Kids with Knee Injuries Need Special Care

According to a study that appears in the February issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, youngsters who injure the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) of the knee require special treatment and care to prevent future knee injuries and complications such as osteoarthritis.

kneeThe ACL is the main, stabilizing ligament of the knee joint. ACL injuries were once rare in children and young teens but are on the rise due to factors such as year-round training, less free play, and a focus on only one type of sport, say the researchers

They analyzed published studies to identify the best ways to treat ACL knee injuries in children and adolescents whose bones have not yet fully matured, which typically occurs in girls by age 14 and in boys by age 16.

Researchers found that youngsters with an ACL injury should be treated by an orthopedic surgeon who has expertise in surgical treatment of this type of injury. Their other recommendations included:

  • Nonsurgical treatment — including limits on physical activity and bracing and/or physical therapy — should be considered for patients with partial ACL tears that involve less than 50 percent of the diameter of the ligament
  • Management after surgery may include weight-bearing and physical activity restrictions, physical therapy, knee strength-training exercises and a gradual, careful return to sports.

The study author, Dr. Jeremy Frank, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, Fla., stated in a news release that complications from ACL knee surgery are rare in youngsters when the appropriate operation is performed on the right patient.



Losing is Necessary

The following guest post, “Losing is Necessary,” is from Coach Ned Campbell, head wrestling coach at James Madison High School, NYC, where he also teaches American history.

A little boy was asked how he learned to skate. ‘By getting up every time I fell down,’ he answered. (David Seabury)

Every year I find myself talking to a complete stranger about losing. Not just one stranger, but dozens of strangers. This is the life a high school wrestling coach, recruiting kids to make a choice to take a chance, at the expense of having to lose in order to get better. Not an easy sell.

The average 14 year old does not have the long view of life, that ability to see themselves way off into the future. Without that perspective, there is no up-side to losing. That means kids can give up quickly, or in some cases, not even try.

losing Losing can make one realize they have things to learn, to improve upon. Knowing what you do not yet know, what you, as of yet, cannot do, that sets the stage for self-improvement. It is the early stimulus to further develop a work ethic.

In a typical conversation with a freshmen, and I am approaching the little guys, the kids weighing less than 100 pounds, typically the kid chosen last, or maybe never chosen, for a team, the issue of “what if I lose?” comes up. I try to lighten the mood by jokingly telling him, “It is not ‘if you are going to lose,’ because you are going to lose, no doubt about that.” Everybody does when they start out. I tell them all I did my first year of wrestling in high school was lose. I didn’t start winning until my second year of wrestling.

I go on to tell him he will have some tough days, but those are the days that make us stronger, and better. Those are the days that teach us lessons, and motivate us to work harder and do more. The memory of those bad days are also what makes the good days you will have all the more sweeter.

Once the season begins, and the losing happens, the young athlete may begin to doubt himself. With a shaken confidence, they are likely to start acting more discouraged, and their resolve to keep trying may begin to wane and weaken. It is at this time when we, the coach and the parents, have to step in and help them stay strong, and to persevere. We can remind them of the long haul, but we must also focus on the positive accomplishments, and areas where there is improvement. However small it may be, improvement is a positive good and deserves to be talked up and commended.

One example I have of this took place just this past season. A freshmen and 1st year wrestler was having a difficult time. He was not wrestling much, and when he did get a chance, he lost quickly. He was looking dejected and I took a moment to speak with him. I asked him if he remembered his first week of practices, how he could not do the push-ups, keep up on the run, and how sore he was the day after practice. He said yes, and then I reminded him how today he was doing the push-ups, and keeping up on the runs. I let him know he had already lost almost 20 pounds, while getting stronger. As a smile started to creep across his face, I saw that he got it. He got the idea of the long haul of work paying off, over time. He could see the progress and make the link to his hard work all season. He liked it.

His improvement over time was not only limited to his physicality. He has opened up more among his peer group. He is walking taller, smiles more quickly, and is improving academically with much better grades than the prior term.

Life is not always easy. There will be some tough times, but that doesn’t mean life is complicated. Believing that “If you fall down, you get back up,” may not be easy, but with the support of positive adults, it can be quite simple, and it can make all the difference in the world.

For more on what you can do to help the young athletes in your life, please visit the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA): a national non-profit with the mission to provide all youth and high school athletes a positive, character-building youth sports experience.



Wrestling…Building Confidence On and Off the Mats

The following post is courtesy of Coach Ned Campbell.

 Hi, my name is Ned Campbell, and I am a wrestling coach in New York City. While New York City is not typically well known for its wrestling, that is starting to change. With the generous and energetic support of Beat the Streets-NYC, wrestling programs in the city have increased in number and improved in skill.

