Fan’s Guide to Buying NFL Team Jerseys

An endless number of pro football jerseys are sold annually worldwide. Fans buy them to wear to games themselves while others are given as gifts. Are they popular? Take a look in the stands the next time you watch a game on TV. Sometimes it seems more people are wearing them than aren’t! The NFL jersey market can be a bit confusing, though, thanks to the variety available and costs involved. It’s not hard to purchase a cheap authentic jersey you can wear or give as a gift. You just need to take note of a couple of things rather than be fearful of making a mistake. First, understand that they are available in home team colors, road and you can also get retro throwback football jerseys, fashioned to resemble those worn by a franchise in years past. The old school jerseys have been very popular, especially when the teams themselves choose to wear them on a given Sunday.

An NFL throwback jersey is often a point of pride for an older football fan who prides himself or herself on knowing NFL history. Sometimes the older jerseys are more attractive than those carrying today’s design. There’s definitely a nostalgia factor involved. There is a huge secondary market for NFL jerseys. At times an individual buys a jersey that doesn’t fit and just decides to resell it. Other times, they get one from someone else and really do not want it. Don’t ignore fairly non-traditional markets when searching for one but ensure you’re acquiring from a dependable source-not from a seller who operates at a price level so much lower than everyone else that it’s obvious they’re selling fakes. There are a few different types of jerseys available.

Official NFL jerseys should be no different in level of quality than what you see your favorite player wearing on the field. A heavyweight fabric with numbers, names and patches sewn on is usually a trademark. It’s even feasible to purchase authentic customized NFL jerseys. You select the name and number of the NFL player you want put on the jersey and it is going to be created just how you’d like it. It’s not inexpensive but a youth NFL football jersey is a terrific gift to get a young sports fan. Women’s NFL jerseys are getting increasingly well known. They’re tailored just a bit differently to fit a woman’s body. In 2007, the women’s pink jerseys designed and sold in conjunction with a breast cancer fundraiser was exceptionally well received.

The league even had players on the field wearing pink stripes on their shoes, pink wristbands and other cancer-aware gear in 2009. Pink NFL jerseys sold to the public show support for the cause and are certainly eye-catching. If you can’t afford an authentic NFL jersey you can go one step down and order a premier NFL jersey. These are cheaper than the authentic NFL jerseys, but are not within the identical high quality that you get using the authentic jersey. A premier jersey fabricated from of lighter material and is mostly nylon/polyester. It as sewn on numbers and names but doesn’t always have those same excellent of material as an authentic jersey. It might look just as good as an authentic jersey, but manufactured cheaper. An excellent choice if you would like an authentic jersey but just can’t afford it. At another level is the replica NFL jersey. These jerseys are produce of thinner fabrics with less detail so they a lot less expensive.

The graphics and numbers are not sewn on but are screen printed instead. These jerseys constitute the majority of those sold and seen in NFL stadiums and sports bars coast to coast. They’re close enough to the real deal to look respectable but are for the more budget-minded fan. The NFL takes counterfeit jersey sellers really seriously so don’t confuse inexpensive NFL jerseys with outright fakes. There’s no doubt you can find a jersey for next to nothing but it’s likely it’s been created where official NFL jerseys aren’t actually made.

Source by Amillysun

Benefits Of Using Ice Hockey Helmets

As a sports person or as a sports lover you should know that while playing any types of sports you should wear the right accessories. Suppose you love playing hockey and for that it is very important that you should wear the right accessories so that you can play smoothly. The most important of all the accessories are the helmets. If you think that you can play the game without such accessories then you are absolutely wrong. Actually two types of hockey is played – ice hockey and inline hockey. While playing ice hockey you should definitely wear ice hockey helmets so that your head remains protected from all types of injuries.

Compared to inline hockey, ice hockey is a very rough game as in this particular game players will have to take huge number of falls and bumps on ice and for that wearing helmet is very important. Actually these head accessories are manufactured with the purpose of saving players from fatal injuries that take place because of slipping and falling. Helmets that are manufactured for sports purposes come with a cage or visor and also a mouth guard that protects your face from flying impacts of the pucks. Head is the central part of our body and a small injury can become very serious. Goalies always wear full cage helmets so that they are not directly hit.

