Category Archives: Blog

Football As a Popular Sport

Football, or Soccer, as it is known in many parts of the world is a sport or game that is played between two teams, each containing eleven players. A rectangular field with goal posts at either end into which opposing teams must kick goals into forms the outline of the game. There are a set of rules governing the game, although much has changed in the way the game is played now.

It is easily the world’s most popular sport considering that over 300 million players from over 200 countries around the world are involved in the sport.

The origin or invention of modern-day football throws up interesting and sometimes controversial details. It was largely believed that Britain or England is where the game was first played in the medieval period and it gradually spread throughout Europe. A game involving a ‘party of boys playing a ball’ was first observed in the 19th century in England. However, the Chinese claim that the sport in England is largely drawn from a similar game played in China several centuries earlier. Unlike most other sports of that time, this was played on ‘foot’ and not on horseback, hence the name ‘football’. But there are vast dissimilarities between the two versions.

The rise and popularity of the game cannot be questioned and several hugely prestigious events and tournaments are held throughout the year in various countries. Professional football has seen the rise of several athletes playing the game at the highest levels with huge fan followings for the numerous teams. The English Premier League football season is a highly awaited even and has football lovers thronging stadiums to witness between their favorite teams manned by professional football players from many nations.

‘Soccer’ is the term associated with football in the US and it is claimed to have been coined from the English shortened slang for its formal name, Association Football or ‘assoc’.

Like many other sports and games where vast amounts of money and authority are involved, football has seen its share of infamy and scandals in recent years. The likes of former FIFA President Sepp Blatter and superstar Michel Platini have been accused of corruption and are facing suspensions and total bans. Several aspects like code of conduct, loyalty, conflict of interest and accepting gifts and commissions are part of the charges leveled against the highest ranked officials in the game.

Over the years, the dominance of South American players in the game has slowly been replaced by several European players but the game continues to be extremely popular even as a street sport as it does not require much equipment or infrastructure.

Top 5 “Tricks” Every Beginner Hockey Player Should Learn

When you’re a beginner learning ice hockey, you have to be competent in ice skating and stick handling (passing, receiving and shooting the puck). Mastering these two skills can take years and years, but as a beginner you can distinguish yourself by learning a few “tricks”. These are smaller pieces of skill that add a little style and flash to your game. Whenever you watch experts playing the game (collegiate or pro), you can see these little bits of brilliance from each player when they’re warming up and when they’re playing. Here are five that your teammates will take notice of.

  1. Running Onto the Ice – When you’re coming out of the locker room, and the gate to the ice is open, try doing a little run on the walkway. Once you reach the gate, jump on the ice and start skating. I like this entrance for that pre-game skate. Smoothly transitioning from “land” to ice demonstrates balance, and a good understanding of skating. Plus, you have just made a dramatic entrance!
  2. Jumping Over the Boards – When you’re changing lines in hockey, the open door is reserved for the people coming off the ice. When you’re inserted into the game, you should be standing by the boards, so you can jump over them and start skating to your position. Practice this, so you’re used to the feel of the ice as you jump on. You can straddle the boards, but I’ve seen players hurdle over them, and it looks very dramatic. I’ve also seen people fall as they jump over the boards, and it’s a bit embarrassing, so practice this (though see item 4).
  3. Picking Up a Puck with your Hand – During a stop in the game action, if you’re near the puck, it’s considerate to pick it up and then toss it to the nearest referee. This little action of picking up the puck with your hand will demonstrate your balance. Since you’re holding a stick, and wearing gloves, you will also have to practice taking off your glove by tucking it under your arm. Bending down to pick up the puck will involve stretching your legs apart and bending at your knees so you can reach down to the ice. When done correctly, it’s a smooth move. As your skills grown, you can practice picking up the puck with your stick, but master the hand pick up first.
  4. Popping Up After Falling Down – As a beginner, you’ll fall down plenty of times as you learn and play ice hockey. You should practice getting up from a fall as quickly as you are able. When I see professionals play, they seem to “pop up” on both feet after they fall. This is something you can practice. Wearing your shinguards (with knee pads), skate forward, and then drop to your knees. Can you put a skate down? Do you know how you’ll push up to get your other leg under you? For a simpler drill, kneel down on the ice, and then “pop up” and get to your fastest skating speed. Remember, it’s not how you fall, it’s how you get up.
  5. Dribbling the Puck with Your Feet – As a beginner, it’ll be hard enough manipulating the puck with your stick, but spend some time getting used to bouncing the puck on your skates. In practice, or in warm ups, open your foot and try to “trap” the puck, like in soccer. Then once the puck is at your feet, try to kick it to your skate blade. This is a good skill when you’re battling against the boards; it may be easier to kick the puck into open space. One of the most common foot dribbling moves you’ll see from expert players is kicking the puck that is somehow well behind them, all the way to their stick. It’s a true skill move, and one that is both practical and pretty to see.

