November 23, 2015 Leave a comment
I am pleased to have as our guest today Ms. Brooke de Lench, a pioneer and leader in the field of youth sports safety. Brooke is founder and Executive Director of MomsTEAM Institute of Youth Sports Safety, Producer of the PBS movie ‘The Smartest Team: Making High School Football Safer,” and author of Home Team Advantage: The Critical Role of Mothers in Youth Sports.
Brooke has become a valued colleague, and someone I think of immediately when I’m asked what relevance social media has for a sports medicine clinician. I first ‘met’ Brooke on Twitter, and as our relationship has evolved, I now find I work with her on a weekly if not sometimes daily basis, addressing youth sports issues of mutual concern. I am proud that I have become a member of the Board of Directors for the non-profit MomsTEAM Institute, a professional role I have written about in previous blog posts.
Much of the work MomsTEAM has done has been instrumental in advancing the cause of identifying, preventing, and managing concussions in youth sports, and there is a natural affiliation that has developed between this journal and MomsTEAM over the years, with the Institute authoring several blog posts on the research in youth concussions. Those posts have frequently looked at work that CJSM has published. Our November 2015 issue has, for instance, two pieces of original research that I suspect may end up in the pages of a MomsTEAM post: Register-Mihalik’s ‘Characteristics of Pediatric and Adolescent Concussion Clinic Patients with Post-concussion Amnesia,’ and Schmidt’s ‘Does Visual Performance Influence Head Impact Severity Among High School Football Athletes?’
With MomsTEAM gearing up for a collaboration with Sony Pictures‘ Concussion (the movie)–an event that I think will impact all clinicians caring for youth athletes–I thought it was time to interview Brooke on our regularly recurring “Five Questions with CJSM” feature.
1) CJSM: How old is MomsTeam Institute and how did you found it?
BD: I established MomsTEAM Institute in 1999 and we launched our first website and workshops in August of 2000. I began writing the “Survival Guide for Youth Sports Parents” in 1998 when Random House offered to publish my book in three volumes over the subsequent five years because I had “so much information.” Instead, I turned to the limitless container of information – the new and emerging internet which was something much more exciting to me. Later in 2006, I did write a book that Harper Collins published.
In 2000, there was nowhere to find independent, objective well researched and well written information for sports parents, and so I brought together a team of experts in medicine, law, journalism, sports, and coaching who along with me as a writer-researcher, began the long journey of providing the very best information on how to keep student athletes safe: physically, emotionally, psychologically and sexually.
Parents always seemed to turn to me with sports safety questions; my triplet sons called these regulars “Moms Team.” Hence the name. Read more of this post