High school football coaches use tryouts as a time to assess the talent that is available to them for an upcoming season. Common high school football tryout activities include kicking, throwing, catching, blocking and sprinting, which are typically conducted with potential players dressed in shorts or sweats and T-shirts. Like the game itself, tryouts are a difficult process intended to determine who has what it takes to succeed on the football field.
In most situations, high school football tryouts begin with a gathering of coaches and potential players where introductions are made and the tryout process is explained in detail. Players are sorted into groups based on positions before separating to different parts of the field to perform position-related drills. Some coaches will separate you into position groups based on what your physical appearance leads them to believe you are capable of playing. However, some coaches may ask you to indicate which position you want to play. In either case, as the tryout process unfolds, your skills may reveal the position for which you are best suited.
Usually, high school football coaches use the 40-yard dash as a basic indicator of a prospective player¡¯s speed, which helps to determine which position you are capable of playing. The 40-yard dash is performed either alone or against another tryout attendee. From a three-point football stance, you will be required to break into a full sprint for a distance of 40 yards while a coach times you. This drill is a good indicator of how fast you are able to run and of your muscular endurance over a distance that is commonly covered during a football game. Typically, linemen run the 40-yard dash more slowly than other positions, so coaches will sometimes employ the 10-yard dash to ascertain these players¡¯ ability to cover shorter distances quickly. Linemen are usually required to cover distances in this distance range during a football game.
High school football tryouts typically require prospective linemen to perform hitting and blocking drills on a padded blocking sled. These drills require you, from a three-point stance, to explode from your stance, hit the sled and drive it backward for several yards. Blocking sleds come in several formats, such as two-, three- and five-man sleds that the appropriate amount of players are used to drive the sled. Coaches use this drill to determine a player¡¯s ability to perform the basic duties of an offensive or defensive lineman.
If you are trying out to make your high school football team¡¯s quarterback, you will be put through a battery of drills that include throwing, running and taking a snapped ball from under center. Wide receiver candidates will be called upon to run routes and receive passes from prospective quarterbacks or coaches as part of their tryout experience. Running back candidates can expect to be required to run through obstacle courses, such as tires or cones, and to receive passes along with the wide receivers. Defensive backs and safeties will be assessed by providing pass coverage during passing drills, while linebackers will perform a combination of linemen and defensive back drills. Kickers¡¯ and punters¡¯ skills will be evaluated by attempting field goals from different distances and by punting the ball as far as they can.
Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world. Invented by Dr. James A. Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts, to give his students something to do in winter, the game is played by some of the greatest athletes and provides thrilling moments to competitors and fans. Learning the basics can allow you to play and enjoy the game.
Dribbling the basketball is one of the basics of the game. The point guard has to do the majority of the ball handling, but all players have to know how to move from point A to point B while dribbling the ball competently. Learn to dribble with both hands and keep your head up. You don’t want to stare at the ball while you are dribbling because you want to be able to see the court, find the open spots and pass the ball to your teammates.
The game is about scoring by putting the ball through the rim. Shooting is a learned skill and the more you work at it, the more confidence you will get. Shooting well is about getting lift on your jump shot, bringing the ball to the proper release position, putting backspin on the ball as you let the ball go and following through. Shooting on your own before and after practice will give you a chance to improve your overall ability.
All players must make the effort to play effective defense. You don’t have to be accomplished in other areas to be strong on the defensive end. Stay between your man and the ball, use your arms to clog the passing lanes and contest every shot without fouling. Playing defense is about effort and anticipation.
Rebounding is another vital basketball skill that is based on effort and intelligence rather than overall ability. Defensive rebounders have an advantage over their offensive counterparts because they are positioned between their opponent and the ball. Go to a spot about two to three feet from the backboard and face the backboard when jumping. Use your butt to keep opponents from getting inside position on you and grab the ball with both hands before bringing it down to chest level.
Find the open man when you have the basketball. Passing needs to be accurate and crisp. Don’t hold onto the ball just to show off your dribbling. The faster you can pass the ball to an open teammate, the better chance your team will have at scoring. Use the chest pass, bounce pass or baseball pass to get the ball into a scoring position.
