From Muhammad Ali to Yogi Berra, the sports world has no shortage of great quotes, both inspiring and funny. Here are two of my favorites:
���Friendships born on the field of athletic strife are the real gold of competition. Awards become corroded, friends gather no dust.��� ��� Jesse Owens
"The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well." ��� Olympic Creed
I like both quotes because they give perspective to the fact that while sports are an important part of life they are not the only important part.
This is one of the best posts I���ve ever read on our message boards and wanted to share it with as many people as possible. A good reminder to keep a reasonable perspective, especially regarding your child���s mistakes both in sports and in general:
There is something in our nature that makes us strive for perfection, some more than others. Our children are our creations, and we want them to be perfect. But remember, there was only one perfect child and he had perfect parents.
We also want to protect them. We want them to not suffer the hurts and pains we felt growing up - the strikeouts, the errors, the dropped passes, the missed steps in the dance recital, the transposing of the i and e in the spelling bee.
Plus, too often, we think that the mistakes they make are somewhat a reflection on our inability to parent. So we only see the good, or if something is so egregious, we look automatically to find an excuse for what happen (a bad hop, a bad call, the floor was slippery, the teacher is too tough, etc.). In that way, we believe it's not our parenting skills that are questioned but just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Recognizing that we 1) don't have perfect children, 2) their mistakes don't reflect negatively on our ability to parent, and 3) a mistake is an opportunity to grow and learn will heighten our ability to look at our child's accomplishments in unbiased eyes.
I just recently spent two weeks at a famous children's hospital with a two-week old granddaughter on a respirator for most of that time. Thankfully, I was able to spend her first Easter with her last month as a healthy, striving 3 1/2 month old child. But next to us in the waiting room, for two weeks before and at least two weeks after, were the parents of a 15 year-old girl basketball player. On a Thursday, she started coughing. On Friday, she ran fever and Mom called the doctor. On Monday, she was in a coma with staph pneumonia. About six weeks later, without ever regaining consciousness, they were planning her funeral. Don't you know they would love to see her miss one more free throw or get called for walking?
Institute for International Sport* Founder and Executive Director Dan Doyle, along with Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, announced the Institute���s World Peace Summit will take place in 2011.
According to their web site, The Institute's World Youth Peace Summit will bring together thousands of graduates of past Scholar-Athlete Games, as well as representatives from United Nations member-states, for five days of in-depth discussion on the challenges of achieving lasting world peace. Participants will be asked to design practical solutions to the obstacles impeding world peace, including religious differences, the challenges of technology, and poverty.
Doyle founded the Institute in 1986 with the vision that athletics could foster friendship and goodwill across the world. The Institute established the World Scholar-Athlete Games, which were held in 2006 at the University of Rhode Island where delegates from 157 countries were represented.
Doyle and the Institute have already brought so many people and cultures together, and the Peace Summit, which will be held in conjunction with the organization���s 25th anniversary, will certainly make a significant impact in continuing to do so.
Today is International Women���s Day! Annually on March 8th, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate their achievements as makers of history; it is rooted in the centuries-old struggle of women to participate in society on an equal footing with men.
International Women's Day is also commemorated at the United Nations and is designated in many countries as a national holiday. When women on all continents, often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate their Day, they can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development.
Despite these struggles for equality, the world of sports has the power
to unite and transcend boundaries that once divided this community. Women's effort to redefine sport and achieve equality is something I am passionate about and has drastically impacted my life. The changes that have occurred so far are promising; women have experienced joy, camaraderie, pride, strength, increased educational opportunities and leadership as a result of their involvement and progression in sports.
In light of recognizing this important day, I���d like to pay homage to some of the greatest moments in women���s sports:
1973 | Battle of the Sexes. In the most watched tennis match in history, Billie Jean King routed Bobby Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes. For many, this was the event that defined the women's movement of the 1970s and changed the social landscape for females forever. Thirty-three years later, the USTA renamed the National Tennis Center the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the first time in U.S. history that a major sports arena bore the name of a woman.
The Institute for International Sport will administer the 17th Annual National Sportsmanship Day celebration on March 6. Over 13,500 schools from throughout the United States and in many, many countries throughout the world are planning to participate in discussions and activities aimed at promoting good sportsmanship.
The two themes for National Sportsmanship Day 2007 are "Don't Punch Back, Play Harder" and "Defeat Gamesmanship." National Sportsmanship Day programs are designed for student-athletes from elementary school right up through intercollegiate competition.
The Institute for International Sport cites five principles of honorable competition for children to remember:
Respect the game. This includes showing respect for opponents, referees, coaches and fans.
Play by the rules, and within the spirit of the rules. Don���t try to get away with cheating or taking shortcuts just because you think no one will notice or catch you. The only real victories are honest victories, untainted by cheating or gamesmanship.
Play your best, and understand that doing your best does not mean embarrassing or humiliating your opponent.
Don���t punch back, play harder. When provoked, an athlete should ascend to the highest level of honorable competition by increasing focus and intensity, not by reacting in an undisciplined, unproductive way.
Employ competitive self-restraint ��� play hard but with self-control.
Team officials weren't happy. Opinions were mixed in the clubhouse. And others around the team and league think it's much ado about nothing.
At issue were comments made recently by Phillies pitcher Jon Lieber. As released on the Official Site of Major League Baseball, the right-hander acknowledged received a pointer from former Marlins manager Joe Girardi last year. In a recent interview with the Philadelphia Daily News, Lieber said Girardi told him that some of the Marlins players noted that his pitches were flat.
Lieber and Girardi were former battery mates with the Chicago Cubs from 2000-02. Asked if Girardi's advice was helpful, Lieber said, "Yeah, there is no question."
Meredith College announced that it is looking for a new mascot. Meredith adopted the angel as its mascot in 1980, but the all-women's college has decided to toughen up and go in a new direction.
"I love the history of angels," said Meredith Roberson, captain of the tennis team and a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. "But our sports are so up-and-coming...we need something more competitive."
Having competed against many different schools and a variety of mascots, I know how important they can be to their communities. I've always been interested in the history behind why a certain team or school acquired their mascot. I did a little research to come up with some of the more unique mascots in sports that I believe are worth sharing:
UC-Santa Cruz Banana Slugs
Toledo Mud Hens
Scottsdale Community College Fighting Artichokes
What's the most unique team name you have heard of or encountered, from any level, in your sports experience?
Welcome to 2007! With the coming of the New Year, athletes commonly think about making nutrition resolutions to go along with their training . Good thing, given only three to four percent of Americans follow all of the Dietary Guidelines established by the government. Americans need food help, but the question arises: How can we best teach the nutrition message?
This topic was discussed at a conference hosted by the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy (Boston, Sept 19-21, 2006) and attended by about 250 dietitians, nutrition researchers and professionals who work in the food industry. The following are a few key messages:* Omega-3 fats (fish oils) are essential for brain function and fight inflammation, such as occurs with heart disease. Eating (fatty) fish once or twice a week is a wise idea.
<span face="Times New Roman">Making a winning diet
The government's Dietary Guidelines tell us what should eat, but the trick is teaching people (including athletes) HOW to do so. Three eating practices that implement the messages of the Dietary Guidelines and lead to better nutrition (and future health) are: Best wishes for a happy and healthy new year!
(Photo provided by Bongarts, taken by Martin Rose)