Injuries and Adult Figure Skaters

Unfortunately, not all my injuries have been so tame; the scraped elbows were healed in about a week, although I have a nice little scar on the right one as a reminder. Nearly three years ago I tore a hip flexor muscle. At one point, the pain was so bad that it kept me awake at night and I could not walk for long distances. I kept skating all through this time, but there were several elements I could not do because of the pain, weakness and reduced range of motion. Physiotherapy didn’t really help and the sport medicine MD figured it was arthritis and I should consider another sport. Having said this, the x-ray of the hip really didn’t show very much in the way of degenerative changes, so I started working with an osteopath. I am also now working with a kinesiotherapist who has given me gentle, but very specific, exercises to improve the range of motion in the hip.

But that’s just me…. Let me tell you about two other adult skaters that I know. (Names are fictitious but the injuries are real!)

Susie broke a wrist when attempting an axel. It was actually one of her first attempts when she returned to skating after being off for many years and she was in her early forties at the time. She arrived back at the arena several weeks later with a metal pin in her wrist and swore she would never try the axel ever again, she was only going to work on her single jumps and spins. Well it wasn’t long before she got tired of that, so now she’s got her axel back and has just started landing a double salchow. This was after telling us for a year that there was no way she was ever going to work on D Sal… too hard, she didn’t want to get hurt like she did doing axel…. Now it’s, “No way am I ever going to work on my double loop… too hard, etc, etc.”

And then there’s my friend Annie. She broke her leg on a flying camel approximately two years ago, requiring surgery and a whole lot of metal reinforcements. She was back on the ice in time for Adult Nationals the following year… not at 100%, but on her way. Last I heard, she still had a pin in the ankle but was busy getting all her doubles back.

The worst kind of injury is the one that seriously shakes your confidence and instills fear. I have often seen this with adult beginners who take a bad fall and sustain a major injury, such as a concussion and never come back. Their fear is very understandable; as adults we have responsibilities away from the arena, such as work and parenting and cannot afford time off to recover from an injury. It certainly makes me think twice before attempting a risky element.

My advice is to listen to what your body is telling you. Don’t be afraid to say “I’m not going to try that element; I just don’t feel that I am ready for it” a good coach will help you to work through this fear and devise strategies for helping you build your confidence. I also recommend that you find a good team of therapists to help you with preventative maintenance and when needed, repairs.

Cricket Bowling

In bowling, a combination of natural ability, good technique and practice is the recipe for good bowling, whether it is fast, slow or spin.

Here are some tips that will help your bowling and when implemented correctly your bowling speed:

The basic grip to hold the ball is to keep the seam vertical and to hold the ball with your index finger and middle finger either side of the seam with the side of your thumb resting on the seam underneath the ball.

In your approach/run in, try to stay:

  • Smooth,
  • Balanced,
  • Economical,
  • Rhythmical,
  • Consistent and stay relaxed and try not to tense up.

During your approach and action, your head position is very important. Make sure that as you approach the wicket you are running at a steady, consistent speed, and increase strides. Aim to keep your head as steady and level as possible, looking towards your target.

Pull your front arm down and through the target area, making sure you complete the delivery with a full follow through.

Try to keep everything in the same direction, towards your target, keep your hips and shoulders parallel/in-line, and follow through the delivery in the direction where you intend the ball to go.

Also as a bowler it is very important to stay in great shape, as you’ll enjoy the game more and perform better in the latter stages if you have good stamina. So incorporating some light weight sessions in to your training is important.

Also aim to try and run 3 times a week to keep your cardiovascular system in top condition and to improve your stamina. South African fast bowler Makhaya Ntini, is well know for running 10Km every morning, even on match days!

Bowling Shoes Have Gone Hi-Tech

Bowling shoes are really specialty shoes, they are constructed specifically to perform certain functions, as well as protect the approach surface. For a right-handed bowler, the left foot is your final step toward the foul line; the left shoe is designed to slide to the foul line. The right shoe is designed to provide traction to facilitate the push off that starts your approach. For a left-handed bowler just reverse the above.

Just a few years ago you had very few style choices, your shoes were either black or white and had a leather slide pad on the slide shoe, and no modifications to the push-off shoe.

