To stop soccer shots as quickly as possible, you may need to dive rather than run to reach them. Goalkeeping dives come in two main forms: the ground dive and the diving aerial save. Practice here helps you avoid injury as you land on the ground.
Keep your body low to the ground with your knees bent. This maintains a strong position ready to spring off the grass and toward the ball. Keep your head up and hands out in preparation for a movement or block.
Watch the ball as it leaves the striker’s foot. When you know which side the ball is traveling toward, lower your leg on that side and lean sideways at the same time. This gives you the correct knee angle to push off the ground. Push with the foot nearest the direction of the dive.
Stretch the arm closest to the ground right out in front of you. This gives you the longest possible reach toward the ball. Keep your hand spread wide and your wrist firm but flexible.
Watch the ball all the way through this movement. If you reach the ball at full stretch, push the ball out to the side to deflect it away from the goal. If the ball is closer to you and not too powerfully struck, clamp the ball to the ground and quickly bring your other hand on top to stop the ball from bouncing out.
Land on your hip and shoulder, not your wrist. This prevents any injuries.
Position your feet roughly hip-width apart. Bend slightly at the knees to keep your body flexible and ready to move.
Take one small step toward the side that the ball is heading toward and one short step forward. Keep a close eye on the ball as you move.
Push off with the foot nearest the ball. Lift your other leg up as you push off. Swing both arms upward to help propel you off the ground, and bring both hands up in front and above your face with the fingers spread. Your hands should make a rough “W” shape, with the thumbs almost touching together.
Get your hands right behind the ball to stop it firmly. Hold the ball and angle it toward the ground as you drop down.
Let the ball hit the ground when you drop down. Land on the side of your hip and shoulder, shielding the ball with your body as you fall.
Being aggressive in football is a sought-after quality in a player, because it means that the player has what it takes to make contact with another player without fear. It means the player will not hesitate and lose valuable reaction time even if he knows contact is imminent. This is not to be confused with playing with anger or reckless abandon. Aggression must be confined within the rules of the game, or it can cost you severely in late-hit and roughing the passer penalties.
The Oklahoma drill seeks to teach aggressive run blocking for offensive players and aggressive block shedding by defensive players. It also teaches the running back to aggressively cut and make moves to store at the goal line. The drill will pit wide receivers against defensive backs, o-lineman against d-lineman, running backs against linebackers and tight ends against any of the three defensive specialties. Two cones are spaced three to five yards apart forming a horizontal line parallel to the end zone. The distance between those two parallel lines is three yards. The quarterback will hand the ball off to the running back, who will attempt to run between the cones and score a touchdown. The opposing offensive and defensive players will either attempt to open running room for the back, on offense, or shed the block and tackle the back, on defense. The two competing players will battle for leverage and position to make their desired play.
This drill is designed to teach offensive lineman to protect the quarterback at all costs and train the defensive lineman to elude the protection efforts of the offensive player. The offensive center, guard or tackle will line up at their position respective to the ¡°quarterback,¡± which may be either a live quarterback or a tackling dummy, and the defensive lineman will choose his stance based on the offensive player they are competing against and the technique they are working. For example, a defensive lineman may shade left or right of the edge of the lineman to work various hand techniques and swim maneuvers. The quarterback lines up five to seven yards from the center¡¯s typical position. The quarterback will ¡°hike¡± the ball, signaling the offensive and defensive lineman to compete to either protect or tackle the quarterback. If a live quarterback is present, a defensive lineman typically just two-hand touches the quarterback to prevent injury. If a tackling dummy is present, the defender should attempt to tackle the dummy to the ground.
This drill will effectively teach a running back to secure the football when running through defenders on the field. Players form two parallel lines about two to three yards apart with four players in each line. The running back lines up five yards away and in a direct path between the two lines. The quarterback hands the ball off to the running back, who will secure the football and sprint between the two lines. The running back¡¯s shoulder cradles the ball high and tight, with two fingers ¡°clawing¡± the point of the football with the middle of the ball wedged in between his forearm and bicep. The players in the two lines swat at the ball as the running back runs through. Their goal is to knock the ball loose.
For a winning and grinning youth football team, your players need to learn the basic skills for offense, defense and special teams. Offensive skills include blocking, passing, receiving and ball handling, and defensive skills involve tackling, containing, pursuing and covering. Special teams can practice kicking and returning kicks.
