05
Dec
2013

Used Sporting Equipment

Used Sporting Equipment
It is no joke that sports equipment can be highly expensive. And when a family has several kids in several different sports, it can sure seem like that’s all your money goes towards. Trying to find ways to save money is important these days, so that’s why the used sporting equipment has become so popular in recent years. But there are some things to keep in mind when purchasing used sporting goods and fitness equipment.Brand nameWhen it comes to sporting and fitness equipment, buying brand name will usually save you money in the long run. Buying cheaper equipment usually results in a lower quality item that is cheaply made and more likely to break down than a well-known brand.Is it a good deal?If you’re buying used equipment to save money, it’s important to know if what you’re getting is actually a good deal. This may be hard to know unless you have something exact to compare what you’re planning to purchase with, and if it’s used there’s nothing exactly like it out there. You’ll...
27
Nov
2013

Winter Sports: Workout Tips to Keep You Warm

Winter weather shouldn’t mean a sentence of months of inactivity. Your favorite exercise and sports routines can still be done when the temperatures drop, you just may have to be aware of how your body will react to the lower temps and prepare accordingly.Some easy things you can do to keep you physically warmer include wearing waterproof shoes so the snow and sleet are repelled, upgrade your socks to wool instead of the thinner cotton versions, dress in layers that will keep you warmer (start with a base layer that will keep you skin warm, then layer a breathable fabric that helps wick away sweat), ditch the gloves in favor of mittens where your fingers can help keep each other warmer, cover your head and ears, and if you’re out for extended periods of time make sure you are watching out for symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite especially on your extremities.FrostbiteCold weather can affect people at different rates for different reasons. Young children and older people are more...
25
Nov
2013

Fantasy Football

We can’t all be football superstars, but we can be coaches and managers…in fantasy football at least. Simply put, Fantasy football is a game where regular people can draft their dream team, and then each week they garner fantasy points from each of their players who score real points in the real NFL games. People get together in a league and compete against each other for either money or bragging rights at the end of the season.Join a LeagueIf you have a group of friends who are all interested in competing, you can all band together to create a league. If you are on your own and want to compete, there are plenty of online sites where you can join other people around the world to create a league. Both espn.com and nfl.com have standard leagues you can join that will automatically pair you up with other fantasy football players, keep score for you and the others in your league, and maintain your group’s stats and other information.Once you have a group together, you’ll have to figure...
19
Nov
2013

Introduction to Smart Training

The goal of strength and conditioning (S&C) program is to increase your performance in life and in sport. To achieve this, the athlete needs to remain injury free during training time. I know everyone has seen some sketchy positions and movement patterns in S&C programs at all levels and even with great programs individual efforts can undermine the best programs. Here is how to stay healthy and get stronger and faster, then excel at your sport.Learn the BasicsWhen you first start learn the 3-4 key principles for each movement. Review these each day, during warm-up, when these movements are programmed. For instance, Deadlift: • Keep back straight and midline tight• Activate lats to keep bar close• Clear hips early so they can finish the liftQuality PracticePractice perfect movement at low rep, distance or light weight. This will allow you to develop a motor pattern that can rely on when you are under extreme fatigue or heavy load. In Olympic lifts it’s important to know...
11
Nov
2013

Basketball Injury Prevention: Proper Technique and Preparation

The sport of basketball has evolved over time from a game famously first played with a peach basket, into the fast paced, physical game we know today. With the speed, physicality and start and stop nature of basketball, injuries have simply become an unfortunate part of the game. In recent years, we've even seen some of the sports biggest stars suffer season ending injuries. Even with new rules to help protect players, the sharp cuts and explosive motions that make basketball so entertaining, can also lead to almost unavoidable non-contact injuries. As with any sport, injuries are always a possibility but with a few simple steps and precautions, you can greatly reduce your risk for any basketball related injuries.Court and EquipmentPlayers don't always have an option when it comes to the court or playing surfaces available to them. It's the coach’s responsibility to ensure the court is clean and the baseline is clear of any equipment. There's no excuse for a player rolling an ankle...
05
Nov
2013

