Browse Category by Sport

The Benefits Of Morning Running

Admittedly, I struggled with becoming an earlier riser and running first thing in the morning for many years. However, now that its become a habit of mine, I realize just how important it was to establish this (almost) daily routine for my health, happiness, mood, and performance.

Here is a list of ten benefits to running first thing in the morning.

1) Less Conflicts.

One of the main reasons for running first thing in the day is that there are relatively few things that will interfere with your workout. Unexpected things tend to pop up throughout the day. If you’re able to get your workout in before any of those unexpected conflicts arise you’ll be able to run more consistently on a daily basis. Evidence shows that 90{2281a464b0db6d821f967ee4c31842ef432e8153e986fd396ff458e4f3c84c77} of people who exercise consistently do so first thing in the morning.

2) Improved Sleep.

A 2012 study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health found those who run regularly in the mornings showed an improvement in deep sleep. Subjective sleep quality, mood, and concentration during the day improved, whereas sleepiness during the day decreased. Conversely, since exercise stimulates your body, when you exercise at night, it becomes more difficult to fully relax and drift into peaceful sleep.

3) Enjoy the Peacefulness Of the Morning.

The early morning to me, is the most peaceful time of the day. The paths are moist with dew, it’s calm and quiet, a light blanket of fog is lifting off the water, the birds are singing a soft chorus in the background. Being out there to witness the sun rising above the horizon is truly worth getting up early for all by itself.

4) Increased Metabolism Throughout the Day.

Running in the morning will jumpstart your metabolism early in the day and keep it higher for hours afterward. This means that you’ll be burning a greater amount of calories, not only during your run, but throughout the day as well.

5) Enhanced Mood Throughout the Day.

According to a 2012 study published in The Journal of Experimental Biology, running will boost your spirits and make you feel more positive. Runners actually have attested to the alleged “runner’s high,” which is the feeling people get after they’ve finished a good job or run. Endurance activity is suspected to lead to an increase in the brain chemicals that signal pleasure.

6) Enhanced Fat Burning.

Several proponents of working out first thing in the morning on an empty stomach argue that it stimulates increased fat burning. This is due to the fact that your glycogen stores are low forcing your body to rely heavily on fat storage to fuel your workout, as opposed to burning carbohydrate for its energy.

7) Increased Alertness Throughout the Day.

Running can increase your mental clarity for four to 10 hours post-exercise. It will raise heart rate and increase the flow of oxygen-rich blood throughout the body, including the brain. A 2013 study published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience found aerobic exercise, like running, improves brain function and cognition in healthy aging adults. The study found that it led to an increase in brain blood flow to the hippocampus which is the primary brain region affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

8) Increased Productivity Throughout the Day.

You will be more awake and ready to tackle your day by giving yourself that extra energy boost. I personally feel more energized throughout the day when I run in the morning, which leads to more creativity and productivity in my other daily activities.

9) A Great Time for Thinking and Planning Your Day.

The peacefulness described above can be the perfect setting for starting out your day. It’s the perfect time to sort out and clarify your thoughts and to plan for the activities and events you have later on. For many people, this peaceful time every morning becomes something they look forward to. Time for themselves to think, take care of their body and mind, and just relax before starting the day.

10) Less Pollution and Heat.

By getting out the door early you’re cutting out much of the exhaust and other contaminants released by all the cars, buses, and other vehicles in the morning rush hour. These pollutants not only have the tendency to accumulate in your system over time, but also make breathing during your runs more difficult. Additionally, you’ll get out there when the sun is not beating down on you and the temperatures are relatively cool. The cooler temperatures make for an easier, more enjoyable, and more intense workout.


Guide to Choose a Snorkeling Mask for a Beginner

The mask is a very important item of snorkel gear. It is the item that allows you to see the amazing world that lies underneath the surface.

Snorkel masks are used to protect the eyes from the water or any object that can harm you when diving. Since it is a vital item, it is important that you choose the best snorkel mask. The best kind of mask will be one that you fits right, feels right, doesn’t let water in, and allows you to see the underwater world clearly.

Choosing Your Mask

1. Lenses

The most important aspect of any underwater mask is ability to see clearly. This means lens formation and measurement is the biggest decision you are going to make. You can get single, twin or multiple lens configuration. However, the lens shape, glass specification and special coating are all possible options. Single lens masks are more open because they do not have frames across the bridge of the nose. With single lens, it is impossible to replace prescription corrections.