Apart from ice hockey helmets you should also wear the other accessories that are required as gloves, skates, shoulder pads, etc. While playing if you injure yourself, then what is the deal? That is why experts suggest wearing the necessary accessories while playing any game whether it is cricket or whether it is hockey. But whatever you buy that should be of fine quality and should also provide you comfort.

Source by Steve Takajo

Golf Equipment–Top 10 Brand Names

NO.1 Dunlop

Since its inception in 1910, Dunlop has been the one of the world’s most prestigious brands. Even those famous golfers such as Arnold Palmer, Seve Ballesteros, Tom Watson and Fuzzy Zoeller have already become the Dunlop brand’s loyalist owning to its good performance. Actually, Dunlop clubs help them win a lot of honor.

NO.2 TaylorMade

TaylorMade – Adidas Golf Co., Ltd. (TaylorMade-Adidas-Salomon AG, referred to TaylorMade golf. Since 1979, after the creation, TaylorMade Golf has always been a pioneer in the development of golf technology.

NO.3 Adidas

In the world of the sporting equipments manufacturers, Adidas has always represented a special kind of status symbol, and this symbol was called by some bird as the “three lines about victory.” Since founded in 1948, so far, Adidas has helped countless athletes to create great scores, and a lot of the achievements of Albert Feng Gong.

NO.4 Nike

Headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, Nike is the world’s leading sporting goods manufacturer. The company is a manufacturer of sporting goods all-inclusive: clothing, footwear, sporting equipment and so on. 2002 fiscal year, the company’s operating income reached a record 4.98 billion U.S. dollars, compared fiscal year 2001 with a growth of 2%.

NO.5 Ben Hogan

Since its establishment in 1953, Ben Hogan Golf is always the representative of high-end products. Over the years, the best golf equipment, such as clubs, balls, accessories and many other products always closely linked to the Ben Hogan brand. As the company entered the first of his brilliant 52 years, Ben Hogan had a significant innovation, launched a series of new products.

NO.6 Etonic

Etonic began his golf shoes production in the 50’s. During the 80’s, Etonic has been considered as the leading technology brand with a representation of high professionalism. In 2002, Etonic produced the first sports shoes of the double depth. Etonic DRx products are not only fashionable but also comfort and easy moving.

NO.7 Wilson

Since launched in 1914, Wilson has become the historic sporting equipment manufacturer already. Wilson is one of the first manufacturers of tennis rackets, racket, and two lines of the tennis shoes. Pepsi-Cola Company in 1970acquired Wilson, Michael Jordan signed Chicago Bulls, and joined the Wilson think-tank by 1984.

NO.8 MacGregot

Macgregor Company (MacGregorGOIf) was founded in 1897, and the company is headquartered in the United States, Atlanta, Georgia, which is the world’s oldest golf equipment supplier. She is a global brand companies, has a long history, experience abundant supplies. With 108 years’ development of golf course, MacGregot continue her successful record and dazzling innovation brilliance, including 59 Championships over the field.

NO.9 Callaway

Callaway founder Ely Callaway, in 1982, founded the Callaway Golf Company, which was named Callaway Hickory Stick USA Inc. but Callaway. At the time, their main products are based on putting and wedge, but the most special part is the shaft, not used in the iron.

NO.10 PING

Since 1959, Karsten Solheim invented the heel-toe balance; PING has been good at conventional challenges. Specify series continue to develop the suitable putters, different look, feel and weight, for players at all levels.

