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  • Eat Like an Olympian - 5 Golden Foods

    Time for the Winter Olympics and athletes of all shapes, sizes and sports looking for gold. Gold medals represent the best of the best in the respective sport, but winning gold is not about just training hard; it is about fueling and recovery day-in and day-out. No athlete becomes the best and makes it to the Olympics without paying attention to the fuel he/she puts in his/her body. Winning gold requires providing your body with adequate and quality nutrition to help it build, perform and recover. Golden foods, or those that are yellow and orange in color, are full of beta-carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A in the body. Why is this so important you might ask? Beta-carotene and vitamin A are both rich antioxidants! Antioxidants help fight off disease and illness by buffering free radicals, or bad guys, in your body, plus they help your body recover. Many golden foods are also high in fiber and boast of many other nutrients like vitamin C. Here are some creative ways to add gold to your training diet throughout the Olympics: 1. Sweet potato: Sweet potatoes can be a great carbohydrate choice for any meal, and you can even roast them to make sweet potato wedge “fries”. This is a fun way to allow your family to eat fries in a healthy way! Another interesting twist on sweet potatoes is to make hash out of them and pair them with eggs and veggies at breakfast. It’s a nutrient-rich way to start your day! 2. Golden beets: One of the top disliked vegetables is a beet! However, there are lots of creative ways to eat these golden spectacles of health! One of the most delicious ways is to roast them in the oven with a little olive oil and salt, then sprinkle them with goat cheese and chopped pistachios and drizzle with some balsamic vinaigrette! Mmm mmm! 3. Peaches: Of course you can slice up a peach and eat it; skin on please! But one scrumptious dessert is to roast peaches (or slices and cook in microwave), drizzle with vanilla Greek yogurt and top with a little granola, toasted oats or chopped nuts. This is a nutrient-rich twist on a high-calorie crumble dessert you might find at a restaurant. Plus, it helps you and your family get in a serving of fruit and antioxidants. 4. Apricots: Dried apricots can be a great addition to homemade trail mix or as a pre-workout snack to give you a boost of energy. The bright golden color adds flavor and fiber! 5. Butternut squash: Most people think yellow summer squash when they think squash, but butternut is actually a winter squash that can count as your carbohydrate at dinner or in a salad. Rich in nutrients, it is a little higher in calories than summer squash, but a great whole food choice for your energy source at lunch or dinner. While it is important to consume fruits and vegetables in all colors of the rainbow, paying attention to the yellow-orange variety can help boost your immune system and give you and your kids the nutrients you all need to make it through the cold winter! Want to go for gold? Fuel with golden nutrients! Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD is a sports dietitian in the DFW area. She has worked with Texas Christian University Athletics, the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, FC Dallas Soccer, Jim McLean Golf School and many PGA Tour players as well as with many middle school, high school and endurance athletes. Amy speaks at a variety of nutrition, athletic training and coaching conferences. She is an ambassador/spokesperson for the National Dairy Council, a Dairy Max Health and Wellness Advisory Council member and on the Speakers Bureau for Gatorade Sports Science Institute. Amy is also the co-author of “Swim, Bike, Run – Eat,” a sports nutrition book for triathletes. Amy received her Bachelor of Science in speech communications from Texas Christian University and Master of Science in exercise and sports nutrition from Texas Woman’s University. She is also a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics. Contact Amy @ amy.goodson.rd@gmail.com 214-298-3411 Visit Amy's Website

  • Concussion Recovery: Physical Therapy?

