Good Sports: September 2017 Editor's Note

Carolina Parent's September issue focuses on youth sports: the good, the bad and the ugly
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Photo courtesy of Beth Shugg
Editor Beth Shugg's daughter, Katie, goes up for a hit during a recent Apex High School volleyball pregame warmup.

At some point in your life, you probably played a sport. Whether it was kickball in the backyard, or NCAA Division I basketball in college, there’s nothing quite like recalling the thrill of competition and feeling of adrenaline rushing through your veins as you scored a point, run, basket or touchdown that led to a team victory. 

Now, as a parent, perspectives shift and emotions intensify as you watch your child try a sport — maybe for the first time, maybe for the 10th. 

As we put together our September sports-themed issue, which hits newsstands Aug. 29, we thought about how today's youth sports landscape is completely different from what Generation X and baby boomer parents group up with. Back then, it wasn’t unheard of to try out for — and make — a high school team without ever having played that particular sport one day of your life. (I speak from experience!) Nowadays, you need several years of travel team experience in any given sport to have a fighting chance on tryout day. This club-dominated youth sports environment has not only intensified competition among young athletes — it has also increased sports-related injuries and impacted how college coaches recruit athletes. 

On page 14, we focus on the most common overuse injuries among young athletes so your child can recognize, and hopefully prevent, being sidelined by one of them. Find out what college coaches are looking for in “So You Want to Play in College?” on page 16, and learn how to understand the “language” of coaches on page 19, so you can help your child develop the ability to effectively communicate with these important authority figures. We round out our sports coverage on page 27 by sharing a mom’s view of why specializing in one sport too early may not be the best approach for many kids. 

In addition to sports, check out our preview of kids’ fall fashion trends on page 20. Explore the colors, patterns and styles local retailers will be stocking as the leaves begin to fall this month.

Other topics we cover in our September issue include how geographic diversity may impact college admissions on page 31, and what you should consider before using GPS to track your child on page 24.

As school work and curricular activities pick up this month, squeeze in some family time by attending one of the festivals or performances in our calendar section, which begins on page 35. The cooling temperatures provide ample opportunities to head outdoors and spend quality time together.

And if that quality time involves a youth sport, consider using it as an opportunity to encourage good sportsmanship and a strong work ethic so your child can accumulate all of the same benefits and life lessons from her experience that you gained from yours.


Categories: Family, From the Editor, Health + Fitness, Parenting