Source by Avgolfer

Health: Fitness Apparel

In a sports apparel specialty store you will delight at the wide range of clothing plus accessories that is available in the market. Specific sporting apparels like golf, fitness exercise, equestrian and yoga are very much available. The apparel for sports like surfing or rafting and even mountaineering are abounds. The wetsuits are perfect for surfing apparel. The sports apparel include caps, batting gloves and rafting vests. Here’s a short list on how to choose your sports and fitness apparel

1. The Golf wear

The golf apparel can be found in any specialty sport store. The golf apparel usually includes a trouser with a t-shirt. In golf apparel, comfort is the most important factor. Chinos are also very popular golf wear. Hats and caps of varying designs and makes are also available. Of course outlandish gears worn by some professional golfers are also available.

2. The Running / Fitness wear

The running apparel is best made with cotton to retain moisture that causes friction and might lead to possible chafing. The running shorts and tights including the cotton socks are the basic running gear. When running apparel is being chosen, try to select a base layer top which keeps you dry for an extended run. Comfortable and fit running shoes must be matched to keep you fresh on the run.

The fitness gear pertains to all kinds of apparel including aerobics and gymnastics. The multi-colored tights and leotards are the best and most comfortable during a workout. The fitness gear must be selected with care. Choose the proper material and correct size when selecting the fitness gear is a must.

3. The athletic apparel

The athletic apparel must be chosen with the climate and weather in thought. An apparel that is not suited for the weather will hinder the performance of an athlete. A popular athletic wear is the running or jogging pants with a drawstring waist. These type of athletic apparel can be purchased at discounted rates. The all weather gear is designed to keep most of the elements out. An athlete depends on the athletic gear to perform at his best.

4. The Equestrian apparel

The equestrian gear is mainly about breeches and boots. There are specialty equestrian stores that stock clothing and other equipment for riding. The casual equestrian gear could be riding breeches matched with a plain shirt. The paddock boots available also at equestrian apparel stores complete the set for an equestrian. A pair of riding pants and a jersey can be bought at an equestrian apparel store. When having lessons on riding, you may want to look online for equestrian stores to see and choose an outfit which lets you ride with great style and comfort. A little pricey in most cases but may be worth the price. A western style of gear is also available in specialty shops.

5. The Yoga apparel

The yoga apparel must be very comfortable and loose for easy movement. A t -shirts and a loose-fit short are basic yoga apparel which will keep you fresh and comfortable. Also, it does not cost much. The designer yoga apparels are available at special yoga stores. Yoga Capri pants and unitards are available at yoga apparel store. The special Asana clothing can be found at very exclusive yoga outlets.

Source by Nicholas Tan

Professional Football As a Popular Sport

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Football Vs Soccer – How They Are Related, and How They Are Not

Football Vs Soccer – How They Are Related, and How They Are Not

Two of the most beloved sports Football and Soccer have much in common. Lately, many are wondering why there is such an international pull for soccer while football remains an American sport. This articles intent is to bring out some of the similarities and differences between soccer and football based on: history, team size, and fan size.

History: Football vs. Soccer

Football is actually a relative from soccer. Though the date is unsure of when the sport was first known to be played, there were many professional teams starting to spring up in the late 1800s. It was not that much different from its closer cousin rugby, but was showing some far different plays from soccer already.

Here is an interesting fact. Soccer or “football” as is as known in most European and South American Countries is actually the founder of both rugby and football. The major disconnections occurred when the rules for soccer changed to a “no hands” rule. At this point rugby was born. Later as rugby split into two different kinds of play: traditional rugby which allows drop kick goals and more footwork, and American football which has kickoffs and field goals (reminiscent of its soccer days) tackling and hand offs (similar to rugby) and forward passing, options, and other additions.

Soccer on the other hand has a long history, according to the Munich Ethnological Museum there is a Chinese text dated around 50 B.C. talking about “soccer” games in china. Though it is unsure how similar these games were to what we know as soccer today.

Team Size: Football vs. Soccer

There is a tremendous size difference between football and soccer. In football you not only have players that make up a team, but you have specific teams within your team. There are three major teams that consist of a football team: The offense, the defense, and special teams. Each one has a specific objective. The offense with a quarterback, receivers, and guards’ objective are to score touchdowns, while the defensive team’s job is to stop the opposing team from scoring by tackling the quarterback, runners, or blocking passes. Special teams deal with punts, field goals, and kickoffs. All in all there are anywhere from 30 – 60 players that combine to make a football team.