    There has been a tremendous movement over the past decade to increase awareness about concussions. There are now international guidelines on concussion management in place. A typical recovery following a concussion will occur within 30 days, when the athlete is then cleared by a medical professional to return back to sport. However, it has been documented that up to 20 percent of the child and adolescent population has concussion symptoms that linger for longer than four weeks. The most common symptoms that persist post-concussion are headaches, dizziness and blurry vision. Unfortunately, an athlete with prolonged recovery can also experience varying degrees of depression and anxiety. This is one of the many reasons it is important to have a multidisciplinary team of experts treating this condition. For athletes with unresolved symptoms post-concussion, physical therapy can become a part of the patient’s care. Based on the patient’s symptoms and impairments, the doctor may additionally recommend occupational therapy and speech therapy. The young athlete may receive physical therapy to address impairments and functional limitations associated with their symptoms, as well as prepare them for returning to their sport. What is concussion-based physical therapy? After sustaining a concussion, the young athlete is referred to physical therapy, where the physical therapist evaluates the athlete so that they can detect impairments related to their symptoms. A patient’s symptoms are addressed through treatment of the identified body systems that are contributing to the prolonged symptoms. The physical therapy care for these patients, is a unique blend of vestibular therapy, neurologic rehab, vision training, balance retraining, orthopedic care and functional movement retraining. Rehab exercises can include anything as basic as eye exercises or as advanced as counting backwards by 7’s while doing a fast paced pivot turn catching drill. Prior to each child being discharged, they must improve their symptoms in combination with completion of a sport specific exertional test. In the exertional test, the athlete will be required to complete a half-hour of pre-planned activities. Each clinician conducting the test has criteria they are assessing, including any of the following: heart rate response, symptoms and ability to complete the test. Why would a young athlete need physical therapy post-concussion? In the world of sports medicine, physical therapists are part of the post-concussion care team. Physical therapists have been a part of brain rehabilitation, referred to as neurorehab, for many decades now. Since concussion is classified as a mild traumatic brain injury, neurorehab is part of the treatment to address the following domains: balance, walking patterns, coordination and the communication between the eyes, brain and inner ear system. These allow the athlete to respond to their surrounding environment, such as the ability to see a soccer ball clearly while receiving a pass from a teammate while running down the field. At the time of injury, the neck under goes forces that are related to whiplash or high rotational forces that leave the surrounding muscles feeling sore at best. Some headaches and most cases of neck pain are caused by dysfunctional movement patterns of the neck. A physical therapist can help rehabilitate the neck through a variety of techniques. A longstanding recovery can negatively affect an athlete’s conditioning; thus, the physical therapist also helps guide the patient through safe forms of exercise to gradually load the athlete’s body. This progression is based off the physician’s guidance, standardized testing, current return-to-play protocols and the athelete’s symptoms. Research is being done to investigate the relationship between common sports injuries (knee injuries, ankle injuries) and concussions. Knowing there can be a relationship between these two, a sports physical therapist will also look at a patient’s injury history to help address injury prevention and maximize an athlete’s readiness for return to sport. This is especially true when the athlete intends to engage in a contact sports. In Conclusion Post-concussion care is rapidly evolving, and with the increasing research available, we now have evidence to help kids recover. If you’re a parent suspecting your child has unresolved post-concussion symptoms, please speak to your physician about physical therapy. The goal of the clinicians is to do what they can now to help a child avoid post-injury complications that could follow them well into adulthood. References: McCrory P, Meeuwisse W, Dvorak J, et al. Consensus statement on concussion in sport—the 5th international conference on concussion in sport held in Berlin, October 2016. Br J Sports Med Published Online First: 26 April 2017. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2017-097699 Gioia GA, Schneider JC, Vaughan CG, et al. Which symptom assessments and approaches are uniquely appropriate for paediatric concussion?. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2009;43:i13-i22. LH Tee, NWC Chee. Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy for the Dizzy Patient. Annals Academy of Medicine. 2005; 34.4. 289-294. Jennifer Kieschnick, PT, DPT is a pediatric orthopedic and sports medicine physical therapist, at the Children’s HealthSM Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in Plano. She attended Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and received a doctorate in physical therapy. She has been practicing physical therapy since 2010, and her special areas of interest include aiding in the recovery of young patients suffering from post-concussion symptoms, as well as guiding recovery after ACL reconstruction and general orthopedic conditions. She is certified by the Functional Movement Systems (FMS) in the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) and her passion is promoting health and wellness in young patients, through her practice in pediatric sports medicine and orthopedics.