Twin lens masks are compatible with replacement prescription lenses. They are easily fitted because you can remove part of the frame. Multiple lens masks have a window panel on each side of the mask to make the mask more comfortable and brighter.

2. Internal volume

The internal volume of the mask is very important. The volume is the confirmed airspace that is created when the mask is sealed against the face. The internal volume is subject to compression when a diver dives into the water. Most people prefer a lower volume mask because it is the most comfortable.

3. Mask angle

Most people do not notice that mask angle is very important. A lot of snorkel masks do not run at the same angle as the face and are always scraped in at the bottom. This is beneficial because it helps to reduce the internal mask volume and also to improve the lower field view. When the mask angle is raked, the frame is moved back towards the cheek bones. This makes looking downwards easier and also helps the snorkel to see below without lifting his or her head.

4. Other features to look out for

Since there are different masks to choose from, it will be down to personal preference, and a bit of trial and error before you can find the best that has everything that you want. If you must wear contact lenses or spectacles, you need to get snorkel masks that will match your prescription.


The Important Skills For Being A Great Rebounder

Rebounding is easily the most overlooked skill in basketball. I’ve never heard the crowd cheer when a dominating rebounder pulls down his 12th board of the game. Don’t let the crowd noise fool you! Rebounding is absolutely critical in basketball. Here are 3 skills that will make you a better rebounder.

#1) Anticipation – Dennis Rodman, AKA “The Worm”, had a long and successful career in the NBA by being extremely good at anticipation. For those of you that remember him he wasn’t much of an offensive threat. But he averaged double digit rebounds per game for his entire career. He had a great ability of anticipating when a shot would be taken. He also had great vision of how the ball would come off of the rim. In doing so he was able to put himself in the best position to secure the rebound. To practice anticipation you have to make a conscience effort to think about it while you play. Next time you compete try to go after offensive rebounds by anticipating when your teammates are about to shoot and then pursuing the basketball. On the defensive end it’s important to box out your own man. Once you box out pursue the basketball aggressively. You can become a better rebounder just by learning to anticipate.

#2) Leverage – Charles Barkley was far from the tallest power forward when he played in the NBA. He is in the basketball Hall of Fame and is also known as one of the best rebounders to ever play the game. He used leverage to drive space between his opponent and the basket. The lower man wins in basketball and this is especially true when it comes to rebounding. It’s important to get your center of gravity lower than your opponent so that you can drive him out of the key. To improve this skill practice wall sits with your legs at a 90 degree angle and your back against a wall. This will help you build muscle memory and get into a low position quicker.

#3) Physicality – One of my coaches once told me that if you are physical with your opponent for the first 3 possessions of the game they will likely lose their intensity. This was proven true and I made it a habit during my career. If you push your opponent back out of the paint for the first 3 possessions of the game the majority of players will stop crashing the boards to try and get an offensive rebound. It doesn’t happen 100{2281a464b0db6d821f967ee4c31842ef432e8153e986fd396ff458e4f3c84c77} of the time but in my experience about 90{2281a464b0db6d821f967ee4c31842ef432e8153e986fd396ff458e4f3c84c77} of players don’t like to get pushed around and will avoid the contact. This will make your life much easier during the game and your rebounding statistics will skyrocket.

These are 3 quick tips that will help you become a better rebounder. Rebounding gives your team an extra opportunity to score. The fans won’t normally cheer when you pull down that board but your coach and teammates will value you as a player.


How To Choosing Your Favorite Team

When I was first growing up I always had a problem from choosing which team I actually like. My mom’s family are huge Chicago fans no matter what sport it was. The problem with that was there were two teams in Chicago! On the other hand, my dad’s family were huge Cardinals fans. No matter where I was as a kid I was always second guessing myself on which team I would cheer for. As a kid you are supposed to listen to what your elders say, the only problem was I was getting two different things told to me and it was driving me insane. I decided that I wanted to see for myself which place I felt was “home” for me. There we a couple of things that I took into account when deciding, and they were: the atmosphere of the stadium, the fans surrounding me, and the things that they did for kids.

