fun in youth sports

How to Keep the Fun in Youth Sports

It was always the last thing my mother and father would say to me before dropping me off at soccer practice or any athletic endeavor I tried when I was a kid.

They would say, sometimes shout as I sprinted towards the field, “Do well, and have fun!”

It seems like such a simple concept when it comes to youth athletics. I mean, that alone should be the reason why kids are out there playing sports with their friends and getting in exercise as well.

But fun seems to be finding its way out of youth sports, at least according to a study done by the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Youth sports - multiple sports - year-round sports - Jackie Bledsoe

Why Your Kids Should Play Only One Sport…Each Season

My family is wrapping up one of the busiest seasons we’ve had. The summer time should be a time to unwind and relax, but for us, I have to admit, it has been a grind. And most of it has been self-induced. It’s probably the challenge that plagues most sports loving families. Multiple kids playing multiple sports. We did this all in the same season, instead of playing one sport…each season.

Now, don’t get me wrong, while it was a grind I still have thoroughly enjoyed everything, and so have our kids. But we did reach a point where I think our entire family got burned out. 

5 Core Values Every Youth Sports Team Should Have

young softball playerIf every youth sports team took the time to list their core values and then worked to implement them throughout the season, I think that things might look a bit differently in today’s youth sports culture.

Coaches and parents are so busy buying uniforms, finding a place to practice, setting up volunteer lists, and organizing equipment that it’s way too easy for them to forget the value of youth sports.

If you are a coach, or a parent with influence on your child’s team, it’s time to establish some team core values. These are my top 5, in no specific order:

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Are You Ready to Go Barefoot? Your Barefoot Running Test

Barefoot running has become a popular trend in recent years, infusing the market with many options for barefoot and minimal footwear. While running in these shoes may seem exciting and interesting, they also increase the workload that the body is used to doing, and force the body to stabilize and support itself in new ways. Inadequate strength and stability open the door for injuries to occur. Use these tests to assess whether or not you’re ready for a minimal ride.

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Running Form: 3 Ways to Run More Efficiently

Whether you’re hitting up the summer road race circuit or getting your fitness level up for team tryouts, everyone can stand to brush up on good running form and technique.  Avoid losing precious energy while running by making sure you are following these three tips for running more efficiently.

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Off-season Training Advice for Athletes and Their Parents

With athletes aspiring to compete at higher levels in sports each year, the summertime off-season becomes an important training period. Athletes of all ages have many options for off-season training that will take their game to another level. Unfortunately, with so many options, making summer plans can become hectic, making you feel overwhelmed and frustrated.

Understandably, between camps, clinic, cross-training, gym memberships, and other training offerings, the landscape can be challenging to navigate. Let us help with some advice for how you, or your child, can train over the summer:

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Sports Injuries: 3 Ways to Avoid Injury During Training

Unfortunate and disappointing, injuries sustained on the field come with territory of playing competitive sports. However many sports injuries are actually sustained or manifest during off-season training or practice, outside of official competition.  These injuries can be avoided by doing the following in your training; improving functional core stability, incorporating dynamic stretching into your workouts, and trying trigger point release methods.

1. Functional Core Stabilization

You’ve likely heard the benefits of working your core, and let’s face it: we all want that six pack. But the benefits of core work come from helping the body to stabilize the hips and torso while running. This requires functional and dynamic exercises that force your body to stabilize through motion.

tim howard

How USMNT’s Tim Howard rose to World Cup fame and became an internet sensation

Unlike the USMNT’s 2010 World Cup exit in the Round of 16 against Ghana, this year’s tournament exit has left seeds of brightness and hope amongst the ruins of tattered hopes and shattered dreams of glory.

This World Cup team for USA had a progressive, very resolute coach in Jurgen Klinsmann, and a lot of young, promising, and diverse talent.  This team of course included the record-breaking heroics of Goalkeeper Tim Howard who has consistently proven his value to the US through his defense feats.