Soccer is a continuous sport. Meaning unlike football where you have set plays and an offensive and defensive team, in soccer the ball is always going. That being the case there are still offensive and defensive parts to the play of soccer. One can tell whether a team is on the offensive or defensive by where the ball is on the field. If the ball is on your side of the field then you are on defensive, if it is on your opponent’s side then you are on the offensive.

Fan Size: Football vs. Soccer

Determining which sport has a greater or more loyal fan base is difficult. Here in the United States American football by far has the larger fan base. However, outside of the United States (and perhaps Canada) you do not hear much about football, only soccer. Entire cities have been known to shut down for the world cup, and yet the most watched event was last year’s super bowl. One thing is a fact. Both soccer and football have loyal fans that are not going anywhere.

Conclusion

Soccer or Football? Well when it comes right down to it, you are choosing between two very popular sports that will continue to gain momentum in the years to come.

The Secret of Baseball Hitting Mechanics

The Secret of Baseball Hitting Mechanics is to effectively time and coordinate the proper movement of your Back Arm with the proper movement of your Back Leg.

When you throw a baseball:

  • You will “step” toward your target and you will create energy/momentum to be transferred into your throw of the ball.
  • Your back leg will Abduct ( meaning your back knee will move toward your target) at the hip joint and drive your Center-of-mass (body weight) in a straight line toward the target.

Your energy is created by the Back Leg Pushing Sideways against the ground and driving the body towards the target.

Your energy/momentum created by the Back-Leg-Push is blocked and transferred to your hip segment by the Front leg. As your front leg plants, it “catches” your energy/momentum and drives it up the chain through your body.

When your front foot lifted off the ground to LOAD the Back Leg by placing all of the weight/pressure onto your back foot:

  • your long bone in the upper arm, your humerus, should begin to turn in or IN-ternally rotate and lift (sometimes we call this elbow up) or raise your elbow up just as elite level infielders will do when taking the ball out of their glove. The scientific term for this is ABduct. This lifting of your back elbow is proper loading of your back arm in your throwing pattern.

You will use this same universal loading pattern for throwing when hitting a baseball

Fluid and relaxed lifting of the back elbow during the loading phase of hitting a baseball (scientific terms are: Abduction and Internal Rotation of the Humerus):

This is a universal loading pattern used by quarterbacks, catchers, infielders, tennis players and other elite level athletes that may be throwing or hitting a ball. It is absolutely necessary for you to learn to load the back arm properly. Proper loading will give you a good start to an elite level baseball swing and throw.

If you do not load properly, inadequate internal rotation(“turning in” of the long bone in the upper arm or lifting/raising of the elbow) will often cause you to have poor rhythm, fluidity and speed in your throwing arm pattern as a baseball player.

Extending at the back elbow is often a sign that you as an infielder, catcher or hitter have inadequate Internal rotation/”turning in” of the long bone in the upper arm (humerus). There are ways to fix this problem and help you begin your throwing and hitting motion with a high level pattern so that you can begin your hitting and throwing pattern like great baseball players begin their hitting and throwing motion.

The lag position during the attack phase of the back arm when hitting or throwing a baseball

In the attack phase of hitting:

You will want to “slot” your elbow or bring your elbow “down and in” towards the ball – The scientific terms are Humeral ADDuction and External Rotation.

The attack phase of hitting follows the load phase of the back arm during hitting where you lifted or raised your back elbow in an upward direction. This phase has your elbow simply doing the opposite of what your elbow does in the load phase of hitting and throwing.

While the front foot is still in the air, just after the back leg has begun to pushing the direction of the target, the long bone in the upper arm will begin to reverse its direction and Externally rotate the shoulder joint ( aka turn outward). The bone will continue to “turn outward” as the Back Leg finishes its push, as well as during front-foot’s initial interactions with the ground.

