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Category Archives: Sports

Tips For Serving In Matches

1) Set your own tempo and rhythm.

You need to always serve at your own tempo and pace.

Which means.

Never allow your opponent to dictate the tempo on your service games.

2) Start your motion on your own terms.

Never start serving until you have mentally recovered from the last point.

If you feel any carryover effect.

Step away from the baseline and breathe deeply for 3 times and start your pre-serve routine again.

This will help you set and maintain a good rhythm for your service games.

3) Never rush through your motion.

This is a very important point when serving.

You should never feel like you are rushing before or during your service motion.

Your body needs to be relaxed and your mind should be picturing one fluid service motion.

Again, if you are feeling nervous at any time before you start your service motion.

Step away from the line and repeat the above suggestions I just gave YOU.

Then start your pre-service routine over again.

At the junior level.

I see many players rushing through their service motion whenever they are feeling the pressure from the moment.

The reality is this.

“All they need to do is use their breath as their anchor and breathe that stress away and then mentally restart over again”.

Okay, you are good to go, my friend.

Just get more reps in during practice.

You should also watch more videos too.

Practice your serve before, during and after practice for 2 months.

Then implement these tips as you are doing it.

But.

Make sure that you are using these tips while your body is relaxed and you are in flow with your play.

I can tell you this about developing a solid service game.

Habits Toward Faster Running

Have great form. There is not too much action above your waist. There is hardly any mid-line crossing of your arms. Arms are perpendicular and rock back and forth. In sprints and hills, an aggressive pumping of arms will help propel the runner forward. Try not to bounce up and down overly (vertical oscillation.) Every action of your body is serving to propel you forward, not side to side or up and down. I have noticed countless runners literally moving from side to side with each stride, which is not serving to propel them forward.

Don’t carry much extra weight.. Reconsider the gear that you’re bringing along. Even 5-10lbs. less to carry around can make a huge difference in speed. There is no need to carry a pack or 3 water bottles on a short run. Look at your caloric intake. Most human glycogen stores are good or 90 minutes of activity. Less is more!

Ditch the gadgets. Watches are useful but phones and iPods ultimately become distractions for the focused, fast runner. Take in the sounds of your environment. Hear your rapid breath. Dig the hoot of an owl calling at your local trail system as twilight sets in.

Don’t fall prey to fads. The human foot does not need support and is a perfect anatomical feature on its own. Shoes with many “corrective features” and extra padding only serve to get in the way of excellent form. If your feet hurt, consider doing cross-training on a bicycle or running on trails. Slowly build up running distance and strengthen your feet rather than letting your feet stay weak in “shoe coffins.”

Run on different surfaces. Trail running increases strength and helps build ankle tendons and muscles. Running through the woods can also be incredibly therapeutic. Run on sand at the beach for an extra tough challenge that will get your heart pumping

Run efficiently. In the beginning, it is common to need some kind of nutrition after 45 minutes or so. Eventually, it is possible for some runners a half-marathon on a good breakfast and minimal fueling. The body will become more efficient over time and efficiency=economy. Running economy will allow you to go further and faster with less. An economical runner has no wasted movement and nearly all movement is dedicated to moving forward. Imagine trying to balance a glass of water on your head as you run. Keep it calm. Minimize grimacing of the face! Breathe easy. Even more so, over time your body will begin to burn fat for energy as it learns to become more efficient.

Do not brake every time your feet hit the ground. If you hear “scuffing” every time your feet hit the ground, that is essentially braking yourself and slowing down. Aim for a nearly silent footfall. Achieve this by increasing your cadence. Ideal cadence for most is 80-100 per minute. Top marathoners barely strike the ground.

Run fast. Often. To get faster, do short sprints and if those are not feasible, then run up hills. Running up hills will make you faster and stronger on the flats. Sprint intervals are also a great way to increase running’s already high caloric burn.

Basketball Jumping Drills

Stretching:

Having flexibility is important to jump high. You need to do stretching daily which will improve and strengthen your muscles to give your body to gain flexibility. It is recommended to stretch before and after workout.

Keep Jumping:

You can use a jumping rope which is an amazing exercise to train your vertical jump. The movement of the jumping rope will also help to improve your jumping explosion. At the same time, it help to pump your heart and train your cardio together. You can put on a pair of ankle weights to your routine but do remember to be cautious in order to avoid injury.

