How to Teach Football to Children

Explaining football and teaching the game to children appears to be a daunting task. There are rules, positions and game strategies to consider. However, if you take the time to break it down slowly and the children you are teaching are interested in learning about the game, it will be much easier for the youngsters to pick up. Start off with the basics and show them a few fundamentals to help make learning the game enjoyable.
Explain that there are 11 players on each team. The team with the ball is trying to score, and that unit is called the offense. The opposing team is trying to stop the offense, and that group is called the defense.
Tell your students that the offense tries to advance the ball by running or passing the ball. The quarterback passes the football, the running backs run with it and the receivers catch passes. The offensive linemen provide the blocking that gives the other players the time and opportunity to make plays.
Explain that the defense tries to tackle the player with the football. In addition to tackling the offensive players, the defense tries to intercept passes and force fumbles. The defensive linemen try to keep the blockers from protecting the quarterback and opening holes for the running game. The linebackers tackle the running backs. The defensive backs try to bat down passes, intercept the ball or tackle receivers.
Teach players that the offense needs to gain 10 yards per possession to retain the ball by earning a first down. If the offense does not gain 10 yards, the opponent gains possession.
Explain to youngsters that professional games consist of four 15-minute quarters and so do college games. High-school games usually consist of four 12-minute quarters. If the games are tied at the end of four quarters, overtime is played.
Explain that the offense wants to move the ball all the way down the field and put the ball in the end zone for a touchdown. A touchdown is worth 6 points. After the touchdown is scored, a team attempts a point after touchdown by kicking the ball through the goalposts. A team can score 2 points after the touchdown by running or passing the ball into the end zone. The extra-point attempts are attempted from the 3-yard line.
Tell youngsters that a team can kick a field goal worth 3 points if it does not get the ball into the end zone for a touchdown. A field goal is successful when the ball is placed on the ground and kicked through the uprights.
Tell the children that a team can score 2 points and record a safety if the opponent gets tackled with the ball in the endzone.
Show the youngsters how to pass the football. You must put your fingers on the laces and then step and throw the ball to the receiver.
Demonstrate how to catch the ball with your hands. A receiver needs to put his hands out in front of his body and catch the ball and then bring the ball into his body. A receiver cannot let the ball hit his chest and then try to catch the ball.
Show a young person how to make a tackle. It’s important that a youngster drives his shoulder into his opponent’s midsection and then wrap his arms around the ball carrier and drive him to the ground. The most important thing is never to lead with your helmet when tackling. Players can suffer devastating head and neck injuries when leading with their helmet and this must be avoided at all levels of the game. While serious injuries at the youth level are uncommon according to a study performed by the Mayo Clinic Department of Orthopedic Surgery, players can learn the proper way to tackle as youngsters and have a much better chance of avoiding major injuries later on.
Watch a football game on television with your youngster and point out what the quarterback is doing, how the offensive line is blocking and how the defense is attempting to stop the offense. Watching a high-school or college game is exciting, but it is much easier to teach the game when watching it on television. Record the game so you can go over the big plays and key moments.