The left back position in soccer, also called the left fullback, requires good ball control and running. Standing left of the stopper, you must be able to get around the opposite team’s players and help get the ball down the field toward your goal. Including drills and exercises in your practice sessions emphasizes these skills and improves your game.
If your team loses control of the soccer ball during a game, the other team might gain possession and score a point. The step across is a drill that involves stepping over the ball to keep it from being stolen. To do this, you must get in front of the ball as an opponent gets close to you. This skill is important for a left back because he must retain control of the ball and prevent the opposing team from getting it. Practice this exercise with a teammate, and simulate a situation you might encounter during a game. Pair up and get close to each other, mimicking game play, and practice moving the ball behind you to protect it. Once the ball is behind you, rest your back foot on it to keep it in place.
Part of the job of a left back is to move around the players on the opposite team to help get the ball down the field and into the goal. Evasion exercises enhance this skill by helping the left back practice techniques to keep the ball while running. To practice this skill, isolate two players in a 5-by-10-foot area, and allow them to take turns playing the left back position and working to alternately protect and attempt to steal the ball. This drill is called one-on-one and emphasizes dribbling and evasion skills.
Paying attention to the other players on the field is an important part of any soccer position, including a left back. Knowing where your teammates and opponents are helps you determine in which direction to dribble the ball and who to kick it to as you advance toward your goal. Agility exercises are good options for helping a left back hone this skill. Set up cones in varied patterns, and dribble the ball around and in and out of the cones. Have teammates along the way jump out and try to steal the ball, which enhances concentration and ball manipulation skills.
Because a left back spends a portion of each soccer game with possession of the ball, exercises that reinforce receiving and passing the ball are important for improving his game. A drill that allows for practice of these skills involves dividing a soccer team in half and having both groups of players line up and stand facing each other, a few feet apart. Each player on one side of the line has a soccer ball, which he passes to the player across from him. That player receives the ball and passes it back. Each line of players takes a step back, widening the gap and the drill is repeated. Continue moving backward and passing and receiving the ball back and forth.
Your pre-game meal can help to supply your body with a significant amount of energy an athlete will need for an event. However, it will not supply all the energy needed. Instead, you should eat the right types of food for several days prior to any event in order to charge the muscles with plenty of glycogen, the energy source the muscles use during most sporting activities. The pre-game meal will help to stabilize blood sugar levels, hydrate the body, prevent gastrointestinal upset and avoid hunger during the event. There is no one meal or food that is right for every athlete but there are choices that are smarter than others.
According to the University of Illinois extension in Urbana, IL, it is important to allow for enough time for digestion prior to the event. Eat the meal at least three hours prior to the athletic event. Although the timing is important, it is also important to eat the right combination of types of foods to ensure that the stomach is empty and there is no excess gas or gastrointestinal upset.
Starches and complex carbohydrates are an important piece of a pre-game meal plan because they breakdown and are digested at a rate that provides energy faster than protein or fats. In fact, according to Dr. William Sears, practicing pediatrician, carbohydrates should be 70 percent of caloric intake for up to three days prior to an event. According to the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois, these complex carbohydrates include pasta, rice, potatoes, starchy vegetables, breads, cereals, pancakes and fruits and fruit juices.
Athletes should not eat proteins, fats, fiber or high-sugar foods within three hours of an athletic event, according to Colorado State University. Meals that are high in protein, fiber or fat will take longer to digest and break down for use as energy. They can deplete energy stores, slow down digestion and create a gastrointestinal disturbance that will negatively impact athletic performance. High-sugar foods will lead to a rapid spike in blood sugar and an equally rapid decline with reduced energy and mental alertness. Concentrated sweets can also draw fluids out of the gastrointestinal tract and contribute to dehydration, cramping, nausea and diarrhea.
Although not a true food, any pre-game meal plan must include adequate hydration with plain water. According to the Colorado State University, water is critical to athletes because dehydration can cause muscle cramping, decreased performance and fatigue. During an event athletes should replace fluid with chilled liquid during frequent intervals. Chilled fluids are absorbed more readily and help to reduce core temperatures.
Little League baseball started in 1938 when Carl Stotz organized a baseball league for the boys in his hometown of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. A year later, he formed a board of directors and they took the name Little League. Sponsorships were $30 to help pay for equipment and uniforms for 30 players, according to Little League Online. Since that time, grants and other funding have been an important part of keeping the tradition alive.
