Month: October 2016

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Party Games for Soccer Kids

Whether planning a birthday party for your soccer player or coordinating a team gathering, include party games to provide entertainment. Soccer party games can differ from the actual game played on the field, shifting the emphasis from winning the game to simply playing for fun. Choose games that incorporate the soccer theme in a silly or unusual manner for the enjoyment of all participants.
Set up empty soda bottles, empty tennis ball cans or plastic bowling pins in the same arrangement as the pins in a traditional game of bowling. Instead of rolling a bowling ball, have players kick a soccer ball in an attempt to knock down the pins. Play and keep score according to the scorekeeping methods of an ordinary bowling game.
Arrange players so that they form a circle. Place one child in the middle of the circle. He is the ¡°soccer blocker.¡± Instruct players to kick the ball around the circle, keeping it away from the soccer blocker. The soccer blocker will attempt to block the ball. If he succeeds and stops the ball, the last player who kicked it becomes the new soccer blocker. This game is best played with 10 or more players.
The object of this game is for players to use their heads to keep their balloons in the air the longest. Provide one inflated balloon per player. Use black and white balloons to complement the soccer theme. When the start of the game is called, players must toss their balloons above their heads. As the balloons descend, players must use only their heads to keep them floating above. Once a balloon hits the ground, that player is out of the game. Play continues until only one player remains. She is the winner.
Add a soccer theme to the game of freeze dance. Assign an adult or one of the players to be the referee. Give the referee a pad of yellow sticky notes. Players dance while the music plays, but must freeze each time the music suddenly stops. The referee must pay close attention to identify which player is the last to freeze. He must then stick one of the yellow sticky papers to that player, indicating that the player has been ¡°yellow-carded¡± — committed a foul in the game of soccer. Once a player has received two yellow cards, he is out of the game. The last remaining freeze dancer wins.
Divide the players into two teams and have them line up at one side of the party area. Place several inflated balloons at the opposite side of the party space. At the start of the relay race, the first players in line for each team must run to the balloons, pick one up and sit on it until it pops. Once a player has popped a balloon, she may race back to her team and tag the second player in line to repeat this process. The first team to pop all of their balloons wins.


Basic Fundamentals of Baseball

The basic fundamentals of baseball are the building blocks of the game. A successful player must be able to hit the ball, field the ball, throw it and run the bases. Hitting with power is a bonus, but many standout players have not had the ability to drive the ball over the fence consistently.
The aspect of baseball that draws many young players to the game is the idea of hitting a baseball squarely. Whether they have seen a professional player do it on television or watched other players in person, hitting the ball is the essence of baseball for many people. In order to hit the ball consistently, a batter must take a solid stance in the batter’s box with his left shoulder–for a right-handed hitter–facing the pitcher. (It is the opposite for a left-handed hitter.) The bat is held over the right shoulder, the knees are bent and the bulk of the player’s weight on the back leg. As the pitch arrives, the batter must time his swing so the bat passes over the plate at the same time as the ball and makes contact. The batter’s weight and momentum move forward at the same time, and the swing continues with a follow-through after contact.
The key to fielding a baseball is getting your body squarely in front of the ball. When fielding a ball that comes in below waist level, the fingers of the glove must be on or near the ground. The fielder must then react to the movement of the ball, which can be unpredictable. When the ball comes in at waist level or higher, the glove fingers should point upward and the glove should be positioned in anticipation of where the ball will be when it is within reach. Use your throwing hand to help secure the ball after it hits the glove.
Place the ball in your dominant hand and extend your forefinger and middle finger on top of the ball, with your thumb underneath. Bring the ball up to ear level, step forward with your opposite foot and bring your arm forward and snap your wrist to propel the ball toward the target. Bring your dominant leg forward to follow through with the throwing motion.
A good baserunner does not have to depend on speed to be effective. Speed will help a baserunner, but only if he understands how to run the bases. Baserunners must aim to touch the inside corner of the base and make a sharp turn toward the next base, which ensures the shortest distance is taken between bases. Baserunning ability also comes from understanding the circumstances of the game, such as whether your team is ahead or behind, the skill level of upcoming batters and the arm strength of the opponent’s outfielders.
A baseball player who masters the fundamentals is a valuable part of any team. A player who can hit, field, throw and run has a chance to influence the outcome of the game in a variety of ways, much more so than a player who has strong skills in one fundamental but is weak in the others.


