Sever’s Disease

severs disease illustration

borrowed from kidshealth.org

If your child develops heel pain you’ll probably hear the term sever’s disease thrown around as something to look into. The most important things to remember are 1) that it is not a disease and 2) it is temporary. For more information on what it is and what causes it click here to go to kidshealth.org for an explanation.  So now you know what it is but what can be done to treat it? You might read or hear that nothing can be done except to rest and to some extent that is true. Hopefully you’ve also heard that with Sever’s disease you won’t do any damage to your body by playing through the pain. You can’t make your body finish growing so that Sever’s goes away but you can manage the pain and in most cases you can keep playing. Each individual is different and what works for one person may not be as effective for the next but after trying many ideas we have Sever’s disease under control. The following is not medical advice.

Things to try for managing pain from Sever’s disease:
1. Compression socks: put them on after practice to keep the legs warm and blood flowing. We got these SmartWool compression socks from REI.
2. KT Tape or Rock Tape. This helped get through practices and games with a little less pain when Sever’s was at its worst. As one Physical Therapist said, “if the kid thinks it helps, it helps.”
3. Ice: after practices and games to reduce the inflammation. An ice gel pack is good but if you really want to see a kid squirm try icing their legs in a bucket! We ice about 10 minutes with the gel pack. For the bucket we did 3 sets of 2 minutes on, 1 minute off. Another unique option that is keeping paper cups filled with water in your freezer. Peel the top of the cup away and massage the ice-cup over the area allowing the ice to melt away.
4.  Gel insoles: the ground is hard here in Colorado and the impact of a cleat hitting that ground is tough on a kid with Sever’s. Buy the lowest profile insole you can find since its going in a cleat and typically a women’s size will work best for kids. We found these to work well and are in the cleat today. It may be uncomfortable at first and you may actually have to go up half a size. We tried Superfeet insoles and while a good product for other scenarios they did not help with Sever’s as there just isn’t enough cushion to reduce the impact.
5. Stretch/massage daily. Keep reading; this is not a typical stretch. Unfortunately for us the heel pain was a precursor to a sharp achilles pain and knots in the calves. This technique however, has eliminated the achilles pain completely.  For maintenance and prevention of Sever’s getting worse this has been by far the most effective of everything we’ve tried.  You’ll have your child lay on their stomach and point the toe. Apply relatively deep pressure on a spot and have the child lengthen the muscle by bringing the toe up towards the shin (note: this should hurt!). Repeat this from just above the Achilles through the calf. Be sure the toe is pointed, then apply the pressure, and then the toe move towards the shin each time. You want to muscle to work through the pressure from a contracted to elongated position. We use a cream called NOW Glucosamine, MSM and Arnica. From Wikipedia: Arnica montana has been used medicinally for centuries. Arnica is used in liniment and ointment preparations used for strains, sprains, and bruises. Commercial Arnica preparations are frequently used by professional athletes.
6. Shoes: If your child plays on turf, then buy turf shoes. If your child plays on artificial grass a fair amount, then invest in AG cleats. These make a huge difference! Lower profile + more studs = less impact on the body
7. Heel Cups: these go into the school sneakers. A women’s size will likely work best for kids.
8. And finally a little Advil before games.

Good luck!

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Soccer Bucket List

Soccer Bucket ListSo soccer is a HUGE part of your life? Then you need to create your Soccer Bucket List! We created this free activity to help you identify your soccer goals and dreams. There are so many things we want to do, places to go, people to meet and defenders to burn that we needed a place to write it all down. The activity includes a Soccer Bucket List printable and a brainstorming guide with prompts, questions, and suggestions to help you create your kickin’ bucket list.

Creating a bucket list is a great way to recharge and motivate yourself, to help you tap into your creativity, give you the courage to try new things, and to live with no regrets.

Remember to stay positive & have fun! No idea is too crazy!

Soccer Bucket list — Free PDF

Soccer Bucket List

Bucket List Brainstorming guide

 

 

 

 

 

Soccer Season Photo Challenge

soccer season photo challengeDon’t forget to capture the magic and memories of your soccer season! We have created a soccer photo challenge to give you ideas of ways to record the special moments from your season.  You spend a good amount of your time at the field with your teammates; capture the moments that are an important part of your life!

Soccer Fan Halloween

 

HalloweenCollageIf you’re looking for a way to combine Halloween and soccer then why not dress up as your favorite soccer fan this year?!? Adding a little colored hair, face paint, and/or other accessories such as flags, scarves and hats to your team’s kit makes for a fun, festive soccer fan Halloween costume that shows spirit for your team.

Have a kickin’ Halloween!!!