When you are a kid and your mom or dad tell you that you are going to be going to a professional sporting event, your heart feels like it is going to explode. I was six years old going to watch my idols play a sport that I dreamed to be playing when I was their age; there is nothing like it. The first game that I ever went to was when the Chicago Cubs played the Pittsburgh Pirates. Wrigley stadium was so cool! The ivy that was growing on the wall gave it the old school feel. It was a feeling that is hard to describe in words. I really liked the stadium, and that is when the Cubs had Sammy Sosa. It was really fun, except the people that I was surrounded by really made me feel uncomfortable. The fans around use were only saying negative things about the Cubs and how bad they were, and the worst part about it was that they were Cubs fans! The park was really dirty with garbage thrown on the ground. It made the atmosphere of the game so much worse, and I just wanted to leave the game because it was no fun. Plus, at the time that I went they really did not have anything fun for kids to do before or after the game. Players did not come talk to anyone, maybe I just went to the wrong game but I was not feeling like it was home.

The next game that I went to see was the Chicago White Sox! My grandpa took me this time because that was his favorite team. We go in there U.S Cellular Field was hands down better than Wrigley Field. One of the things that was better about it was that there was hardly any trash on the ground. They took really good care of the stands where people were sitting.



All About FPV Racing

Drones are the new high in the world of technology and development. They have just opened the wider angle of looking at things. Further strengthening their demand in the market, the idea of FPV racing came up. It is not just a game, but a sort of sport that has been setting its feet in the western culture over the years. It is a sport wherein high-tech drones and high speed racing are both combined. Usually done in closed spaces, it is rather fun and thrilling experience to watch an FPV racing.

How to start

The basic FPV racers need to know how to fly a quadcopter since this allows them to practice a lot of flight maneuvers before they move on to the FPV racing. Therefore, start with a basic copter and you will crash a number of times before finally becoming a pro at it.

Take classes

There are classes held for training for FPV racing, wherein you are taught what to focus at and what not to. There are spec classes for the beginners and open classes, where the learned racers are allowed to use any quadcopter for the race and it is more of an open competition.

Make a team

FPV racing also has teams, just like the F1 races. The team basically handles the equipment. For example, the team Blackout is the person who uses the Blackout for the pilot (or racer).

Safety First

There are chances of people getting hurt when you are practicing or even in a competition. Therefore, it is better to take precautions. When you are a beginner, start with a micro quad rather than a mega machine racer. It is important to check that the video channel is not being used before you start using it. Also, just like real life flying and racing, never fly when you are drunk or intoxicated.

Types of races

• Rotor-cross race

In such races, two or more multi-copters are made to race through an arena and the one who crosses the finish line first wins.

• Drag Race

It is just a test of acceleration and top speed, wherein the multi-copters are made to race in short distance of 100 meters and the one who accelerates best wins.

• Time Trial

It is a speed test for the multi-copters wherein theme of finishing the race is recorded. It is much like rotor-cross racing.

It is a fun sport as long as one takes all the measures to ensure safety of another person as well as their own.


The Reason Why Picking the Right Running Shoe Is Important

More and more people are beginning to run. The reason for this is that running has many physical, emotional and social benefits. However, if you are deciding to get into the running craze, you should carefully pick out the right gear for you. You should choose the right running outfit that will let you move freely when you run. More importantly, you should pick the right shoe for you.

Picking the right running shoe is important when you are planning to make running part of your regular lifestyle. There are still a lot of people that would start running with whatever pair of rubber shoes that they already own. These are the people who will show up for a running event with bulky basketball shoes or tennis shoes. Most of the time, these same people will have the most pain after their run. Here are some of the reasons why you should pick the perfect running shoes for you.

Running pronation. A person’s running style is determined by his pronation. Pronation refers to how your foot rolls inward or outward as you run. There are three types of runners based on pronation namely; neutral pronation, overpronation and supination. Neutral pronation means that your foot’s inward rolling is enough to support your weight without causing stress to your knees and joint. Overpronation means that your foot is rolling inward too much that it passes the equilibrium point. For overpronating runners, you will need running shoes that will offer more stability. Supination on the other hand means that the foot rolls outward and not inward. For runners with supination style running, the best shoes for them are shoes that have higher shock absorption capabilities in order to reduce the stress caused by running. There are trained staffs at shoe stores that can determine you pronation.