Calories, Weight and Height According to Age

Maintaining a healthy weight throughout your life is not only good for your health, it’s also good for the quality of life, too, says the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Calorie balance is key to weight control. While there are a number of mathematical equations used to determine calorie needs, some include height, weight and age. Consult your doctor or dietitian to help you determine your calorie needs.
Equations that use your height, weight and age to determine your calorie needs generally estimate your basal metabolic rate. Your BMR is the number of calories your body needs for basic bodily functions, including the maintenance of organs and tissue, heartbeat and respiration. The Harris-Benedict equation is commonly used because it is considered quick and easy, according to Kent State University. The equation is different for men and women. For men, the formula is: 66 + (6.23 X weight in pounds) + (12.7 X height in inches) – (6.8 X age in years). For women, it is: 655 + (4.35 X weight in pounds) + (4.7 X height in inches) – (4.7 X age in years). So, for example, a 6-foot tall 45-year-old man weighing 208 pounds has a BMR of 1,970 calories (66 + 1295.84 + 914.4 – 306).
The BMR equation provides a baseline for your calorie needs, but it’s not the whole picture. Your total daily calorie needs also include activity factors. Factors range from 1.2 for people with a desk job and very little activity to 1.9 for people training for a triathlon. Your BMR is multiplied by these factors to determine your daily calorie needs. For example, if the 45-year-old man exercises three days a week, you can determine his daily calorie needs by multiplying his BMR by an activity factor of 1.375, which means he needs 2,709 calories to maintain his current weight.
While the Harris-Benedict formula is most often used to estimate calories based on weight, height and age, it’s not the only formula. The University of Colorado at Denver reports that the Mifflin equation is a more accurate formula for estimating BMR. Like Harris-Benedict, this formula is also gender-specific. The Mifflin formula for estimating BMR for men is: (10 X weight in kilograms) + (6.25 X height in centimeters) – (5 X age in years) + 5. For women, it is: (10 X weight in kilograms) + (6.25 X height in centimeters) – (5 X age in years) – 161. Divide weight in pounds by 2.2 to get kilograms, and multiply height in inches by 2.54 to get centimeters. The Mifflin formula estimates the 6-foot-tall, or 182.9 centimeters, 208-pound, or 94.5 kilograms, 45-year-old man’s BMR as 1,868 calories (945+1143.125-225+5).
No matter where your weight is on the scale, knowing your calorie needs based on your weight, height and age can help you swing the number in your desired direction. If you’re trying to lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than the number of calories predicted, and if you’re trying to gain, you need to eat more. If you’re already at your desired weight, closely monitoring your intake can help you stay in balance. Getting to and maintaining a healthy weight is key to overall good health.


Willis Reed

Position: Center
Willis Reed was the New York Knicks’ most popular player when the team won the NBA championships in 1970 and 1973. He was New York’s working-class hero, a brawler who led with quiet determination, soft left-handed jump shots, and an occasional forearm shiver. In his first seven seasons, he paced the Knicks in scoring five times and in rebounding six.
In 1970, he became the first player ever named MVP of the regular season, the All-Star Game, and the NBA Finals in the same season. Born June 25, 1942, in rural Hico, Louisiana, Reed began playing basketball as a 6’2″ eighth-grader. After enjoying great success in high school, he went to nearby Grambling College, an all-black school famous for its football teams.
Reed averaged 18.7 points and 15.2 rebounds in four seasons and made Little All-America three times. Ignored in the first round of the 1964 draft, Reed launched his professional career with a flourish, winning the Rookie of the Year Award. In his second season, the Knicks acquired center Walt Bellamy, pushing the 6’10”, 240-pound Reed to forward, where he stayed three seasons.
In the 1969-1970 season, with Reed back at center and contributing 21.7 points and 13.9 rebounds a game, the Knicks won 60 games and sped through the Eastern Conference playoffs, beating the Baltimore Bullets (Reed had 36 points and 36 rebounds in the last game) and the Milwaukee Bucks.
In the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers, Reed suffered a thigh injury and the Knicks lost Game 6 by 22 points. But Reed, his body loaded with mepivacaine and cortisone, returned gallantly for Game 7 to score two quick baskets, igniting a runaway Knicks victory. Reed never regained full use of his damaged knees. He endured the 1970-1971 season by taking cortisone injections, then played only 11 games in 1971-1972 after undergoing surgery.
His last hurrah was in the 1973 playoffs, when he neutralized the Lakers’ Wilt Chamberlain and won his second Finals MVP Award. Reed retired in 1974 and later coached the Knicks, Creighton University, and the New Jersey Nets. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1981.