 

Tekk Rebounder

tekk rebounder is a great tool to have in the backyardThe Tekk rebounder has been a lot of fun to have in our backyard. It is great for practicing settling the ball out of the air, turning to shoot, and volleys. It’s also good for juggling against, which helps work on reaction speed and coordination. The rebounder was easy to put together, is portable to take to the fields and may be set up at different angles. It has been a very durable product as the net has withstood rain and snow for over 2 years now with no signs of wear and tear. The only pieces that require attention are the bungee straps which fray easily but are replaceable with regular small size bungees from Home Depot. This is a small price to pay for a nice size and quality rebounder that gets great reviews compared to the many cheaper alternatives on the market. I’d much rather spend the money on a quality product that lasts several years than a cheap one that lasts one season.

For a fun game with the kids serve the ball to yourself and finish without the ball touching the ground either with a couple juggling touches and then volley or first time volley. See who can get to 5 goals first if you want to add a friendly competition to the exercise.

You may purchase the Tekk Rebounder and all your other soccer needs at soccer.com

Kids Can Think Too

Kids just wanna have fun!In a coach’s desire to win or a parent’s anxiety to see their kid perform well, kids are told when to pass, when to shoot, where to stand, when to run, and even when to tie their shoes. Does anyone really believe that kids can’t think too? If you want your child or player to think for him or herself, if you want them to enjoy playing the game, if you want to empower them to show their skills without fear of making mistakes, if you want them to learn from their mistakes without being yelled at then coaches and parents need to make a change. Encourage your child’s coach to empower the kids instead of micromanaging them on the field. Without autonomy we are less engaged and when we aren’t emotionally engaged we don’t learn. That’s not a recipe for success or having fun.

Kids can think too! Let them make their own decisions; let them make their own mistakes; let them learn so that they can do all of these things on their own when they’re older.

Keep calm and #letkidsplay so they may continue to play with the same fun, smiles and passion they had when they were five years old. We owe it to them. It’s their game, not ours.

Nike Hypervenom Review

hypervenomI’ve been playing in the new Nike Hypervenoms for a about month now. I love the design and colors. The Hypervenoms have a similar and supportive stud pattern as the CTR360s. The rounded studs should perform well on artificial grass. I like the touch and control the golf ball looking material provides. Their a light cleat which means more speed which is always good! Overall they’re a great cleat and I feel confident when I’m wearing them. I’m sure that’s why many pros including Neymar and Clint Dempsey wear them too. Try them out!

Have Fun and #letkidsplay

letkidsplayAs this season gets into gear remember the reasons that kids play sports:

  • To have fun
  • To do something they’re good at
  • To improve their skills
  • To get exercise

Study after study shows that winning is not the reason that kids play sports. It’s easy sometimes to get caught up in the moment but your words are powerful and can be very damaging. Advice is often perceived as criticism: after a game or practice think about whether your child would rather hear advice from their parent or a simple “it was fun watching you play.” By removing negativity from the dialogue you’re likely to find that your child will enjoy the game more and even perform better because you’re creating an environment where they can relax, focus on the things they can control and know you support them unconditionally. This will increase the odds that your child won’t become one of the 70% of kids that quit organized sports by age 13.

Games are fun but training is where kids become better players. Don’t get too caught up by wins and losses. Praise kids for their hard work (not the wins) because that’s the skill that will bring them the most success in life.

Don’t forget the big picture. Let them have fun! #letkidsplay

By Wendy Baker, Masters of Education in School Counseling, Life Coach, Soccer Mom

Real Madrid Bedroom

Real Madrid Bedroom

When I was given the opportunity to redecorate my bedroom I chose to create a Real Madrid themed room. I love soccer, I love Real Madrid and now I can officially say that “I sleep soccer” too. My room is a combination of items that I’ve made along with some things that I’ve bought including using old (too small) jerseys as hanging decoration. The Spain flag painting is an original done on canvas (30×40) with a little help from a projector and my parents. The Christiano Ronaldo, Iker Casillas, and team posters are from soccer.com and you can purchase the Real Madrid bedding here on amazon.com

I’m really proud of the Real Madrid crest painting in this picture. You can purchase the wood star hooks (painted), picture frames, and Real Madrid blanket from amazon.com

Real Madrid decorations

 

I like the scarf wrapped around the bedpost as a nice touch:

Real Madrid scarf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you like my soccer decorating ideas check out our soccer decorating board on Pinterest for other soccer resources and ideas.

Hala Madrid!

Bownet Soccer Goal

Bow Net Portable Soccer goals Bownet Soccer Goals are great portable goals for coaches and kids who want to play as much as they can. They are a great option for playing anytime, anywhere. The goals come in different sizes, fold down easily and come with a travel bag for transportation to practice or just the local park for pickup soccer. They are durable and the pieces don’t come apart when a ball hits the frame. We like that we can take it anywhere, it fits well in our backyard and it doesn’t hurt if you accidentally dive into the posts. If you want to work on shooting and finishing you have to get one of these! Our Bownet soccer goal is 3 years old and has spent a lot of time in our backyard even during rain and snow. You may purchase your own Bow Net goal at soccer.com (Goal Club members get the best price). Enjoy!Bownet Soccer GoalBownet soccer goal