Toe Pain From Soccer Cleats

Soccer cleats provide the grip and traction players need in order to make their way around a soccer field. For some, it may also be the source of aggravating toe pain. Toe pain may occur for a wide variety of reasons, including undiagnosed foot injuries or ill-fitting or worn out cleats. Speak to a podiatrist to assess the condition of your feet and to discover the soccer cleats or orthotics support that is right for you.
Bunions, blisters, calluses, corns and other conditions of the foot may contribute to toe pain while wearing soccer cleats. According to the Foot and Ankle Center of Washington, soccer cleats tend to be smaller than running shoes, which may cause your toes to rub up against each other or against the inside of the cleats. Undiagnosed injuries, such as metatarsalgia, stress fractures or turf toe, may also cause pain in the toes. Make an appointment with a podiatrist to rule out any foot conditions or injuries.
To play better and control the ball, soccer players prefer tightly fitted shoes. According to Podiatry Today, tightly fitted shoes may lead to toe pain and problems, such as ingrown toenails. When you wear your cleats, make sure your toes are not pressed against the sides or top of the shoe. Also make sure that there is enough wiggle room between the top of your big toe and the top of the shoe. A podiatrist may replace the insole with an orthotic device to prevent your feet from sliding in the shoe.
Replace your cleats every season. When it’s time to buy a new pair of cleats, always have your feet measured by a professional. Break in your cleats prior to the start of soccer season by walking around outside of the house an hour or so a day. Always wear socks when wearing cleats. Leather cleats provide a better fit compared to cleats made of other materials. However, if the cleats are too small, it may contribute to toe pain. Consider purchasing gel inserts to help reduce the amount of foot and toe pain, as well.
Have your feet checked out by a podiatrist regularly. Flat feet, slight changes in the curve of your foot, postural defects or the development of hammertoes may all contribute to toe pain. To prevent ingrown toenails, trim to round the edges of your toenails. If you suffer from blisters, corns or other foot conditions, silicone toe pads offer a cushion and provide pain relief for your toes. If you still experience toe pain, speak to a podiatrist.

How to Clean Football Pads

Football pads get smelly from absorbing the player¡¯s sweat. Regular washing of the body pads keeps odor and bacteria growth down. You can cut down on the frequency of laundering pads to once or twice a week during football season if you allow the pads to dry completely after each practice. Shoulder pads can be professionally cleaned at the end of every season as they contain materials that cannot go into the wash. With the correct care, football pads stay in good shape for many seasons.
Remove sweaty pants pads from the football pants after practice or a game and set them on a towel to dry. If the football pants have sewn-in, built-in pads, hang the pants on a clothesline or over the back of a chair to dry.
Remove the belt and pads from the pants. If the football pants have non-removable, built-in pads sewn into the pants, leave the pads inside the pants and launder and dry them as one piece.
Launder the pants pads — if they’re removable — along with the belt, pants and jersey in a washing machine set on cold water, using regular bleach-free laundry detergent.
Lay the pants pads flat on a towel to air-dry, or dry pants with non-removable pads on a clothesline or over the back of a chair. Alternatively, you can dry pads and pants in a clothes dryer set on low-heat, along with the belt, pants and jersey.
Replace the pants pads and belt into the pants after drying.
Take sweaty shoulder pads out of the gear bag, once you get home from a practice or a game. Set the shoulder pads on the floor to let them dry. Drying football pads is important to reduce the growth of bacteria and mold.
Wipe dirt off shoulder pads with a rag dampened with water. Dry the shoulder pads with a dry rag after you have finished cleaning them. Remove stubborn streaks and disinfect football shoulder pads, by cleaning them with an athletic disinfectant gear cleaning solution or a household disinfectant cleaning solution labeled safe to use on plastics, following the cleaning solution manufacturer’s directions.
Take your pads to be professionally cleaned after the season is over. They will be reconditioned and sanitized. The cushions will be removed from the hard plastic shell and washed in 140 degree water and the shell will be inspected for cracks and then cleaned with an anti-bacterial solution.