Doing Squats:

Squats are a good exercise to build core and leg strength. Remember to do a proper squat by keeping your back straight and your hips back while squatting down. Another advice is your knees should not be bending forward to avoid having pain on the knee. To increase explosiveness, get up fast after you squat down. By doing so, it will also help to train your calf muscles. Try to do between 6-8 reps.

Doing Calf Raises:

Jumping high involve mainly in explosion. By doing calf raises, it will improve your vertical jump explosiveness. The idea of this exercise is simple, first place your feet on a platform and raise your legs using the balls of your feet. The most important thing to remember that is you are not trying to build muscle but is to build the explosion.

You can add some weight on your workout if you are at the gym by placing them on your knees. It is advisable to use less weight and maximize the reps.

Run a Basketball Practice

Making a schedule is something that will get easier the more that you make. I recommending having it written down or even typed up a few nights before. The hardest schedule to make it the first one because you don’t know your team yet and you don’t know what they need to work on and practice. The way to combat this is to cover all areas of the game and work on fundamentals that all teams will need to work on. Now we can get into some specifics.

The beginning of practice should start with stretching and warming up the muscles. Some coaches have this as a part of the practice right at the beginning, others make it clear to the players this is part of their job and they should warm up before practice and be ready to go right when the first whistle starts. I believe the ladder is more appropriate for older age groups. When it comes to youth practices I think it should be made part of the practice to ensure players are warming up correctly. This warm up could last about 15 minutes and include stretching and running. This will get the heart rate up and hopefully the players can begin to break a sweat. From here, a nice transition into ball handling usually goes well.

Ball handling drills can include one ball or two. Two-ball drill examples would be dribbling two balls at once while standing still and then dribbling two balls while walking/running up and down the court. For any ball handling drills it is important for you as a coach to emphasize looking up while the players dribble. It is important for them to get comfortable dribbling without looking at the ball. Other ball handling drills include dribbling a basketball in one hand while catching a tennis ball in another. Personally, I liked this one because I thought it was the most helpful in reaction time. Coaches will throw the tennis ball to the player and they would have to catch it and throw it back all while dribbling. Once this becomes easy, the player should be asked to do moves like crossovers, or behind the back in-between tennis ball throws. After about 30 minutes of ball handling you can move to teamwork drills.

An example of a teamwork drill would be the “3 Man Weave.” this is a drill where three players run down the court together weaving around each other. A video explaining this in more detail can be seen here. The benefits of running this drill is to enhance communication while practicing game like speed. This drill tends to be hand at first for younger teams. If your team is really struggling with it, do not waste the entire practice working on it. Give it a certain amount of time (e.g. 15 minutes) and after that time move on to your next drill. However, do not forget about it the drill. Come back to it the next day and the day after that. You would be surprised how quickly the players will pick up on it the next few times you do it.

From here you can move to more game like situations. A good example of this would be scrimmaging. This is a great way for kids to get a good feel for what it will be like during the games and the type of coaching you will be giving during the games. Trying to stay consistent with you messages to the players is important so they know what you want from them. While scrimmaging, do not hesitate to blow your whistle and stop the game. If there is a situation or a play could be used as a learning experience it should absolutely be explained so that everyone understands what went wrong. It is better to do this right after it happens as opposed to at the end of practice.

To finish off practice, I always enjoyed when our coaches implemented practice end of the game situations. This would entail them giving us a certain situation, such as being down by 2 points with the ball and 15 seconds left, and then we have to practice what we would do if it was a real game. This drill would be done 5 versus 5 and usually would switch offense and defensive after each try. Not only is it very fun, but it gets the players comfortable with “high pressure” shots.

Running Safety

Running has long been hailed as the ‘It” exercise. It gets your heart rate up, causes tons of sweat and helps in weight loss so it has to be always good right? Well, maybe not so right.

There are serious health risks associated with running that could compromise your body and should never be overlooked. Here are seven to watch out for:

1. Sudden cardiac arrest

Though the risk stands at about 1 in every 200,000 runners, the possibility of cardiac arrest still exists. Sudden cardiac arrest is an emergency and occurs when there is an unexpected loss of heart function. Shortness of breath and unconsciousness quickly follow and lead to death if not quickly treated. Men in the mid 30s to mid 40s age range are most prone to this although women are not completely free of risk. The most likely cause apart from a history of heart problems is taking part in running you are not really prepared or warmed up for.

