Samantha Ykema

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Texas Youth Football Program: Ten Ways It Is Walking the Talk on Safety

Participation in youth sports in general, and in youth football in particular, is on the decline in some parts of the nation. One of the biggest factors driving the decline is a concern about injuries.<p>Lots of youth sports programs <i>say</i> they want to improve safety, but how many are actually making the …

Tom Brady is Right About Youth Sports

Youth sports have always been a part of my life: from having seven kids to founding an organization that for 34 years has tried to help bring sanity to kid's sports here in the U.S. and around the world.<p>So when I stumbled on an interview that Tom Brady had done recently on radio station WEEI in …

Why Youth Sports Participation Will Fall, Even If Kids Are Having Fun

A Washington Post article about declining youth sports participation in the United States is getting a lot of discussion, in part because of its diagnosis of the problem: that parents are putting too much pressure on kids and thus unintentionally hounding them out of sports.<p>More than 26 million …

Demographics

Jack Welch's Formula for Transforming Youth Sports

The latest from youth sports world: A youth football league was forced to cancel its season due to violent threats against league officials.<p>Nice. It's always great when adults provide positive role models for 12-year-olds.<p>Earlier this month, ammunition shells were placed at the front gate of the …

Don't Let Youth Sports Hijack Your Life

Over the past couple of weeks, my husband and I have been wrestling with the decision over whether or not to play soccer. By we, I mean our two daughters.<p>Steve and I aren't playing, but the commitment required of us as a family sometimes makes it seem that way: the thrice-weekly trips to the soccer …

It's Simpler Than You'd Think Not to Drown in the Youth Sports Cesspool

The Boston Globe didn’t ask me (I’m easy to get a hold of, Boston Globe!), but I’ll be bold enough to answer the questions it asked in a recent story about how parents can navigate the turbulent waters of the youth sports world. There is all sorts advice about being good consumers and going to …

Hobbies

The Art and Gift of Coaching: A Dialogue on Youth Development in Sports

<b>(Jointly Authored with Ryan Brazuk)</b><p>Coaching is an art. Better yet it's a gift. Having the opportunity to journey with young athletes, encouraging them, teaching them, motivating them, and seeing them realize their potential on the field/court and in life - that indeed is a gift.<p>But it's an art too. …

Obama plans conference on youth sports concussions

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama, who has said he would "have to think long and hard" before letting a son play football because of the risk of head injuries, is planning a summit this month on youth sports safety and concussions.<p>The White House announced the May 29 conference Thursday and …

Concussion

Hazing Still Common In Collegiate And Youth Sports

"80 percent of National Collegiate Athletic Association athletes say they have experienced some form of hazing..."<p>There is greater awareness of the dangers of hazing, but hazing itself is still common in U.S. youth and collegiate sports, and many involved may not recognize hazing actions when they …

Youth hockey concussions similar to other contact sports

Concussion rates in youth hockey may be similar to the injury risk with other high-contact sports, though many of the collisions in hockey appear to result from illegal moves on the ice, a U.S. study suggests.<p>Overall, the players experienced about 1.6 concussions for every 1,000 minutes of …

How crazy are youth sports these days? Ask college athletes

A major survey of NCAA student athletes released this week reveals what critics of youth sports have been saying for years: The system is really whacked.<p>College athletes reported specializing in their sports before the word teen is added to their ages. Many regret doing so, the survey found. The …

Student Athletes

Indoctrinating Our Children - Youth Sports and Concussions

<i>"Suck it up." "Play through the pain." "If you can't play, someone else will." "Quitting is not an option."</i><p>If you are the parent of a child who plays youth sports, these words probably reverberate through your soul. They are the most repeated phrases in youth and high school football. I know …

NCAA Survey Sheds Light on Athletes' Youth Sports Experience

Hey, you ambitious sports parents — the NCAA included, for the first time in its GOALS Study of the Student-Athlete Experience, questions about athletes’ youth sports experience. The questions are detailed enough that you could, if you wish, use it as a guide to getting your young athlete that …

