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Archive for March, 2009 - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more The politicians in Texas are trying to regulate kids’ skill based sports programs under the same auspices as childcare. Here is an excerpt from an email I received:

Senate Bill 68 overview:

If you have children who train 10 hours or more  a week in your facility – you will be required to be child care licensed by the state of Texas.  This licensing will require your facility to meet all the minimum standards set by child care licensing (most gyms will not be able to meet these requirements which will include bathroom sink/toilet ratios in compliance with child care standards, out door playground, Child Care certification of workers and director, sprinkler systems that not only meet building code but also meet child care standards and climbing structures with safety fall zones).  Uneven bars would be considered a climbing structure and would not pass child care regulations. This bill passed the Senate Sub Committee unanimously yesterday.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Gymnastics, karate, dance, indoor soccer, swimming and all other voluntary, parent registered, tuition based after school activities ARE NOT child care!

Yes, I expect that the sports facility I take my child to will be registered through its sports governing body, hire professional coaches, take all prudent safety measures, and provide a quality learning environment for my child, but it is NOT childcare and my child’s coach is just that – a coach, not a child care provider. And, if the facility and its employees do not meet my expectations, I will take my business elsewhere.

So, all you Texas sports parents, its time to get involved!! From the Gymnastics Association of Texas:

Gymnastics Association of Texas and Texas USAG support the COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE version of House Bill 1393, authored Representative Leibowitz. Further, we call on Senator Nelson to change Senate Bill 68 by adopting the language of the Committee Substitute version of House Bill 1393.

Please see the link below to preview the Committee Substitute of House Bill 1393.

We call all GAT members, parents, and gymnastics enthusiasts to join us in Austin at the Capitol Rotunda at 11:30 AM, THIS Thursday, April 2, 2009to make history! THIS IS OUR CHANCE to RAISE OUR VOICES and BE HEARD to SAVE OUR SPORT!

We need phone calls – emails – letters to your STATE representatives. Time is short ask all your team parents and coaches, everyone we MUST unite!

When you call, email or fax your representatives, please say, “I support and demand that you support the Committee Substitute version of House Bill 1393, and that Senate Bill 68 be changedto the languageof Committee Substitute version of House Bill 1393.”

Logic really needs to prevail in this situation! Otherwise the state of youth sports in this country will worse off than ever.

For more information, discussion and insight, check out:

If you have an opinion on the Texas situation, I would love to hear it!

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Categories : Youth Sports
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The Confidence Season

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Sometimes the road to success is not the fast lane. Sometimes the best decisions you make regarding your child’s path in sports are not the easiest ones to make. We often forget that kids mature emotionally and physically at different rates, too.

As many of my readers know, I coach gymnastics and have done so for more than 20 years (oh dear, I’m getting old). Each season we end up with a group of athletes who excel – they have mastered their skills, are relatively consistent in their performances, regularly place in the top third during awards, and are learning the next level skills with excitement. We also have a group of athletes we call “bubble kids” – they are making it through their routines, getting average or lower than average scores, are not getting called up for awards, and are not as ready for the next level skills. Sure we could push them ahead anyhow, but that often leads to discouragement, low self esteem, and the development of fears.

When the placements for the next season come out, many of the parents of our “bubble kids” get a little anxious. They worry that their child is being left behind, won’t be with her friends or will be bored. But more often than not, when we have these athletes stay at their current level, one year later we hear from the parents that it was the best decision they did not get to make!

What happens is you get a confidence season. It is exactly what many athletes need to have. Not only in gymnastics, but it happens in all sports. How about your soccer player that is sitting on the age-up bubble? Do you push them ahead and have them play with the older kids? Sometimes, but giving your player the opportunity to be a team leader, top scorer, or just perfecting the basics more, will prepare them even better for that next level when they get there.

We just experienced this exact scenario with our son and ice hockey. He was at the top of the age bracket but so much taller than the other players on the team. We asked about moving him up to the next age bracket but his coaches really knew best. He needed a confidence season. And what a season he had. He scored more goals in the average game than he did in entire previous seasons. He basically became the team captain – got to be the one the little kids looked up to, and now he is without a doubt ready to play with the big boys.

So, don’t be in a rush to get your athlete to the next level. Let them be successful at the level they are at and take your cues from your athlete’s enthusiasm, emotional readines and the coach’s input! Your athlete will be happier, healthier and will probably stay in the sport much longer for it!

A few more resources on parenting your athlete:

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Categories : Parenting
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Women Talk Sports Blogderby: Round 3

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blogderby1Welcome to the Women Talk Sports (WTS) Blogderby, Round 3.

Every few weeks, we’ll “pass the torch” to a different blogger in our community who will be responsible for rounding up the best blog posts about women’s sports.

If you’re interested in accepting the torch someday, contact us and we’ll put you on the schedule. Keri will be posting Blogderby Round 4 in a few weeks. Archives of the Blogderby will be located at Women Talk Sports. Thanks, and go female athletes!

Did you know World Cup & Olympic Soccer Champion, Brandi Chastain, is also a golfer girl and only the second woman to participate at the Celebrity AT&T to date? Read the interview in Soccer Star Brandi Chastain Lives Her Golf Dream from the Pink Diva Golf Blog.

Nine-year-old snowboarding phenom Alexis “Lexis” Roland from Bloomington, Minnesota was first discovered in a YouTube video showcasing her talent when she was just six years old. Pretty Tough gives us the scoop on the Tween Snowboarder Scorches the Slopes.

March Madness has swept the nation this week and Megan at Because I Played Sports couldn’t be happier. Find out why in March Madness Online – Thank You ESPN for promoting women.

The NCAA women’s gymnastics season is coming to a close in the next few weeks. This past weekend was packed with conference action as Alabama upset powerhouse Georgia in the SEC (and Courtney Kupets won the All Around and the SEC Athlete of the Year Award), Michigan won the Big 10 and UCLA was tops in the PAC 10.

Jessie Vetter stopped 37 shots for an NCAA-record 14th shutout of the season — her second in a national championship game — and Wisconsin won its third women’s hockey title in four years on Sunday with a 5-0 victory over Mercyhurst. (SI)

Shawn Johnson survived another week on Dancing With The Stars (see the video at Live. Breathe. Love Gymnastics) and even though the women finally lost a task on Celebrity Apprentice, golf girl Natalie Gulbis was in the clear (PS – what is in her golf bag?)!

Speaking of bags… look at all the stuff Track Mom has to pack for her daughter’s track meet. Honestly I can relate! Swim meet days around this house look much the same.

Girls lacrosse looks like a lot of fun. I posted a video on girls lacrosse this week and one of my daughter’s is thinking of trying it this summer. Kate at Girls Lacrosse. Live it. Love it. is calling all moms to help her get the word out about the sport she loves.

Logic test time! According to On the Pitch, Australian sports authorities are banning oranges from games citing they are bad for athletes teeth.

Marc Bloom has written a new book, Young Runners: The Complete Guide to Healthy Running for Kids From 5 to 18, that was recently featured in Runners World magazine. The book is an excellent guide for parents and has specific chapters for female runners.

If you have anything to add, feel free to comment.

If you’re interested in accepting the Blogderby torch, contact us and we’ll put you on the schedule. Archives of the Blogderby are located at Women Talk Sports.

Also, if you’re a women’s sports blogger and would like to join the WTS community, please contact us.

On Twitter? Follow me at @SportsGirlsPlay and get all the best in women’s sports by following @WomenTalkSports.

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Categories : Resources
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