Corporate partnerships, including national sponsorships, assist the organization around the globe. For more than 50 years, Little League has partnered with major corporations, which offer expertise in fund-raising, operations and safety, Little League Online notes. Sponsors also offer discounts, equipment, products and technical support, the organization reports. To see the most up-to-date list of national sponsors, visit the Little League Online website.
Statewide Little League organizations also have sponsorships and fundraisers to help support their teams. Bank of America is listed as the 2011 sponsor of Massachusetts Little League, which also has an online fundraising effort ongoing. The state¡¯s Little League website has links to several fundraisers.
A joint initiative between Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund or BTF was established in 1999 through a $10 million commitment by the two groups. The mission of BTF is to promote the growth of youth participation in baseball and softball throughout the world by funding programs to help maintain youth participation in the game. Money grants are flexible to allow applicants to address needs within their communities. BTF awards an average of 40 grants per year totaling more than $1.5 million annually, according to its website, with the average grant amount being approximately $40,000.
It often takes a team effort to support a Little League program. In March of 2009, Marilyn Wittstock ensured developmentally disabled youth would have a quality experience by leading an effort to build a custom baseball field, according to a 2009 article in The Detroit News. Wittstock helped raise $120,000 in donations so the six-team, 80-member league would have a field of its own in Clinton Township in Detroit, Michigian. The late Tony Filippis, the former owner of Wright & Filippis Inc., a prosthetic, orthotic and home medical supply company, supported the cause and reached out to donors before his death. The township’s Kiwanis and Knights of Columbus organizations collected thousands of dollars, according to the Detroit News story. The Detroit Tigers Foundation gave $10,000 and former Tiger first baseman Sean Casey and his wife, Mandi, also donated $10,000.
The Detroit Tigers Foundation made 11 grants to local youth baseball-related projects the year it donated money to the Clinton Township project. Since 2005, the foundation has strived to enhance lives through the game of baseball with a focus on youth, education and recreation. The foundation accepts formal grant requests each year from Sept.1- Dec. 20.
Good Sports, headquartered in Quincy, Massachusetts, helps youth sports groups by offering equipment grants. Good Sports partners with sporting goods manufacturers to ensure that disadvantaged youth are getting the equipment they need to participate. To be eligible for an equipment grant an organization must work with youth ages 5 to 18 years old in disadvantaged areas within the United States.
Unless you live in a bubble, it’s tough to escape exposure to pollutants, pesticides and other chemicals. Some spas and retail outlets offer a special treatment, called the ionic foot bath, to purportedly draw out these toxins through the soles of the feet. These foot baths may feel relaxing, but they’re not necessarily as beneficial as companies claim.
At an ionic foot bath session, users immerse their feet in a basin filled with salt water. Electrodes in the water add a small electric charge. Proponents of these baths say that the electric charge helps draw out toxins and make the body’s pH more alkaline. As this happens, the clear water in the bath starts to turn brown, black or even orange. Some companies claim that users experience reduced pain, higher energy levels and relief from allergies, insomnia and other conditions after a treatment.
Opponents of these foot baths say that they don’t work as advertised. Companies tell customers that the bath water changes colors as it draws out toxins. However, the “Los Angeles Times” reported in 2010 that ionic water changes colors on its own, not because of the presence of toxins. Tim Crowe, Associate Professor in Nutrition at Deakin University, writing for ABC Health & Wellbeing, asserts that the human body has the ability to remove toxins by itself — so a “detoxifying” foot bath isn’t necessary. A study published in 2012 by the “Journal of Environmental and Public Health” analyzed hair and urine samples after participants had ionic foot baths; the study found no evidence that the baths had any benefit.
The average 14-year-old girl should consume approximately 1,800 calories each day, while a 14-year-old boy needs around 2,200 calories, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In a healthy diet, the majority of these calories should come from whole grains, lean protein, low- or nonfat dairy and a variety of fruits and vegetables. Seek help from a pediatrician or dietitian if you need help developing a nutritious eating plan for your 14-year-old.
