Coach’s Corner: Can DNA Predict Athleticism? T-Ball Pioneer Remembered

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Each week, Progress Avenue lists articles of interest about youth and amateur sports. This week’s lead takes a look at whether DNA tests can screen athleticism. If you’re not into controversy, then jump ahead to a look back at the life of Jerry Sacharski, who has the distinction of pioneering T-ball. Allentown’s Morning Call has a must-read. Hear what readers had to say about what’s good in sports.

Baby Olympian? DNA Test Screens Sports Ability (Bill Briggs,, 3/4).

“Then, to get the genetic scoop, they simply brushed the inside of Ava’s cheek with two cotton swabs, sealed the samples in a baggie and mailed them to an Australian lab used by Atlas. Although there are 20,000 strands of human DNA, the lab hunts for variations of just one: ACTN3, which can predict certain athletic skills, some experts believe.”’s Bill Briggs

Longtime Educator Scored Hit With New Sport of T-ball (Valerie Nelson, L.A. Times, 3/5).

“Jerry Sacharski, a recreation league director who pioneered T-ball as an organized youth sport in the 1950s because he couldn’t bear to turn away young children who clamored to play baseball, has died. He was 93.” -L.A. Times’ Valerie Nelson

What’s Good About Sports: Forming a Special Bond (Bill Kline, The Morning Call, 3/4).

“Forget, for a moment, steroid scandals, disloyal players and team owners and classless and clueless fans and parents. Instead, think about friendships, fun and memories. And a lump in our throats. Those are what is good about sports.” -The Morning Call’s Bill Kline

Getting Schooled; Preparing for the Day When the Game Spits You Out (Bill Lankhof, Toronto Sun, 3/5).

“Elite athletes are no longer strangers to the classroom. But the biggest thing missing from many of their games isn’t speed, agility, strength or endurance. It’s formal education. Still.” -Toronto Sun’s Bill Lankhoff

Rhode Island Proposal: Youth Sports Oversight, or Overreach? (Yates & Sidersky,, 3/6).

“An overcompetitive parent gets into an argument with a stubborn coach because he thinks his child isn’t getting enough playing time — it’s a familiar scene on youth sports fields across America. Now, a Rhode Island senator wants the state to step in and create a formal outlet for the ‘concerns and objections’ some parents have”’s Yates & Sidersky

Sled Hockey Puts Physical Therapy on Ice for the Disabled (Jessica LaDow, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 3/5).

“When I’m playing I don’t even notice that I’m disabled. It gives you that confidence. It’s like I’m a regular person when I’m out on the ice” -Josh Wirt, paralyzed from the waist down, on sled hockey

Thanks to Doug Abrams for the articles. Abrams is a PCA Champion for Positive Coaching Alliance.