Youth Sports

Help us help DreamBikes - 2019 NASC SLF Beneficiary

 Posted on: February 13 2019
NASC Sports Legacy Fund to raise money for Knoxville’s DreamBikes Every year, the NASC Sports Legacy Fund awards an annual grant to an organization that provides opportunities in sports and encourages a healthy lifestyle. This contribution is part of the legacy NASC leaves. This year, the NASC Sports Legacy Fund is benefiting an organization in need in the host city of the 2019 NASC Symposium, Knoxville, TN, and we need your help to do so! Since 2009, the NASC Sports Legacy Fund has donated more than $140,000 to beneficiaries in the host cities of the NASC Symposium. DreamBikes, the 2019 beneficiary, is an organization that strategically places their stores in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods to give paid, hands-on job training to teenagers. Employees learn how to refurbish bikes, use POS software, and deliver great customer service. DreamBikes provides lifelong skills to their teen employees, helping them to shift gears and find a bright future. Help us, help Drea...

Creating a Sports Tourism Boom in 2019

 Posted on: January 11 2019
“We under promise and over-deliver.” That’s what Visit Baton Rouge President and CEO Paul Arrigo told WAFB is a key to the sports tourism boom in the area. It may take a lot of us by surprise, but it seems to be working for the area Baton Rouge will be host to the US Soccer regional youth championships in June, which is worth about $20 million to the area, Marucci World Series Championships in July, and Youth Basketball of America’s Winter Nationals in December. One of the new attractions city leaders expect will bring people to the city is Topgolf. The new location is set to open soon and is the first in Louisiana. Arrigo told WAFB that events and attractions like Topgolf bring people to Baton Rouge, and in turn they spend their money around the area at restaurants, hotels, and retail.   Read full article by WAFB.

Back to School (Recruiting)

 Posted on: January 11 2017
Youngsters who are involved in sports, we hope, are involved for the right reasons: Learning teamwork, staying active, honing social skills. A few are athletically gifted enough that they can look forward to a career at the next level, be it high school, college or beyond. Whether you work with youngsters in camps, in AAU-type organizations or at school, the process of playing with one eye on a scholarship is a stressful one. First, the facts, courtesy the NCAA: Eight million kids are participating in high school sports. Only 480,000 of them (about 6 percent) will eventually compete in collegiate athletics at an NCAA program. And only 56 percent of those athletes will receive “some level” of scholarship assistance, and that amount averages less than $11,000 per student-athlete. And remember, many scholarships are “partial” scholarships, especially when you are dealing with the so-called Olympic sports of track and field, soccer and the like. Even baseball ...

No Excuse Zone

 Posted on: December 19 2016
It may be holiday time, but for many in youth sports, it’s coming up on tournament time. During holiday breaks many teams, whether they’re affiliated with a school or with an AAU-type organization, use the time away from school for traveling tournaments. So now may be a good time to listen to one of soccer’s legends, Mia Hamm, on how parents should handle their kids in sports. In a speech recently in Colorado Springs, she offered this bit of advice: “Resist the urge to make excuses for your kids.” Mia Hamm is now a sports mom herself, and in that role hears other sports parents blame the refs, the coaches, even their kids’ teammates if Johnny or Mary doesn’t have a good game. “They look up to you,” she told the crowd. “They are so vulnerable after a defeat. They don’t need to hear, ‘Oh, my, if Suzie had just passed that ball to you.’ Or ‘If that ref had a clue. Somebody needs to talk to him....

Everyone’s a Winner

 Posted on: December 12 2016
You know the drill: At youth tournaments, there are row upon rows of trophies, medals, etc. for everyone. Not just the members of the team that won, but EVERYONE. Because we want all the players to feel valued and to get a reward just for participating. Pittsburgh Steeler’s linebacker James Harrison famously railed against participation trophies, going as far as taking away his kids’ awards, saying he wanted them to earn their trophies. And now, add Louisville women’s basketball coach Jeff Walz to the list of those who want more of an effort from his players than just showing up. Earlier this season, after a particularly poor showing (his opinion) by his team in a basketball, game, Coach Walz blasted the “participation trophy” mentality of players. “We just live right now in a generation of kids that are coming through, everybody gets a damn trophy,” he said. “You finish last, you come home with a trophy. Are you kidding me? What...