If you don¡¯t want your quarterback to get sacked, you need a strong offensive line with good blocking skills. You can use drills to teach your linemen different types of blocks, such as the crab, hip and drive blocks. For example, begin a crab-block drill by having the player crouch into a four-point stance — a staggered stance on the balls of the feet with knees slightly bent. Both arms should touch the ground and align under or just in front of the player¡¯s shoulders. Have a blocking dummy — an adult holding a pad in front of his stomach — stand 3 feet in front of the player. On a “go” command, have the player charge at the dummy, aiming for the dummy¡¯s stomach. Then have the player slide under the dummy¡¯s legs and raise his back up. A 15-minute practice session can instruct players how to tie up opponents with a crab block.
If you want your quarterbacks to pass the ball with accuracy while scrambling for dear life, you can do a variety of passing drills. These drills can also improve a player’s wrist snap and release on a throw. For example, begin a drill to help your quarterbacks develop strong arms and wrist snaps by having two groups of players line up in two rows at 10 yards apart. Group one should face group two. All players should kneel on their throwing leg. Have the group-one players each place a football on the ground in front of themselves and then take hold of their balls with only their throwing hands. Have them lift the balls up and then bend their elbows to cock the balls behind their heads. Have them throw their balls to their partners in group two. Exaggerating the follow-through, they should draw their hands to the ground. Have each player perform 12 reps to complete the drill.
Young players have a natural instinct to defend their turf and the goal line. You can do drills that take advantage of this instinct and instruct your players how to force, contain, pursue and cover. For example, tackling is one of the most important skills for a young player. If he can¡¯t take the ball-carrier down, he may as well call it quits. Begin a front-on tackling drill by dividing your players into two groups — ball carriers and tacklers. Have the groups form two vertical lines that oppose each other. On a go command, the first ball carrier and the first tackler should charge at each other at 50 percent of full speed. When the tackler approaches within 5 yards of the ball carrier, he should launch off of his left foot and hit the ball carrier with his left shoulder pad for a tackle. Remind your defensive players to keep their gaze up, avoiding a tackle with their helmets. After each pair — ball carrier and tackle — has taken a turn, have your players switch lines and positions and then repeat the drill.
By practicing kicks and kick returns, your special teams can score points during a game as well as turn a losing game around. For example, a kickoff drill begins by having your kickers put their plant foot 3 inches behind and 6 inches outside of the tee. Instruct players to push their hips forward to lead the kick. Their kicking leg should swing forward with a high arc with their kicking knee leading their foot. Their ankle should be extended with their toes pointed. The instep of their kicking foot should impact just below the ball¡¯s middle. For the drill, have players practice the kicking motion without the ball a few times and then do a few kicks focusing on form. Then, have them do three of four kicks in which they attack the ball and kick it downfield. In addition, place kickoff return players in position to return the ball.
Youngsters often start playing sports because their parents have an interest in it. They may see their mother or father watching a game on television and become inspired, or their mother or father may decide that they will benefit from this type of activity. If the youngster has fun while playing, it can lead to a lifetime of enjoying athletics. Regardless of the starting point, there are many values that can be learned by participating in sports.
Youngsters and older players can learn the value of work ethic by playing sports. It’s not just getting out on the field, court or ice and playing the game. You have to go to practice several times per week to learn the skills needed to play the game well. Players who work hard get better at their chosen sport, and the results show as a season progresses. For example, a baseball player who takes batting practice every day likely sees an improved swing and more productivity at the plate in the second half of the season than he did early in the year. A player who does not work as hard may not see the same kind of progress.
You also have to learn to work and play with others to get the most out of the experience, even if you are not always given credit on paper. In basketball, a player who passes the ball to a teammate who scores gets an assist on the play. However, another teammate who sets a screen to give her teammate an open shot won’t get any statistical recognition. The teammate who took the open shot knows why she was able to shoot without a defender getting in her way. The coach also appreciates the player who did the hard work and set the screen.
At a certain point in the season, players likely see their team progressing and also see improvement in their own play. They realize the progress is the result of hard work. Players have every reason to take pride in their achievements and feel some self-respect for the way they have improved. They also realize that the team on the opposite side of the field is practicing and playing just as hard and deserving respect, as well. Showing respect for your opponent leads to displays of sportsmanship. That’s a sign of maturity and development.
