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Encourage Lifelong Fitness Early

Mayo Clinic staff share some insights for parents to think about when exposing children to sports.  Beyond the common reasons why parents want their children to play sports, Mayo Clinic recommends sports playing and kid-friendly physical activities as a gateway to lifelong fitness.

Introduce your children to physical activity, either with your own interests or experimenting with new activities or sports that your child seems naturally drawn to.  Here are some age appropriate activities for youngsters:

Ages 2-5

  • Running
  • Tumbling
  • Throwing
  • Catching
  • Swimming

Ages 6-9

  • T-ball, softball or baseball
  • Running
  • Soccer
  • Gymnastics
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Martial arts

As you introduce your child to different physical activities, be positive and encouraging.  Take note of your child’s enjoyment level and natural aptitudes as they try new activities and support them in the direction that they are most comfortable in.  Don’t forget that not all children are drawn to organized sports, be sure to encourage and promote physical activties be it an organized sport or other activities like hiking and biking.  Whatever choice your child makes, make it a point to find the time to support or participate with them in their physical activity of choice.

For details: Children and sports: Choices for all ages

Check out:  Future Stars Rising Stars Camp

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Great Athletes Who Played Two Sports

If you are thinking of multi-sports as an option for your child, find out more about professional multi-sports athletes.  Athlon Sports and Life shares a list of 33 athletes that played more than one sport.  Here are some of these athletes:

  1. Jim Brown was probably one of the greatest running backs in football history.  But did you know that he is also  a member a member of the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame and both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame?
  2. Danny Ainge is currently the general manager and President of Basketball Operations for the Boston Celtics.  Known for winning two NBA championships with the Celtics as a player and one as President/GM. He may be less known for having played three seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays.
  3. So did you know that Ed “Too Tall” Jones was also a boxer and a three-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman and Super Bowl XII champion?
  4. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, famous WWF wrestler turned actor, also played for the University of Miami’s 1991 national championship team and was team mates with future NFL star, Warren Sapp.
  5. And then there was Michael Jordan.  Most likely to have been the greatest basketball player of all-time and he also played 127 games with the Chicago White Sox’s Double-A affiliate Birmingham Barons.

For more information:  33 Best Two-Sport Athletes of All-Time

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Check out:  Future Stars Multi-Sports Camp

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Why Multi-sports?

Quite a few parents are choosing to have their child specialize in one sport.  There  are numerous reasons why parents seem locked into early youth sport specialization. Perhaps a contributing factor is the phenomenal success of certain eminent athletes that started specializing early. However, many in the youth sports field feel that early specialization is detrimental to young athletes. Parenting.com agrees, here are some of the reasons why they value engaging in multi-sports:

  • improving fitness
  • encouraging motivation
  • building confidence
  • enhancing creativity
  • indulging in the enjoyment of sports

Here are some reasons why they support participation in multi-sports :

  • specializing early can lead to greater chances of injuries
  • multi-sports athletes burn out less
  • multi-sports athletes build up higher sports I.Q.
  • multi-sports athletes learn to compete in different settings

Children learn a variety of skills when playing multi-sports, many of these skills transfer from one sport to another.  Different sports also build and require different levels of focus and endurance. A broad exposure to sports, coaches and teams will enhance your athlete’s sport aptitude.

For more information:   Why Playing Multiple Sports—Not Just One—Is Best for Kids

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Check out:  Future Stars Multi-Sports Camp

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Surfing on the Horizon?

Sam from Over the Dune has some good tips for those starting surfing:

Do:

  • start on a big stable board.
  • know your limits and RESPECT the sea
  • rent a surfboard and enage in conversations with the guys behind the counter, they usually have a lot of experience in the area and you can learn a lot from them
  • travel and try out different locations
  • physically search for breaks, don’t just stick to maps, look around for yourself
  • remember patience is a virtue

Don’t:

  • act like you know it all or else you will be missing out on learning from others’ experiences
  • get upset or be afraid when you bail, falling off is all part of the process
  • just jump into the water, watch and observe the waves, then pick your spot
  • brag about your traveling experiences

Surf is up somewhere.  Relish!

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For details:  Beginners Do’s and Don’ts

Check out:  Future Stars Adventure Camp

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Health Benefits Associated With Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is an indoor or outdoor sport with the goal of reaching an end point like the summit or the top of a structure with the aid of specialized equipment.  Rock climbing requires vigorous physical and mental stamina, and because it is a dangerous sport it is vital that you educate yourself on the appropriate climbing techniques and that you use the right specialized climbing equipment for safety reasons.  Rock climbing is a dynamic sport and here are some of its health benefits as shared by Health Fitness Revolution and Samir Becic, author of the book ReSYNC Your Life :

  1. Combines cardio and strength into a single workout
  2. Strengthens and tones muscles
  3. Bolsters mental strength
  4. Reduces stress
  5. Burns calories

Aside from its health benefits, rock climbing is an exciting and challenging sport.

