Going for the Gold?

Sport SpecializationI 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)?

Read more

Exploring Sports with Your Children

Exporing Sports with your ChildrenEveryone 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.

Read more

A Safer Football Experience

Safer Tackle FootballThe Green Bay Packers are a few weeks into training camp, state high school teams strapped on the pads and helmets last week and the Badgers will follow suit this week.

Yes, 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.

Read more

High School Athletes: Staying Safe in the Heat

Teen Playing TennisMany high school athletes have already returned to sports camps in preparation for the fall season. The challenge is that during July, August and even September, we can experience some of the hottest days of the year. With the high temps, athletes need to be aware of how environmental factors like heat and humidity can affect their health and athletic performance.

How Heat Affects the Body

As heat and humidity rise our body has to work harder to cool off. Our bodies cool primarily through the evaporation of sweat. When temperatures rise, we produce more sweat to cool the body. As the humidity rises, it becomes more difficult for the sweat to evaporate hampering the ability of the body to cool off. It is one reason why it is important for athletes to drink fluids during the day and at practice to stay adequately hydrated, and to modify practice routines based on weather conditions.

Read more

1 2