Avoiding Blisters and Pain. Another reason why you should pick the right running shoe is to avoid having blisters and unnecessary pain every time you run. Your running shoes should fit snuggly and take the shape of your foot. Your running shoes should not be one size larger or smaller than your foot. When you do not have the right size of shoes, the constant rubbing of your heals against the rubber will produce blisters.

You should not underestimate the importance of investing on the perfect pair of running shoes for you. A perfect pair will make your running experience pleasurable.


Lessons of Life From Youth Baseball

About five years ago I was coaching my Little League team in a game that we were winning and yelled out some encouragement during an inning when the other team was rallying. My catcher called “time out” went to the mound to talk to the pitcher. Before I knew it, the whole infield was on the pitcher’s mound. I just observed and saw all six of my players conversing and nodding their heads. This went far longer than you would expect. Especially considering the ages of the kids. I was amazed at how well they were communicating with each other. I remember thinking to myself that this is what youth sports is all about. Watching the kids grow right in front of our eyes. So I decided to write down what I think are some important life lessons kids can learn from baseball. And remember for every coach or team this will vary.

1) Communication

One of my biggest pet peeves in the world today is the lack of or just not knowing how to communicate with each other. A famous actor once said that of life is just showing up. The older I get this has become truer every year. I’d add to it that of life is just showing up and communicating with others. How many times have we seen people not communicating properly? It can be a real estate or any business transaction. It can also be a between two countries. Most times the lack of communication will bring negative results. On the baseball field good communication will bring about good results. And coaches and parents should not be concerned about the young age of the players. We coaches have to teach our players how to communicate properly on the baseball field. Whether it is an infield fly, acknowledging a bunt sign from a coach, proper communication on the baseball field will carry on to every day living.

2) Following Rules

Our society is full of rules and laws. Sometimes I think there are too many but this is the world in which we live in. I have also observed that has somehow we have gotten away from structure. We can be flexible in the way we do things but I have found in sports the best results happen when rules are put in place and players are conditioned to follow them and play and practice in a structured manner. In pro sports, you’ll find the best athletes like organization, leadership and rules. Coaches can impose rules in a diplomatic yet stern way. Rules of the game also have to be respected and followed and sports does this. Teaching young athletes to respect rules will be a sound foundation when they out into the real world.

3) Dealing With Pressure

I have seen many parents who don’t want their kids to be exposed any degree of pressure what so ever. They will purposely make any excuse so their kids can bypass the most pressured situation. I think this is a mistake. An example I’ll give is that most youth baseball leagues do not have real parity. Most coaches and parents will always try to get the advantage when picking teams. They think nothing of having a loaded team and think it is better to go 20-0, winning each game 10-0 and win the league championship. Is this making their kids better ball players and preparing them for adult life? Wouldn’t it serve young people better if they are asked to perform sometimes under some pressure and a little duress. Wouldn’t leagues be better if teams played in their share of one and two run games and extra innings? When they are adults won’t they have to perform under pressure whether it is a presentation to their superiors or maybe emergency surgery. As a parent and coach I never wanted my kids to always take the easy road.

4) Overcoming Mistakes

Everyday most human beings are bound to make a mistake here and there. People in the medical profession can very rarely afford to make mistakes. In sports mistakes are always happening. A bad pitch, a holding call on a 3rd and 1 play, a missed foul shot. If you follow sports you are bound to recognize that one of the things that separate the best athletes is that they are able to bounce back from mistakes. Part of our job as youth baseball coaches is to instill upon our kids that if you make a mistake, forget about it and go on to the next pitch. The worse thing an athlete can do is carry one bad at bat to his next at bat. Imagine the best trial lawyer in world losing a case and quitting law? Great lawyers will evaluate where and what they did wrong and over come these challenges the next time. Youth baseball should do the same thing. A player who strikes out his first three times at bat may be in a position to win the game with a hit in the last inning. Sports teaches this to kids and we have to reaffirm this over and over again. You can overcome your mistakes.

5) Respect For People

In major league baseball there are brush back pitches, hard slides and other rough parts of the game. For the most part though players still respect the game. We have to convey to young baseball players to respect the game also. This includes teammates, parents, umpires etc. We have all seen the 12th best player get up in a situation where the team needs a hit. It is our job to get his teammates behind him and cheer him on. And isn’t it the most satisfying thing when a player of lesser talent gets an important hit or makes a play in the field. Once we teach players to respect the game of baseball they will also carry this over to respect not just themselves but to respect others in society.