Body Effects of Stopping Weightlifting

Halting a weightlifting program causes unfavorable detraining, or the loss of training adaptations such as enhanced strength or muscle size. Fitness benefits earned through years of weightlifting recede at a slower rate than those earned through two to six months of weight training. Factors of detraining, however, occur within a week of inactivity. Understanding detraining outcomes enables informed fitness decisions.
Your muscles become noticeably smaller after you stop weightlifting. In fact, individuals who have gained large amounts of muscle with training undergo greater muscle-mass loss with detraining. Each muscle contains thousands, if not millions, of microscopic muscle fibers. With detraining, your fibers decrease in diameter — causing a visible size reduction over time.
Individual muscle fibers possess contractile proteins known as actin and myosin. During muscle movement, muscle fibers slide past each other as actin and myosin connect with surrounding fibers and pull against each other. Additionally, weightlifting builds extra actin and myosin along each muscle fiber. As your muscles become smaller with detraining, however, your amount of contractile proteins diminishes and strength decreases.
Muscular power combines speed and strength. For example, power determines your speed and force as you swing a baseball bat or bench press 100 pounds. Weightlifting augments power in many ways. For example, strength training improves communication between your brain and muscles — enabling greater activation of your muscle fibers at an accelerated rate. In addition to lost muscle size, detraining removes some neurological, or brain-based, training benefits causing a reduction in muscular power.
As a muscle contracts during a weightlifting exercise, blood vessels within your working muscle become constricted. As a result, your heart must pump more forcefully for adequate blood flow through compressed vessels. Within months of weekly weight training, muscular thickness of one of the four heart chambers, known as the left ventricle, increases — causing a stronger heart muscle. Detraining reverses muscles gains within your heart, however, and reverts cardiac strength to your pre-training level.
Body composition divides your total body weight into fat or fat-free mass. Generally, body composition reads as the percentage of your weight comprised of fat, also known as body-fat percentage. For example, a 200-pound person with 50 pounds of body fat holds a body-fat percentage of 25 percent. In the likely event that muscle loss occurs while fat deposits grow or remain the same during detraining, your body-fat percentage increases after a weightlifting program ends.


Bobby Bell

Bobby Bell was the most decorated college lineman of the 1962 season. University of Minnesota coach Murray Warmath described the two-time All-American choice and Outland Trophy winner as “the greatest lineman I have ever seen.” It¡¯s hard to believe the versatile 6’4″, 225-pound Bell actually began his college career as a quarterback.
The Kansas City Chiefs of the fledgling American Football League were so convinced that Bell (born 1940) would sign with the rival NFL’s Minnesota Vikings that they didn¡¯t even bother selecting him until the seventh round of the 1963 draft.
The Gophers star stunned the pro football world, however, when he opted to sign with the Chiefs. “I liked the way the club treated me,” he offered.
Bell, a tremendously skilled athlete, demonstrated his versatility in the pros by playing defensive end before moving to linebacker. As a defensive end, he excelled in coach Hank Stram’s “stack” defense, which called for him to drop out of the 4-3 alignment and become a fourth linebacker.
In 1965, after winning all-league honors as a defensive end, Bell was shifted to outside linebacker, where he remained for the rest of his career. His size and 4.5 speed made him ideal for the position. “I just liked to play football,” Bell said, “no matter what the position.”
Big plays were commonplace for the talented Bell, who won All-AFL or All-AFC designation nine times. In a 1965 game, he recovered two fumbles that were converted into touchdowns in a 14-10 victory over the New York Jets. A year later, he followed a touchdown-saving tackle with an interception that set up a game-winning touchdown over the Boston Patriots.
During his 12-year career, he intercepted 26 passes, returning six for touchdowns. He also scored on an onside kick and a fumble recovery.
Teammate Buck Buchanan called Bell “the best all-around football player I ever saw. He’s the best defensive end, corner linebacker, and anything else defensively in the whole universe!” Bell earned universal acclaim in 1983 with his election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