When a player strikes out three times in a game, it’s easy for that player to feel sorry for himself and want to quit. However, in competitive sports, nearly all players have negative outcomes from time to time. The growth comes from the player who has the bad day, accepts it and keeps playing and attempts to get better. When you overcome adversity, you learn that life isn’t always easy and it’s best to stay with difficult tasks and conquer them rather than take the easy way out.
College basketball was conceived at Springfield College by James Naismith in 1891. It was popular enough to become a demonstration sport at the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis, and boomed in popularity in the 1930s because of doubleheaders in New York City, the 1936 Olympics and the start of two national postseason tournaments. The latter tournament was so popular by 2010 that all 64 games were nationally televised.
Basketball was invented because college physical education directors from all over the United States were upset that few students took physical education classes in the winter, according to ¡°The Sports Answer Book.¡± The administrators met at Springfield College in 1890 and asked Naismith, a Springfield physical education instructor, to invent a sport that would make winter classes as popular as baseball and football made summer and fall classes. In 1891, Naismith built two peach baskets put them at the opposite ends of a long court and used a soccer ball as the forerunner of today¡¯s basketball.
The new sport was instantly popular among Springfield¡¯s students, according to the Kansas Historical Society¡¯s profile of James Naismith. By 1900, numerous Eastern colleges had men¡¯s basketball teams that were playing each other, and Naismith was coaching Kansas. Games had far fewer points than 21st century games, partly because teams had an unlimited amount of time to shoot. In the first doubleheader at New York City¡¯s Madison Square Garden in 1934, New York University beat Notre Dame 25-18 and Westminster beat St. John¡¯s 37-33. In 1936, several college players were on the U.S. team that beat Canada 19-8 in the first Olympics gold-medal game.
¡°The Sports Answer Book¡± author Bill Mazer credits Hank Luisetti with changing college basketball¡¯s low-scoring nature. Luisetti invented the running one-hand jump shot, which replaced the standing two-hand set shot as the most common shot. Luisetti, a Stanford University freshman, scored 70 points in two games in 1936. This led to Stanford playing games attended by more than 17,000 people at Madison Square Garden. In 1938, the National Invitation Tournament became the first national tournament. Every NIT was at Madison Square Garden. In 1939, the National Collegiate Athletic Association started an eight-team tourney, opting to play at a different site each year. Oregon won the first tourney in Evanston, Ill.
The NIT tourney was as prestigious as the NCAA tournament for decades because college basketball was so popular in New York, reported Mazer. In 1950, the City College of New York became the only team to win both tourneys in the same year. The NIT was helped by the NCAA tourney inviting only conference champions. The NCAA tournament gained popularity as super teams like the UCLA team that won 10 titles in the 1960s and 1970s made college basketball more popular outside the East. In the 1970s, the NCAA tourney became stronger when it allowed second-place teams to compete. The field expanded from 25 teams in 1974 to 32 in 1975, 48 in 1980 and 64 in 1985. This meant that only teams unranked in Top 25 polls played in the NIT.
In most cases, foot odor is the result of a relatively benign condition that can easily be remedied. However, sometimes a doctor must intervene in order to properly diagnose the cause of a persistent odor. Once the doctor has identified the source, he can advise the patient on the proper course of action to eradicate the problem.
KidsHealth blames bacteria for the reek from a person’s feet after he has removed his shoes. Apparently, 10 to 15 percent of people endure a particularly nasty form of foot odor due to the presence of micrococcus sedentarius bacteria in their sneakers. This bacteria eats dead skin cells and is attracted to the damp environment of sweaty footwear. These bacteria produce organic acids and sulfur compounds that smell like rotten eggs. Micrococcus sedentarius that cause smelly feet are a nuisance rather than a health threat. Proper hygiene is key in eradicating the bacteria. Daily foot washing, frequent sock changes and alternating between wearing different pairs of shoes can all help minimize the growth of bacteria on feet.
One of the most common sources of foot odor is fungal growth, and as if the stink was not bad enough, fungi can also cause skin on soles to become scaly or cause peeling between the toes. This condition is called athlete’s foot or tinea pedis. Athlete’s foot spreads from person to person in damp environments such as locker rooms, where the fungi breed and come in contact with bare skin. Broken skin due to blisters can increase vulnerability to fungal infestation, according to “Fitness Magazine.” Fungal infection can be treated with over-the-counter powders.