Baseball teaches many things and we have to keep everything in perspective. But we also need to challenge these young players in different parts of the game so that they will also become better citizens in the world.


The Reasons Why Scuba Diving Is Awesome

As the weather begins to heat up a little, our thoughts turn to Summer activities to fill our time. One of the most exciting things you can take up this year is scuba diving! The best thing about it is that not only do you get to explore a whole new world beneath the waves, but literally anyone can enjoy scuba diving regardless of their age or fitness level so it is something that the whole family can participate in together.

5 Reasons Why Scuba Diving is Awesome

Some people are still a little bit afraid or wary about trying scuba diving, so let’s take a look at 5 reasons why scuba diving is awesome!

1 – You Will See Parts of Our World No-one Else Can

Did you know that over 70{2281a464b0db6d821f967ee4c31842ef432e8153e986fd396ff458e4f3c84c77} of the Earth is actually made up of water? That means that most people only have access to a tiny portion of our world! However, as a scuba diver you will get to access those beautiful places under the water where most of your friends will never get to visit.

2 – You Can Get Close to All Sorts of Animals

When you go scuba diving you will get to meet sea animals in their own natural habitat. You will never get this up close and personal with sea life at an aquarium.

3 – You Get to Pretend You Are an Astronaut

We would say that this one is for the kids, but who are we kidding? Adults are going to love it too! Once you are under the water you will discover that the rules of gravity no longer apply to you! This is because you will master neutral buoyancy which is the closest thing to experiencing zero gravity in space!

4 – It’s So Relaxing

We all lead such busy lives these days that it can be difficult to just stop and slow down. Diving gives you a unique opportunity to experience a serene world that you did not even know existed. You will find being underwater relaxing and calming – it is every bit as effective as meditation!

5 – It Is Liberating

Something that many people find amazing about scuba diving is that once you are under the water you will get an incredible sense of freedom. There is a common misconception that being under the water feels claustrophobic, but in reality, once you are used to the breathing apparatus you well feel liberated. Being able to breathe underwater feels a lot like being a superhero!


All About Total Control Balls

Total control balls are designed to help develop strength and drive within the hitting zone. They are considered one of the best training aids on the market, but are widely under-utilized. Softball and baseball players alike must develop a consistent approach toward hitting and coaches need a more efficient method for training their players to improve their strength and extension.

Why Traditional Batting Practice Does Not Work Anymore

Traditional batting practice can be wasteful and requires players to run back and forth catching balls while one player takes batting practice. While it is a common method for training, not all teams have the resources to focus on outfield, infield and hitting at the same time; nor can they afford to waste hours simply on hitting alone.

Some coaches rely on their players hitting short toss into a net. Unfortunately, this does not allow the players to truly assess their swing or the power behind it.

How Total Control Balls Correct Swings and Improve Hitting

Total control balls can be purchased in a variety of sizes and weights depending on the player’s need. Their weighted design requires the player, no matter how experienced, to put extra force behind their hit.

Doing so offers:

• Improved Strength and Performance – When a player is forced to swing and feel the impact of that swing, they will immediately learn the importance of driving through the ball.

• Real Feedback – Unlike hitting into a net, these control balls give players true feedback and allow them to see how the ball would travel if it was a real baseball or softball being thrown to them.

• Limited Space Needed – If your players are practicing in a smaller field or even their backyards, they do not need the same field length as they would with traditional batting practice.

• Durable – While they are used for batting practice, they are extremely durable. They are also safe for all bat types, so you do not have to worry about damaging delicate wooden bats or an aluminum bat damaging the ball itself.

Some more benefits of total control balls are that one doesn’t need any pitcher on the mound, players in the field or even a machine to conduct batting practice.

Whether you are training players in softball or baseball, how you structure batting practice will make a difference on the field at your next game. Instead of wasting time with traditional balls, look into a total control ball and see how much more efficient your batting practices can become.