This External rotation or turning-out of the long bone in the upper arm is how the ball when throwing, and hands & bat when hitting, truly gets back and stays back at the correct point of the throw/swing.

  • This “turning of the bone” creates your “lag”.

It can also be thought of as your second loading phase of the back arm.

  • The External rotation of the long bone positions the ball during throwing and your hand back during hitting as the last link in the Kinetic Chain, allowing the other body parts to do their work to create and funnel energy to the bat head for hitting and to the ball for throwing.

Many pitching coaches will teach you to reach back and place the arm into a high, extended position as you take the ball out of the glove( you may have heard the term scratching the back wall), believing that this will help you get the ball “back” in the correct position. This is an incorrect attack pattern for you.

Many pitching coaches are unaware that the truly critical “back” position is measured with a flexed elbow (greater than 90 degrees) at the maximum external rotation of the humerus – this is where the ball lays back for you just before your release. This means your arm should stay bent until just before release of the baseball when throwing.

Throw the ball harder with a bent elbow before release

The primary lesson that pitching coaches should teach you with regard to your throwing or pitching arm pattern is to achieve flexion at the elbow of 90 deg or more before the humerus begins to turn – this is when you lay the ball back before extending forward to throw the ball. Obviously there have been many professional pitchers who have been successful by achieving flexion after the bone begins to lay back, however, this sequence makes achieving quality flexion at the elbow much more difficult.

If the angle of your elbow is too wide as the foot plants, your lever arm will be lengthened prematurely and there will be more stress placed on your shoulder and elbow joints. As your front foot plants, your hips reach their maximum speed. Your hips subsequently pull the torso and then your torso pulls your shoulders around. If your elbow angle is wide as your shoulders are being rotated toward the target, the prematurely lengthened lever arm created by the wide elbow will create more stress than a sharper/more flexed elbow would create.

From a performance standpoint, your efficiency and effectiveness is also decreased with a wide elbow angle at Front-leg block. A wide elbow angle of less than 90 deg will reduce the degree to which the long bone in the upper arm can lay the ball back. Speaking biomechanically, a wide elbow angle of greater than 90 deg will reduce humeral external rotation before release.

Use the example of a catapult to understand this phase of the throwing action. Assuming the materials, design, propellant of two catapults are the same, the catapult that is brought back the farthest will result in the greatest speed and distance traveled of the object.

The case is similar for the thrower: Assuming two identical throwers in terms of size, strength, physiological make-up and delivery, the thrower that lays ball back the farthest will result in the greatest speed of the ball.

Again – if all things are equal, you will see players with less external rotation(meaning more elbow bend) before release throw harder than players with more external rotation(less elbow bend). Other factors such as how ligaments and tendons attach to bone and muscle can affect this outcome.

Comparing throwing pattern to Hitting Pattern

It is important and interesting to note that when throwing the baseball the great majority of professional infielders and catchers do not extend/straighten at the elbow as they take the ball from the glove nor do they increase the degree of extension at the elbow until just before release of the baseball as the humerus turns inward to propel the ball toward the target.

It is also important and interesting to note that the professional quarterback throws with a nearly identical pattern as a high level infielder or professional infielder. As the front foot lifts off the ground to load the Back Leg by placing all of the weight/pressure onto the back foot, the long bone in the upper arm, called the humerus, begins to turn in or Internally rotate as well a lift or Abduct.

This IN-ternal rotation and lifting of the long bone in the upper-arm is how the elite player loads up for his throw. While the front foot is still in the air, just after the back leg has begun to push in the direction of the target, the long bone in the upper arm will begin to reverse its direction and Externally rotate @ the shoulder joint ( aka turn outward). The bone will continue to “turn outward” as the Back Leg finishes its push, as well as during front-foot’s initial interactions with the ground.

This External rotation or turning-out of the long bone in the upper arm is how the ball when throwing, and the hands & bat, when hitting truly gets back and stays back at the correct point of the throw and swing.

