Team Handout for Parent Meetings

Team HandoutThe start of every season features the ritualistic parent meeting where coaches and parents get to know each other and help shape expectations for the upcoming practices and competitions. Sports Esteem has put together a free handout that coaches and league officials can use to help facilitate introductions and expectations. It includes:

  • Parent Ice Breaker
  • Coaching Philosophies
  • Team Goals
  • Player Goals
  • Team Policies
  • Information on the Role of the Team Activities Coordinator
  • Answers to Frequent Parent Questions
  • 101 Ways to Praise a Child

The Team Handout is an important step in getting parents positively engaged with the team, the coach and the other parents. It helps make parents part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

Skills Development CycleSkills Development Cycle
The Team Handout continues educating parents about the youth sports experience by introducing the concept of the Skills Development Cycle. This concept provides a foundation for parents and coaches to create an approach where kids will want to build skills and improve.

Download the Team Handout


Implementing Sports Esteem in Your Program

Below is a response we received from the Dalton Georgia Parks and Recreation Department who recently used the Sports Esteem information in their parent orientation program. Please feel free to use the content on this site in your own parent program and please let us know the results.

The parent orientation classes using the Sports Esteem materials have gone very well. This is a first for the parents in Dalton. Over 500 parents registered on-line and around 400 have gone through the class. Many parents have commented that we need to make the class mandatory for every parent at Dalton Parks and Recreation Department.   

Thanks for all your information,

Mike Miller
Athletic Director
Dalton Parks & Recreation Department
Dalton, Georgia

Opportunities in Hockey After High School

This is a presentation written by Al Bloomer that provides information regarding various options available to a hockey player that has completed or is about to complete his/her high school education. For eligibility purposes, the NCAA expects the student-athlete to graduate from high school when they are 18 years of age. The expected graduation date is the NCAA eligibility bench mark.

From the author “I have been involved in hockey as a player, coach or administrator for over 50 years. For the last 20 years I have been directly involved with players between the ages of 15 and 20 years old. When it comes to choosing options for their hockey future, I am continually troubled by how poorly prepared and uninformed many players and their parents are. Answers can be found if you know where to look. The challenge is to be realistic about your hockey abilities and pro-active when planning your hockey future. As your skills develop to the higher  levels, you begin to think about your options. I believe parents and players should begin to think seriously about hockey opportunities when the player is 12 to 14 years old. This is not the forum to debate when a player’s hockey potential can be evaluated or predicted. Although there may be optimism concerning potential when players are 12 and under, their potential cannot be realistically evaluated until they reach the age of maturity. All have dreams and expectations – but players and parents need to make informed and realistic decisions.

Some typical questions:

  • What are my hockey opportunities after high school?
  • How do I determine what is best for me?
  • What are some determining factors?
  • What are my chances?
  • How can I find out where I fit?
  • How and where do I get noticed?
  • How important are academics?
  • What role does my coach play?
  • Should I actively pursue opportunities or should I wait until opportunity knocks?

Download the attached file to read the presentation. Requires Adobe Acrobat reader.

Attachment: Opportunities for Hockey After High School

Falling League Participation?

Is this happening to your league?

Q. Our little legaue is down 50% over the last three years. Has anyone developed a survey to find out the underlying causes so that we can address them at the board?

A. There may be some general reasons why league participation is down, but generally the things that drive a league are the same things that drive local business – a quality product and good marketing. The Sports Esteem website ( can help you define the league guidelines for the way parents and coaches can work together to create a great experience for kids, then get the word out! Use the schools, churches and other community groups to let parents and kids know that a great experience is waiting for them with your league. Emphasize the fun, friendship, learning and the health benefits of participation.

Pre-Natal Hockey League

Do you know some parents like this… 

MEDFORD, Mass. Peggy and Dave Finnerty admit they’re hockey nuts, having spent countless hours carting their two sons to games at the break of dawn. “It’s what we love to do,” says Peggy, who sports a Boston Bruins scrunchy around her pony tail as she watches a practice at Anthony LoConte Rink in this blue-collar suburb.

Peggy is expecting, and the Finnertys are doing everything they can to make sure their newest child gets a head start in the highly competitive world of youth hockey. Every Tuesday and Thursday, Peggy straps on her pads and takes to the ice with other pregnant women in what is believed to be the world’s first pre-natal hockey league.

Read More…

Concussions – The Least Understood Sports Injury

A severely sprained wrist or a broken bone quickly earn a player a visit to a doctor for treatment. Yet the treatment of a concussion, a potentially much more severe injury, is often handled by a coach or parent without any medical knowledge. Much of this lies with the fact that sports related concussions are not uncommon and most players who suffer concussions are capable of resuming play within a few minutes of experiencing them. Pressure from coaches, parents or even from the player himself may dictate a quick return to the game.

But, new research is starting to show that just because players can resume playing after a concussion, doesn’t mean they should.

What is a Concussion?
A concussion is an impact to the brain caused either by a blow to the head or the rapid movement of the head resulting in the brain hitting the inside of the skull. Symptoms of a concussion can include:

  • Headache
  • Vision disturbance
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss (called amnesia)
  • Ringing ears
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Nausea

A severe concussion can include the following symptoms and are cause for a quick trip to the emergency room:

  • Stiff neck
  • Difficulty walking, speaking or using your arms
  • Severe headache
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Confusion that gets worse
  • Convulsions
  • Unusual sleepiness1

Fortunately, most mild concussions leave no lasting impact on a player and are treated with rest and headache remedies. However, repeated mild concussions or a single severe concussion may cause brain swelling and/or bleeding and threaten the life of the player.

Risks of Returning to Play
Dr. Michael Collins, a neuropsychologist and assistant director of the University of Pittsburgh Center for Sports Medicine’s Concussion Program conducted a study of high school athletes and found that “prior concussions may indeed lower the threshold for subsequent concussion injury and increase symptom severity in even seemingly mild subsequent concussions”.

A 17-year-old high school football player was tackled on the last day of the first half of a varsity game and struck his head on the ground. During half-time intermission, he told a teammate that he felt ill and had a headache; he did not tell his coach. He played again during the third quarter and received several routine blows to his helmet during blocks and tackles. He then collapsed on the field and was taken to a local hospital in a coma where he died a few days later.2 Accounts such as this are not limited to football. Almost every sport has a similar story.

Dr. David Kushner at the University of Miami School of Medicine recommends that athletes who have symptoms of concussion lasting more than 15 minutes or who have post-traumatic amnesia should not be permitted to resume sports participation for at least one week. No athlete should be permitted to return to play while signs or symptoms of a concussion are present. He also recommends an emergency department evaluation for any athlete who suffers loss of consciousness.3


Read Stories of Professional Players

The website Dallas Stars Care ( features stories of professional hockey players talking about their youth sports experiences including:

Steve Ott

Philippe Boucher

Marty Turco

Visit the Dallas Stars Care website to read about these players and more.