The body is an incredible machine. It performs countless functions without our knowing and is able to turn the food we eat into energy to do homework, play sports, lift the remote to change channels, walk the shores of Lake Mendota, and do every other activity we do. But what happens when our bodies don’t get the energy they need? This is a topic that has been studied by many doctors and organizations, including the International Olympic Committee.
Since Title 9 was enacted in 1972, more girls have participated in sports than ever before, but that doesn’t mean challenges no longer exist. A quick look at current stats reveals that there’s still a long way to go to address underlying issues that make it difficult for girls to participate in organized sports past middle school. Consider this:
I was going to write about a completely different topic for this week’s post, but I just saw an incredible presentation about sport specialization by UW’s own Alison Brooks, MD, MPH, and I can’t stop thinking about it. Dr. Brooks was presenting research about whether sport specialization – when an athlete focuses on one sport, usually throughout the year and at the exclusion of participation in other sports – is a healthy and effective way to help youth achieve their athletic goals. In other words, does someone who wants to play in the WNBA have to play in a year-round basketball league before high school (or even middle school)?
Everyone knows that children benefit physically from sports, but one of the over-looked benefits of playing sports is the life lessons. Team-based and individual sports can help kids develop a sense of confidence and improve their self-esteem. And you can help. We set the tone for their experiences. Consider the following when exploring sports with your children.
Football season is upon us. Thousands of youth players across Wisconsin also will play tackle football this fall, some of them for the first time and most with parents in the stands worried about the risks of the sport.
No doubt, tackle football brings with it a potential for injury – just like any sport your child might play. And in recent years, stories about concussions and traumatic brain injuries suffered by football players and the long-term repercussions of these injuries have become more and more prevalent in the media, along with increased research on the topic by medical experts.