In this brief video clip taken at the Brooklyn Wrestling Club, you see young boys and girls having fun doing something that comes naturally to them: wrestling.  They are doing it in a safe and structured environment under the watchful eyes of certified coaches with years of experience.

While it is clear these kids are having fun, there are other benefits of having your child wrestle.

Wrestling develops a child’s strength, flexibility, and stamina.  It will help build positive character traits in your child which will help them make better life choices and decisions.

As a USA Wrestling coach and the head coach of Brooklyn’s James Madison high school, I can tell you from first-hand experience how great an influence the sport of wrestling has been on my teenaged athletes. 

Their development and maturation has been unmatched by participants in other sports I have coached. They became better students, more self-confident, and positive role-models for our younger wrestlers. They grew into young adults with high personal standards that made others around them better people. In short, they became leaders.

A child’s development is a priority for Beat the Streets NYC and USA Wrestling.  Under the guidance of certified coaches, your child will learn to handle challenges—both on and off the mat—leaving you amazed at their transformation.

Wrestling will:

  • Improve your child’s self confidence,

  • Teach them to respect themselves and others,

  • Promote excellence and encourage them to set goals,

  • Teach them personal accountability and responsibility.

  • Develop honesty, discipline and a strong work ethic-traits that will last a lifetime,

  • Expose them to positive role models.

  • There is no showboating or unsportsmanlike behaviors in the sport of wrestling.  The ideals of good sportsmanship are always upheld.

Beat the Streets NYC and USA Wrestling believe strongly that today’s wrestlers will excel at whatever careers they pursue later in life.

For more information please visit:

James Madison high school in Brooklyn New York, the home of the Golden Knights wrestling team and club.

The Brooklyn Wrestling Club, is an authorized training center and chartered club. It is located at 128-130 Brighton Beach Avenue, 2nd floor,  Brooklyn, New York 11235.  It has wrestling classes for kids of all ages and skill levels.

Beat the Streets-NYC is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing and expanding the sport of wrestling with youth league wrestling programs and expanded opportunities for high school wrestlers.   The Beat the Streets Manhattan Training Center is located at 145 Thompson Street, New York City 10012.

USA Wrestling is hosted by at


Helping a Child Become a Good Sport

being a good sportMost children need help learning to be a good sport.

Being a good sport means being a gracious winner as well as a gracious loser. Losing is no fun and many children have a hard time losing. Some even demonstrate unacceptable behaviors such as throwing things and stomping off the game area.

Being a good sport  is a life skill as well as a social skill that children need to develop early in life as it will help them in so many life situations.

According to the United States Olympic Committee’s education program of 2007  on sportsmanship, a real athlete is a good sport. In the education materials the Olympic Committee gives the following definition of what it means to be a good sport:

An athlete who is a good sport is someone whose conduct and attitude demonstrate gracious behavior before, during, and after competition.  In fact, good sportsmanship demands that nothing be done before, during, or after a game to cheapen or detract from victory.

In yesterday’s “Can Do” Kids’ blog, Coach Campbell speaks with Hector about his behavior after losing a ping pong match and explains good sportsmanship.

The following resources can help a parent, teacher or coach help a child to understand the need for good sportsmanship and the ability to develop the attitude of a good sport.

Real Athletes are Good Sports:

Kids’ Poster: “Being a good sport makes you a winner.”

Lesson Materials for Teachers from:

“Olympic Spirit,” slideshow

Source: Ned Campbell, History Teacher, Head Wrestling Coach, James Madison High School, Brooklyn, NY


You’re Invited to Showcase

The “Can Do” Street Mall Showcase is about sharing! It’s about adults sharing with one another about what young children enjoy and what can boost their enthusiasm for learning.

If you have a program, curriculum, activity, sport, game, software,  camp or resources for children 3-7 years, including children with special needs, now is the time to showcase it in the mall on “Can Do Street.”

There is no fee to showcase.

It is a free feature designed to give parents, teachers and other adults involved in child development the opportunity to see what is available for young children and to replicate what is suitable for their child, school or community. Every submission will credit the person responsible for the submission and include an active link to that person’s website, blog, or social media site.

Eligible showcase  materials include but are not limited to:

Programs: recreation, education, sports,  arts, music, computer, cooking, gardening, martial arts, knitting, sewing, quilting

Curriculum: academics, recreation, the arts, life skills, character and values education

Sports: all age-appropriate sports, intro to sports appropriate for elementary school upper grades

Resources for children with special needs

Showcase formats: Video, UTube, PowerPoint presentation, pictorial display with written narrative,  interactive programs, games, audio/graphic presentations

Submissions to the showcase are reviewed for suitability of content. They will be posted as received and reviewed. We welcome submissions from  individuals, schools and organizations. For more information, or to get your questions answered, please email

The Showcase is about adults sharing what enriches the lives of young children. So…please showcase  and share!


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