2. Runner’s knee

Patellofemoral pain syndrome is the medical term for runner’s knee. It is caused by exercise activities that require a lot of stress on the knee. Repeated bending, walking, lunges, biking and jumping are the major factors leading to this condition. It manifests as a pain around and behind the knee cap.

3. Iliotibial band friction syndrome (ITBFS)

In simple terms, the Iliotibial band is a thick tendon that starts from the hip, stretches from the outside thigh through the knee and down to the shin in both legs. As it approaches the knee it narrows and rubbing (friction) takes place between the tendon and the bone causing inflammation. You are likely to feel a stinging pain and notice swelling over the knee with the pain intensifying gradually especially when you try to put the affected foot on the ground.

ITBFS is very common amongst runners and seems to occur more frequently in women than men.

4. People with Arthritis

The misconception that running causes Arthritis has been around for ages. Arthritis (in this case that of the knee) is genetic. However, if you have already been diagnosed with arthritis, the continuous pounding impact on the knee as your feet hit the ground while running will worsen the condition. It is advisable to see your doctor first before taking up running.

5. Plantar fasciitis

The plantar fascia is a flat strip of tissue connecting your heel bones to your toes. It holds the arch of your foot in place. When strained, it becomes swollen and painful causing a term called Plantar Fasciitis. It is the most common cause of heel and under foot pain and gets worse when you try to stand or walk.
Though known to affect middle aged people more, it frequently occurs in young people who stand a lot (think soldiers, guards and athletes).

Quick Player Efficiency Rating

Overall, this rating is designed to boil down all of a player’s contributions into one number. Using a detailed formula, Hollinger developed a system that rates every player’s statistical performance.

The average rating for National Basketball Association players is 15.0. NBA superstars frequently have a rating in the upper 20’s. Collegiate and high school ratings will be significantly lower than the NBA, but I’ll get in to that in a moment.

The formula that Hollinger uses is complex, but I believe it’s a highly accurate view of how a player is performing while on the floor. Because of this, during my days as an assistant coach at the collegiate level, I wanted to determine if I could come up with a way to assess a player’s performance a little quicker than using the formula that Hollinger uses.

Fortunately, I was able to find a much simpler way to rate players. While this method was easier to compute, I found it to be highly effective and accurate when it came to determining player’s playing time and predicting who would receive end of the year honors. The version of the PER that I frequently used determined which players were more effective in certain line-ups, against certain teams, and their overall positive contribution to their team.

If you’re a coach, you may know that you receive a box score between quarters, or at half time. This was a time that I diligently scribbled down notes to determine the player’s PER.

Let me explain.

Instead of using Hollinger’s formula. I simplified it by taking a look at the positive contributions that a player makes such as points, rebounds, steals, assists and blocks and totaling those things. Each positive contribution counts as one point towards the rating. So, if a player has 15 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 1 block, that would add up to a total of 27… so far.

I subtract the number of negative things that happen in a game. So turnovers (TOs), missed field goals (FGs), missed 3-pointers (3pts) and missed free throws (FTs) all count as -1. I do not count fouls as negative points, because fouls can be either good or bad, depending on the situation. So, let’s say the same player above shot 3-10 on FGs, 3-5 on FTs, 2-4 on 3pts and also had 3 TOs, this would equate to a total of negative 14 (-7 for FGs, -2 for FTs, -2 for 3pts, -3 for TOs = 14).

Now, remember, this same player had netted 27 positive points. But because of the missed shots and turnovers, we must take away 14 of those points, which leaves this player with an adjusted PER of 13. Players who are inefficient will certainly suffer in this rating.

This quick version of the PER I found extremely helpful because I could do the math for each player while in the locker room or on the bench. If you do this rating consistently for at least a season, you can determine what an average PER would be for your types of players. You can also determine who will likely be up for an award at the end of the season. You can also determine who deserves more playing time.

That’s where I found this most helpful. If a player was only playing a few minutes per game, but had a high PER, I would advocate for more playing time for that player.

You might think that a PER is always obvious. It is not, my friend. Sometimes, you’ll be able to see that, according to the PER, some players are helping you much more than they’re hurting you or vice-versa.

This quick PER was so helpful for me during my time as an assistant coach, that I required my assistants to utilize it when I became a head coach. We did not have an abundance of advanced metrics available to us during my days as a coach, but this PER enabled our team to win a divisional championship.