That has changed; today there are now more manufacturers of these shoes, offering many new styles, and a wide price range. If you are a recreational bowler, you will benefit from having your own shoes just because you will have a consistent fit and feel. You will become used to how they slide and have a more comfortable and natural approach.

If you are bowling in a league or if you are a competitive bowler you will want a bowling shoe that offers more features. These made for competitive bowlers offer such “accessories” as changeable slide pads, and changeable heels on your slide shoe, this allows you to customize your shoe to exactly how you would like it to perform, or to make adjustments for changing approach conditions. The traction shoe is equipped with a positive traction toe or sole, which will promote solid consistent, push off to start your approach. One top company even offers a “shuffle” shoe style for those bowlers who tend too shuffle their approach steps. These are going to cost a bit more, however they will also give you years of performance.

Many bowlers will use a “slide sock” that is designed to slip over the slide pad to allow for more slide on sticky approaches, this device is especially useful on synthetic approaches.

There are also “wet socks” available to slip over your slide shoe when walking outside of the bowling approach area, this protects the slid pad from getting wet. If your shoes are ready to be replaced, or if you are looking to make a first time purchase, check with your pro shop for your choices.

Beginner Half Marathon Training

Course

One of the factors that determines the time to finish the race is the course itself. A hilly course is more challenging than a flat course.

Running Base and Training

Another factor that determines the time is the amount of training and effort put in before starting the race. If you plan to run a half marathon with very little training, the impact of the distance on the body is going to be huge. You will feel tired and weary towards the end. You may have to slow down considerably towards the end of the race to finish it if your training is insufficient.

Proper training ensures that a good running base is developed before the race. If the long runs are done correctly for training, the distance for the half marathon seems a lot easier.

Pace

Another factor that determines the time is the pace of the person. Some people have better pace than others. For a beginner, any pace between 10-14 minutes/mile is good. This leads to a finish time of 2:20 to 3 hours.

The first and foremost consideration for any runner for a first half marathon should however be to cross the finish line and not worry about the time. The finish time can be improved once the first half marathon finish line has been crossed.

Scuba Diving Accessories

The Essentials for Scuba Diving

Long before you make your way to the deep waters of an ocean, or even the training pool, there are certain pieces of equipment you need for a safe diving experience. The following are among those items to get during certification or after.

  • Mask – A mask that fits your face perfectly is essential. Renting equipment is fine but you want a mask made for your face to prevent water from leaking into the mask.
  • Fins – Having a set of fins that fit your feet perfectly provides more confidence when moving through the water. There is no risk of the fins being uncomfortable when they are purchased specifically for the diver. These are things fin renters cannot guarantee.
  • Wetsuit – Scuba diving is a cold experience thanks to the temperature of the water. To help avoid freezing a fitted wetsuit is an important purchase for all divers.
  • Regulators & Tanks – These two items are vital to a safe dive. Fortunately, it is possible to rent both of these items instead of purchasing them. If you would prefer to own your own, they would definitely be worth the purchase.

Personal Scuba Diving Accessory Options

Following the purchase of the essential diving equipment, many divers choose to expand their collection with other accessories. Here are a few of those items.

  • Headlamp – A headlamp is a great way to put light on the situation and keep your hands free when under the water. Ensure you get one that is water or weather proof, and will withstand depths 33 feet from the surface.
  • LED Light – A certified LED light that can withstand great depths is ideal to help you see and explore when on a dive.
  • Compass – This is a great accessory that will prevent you and your dive buddy from getting lost. It is not required but it is incredibly handy.’
  • Knife – For use in emergencies.
  • Duffel bag or backpack – With so much gear and accessories to cart around it is important to have a quality bag to transport all of it around.

About Treadmill Running

The difference between running on the treadmill and running over ground can be discussed from mechanical, biomechanical and physiological points of view.

From the point of view of mechanics there is no difference between belt moving under our feet and our body moving forward in over ground running provided the velocity is the same. Indeed we are operating here with the same speed and consequently with the same forces on the ground and the same muscular efforts.