Compare the elite level batter hitting patterns to the elite level thrower throwing patterns:

    • The elite level batter moves his back arm, which is the Bat-Head-Throwing-Arm, in a nearly identical pattern as the thrower.
  • As the front foot lifts off the ground to load the Back Leg by placing all of the weight/pressure onto the back foot, the long bone in the upper arm, the humerus begins to turn in or INternally rotate as well a lift or Abduct.

(This IN-ternal rotation and lifting of the long bone in the upper-arm is how the elite hitter loads up for his throw of the bat-head behind the ball. The elite hitter has the same pattern as the thrower).

Note: Inadequate Internal rotation/”turning in” of the long bone in the upper arm often reduces rhythm, fluidity and speed in the throwing AND hitting arm pattern of the baseball player and often forces the batter to attempt to load the back-arm inefficiently by extending at the back elbow.

    • While the front foot is still in the air, just after the back leg has begun to push in the direction of the target, the long bone in the upper arm will begin to reverse its direction and Externally rotate @ the shoulder joint ( aka turn outward).
  • The bone will continue to “turn outward” as the Back Leg finishes its push, as well as during front-foot’s initial interactions with the ground.

As the bone is turning, it is also moving down and towards the body or ADDucting.

Most call this movement “slotting the elbow”.

  • The player should “slot” this flexed or bent elbow in the direction of the pitch…. It should not be slammed into the ribcage.

This External rotation or turning-out and ADDucting or moving down and in of the long bone in the upper arm is how the hands & bat truly gets back and stays back at the correct point of the throw/swing.

Do not Extend at your back elbow during the load phase of hitting

When you extend your back elbow during the load phase of hitting, similar to poor throwing mechanics, you are prematurely lengthening your lever. This is a poor start to your baseball swing. This makes your bat “heavy” very early in the kinetic sequence of hitting a baseball.

Your bat is “heavier” to you when hitting when your back elbow extends because:

    • Your barrel moves away from your body and most often your bat barrel is flattened when your barrel moves away from your body. When your barrel is flattened, the center of gravity of your bat is moved out of alignment with your hands creating unwanted torque or force.
  • Your bat should be stacked directly over your hands in the science of a perfect swing and not in a poor position leaning away from your hands.

By “flattening” the barrel of your bat early, you increase the difficulty of throwing your bat head by unnecessarily creating a “heavy” bat early in your hitting sequence.

The elite professional hitters utilize much more efficient usage of the long bone in the upper arm (humerus) to increase rhythm, fluidity and speed.

    • Elite hitters reduce the tendency to extend at the back elbow which greatly assists in delaying the flattening of the barrel. When you delay the flattening of the bat barrel, you will create a mechanical advantage for yourself by having the center-of-mass of your bat closely stacked above the hands to keep your bat “light” by reducing the unwanted torque or unwanted turning force created by taking your barrel too far out of alignment with the hands.
  • The elite professional will load the back arm by lifting and turning the bone in the upper part of the throwing arm. This Abduction or lifting and internal rotation or “turning” is nearly identical to the loading pattern utilized by elite professional infielders. This allows the player to load up by “winding-up” the throwing arm and produces the most efficient throw for the baseball and the bat-head.

Why Children Like to Play Baseball

Mom and dad may have been fighting but for those special times none of that matters. What a wonderful and healing place to be. A place to learn all of the lessons life has to offer and gain confidence that will take you anywhere you want to go.Dreams are a wonderful thing but for a child on the baseball field dreams are reality as they learn to move with the grace and skill. A child play baseball for the reason it was intended to be played and not to earn paychecks. A child play baseball for the smell of the grass, the crack of the bat, the camaraderie and to find out just who he or she is. Baseball is the first love of so many kids because it is always there and it does not discriminate.

From catching pop flies to taking batting practice it’s as though they are the heroes they watch on television night after night. Kids want to be like their role models. They want to be like A-Rod, Jeter, or Roger Clemens and it just always seems possible. The self esteem the game provides a child is both needed and necessary. It is a game that always gives back. When the coach tells you that you have done a good job that stays with you for the rest of your life.

