents

Sports Experience Belongs to Young Athletes. The main message from Amy Oliphant, a former Division 1 player, mom to four young athletes and youth coach: Sports should be the kids’ journey.

Can E-Sports Teach Life Lessons?

PCA and Cloud9 joined together to host the webinar entitled, “Can eSports Teach Life Lessons?” It was an open discussion all about the gaming culture and coaching or parenting young gamers using social-emotional development skills.

How To Survive Your Kid’s Game-Time Injuries 67 SHARES 670 How To Survive Your Kid’s Game-Time Injuries

Nothing prepared me for watching my kids get hurt playing sports. Before they became actual athletes on actual teams, they brought me a daily dose of couch-hopping contusions, bookshelf-scaling scratches, and backyard body damage.

Meet Ella Bruning, the Little League World Series 20th Female Player

Imagine making it to the biggest stage in youth baseball, yet already knowing you will stand out from the other players. Ella Bruning is just the 20th girl to ever play in the Little League Baseball World Series. While she is the odd girl out on her team of 13 boys, her talent has shined behind the plate and on the mound.

Reconnecting with Youth Programs

During the pandemic, recreation centers across the globe worked hard to keep their communities connected. And with one of the most vulnerable populations in mind — children — these centers never stopped striving to provide the necessary educational, engaging and social components that were hindered over the last year and a half.

Eight Steps to an Easy Field Facelift

Many of these steps have been written in book form or at least in a university publication, but this article serves as a friendly reminder of the basics.

ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit on coaching kids, parenting, and more

ESPN broadcaster Kirk Herbstreit, one of the top voices of college football, spent much of his youth desperately trying to be invisible. Shy and quiet, and dealing with the sting of his parents’ divorce, he endured changing schools seven times in a tumultuous eight-year span.

Help Athletes Trust the Training

If you trust the training, the training will kick in, says Mark Jeffery, a former army officer and Army Tennis Champion in the U.K. He uses strategies he learned in the army to teach athletes how to trust in all that they’ve learned in training. Athletes, like people in the military, can be plagued with uncertainty, nervousness and doubt.

On The Surface: Getting the Most from an Asphalt Surface

It is likely that many of us learned to play basketball and tennis on asphalt, with that sensation of feet baking in our shoes. With the inception of the first asphalt-paved road in 1868, and the first Converse shoe (circa 1915), the asphalt athletic surface has been a part of Americana for nearly 100 years.

Exercise May Boost Kids Vocabulary Growth, Study Says

Swimming a few laps likely won't turn your child into the next Katie Ledecky or Michael Phelps, but it just might help them become the next J.K. Rowling or Stephen King. A recent study by University of Delaware researchers suggests exercise can boost kids' vocabulary growth. The article, published in the Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research, details one of the first studies on the effect of exercise on vocabulary learning in children.

How to be Successful in Online Sport Communication

As a sport enthusiast or professional the main way you engage with sport organizations and their content is likely online. Whether that be following your favorite team and sports stars on social media, browsing sport organizations’ websites or listening to their podcasts.

Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources: Keeping Kids Safe and Active During COVID-19

Like other parks departments nationwide, Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources in North Carolina canceled all of their regular sports programming for kids in the spring of 2020 because of the pandemic. But they still offered programs to help kids in their community get active — all while working to bring back athletic opportunities for the fall.

Sports Parents: Learn from Simone Biles’ “Twisties” During the Olympics

During the 2020 Olympics, Simone Biles, the most decorated gymnast in the world, pulled out of some Olympic events after experiencing the “twisties.” She said her head was not in the right place…

Squashing Stress

During Stanford’s run to the women’s basketball national championship last spring the pressure surrounding the journey was off the charts. Do-it-all forward Ashten Prechtel found the perfect antidote for slaying that March Madness stress and delivering big for her team.

How to Prevent Injury in Sport

Injury can put an athlete out of sport for weeks, months, or even completely. That’s why it is important to have a solid understanding of why injuries occur and how to prevent them.

Tips for Maintaining Safety and Functionality on Recreational Turf

Recreational turf provides for healthy activities and important entertainment value to society. Unlike ornamental turfgrass on residential and commercial properties, recreational surfaces are exposed to different stresses and provide a uniquely different function.

Fuel Your Athlete For Success

Did you know the majority of kids BELIEVE their nutrition is good — until they learn what really is good fuel for an athlete or that 40% of young athletes don’t eat breakfast?

What's Riskier for Young Soccer Players: Practice or Game Time?

For young soccer players, participating in repetitive technical training activities involving heading during practice may result in more total head impacts – but playing in scrimmages or actual soccer games may result in greater magnitude head impacts. That's according to a small, preliminary study released recently at the American Academy of Neurology's Sports Concussion Conference.

Passionate Performer

Growing up, actress Emily Shah scooped up lots of valuable life lessons while diving for balls and turning away shots as a goalkeeper on her youth soccer teams in Edison, New Jersey.

What Does It Mean To Be Coachable?

Being a great athlete often starts with being coachable. Venus Williams’ coach, Eric Hechtman, defines being coachable as an athlete who listens.

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