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Keeping Perspective in Youth Sports

Parents often take great pride in their children's athletic success. For example, parents likely show positive emotion when their child gets a hit in a game-winning situation, but too often also show negative emotion when their child strikes out. If your athlete's success is linked to your self-esteem as a parent, or maybe if you have high hopes for your child to play at higher levels, then emotional reactions and bad sportsmanship are more likely to happen. At the end of the day, baseball is just a game, it's supposed to be fun and enjoyable for everyone involved. In a year, it won't matter if someone made an error in the second inning of today's game.

So how do you know if you've lost perspective of youth sports? One way to find out is to ask a coach or parent that knows you, sees you at practice and games, and that you trust. Another way is to check for these warning signs:

  • Conversations at home are dominated by baseball. Either hours are spent reviewing and breaking down opponents, or they are spent giving your child feedback on their performance in the last game or practice they had.
  • Your child has little time to spend with friends because of the amount of time devoted to sports outside of practice and games, restricting their social activity.
  • Your child's education has become a second priority to competition and talent development.
  • During games or practices, your child often looks to you for approval.
  • Your child is overly nervous about practicing or playing, especially in front of you.
  • Arguments between you and your child are often related to baseball or other sports.


Shopping Advice for Baseball Bats

The holidays are coming and are you shopping for a new bat for the spring season? Here is a good document with some buying guidance to help you find that perfect bat. Remember that for all GBA Rookie, Mustang, Minor, Major and Pony Leagues, the bat must display a stamp of BPF 1.15. New bats will have this stamp so not to worry. For Pony, before purchasing a new bat, check with your Manager or League President as there may be limitations on barrel size.

Shop around but do check out www.justbats.com or http://www.homerunmonkey.com/. They ship for free, have a good warranty, excellent selection and even some demo and closeouts on prior year models. If you prefer to wait, plan for the GBA Shop Day Event at Dick's Sporting Goods in March where all GBA members can save 20% on baseball equipment and many other items throughout the store.



STOP Sports Injuries

Injuries in young athletes are on the rise, but elbow and shoulder injuries in children playing baseball are on the verge of becoming an epidemic according to many in the sports medicine field. Thousands of youth baseball players are seen each year complaining of elbow or shoulder pain. Damage or tear to the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) is the most common injury suffered and is often caused by pitchers throwing too much. This ligament is the main stabilizer of the elbow for the motions of pitching. When it becomes damaged, it can be difficult to repair and rehabilitate. To decrease your child's risk of sports injuries be sure to review the advice in this informative document from www.STOPsportsinjuries.org.

Noted surgeon Dr. James Andrews wants to convince parents that pushing their children into year-round sports can be dangerous to the youngsters' health. He felt compelled to write a book with Don Yaeger, a former associate editor at Sports Illustrated, called,  "Any Given Monday: Sports Injuries and How to Prevent Them, for Athletes, Parents and Coaches -- Based on My Life in Sports Medicine." "I started seeing a sharp increase in youth sports injuries, particularly baseball, beginning around 2000," Andrews told The Cleveland Plain Dealer in a telephone interview in February 2013. "I started tracking and researching, and what we've seen is a five-to sevenfold increase in injury rates in youth sports across the board. I'm trying to help these kids, given the epidemic of injuries that we're seeing. That's sort of my mission: to keep them on the playing field and out of the operating room."

Let's all work together to keep our children safe and free of repetitive and over use injuries