MoGo Sport is dedicated to promoting awareness on Youth Sports Safety. Young athletes are often unaware of the dangers that come with being involved in sports. It is up to parents, coaches and administrators to educate themselves and others on the risks and necessary precautions to take in order to protect the well-being of children playing sports.
The following are some very alarming statistics on youth sport safety:
- There were 120 sports-related deaths last year
- Each day 8,000 children are treated in emergency rooms for sports-related injuries
- Ages 15-17 experience the highest rate of emergency room visits for sports injuries
- High School athletes suffer 2 million injuries, 500,000 doctor visits and 30,000 hospitalizations each year
- There are 3 times as many catastrophic football injuries among high school athletes as college athletes
- 62% of organized sports-related injuries occur during practices
- Only 42% of schools national fall short of the federally recommended nurse-to-student ratio
Source: Youth Sports Safety Alliance
It is impossible to entirely remove the presence of injuries in the sports world. However, improving awareness will minimize the severity of such injuries and reduce the frequency in which they occur. It is not only important to help spread awareness about the risk that comes with being involved in youth sports, but it is imperative to take precautionary measures for the future. The Youth Sports Safety Alliance is asking various groups to commit to the same guidelines that they have already agreed to follow:
- Ensure that youth athletes have access to health care professionals who are qualified to make assessments and decisions
- Educate parents, athletes, coaches, teachers and others about the signs and symptoms of sports injuries and conditions
- Ensure pre-participation exams before play begins and, where appropriate, conduct baseline testing; visit our MoGo Page dealing with this subject @ http://www.mogosport.com/concussion-testing-awareness
- Ensure that sports equipment, uniforms, playing surfaces and environmental conditions are checked for safety and best conditions
- Write to state legislations and members of Congress, expressing concerns.
- Educate players and others that there’s a difference between pain and injury, and work to eliminate the culture of “playing through pain” without assessment.
- Ensure that both general and sport-specific safety education be a priority for every administrator, coach, parent and player
For more information please visit www.youthsportssafetyalliance.org
Some of the groups that are now working with the Youth Sports Safety Alliance include but are not limited to the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and the National Center for Sports Safety. For a full list of alliance members visit http://www.youthsportssafetyalliance.org/AllianceMembers.htm
Here at MoGo Sport we want to help educate those that are involved in sports and make them aware of the risk and consequences that come with avoiding youth sports injuries. The fact that our mouthguards are flavored will motivate youth athletes to constantly wear their mouthguard. As we like to say here, “ MoGo Mouthguards are the mouthguard that stays in your mouth.” For more information on MoGo Sport you can visit our website at www.mogosport.com.
It is critical for parents and coaches to help motivate children who are playing youth sports to stay positive and have fun. Too often young athletes get frustrated after they don’t meet their high expectations and then they proceed to give up.
Young kids feel like they need to get a hit every time they’re at-bat or make every basket they shoot. The truth of the matter is that these goals and expectations are impossible to achieve. It’s great for these young athletes to be ambitious and goal-oriented, but it is essential to their success that they set reachable goals.
When young athletes get frustrated it is often related to their expectations. They want to be perfect in their play when realistically all they are doing is setting themselves up for failure and disappointment. It is inevitable that children are going to drop passes or miss goals or make errors. It’s important for parents and coaches to understand that children’s unattainable goals can be detrimental to their experience.
When kids are constantly thinking about their high and often unrealistic expectations it takes away from their performance. They focus on achieving their goals more than playing the game and having fun. As soon as the child makes a mistake or two and the goals become out of reach, they get frustrated and sometimes tend to give up. Once they lose their confidence and their attitude weakens, performance drops along with their enthusiasm.
As sports parents and coaches, you need to help children establish realistic goals that can actually be achieved. Helping them improve on little things will add up to bigger achievements in the long run. Having high expectations that are rarely accomplished take away from a child’s confidence and overall experience with a game they are supposed to be having fun with. Help keep kids motivated by helping them set goals that they can reach. The sense of accomplishment that comes with successfully obtaining a goal will help build a child’s confidence and improve on their performance, ultimately resulting in them having an enjoyable experience.
One of the biggest challenges for sports kids today is our society’s view of achievement. We live in a world that rewards perfectionism in school, sports and work. Many parents and coaches become frustrated with their kids’ untapped physical talent. They constantly worry about their kids not living up to their full potential. Children are often too hard on themselves, demanding perfect performances and causing them to break-down when they make mistakes.