You’re never too young…

 Posted on: November 7 2016
Carolina Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton has made headlines lately, not just for his play on the field, but for his complaints to the NFL Commissioner off the field. Newton, a strong and mobile quarterback, has been hit hard this season, with few if any penalties called for the hits. He’s said he “doesn’t feel safe” on the field anymore, an issue he and his team have brought up to Commissioner Roger Goodell. The continuing discussion on when, or if, football is ever played safety was brought up again in a recent article in The Atlantic. The article quotes Christopher Whitlow, chief of neuroradiology at Wake Forest School of Medicine, who wanted to see how head impact affects developing brains. His team studied male football players between ages 8 and 13 over the course of a season, recording “head impact data” using a Head Impact Telemetry System to measure force, which was correlated with video of games and practices. The findings, publ...

Variety Is the Spice

 Posted on: October 27 2016
At the October NASC Market Segment Meetings, a lot of the talk among attendees was focused on keeping kids involved in sports. As we’ve noted, by the time young athletes hit early high school, participation drops dramatically and with an organization like NASC, kids playing sports is vital to keeping the organization, and the industry, growing.  A recent article on ESPNW takes the youth sports discussion one step further—why you want your young athlete to be involved in multiple sports in this day and age of sport specialization. The author, sports reporter (and sports mom) Michelle Smith, gives five reasons why it’s good for kids to play several sports, including fewer overuse injuries, less chance for emotional burnout, exposure to different kids and different roles and not putting all your sports eggs into one basket.   The final point is perhaps important in the discussion of keeping kids playing sports. “Playing only one sport limits y...

Caring for the young athlete

 Posted on: October 10 2016
As a rights holder or event site manager, you are very familiar with the rules and regulations of holding an event, as well as the insurance and liability coverage that you need to follow to make sure the event goes off smoothly. As a matter of course, most events are required to have medical personnel on site, in case of injury. Often, the medical provider will also be listed as a sponsor of the event. But how do you know that the medical personnel on hand are the ones who can treat the young athlete? According to a 2014 ESPN sports poll, more than 87 percent of parents worry about their children getting hurt while playing sports. Injuries, from a knee scrape to more serious fractures and tears, are not uncommon in youth sports. Getting the proper treatment quickly is important, both for the athlete and for you as the event provider. In a recent ESPNW article, “Helping your athlete kids recover from injury the right way,” author (and mom) Sharon Van Epps shares a ...

Do-it-yourself coverage

 Posted on: October 4 2016
If there is a universal complaint heard from many event organizers, it’s this one: “No one ever comes to cover my event.” You can fill in the blank as to who “no one” is—local newspaper, television stations, etc. Truth be told, it doesn’t matter who that media entity may be. There is a good chance, unless you’re holding a national or state championship or a huge community event (think marathon weekends), the media coverage is more than likely to be sparse. Why is this? The quick answer is, media doesn’t operate the way it used to. The longer answer is, most media outlets have fewer people feeding more media channels. That means whatever story they’ve been assigned to do, they have to contribute a report to the ‘traditional’ media (TV newscast, print newspaper) as well as to the website and social media channels. So they’re doing a lot more with one story. That leaves little time to cover severa...

Tragedy on the field

 Posted on: September 26 2016
We talk a lot in this space about the good that youth sports offers our kids, from exercise to discipline to life lessons. But students in northern Ohio were handed one life lesson this past weekend that we wish they didn’t have to learn at such a young age. Andre Jackson, a Euclid (Ohio) High School football player, died Sunday, following injuries he suffered during a Friday night football game. A junior fullback and outside linebacker, Jackson died after he was hurt during the school's game against Solon High School on a special teams play. Euclid High School head football coach Jeff Rotsky said the incident happened during a "completely normal" play. "It was a pooch kick," he said. "He was going for the ball, and their guys were going for the ball, and I think he got kicked or kneed." The school district said Jackson walked off the field after the play, went to the hospital, was examined and was later released. No cause of death has b...
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