Although most attention on football injuries is focused on the players, an injured ball can stop play just as fast ¡ª?it might stop play faster, since you can play with one less man, but not with one less ball. Fortunately, repairing a football is a relatively simple process, similar to fixing a bicycle tire, and should take less than an hour.
Inspect the ball visually. If the leak is from a rip or gash, rather than a small hole, your ball is likely beyond repair.
Fill the basin with water. Submerge the football in the basin and look for the stream of air bubbles. This is the location of your leak.
Note the location of the leak. Remove the ball from the water, dry it with a towel and circle the leak with your chalk .
Insert the syringe of your ball sealant into the air hole of the ball. Depress the plunger to squirt the contents inside.
Use your air pump to refill the ball with air.
Toss the ball from hand to hand for a few minutes to spread the sealant around.
Dunk the ball back in the basin and check for leaking air. If you still have a leak ¡ª and you probably won’t ¡ª add more ball sealant and try again.
If you are a recreational soccer player, you might arrive at a game after eating a large meal and find you’re too full to run well during a 90-minute outdoor contest or a 48-minute indoor one. You also might rush to the game without having eaten all day. It’s important to have sufficient glycogen in your muscles to sprint, jump and kick, rather than trying to run on either an empty fuel tank or a too-full stomach.
Sports nutrition texts, including ¡°Nutrition¡± by Stanford University professor Paul Insel, recommend that endurance sports athletes, such as soccer players, eat a diet consisting of 60 percent or more in carbohydrates. This provides fuel for leg muscles, especially the heavily used quadriceps. Good sources of carbs are rice, pasta, whole-grain bread, oatmeal, breakfast cereal and fresh or dried fruit, according to registered dietitian Diogo Ferreira, who collaborates with the Portuguese team Benfica. These foods have a low to moderate level of fiber, and help maintain stable blood sugar levels, he adds.
Allow three or ideally four hours to digest a meal before a soccer game or hard practice, write sports nutritionist Nancy Clark and Gloria Averbuch, marketing director for the Sky Blue pro women¡¯s team, in ¡°Food Guide for Soccer: Tips and Recipes from the Pros.¡± If kickoff is at 8 p.m., complete a substantial meal between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. Have essentially a second lunch, such as a sandwich, a mug of soup or peanut butter on crackers. Allow two to three hours to digest a smaller meal, one to two hours for a blended or liquid meal and less than an hour for a small snack.
Add protein to your diet, consuming lean meats such as chicken and turkey at lunchtime on game days, dietitian Ferreira recommends. Add low-fat milk, yogurt or a fruit shake for additional protein and calcium. Many female soccer players need to take iron, as French international player Sonia Bompastor of the Washington Freedom states in ¡°Food Guide for Soccer.¡±
Avoid fatty foods, such as fried eggs, hamburgers, french fries and sausage before a game, since these can upset your stomach. The one exception could be peanut butter, which you may be able to tolerate far better than other foods with fat, especially if you spread it on a slice of whole-grain bread, nutritionist Ferreira writes.
Sports nutritionist Clark advocates getting your pre-game nourishment from ¡°real¡± foods, as opposed to gels, power bars, protein drinks, sports drinks and powders. She and marketing director Averbuch advocate assembling a good diet from whole foods in their original form.
If you want to eat what the pros eat, ¡°Food Guide for Soccer¡± recommends 50 recipes from players in Women¡¯s Professional Soccer. These include Pasta with Chicken from all-time international caps leader Kristine Lilly, Avocado Salad from Brandi Chastain, Date Bars from Abby Wambach and Game Day Pancakes from Karina LeBlanc of Canada. Nicole Barnhart, the FC Gold Pride goalkeeper, has a well-balanced meal three to four hours before the game, and bananas or apples with peanut butter in the locker room before kickoff.
Blocking a field goal can change the course of a game. And since there are so many ways to block a field goal, there have to be rules that govern every variation. Some football rules are tricky and luckily the NCAA has it covered.