Great Football Players

While thousands of men have suited up, only a relative few can be considered truly great football players. They’re the men whose names and athletic accomplishments have or surely will survive the test of time. The links throughout this article will take you to profiles of many of the great football players and coaches the game has known. You’ll find freeze-framed looks at the men who not only made football America’s most popular sport, but also its passion. Included are stories of the game’s pioneers, such as Amos Alonzo Stagg, Jim Thorpe, and Red Grange. Grange, known as the “Galloping Ghost,” epitomized football during the “Golden Age of Sports” — the 1920s.
The decision of this electrifying runner from the University of Illinois to turn pro with the Chicago Bears in 1925 was headline news and drew the first pro football sellout to Chicago’s Wrigley Field. Others who followed, such as Bronko Nagurski, kept the romance of the game alive during the Great Depression. His very name inspires images of the bruising style of 1930s football. He was so tough that when one coach was asked how he planned to stop him, he merely shrugged and said, “With a shotgun as he’s leaving the locker room.” As the game matured, great passers emerged. It’s no exaggeration to say that Sammy Baugh was a major factor in turning football from the grind-it-out days of old into the exciting, air-it-out modern game.
While “Slinging Sammy” was putting the ball up, there may never have been a better receiver pulling them down than Green Bay’s Don Hutson. His 488 career receptions were 200 more than anyone else had to that point. Names such as Joe Schmidt, Dick Butkus, Gino Marchetti, and Ray Nitschke — football tough guys of the 1950s and 1960s — are all here. Their “impact” on the game was felt by every ball carrier who ever faced them on the field. They were the game’s intimidators.

There are other players who, in addition to their on-the-field greatness, were synonymous with an era or event. Such a man was Joe Namath. Broadway Joe’s “guarantee” boast of victory before Super Bowl III can only be compared to Knute Rockne’s “win one for the Gipper” when you talk about impact statements in football lore.
Namath talked the talk, but he more than walked the walk. Namath, the first pro to pass for more than 4,000 yards in a season, was more than the New York Jets’ star; he was the American Football League’s hope.
Other AFL stars such as the Kansas City Chiefs’ Willie Lanier, Buck Buchanan, and Len Dawson are also remembered in this article. Success, as most people realize, can’t be measured in win-loss columns or official game statistics alone. There are the intangibles — those things that so often separate the near-great from the truly great.
Johnny Unitas’s rise from the sandlots of semi-pro football to superstardom, the accidental discovery of Deacon Jones by a pro scout, and Don Maynard’s second-chance career with a new league are a few examples of un?usual circumstances that affected the careers of some of these great players. Not forgotten in this book are the special relationships between teammates. Would Deacon Jones have been as effective rushing the quarterback if teammate Merlin Olsen hadn’t tied up the middle? Would Joe Montana have racked up his passing records had Jerry Rice not been so reliable?

Important, too, are the stories that show that even men like Vince Lombardi, a true legend, were not perfect. In a moment of self-criticism, Lombardi once reflected on his near-mishandling of all-time great Herb Adderley. “I was too stubborn to switch him to defense until I had to,” he said. “Now when I think of what Adderley means to our defense, it scares me to think of how I almost mishandled him.” Take a look at these articles for an exciting peek into the pageantry of autumn, a salute to America’s greatest warriors — the men of football. And for an even more in-depth listing of these football legends, continue to the next page to learn about the greatest offensive players ever.


Children’s Fine and Gross Motor Skills

Motor skills occur when the brain, nervous system and muscles all work together to make movements. Your child will develop fine and gross motor skills through directed activities and periods of free and independent play. Although every child is different, there are certain milestones usually reached at specific ages. If you are concerned about your child¡¯s development, ask his doctor for guidance.
Fine motor skills entail small movements and require hand-eye coordination. Examples of fine motor skills include picking things up with fingers, doing puzzles and using tools or instruments. Gross motor skills involve using the whole body to make large movements, such as running, jumping, catching, throwing, kicking and hopping. Young children need concentration and time to learn these skills, especially gross motor skills that require balance. Your child eventually will become coordinated enough to do more than one gross motor skill at once, such as hopping backward.
Motor skills develop rapidly in the first year of your child¡¯s life. When she is born, she can do little else than lie there helplessly. Within a few months, she may be able to sit unassisted and roll over. She will also begin crawling around 7 months of age. She will use her fine motor skills to pick things up and will develop her pincher grasp, which allows her to pick up small objects like cereal using her thumb and index finger. According to Medline Plus, she may stand alone by 12 months of age.
Your child likely will begin walking somewhere between 12 and 15 months. This gross motor skill will take some time to perfect and tune, but his coordination will improve continually. Medline Plus states that he may be able to use fine motor skills to build a block tower at around 15 months, and scribble on a piece of paper between 15 and 18 months. By age 16 to 18 months, he will be able to walk backward and go up or down steps with assistance.
A child age 18 to 24 months may be able to throw and kick a ball. She may not be accurate, but this gross motor skill will improve over time. She will be able to jump in place by the time she is 2 years old. Her fine motor skills are improving as well, and she may be able to feed herself with a spoon and use a regular cup to drink liquids. Other fine motor skills at age 2 include stacking, using puzzles and washing her hands. She will also be able to turn a doorknob, hold a crayon and draw a horizontal line.
By 3 years of age, your child¡¯s gross motor skills have developed to include standing on one foot and riding a tricycle. He may also be able to dress and undress himself. His fine motor skills involve feeding himself, using large puzzles, pouring liquids, stringing beads, brushing his teeth, drawing shapes and folding paper. He will be able to use child-safe scissors and might be able to make the letters in his name. His gross and fine motor skills will continue to improve and will become smoother as he gets older.


