Month: September 2016

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Similarities Between Soccer & Field Hockey

Many sports are similar, branching off from a common source. Although soccer and field hockey do not appear to have developed from the same root, there are more than a few commonalities between the two. Both have the same objective — to outscore the opposing team — and fundamental similarities in field and team structure, although the equipment and playing time in each game differs.
The field in each sport is often referred to as the “pitch.” A field hockey field is 100 by 55 or 60 yards, while soccer fields must be at least 100 by 50 yards, but can reach a maximum of 130 by 100 yards. Both sports have two goals, one at each end of the field, but field hockey goals are smaller in comparison. A half-circle marks the ground in front of a field hockey goal. Soccer goals are surrounded by rectangles, the six and 18 yard boxes, respectively. Soccer and field hockey fields are marked with a 50 yard or half line; field hockey also marks the field 25 yards from each end line.
In each sport you will find 11 players on a side — 10 field players and a goalie or goalkeeper. Soccer and field hockey are fluid sports in which players run over all areas of the field to score and defend against goals. Defense and offense-specific players exist in both sports, as do players in the middle, or midfielders. Although technically able to roam anywhere on the field, defenders or fullbacks mainly play defense while offensive players or forwards look to score. Goalies typically stay around the goal. However, in soccer the goalie can use his hands anywhere in the 18-yard box, but he must use his feet if he goes outside that area.
Compared to soccer, field hockey requires more equipment. Each player carries a stick with a flat and rounded side; players can only touch the ball with the flat side. Field hockey balls are small and hard, consisting of solid plastic. Field players are required to wear mouth guards and shin guards for protection, while goalies must wear goalie pads that include shin and chest protectors, facemask, throat protector and other optional padding. In soccer, everyone on the field, including the goalkeeper, must wear shin guards. Goalies also wear gloves and long sleeve jerseys with minimal padding on the arms. Soccer balls are larger and filled with air.
Soccer and field hockey are divided into two halves of play — professional soccer halves last 45 minutes while professional field hockey halves are 35 minutes. If the score is tied at the end of regular play, soccer and field hockey teams get two additional periods in which to score. In field hockey, the number of players on the field is reduced and the first team to score wins. In soccer, the number of players remains the same, and you typically play out all the time allowed. If the score remains tied in either sport, the game moves into “penalty” play in which each team selects five players to shoot — in a one vs. one opportunity — on the goalie.

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What Are the Most Popular Youth Sports?

Participation in youth sports has grown for boys and girls. Sports provide benefits of exercise and companionship with teammates. Allowing children to compete in a safe and fun environment allows kids to develop skills of perseverance, training, work ethic, and at a young age body kinesthetics (ability to know how to move one¡¯s body).
According to ESPN, the most popular sport for girls is basketball with over 450,000 girls playing for a school-sponsored team. The sport has also risen between 2006 and 2012 to become the most popular among boys with over 550,000 boys playing for a school-sponsored team. This sport can be more competitive as far as selection as kids become older. At younger ages though there are many developmental leagues to teach basic skills without the pressure of competition.
Termed America¡¯s favorite pastime, baseball and its variations are popular sports among America¡¯s youth. At a young age, boys and girls begin by playing tee ball. As they age, they may enter a league where the balls will be pitched from a machine. Beyond that, the sport will split into baseball for boys and softball for girls. Both sports rank second among the top five organized sports for their gender among youths.
This is the third most popular sport among boys with more than 1 million interscholastic participants as of 2012. This excludes youth league participants. Football allows for kids of any shape and size (variation of positions) to compete in a team atmosphere. Parents tend to be concerned about this sport because of the contact. However, if taught properly, football can be one of the safest sports to play because of padding and helmets.
Perhaps one of the fastest growing sports in America among the youth is soccer. Soccer is the last sport to cross both gender groups top five for youth. It is an easy sport to begin learning and to play, which makes it exciting for youngsters almost immediately. Although it is simple at first, strategy and advanced skills develop over time making the game more competitive as they grow older.
Popular among female youths, volleyball also provides a team opportunity. Volleyball at a young age does not require skills that some other sports may require, making it easy for someone to begin playing. As with most sports though, as age progresses so does the skill level and competition. Volleyball ranks as a top five sports for girls.
This sport allows a youth to still participate individually and as a team at the same time. Track and field allows participation across a broad spectrum of athletic capabilities. Youths have a chance to compete in many events from sprinting to distance runs and throwing to jumping. Track and field can provide an opportunity for most any youth to get out and compete.