For a child almost anything seems possible and all they want is the chance to put themselves to the test. Children are innocent creatures untouched by the evils of the world and all they want to do is be loved and have fun. Baseball always loves you back and always rewards a child’s hard work. To watch and listen to a group of children on the field is like poetry in motion. They all just seem so very happy.

Remember play baseball make believe as a child well now imagine coming of age and registering for your first year of baseball. What a thrill it was for me just knowing that I would even have the opportunity to play Americas great game. Baseball is about love and about learning to love oneself and there is nothing more every child deserves than to be loved. Baseball is also about innocence and to watch my kids out on the field truly warms my heart.

Finally, kids play the game for the reason it should be played for, not because of contracts obligations, money, or to be showboats. It is said that it is a kids game and I will say that to see anybody happy of any age is why we are all here on this great planet. God bless our kids and God bless our beloved game of baseball.

Introduction to Basketball

Basketball is a sport played between two teams normally consisting of five or more players. Each team has five players on the basketball court at any given time. The objective is to score more points than the other team, with points being scored by shooting a ball through a basketball hoop (or basket), which is located ten feet above the ground. The two teams shoot at opposite goals. In order to move while in possession of the ball, a player must be dribbling, or bouncing the ball.

The number of points awarded a player for successfully shooting the ball through his team’s goal varies according to the circumstance. The most common scenario is the two-point play, wherein a player scores two points for making a basket anywhere inside the “3-point line” while the ball is in play. A semicircular line (the three-point line) marks the area beyond which, if a player makes a basket, three points are awarded for the shot. One point is given to a player upon successfully making a free throw, or a foul shot.

During play, referees monitor the game and call fouls, which result from a player illegally interfering with another during the game. For instance, if someone pushes a player on the other team while he is taking a shot, a foul is called. In this situation, the shooter is allowed to shoot two free-throws from the foul line while being unguarded. Some examples of fouls that can be called in basketball are:

  • Blocking
  • Charging
  • Hooking
  • Shoving
  • Over-the-back

Besides fouls, players can also be punished for other violations of the rules of basketball, such as traveling, which occurs when a player moves more than one step with the ball without dribbling or shooting. Such violations result in a turnover, wherein the ball is given to the other team.

Defensively, there are a few ways in which a team can gain possession of the basketball in order to score. Offensive fouls (such as charging) result in the defensive team being awarded the ball. Unforced turnovers, such as when the offensive team travels or throws the ball out of bounds, also result in the defensive team being given the ball. If the offense misses a shot, and the defense rebounds the missed shot, the defensive team then becomes the offense. Also, the defense may steal (without fouling) the ball from the offense.

Basketball

The Fundamental Skills of Basketball

To get better skills in basketball players need to first understand and master the basics of the game.In basketball, there are 6 different fundamental skill areas that players should concentrate on in training.

Dribbling
Dribbling the basketball is done to move the ball around only when a passing isn’t a better option and a lane isn’t available. Both new and experienced players make the mistake of dribbling the ball when it isn’t needed. Ask any collage or professional basketball coach – they will all tell you the same thing. Dribbling should be done when the player (you) have some purpose to forfill. Dribbling while looking for an offensive option is a good way to lose the ball. When you are looking for that option, take the ball in a firm grip and put your body between you and the defender. Regardless of how good you are at dribbling, the defense will always have a greater chance for a steal if you are dribbling the ball instead of gripping it in both hands.

Passing
Passing is the number 1 option for moving the ball around the court on offense. Passing is quicker than dribbling and so it is a deadly offensive tool for reaching that open man so they can have the shot. Good passes are the hallmark of good teams because most offensive plays are set up by good passes.