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Read more:  Top 10 Health Benefits of Rock Climbing

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Choose the Team or Club That Fits Your Soccer Player Best

Bill Dooley of Player’s First shares some tips on how you can scout out either the right team or club that will give your soccer player the best coaching available.  Bill  compiled three lists after researching a soccer forum that had thirty experienced coaches in the mix.  Here is a sample of what you should be seeking:

1.  Watch practices of prospective coaches

  • Assess how the players are treated.
  • Are all the players being coached?
  • How are mistakes handled?
  • Do the coaches and players leave the practice in a positive way.

2.  Attend a couple of games

  • Does the team spirit remain positive, regardless of the score?
  • Are you comfortable with the coach’s tone throughout the game?
  • Take note of the demeanor of the parents in the sidelines.

3.  Ask the coach  more questions

  • Ask about the club’s mission statement.  Does it incorporate character and life skills?
  • Ask the coach about their philosophy for developing players.
  • Ask the coach what are the most important things they want their player to have achieved at the end of the season.

Take the time to find the best coach or club and do it together with your athlete.

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For more information:  Finding the Right Team and Club for Your Child

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What Goes into Making A Medical Clearance Decision?

Soccer America’s Dr. Mishra outlines a common frame of reference that a team physician would use to clear a player to join the team on game day that was co-authored by Dr. Gord Matheson:

1. Medical factors – includes an evaluation of the injury, the athlete’s healing stage, pain level, function, etc. Determination assesses appropriate healing, minimal pain, and acceptable function.

2. Sport-based risk evaluation – an evaluation done together with the athlete to assess the risks, both near-term and long-term risks of participation in the game.

3. Situation specific modifiers – these are more complicated considerations to navigate as it includes factors like the timing in the sports season (e.g. World Series, Tennis finals., etc ), athlete and coach input, financial implications, pressure of meeting fan expectations, etc.

The decision is usually unique to each situation as it includes complex factors to consider.  Dr. Bert Mandelbaum, the longtime national team physician for U.S. Soccer and Advisor to Sideline Sports Doc shared, “No matter the situation, whether it is a practice with very young players, a club team in a championship, or a professional in the World Cup there’s one thing we must do always: put the player first.”

For more details:  Making the game day ‘go’ or ‘no go’ decision

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How to Cope with Fear Before or During a Game

You are hard core when you practice, your skills are solid, you incorporate coach’s directions well, and you live and  love basketball.  Yet, before every game and sometimes even during the game — you feel that tight knot in your stomach and you recognize it clearly as fear.  Why?  Truth is it is normal for any competitive basketball player who plays with passion and desires to get their team on the right side of the score board.

See what Inspirational Basketball shares on how to manage these fears.  Studies show that this angst can stem from:

  • High expectations – external or internal
  • Previous injury

Whatever the cause of your fear, work on training your mindset, and here are some tips to focus on:

  • Remind yourself that it is just a game and that you will play well to help your team
  • Concentrate on the current play, give this moment your best, and don’t worry about the outcome
  • Focus on your breathing, if you start to feel anxious
  • If you are worried about re-injuring yourself, remind yourself that you have been medically cleared to return to the sport
  • Basketball teaches you much more that just winning
  • Smile and be happy that you are playing a game that you love

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For details: How to Overcome Fear Before & During a Basketball Game

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One Way to Measure Your Vertical Jump?

The Hoops Geek shares how you can measure your vertical jump with your IPhone.  Here are some of the functions that the free application offers:

  1. Dunk calculator
  • Can help you estimate your standing reach from your height
  • Helps you figure out how high you have to jump to get a dunk

2.   Measures your vertical jump

  • Using video analysis you can measure your vertical jump
  • Using your IPhone’s SlowMo feature you  can quite accurately analyze your vertical jump height

Check out the app on your Iphone and find out how it can work best for you.

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For detailed information:  What’s My Vertical: Measure your vertical jump with your iPhone

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Debunking Myths About Kids’ Computer Coding

Coding already plays a huge role in the 21st century and its significance will only accelerate in the future.  There is no doubt that learning to code is beneficial for all children to access jobs in the future but there are also other benefits other than entering the computer industry.  Therefore, it is important to point out that learning to code is important and relevant for all children.  STEAM Powered Family shares 5 myths about computer coding for kids and here are a few:

Myth #1:  You have to be brilliant

Give coding a chance, If kids can start learning to code in kindergarten, you should give it a try.  Coding is based on a foundation of algorithms but the reality is that you can teach yourself the basics with free resources and games.  “Coding is more about creativity, common sense, dedication, and hard work.”  Basic algebra and strong puzzle and problem-solving skills are helpful but not required.  Take the first step to learn the basics, practice practice practice, and keep adding on new skills as your comfort level increases.

Myth #3:  You have to be a super nerd to fit in

Unfortunately, there are stereotypes out there about who codes.  Sadly, too many parents and kids are swayed by this negative impression and allow this false representation to prevent them from pursuing coding.  Don’t allow an inaccurate stereotype to prevent you from learning a skill that will reap benefits and open doors for you.

Myth #5:  One language is better than another

Which language is best for you to learn?  The answer is pursue the language that makes the most sense for you and the manner in which you want to use your coding skills.  Do some research on the industry, discover what areas you are interested in, and learn the language that will give you the skills you need for the industry sector that interests you.

For more information:  Busting 5 Myths About Computer Coding For Kids

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