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All about sport parenting

Sarah Dixon

Look no further.

Dr. Jordan Metzl, national pediatric sports medicine expert, is in Vail today to address some of these sports-parenting concerns and field questions regarding children and athletics.

“My ultimate goal is to help parents with kids involved in sports be better in tune with what their children need,” Metzl says.

Metzl’s new book, “The Young Athlete: A Sports Doctor’s Complete Guide for Parents,” is a user-friendly aid for parents of young athletes.

“I compiled the book from all the questions I’ve fielded from parents during my time in practice,” Metzl says. “It addresses everything from injury prevention to good communication with coaches.”

Metzl will hold a free seminar and book-signing today from noon to 2:30 p.m. in the Vail Town Council Chambers.

“I think it’s in the nature of this valley to be really athletic,” said Vail Resort’s spokeswoman Emily Jacobs. “In addition to that, it’s summer, everyone’s outside, being active – it’s just an overall big time for youth sports. This presentation is very relevant to a lot of people in the area.”

Metzl is the co-founder of the Sports Medicine Institute for Young Athletes at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, and is also a medical correspondent for CBS news.

“The Young Athlete: A Sports Doctor’s Complete Guide for Parents” is broken into sections dealing with different topics, such as nutrition, specific injuries and making sure your child chooses the right sport.

Regarding injury prevention, Metzl suggests encouraging children to begin lifting weights as early as 9 years old.

“People don’t think children that young should be involved with weights, but it’s one of the most important injury prevention measures I can suggest,” he says.

He also addresses the alarmingly widespread use of athletic supplements, such as Creatine.

“We have no idea what the long-term effects of these supplements are going to be,” he explains. “I try to suggest ways for parents to discourage use while remaining positive with their children.”

In another section, the book details knee and ankle injuries and suggests preventive measures.

“Girls are much more likely to tear the ACL ligament in the knee, so I include a few exercises that will help build strength and resistance,” he says, flipping to a page with clearly illustrated diagrams of both the knee itself and the preventive exercises suggested.

The final section of the book is a crib sheet, of sorts, breaking down seemingly complex sports matters into issues parents can easily understand.

“I go through and break things down even further – things like the definition of a concussion – things that parents just want to understand in case it happens to their kids,” Metzl says.

Metzl himself is an avid athlete, having run 17 marathons and an Ironman triathlon. He also played soccer for his alma matter, University of Missouri.

“I love sports; that’s the bottom line,” Metzl says. “I want to help parents understand and relate to their athletic children. I want my book to be a resource of involved sport-parenting techniques.”

“The Young Athlete: A Sports Doctor’s Guide for Parents” will be available for purchase at the presentation, priced at $23.95 plus tax.

For more information, call the Vail Recreation District’s sports department at 479-2280..


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