May 7, 2014
We are delighted to have Robert Zayas, Executive Director of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA), join us today for our “Five Questions with CJSM” feature.
I met Robert at an inaugural meeting of the National Youth Council on Sports Safety (NCYSS) in Washington, D.C. last November, and I have been after him ever since to sit down with us to share his unique perspective on American youth sports. He’s a busy man, as you’ll see, and so we’re all fortunate to have him join us.
With a clinical practice in pediatric sports medicine, youth sports are never far from my mind. In D.C. Robert and I had a chat about some of the challenges facing the kids and adults involved in contemporary youth sports: early sport specialization (the focus of an earlier blog post); the rise of youth league sports in parallel with interscholastic sports; the unique pressures the American athletic scholarship phenomenon places on young athletes; the evidence that participation rates are declining in landmark sports like football and soccer……it’s a world in flux, with lots of questions.
And so it’s great to have people like Robert Zayas involved in guiding the ship through these changing seas.
1) CJSM: Congratulations! You have recently been named to the National Council on Youth Sports Safety. Can you tell us a little bit about the goals of the council, and what you hope to contribute to the process?
RZ: Thank you; it is truly an honor to serve as a member of the National Council on Youth Sports Safety.
In its first year, the NCYSS will meet quarterly to review existing research, explore alternative solutions, and develop a strategic plan for the implementation of a national set of guidelines on youth sports safety. The second year will include a best practices tour where the public will be provided with opportunities to learn about scientific and technological advancements, effective coaching and training techniques, and contribute feedback on methods that have led to a decline in injury in their respective communities.
I hope to represent the high school sports view-point on the council. Most importantly, I hope to ensure interscholastic, education based sports are seen as an extension of the classroom and the impact concussions are having on the “student” in all areas of education.
2) CJSM: You are the Executive Director of the NYSPHSAA. Can you tell us a bit about your background and what you see as the mission of the association?
RZ: My background in education and athletics spans a very short period of time when compared to other Executive Directors throughout the country. Read more of this post