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The History of Soccer Goalie Gloves

For more than a century, soccer goalkeepers have been using their hands to catch, block and parry thunderously struck balls made of natural or synthetic leather. To the casual observer, wearing gloves would seem like the logical thing to do. Surprisingly, however, the wearing of goalkeeping gloves is a relatively recent phenomenon.
A British soccer ball manufacturer called William Sykes was granted a patent for a pair of leather goalkeeping gloves in 1885, according to the Deutsches Patent website. The glove design incorporated a layer of India rubber for the protection and cushioning of the wearer¡¯s hands. Sykes was obviously a forward thinker, as it would still be more than half a century until goalkeepers started wearing gloves regularly.
Goalkeepers did not generally wear gloves in the early 1900s. There is no mention of gloves in the original 1863 Laws of the Game, so a goalkeeper would not have been breaking any rules if he wanted to keep his hands warm. However, while it is possible that some goalies wore woolen gloves or gardening gloves, there is no recorded evidence of them doing so. According to The Telegraph website, Argentina’s Amadeo Carrizo was the first goalkeeper known to have worn gloves. Carrizo played for Argentine club side River Plate in the 1940s and 1950s.
The use of goalie gloves became more common in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but many goalkeepers still only wore them in wet conditions. Furthermore, the lack of specialized goalie glove manufacturers meant that some of the era¡¯s best goalies were still playing in gardening gloves. Gordon Banks, the legendary English national team goalkeeper, only started using goalie gloves as an experiment in the 1970 Mexico World Cup, says the British Glove Association website.
The 1970s marked a turning point in goalie glove history. As gloves became more popular, the demand for specialized goalkeeping gloves increased. Manufacturers such as Stanno, Reusch, Uhlsport and Sondico suddenly found their gloves to be in demand, both from amateur and professional goalkeepers alike. The gloves were basic but offered greater protection and grip to the wearer, the two key principles of modern goalie glove design.
By the 1980s, goalie gloves had become a fundamental piece of soccer equipment. Manufacturers began to put more research into their designs, particularly in terms of grip. They experimented with terry cloth, the coating of table tennis paddles and latex foam. Latex foam goalie gloves soon became standard.
Goalie glove technology has advanced dramatically since the 1980s. Latex foam treatments have allowed for stickier and more durable gloves, while various moldings have added a completely new vocabulary to the industry. Goalkeepers can now choose between flat-palmed gloves, heavily padded roll finger gloves and snug-fitting negative cut gloves. As with soccer shoe design, innovations within the goalie glove manufacturing industry have resulted in a wide range of different models and styles. Choosing goalie gloves, therefore, has become a lot more complicated than buying a nice pair of gardening gloves.

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Running Training for Soccer

Soccer players often run sufficiently during the season such that they might not need additional time on the track. They play in scrimmages and matches, and participate in skill drills. Thus, running training plays more of a role in soccer players’ off-season and preseason. As a coach, you can present your players with training plans so they can arrive close to game-fit for the start of the season.
Dedicate three days a week to running training. On Monday of weeks one to four, sprint 50 meters and jog 150 meters for eight sets. Increase this program to 12 sets in weeks five to eight, and 16 sets for weeks nine to 12. On Wednesday, run one mile each of the first two weeks, two miles the next three, three miles the next two weeks, four miles on the next two weeks and three miles the final three weeks. On Fridays, jog for 30 minutes the first two weeks, increasing to 45 minutes by weeks 10 through 12.
Keep your athletes running in the preseason, recommends certified strength and conditioning specialist Ryan Lee of SportSpecific.com. Set running training for three days of the week, ideally Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Players can warm up with a jog of a half- to a full mile, a full-body stretch, three 30-meter repetitions of high knees, heel-glutes, carriocca and speed striders. Have players bring their knees up to hip level while moving forward for high knees. They can touch their heels to their glutes quickly while moving forward slowly for heel-glutes. Carrioccas involve moving sideways while swiveling the hips and arms. Speed striders require running with an exaggerated foot and arm motion.
Your players should perform three sprints of 30, 60 and 90 meters, with a 45-second rest between each, on Monday and Friday of preseason work weeks, Lee recommends. On Wednesday, have them run a speed-endurance pyramid, running distances of 50, 100, 150, 200, 150, 100 and 50 meters. Let the players rest for three times as long as it takes them to run a segment ¡ª taking a break of 1 minute, 30 seconds after they run the 150 meters in 30 seconds. Have them complete a second pyramid.
In week two of preseason, the players can increase running training to five sprints of 30, 60 and 90 meters, and in week three, six sprints, again on Mondays and Fridays. On Wednesdays, have them do the speed-endurance pyramid with a 2:1 rest ratio in weeks two and three, and repeat the pyramid a second and third time, Lee recommends.
On the Sports Fitness Advisor website, strength-and-conditioning specialist Phil Davies recommends fartlek running, a form of interval training developed in Sweden, for soccer-specific training. Run for 20 to 30 minutes at different paces, including sprints, slow jogs, backwards runs, walking and repeating new, random combinations. Aim for a level 7 throughout the session, if 1 is a walk in the park and 10 is a stomach-wrenching slog. Build up over a period of weeks to more intense sessions as the players become fitter.

