Safety in Sports

I’m breaking away from crafts and sewing here today and focusing on another thing I love: athletics

I think it’s pretty safe to say that my little family is a pretty athletic family.

(first family picture…on the ASU baseball field)

Sports are a way of life for us.  I grew up not only playing team sports all of my life but I think it’s accurate to say I spent about half of my life on a mountain somewhere in the western United States. Whether I was hiking, rock climbing, snow-shoeing, skiing, etc., I was constantly engaged in some sport or form of exercise.  Later, I took up track and cross country and continue to love to run (when I get a chance!).
My husband played football, basketball, and baseball since he was teeny. He continued on to play baseball at the collegiate and professional levels, and now after a few years of coaching, he is a scout for a major league baseball team.  (serious dream job for any guy…he’s livin’ it, rad, huh?)
To add to the mix, I got a degree in Physical Education with an emphasis in Exercise Science from BYU back in the day and when I worked full-time as a personal trainer. (totally fun job, too!)  And now we’ve got our own team rounded up to play the game of life.

I’m blessed, now, to be able to stay home to be a mommy to my three little athletes-in-training.  So far, my son is involved in Little League Baseball and Flag Football while my 4-year-old daughter just started gymnastics this year.  They love to play. It builds their self-confidence, stamina, strength, their sense of self, and their sense of team.  I love everything about them being involved in sports.  I love to watch them and I love to cheer for them (I’m that total freak on the sidelines cheering like a crazy lady…yep, that’s me.  It’s actually embarrassing in hindsight, but I can’t help myself when something awesome happens!)
What’s really important to me, especially in having my kids be involved in sports at a young age is that they not only learn early how to play the game, but that they learn how to play it correctly!  I enjoy watching my daughter’s gymnastics coach help Ivy with drills that will one day turn into a beautiful handspring, kip or a fantastic dismount.  I love that Max’s coaches instill in them that winning isn’t the most important thing (when asked if their team won, Max’s coach responded: “we let them play a couple extra innings so that we could get some more practice in.”)
The same holds true with Max’s football coaches.  We stuck him in Flag Football so that before he has to worry about getting tossed onto the ground, he can worry about how to play the game.
(Max’s flag-pulling victory dance)
Did you know that the NFL is working to help youth athletes in all sports stay safer as they take part in the sports they love?  As I’m really more of a baseball-kind of girl, I was not aware until watching that TV show Friday Night Lights that there is a correct way to tackle, and to get tackled.  The NFL has come up with an amazing new program called Heads Up Football.  

Heads Up Football, the NFL and USA Football are working to educate youth football leagues across the country on proper tackling technique.  Youth football players nationwide will be learning Heads Up tackling during the 2013 season.  It is the future of the game!

Heads Up Football was developed with a $1.5 million grant from the NFL Foundation.
You can ask your youth football player’s coach if they are Heads Up certified.  They can get certified right now.  And make sure your child’s league is a Heads Up league for 2014.
you can {click here} for more information on Heads Up Football.

As a parent, you can learn more about Heads Up Football to make sure you understand how to help your kids stay safe on the playing field.  {click here}

It’s so important that our kids not only learn how to play, but learn how to play or perform their skills correctly.  As a former trainer, when I go to the gym, I cringe when I see someone lifting with incorrect posture, or just plain incorrectly.  I feel like if they had been taught correctly in the first place when they were learning how to lift or work out, they could prevent so much injury later on down the road! Sad!
I want my kids to play, but mostly I want them and those around them to play safe, and to be healthy so that they can play safely and at their best.

I plan on being that crazy mom on the sidelines for years and years to come… and I’m excited to know that when my son is ready to play tackle football (cringe) he will learn the correct way to do it!

here are some more websites for your viewing pleasure!:

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