The USDA recommends that half of any meal a 14-year-old eats should consist of fruits and vegetables. Doing so should help girls consume the recommended 2 1/2 cups of vegetables and 1 1/2 cups of fruit each day. Boys need to consume the recommended 3 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit daily. A teen’s vegetables should be fresh or frozen and eaten raw or prepared with a low-fat method like steaming, grilling or stir-frying. Fruits should be fresh or canned in 100 percent fruit juice, not sweetened or packed in heavy syrup.
About 25 percent of a 14-year-old’s plate at a meal should contain a lean, protein-rich food. Skinless chicken or turkey, fish, shellfish, eggs, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, soy products and low-fat cuts of beef or pork can all fulfill this requirement. A 14-year-old girl needs 5 ounces daily; a boy of the same age should have 6 1/2 ounces. Each ounce is equivalent to one whole egg, 1/4 cup of cooked beans or legumes, 1/2 ounce of nuts or seeds and 1 ounce of meat, seafood or poultry. Teens should avoid fatty cuts of red meat and processed items like hot dogs or ham.
Grains should make up the remaining 25 percent of a typical 14-year-old’s meal. Each day, a girl in this age group should aim to consume 6 ounces of grains, while boys need about 8 ounces. A slice of bread, a small corn or flour tortilla, 1/2 cup of cooked cereal grains like rice or oatmeal, 1/2 cup of cooked pasta, 1 cup of ready-to-eat breakfast cereal and 3 cups of popcorn all count as 1 ounce. At least half of a 14-year-old’s daily grains should be whole grains such as brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, quinoa, bulgur and whole-grain breads and tortillas.
A serving of a calcium-rich food like dairy should accompany each meal, with 1 cup of milk or yogurt, 2 cups of cottage cheese, 1/3 cup of shredded cheese and 1 1/2 ounces of hard cheese like mozzarella or cheddar all counting as a single serving. A 14-year-old needs three servings of these foods daily. To avoid excess fat, teens should choose low- or nonfat over whole-milk dairy products. Vegan, vegetarian or lactose-intolerant teens who don’t consume dairy products can get the calcium they need by regularly eating soy products, dark leafy greens like kale, canned salmon or sardines and calcium-fortified items such as some juices, breakfast cereals and plant milks.
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History is riddled with instances of deadly epidemics — which is why health officials have started to look backward to find the right tactics to take with the Swine Flu. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), for instance, has recruited the help of Dr. Howard Markel, a medical historian and pediatrician at the University of Michigan, reports CNN. Markel has studied the flu epidemic of 1918 to see which nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) work best in such situations.
Markel found that NPIs such as closing down schools, limiting public gatherings and isolating infected patients worked wonders in slowing down the spread of the disease in the 1918 epidemic. Of course, the ideal response to an epidemic is to find a vaccine as quickly as possible — not just slow it down. However, Markel points out that, historically, slowing down an epidemic buys time for health officials to find a vaccine.
Time is an invaluable asset when it comes to epidemics. History has also shown us that jumping on a vaccine too early has disastrous consequences. A 1976 epidemic provides evidence of this, reports Time. That year, officials were afraid they were on the verge of an epidemic when an army base in New Jersey was hit with the swine flu (a different strain from what we’re dealing with today). President Ford authorized a vaccination program, but unfortunately, that vaccine was found to cause Guillain-Barr¨¦ syndrome, a potentially deadly and paralyzing nerve disease.
Nevertheless, a historical perspective has made Markel surprisingly optimistic. Time quotes him as saying that “our surveillance, methodology and public health professionals have never been better.” He suggests that we put trust in the government and be patient.