Popping Sounds in the Ankle After a Sprain

The ankle joint is an extremely stable joint. It functions as a hinge joint and must be able to bear 1.5 to 8 times the body’s weight, according to eOrthopod. The ankle joint is formed by the ends of the two legs bones, the tibia and fibula, which form a socket for the talus bone of the foot. The joint is held together by a number of ligaments, which attach one bone to another. It is possible to injure those ligaments during an ankle sprain.
The ankle joint is a complex structure and an ankle sprain is the most common joint injury. According to, of the 1 million ankle joint injuries suffered by people per year, 85 percent are ankle sprains. An ankle sprain occurs when the ligaments of the joint are stretched and possibly torn, typically due to the ankle “twisting” or “tuning over.” Ankle sprains are more likely to occur during sports play that feature side-to-side motion, such as tennis or basketball, but can occur at any time during weight-bearing, including walking.
According to, an ankle sprain is caused by over-stretching or tearing a ligament while the joint is under stress. An inversion sprain is caused when the ankle rolls out and the foot is turned under. Cigna states this is the most common type of ankle sprain, and it causes the ligaments on the outside of the ankle to stretch and tear. An eversion sprain occurs when the ankle turns inward while the foot turns outward, injuring the ligaments on the inside of the ankle. When a ligament is torn during an ankle sprain, an audible popping noise may be heard.
The symptoms of a severe ankle sprain include pain, bruising and swelling, which typically appear immediately after suffering the sprain. There may be an inability to move the joint or bear weight on the affected side. warns that if a popping sound is heard immediately following the injury, it can be a sign that a ligament has been ruptured or torn. This popping sound is indicative of a severe sprain, which may also include a fracture and requires examination by a health care professional.
Severe sprains that include an over-stretched or torn ligament require medical attention and treatment. An x-ray can determine the presence of a fracture, and an MRI can determine the location and severity of torn ligaments. Cigna states a cast or brace may be needed for 4 to 6 weeks while the sprain heals. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen, can alleviate pain and swelling. If the sprain is severe, crutches may be used to limit weight-bearing. Surgery may be required to repair torn ligaments.
Following treatment, physical therapy for strengthening the ankle may be prescribed. MedlinePlus recommends losing weight, avoiding high heels and platform shoes and stretching before exercising or playing sports. If there is a tendency towards twisting the ankle, wearing orthotics to balance the foot or an ankle brace to stabilize the ankle may help prevent sprains.

MCL Injury & Walking

Your medial collateral ligament, or MCL in common shorthand, is a ligament located in your knee. The MCL is a common injury site for athletes, particularly those involved in contact sports. An MCL injury can be mild or severe. Treatment options vary, and you should take precautions — and follow your doctor’s instructions — as the injury heals.
Your medial collateral ligament is one of four main ligaments in your knee, and helps give the knee its stability, the TeensHealth website explains. The MCL connects the knee to your femur, or thigh bone, and your tibia, or shin bone, and is located on the inside of your knee.
An injury to your MCL can consist of a strain or sprain, a partial tear of the ligament or a complete tear. The injury is caused when your knee is forced inward in an unnatural motion. This creates too much tension on the rope-like MCL, and it stretches or tears, TeensHealth reports. Sports like football, soccer and hockey, where contact in the knee area is common, are most likely to cause such an injury.
A general guideline for walking after an MCL injury is to use crutches until you are able to walk comfortably without a limp. Your doctor will advise you on his specific recommendations. You may need a knee brace for the first several weeks to add support and stability to your knee joint, the University of Kentucky HealthCare system notes.
An injury to your MCL may heal itself within one to six weeks, but you will likely need at least some physical therapy to restore range of motion and regain strength in your knee, Massachusetts General Hospital advises. Anti-inflammatory medication and ice are a good preliminary treatment to reduce swelling and pain. A serious tear of the ligament may require surgery.
Some athletes and others who have suffered a torn MCL report hearing a ¡°pop¡± as the injury occurred. When performing rehabilitation exercises, or in the early stages of putting weight on the leg again, stop if you feel any pain and go slowly to avoid re-injuring the ligament.