  • Back to School – 5 Ways to Think Outside the Bag

    Back-to-school or back-to-work doesn’t have to mean back to boring, brown bag lunches. By using USDA’s MyPlate, you can create lots of different lunch options that meet your nutrition needs. Start thinking outside the “bag”! You want half your lunch to be fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables provide valuable vitamins and minerals to help with many of your body’s functions. Packing a variety of colors keeps the options endless. Carrots and hummus, apples and peanut butter, or layering your sandwich with spinach and tomato are all delicious options! When packing carbohydrates for lunch, make sure to choose whole grain options. Carbohydrates are your body’s primary source of fuel and help give you energy all day long. Branch out from the typical lunch carbs of bread and chips and try a cup of cold quinoa and bean salad, crunch on whole wheat crackers or baked veggie chips, or wrap your typical sandwich up in a whole wheat tortilla or stuff it in a multi-grain pita. Protein is important for your body to repair and rebuild muscles. Lean proteins in lunches are usually luncheon meat on sandwiches, but try a grilled chicken breast cut into strips, tuna packed in water, hardboiled egg, or even beans as a source of protein. Dairy products provide carbohydrates, protein, lots of vitamins and minerals and are essential for helping to build and maintain strong bones. MyPlate lists dairy as a side item, which can include low fat milk, yogurt, or cheese. Here are five lunches to help the keep the boredom out of the bag this fall: Some like it hot lunch: Whole wheat penne pasta with spinach and mushrooms, hardboiled egg, low fat milk, sliced watermelon Pita packed lunch: Whole grain pita stuffed with chopped grilled chicken breast, baby spinach leaves, diced tomatoes, cucumber and hummus, 2 Clementines, Greek yogurt Cool fall day lunch: Three-bean soup, brown rice, 2% string cheese, baby carrots and grape tomatoes, baggie of mixed berries My kid hates sandwiches lunch: 1 serving whole wheat crackers, 2 oz sliced grilled chicken, pre-made guacamole pack, 8 baby cubes of cheese, apple and peanut butter Slice and dice it lunch: Mixed greens loaded with veggies, 3 oz salmon, 1 oz low-fat feta cheese, ¼ cup dried cranberries, ½ cup couscous and balsamic vinaigrette Don’t get stuck in a rut while getting back into your routine schedule this fall! A few minutes of planning and creativity can have your whole family eating nutrient-rich lunches at home, school and work! Color your day with MyPlate! Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD is a sports dietitian in the DFW area. She has worked with Texas Christian University Athletics, the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, FC Dallas Soccer, Jim McLean Golf School and many PGA Tour players as well as with many middle school, high school and endurance athletes. Amy speaks at a variety of nutrition, athletic training and coaching conferences. She is an ambassador/spokesperson for the National Dairy Council, a Dairy Max Health and Wellness Advisory Council member and on the Speakers Bureau for Gatorade Sports Science Institute. Amy is also the co-author of “Swim, Bike, Run – Eat,” a sports nutrition book for triathletes. Amy received her Bachelor of Science in speech communications from Texas Christian University and Master of Science in exercise and sports nutrition from Texas Woman’s University. She is also a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics. Contact Amy @ amy.goodson.rd@gmail.com 214-298-3411 Visit Amy's Website

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  • The Athlete's Parent Home

    VOTE NEW ON THE ATHLETE'S PARENT 1/6 From the Editor Thank you so much for visiting The Athlete's Parent! In today's world there is no lack of information; there is however a lack of credible information. At The Athlete's Parent, we provide you with content from only the best experts on the subject. From board-certified physicians in pediatrics and sports medicine; to sports dietitians; certified sport psychology consultants; physical therapists; and sports performance trainers and coaches who have worked with professional and Olympic athletes, our team shares the keys to raising successful athletes. Our mission is "To educate, encourage, and connect our sports community to raise a generation of healthy and successful athletes." We're confident that here you will find the keys to do just that! Happy reading...and may you and your athletes find success on and off the field! - Amber