The long snapper or snapper is the player who hikes the ball to the holder, who then holds the ball for the kicker to attempt the field goal. The snapper is usually in the middle of the line. According to NCAA rules, the side trying to block the kick attempt cannot contact the snapper for at least one second after he snaps the ball. The only exception is if the snapper initiates or starts the contact with the defense. This rule is to prevent the defense from bowling over the snapper as he moves the ball and getting an easy blocked kick.
According to NCAA rules, when a team tries a field goal, no player on the defense can run into or rough the holder or kicker during the play. Exceptions to this rule occur if you block the kick. If you touch or alter the kick, it is OK to make contact with the holder and kicker. However, if you do not make contact with the ball, you will get a penalty for touching the kicker or holder. In addition, only the player that blocked the kick can make contact with the holder or kicker, not all of the players on the team. If you are blocked into the kicker the penalty does not count and you can tackle the holder or kicker if they attempt to run with or advance the ball.
The defensive team has some other restrictions when it tries to block a field goal in college football. Defenders cannot jump on a teammate or be boosted up by a teammate in order to be higher to block the field goal attempt. Doing so will be a penalty and if you block the kick or the offense misses the kick, they will get a 15-yard penalty and a re-kick opportunity. In addition, players cannot hurdle or jump over the offensive line to block a kick. That infraction will be assessed a 15-yard penalty as well. In addition, a new rule was proposed in 2011 that would restrict the defense from performing a three on one triple-team against an offensive lineman during a field-goal attempt. According to the NCAA proposal, it would be illegal for defense to line up three players shoulder to shoulder and advance into an offensive player. This is meant to protect the lineman and would be a 5-yard penalty under the new rules proposal.
After the defensive team blocks a field goal attempt, players are free to advance the ball. On kicks that do not cross the line of scrimmage or are blocked behind the line, the offensive team is allowed to recover and advance the ball as well. However, NCAA rules state that an attempt that is blocked that crosses the line of scrimmage can only be advanced by the defense unless the defense first touches the ball and subsequently fumbles the ball.
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.
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.
Whether you’re a long-distance runner or you just spend most of the working while standing, coming home to tired and sore feet can leave you searching for relief. If you don’t have access to a professional masseuse or a foot spa, stretching exercises are one of your best bets for getting temporary relief of your minor foot pain. Talk to your doctor if you experience significant pain from foot stretching exercises.
Plantar fasciitis is a common source of pain in the foot, primarily in the heel. The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that stretches from your heel to the bottom of your foot and almost to the toes. To stretch out the plantar fascia, sit on the floor with your knee bent and grab the toes of your foot with one hand. Slowly bend back your toes with your hand and hold for 10 to 15 seconds. You also can stretch out your plantar fascia by standing facing a wall and sticking one foot out behind the other. Bend both legs at your knees and keep your feet flat on the floor until you feel a stretch in your back heel. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds, then rest and repeat.
A simple way to stretch out the muscles in your feet after a long run or when you’re feeling pain is the step stretch. Find a step or elevated surface that can support your weight. Stand with your toes on the step and your heels hanging over the edge. Slowly lower your body so your heels dip down below the edge of the step and hold for 10 to 15 seconds. Lift your body back up and rest, then repeat the stretching exercise three to four more times.
Ankle circles help stretch the muscles and tendons that travel throughout your feet. To do ankle circles, sit or lie on the floor with your leg extended and your ankle elevated slightly off the floor. Slowly turn your ankle in a clockwise fashion five to 10 times. Reverse the ankle circles by turning your ankle counter-clockwise for five to 10 turns. You can also try using your foot to draw the letters of the alphabet for better variety of range of motion in the ankle.
For direct access to the muscles in the top and bottom of the foot, try ankle stretches. Start by sitting in a chair with one leg crossed over the other. Grab your foot with both hands. Place both thumbs at the top of your foot with your fingers wrapped around and under your foot. Slowly bend the bottom of your foot out and hold for 10 to 15 seconds, then stop and rest. Repeat the exercise, this time bending the bottom of your foot in to stretch the top of the foot.