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Making the Cut: Mom Tackles
Key Issues Facing Youth Sports Today

This year, over 11 million middle and high school students will participate in some type of organized school sport activity. However, for every one child who hits the field, the ice, or the court this season, seven who would like to participate won't. The question is why?

According to Brooke de Lench, Editor-in-Chief of the popular website, and author of the new book, Home Team Advantage: The Critical Role of Mothers in Youth Sports, the answer is the shift in the focus of school sports from participation to performance, from education to winning at all costs, from inclusion to exclusion. The belief of many schools and their coaches is that cutting kids from teams allows for conservation of financial resources, and that is also prepares children for the realities of an adult world where there are winners and losers. de Lench, an advocate for safety, fairness and reform in youth sports, says that line of reasoning is counterproductive to a child's development. "The fact is that the amount of money saved from cutting is insignificant, while the damage to a child's self-esteem, and physical and emotional development can be enormous," says de Lench.

Home Team Advantage explores this and other primary issues affecting youth sports today, and in writing it, Brooke de Lench is bridging one of the last great gender gaps - a mother's involvement in her children's athletic activities. Traditionally a "no women zone", de Lench has worked tirelessly to educate women to become empowered to take an active role in what happens to their children while playing sports. "Much of the information available out there today is written by men, for men. The goal of this book, and the MomsTeam website, is to put women on an equal footing with men so that they can voice their opinion with authority and confidence; especially given the fact that often - whether due to schedule or family dynamics - it's the mother who is on the front line day-to-day with these issues," de Lench notes.

Other key issues that Home Team Advantage covers include:

  • Accountability - How do we expect children to learn maturity and sportsmanship when parents & coaches act like kids?

  • Balance - Mastering the fine art of juggling work and home with your child's sports activity schedule, and facing and planning for the reality of what it costs for them to play.

  • Abuse - Psychological, physical or sexual, what mothers can do to minimize their child's risk.

  • Interaction - Learning to effectively communicate with your child's coach.

  • Teamwork - Why women make great coaches and sports administrators.

  • Safety - Critical advice on preventing catastrophic injury and death.

Packed with real-life anecdotes and information from experts, Home Team Advantage provides constructive, practical and forward-thinking advice to help mothers recognize and respond to the pivotal role they play in ensuring their child's emotional and physical well-being. provides a wealth of additional resource material on a wide spectrum of youth sports activities, offering parents valuable information on a variety of topics ranging from the rules of the game for their child's chosen sport, to equipment, comprehensive safety and nutrition tips to make their child's youth sports experience safer, saner and less stressful and more inclusive.

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January 4, 2011

Media Contacts:

Brooke de Lench
781 775-0280

Quotes for the Media

Watch this Video from a recent Today Show

Watch a Video from the Gatorade live TV sports safety media tour

Watch a Video from CBS Early Show

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Down Load Cover of "Home Team Advantage "


Brooke de Lench is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of, an enlightening and empowering website for parents of children who play youth sports. She has appeared on numerous TV and radio talk shows, and has contributed to HBO and A&E documentaries on youth sports. A frequent speaker and writer on a wide range of youth sports topics, her opinions have appeared in Time, Reader's Digest, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Arizona Republic, Christian Science Monitor, and the Washington Post. She is also the Director of Teams of Angels, a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to reducing catastrophic injury in youth sports. She is the mother of three sons and lives in the Boston area.


Home Team Advantage: The Critical Role of Mothers in Youth Sports
By Brooke de Lench
HarperCollins, October 2006
Trade paperback, 303 pages
$14.95 US/$19.50 Canada
ISBN 13: 978-0-06-088163-4
ISBN 10: 0-06-088163-1

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