As with any statistic, it has to be taken in the context of the game. It’s not a tell all, just like a box score is not always an accurate reflection of the game. But, this rating can certainly be helpful.

Choose Football Shoes

For buying a pair of shoes that suit to all your requirements, you must know about various types of football shoes available in the market. To get an idea about the shoes you must follow few steps which would lead you to buy your signature pair of shoes.

– The first and foremost step is to visit an outlet with a wide variety of football shoes. Do not go to a neighboring showroom where you might find a limited range. Visiting a good showroom would guide you well.

– As you have gone and visited wide varieties you will get a fair idea on various brands and models released by them so far.

– Once you got information about various brands, choose a brand that fits well with your needs and pocket. Then, browse through for the latest and upcoming models by that selected brand.

– Watch out the differences between your current pair and the pair you are planning to buy. Once you listed out pros and cons of your old and new pairs, weigh them for further scrutiny.

– Once you are done with initial brand analysis, check out for the information about the grounds you played so far and the ground where you are going to play. Make out the differences between them and try to find out how your new pair could have helped you in your last plays and how it would help you in your next match.

– Getting ample information about the surface you played or going to play would definitely give you a fair idea on which football shoes you must opt for your next match.

Have a Kick Like Cristiano Ronaldo

Make a Free Kick

Cristiano Ronaldo is famous for his free-kick and the patented knuckleball-style swoop effect that emerged when he kicked it. To be able to do a free kick a la Cristiano Ronaldo, you need to learn to turn the ball just a little and forcing the ball to swoop down suddenly while still firing accurately at full speed that will be difficult to hold.

Place the ball with the nipple facing you

When Ronaldo did a free kick, he always aligned the ball so that his nipple touched his feet. It’s hard to know whether the touch has a noticeable effect on the ball path or it’s just superstition, but there’s no harm in trying.
Step back a few steps and move to the right

Ronaldo usually retreats 3-5 paces before he takes a free kick. Then he stood with both arms straight down and his feet widened, over shoulder width apart. As soon as he approaches, he uses a “stutter-step” pattern on his kick. Doing some stutter moves quickly tends to outwit the goalkeepers and other defenders so they will not know exactly when the kick landed.

Place the legs that are not for kicking and the position of the body arched backwards

Place the other foot on the side of the ball and curl backwards so that the kick angle is fitted to throw the ball upward

His free kick tends to rise very quickly, looking like it exploded from his leg. It comes from a quick curved back position just before it touches the ball. If done correctly, the kick will not spin, but it curves upward, then swoops down quickly, or mutes in accordance with the force released on follow-up.

Touch the ball right in the middle with your back

You will touch the ball with long bones in the leg that extend from the big toe to the top of the foot

Aim the nipple that you face at the beginning of the kick

To produce a “knuckle-ball” effect you need to avoid spinning the ball a bit. Try to touch the ball right in the middle as often as possible instead of rolling it off your feet at all

The most important part of the kick is the follow-up. Follow up the kick by directing the kicking leg toward which the ball will be fired, with the body spinning towards the target and lifting the leg that does not kick up. Straighten your knees that kick up, instead of ending with your legs on the side like the traditional follow-up.

Imagine you want to touch your knee legs that kick on your chin after touching the ball. If done correctly, the kicking foot will touch the ground first. Now back off and look at the “knuckle-ball” with its unpredictable prowess.

Doing a Cross Feed and Dribbling Ball

One of the benefits of Ronaldo’s game is that he likes to share opportunities, finding the best opportunities for his team to score. It means a cross and a corner kick. He can also move in all directions on the field, playing on the left, right, or in the middle as an attacker. His deft movements make him one of the greatest players.

Bring the ball to the penalty box

Unlike Beckham, famous for his long cross, elegant, curved with many rounds, Ronaldo’s cross is more like a small pass behind his back in a basketball. He brings the ball deep into the opponent’s area, then throws it into the air back through the game field to the team so that it becomes a header or shot.
Although he often played on the left side of the field, Ronaldo has alternated positions, depending on the game that runs, and will go to the middle of the field to do across as well.

Throw the ball to a teammate

To throw Ronaldo’s cross, touch the ball with the straight leg, and the legs that do not kick behind the ball. Make a very short follow up to throw the ball up as far as possible, so your teammates have a chance to head it.