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Running Training for Soccer

Soccer players often run sufficiently during the season such that they might not need additional time on the track. They play in scrimmages and matches, and participate in skill drills. Thus, running training plays more of a role in soccer players’ off-season and preseason. As a coach, you can present your players with training plans so they can arrive close to game-fit for the start of the season.
Dedicate three days a week to running training. On Monday of weeks one to four, sprint 50 meters and jog 150 meters for eight sets. Increase this program to 12 sets in weeks five to eight, and 16 sets for weeks nine to 12. On Wednesday, run one mile each of the first two weeks, two miles the next three, three miles the next two weeks, four miles on the next two weeks and three miles the final three weeks. On Fridays, jog for 30 minutes the first two weeks, increasing to 45 minutes by weeks 10 through 12.
Keep your athletes running in the preseason, recommends certified strength and conditioning specialist Ryan Lee of SportSpecific.com. Set running training for three days of the week, ideally Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Players can warm up with a jog of a half- to a full mile, a full-body stretch, three 30-meter repetitions of high knees, heel-glutes, carriocca and speed striders. Have players bring their knees up to hip level while moving forward for high knees. They can touch their heels to their glutes quickly while moving forward slowly for heel-glutes. Carrioccas involve moving sideways while swiveling the hips and arms. Speed striders require running with an exaggerated foot and arm motion.
Your players should perform three sprints of 30, 60 and 90 meters, with a 45-second rest between each, on Monday and Friday of preseason work weeks, Lee recommends. On Wednesday, have them run a speed-endurance pyramid, running distances of 50, 100, 150, 200, 150, 100 and 50 meters. Let the players rest for three times as long as it takes them to run a segment ¡ª taking a break of 1 minute, 30 seconds after they run the 150 meters in 30 seconds. Have them complete a second pyramid.
In week two of preseason, the players can increase running training to five sprints of 30, 60 and 90 meters, and in week three, six sprints, again on Mondays and Fridays. On Wednesdays, have them do the speed-endurance pyramid with a 2:1 rest ratio in weeks two and three, and repeat the pyramid a second and third time, Lee recommends.
On the Sports Fitness Advisor website, strength-and-conditioning specialist Phil Davies recommends fartlek running, a form of interval training developed in Sweden, for soccer-specific training. Run for 20 to 30 minutes at different paces, including sprints, slow jogs, backwards runs, walking and repeating new, random combinations. Aim for a level 7 throughout the session, if 1 is a walk in the park and 10 is a stomach-wrenching slog. Build up over a period of weeks to more intense sessions as the players become fitter.

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Through the Arch: An Integration Anniversary, Part 1

Part one in a three-part series on the 50th anniversary of the University of Georgia’s desegregation.
Fifty years ago, Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter walked onto North Campus in Athens, Ga., to register for classes. After a lengthy legal battle, federal judge William Bootle had ruled on Jan. 6, 1961 that Holmes and Hunter were “fully qualified for immediate admission” to the University of Georgia, and “would already have been admitted had it not been for their race and color.”
The two teenagers were impressively qualified: Holmes was valedictorian at Turner High School in Atlanta, senior class president and co-captain of the football team; Hunter was No. 3 in the same class, paper editor and Miss Turner. To civil rights leaders looking for a couple of bright kids willing to attempt integration, they made the perfect applicants. But they also had their own ambitions. When their legal defense team suggested applying to Georgia State in Atlanta, they one-upped and chose the University of Georgia — chartered in 1785 and far outside of the capital.
African-Americans had been attempting to integrate the state’s flagship school for nearly a century. During Reconstruction, a group of black parents confronted the school’s chancellor about admitting their sons; he replied, according to the Hargrett Library, “this is a white man’s college and you are perfectly powerless to help yourselves.” In 1950, Atlanta University-graduate Horace Ward applied to the university’s law school. He spent seven years battling officials, before having his case dismissed and attending Northwestern University’s Law School.
By 1960, though, Ward was back in Atlanta working for the African-American lawyer Donald Hollowell, whose firm represented Holmes and Hunter. As their admission process also stretched on for years, the two students started college at Morehouse and Wayne State University in Detroit. Then, halfway through their sophomore year, Judge Bootle’s ruling arrived: The University of Georgia was finally about to be integrated.
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Topics in this Post: Stuff You Missed in History Class, Charlayne Hunter, Hamilton Holmes, integration, University of Georgia

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5 Family Traditions for Sons

In general, family traditions are wonderful. They’re fun, memorable events, as long as you remember that not every tradition is right for every family member. Just as most moms and daughters wouldn’t be thrilled about annual tickets to see a monster truck show, fathers and sons aren’t usually counting down the days to attend a sewing class with the girls. Of course, group family traditions are important, but just like moms, daughters and dads, sons need activities that are unique to their likes and interests. Some sons might look forward to a regular trip to the local drive-in hamburger joint with Dad after a football game, or they may enjoy a yearly hiking trip through the Adirondacks with a sibling. These special times will be cherished for many years to come, and who knows, your sons might even one day pass these traditions on to children of their own!
Traditions can be held weekly, monthly or annually — on the same exact date every year or celebrated spontaneously whenever the mood strikes. All that matters is spending time together and enjoying each other’s company. If there’s a young man in your life that you’d like to spend more time with, go ahead and start a tradition.
Check out the next page to learn how the two of you can make a tradition out of catering to his mother (trust us; he’ll want to do it).


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