Friday, October 23, 2015

10 Signs of a Good Youth Sports Coach

While youth sports coaches come in all shapes and sizes, with different types of personalities, here are the ten things a parent should look for as signs of a good youth sports coach:

  1. The coach has demonstrated his/her commitment to the health, safety and development of players by becoming trained in child development, safety (first aid/CPR/use of AED, injury prevention and treatment) and in the sport he/she is coaching; 
  2. The coach teaches, models and demands respectful behavior, fairness and good sportsmanship;
  3. The coach insists on proper sideline behavior by parents; 
  4. The coach sets realistic, age appropriate expectations for athletes; T
  5. he coach understands gender differences but avoids reinforcing culturally-based gender stereotypes; 
  6. The coach Is patient, stays calm and never loses his cool; 
  7. The coach doesn't unnecessarily intrude on the learning process during practices and games, knows when to teach, emphasizes the positive, makes practices fun and teaches that sports are as much about having fun than about winning; 
  8. The coach adjusts his coaching style to fit the individual and team. Like a good teacher, the coach gets to know his players as individuals, is sensitive to their needs, both in sports and their personal lives, understands what works and doesn't work to motivate an individual player to do his or her best, and helps them learn new skills. By being child- rather than adult-centered, he allows every player to express their individuality and realize their full potential 
  9. The coach looks for team-building opportunities. She looks for chances to help her players bond as an effective and cohesive team by, for example, holding team parties, going to high school games together as a team, team carwashes, and encouraging high fives, rally caps and "dog piles." I used to bring a cooler with popsicles and other frozen goodies for break time during practices. It is the little things that go such a long way to bring together a group 
  10. The coach Is sociable, empathetic and has good communication skills. 
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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Kids who play multiple team sports are 40 percent less likely to be obese!

Parents who want fit kids shouldn’t make them diet, they should make them play team sports. New research finds that children who play on several sports teams are nearly 40 percent less likely to be obese. "Team sport participation had the strongest and most consistent inverse association with weight status," wrote researcher Keith M. Drake, of the Hood Center for Children and Families at Dartmouth in Lebanon, New Hampshire, and colleagues in Pediatrics, in a study published July 16. "Obesity prevention programs should consider strategies to increase team sport participation among all students." "Adolescents who played on three sports teams or more in the last year were 27 percent less likely to be overweight/obese and 39 percent less likely to be obese compared with adolescents who did not play on any sports teams," write the researchers. The researchers also found that teens who walked or biked to school more than three days a week had a 33 percent lower risk of obesity than those who took the bus or rode in a car. In the study, researchers surveyed 1,718 New Hampshire and Vermont high school students and their parents about their daily habits, diets, weight, and physical activity. Other factors associated with a lower risk of being overweight or obese included extracurricular physical activity and eating fruits and vegetables. A separate study published this March in the journal Obesity finds that the number one way parents can help an obese child lose weight is to lose weight themselves. In the study, parents who served as role models and shed weight themselves proved to be the most inspiring and motivational method for their own children -- more than making changes to the home food environment or enrolling kids in physical activities, researchers said. (Source:

Cleaning Your Used Sports Equipment! Easy steps you can take with household products!

A sports parent’s worst nightmare is opening up their player’s equipment bag three months from now and getting enveloped in a cloud of funk that makes their hair stand on end. Smelly athletic gear is a fact of life for most youth athletes, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something you can do to stop odor in its tracks! A little proactive maintenance goes a long way in minimizing sports stuff stink.

Here are a few tips to remove odor from sports gear:

Get everything dry.

You don’t need to wash your youth athlete’s equipment after every game (let’s be honest, washing hockey and football pads isn’t a quick chore) but you should at least hang everything out to dry. Think about a wet bath towel they lay crumpled up for a few days; doesn’t smell too fresh does it? Bacteria thrive in moist environments like wet shoes or gloves, which causes odor. Weather permitting, hang your child’s gear out to dry outside in the sun after every game. If the weather is bad, squeeze them in over your laundry machine or in the garage (if the funk is too much to handle).

Invest in baking soda.

Baking soda is great at removing odors from just about anything, including sports equipment. You can sprinkle some baking soda inside your player’s cleats at the end of the day to minimize foot odor, pre-soak their uniforms in a baking soda solution ((4 tablespoons baking soda in 1 quart warm water) if your regular detergent doesn’t seem to be doing the job or throw some in their equipment bag to fight the odor battle for you overnight.

Clean gear with a vinegar solution.

Getting equipment like helmets, pads and skates clean isn’t as easy as throwing a jersey in the wash on extra hot. To get rid of the odor causing bacteria lingering on your youth athlete’s equipment, fill a spray bottle with equal parts vinegar and warm water and spray their gear down! You don’t have to wipe the vinegar solution, just wait for it to evaporate. If your player can’t stand the smell of vinegar on their equipment (even if it is an improvement of their regular sports gear stink), add a few drops of lavender or another oil to mellow out the smell. You can also use a vinegar solution to wipe down your own sports equipment like a yoga mat or free weights to help kill odor causing bacteria.