Things to Do to Heal Sore Hamstrings

Muscle fatigue, injuries and certain medical conditions can cause your hamstring muscle to ache and feel sore. The hamstrings are located on the back of your thighs and, according to ShapeFit, they are responsible for flexing the leg, jumping, pedaling, walking and running. Fortunately, there are several methods for treating and healing your sore hamstrings.
The most immediate thing you can do to start the healing process is to rest your hamstrings. If the pain occurs during an activity, stop immediately to prevent more pain. Avoid physical activities for the rest of the day and elevate your legs. You can use towels, pillows or blankets to prop up your legs. Wait at least 48 hours to reengage in any physical activity, unless directed otherwise by a doctor.
Ice packs and heat packs can help reduce pain, swelling and redness. Use ice during the first 72 hours. Apply an ice pack or frozen vegetables to your hamstrings for 30 minutes every three to four hours. You can hold the ice pack in place with an elastic bandage. Baptist Memorial Health Care recommends performing an ice massage for five to 10 minutes, three times a day. Freeze water in a cup, hold the bottom of the cup and rubs the ice on your hamstrings in a slow and gentle manner.
After two to three days of cold therapy, as long as there is no redness or swelling, you can use heat therapy. Place a heating pad, hot compress or hot water bottle on your muscle for 20 minutes a session, up to three times a day. The heat will help relax and loosen your hamstrings while also reducing your pain. Warms baths also have the same effect on sore hamstrings.
Stretching can help prevent scar tissue from forming. Move very slowly into each stretch until you feel gentle and slight tension. Immediately stop if you feel any pain. Stretching is not recommended if you suspect that you have a torn or ruptured hamstring muscle. The standing hamstring stretch is a beneficial stretch. Stand upright with your legs together. Bend at the waist and reach towards the floor. Stretch until you feel a small, gentle tension and hold the stretch for up to 20 seconds.
Your doctor can make the best diagnosis of your sore hamstrings. You should seek medical attention if you have a worsening of your symptoms, there is sharp or sudden pain with activity, bruising, loss of circulation, the pain lasts longer than a week or if you think you have ruptured your muscle. The doctor can develop a treatment plan that may include medication and physical therapy to help restore muscular function.

Importance of Soccer

Soccer players at a quarter-billion strong, joined by soccer fans in the additional hundreds of millions, create a community of enormous solidarity worldwide. A Fiorentina shirt worn by an American tourist in Tuscany, much like a Reggae Boyz jersey sported in Jamaica or a Kaizer Chiefs shirt worn in South Africa, creates instant conversation and bonding with local residents. The reach of soccer can be seen on rattletrap buses in Honduras that pick sides: stickers for either Real Madrid or Barcelona, teams half a world away, peek from the back window. Soccer¡¯s importance eclipses that of any other sport given the exceptional scale of its popularity.
Soccer fans are more than willing to spend on their favorite sport. In the 2009-10 season, for example, Manchester United¡¯s revenues reached $428 million, notes, while Barcelona pulled in $488 million. Man U profits from league wealth-sharing, team-specific media contracts and loyal fans who help it to be the most valuable franchise worldwide in any sport. Man U has an estimated 333 million supporters globally and 9.5 million Facebook fans. World Cups also are big money spinners, with FIFA, the international governing body of soccer, generating an estimated $3 billion from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, according to economist Dennis Coates of the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
The bond of soccer has been a means to defuse hostilities since its late 19th century spread around the world. For example, in World War I, a famed truce on Christmas Day resulted in a number of soccer ¡°kickabouts¡± between German and British soldiers on the front lines. At one impromptu game, British soldiers produced a soccer ball from the trenches, a German soldier recorded in his diary, and the German team won 3-2. And at the 1998 World Cup in France, Iran¡¯s team brought white flowers as a symbol of peace to the captains¡¯ exchange of gifts before Iran¡¯s match with the U.S.
Cheering on Iran¡¯s 1998 team bought pride to the nation, and women joined as unequal fans. Not allowed inside Iran¡¯s stadiums, women express their support by enthusiastically following local league games from nearby rooftops. Elsewhere, soccer has acted in profound ways to create change. A 1960s-era soccer league in South Africa¡¯s prison on Robben Island for political prisoners opposed to apartheid taught organizational skills to black South Africans, including future colleagues of Nelson Mandela. The evident intelligence of the black athletes also moderated the white guards¡¯ views of black Africans as inferior. In the current era, FIFA, the international governing body of soccer, works to develop soccer programs in poorer nations as a means of promoting girls¡¯ athletics and improved nutrition as well as love of the game.
Teams from the U.S., Germany, Sweden, Canada, Australia, Nigeria, Ghana and Japan dominate international women¡¯s play and inspire pride in the athletes themselves and young players who view them as role models, as well as interest from viewers, male and female alike. The U.S. television audience for women¡¯s soccer is 66 percent male, writes Ronald B. Woods in ¡°Social Issues in Sport.¡± He notes the huge effect players like Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain, Kristine Lilly and Michele Akers have had on interest in soccer in the U.S. Men¡¯s soccer might be more popular worldwide, Woods writes, but ¡°in the United States no soccer team has ever captured the attention of the nation as these women did.¡±