When sweat glands work overtime, stinky situations can ensue. MayoClinic.com explains that eccrine glands are sweat glands that exist on most of the surface of the body. The autonomic nervous system responds to increases in body temperature by stimulating the secretion of sweat onto the skin’s surface, thus cooling the body through evaporation. Some people experience exaggerated sweat responses in their armpits, hands or feet, a condition known as focal hyperhidrosis. Body odor of the feet and armpits can result from hyperhidrosis. For some people, hyperhidrosis can inspire such extreme feelings of embarrassment that they isolate themselves, thus their social and emotional lives suffer. In certain cases, doctors will recommend medications to address the symptoms.
The average soccer player runs 5 to 6.5 miles in a typical game, much of which is at a sprint that demands the heart work at 85 percent of its maximum rate. To perform her best under these conditions, a player needs to consume adequate calories regularly and to obtain them from the right proportion of nutrient-dense foods. Ask a physician or sports nutrition expert to help you develop a personalized diet that will enhance your soccer skills.
According to Virginia Tech exercise science professor Jay Williams, a soccer player usually needs to consume 20 to 27 calories for every pound of body weight each day to replace the energy burned during practices and matches. This means that a 120-pound female player needs approximately 2,400 to 3,240 calories daily, while a 160-pound male player should have 3,200 to 4,320 calories per day. Elite soccer players may need more, while recreational, amateur players may require less.
About 60 percent to 70 percent of a soccer player’s total daily caloric intake should be supplied by carbohydrates, or roughly 4 grams of carbohydrates for every pound of a player’s body weight daily, says Williams. Other sports nutrition experts recommend around 2 to 3 grams of carbohydrates per pound. On average, a 160-pound man following Williams’ advice would need around 2,444 calories each day from carbohydrates, or 611 grams. A 120-pound woman would need approximately 1,833 calories supplied by about 458 grams of carbohydrates. These carbohydrates should come from a variety of low-fat, low-sugar sources such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and unsweetened juices.
Soccer players should not avoid fat, but they should focus on mono- and polyunsaturated sources like seafood, nuts and nut butters, olives, avocados and vegetable oils such as olive oil while avoiding trans fats from processed foods and saturated fat from butter, full-fat dairy and red meat. Williams advises getting at least 20 percent of your daily calories from healthy fats, but Nancy Clark, co-author of the “Food Guide for Soccer,” says you should aim more toward 25 percent. A 160-pound man could have approximately 94 grams of fat daily, supplying 846 calories; a 120-pound woman could have about 70 grams of fat, which supplies 634 calories per day.
Protein should make up 10 percent of the typical soccer player’s diet, or 0.5 to 0.8 gram of protein for each pound you weigh, according to Williams and a number of other sports nutrition experts. Male players weighing 160 pounds could have around 100 to 130 grams of protein totaling 400 to 520 calories daily, while a woman weighing 120 pounds should have an average of 282 calories from about 71 grams of protein. Pick skinless poultry, lean cuts of beef or pork, fish, shellfish, beans and legumes, nuts, seeds, soy products and low- or nonfat dairy such as yogurt, milk or cheese to fulfill your requirement.
From 1996 through 2012, Ray Lewis was one of the best and most feared linebackers in the National Football League. He was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year twice, a first team All-Pro selection seven times and was chosen for 13 Pro Bowl games. Lewis attributed his success, in part, to his work ethic and intense workout routine, which combined old-school exercises with his own innovations.
Lewis¡¯s workouts are intense, but not purely scientific. One of his training methods — which he began as a boy but was still following as a pro — was to pick cards out of a deck and perform pushups in accordance with each card. If he drew a 7, for example, he¡¯d do seven pushups. A face card was worth 10 pushups, an ace 25 and a joker 50. He¡¯d proceed through the entire deck, shuffle the cards and then do the same workout, but with situps. In his NFL days, he went through three decks of cards for each exercise.
Lewis preferred functional exercises with athletic applications to working on machines. One of his staple workouts involved running on sand while wearing a 45-pound weight vest. The warmup included 100 jumping jacks plus 100 squats, while wearing the vest. He¡¯d then space three cones 10 yards from each other along the sand and perform a variety of sprints. For example, he¡¯d line up 10 yards in front of the first cone and sprint to the cone, back to his starting line and then return to the cone. After repeating the exercise four times, he¡¯d perform five 20-yard sprints and five 30-yard sprints.
When Lewis left the beach and hit the gym he preferred dumbbell and body-weight exercises. A sample workout may include four sets each of incline and flat-bench presses, shrugs and rows, three sets of lying triceps extensions plus two sets each of front and lateral raises, biceps and cross-body curls, hanging leg raises and hanging oblique crunches. Lewis performed each set to failure.
