Her Times
By Pam Parker Erie Times-News staff blogger
Pam Parker's blog takes on everything from women's fun to momisms to lifestyles around Lake Erie and real estate. She'll take you down Memory Lane, up through sports and fun and off the grid. Get ready for laughs — it's more than just Pam. It's Pamdemonium.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1821
Posts tagged ‘Varsity’
Posted: December 14th, 2012

Watch the Cathedral Prep Ramblers roll tonight at 7 p.m. on channel 22 in Millcreek on the PCN cable network. The Ramblers take on Archbishop Wood at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey in the AAA state final.

The Erie Times-News and GoErie.com’s Tom Reisenweber, Andy Colwell and John Dudley are at the game — they will blog, update and send photos via Twitter and Facebook throughout the contest. Get all the action at GoErie.com/blogs/Varsity


Above:  Ramblers Delton Williams, left,  a running back, and and Damion Terry,  quarterback, will attend Michigan State and play football for the Spartans. Photo by GREG WOHLFORD//ERIE TIMES-NEWS.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: September 3rd, 2012

A friend of mine’s son, a state champ in tennis, went from a good player to a state champ after changing his diet to get through grueling tournaments. Diet is more important than you think. Ask successful athletes in tennis, football cross country, basketball, volleyball, soccer, track or any sport what helped them achieve greatness, and many will tell you they learned to eat right.

As a mom of many athletes, I’ve seen kids eat candy bars and Swedish fish before track meets and still perform well, but in the long run, athletes who go the distance commit to good nutrition, and that means protein and carbs. Here’s a link to KidsHealth advice.

5 things to know about athletes and nutrition:

  1. Is your kid taking creatine? It is a supplement, and if your kid is into this, read this article about the importance of nutrition and hydration. I’ve seen kids take everything from protein powder to excess vitamins. With the Internet, everyone seems to be an expert on nutrition, but supplements are not a good idea and not meant for kids under 18. If you have a concern about your teen’s nutrition, ask a doctor — not a friend.
  2. Protein bars work for some folks as a protein source, but many are loaded with preservatives and sugar alcohols. My kids didn’t have a problem, but protein bars give me horrible stomach aches. Peanut butter on half of a whole grain bagel was my daughter’s pre-run meal before every cross country and track meet. She was cross country runner of the year in our district, and her track team won states two years in a row. Many tennis players — national and local — credit protein and carbs for keeping energy levels up without the carb crash that can occur if you are performing in an all-day or all-weekend tournament.
  3. Tournaments often have pizza and fast food readily available, and don’t fall for it. A lot of kids can’t handle dairy — in the form of cheese, yogurt or milk — before an event. Save dairy for after the event or hours before it.
  4. Hydrate with water. For most people, sports drinks are not a necessity, but water is. Kids must listen to coaches about hydrating, or they will cramp. I see it every year in football — a kid misses an entire game because of cramping. Our bodies need to be hydrated for days in advance of an event. Here’s a great article on dealing with cramps from LECOM.
  5. Kids don’t always listen to parents or coaches. Kids are kids, and some (like some of mine ) have to learn the hard way. They may get caught up in the latest fad diet but forget that it can have consequences. My son tried Atkins while playing football, and discovered a total loss of energy. Fortunately, a trainer talked him out of it. Visit your family doctor and/or a registered dietitian if your son or daughter is out of sync with sports and diets. Here’s a list of registered dietitians in the Erie area. And remember as kids grow, their nutritional needs change. The days of pre-gaming on Swedish fish and candy bars don’t make the grade at the varsity level.

Pam Parker, a tennis player well acquainted with muscle cramps, is the mom of three and stepmom of three — all athletes.  She is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa.

    Posted in: Uncategorized
    Posted: September 26th, 2011

    One of the most important things I learned as a mom was to be a mom when the kids were involved in sports. Kids have coaches — lots of them — to tell them how to improve and remind them when they make mistakes.
    I found I had to remember that kids are just kids learning how to play a sport they love. They have school, social issues, tests and life to get in the way of athletic performance.
    And they have bad days. Just like you and me. Really bad days when their timing is off, the hands work like feet, and the feet seem to be traveling in slow-mo. Those are the days that they really need Mom and Dad to encourage them.
    My daughter was the Metro Runner of the year her freshman year, and I reminded her to enjoy it and be humble because runners, especially girls, experience body changes that may or may not work in their favor as they age. While she went on to become a state champ two years in a row, there were days that she was pretty down, and that’s when this mom had to be a cheerleader and congratulate her for all the good runs.
    It’s especially tough to watch a kid go from stardom to anonymity. My youngest son, a standout athlete through eighth grade was plagued by injuries in high school that eventually ended his athletic career in just about every sport.
    Throughout the seasons of broken bones and shoulder surgery, there were some dark times and some really bad grades. I dug deep to find motivation for him, and I’m glad I did because losing his athletic ability was like losing a part of himself.
    It brought us closer and he found some new strengths he never knew he had. So did I. And I’m still cheering.