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I, Luis, want to share an experience I had with my son Tommy’s U12 basketball team, which really put things in perspective for all of us. On a hot summer weekend in June, a group of thirty of us—Hawks players, parents, and coaches—drove to the Jersey Shore to play in an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) round-robin tournament. Our boys were […]

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Thomas and Alice Brommer learned the hard way that their daughter, Lisa, was wilting under the pressure of parental expectations. An Olympic-caliber swimmer at sixteen, Lisa’s times are so good that she is looking at a scholarship to her pick of the top college programs in the United States. Thomas, her dad, is ecstatic. He’s been her number one fan […]

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Put-downs, dissing, and trash talk are a big part of my child’s team culture. What can I do? Discussion: You are not alone. This is a societal problem, one that has reached epidemic levels in all sports. Kids imitate the antisocial behavior they see on television, pick up from adults, or witness from older kids at school. Trash talk is […]

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  Coaches and parents need to confront negative social dynamics each and every time they surface in order to create a safe haven for each member of the team. If we don’t follow through, if there are no consequences, our speeches about appropriate behavior ring hollow. Children revert to the conduct to which they have been conditioned, which permeates the […]

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One day, as I was walking in a city park with my son, we came across a friendly pickup soccer game. Three brothers we know, ages six to eleven at the time, were playing against three kids they’d just met. It looked like a whole lot of fun, but Anthony, the youngest brother, was in tears. His nine-year-old brother, Mark, […]

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Question: I often find myself angry and critical after watching my son play a soccer game and catch myself becoming really judgmental and negative about the coaches and referees—and even my own son. Why is this happening? Discussion: First of, you can breathe easy. You are not alone. Many people experience this. A University of Maryland study found that 53 […]

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It’s up to us as parents to ensure that our young athletes follow properly balanced preseason and in- season training and conditioning programs in order to proactively prevent injuries. Millions of us are guilty of contributing to the win-at-all-costs mind-set that’s dominated the child and youth sports landscape over the past decade, and our children are getting seriously hurt as […]

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  Sports push us to the brink, and when we stand on the edge of that precipice, all charged up with purpose and passion, the unexpected happens: a golden moment. We’ve asked everyone from recreational-league enthusiasts to accomplished athletes to share their golden sports moments. Surprisingly, these recollections rarely resemble anything you’d associate with a highlight reel: a game winning […]

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Photo by Lee Mills: Ray Winstone for Football Association via Getty Images In addition to knowing how your own sports biography can affect your child’s youth sports experience, it’s also important to know what triggers you when you watch your child participate in sports. Triggers are those things that quickly—almost instantly—cause you to become angry or upset when your child […]

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Here is Scott Lancaster’s take on what developing athletes should do: Many sports programs and coaches at the youth elite level (soccer, lacrosse, ice hockey, baseball, basketball) strongly recommend that children specialize and play one sport year-round.   Don’t succumb to the pressure!  Doing so is in direct opposition to the Whole Child Sports philosophy of developing the whole athlete. […]

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