Get a Better Basketball Shot

When it comes to someone who is working on their shot, I think this quote is a great way to explain why the fundamentals are so important. Michael Jordan is the best player to ever play the game of basketball. He has nothing but respect for the game and want players to achieve success the right way. With that being said there are several different aspects to shooting the ball and all must be done correctly if a player is to become a great shooting. The perfect formula when teaching the art of shooting has to do with BEEF. Let me explain…

BEEF is an acronym that stands for balance, eyes, elbow, follow-through. This is a strategy used everywhere to teach good shoot form and is an extremely effective strategy.

B – Balance

Balance is extremely important when shooting the basketball. A player’s feet should be shoulder width apart when they prepare to shoot. This gives the perfect amount of balance on each side of the body. With the knees bent, one foot should be a little in front of the other. The foot that should be in front is the one that is one the same side as the player’s shooting hand. (If you shoot right handed, your right foot should be a little in front) Not only is this good for your aiming but it gives you a good aspect of where your feet should be pointing, at the basket! From here you should be balance and bent down ready to move on to the next step.

E – Eyes

Bent in position holding the ball, you know need to use to eyes to look at the basket. Yes, this seems like it should go without explanation, however there is a little more to it than that. The eyes are your greatest tool for aiming the ball and you would think most people know they should look at the basket when the shoot, but it needs to be more specific than that. Players who are great shooters do not just aim at that orange ring up on the backboard, they pick an even smaller part on the rim to look at. This results in a more precise aim and results in more accurate shots. I have always been taught to shoot at the inside of the rim right in the middle, I know some people who are taught to aim at the front of the rim. I do not really agree with that because if you aim at the front of the rim you will hit the front of the rim and it won’t go it. With that being said I recommend aiming at the inside back of it.

E- Elbow

At this point you are balanced and looking at the right part of the rim. Now it is time to start shooting. The most common mistake for players who have bad shots is they do not keep their shooting elbow in. The reason for this is because keeping your elbow in takes a little bit more of an effort (at least at the beginning, until you get used to it). However, people who do take the time to be conscious about it will see that they are able to get more power in their shot because they have more muscle pushing the ball. While you jump off of both feet, tucking your elbow in you want to push the ball in the air toward the rim, don’t forget to keep your eyes on the rim!!

F – Follow Through

Almost done with your shot but there is still one last part… the follow through. This was the part I had the most trouble with when I played. It is important that your hand points to the rim when you are releasing the ball. Not only do you want it to point at the rim, but you want your arm to be extended and your hand to stay high up in the air. At the end of your shot your aim should be basically straight up and down. My problem was that after my shot my arm would be pointed toward the rim, instead of straight up. This importance of having your hand straight up is because it affects the arch on your shot. You want to have a high arch on your shot because it creates a better chance of your shot going in the basket if it is coming from higher up. Holding your follow through a few seconds after each shot is important because it is a good way to assess how you are shooting and to ensure you are following though the right way.

About Winning a Marathon Medal

First, it is important to establish the distance you are going to run. If you are in good shape, then you may consider the full marathon distance of 42.195 kilometers. However, if you are not in good shape, then it may be better to consider a half-marathon. However, even the half-marathon is not easy to achieve. It is important to begin training for it so that you will be able to compete well.

People consider entering a marathon for many reasons; some people want to challenge themselves, some wish to become healthier, and others strive to win the marathon medals. These tips will help you, regardless of your reasons.

1. It is important to concentrate on practicing, instead of trying to achieve perfection. You can set a goal; however, it is important to inch closer to the goal every day. Start off training small, for only for fifteen minutes a day. Then, you can kick it up a notch, every other week. Similarly, you can focus on running a reachable distance when you are first starting out. From there, you can concentrate on improving.

2. Additionally, it is important to set a goal for yourself so that you can try to achieve it. You have to take into account your own physical standards, of course. It is also necessary to ensure that the goal you are setting for yourself is attainable within a certain timeframe. Then, you will surely be able to see the progress you are making.

3. A great way to track your progress is to use a training log. After every session, it is important to note what you did in the training log so that you can improve yourself. It is very easy to hit a plateau and not realize it; the training log will help you to recognize this trend.

4. If it is possible, you can enlist help from a professional coach. The professional coach will be able to help you achieve what you want. Many ex-marathon runners have started to coach the next generation of runners.