Worried? Take solace in some historical perspective:
10 Worst Epidemics
How the Black Death Worked
How Plague Works
Print | Citation & Date
Try these favorite recipes submitted by the contestants for Miss America 2010:
Miss Alabama: Fried Green Tomatoes
Miss Alaska: Alaska Salmon Enchiladas
Miss Arizona: Arizona Avocado and Cheese Enchiladas
Miss California: The Ultimate Froyo Chipwich
Miss Colorado: Grilled Chicken with Arugula with Black Olives and Tomatoes
Miss Connecticut: Eggplant Parmesan
District of Columbia: Crab Cakes
Miss Florida: Chicken Enchiladas
Miss Georgia: Shrimp and Grits
Miss Hawaii: Poi
Miss Idaho: Shrimp Fajitas
Miss Illinois: Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
Miss Indiana: Veggie Pancakes
Miss Kansas: Lasagna
Miss Kentucky: Aunt Laura’s Guacamole Dip
Miss Louisiana: Caf¨¦ Du Monde Beignets
Miss Maine: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
Miss Maryland: Steamed Crabs
Miss Michigan: Blueberry and Mascarpone Turnovers
Miss Minnesota: Peanut Butter and Banana Wraps
Miss Mississippi: Fried Catfish
Miss Missouri: Imo’s Pizza St. Louis Style
Miss Montana: Frozen Monkey Tails
Miss Nebraska: Salted Nut Bar Roll
Miss Nevada: Orange Scones with Orange Icing
Miss New Hampshire: New England Clam Chowder
Miss New Jersey: Oatmeal Pancake
Miss New Mexico: Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas
Miss New York: Slovak Pancakes
Miss North Carolina: Cornbread
Miss North Dakota: Baked Potato
Miss Ohio: Buckeyes
Miss Oregon: Hot Crab Dip
Miss Pennsylvania: Dutch Funnel Cakes
Miss Puerto Rico: Mofongo
Miss Rhode Island: Clam Cakes
Miss South Carolina: Southern Fried Chicken
Miss South Dakota: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Miss Tennessee: Tennessee Pecan Pie
Miss Texas: Tex Mex Tomato Soup
Miss Utah: Orange Jell-O salad
Miss Vermont: Mrs. D’s Ravioli
Miss Virgin Islands: Mom’s Stewed Fish with Plantains
Miss Virginia/Miss America 2010: Fried Hamburgers with Mushroom Gravy
Miss Wyoming: Fettuccine Alfredo
More than 90 percent of the 40,000 sports-related eye injuries per year are preventable, according to FamilyDoctor.org. High-vision-risk sports are those played with a stick, racket, ball, bat or puck, and football is high risk because games involve bodily contact as well as a ball. If you normally wear glasses, you can wear glasses when you play sports, but you will need to make some modifications to stay safe.
Most sports-related eye injuries occur in people under 30, and most commonly in children. Three types of sports-related trauma to the eye, as reported by the University of Illinois Department of Ophthalmology, are blunt injuries, penetrating injuries and abrasions to the cornea. Eye injuries range from irritating to painful to potentially blinding. Fingernail scratches to the eye are common and don’t normally require treatment. Bleeding in the eye, called hyphema, often caused by the blunt trauma of an elbow or ball, requires a visit to the ophthalmologist. Potentially devastating injuries may occur when shards of broken eyeglasses penetrate the eye, and the UIC Department of Ophthalmology considers this type of injury to be an emergency warranting immediate treatment.
Protective gear worn during football is a must, but don’t stop at a helmet and pads. KidsHealth.org recommends the following additional safety equipment: proper shoes, a mouth guard, an athletic supporter for males and — if you wear glasses — shatterproof glass or plastic lenses. Do not wear regular eyeglasses on the field.
Many major league athletes now wear eye protection, says All About Vision. Some fitness clubs and athletic facilities even require eye protection. Proper sports eyewear, whether prescription or nonprescription, reduces the risk of injury to the eye and enhances vision, allowing the player to see better. If you want to play football, the best lens is made of polycarbonate, which is resistant to impact and has ultraviolet protection built in. Scratch-resistant coating prevents damage to the lenses and increases durability. Choose sports frames designed to fit inside the football helmet, and ensure the frames are made of impact-resistant polycarbonate or plastic. Good football frames also contain rubber padding where the frames contact the wearer’s nose and head. Avoid the temptation to buy frames that are too big, thinking that children will grow into them because frames do not protect as well if they don’t fit. Frames that a child has outgrown may also interfere with peripheral vision, increasing the risk of injury.
Some people who have trouble wearing contact lenses for long periods are able to wear them during sporting events only. Choosing contact lenses that are disposable and then throwing them away after the game, says All About Vision, is one option for those who don’t want the hassle of cleaning and storing contacts. If contact lenses are an option, you should still consider wearing nonprescription protective eyewear while playing football because the contacts do not protect against traumatic eye injuries or UV rays from the sun.