The Greatest Problem in Youth Sports

This coming Saturday we have four basketball games: 8:30, 11:00, 12:30 and 7:00. One game each for our four oldest kids.<p>To some of y'all, that sounds ridiculous and chaotic. To me, it sounds awesome. I can't wait. My wife is in the first boat with y'all.<p>I'm coaching in three of those games and will …

Senators Push For More Equipment Oversight To Combat Youth Sports Concussions

The bill would allow a crackdown on companies that falsely claim their helmets can prevent injuries.<p>As Super Bowl week draws more attention to brain injuries in professional sports, a bipartisan group of federal lawmakers introduced legislation Thursday meant to help reduce the dangers of …

Football grew more than any other U.S. youth sport: survey | Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Football was the fastest-growing American sport for young players last year, according to a survey sponsored by the sport’s governing body.<p>Jan 17, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant (10) runs against Denver Broncos strong safety T.J. Ward …

After Killing Pickup Games, Adults Now On Way To Killing Recreational Youth Sports

A recent development in suburban New Orleans is a signal that parents’ desire (whether by choice or for fear of their kids being left behind) to put their children in travel sports at ever-earlier ages — and the enormous amounts of money to be made from this trend — is sucking the wind out of …

Sports Complex

Shaquille O'Neal to Assist in Improving Youth Sports in Cuba

As relations between the United States and Cuba begin to open up, sports inevitably are becoming a part of the process.<p>Former NBA great Shaquille O'Neal, never one to back down from a challenge or the spotlight, will be traveling to Havana in June as an ambassador for the White House. He will work …

Is The Win-at-All-Costs Culture Ruining Youth Sports?

It's no secret that at the highest levels of sport, some athletes, trainers, coaches and administrators will side-step the rules and do whatever it takes to win. But in an era where that culture has trickled-down from our television screens to our local sports leagues, and sometimes even in to our …

Bathroom and Locker Room Panic Gets Legislated into Youth Sports

Parents have a legitimate reason to worry when their child goes into a bathroom or locker room in the context of his or her youth sports participation: the continuing problem of sexual assault in the name of hazing perpetuated by their own teammates. Alas, this is not the problem being solved by …

Biomechanics and the Youth Pitching Injury Epidemic

Youth and high school pitchers are hurting now more than ever. Now some companies are trying to bring the biomechanics technology used by the pros, like wearables and motion capture, to homes and schools.<p>More than two million youth baseball players will take the field this spring in cities across …

Part II: Top 25 scandals in college football history

College football has not cornered the market on scandals in sports. But at minimum it’s one of the pillars of the house.<p>We’ve taken the time to …

College Football

College basketball player Nathan Fort shares powerful coming out post after being raped

A college basketball player who survived rape has shared his powerful coming out story after years of struggling with his sexuality.<p>Nathan Fort, who …

Nike Comments On Petition To Boycott 2017 All-Star Game In Charlotte

Controversy over North Carolina’s House Bill 2 has now reached The Swoosh.<p>Earlier this week, women’s advocacy group UltraViolet began circulating an …

LGBTQI

Southern Miss, former coach Donnie Tyndall hit with major sanctions

Southern Miss and former head coach Donnie Tyndall were slapped with a laundry list of sanctions by the NCAA on Friday.<p>According to an NCAA release, …

NCAA rule change opens door for unlimited texting to recruits

The NCAA made quite the controversial rule change on Friday with the decision to ban the practice of working at satellite camps for football coaches. …

Text Messaging

UNC scandal forces NCAA to redefine its academic misconduct policy

The UNC academic scandal made the NCAA rethink some of its policies and definitions for issues at hand. Here's what they were forced to change.<p>There …

Former Stanford swimmer convicted of sexually assaulting unconscious woman on campus

A former Stanford University swimmer was convicted Wednesday of sexually assaulting a woman he met at a fraternity party.<p>In a Palo Alto courtroom, the jury found Brock Turner, 20, guilty of three felony counts: assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated woman, sexually penetrating an …

Crime