  • The Journey of a Soccer Mom

    THE JOURNEY OF A SOCCER MOM by The Athlete's Parent Staff Interview with with Jackie Craft ​ US Youth Soccer records show that in 2014, there were 3,055,148 young people who registered to play soccer in the United States. That makes for an awful lot of SUV’s being driven around by soccer moms! Although there are millions of them out there, all driving in different directions, soccer moms share a common journey; the journey to help their young athletes reach their dreams. ​ Jackie Craft, fellow soccer mom, shared with us over a cup of latte about the journey she is on with her three young soccer players. It’s a journey that began in a folding chair on an Abingdon, Virginia sideline, and has brought her to a seat in Toyota Stadium where her oldest son, Coy, plays for the FC Dallas MLS team. ​ "Coy was three, obviously athletic and really energetic,” shared Jackie. “Soccer was really the only option at that point, and so we put him in it and just thought it was cute to get him ready for ‘real sports’ like baseball, football, and any of those," she added as she laughed over her latte. While Jackie, and her husband, Chad, looked for a temporary sport for their three-year-old, Coy fell in love with the game of soccer. Realizing his love for the sport, the Crafts decided to let him to continue to play when they eventually met Declan Jogi, who was the competitive coach in Bristol, a town that straddles the state line of Tennessee and Virginia. ​ "He (Jogi) really fostered that interest in Coy, and saw a lot of talent and encouraged us to keep him in it,” said Jackie. Jogi guided the Crafts in their efforts to help Coy grow his talent, and in the meantime, the Craft’s other two children, Bailey and Shelby, also took an interest in soccer. Jackie found herself in all-out soccer mom mode. Throughout the years, many commented on Coy’s strong abilities in soccer, but according to Jackie, they just took it with a grain of salt. It wasn’t until Coy reached the age that he could try out for the Olympic Development Program (ODP) that things started catching their attention. At age 13, Coy made the national pool. “That's what really catapulted him in the sport, and we knew that maybe we did have something special on our hands, and we needed to know more about it,” said Jackie. ​ Soon after, the Crafts journey would take them beyond their small town of Abingdon, Virginia. “We started to outgrow the area,” added Jackie. “You can't have a 14-year-old needing to play up with 16-year-olds without really worrying about him getting hurt." The Crafts looked for opportunities for Coy to guest play with other teams, to help him to continue to develop and play among other talented players. “We were grasping at straws to keep him in the area,” said Jackie. On one of Coy’s national team trips, Oscar Pereja was a staff coach and technical director at FC Dallas at the time. He noticed Coy’s abilities and invited him to try out for the FC Dallas Academy team. The try out resulted in Coy making the 16 Academy team at the age of 14, and thus began the Craft’s journey with FC Dallas. ​ "That's really what got us to Texas," said Jackie. Coy lived in in Texas for 6 months with a host family, and in their visiting they decided that Frisco would be a good destination for their whole family. Having two younger children who also had a talent for soccer made it an even more obvious choice for them. So, Jackie and her husband both started applying for jobs. "Chad got a job pretty much immediately,” said Jackie. “It wasn't just for soccer.” People assumed that they were just moving for Coy to play soccer, but in Jackie’s words, “That's why we visited the area, but without parents with secure jobs then you don't move." Jackie's other two children Shelby and Baily also tried out, both making FC Dallas teams. You could pretty much say they became an FC Dallas family. Throughout their trek from Abingdon to Frisco, Jackie has watched Coy live out his dream of becoming a professional soccer player at age 17 as he plays with both FC Dallas MLS and their affiliate USL team, Oklahoma City Energy FC. As she continues to help all three of her teens reach their dreams, she gleans from her experience and offers advice to other soccer moms along their journeys. ​ "The biggest piece of advice from a parenting standpoint about your kid’s progress through becoming the best soccer player they can be is that at 10 you may have coaches telling you that you have an extremely talented child, but that doesn't mean that same talent will stand out at age 13. They grow, hit puberty, and some are slower growers that are really talented. Some are faster growers that aren't all that talented, but they figure it out. So between 10 and 15, really take what you see and what you hear from coaches moderately...not too seriously, but not too relaxed. Because nobody can tell you that your son or daughter is going to be a professional soccer player at age10. Between 10 and 15 you really have to just stick to the journey, and the focus should be on your kid being the best player that he or she can be...not being on the best team, or playing for the fanciest coach. It (the focus) should be on them developing their skills; their tactical and technical ability; their ability to lead; their ability to communicate; and their ability to take criticism and compliments. You need to find some type of balance in that. Because it really isn't until they're 15 or 16 that they're going to land somewhere, and it may not be soccer. It may be something else, or it may be that at 15 or 16 everything starts coming together. If you take it too seriously, it can be detrimental to your family, and really hazardous to your kids because they’re going to change every year. When they’re 10 they’re not going to be that same player at age 14…good or bad. Remember it’s a process, and sometimes you just have to be quiet, be still, and just focus on your kid playing well and getting better. Parents need to make sure their kids are growing as a player and a person, and at the same time having fun.” ​ For those who know the Crafts, one thing they will say of them is that they know how to have fun together. Jackie has done a tremendous job keeping her kids grounded, by creating an environment where they just enjoy being together. "We play a lot of games," shared Jackie when asked what they do for fun as a family. They're on the go enough with soccer that they enjoy grilling at home and just spending time relaxing. If Sunday is soccer free, then the Crafts know it's a time to worship together at church. ​ For every soccer mom, the journey travels beyond the field and sidelines. Long after the last game is played, the journey will continue. Because a soccer mom is ultimately just a mother helping her children reach all of their dreams.

  • Athlete's Nutrition - The Athlete's Parent

    A THLETE'S NUTRITION Can Food Prevent Muscle Cramps? Exercise-associated muscle cramping is one of the most common complaints among athletes, and the cause of these cramps is still under investigation. 10 Foods for Injured Athletes Did you know that nutrition also plays a crucial role in healing and can speed up your athlete’s recovery process? Staying Hydrated Amidst a Hot Summer Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, Sports Dietitian to TCU, Dallas Cowboys, and FC Dallas, shares how you can stay hydrated! ​ Can Food Prevent Muscle Cramps? Exercise-associated muscle cramping is one of the most common complaints among athletes, and the cause of these cramps is still under investigation. 1/18 Click on the images above to read our Athlete's Nutrition Articles! ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​

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Experts who work with professional & Olympic athletes share information for your youth athlete!