Every sport is full of little tricks, and hockey is no exception. I recommend these five to any beginner who’s starting to play regularly.

Baseball Jerseys – The Right Jersey Can Improve Your Baseball Game

Baseball jerseys are shirts ideally worn when playing baseball. They are either collared or V-necked and some styles can be buttoned from the front. They have the team logo and name on their front and you can find the player’s name at the back. Manufacturers also sell jerseys separately but they are most often sold as part of a baseball uniform.

Kinds of jerseys

Baseball jerseys are classified by the fabric on which they are made of:

o Cotton – Although they are very comfortable, this type is not very durable. They are good when it comes to absorbing sweat but they don’t dry up quickly so they get heavier and wetter as the player continues to perspire.

o Polycotton – Made of polyester threads and blended cotton, they have the combination of the durability from polyester and the comfort from cotton. This fabric is often used for most professional and official baseball uniforms.

o Polyester – Synthetic, plastic-based fabric used in athletic wear and shirts. They are breathable and lightweight but they tend to irritate some skin types. However, they are very durable and tough, which makes them ideal for rough games.

Shopping for a baseball jersey

Use this criteria when shopping for baseball jerseys:

o Fit – The jersey should fit properly over your body. Never buy button-up jerseys if you like moving too much because they can come off or come undone when you are playing roughly. The kind of fit you should be looking for should be a little loose but still clings slightly to your body.

o Comfort – The jersey should be comfortable and light. Choose lightweight fabrics that allow you to move more freely. Furthermore, make sure that it is smooth, soft, and won’t irritate your skin.

Hockey Jersey: Buying It the Right Way

Hockey Jersey: Buying It the Right Way

It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for hockey jersey and shorts or singlets, you would always want to access the products of a reputable manufacturer – the one who would be able to offer you quality products on time and within market-competitive price brackets as well. You cannot really go on to select products on a random basis. Today, we will jot down a few points that need to be considered without fail while you’re in the process of selecting the hockey jersey.

Buying these uniforms: Are you doing enough?

The uniform thus chosen should ideally be the combination of the right price, right fit and delivery within the right time. The first responsibility of yours should be to check out the website of the manufacturer thoroughly and check details like.

  • Pricing
  • Shipping charges
  • Custom options (whether they’re available or not)
  • Delivery period

As far as comfort is concerned, there are two elements that render a particular jersey comfortable. The wrong fit can affect on-field mobility of players often rendering them ineffective against opponents. So, whoever is responsible for ordering the jerseys at the first place should be sagacious enough to spell out the specifications correctly to the designers so that they can work in accordance.

The design and color of team jerseys (complete with team logos, sponsorship mentions, players’ names and numbers) are generally determined after securing everyone’s opinions. Every team member might have different opinions regarding the look of the uniform purely because it is the look of jersey which will actually go on to reflect the team’s outlook towards the game. We all know that at least at the international level, teams are known by their jerseys.

More about purchasing the right uniforms: Things to know

The background of the sportswear manufacturer needs to be checked duly before they are chosen. It is extremely important on your end to realize that a website will never really flash bad testimonials. In order to find the “real story” you have to dig deeper – way beyond what the website has to offer you.