Difference in Carbohydrates, Glucose, Sucrose & Lactose

The job of the digestive system is to take the foods you eat and break them down into molecules your body can absorb and use as nutrients. In the case of carbohydrates, the foods that contain them are digested through stages into smaller sugar molecules that the body can use as fuel. Glucose, sucrose and lactose fall along the different stages needed to digest carbohydrates.
As the body’s main source of energy, carbohydrates are found in many of the foods we eat including grains, beans, fruits, vegetables and dairy products. Carbohydrates are made up of sugars, starches and fiber, and can be either complex or simple. Simple sugars are called monosaccharides or disaccharides. They are more easily digested and found in fruits and dairy. Grains, beans and vegetables contain complex carbohydrates which are made up of chains of polysaccharides that go on to form starches. Fiber is the only form of carbohydrate that cannot be digested by the body.
Many disaccharides exist, but the most important for humans are sucrose, maltose and lactose. Sucrose, or table sugar, is a disaccharide formed when the monosaccharides glucose and fructose are linked together. It is found naturally in fruits and vegetables, but is most commonly obtained from sugar cane or sugar beets. Sucrose is used commercially as a sweetener for many different types of foods. When the body digests sucrose, it is broken back down into glucose and fructose before being absorbed.
Lactose is a sugar found in milk and other dairy products. It is a disaccharide made up of glucose and galactose. Much attention is given to lactose since it is the component of dairy to which many people are intolerant. The body produces an enzyme called lactase which is supposed to break down any lactose consumed. However, those who are lactose intolerant do not have enough lactase to properly digest this disaccharide and consequently experience symptoms such as gas, bloating and diarrhea.
Glucose is the most abundant monosaccharide in nature. It is the sugar molecule the body uses to create energy, and it is the fuel used by brain cells. Most carbohydrates end up as glucose after being digested. Glucose is known as the “blood sugar” because it is found in high concentrations in the bloodstream. Many people know of glucose because of the glucose test, which measures the amount of glucose in the blood — one of the markers for diabetes.