While it doesn’t matter for mechanics which of the interacting bodies is moving: the belt or the body, it is not so for biomechanics. It makes a big difference there. The major one lies in the fact that in treadmill running, unlike over ground running, our upper body is not moving forward, it’s our feet that are moved backwards by the running belt. This difference creates a different bio-motor pattern of the movement, where we have to produce some (otherwise undesirable) activity of the upper body to keep it against tipping over the support foot on the belt of the treadmill in order to keep the body in balance. So we have to hold our body to keep it from falling forward and we have to catch the running belt instead of our falling body.

In over ground running we need to free up our upper body from all possible tension in order to continue to produce the forward falling at the same rate and then recruit our feet to pull from the ground up in accordance with the rate of falling. In treadmill running, pulling the feet from the “ground” is dictated by the moving belt, which frames accordingly the space and time of the feet movement. The treadmill belt’s velocity helps us to maintain the rhythm and efforts of pulling in sync, the luxury we don’t have in over ground running. So while running on the treadmill we are not so much concerned with how fast and how strong we have to pull because it is pre-determined by the speed of the treadmill belt. In other words, treadmill running doesn’t require us to focus on pulling the foot from the ground as much as the over ground running does.

So, on the one hand, treadmill’s belt movement is a positive factor helping us to maintain our speed of running, but on the other hand, we do not have such a “help” on the ground and we have to manage the uneven speed of the body moving from one support to the other, which requires a much more sophisticated relationship between our feet and our body and consequently a much better neuromuscular regulation and coordination. It is well known that no one from elite athletes could match their treadmill running speed with over ground running on the same distance. The treadmill running is always faster because of the above-mentioned “help” from the running belt. That’s why most of them do not use treadmill for the training.

Another negative side of the treadmill running, besides the above- mentioned, is the risk of landing ahead of GCM and also neuromuscular coordination that’s too stable and developed by the stable velocity of the belt movement, up to the point of a complete loss of our perception of pulling in sync with our body falling, but not the belt moving, which helps us to move our foot from the ground in time. Consequently treadmill training affects our running on the physiological level as well.

Nevertheless, treadmill running is a good tool to do some training in the absence of suitable outdoor running conditions. It is possible even to do some Pose running drills there. Our level 2 coach from Toledo, Ohio, Joe Sparks, used treadmill to do his drills during wintertime with very positive effects on his outdoor running.

Treadmill running is also a good instrument for doing some physiological and biomechanical testing because it gives a possibility to standardize the condition of running and to control different technical and physiological parameters.

Bowl Better by Making Spares

Today it’s a lot different. The fingertip (your index and ring fingers only go in to the first knuckle) resin reactive balls are more efficient for getting strikes but will leave a lot of ten pins or seven pins if you’re left handed. This is because the ball enters the pocket (1-3 or 1-2 if you left handed) at a sharper angle causing the 6 or 4 pin to fly around the 10 or 7 pin. Now this where a spare making plastic ball comes into play. I personally use a plastic ball to make all my spares whether they are on the right or left of the lane. I revert back to the day when all balls were alike and had to throw straight at whatever was left. It makes sense that less hook the more chances a bowler has of making that spare. My plastic ball is drilled fingertip just because it’s easier to throw. I don’t think that flip flopping back and forth between a conventional and fingertip grip is a good thing.

The industry has come a long way since I learned how to bowl. The equipment is better but the fact remains the spares haven’t changed. The formula for a great game is to make your first shot a good one so the spares you leave are one pin spares. Strikes will happen on their own and making your spares will drastically improve your score. So my advise is to get yourself a plastic ball for those spares and practice, practice, practice.

Competitive Sports

Hectic schedules these days force individuals to stay put in their workstations without moving a lot. Like it or not this is going to create a lot of health issues. Incorporating competitive sports into our otherwise lazy and monotonous routine will help us get moving. You may face problems initially like being unable to move about quickly as you used to. Age plays a very important role and you might have been slowed down by it. This applies to most people around us that includes family and friends. Having a blast of a game along with your family and friends, including a bit of positive competition and all the laughter, breathing and moving about will definitely improve your mood as well as will break the monotony.

As adults we have a lot of responsibilities and more often than not we become so engrossed in the daily responsibilities so much so we forget to socialize. This is so against nature because humans are generally very social beings and shall remain healthy only when the meet up and interact with friends and family.

