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The Soccer Sidelines
35 minMAR 15
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Let's Get Back to the Game!

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Who among us has not missed youth sports and looked forward to returning to youth sports? The playing. The outdoors. Pushing our limits and enjoying teamwork with friends... Adults, we might not miss the driving around, but there is no substitute for the joy, laughter, and conversation that comes into our homes as a result of a youth sports program. Kids miss their friends, the game, getting to run around, and even showing off a little from time to time with a well placed ball. Our culture has taken a serious hit when youth sports were sidelines and in many places around the world, it's time to get back to it!As we build our programs for the Spring, Summer, and Fall seasons, we will do well to remember some important considerations returning to play. Getting and keeping kids safe and game ready is a big deal. It doesn't happen by paying a fee, ordering a uniform, and showing up for practice. The stuff that happens below the waterline is more important than ever right now and if we don't openly address these things today, we'll be looking at injuries tomorrow. I'm not understating this point. Important For Returning to Youth SportsLet's lay out a short list if important considerations returning to youth sports. We'll talk about each one in a little more detail in a minute, but for right now, let's prime the mental pump. * Kids have been away from sports for many months* Some kids got COVID* Social norms have changed* People who were in seasonal jobs like coaching and being a referee may not be there * Volunteers and volunteerism has changed* Gear may not have been maintainedThis is a simple six-pack of considerations we didn't have to think about when programming the Fall of 2019 season. We're all affected by a year+ long pandemic now and these things (and more) are definitely on the planning table today - or they should be! PLEASE: support the show and/or join our community as a Patron through my Patreon pageBeing Away from SportsI chose to talk about this one up front because 1. there is probably the most to say about this and 2. this is the one that will surely lead to injuries when kids, coaches and an army of volunteers return to fields for the first time. This one point can be the source for several articles by itself, by I know you and you know where I'm going with this. Some Kids Got COVIDAn article in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) titled Return to Play for Athletes After Coronavirus Disease 2019 Infection—Making High-Stakes Recommendations as Data Evolve talks about how COVID may affect the hearts of patients who have previously had the disease. Even in asymptomatic cases - cases where the patient had no symptoms - autopsies have revealed that in up to 60% of post COVID patients may have ongoing inflammation of the heart muscle. It is not yet clear how medically significant this will be in the long term - especially in kids under the age of 15 where very little data exists. Most cases are not expected to lead to sudden cardiac death - a condition that is more statistically prevalent in high school aged kids - but there is a possibility - perhaps even a probability that sudden cardiac death will become more importan...