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Archive for May, 2011

I have to say I am really loving this series of profiles on athletes’ Moms on the Gatorade Moms site. A glimpse into the journey, challenges and proud moments the Moms of some of today’s most successful athletes is very inspiring! In the case of Stephanie Hamm, the Mom to soccer star Mia Hamm, she was sure Mia would be a ballerina and when Mia fell in love with soccer, Stephanie had lots to learn. Stephanie’s background was in dance – a big difference from the outdoor intensity of soccer. Watch Stephanie Hamm on raising Mia Hamm on YouTube or click below to watch.

Mia Hamm is retired from soccer and is now raising two daughters of her own. Additionally, Mia has a foundation for raising funds and awareness for families needing marrow or cord blood transplants and continuing the growth in opportunities for young women in sports.

Categories : Athlete Profiles, Soccer
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Level 5 Gymnastics Bar Routine Perfect 10? – click above to view or watch on YouTube – I originally saw it on CoachingGymnastics.

For any gymnast, coach, judge or experienced gymnastics parent, watching that video will bring a smile to your face and probably a few head nods, too. For those of you who are not familiar with the way gymnastics works, you can still get something out of the video.

The premise of the video is that little Suzie got an 8.45 on her Level 5 bar routine. She thought she did great and in her mind, deserves a 10. As her coach breaks down the routine and points out the places where the judges took deductions, Suzie isn’t buying it and decides her coach is just being mean. And herein lies the opportunity for the adults in Suzie’s life to work together and teach her how to remove the “person” from the “gymnastics.”

Gymnasts and other athletes who perform in front of a panel of judges (ice skaters, divers, synchronized swimmers, competitive dancers and cheerleaders) need to be taught that the scores they receive are based on a list of criteria and how well their PERFORMANCE met those criteria at that moment for that set of judges. It has nothing to do with whether the judges LIKE THEM AS A PERSON or not.

I actually judged competitive level gymnastics (up to Level 9) for a few years and really enjoyed it, but it was hard. It is hard to take a mandatory deduction for a fall on beam when you know that gymnast has probably performed the skill 100 times successfully in the weeks prior to the competition. It’s hard to decide if the split leap is within the margin of error for the 180 degree requirement when you only have a split second (no pun intended) to decide and no instant repaly. It’s hard to go through a floor routine and make sure you correctly identify every skill and give the gymnast credit for the requirements of the routine and come up with the correct starting value.

But, like everything else, it takes practice. After judging up to 96 gymnasts in a session (then multiply that by 3-6 sessions on any given weekend) what has to happen is that you judge the body in motion in front of you. You don’t notice the pigtails or missing two front teeth. You don’t have time. You have to account for every skill and every deduction and make sure the score you award is within a certain range compared to the judge sitting next to you. You want the gymnasts to succeed. You’d love to give a perfect 10, because that means you just watched the most beautiful and technically correct routine of the day, but that rarely happens.

Does favoritism ever happen? Of course it does. Judges are  human. But, it shouldn’t and a judge who takes the position seriously will not let the color of the leotard, the size of the gymnast, or her personal tastes influence the job at hand.

And back to Suzie. As much as she wants to think her routine was perfect, the more important things to stress are:

  • Have you been working on corrections from the last performance at practice?
  • Do you understand what mistakes you made so you can learn from them?
  • Did you try your hardest?
  • Did you have fun?

Answers of yes to those questions are more important than the fleeting feeling of receiving a perfect 10. Scores matter, but the quality of effort and performance are much more important! Teach this to the athletes from day one and you will have kids who take that skill and can apply it to all areas of life.

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3 Skincare Tips for Athletes

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Chances are when you are working out the last thing you are thinking about is your skin, but sweat, body oils, makeup and sun don’t play nicely together. The following are three tips by my resident skincare and makeup expert – my teenage daughter who is a gymnast and summer swimmer.

1. Always remove makeup before any physical activity

makeup remover wipesWhenever you are involved in any type of physical activity (sports, running, biking, etc.) be sure to remove your makeup. Sweating is a natural thing, everyone does it, but makeup and sweat don’t mix.

Not only does makeup clog your pores,  it will look like a mess by the time your workout is done. It is never attractive to have foundation dripping down your face and raccoon eyes. If you must wear makeup, try to limit yourself.  Wear a good waterproof mascara and apply it only on the top lashes. Your cheeks will naturally be flush and try using a lip stain for your lips.

Recommended : CoverGirl Waterproof LashBlast Mascara (Black) & Benefit Benetint cheek and lip stain.

2. Put your hair up

ponytailsIf you have long hair, listen up and grab your hair ties, bendy clips and/or headbands. Your hair has natural oils in it that can cause you to break out. Yes, I know you all are thinking, seriously? My hair can break me out? Well think about it, when you workout, you sweat and your pores open up. Your hair contains oil that will get in those pores if your hair is in your face resulting in blackheads and pimples. That is why you should always tie back your hair and any bangs or stray pieces. It will also keep it out of your way, so you can focus on what you are doing.

3. Wear Sunscreen

sunscreenIf you happen to be involved in any outdoor sport or activity, wear sunscreen! I know that everyone under the sun (no pun intended) would like a tan, but the sun’s harmful UV rays will do more damage than you would like. Try to use an SPF 30 or higher. For your skin, a spray is the easiest way to go. It is fast and effective. No more white, smelly lotion to rub in, just spray and let your skin absorb. For your face, they make face lotions that have SPF in it, but they usually only have SPF 15 in them. They work fine, but if you plan on staying out in the sun for any length of time, you should use something higher than that. Now don’t forget your lips – they burn also – and trust me, it isn’t fun. It is easy to find lipbalms with an SPF in them, check your nearest drugstore.

Want more makeup and beauty tips that are age appropriate and won’t break the bank? Visit my daughter’s site at

And for those of you wondering, we did not receive any compensation or product mentioned in this post. There are affiliate links, but all opinions are based on our own personal experience.

Categories : Resources
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