Perfectionists are very hard-working athletes and highly motivated, but too often for the wrong reasons. The top 8 signs of a perfectionist athlete are:
- Afraid of making mistakes
- Fearful of letting others down if they make mistakes
- Want to succeed so badly that it makes them anxious and afraid of failing
- Worry too much about what other people think about them
- Try too hard to ensure their performance is “perfect”
- Perform better in practice than game situations
- Have unrealistic or very strict expectations about their performance
- View performance as either good or bad, with no middle ground
There are two sides to the mentality of a perfectionist. The good thing about them is that they like to work hard and strive to make their performance perfect. Perfectionists often have a strong work ethic, are committed to reaching their goals, work hard in practice and strive to learn more and improve their game. Coaches can count on them to show up and give their all, but their expectations are often too high. This same work ethic often restricts perfectionist athletes and holds them back in competition because they want to succeed so badly. When they don’t meet their high expectations and make mistakes they get frustrated and fail to fully utilize their talents. Perfectionist athletes are often driven too much by the fear of failing and they worry too much about results (i.e. the score, the points they’ve scored, their statistics or the wins they have achieved. When they worry or try to avoid making mistakes they can’t play with the freedom and creativity it takes to learn, feel confident and excel in their performance.
As parents and coaches, you should identify the high expectations that are hurting your kid’s confidence and performance. Encourage them to replace their often unattainable goals with small and simple things to strive for. Remind your perfectionist athletes that sports are all about having fun and not producing the best numbers. Today, kids feel like they need to be the top scorers, they should make all their shots, and everything they do should be perfect.
When considering the previously mentioned, perhaps Michael Jordan said it best:
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Team sports have become increasingly expensive over the years. Not only are parents expected to supply their children with sports equipment, but today’s sports parent also must provide for uniforms, team fees and travel costs. It has been estimated that on average, many families spend at least $2,000 a year on sports-related expenses for their children! The following tips can help you save money on your children’s’ athletic careers:
- Buy used equipment: You can find a great deal of barely used gear at resale stores such as Play it Again Sports, in online ads such as eBay and Craigslist, in newspaper ads and at yard sales. You can save as much as 40% by purchasing sports equipment through such places.
- Know when not to buy used equipment: You must be very cautious when buying used safety equipment like helmets and face masks. Other gear like shoes and baseball gloves are also risky because they are most likely molded to the last owner’s body.
- Sell your own used stuff: If your child outgrows some of their old gear, you can always resell them at such places like mentioned from tip 1.
- Get on the right mailing lists: If your child plans on playing sports for an extended period of time, it’s a good idea to get on catalog and e-mail lists for your favorite stores. Take advantage of coupons and other deals to reduce costs as much as possible.
- Keep your options open: Buy equipment that can serve multiple purposes whenever it’s possible. For example, a utility baseball glove can cover numerous positions as opposed to buying specific gloves for each position.
- Save on team travel costs: You can find discounts on flights and hotel accommodations through sites like orbitz.com and priceline.com. Try to reduce food costs on the road by staying at hotels that offer free continental breakfast or provide refrigerators where you can store easy-to-eat items.
- Have your kid contribute: Your child can help cover costs and other fees by taking responsibility and helping to fulfill chores around the house in return.
- Conduct an honest assessment: Determine how motivated and interested your child is with the sports they play. If they genuinely like the sport, are talented and potentially have an opportunity for a scholarship down the road then it could be worth it to pay for higher fees for higher levels of competition. However, if there is minimal interest or motivation, you might be better off signing up your child for more of a recreation level type of league.
- Know when to say when: Sometimes you might need to consider limited the number of sports your child participates in. Seasons can overlap and sport involvement can become overwhelming.
- Seek out charities: Searching the internet can help you find charities that exist for specific youth sports. You can either donate used gear to such charities or approach them for some assistance if you really need it.
Providing for your children to play youth sports isn’t always cheap, but for the majority of the time the benefits far outweigh the expenses. Being involved in organized sports teaches youths a wide variety of values that they can carry with them throughout the rest of their lives. Interacting with peers and learning about the responsibilities that come with being a member of a team help children mature and experience valuable life lessons. The continual physical exercise will also help to benefit your child and the involvement in extra-curricular activity will help them avoid any bad influences and also prevent them from watching too much television or playing too many videogames. When investing your hard earned money on your child’s youth sports career just remember who you’re doing it for and know that there are several ways to reduce some of the costs.