Nearly all parents surveyed felt organized team sports provide positive experiences for their children, and 31 percent said learning values such as teamwork and sportsmanship was the most important benefit. Surveyed sports included football, soccer, field hockey, basketball, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, baseball, softball and T-ball.
Young advised parents to learn the rules of the sports their children play and get to know their coaches, but not to push them to play the game itself. That motivation needs to come from the kids, he said.
"If you're leading the way and pushing it, I don't know if that's healthy over a period of time," he said.
For more on youth sports safety, go to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
SOURCES: May 2, 2011, Safe Kids USA news conference with: Angela Mickalide, CHES, director, research and programs, Safe Kids Worldwide; Steve Young, former NFL player and Hall of Fame quarterback; Gerard Gioia, Ph.D., director, Safe Concussion Outcome, Recovery & Education (SCORE) Program at Children's National Medical Center, Washington, D.C.; Douglas Casa, Ph.D., chief operating officer, Korey Stringer Institute, Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Conn.
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