By Richard B. Dubin
We seem to be coming out of COVID-19 sports protocols and things are obviously changing. The past several months have brought some exciting sports opportunities for my daughters. My oldest plays basketball for Ithaca College and was able to play this season and the team won the Liberty League Chip and moved on to the tournament. What an incredible experience for her. My younger daughter was finally able to be on the basketball court. What a joy it has been for us to watch and for them to play. Engaging with our kids and checking in with them to see how they are doing will only further enhance that relationship and make sure they are in the right mindset to tackle what is in front of them. Being away from it for so long has made this communication even more important.
In past MVP Parent cover stories, we focused on speaking with the parents of youth athletes; after discussion with our team, we felt a conversation with the athletes themselves could be enlightening for parents. This issue takes a twist on the parent perspective by talking with the kids directly. Our cover story by Joshua Cupp captures the emotional, mental and spiritual well-being of two youth athletes. Check out the interviews to learn their views on their lives today.
Keeping with the mental game, Linda Sterling discusses how to help your young athlete build a mental game plan. Being aware and in touch with the mental aspect of youth sports is super important as a parent and will help take your child to the next level.
The National Athletic Trainers Association—NATA—also stays in tune with the mental health aspect of youth sports. Their piece delves into the signs of stress—and there are many—and what you can do as parents. Pay attention and communicate.
Helping your child navigate performance issues is another valuable discussion that we need to understand as parents and Greg Bach from National Alliance for Youth Sports offers up some suggestions.
The Sports Doctor is IN with Dr. Bob Weil tackles the challenge of drugs and youth sports.
We have an awesome piece on Training the Female Athlete by Warren Potash. There are differences and we must be aware of them as parents, coaches and trainers.
We are also always talking about technology and the benefits for youth athletes to obtain objective data while training to improve performance and reduce injury risk. Phil Stotter’s piece clearly outlines what tech means to youth sports.
As I am finishing up this issue and reading through all the incredibly valuable content, I am extremely grateful and humbled by the engagement, interaction and collaboration that we are creating with the MVP Parent community. A huge thanks goes out to everyone that has devoted their time, effort and energy to making the youth sports experience better and safer. P