Football Injury Prevention: The Concussion discussion

Football injuries are the biggest threat currently facing the sport and that is unlikely to change. The more we as a society learn about concussions the more the spotlight will show on the game of football. The rule changes that have recently been instituted by the National Football League demonstrate just how serious the problem is. Football players get bigger, stronger and faster every year and it increases the likelihood of injuries. But as the likelihood of injuries increases, so should the efforts to prevent them. This can be done in a multitude of ways. One of those ways is the implementation of the aforementioned rule changes by the NFL. While that isn’t the most popular means of preventing injuries, it is necessary. It shows the rest of the football world that they’re serious about injury prevention and player safety.Another good way to prevent injuries in football is to make sure the game is taught correctly to young players. A significant number of football injuries happen...
28
Oct
2013

Baseball Injury Prevention: Pitching Injuries

Injuries to youth pitchers are on the rise in recent years.  Injuries to the elbow and shoulders seem to be the most prevalent.  Overusing youth pitchers seems to be the biggest cause of these injuries.  Using common sense and having a good plan for taking care of your arm will reduce the risk of injury.Overusing pitchersThe most common culprit of injuries to pitchers is from overuse.  Overuse can come in a few forms, throwing too many pitches in a single day and pitching too many consecutive days.  A pitcher can cause significant damage being overused on a single day.  Keeping a pitch count is a must for any pitcher.  This is just a matter of counting the pitches being thrown in a game.   Below is a chart that can be used as a guideline based upon age.AgePitches/Game7-8509-107511-128513-169517-18105 Even if the single game pitch count is used getting proper rest between games pitched is also necessary.   Below is a chart...
12
May
2013

Indoor practice mounds, cold weather state necessary evil

Purchasing an indoor practice pitching mound is a very large investment.  Most successful youth, high school, or college programs have these mounds for indoor practice.  If you are fortunate enough to be in a warmer weather state you can invest this money elsewhere, however in those cold weather states it is a necessary evil!  A good indoor practice mound will cost a program over $1,000, but as pitchers get older it is very critical when they are practicing pitching they use a mound.  Practicing pitching in the off-season is critical and to properly work on mechanics you need to pitch off of a mound.  It is typical that at the age of 13 kids will start pitching off mounds for games.  Up until that point they are throwing off of flat ground, so an indoor mound is not necessary.  Once a child starts using a mound, throwing off flat ground is not nearly as effective.  Simulating throwing "downhill" off the mound for practice is critical.  It...
24
Apr
2013

Protecting young arms

Being a youth baseball coach comes with a lot of responsibilities, being a good role model, teaching fundamentals, and teaching respect.  There are a lot of youth coaches that excel in those areas and then fail to protect the players from future injury. Having been a youth pitcher and pitching all the way through college, I learned quite a bit about taking care of the pitching arm.  Unfortunately for me my high school coach didn’t understand this and caused a lot of arm problems for me, however I learned from it.  As a youth coach developing a deep pitching staff is very important.  This coupled with making sure your desire to win doesn’t outweigh the safety of your pitching staff are keys at protecting young arms.  I have developed a rotation of 7 pitchers to make sure I never overuse any single pitcher.  Anyone that says they are not talented enough to develop that deep of pitching is kidding himself or herself.  I also adhere to strict...
23
Apr
2013

Zooka ZS 740 Pitching Machine

The Zooka ZS 740 Pitching Machine is a great fit for certain situations.  This is a very lightweight machine that will throw accurate fastballs up to 70 MPH.  It is unique in its barrel and compressor style throwing.  You load a baseball into the barrel and it shoots it out like a cannon.  The best part of this machine is that it has an internal rechargeable battery so you can take it anywhere to use.  This is especially handy for those that have practice fields that have no electricity.  For a total cost of under $800 it would be difficult to find another machine that throws at these speeds that has its own power source.  It is also great at throwing fly balls for defensive drills.The Zooka ZS 740 is used in quite a few machine pitch baseball leagues.  This is because of its lightweight design and internal battery.  Coaches will stand behind screens and feed the baseballs for the leagues.  When the games are over a single person...

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