Gyro Ball Exercises

The gyro ball is a gyroscope-based workout tool, which helps the fingers, wrists, forearms, upper arms and even the shoulders gain strength. Small movement in the forearm and wrist make the ball spin faster inside the shell. The gyro ball can develop up to 35 pounds of resistance force as the ball increases in speed. You can perform a variety of exercises using the gyro ball to target different muscles in the arm and hand.
Grip the ball with your fingers, with your palm lightly touching the back of the gyro ball. Make sure you have a strong grip on the ball, as it will be tough to hang on to once the ball starts revolving at a faster rate. Rock your wrist back and forth to increase the speed of the gyro ball. You will notice it takes more effort to hold the ball steady in your hand as the revolutions of the ball increase. Pass the ball to the opposite hand and try the same thing. Keep your grip strong, and work on getting a gentle rocking motion going with your wrist. Once you get a rhythm with the gyro ball, it will become easier to maintain your grip on the ball, and slowly increase the revolutions.
Hold the spinning gyro ball in your hand, arm outstretched directly in front of you, with your palm facing down. Rock your wrist up and down to get a rhythm going, and to increase the revolutions of the gyro ball. You will notice your forearm and wrist getting tired as the gyro ball speeds up, providing more resistance to those muscles. This exercise will focus on your wrist extensor muscles. Rotate your arm so your palm faces up and continue the same rocking, rhythmic motion. This will focus the workout more on your wrist flexors. In order to fully work out the forearm and wrist, rotate your arm so your palm is facing your other hand, and your thumb is pointed upward. Continue the rhythmic motion, but change the direction so you are rocking the gyro ball back and forth going toward your thumb, then back toward your pinky finger. You may also alternate the exercise by rotating your hand so your palm is again facing upward, but keep the motion going side to side.
Use the gyro ball to exercise the biceps by holding the ball in one hand and holding your arm out straight, away from your body. Bend your elbow to form a 90-degree angle, with your hand up in the air. Face your palm toward your head and gently rock your wrist back and forth toward and away from your head. This will cause a pulse in your bicep muscle, providing a gentle, yet effective, workout. Hold the gyro ball in your hand with your palm facing down. Your arm should be stretched out in front of you, at about a 45-degree angle from your body. Rock your wrist up and down to target and activate the triceps.
Hold the gyro ball upside down using only your fingers. Keep your fingers straight and gently make a stirring motion with your hand. This will keep the gyro ball spinning and provide a resistance for your finger grip. This is a great toning exercise for your hand and finger muscles, and will help increase your finger strength.

Outdoor PE Activities

It is estimated that 17 percent of children in the United States are classified as clinically obese as of late 2013. Teachers can help to fight against this by encouraging physical education in the classroom. Outdoor PE activities can be done during an actual physical education class or during recess to promote physical activity for children. There are many activities that can be used to get the heart rate up while providing fun for the kids.
Children need to be physically active for at least 60 minutes every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Capture the Flag game can provide a portion of this activity because it requires children to move constantly. The point of the game is to divide the participants into teams and provide each team with a flag. Each team works to take possession of the opposing team’s flag. The flag is hidden and participants should separate their team members into those who will protect the flag and those who will work to get the opponent’s flag. Players run into the opposing team’s territory to try and find the flag and run back to their side with the flag. “Defenders” can tag players on the opposing team, causing them to “freeze.” When this happens, the player’s teammates can free him through direct contact, such as by crawling between the legs. To win the game, the opposing team’s flag must be captured.
Kickball is a good alternative when softball or T-ball equipment is not readily available. Kickball for children will not have as many rules as the adult version, but a few rules are necessary. The person kicking must be tagged out with the ball or the ball must be caught in the air by the opposing team. The kicker kicks the ball and then attempts to reach the first base. Runners advance from base to base as in baseball or softball. The goal is to make it to home plate to score a point. Like baseball, you also can create a boundary line and if the ball is kicked past this, it is considered a home run.
Freeze tag is a classic childhood game. It involves someone being designated ¡°it¡± and the remaining players trying to avoid being touched by the designated player. When someone is tagged, they become ¡°it¡± and the game continues. To help keep the game going, you may want to designate two or three people as ¡°it¡± at the same time. This is a good idea if you are playing with a group of 20 or more. Also, having more than one ¡°it¡± helps to prevent any children from feeling singled out. If you can keep this game going for at least 20 minutes, you will greatly help the children toward meeting daily physical activity needs.
Hula hoops at one time were considered a girls toy, but this is no longer true. In fact, this activity can offer a variety of health benefits. Using a hula hoop provides a good cardiovascular workout and can raise the heart rate to about 84 percent of the heart rate maximum. This type of exercise also can contribute to increased core strength. All you need to do is provide the hula hoops for the kids and encourage them to move around and have some fun. Even if they are not great at it, they are still getting the physical activity benefits from the movement required to learn how to use a hula hoop.