When Raw Potential and Talent Not Enough

Martin Nessley was a 7’2″ 280 lb. lumbering mountain from Whitehall-Yearling High School in Columbus, Ohio. Along with his size he brought impressive credentials as a McDonald’s All-American and a Parade All-American. What’s not to like? Coach K went after him and he committed to Duke in 1984. Coach likely believed he could get Martin into weight training and conditioning and speed the guy up-give him a vertical leap of at least several inches.

Nessley was placed on a strict diet. Alarie recalls that the guy hardly ate anything besides maybe a salad at the training table. Yet he couldn’t even drop a pound. Marty didn’t play much as a freshman-too slow. Then knee surgery limited him as a sophomore.

Sumner describes one evening between 1:00 and 2:00 a.m. Amaker, Nessley’s roommate, was awakened by a knock at their door and then some muffled conversation. As Amaker tried to doze off, he heard movement coming from the other side of the room. He turned on a lamp and found Nessley gulping a large pizza under his blanket. Surely Nessley had to know that the Duke trainers would have satisfied that hunger with plenty of protein drinks and low-fat meats packed with protein. But maybe his drive to excel wasn’t powerful enough.

Finally, as a senior Nessley played in every game, started four, blocking 24 shots—not bad. The best game of his career was at Harvard with 25 points and 8 rebounds. But that was the extreme exception. It seems as if that 7 foot 2 frame of his could have achieved a whole lot more. He played a little NBA ball for one year.

Randolph: Bad Breaks or Bad Attitude?

Shavlik Randolph became an instant star at Broughton High School in Raleigh, North Carolina. His high of 56 points in a game broke Pete Maravich’s record at the same school. With that sort of play it should not be shocking that he was a McDonald’s All-American, a two-time Associated Press North Carolina player of the Year and a two-time Parade All-American.

The kid got off to a terrific start at Duke with a team-high 23 points and 7 rebounds in the first game against Army. Two days later he had a double-double against Davidson. Then suddenly Shavlik almost dropped out of sight. He scored in double figures only five more games that season and struggled a bit with injuries. Over the summer he had to rehab after successful hip surgery. As a sophomore he played in all 37 of Duke’s games, averaging a ho-hum 7.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game. Then he seemed to come alive for the NCAA tournament run, playing great against both Alabama State and UConn.

During his junior year his averages were slightly lower than his sophomore stats, but he sat out four games recovering from mono. Still, he averaged almost 20 minutes of playing time per game. Then, unexplainably, after his mediocre junior year, Randolph decided to opt out of his senior year and declare for the draft. Through the years he’s bounced back and forth between brief stints with NBA teams followed by play in European leagues.

Price: One Terrific Year

Ricky Price played three years of high school basketball at St. Anthony’s and his final year at Serra High School in Gardena, California. One thing that became obvious during Price’s high school career and later at Nike camps is that he was fully capable of taking over games and carrying a team on his back. A McDonalds All-American Slam Dunk Champion, he was unanimously named a USA Today/AP/Parade Top 5 player in the nation.

Price started 14 games as a rookie during that nightmare season without Coach K. Then he had a breakout sophomore season with 29 starts in 31 games. He starred as the go-to guy in close games and he won several in the final seconds. Against Virginia he went crazy with 28 points. Everything was coming up roses for Price until shortly before preseason of his junior year when he broke a finger and began having trouble with his outside shot. He only started 11 games that year. Definitely a disappointment.

Then as he entered his fourth year, this should have been his golden chance to well exceed his stellar sophomore stats and make NBA scouts salivate. However, he was caught plagiarizing and declared academically ineligible following his junior year. He had to sit out the fall semester as a senior. In December when he could resume play, Coach K was apparently not very impressed because he got only one start-on Senior Day against UNC. Price ended up playing professionally overseas.

Sheer Talent not Enough

Nessley, Randolph and Price arrived at Duke with accolades and awards rivaling some of the best recruits ever. Veteran scouts raved about them and they were voted prep school All-Americans. Their pure potential seemed almost unlimited. Some may blame injuries but many Duke players have fought through injuries and still put together a sterling Duke career. When guys show up at Duke, success isn’t even close to being inevitable. They have to stretch for excellence, fight for minutes, slave away at strength, speed and conditioning. They have to play for the team, learn from the coaches, and outplay their opponents. Nothing is guaranteed in sports. That’s why it’s a fierce competition to the end.