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Archive for November, 2007


Our Favorite Quick Snack – Smoothies

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One of the challenges I face as a parent of an athlete is making sure her body gets the right nutrition through out the week. Add to that she is a very picky eater and lactose intolerant and you can see why it is a challenge.  One of her favorite snacks/mini meals is a smoothie. Smoothies are great because they are portable, you can sneak in all sorts of good for you ingredients, and they are fun!

Since my daughter is lactose intolerant I have to be careful what I use as a base for her smoothie. She can handle yogurt in small doses but is not a fan of it. The recipe we use most often is very basic:

  • Fill blender half full with frozen strawberries and a fresh (or frozen) banana
  • Add a 1/4 cup of calcium fortified orange juice
  • Blend until smooth, adding a bit more juice as needed.

Because the strawberries are frozen, you don’t need to add ice. has 10 more great recipes and ideas for creating that perfect smoothie.


Categories : Nutrition
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Parenting an AthleteTom Burgdorf is a well respected lecturer/clinician for USA Gymnastics as well as a former gymnastics club owner and head coach. He is also the author of my favorite weekly newsletter on parenting athletes. Tom has agreed to allow me to share some of his content with my audience each week. Each Monday when Tom’s newsletter arrives in my inbox, I will select a portion of the newsletter to share with you and add my two cents worth on.

Today Tom’s newsletter featured the following piece on pushing the limits. In today’s world, there is so much focus on “everyone is a winner” and “no one getting left behind” that so much personal motivation is just lost.

Tom says:

How Do They Get Better If We Don’t Stretch The Limits?

Enough of this “we don’t want to push them too much.” Enough of this “we don’t want them to fail and feel bad.” Enough of this sitting on the couch and being mediocre. Do we really believe that being mediocre is going to make out children happy young adults? I think being happy starts with being happy with who you are.

How can our kids get better at things unless we teach them to strive for more. I don’t mean spend 24 hours a day “wanting more” but we learn more by seeking. We get to be better athletes by not being satisfied with who and what we are today, looking for ways to get better and then sweating. What in the world is wrong with that?

“Oh, my child can’t feel frustrated.” “Oh, my child needs to be successful in everything they do.” “Oh, I am afraid to have my child try too hard because they might not be successful and they will be scarred for life.” Guess what kind of child you are going to have if you feel that way?

Children should learn through trial and error, and success, rather than waiting for things to happen. I want aggressive children out there making a way for themselves. I want well adjusted kids out there who are used to falling down but find that getting up is pretty cool. I want kids out there who are not afraid to challenge themselves because they believe in their talents and their decision making. I want kids who have learned to have self confidence because they were successful a lot of times when they were challenged.

I want a lot. Do you?

My Take:

Getting our kids involved in sports is just one of the ways we as parents can help push our children to succeed. No, I am not talking about becoming helicopter parents, I am talking about giving children the opportunity to experience winning and losing, making mistakes and learning from them, working at something until you get it, experiencing success, failure and mediocrity – all in the same week.

Sports help kids develop life skills in a fun, healthy environment. It can also help them develop a healthier outlook on life in general.

Get the full edition of this week’s newsletter and subscribe to future issues of Tom’s Parenting an Athlete newsletter by visiting his site – Gymnetsports.

Categories : Parenting
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First Meet Reflections

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Great jobMy gymnastics team girls made it through their first meet of the season and they did great. During awards, I witnessed some very cool moments – ones that remind me of why I love working with kids and what is important.

  • It’s okay to make a mistake – one of the lessons gymnasts learn early is that everyone makes mistakes, but you can make them and live to tell about it. Mistakes are part of the learning experience and you can laugh about them too.
  • Perseverance – one of the best moments of the evening came from a gymnast who was on my team last year and struggled all year long. She did not progress as fast as her team mates but she always kept a positive attitude. Last night she improved her overall score from last year by almost 5 points (which in gymnastics is HUGE). The look on her face when she got called to the podium for awards was priceless. Her self confidence is through the roof and she has learned one of the most important life lessons ever.
  • Believe in yourself – another little girl came to us from another gym this summer. The first weeks of practice were filled with tears as she made the adjustment to her new training environment. She was a little girl who really didn’t believe in herself or think she was all that good. Last night as she finished her beam routine, a huge smile came across her face – she had stuck her beam routine and scored higher than she ever had before – it was even good enough for first place. It was so much fun as a coach to be able to go back to her and say, “hey, I told you that you could do it – you have been working hard and it shows!”

There were so many other little things that warmed my heart. While watching awards I told a fellow coach that when the girls arrived before the meet, they were just kids who took gymnastics, but once they finished this first meet, they are now gymnasts.


Categories : Competition, Gymnastics
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