Read up reviews and reach out for personal recommendations as well. A credentialed manufacturer generally employs the best of advanced machinery as a means to ensure that the uniforms thus rendered are backed by unparalleled longevity, due grip and are delivered on time as well.

So, while conducting background research you should find out whether the manufacturers you are considering at this point of time are endorsed by your peers or not. Who are your peers or fellow team coaches procuring their hockey uniforms from? Are they particularly criticizing a firm? If yes, then why? Would they recommend their present manufacturer to you? If yes, why? If no, why?

So, you can well understand the kind of questions that need to be answered when you’re actually in the process of selecting the jersey. So, it’s not really a walk in the park. There is no room for random selection of companies – without checking out their credentials.

Hockey Jersey: Buying It the Right Way

The Physical Demands of Baseball

As we spend time analyzing sports, every sport has its own set of physical, mental, and skill demands. For years and years now, football has been the gold standard when comparisons start taking place in regards to overall athleticism need to play, as well as the overall physical demand. For this very reason there are so many young athletes, as well as older athletes that are integrating football lifting techniques, as well as conditioning techniques into sports such as baseball.

In the past when I would hear and see this taking place, the excessive grunting, yelling, and weight handling I would cringe. But, after taking a deeper look at what is actually going on, it turns out that there is a lot of hard work and internal drive and personal limit pushing taking place. Putting exercise selection and form aside, this type of increased intensity training is achieving a quality that is often times overlooked, fitness.

Because baseball is a sport that has very low metabolic and physical demands, athletes learn to adapt to their sport. Some athletes even play baseball because it has such low physical demand. Over time, this will lead to athletes that become very proficient and sport-specific skills, such as hitting and throwing, but often health and fitness levels are severely lacking. When these fitness levels start to lack, injuries often result due to the high velocities and torques that are needed to execute the sport-specific skills. Throwing a baseball is one of the most explosive, total body actions in all of sports, yet many pitchers are overweight and inherently lazy.

If as coaches and athletes we really stop and analyze this situation, can you say that you and your team are honestly doing enough in regards to stay lean? Over the years I have heard about Coaches running their athletes with excessive distance running, and again I would get sick to my stomach. Although distance running isn’t a specific protocol to baseball, it will without a doubt work to increase caloric burn, which will lead to the shedding of excessive body mass. I still wouldn’t recommend excessive running everyday, but I would require some type of conditioning everyday. I would also recommend that these circuits are primarily cardiovascular based rather than being strictly weight lifting oriented. These circuits could include medicine balls, body weight training, form running, jump rope, plyometrics, band work, core work, etc.

The great advantage to a circuit is that they work great for teams. Circuit training allows you to create multiple stations, each station containing a different exercise, and accommodates multiple athletes, as well as providing a good amount of variety. Circuits can be done for reps, or for time. After that athlete achieves the specified reps, or the allotted time, he would then move to the next station. When choosing stations, just like when designing and overall program, you must have a goal. If your goal is strength, then your circuit would be primarily weight training oriented. If your goal is cardiovascular fitness/ endurance and strength, you would select a variety of exercises that contain either cardio fitness, strength, or both.

I have become a huge advocate of circuits in-season because they are time efficient, will work to maintain and hopefully increase work-capacity of the body, and are fun.

Although the physical demands of baseball are extremely low, athletes that spend time increasing their work capacity are at a tremendous advantage in regards to recovery time, as well as a decreased time on the disabled list. Increasing work capacity will allow pitchers to pitch deeper into games, while keeping position players strong throughout the rigors of playing everyday. The gold standard of workouts in the Major Leagues has been Roger Clemens and his legendary SEAL Program. This program is basically one giant circuit. This program is not extremely focused on weigh training in the circuit, but on increasing conditioning levels. This program is a combo of distance and sprint work, as well as lateral work with baseballs.

Take a lesson from the Rocket, don’t be a typical lazy baseball player that just gets by because of the low demand of the sport, but learn to out-work the demands of the sport and you will be rewarded by health, efficiency, and most importantly increased performance.