Lewis performed 60-minute workouts at least three times per day, five days per week during the offseasons when he played in the NFL. He put in about 90 minutes of rest between sessions. He performed abdominal and core workouts each day — for example, he did between 2,500 and 3,000 ab rollouts per week, using a steel ab wheel. He also performed plyometric bounds.
A rash between the legs, also known as chafing, occurs when your skin, damp with sweat, rubs against other skin or your clothing. It may also occur as a result of sweat and dirt becoming trapped in your skin. In addition to a rash, you may experience raised bumps or blisters, itchiness and skin that has been rubbed raw. A rash generally clears up on its own; however see your doctor if your symptoms worsen or if you experience additional symptoms such as a fever.
Chafing is a skin irritation that occurs when skin rubs against skin, an article of clothing or other object that may be in the way, such as a bicycle seat, while exercising or performing other tasks that makes you hot and sweaty. Areas where chafing generally occurs include between the legs, armpits, around the breasts and nipples and the groin area. Symptoms of chafing include a rash, raised bumps or blisters as well as skin that feels tender or raw.
Similar to chafing, heat rash is a skin irritation that occurs when sweat and dirt gets trapped between layers of your skin. Heat rash may produce similar symptoms as chafing, including red bumpy skin, as well as deep red lumps or fluid-filled, flesh-colored bumps. Your skin might also feel itchy or prickly. Heat rash usually clears on its own within a few days. Speak to your doctor if the pain or redness increases or you notice pus draining out of the raised bumps, as these may be signs of an infection.
To help prevent a rash between the legs, wear athletic clothing made out of breathable materials that is not too tight or too loose. If possible, wear clothing that wicks sweat away from the body. Never wear brand new workout clothing on long walks, runs or during extensive workouts, as it may have chemicals and other irritants that may aggravate your skin. Always wash brand new workout clothing before wearing. Drink plenty of water during your workout and towel off frequently. Exercise indoors during warm summer months, and use a lubricant that is specially formulated to prevent chafing.
Take a lukewarm shower and wash the area with a mild, fragrance-free soap. Pat the area dry then slather on some anti-fungal ointment. If the rash area is itchy, look for an anti-fungal ointment that also comes with hydrocortisone. If you plan on running errands or heading out after your run, place a large gauze or adhesive bandage over the area to prevent further irritation, suggests The Walking Site. If you don’t plan on going out, let the area breathe as much as possible.
The NFL hosts the annual scouting combine for the best college football players to showcase their talents in front of team coaches, scouts and executives. This scouting combine is only one of many football tryouts that take place every year from youth to professional football. Proper preparation and training enhances your performance at the tryout to improve your chances of making the team. One of the most important factors to optimal tryout performance is having a foundation of strength, speed and power.
Set up a training schedule. As a general rule, a football strength and conditioning program is split into three major phases — off-season, in-season and transition — that take place year-round. The off-season phase covers the six-month period before the season and focuses on developing absolute and maximal strength. Adjust the timing of the off-season training schedule around the date of the tryout. Most beginning football players or novice lifters should spend at least eight to 10 weeks building strength for the tryout while experienced lifters can dedicate three to five weeks.
Practice the tests that will be performed during the tryout. Having experience and knowledge with the individual tests will improve your overall tryout performance. The tests may vary slightly but sample tasks include the 40-yard dash; bench press for a one-rep maximum, or total number of repetitions with a specific weight; vertical jump; and shuttle run. Practice the activities that comprise these tests two to three days per week as part of your general strength and conditioning workout. You can also add additional drills for your specific position. For example, a lineman may require additional strength, agility, blocking or footwork drills.
Perform strength training three to four days per week leading up to the tryout. Incorporate major functional lifts that develop strength, speed and power. These lifts include back squats; deadlifts; bench press; shoulder press; and Olympic lifts such as cleans, jerks and snatches. Train for maximal strength by focusing on explosive power during every repetition. Perform a total of one to five repetitions for three to seven sets with three to five minutes of rest between sets.
Perform plyometrics, agility and speed training drills two to three days per week. These drills build lower body strength while also improving your speed, agility, balance and mobility. Focus on jump training using light loads and explosive movements. Sample exercises include box jumps, jump-rope and medicine ball exercises. Each workout should consist of five to seven different exercises performed for three sets of 10 repetitions.