By Richard Dubin
I am a father of four (two boys and two girls) and have been involved in youth sports for over 22 years. I have coached them all at one point or another, and now I am coaching my youngest. I have seen a lot – some good, some bad.
I grew up in New York City as the only child of a single mom. As a kid, I played stickball, football and basketball, but playing sports then was so much different than it is today. At the youth level, sports were less structured, and parents often were much less involved. As engaged parents of youth athletes to-day, we can’t necessarily follow an example set by our own parents – and many of us feel we have a lot to learn.
Kids benefit from playing sports in so many ways. There are health benefits, of course, but sports also teach valuable life lessons about commitment, dedication, teamwork, time management, hard work, success and failure. The learning curve for some is steeper than for others.
There’s also a learning curve to being the parent of a youth athlete, as well as opportunities to grow as parents, coaches and friends. We may think we have all the answers, but if we are open there is so much we can learn. MVP Parent will become that missing link between what we think we know and how much more information is out there that can help improve the youth sports experience for us and our children. If we remain open and teachable, there is always room for growth.
My oldest son is 25. He graduated from Bentley University with a degree in marketing. He is living and working in Boston. He played youth sports from the age of 3. He played lacrosse, soccer and basketball as a kid, and still plays basketball as an adult. My other son is 21 and just graduated from Roger Williams University and is also very active in sports. As a kid, he also played soccer, basketball and lacrosse. My first daughter is 17 and a high school senior. She has also been playing sports from the age of 3 and has participated in soccer, lacrosse, dance, gymnastics and basketball. She has been playing varsity basketball since freshman year as well as AAU basketball and will be playing basketball in college. My youngest daughter is 12. She has participated in dance, gymnastics and soccer, and now is playing basketball.
I have experienced a lot, and I am still in it.
I have been thinking about the concept of creating a resource for parents of youth athletes for a long time. I have been involved in magazine publishing since 1991, and am currently the founder and publisher of Lower Extremity Review. LER is an evidence-based clinical magazine that educates many different medical professionals about the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of injuries. We have the most amazing team of editors and writers with an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience related to youth sports, and their contributions to this project are without parallel.
MVP Parent magazine will be the credible resource that parents can trust when it comes to their kids. We will be working with key opinion leaders and leading researchers in the fields of training, sports medicine, orthopedics, physical therapy and psychology. We will give you the tools to make the most of the youth sports experience for you and your children. I look forward to learning right along with you.