It can be challenging to actually go out and start playing competitive sports after all this gap though that is exactly what they want to do. With so many scheduling conflicts it becomes a struggle to go out and start playing. You can set yourself up with the local sports team and this is one way to do it. Making a commitment to others as well as yourself will help ensure you definitely stick to your plan of playing.

Parks systems available in many cities offer competitive sports leagues and they provide locations to practice and schedule games too. The leagues offer sports like basketball, baseball, football and sometimes even volleyball, soccer. If you do not intend to go so formal then you can set up a team as a family or with friends who would like to play the sport.

Increase Running Speed

  1. Train Your Muscles to Respond to You Wanting to Run Faster: You have to do workouts where you run at 90-95% or your body will never learn how to run fast.
  2. “Dead” Weight Loss: I understand that for certain sports or for certain positions, you want to be a particular weight or size, but you can get rid of some “dead” weight to help you run faster. By dead weight I mean fat and waste material in your colon. You can increase your lean body mass if you have a weight goal in mind, but it doesn’t have to be fat.
  3. Rest: After you’ve had a “speed training” workout, your body needs 48-72 hours rest before performing another speed workout. Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t have other hard workouts, just not workouts that are made for you to run at above 80% of your max speed for longer than 2 seconds.
  4. Nutrition: If you don’t have the right nutrition you will feel sluggish and you won’t recover properly from workouts either. Make sure you eat enough carbs to support the energy demand for the workout and enough protein to recover and heal your muscles.
  5. Injury Free: You have to take a preventative approach to staying healthy and injury free because it won’t matter how fast you are if you are hurt. Ice after every work out, stay hydrated, and eat enough protein to support your muscles.
  6. Flexibility Will Help Your Speed: It’s been said that flexibility can affect up to 33% of your power. Well, to be fast, you have to become powerful. Thus flexibility will directly or indirectly affect your ability to run fast by up to 33%.
  7. Better Running Form Increases Speed: The better your running form, the faster you will run.

Coaching in Sports

Sports is the pinnacle entertainment around the world and especially in America but an issue that has been ongoing for quite some time now is how small the diversity is among coaches on teams. Most of the pro sports teams and collegiate level sports coaches’ demographics is middle age white Anglo-Saxon men. In 4 major sports leagues the percentage of minority coaches is at most all together about 20 percent which is a very small number. In the NFL, MLB, and college football minority head coaches represent about 3-10 percent while the NBA has the biggest representation which is about 12-40 percent which is a gradual big difference. This is taken to account all minorities specifically black but other minorities like women, Latinos, and other races percentage representations are even smaller than that. In the society that we live in today where barriers are breaking literally every day this number is appalling. In recent years’ sports commissioners have tried to diversify their coaching in their leagues we have more minorities being hired but they are basically replacing the ones that are getting fired.

Some recent success has been the NBA hiring the first ever full time assistant coach for an NBA team the San Antonio Spurs Becky Hammon has been a trailblazer and climbing up the NBA ladder. Even in football women are becoming a more familiar face to see on the sidelines not as coaches but as trainers, strength and conditioning type roles so some progress is being made but a lot of work still needs to be done. I think the root of the issue with sports not being so diverse is that the people in power of these sports leagues and teams are old school men raised up in the 40’s and 50’s who are wealthy owners that just have not got with the times of the new age. These men are set in their ways and until new blood comes in they will stay stuck in their ways and little progress will be made.

Some ideas to move sports leagues into being more diverse is maybe giving a quota that their needs to be this percentage of minority coaches in leagues or the whole league gets fined. This idea forces leagues to recruit and seek minority coaches and in a lot of times minority coaches are highly qualified more qualified than the majority coaches but are never given the chance. There is so many different ideas we could try to fix this issue just by giving those deserving and qualified members a chance to prove themselves as coaches. Also, with more diverse coaches comes different styles of play and ideas for those coaches to influence their teams making competition more exciting to watch and attract more people that maybe sports don’t attract, just because they have a woman coaching a male team or a Black or Latino coaching a team like BYU or Yale. The more spectators and higher TV ratings the more money that the teams and their owners are making and that’s really all the wealthy old owners care about in the end is making money.