Who We Are
MomsTeam Institute, Inc. (“the Institute”) is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed in 2013 to continue and expand on MomsTEAM’s fourteen-year mission of providing comprehensive, well-researched information to sports parents, athletes, coaches, athletic trainers, and other health care professionals about sports health and safety, nutrition, and parenting.
The Institute's mission for the past 15 years has been to provide all those involved in sports with comprehensive, objective, impeccably researched and practical information, and best practice resources and solutions, to help keep student-athletes safe, physically, psychologically, and sexually
What We Do
The Institute has made and continues to make sports safer in four ways:
Launched in August 2000, MomsTEAM.com has grown to include over 10,000 pages of high quality, well-researched, continually updated content on youth sports health and safety and parenting.
2. Documentaries and Videos
In August 2013, PBS stations across the country began broadcasting The Smartest Team: Making High School Football Safer, an hour-long documentary, independently produced by MomsTEAM, showing how a high school football program in rural Oklahoma, by implementing our evidence-based Six Pillar™ head injury risk management program, was able to make the game safer.
The MomsTEAM.com and MomsTEAM Institute websites collectively feature hundreds of short and full-length videos by youth sports experts on a wide variety of subjects, from concussions to nutrition, from hydration to resistance training.
3. Sports Safety Summits
In September 2014, the Institute held its inaugural sports safety summit, SmartTeams Play Safe: Protecting the Health and Safety of the Whole Child in Youth Sports, at Harvard Medical School. A stellar roster of national experts gave 15-minute “TED-talk"-style presentations on how to improve youth sports safety by adopting best practices. The presentations were videotaped and became a series of SmartTeams™ Talks. The summit was widely hailed by attendees as the best of its kind.
For the past two years, MomsTEAM has been working with youth football programs around the country developing and testing a comprehensive set of youth sports health and safety best practice checklists. When launched nationally in 2016, the SmartTeams™ designation will be awarded to youth sports organizations which have demonstrated a commitment to minimizing the risk of physical and psychological injury and sexual abuse to young athletes by implementing such practices. Programs that have achieved SmartTeam™ status will provide safety-conscious sports parents a level of assurance they have made the health and safety of athletes an important priority, not to be sacrificed at the altar of team or individual success.
How We Are Different
The Institute is different from other sports safety organizations in three very important ways:
The Institute has always served the interests of allthose with a stake in making sports safer for youth, teens and young adults, not any special interest or group.
We have and always will advocate #For the Players, their parents, coaches, and health care providers.
2. Visionary leadership
The Institute has repeatedly demonstrated visionary leadership and been a pioneer in educating sports stakeholders and providing them practical advice on a wide range of sports safety issues, including
- Concussions and repetitive head impacts: No less an authority than Dr. Robert Cantu, our first concussion expert, considers the MomsTEAM Concussion Center, launched in 2001, to be a “pioneer in concussion education.”
- Importance of certified athletic trainers:MomsTEAM has been in the vanguard of efforts to put ATs on the sidelines at sports practice and game at every high school in the country.
- Cardiac safety MomsTEAM was one of the first safety organizations to advocate for widespread deployment of automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) at every sports practice and game, and has donated countless AEDs to programs that could not otherwise afford them. (see photo at right showing Executive Director, Brooke de Lench, donating an AED to Ira Carter, head of the Grand Prairie, TX youth football and cheer program.
- Overuse injuries: MomsTEAM has advocated tirelessly against the dangers of early sports specialization and year-round play, which have contributed to an epidemic of overuse injuries in team and individual sports.
- Hydration and heat illnesses: MomsTEAM has been educating parents for fifteen years about the need for youth athletes to drink fluids before, during, and after sports, about the signs and symptoms of heat illness, the need for pre-season acclimatization in football, and the need to modify or cancel practices in high heat and humidity.
- Emergency Action Plans:MomsTEAM has emphasized the importance of EAPs in sports safety for many years.
- Safety training: We have long emphasized the need for youth sports coaches to be trained in first aid, CPR, and the use of an AED.
- Emotional, psychological, and sexual abuse prevention: MomsTEAM has been educating parents and coaches for years about the dangers of abuse in sports and about ways such abuse can be prevented, such as through background checks and a rule prohibiting a coach from ever being alone with a child athlete.
- Importance of comprehensive pre-participation physical evaluations (PPE): MomsTeam has advocated for many years for the use of a comprehensive PPE. including the taking of a complete family cardiac history and history of concussions.
The Institute has gained a reputation over the last 15 years as a leader in youth sports health and safety education, widely respected by parents, coaches, and health care professionals, many of whom rely on our reporting on peer-reviewed research to stay abreast of the constantly evolving science of sports medicine.
That MomsTEAM.com is the trusted source for sports safety information is reflected by:
- Its selection as one of the top 3 websites of its kind by Good Housekeepingmagazine
- Its inclusion as 1 of only 40 “pioneer organizations” invited by Unicef UK to participate in a global sports safety initiative testing the 2014 International Safeguards for Children in Sport
- Its selection as 1 of only 6 winners of a NCAA-Department of Defense “Mind Matters” Educational Challenge grant for its proposal to develop a multi-media educational intervention designed to improve reporting of concussion symptoms by student-athletes by creating a safe concussion reporting environment.