Shooting
Shooting is probably the most practiced skill for new and experienced players. Yet so many people still practice it wrong. In practice all drills should be done at game speed and done as you would under pressure. Players are usually too lazy to do this and instead of practicing the sweet jump shot that they are constantly doing in the game they lazy-it-down to a hop-shot. Instead of jumping to give power they use their arms for the power and the legs give the rest. Practicing the wrong way to shoot is something that players do all the time yet they do not understand why they miss all their jump shots during the game…

Rebounding
Rebounding can come in two forms – offensive and defensive. Lots of newer player look at rebounding and immediately think that it is a big mans area. Yet this is not so. Rebounding is more than just being big. It even surpasses just jumping ability. To be good at rebounding you need skill and dedication. Skill is mainly the ability to position yourself and read the shots – something that comes quickly with practice. Dedication is probably the most important factor in rebounding. The person who gets the ball is the one with the most hunger for the ball and who is willing to do whatever it takes to get it.

Offense
Offense is a fundamental which encompasses all aspects of the offensive court. Shooting has already been covered (and is covered more in the basketball website listed below). Yet moving off the ball to give offensive options to the player with the ball is another thing that is essential for good offense. Supporting your team mates with screens and being able to locate the best offensive option and get the ball to them are also essential things on offense. These skills are often overlooked.

Defense
The best defensive teams in the NBA are often the ones that make it into the playoffs. This is seen year after year so a simple conclusion can be made here – defense is key to victory. Defense is not only about getting the steal or block but also about intimidation of the opponents.

ice hockey

Top 5 “Tricks” Every Beginner Ice Hockey Player Should Learn

Top 5 “Tricks” Every Beginner Ice Hockey Player Should Learn

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

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

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

Top 5 “Tricks” Every Beginner Ice Hockey Player Should Learn

passing skills

Off Ice Hockey Passing Skills – Hockey Passing Skills

Summer is the off season for hockey, but it’s still an important time to train and hone your hockey skills. Most hockey players focus on off ice training drills by shooting pucks, stickhandling in their basement, and running dryland agility and speed drills. These are great, but one important facet of hockey is missing. Passing!!!Hockey is a team sport that requires puck movement to be successful, especially as we move onward to higher levels of play. The majority of hockey players aren’t able to work on their passing skills away from the rink because they can’t find a partner or parent to participate with them. This problem has been solved through product development. Now there are hockey training products that allow a single player to pass the puck to themselves by rebounding the puck back to them.

The art of passing a hockey puck is very important to learn at a young age and these hockey passing aids have helped hockey players develop hard, accurate passes away from the rink. Making good passes results in more time with the puck and better scoring opportunities during the game.

Have you watched a Pro game before? The passing is excellent!

If you watch a NHL game or higher level junior hockey game you’ll notice the high rate of passing taking place. The skills to make and receive a pass are very evident during these games. These highly skilled players are able to move the puck from one end of the ice to the other in a very efficient manner. The passing skills they possess are one of the major factors they made it.

So why should you work on passing away from the rink?

The answer is simple. It’s important to be a great team player and possess the passing skills to move the puck around the ice. Passing is an underappreciated hockey skill that is overlooked by most kids and parents. Hockey ice time is expensive. Practicing on your passing skills at your home is more effective now than ever with the new passing aids available.

A simple skill like a backhanded pass can add one more element to your game that 99% of the players won’t have in their arsenal. These small differences are the keys to moving up the ladder in the game of hockey. Good hockey players can all skate, shoot, and stickhandle to a degree but being an elite player requires passing skills to improve other players around you.

What can I use to practice my passing skills during the off season?

There are many hockey products out there used for passing skills away from the rink. The PassMaster is a great hockey training aid that allows up to 3 players at a time to practice their passing skills by rebounding the puck back to the puck carrier.

The hockey passing trainer is another solid option for a passing rebounder. It easily clamps onto any shooting surface allowing you to develop passing and one-timer skills at home.

What are some skills to work on with the passing aids?

The hockey rebounders should be used to train your backhand and forehand passing skills. You can also work on your one-touch passing and shooting off the pass. You’ll want to be sure to concentrate on receiving the puck as well as the pass itself.

Hockey passing is not a desire skill. It’s not fancy. However, it’s vital to becoming a great player and moving up to higher levels. So take pride in your hockey passing and be sure to work on it during the summer. You’ll be glad you did!