Tips on Soccer Training Alone

All great soccer players spent much of their lives training alone, in addition to practicing with a team, even before they ever joined one. To improve at the game of soccer, not only do you need to practice with a team, you also need to focus on developing skills on your own in your backyard or on an empty pitch. A few inexpensive items, a patch of grass and a little discipline will help you get the most out of solo soccer training.
A few soccer balls, a dozen pylons and some kind of real or makeshift goal with a net is all you need to practice foot skills when training by yourself. Because you have no one to retrieve balls for you, having a few balls with you will allow you to take several shots on net without too much disruption to your training. Set up your pylons in a row first and dribble around them and then increase the difficulty of the exercise by arranging them erratically or diagonally.
Replace a passing partner with a brick wall. Kicking a soccer ball against a wall is the only way to practice receiving and trapping passes when training alone. You can also practice one-timing, volleying, heading and saving the ball with a wall. Aim the ball at various spots on the wall with varying control and power to give yourself ricocheting passes and shots at different angles and speeds.
Jogging around the block does not simulate the physical demands of a soccer game. Soccer involves sprinting various lengths, stopping and starting quickly, turning and jumping. To practice all these movements and maneuvers, build a fitness routine for yourself that encompasses everything from long distance running to sprinting to jumping squats. Try completing the regimen before working on your foot skills to accustom your feet and legs to controlling the ball while exhausted, which is how you would likely feel during an actual 90-minute game.
Take advantage of not having to follow the scheduled drills and exercises of a formal practice and focus on the areas where your skills and fitness need improvement. Practice shooting and trapping the ball with your weaker foot. Perform skills you do poorly over and over again until you start to see progress. For example, shoot at corners of the net where you have difficulty scoring on or practice heading the ball. Also, build up your leg strength if you need to or spend more time on wind sprints if you find yourself feeling winded in games.


How Karma Works

The idea of secularized, new age karma is having its moment in the limelight. Newspapers and magazines use the word to spice up headlines or subtitles with colorful flair. Restaurants plaster their tip jars with signs promising good karma for only a dollar or two. Singers ponder over the power of a vaguely vindictive karma in songs like “Instant Karma” and “Karma.” And according to the Social Security Administration, “Karma” even made it into the top 1,000 baby names for girls in 2006 [source: SSA]. But what is karma, and how did it get transplanted from Eastern religion to Western pop culture?
Religion Image Gallery
?Karma is a central concept in Eastern religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism.The word “karma” has its roots in the Sanskrit word “karman,” w?hich means “act.” In general, it is believed that actions affect the quality of life and the quality of future lives. Good deeds create good karma and evil deeds create negative karma. Karma’s effect can manifest immediately, later in life or after multiple lifetimes. Some religions view karma as the law that governs reincarnation. Others believe that karma is actual particulate matter, something that gets stuck to the soul and must be removed through acts of piety.
In the West, the relatively modern idea of karma is not so much a spiritual reality as type of luck influenced by deeds. It’s an appealing attempt to influence fortune — something seemingly beyond our control — with definite action. Most people would agree that it’s reasonable enough to believe that good behavior merits a reward and bad behavior warrants punishment. Karma is also a convenient way to explain ostensibly random hardships. In a rational age, karma is a popular and fairly legitimatized form of superstition, unlike its closely related partner, reincarnation.
In this article, we’ll learn about karma in Eastern religions and philosophies and in Western popular culture.
Offensive and poorly worded statements about reincarnation and karma left England’s football coach Glenn Hoddle without a job in 1999. The coach, who believes in reincarnation, suggested that people suffered from disabilities as the result of bad karma from previous lives. He told the London Times, “You and I have been physically given two hands and two legs and half-decent brains. Some people have not been born like that for a reason. The karma is working from another lifetime.” The public uproar surrounding the comments eventually forced the Football Association to terminate Hoddle’s contract [source: BBC].

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