Performance-Enhancing Supplements

Evidence shows that performance-enhancing supplements are being used by youth athletes, some as young as 13-14, in order to improve their performance.

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Sports Nutrition for Young Athletes

Eating the right foods and drinking plenty of fluids before, during and after each training session ultimately helps young athletes perform better, have reduced fatigue and additionally, prevent them getting ill.

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Pros and Cons of Supplementation and Ergogenic Aids

Are supplements and ergogenic aids worth the risk?

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Dangers of Sports Drinks

Some athletes may be tempted to consume sports drinks instead of water to prevent electrolyte imbalances. Unfortunately, these beverages are anything but healthy.

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Welcome to the Educated Sports Parent! Here you will find information on a wide range of issues having to do with youth sports, including Readiness for Participation, Benefits of Participation, Developmentally Appropriate Program Modifications, Overuse Injuries, Supplements, and much more. This site is for parents, coaches, league administrators, or anyone who is interested in helping children to have the best youth sports experience possible.

You do not have to look far to find examples of what is wrong with youth sports. In fact, the Citizenship Through Sports Alliance gives youth sports a less than acceptable grade in its most recent report card. The Educated Sports Parent is aimed at giving those involved with youth sports the knowledge and tools to make the youth sports experience an enjoyable one for all involved.

The most important goal of any youth sports organization should be that every single participant has a fun and enjoyable time. Making youth sports fun for kids helps turn them on to a lifetime of physical activity. The current obesity epidemic among both children and adults underscores the need for keeping kids turned on to physical activity. We cannot afford to allow youth sports to be a negative experience that leaves children with little desire to continue being active as adults. Unfortunately, for many children it is.

I challenge you to browse through this site with an open mind. Many of the concepts and ideas may be new to you. They may be the opposite of everything society seems to tell us is important about sports. It is essential that we do everything in our power to ensure that youth sports leagues are meeting the needs of our children. I challenge you to hold them accountable.

The Educated Sports Parent

Tips for Youth Sports Coaches

These youth sport coaching tips are good guidelines Always remember that kids are not mini-adults and that they have different needs than do high school and college athletes. Youth programs often times forget this and do not make any modifications to make their...

The Coaching Challenge

Coaching youth sports can be a very rewarding activity. You are present to observe your team growing and learning, facing challenges, and experiencing success. But being a coach brings with it a huge responsibility. As a coach you are also a teacher and a role model...

Youth Programs for Athletes with Disabilities

It is just as important for youth with disabilities to be physically active and have the opportunity to participate in sports.  Many organizations exist to provide opportunities for these athletes.  Here is a list of a few. America’s Athletes with Disabilities –...

Soccer Modifications

Developmentally Appropriate Youth Soccer Modifications Kindergarten-Second Suggested Soccer Modifications Keep practice and games to one session per week Limit the weekly session to no more than one hour Use fun and games to teach skills instead of drills Make sure...

Hockey Modifications

Developmentally Appropriate Youth Hockey Modifications Mites Divide mites into a 5-7 year-old age group and an 8-9 year-old group at a minimum Hold only one hourly practice per week Limit season to 3 to 3 1/2 months Set up 3-4 stations throughout the entire rink where...

Football Modifications

Developmentally Appropriate Youth Football Modifications Youth 6-14 years of age should play non-contact, flag football Hold small-sided practices or games of 6 v 6 on one quarter of the football field; use all four quarters for multiple games at the same time Let the...