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Archive for June, 2010

College CheerCheerleading – and what it has evolved into – is on trial right now in a Connecticut courtroom. The debate revloves around a law suit brought on by the volleyball team at Quinnipiac University over the school’s decision to cut their team violated Title IX because of the resulting imbalance of athletic opportunities for women at the school. The university claims that new opportunities in competitive cheer balance out the numbers. So, what this is boiling down to is the question of Cheerleading being a competitive sport or not?

My thoughts:

No – cheerleading should not be considered a competitive sport for Title IX purposes. Even though cheerleaders are performing more and more athletic moves, train like athletes and now have more competitive opportunities within their “sport”, the primary role of cheerleading at the high school and college level has traditionally been to cheer on and support the school’s athletic teams.

If competitive cheer is going to evolve into a “sport” of its own that basically combines the elements of dance, gymnastics and acrobatics, then they need to give it a new name. And there is a trend to that – it’s called Stunt and Tumble. And even if it develops into a new sport, should a “new” sport replace a well establish sport in a college sport line up? I don’t think so. Even Cheerleading expert Jeff Webb agrees that cheerleading should not be considered a competitive sport for Title IX purposes.

So, what are your thoughts? Competitive sport or NOT?


Categories : Cheerleading
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Summer Workouts – Do Not Train On Empty

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Empty TankMy own daughter learned a really tough lesson this morning – you can not train on empty!

This is the first week of morning practices at gymnastics for the summer and rather than taking the time to eat breakfast, pack a snack or make her lunch … like her Mother (that’s me) asked her to, my daughter (who is almost 12) decided to take her time getting ready, fix her hair, and turned her nose up at the breakfast selections I had for her. I made a whole batch of cranberry orange muffins this morning – which two of my three kids gladly ate – but, no, she did not like them. She also decided the banana she was offered would not work either.  She passed on the eggs, too.

So around 10 a.m. – one hour into her 3 hour gymnastics workout, she tells me she is feeling tired, weak and sick to her stomach (I coach at the same gym, but don’t coach her). Hmmm, maybe you should have had some of that breakfast. I offered her some of my pasta salad that I had packed. Nope, not interested. A teammate shared some pretzels and grapes with her and she came and got some money to get an energy drink, and then she perked up.

The moral of this story – picky eater or not, it is absolutely critical to fuel your body for the sports you do – especially if you have a long, morning work out!

As a parent it is can be difficult to make sure your athlete is getting everything they need and is properly fueled – and picky eaters don’t help matters any. After practice we had a little discussion and talked about the foods she likes and doesn’t and decided that planning her pre-practice meals ahead of time might help prevent this from happening again.

Sports Nutrition Resources:

  • USA Swimming has a fantastic sports nutrition resource center on its website
  • Feeding your child athlete
  • American Youth Soccer Athlete Nutrition Notes
  • The Athlete’s Plate: Real Food for High Performance
  • Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook

Don’t forget to hydrate, too! While water is the best for hydrating your athlete, there are times when sports drink (recipes to make your own sports drink) does come in handy – for extra calories, a quick burst of energy during a long work out, and for picky athletes. I do like the new lower sugar options – like Powerade Play (which we recently had the opportunity to review) – the flavor is light, not too sweet and the extra electrolytes and calories do come in handy for long practices, outdoor practices and games.

Categories : Nutrition
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Many of today’s athletes begin forming their talents at a young age, and female golfers are no exception to the rule. Though golf is a relatively young sport in America, here are a few famous golfers that were able to get their start early in life.

Annika Sorenstam GolfAnnika Sorenstam: Considered one of the best female golfers of all time, Sorenstam wowed her competitors for 15 years before retiring at the end of the 2008 season. An athletic child, she began participating in golf at the age of twelve. She was talented from the beginning, and quickly gained steam. She turned pro in 1993 and began her climb as one of the most successful career golfers of all time. Between 2001 and 2005, she was the money leader, low scorer, and Player of the Year each year. Injuries and fatigue eventually took over and her success dropped off respectably. (photo: wiki)

Golfer Michelle WieMichelle Wie: Currently one of the hottest commodities on the golf course, Michelle Wie has set many records in her young career. Wie began playing golf at age four, became the youngest player to qualify for the USGA amateur championship at ten, and set a record as the youngest player to play her way into an LPGA event at twelve years and four months. At age 15, Wie turned professional and signed contracts with Nike and Sony worth more than $10 million a year. Due to her early success, she has often been criticized for an overly confident and almost cocky attitude. Wie has become not only a famous and respected golfer, but also one of the most popular and attractive female athletes of our time. Her style of ladies golf apparel has been somewhat controversial since the age of 14, but that is also an indication of the changes happening in ladies golf clothing in general.

Lorena OchoaLorena Ochoa: Ochoa had one of the earliest starts for a golfer; she began golfing at age 5, won her first local event at age 6, and won her first national event at age 7. As a precocious eleven-year-old, she approached professional golfer, Rafael Alarcon, and asked him to help her with her game because she wanted to be the best player in the world. Starting at a young age seems to have paid off for Ochoa, and in 2003 she was presented with the Nancy Lopez Award, which is given to the world’s most outstanding female amateur golfer. Contrary to the disposition of most young athletes and stars, Ochoa has a reputation for being one of the most genuinely nice and humble people you could ever meet. (Photo:

Nancy LopezNancy Lopez: The only woman to win the Vare Trophy, Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year in the same season, Nancy Lopez is considered one of the best women golfers of all time. She began golfing at age 8, and won nine tournaments in her first full season at age 21. She has her own retail company, Nancy Lopez Golf, which produces ladies golf accessories and clubs.

Thanks to Amanda from Tracey Lynn Golf for this guest post!

Categories : Golf
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