The good news is that male students are more likely to participate in vigorous physical exercise than female students (72.3 percent vs. 53.5 percent), and male teens are more likely than females to play on school sports teams or sports teams not affiliated with school. First, look into sports that you enjoy. You can choose a team sport, like football, basketball, baseball or hockey, or you can even try a different sport each month. Handball, tennis, swimming, rock climbing, hiking, fencing, rollerblading, ice skating or gymnastics may appeal to you, and if you can get a friend to join you, it’ll be a lot more fun. You can make small changes in your life that add up to a healthier and more fit body, such as walking to school instead of taking a bus and jogging to a friend’s house instead of driving.
Set yourself goals, like working up to doing 50 push-ups by the end of the week or 100 chin-ups by the end of two weeks. Mark down on your calendar how far you’ve gotten toward your goal each day. Don’t overlook your school as a good place for exercise opportunities, with soccer, track, dance and basketball often available. Your local “Y” or community center might also offer inexpensive classes, but if cost is no object, join a gym or buy a fitness game like Wii Fit or check out a few exercise DVDs.
Build up your exercise routine gradually, and start with a stretching or warm-up exercise before you work out full throttle. Drink plenty of water, and vary your exercise routine so that if you work on your upper body on Monday, with bicep curls and shoulder presses, work out on your lower body strength the next day. As long as you get in an hour a day of exercise, you should notice the difference in your health, energy level, mood and physique.
Unless you are coaching an under-6 team, with three youngsters allowed to form random triangles, you need to provide some shape to your players on the field. Older youth and adult teams place one player in goal and organize the remaining 10 players so each has a rough idea of where to be on defense, offense and in transition. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of potential formations helps you better match the formation to your players and to your game strategy.
The most prevalent formation for players aged 15 and older, including adults and international play, is the 4-4-2. This formation uses four defenders, four midfielders and two attackers. Like most modern formations, the 4-4-2 emphasizes defense first. This formation is balanced with each side a mirror image of the other, youth coach Debra LaPrath notes in ¡°Coaching Girls¡¯ Soccer Successfully.¡± Therefore, players easily can regain their shape on transition, because the placement of the left back, for example, mirrors that of the right back. Variations include the diamond formation, where the four midfielders play in a diamond created when one central midfielder goes forward to attack and one stays back to help on defense.
This basic formation best suits a team of balanced strengths facing another team of equal abilities. A 4-4-2 team that meets an opponent in a 4-3-3, with just three midfielders, enjoys an obvious advantage in the midfield. If you encourage your wing defenders and midfielders to move forward on the attack, a 4-4-2 converts to a 2-4-4 to press opposing defenses. This strength can also be a weakness, as your pushed-up team can be susceptible to counterattacks that expose your temporarily missing defenders.
More common in amateur play in past decades, the 4-3-3 formation still shows up among recreational and competitive teams confident of their offensive superiority over an opponent. The 4-3-3 features three midfielders and three forwards; the third forward especially puts pressure on a defense. The strength of the 4-3-3 is its flexibility, states former Tottenham manager David Pleat in a video for the online site UEFA Training Ground.
At the other end of the spectrum from amateur play, European champion Barcelona has revived a version of the 4-3-3, based on its sublimely skilled midfielders and forwards that interact with each other with constant motion and passing to confuse opponents. The formation does risk greater fatigue among the busy forwards. So managers of teams with less talent than Barcelona may go to a 4-3-3 only in the late stages of the game to seek a needed goal.
Elite pro teams may try the 4-5-1 if they have a star striker who can create goals or if they want to possess the ball and hold a narrow lead. Manchester United has tried this formation in European championship play with Wayne Rooney in the lone striker position against Barcelona. Chelsea also pins its hopes on athletic forward Didier Drogba in the 4-5-1. This formation depends on the two outside midfielders acting as wingers and moving forward to offer options to feed the striker.
Any parent knows that young children are filled with energy, eager to run, jump and play. Transferring that natural energy to competitive sports can help keep kids active and healthy as the grow, and other distractions increase that may lead to a more sedentary lifestyle. Competitive sports such as soccer, track, basketball and swimming can also help kids learn important life lessons about teamwork and fair play.
Participating in sports teaches children and teenagers how to compete in the real world. As they grow older they’ll face competition in school, in the workforce and other areas of life. But these competitions don’t have to be negative or unhealthy. Playing sports can help kids understand how competition works in a friendly environment, and that if you try your hardest, you have a better chance to succeed.
Millions of American children and teenagers are overweight. This obesity epidemic has make the early onset of health problems such as diabetes more common. Participating in competitive youth sports burns calories and helps to prevent obesity. Additionally, many children who are active in sports are motivated to eat healthier foods, such as fruits and vegetables.
Improved self-esteem is another benefit of competitive youth sports. When a child wins a game with his team, he feels accomplished and recognized. Even when he doesn’t win, he can learn a valuable lesson: that you can’t win every time. Losing with his team can also increase self-esteem, as he learns to hold his head high and feel proud for trying his best.
According to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, youth sports can help deter negative behavior, such as joining a gang, because competitive sports provide an outlet for expression, friendship and controlled aggression. Teens who have positive influences and friends feel less of a need to participate in risky behaviors.
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The future of TV and movie watching has already arrived. 3D TVs are taking the tech world by storm. With so many successful 3D movies already in theaters, it’s no wonder why 3D TVs are a popular product at electronic stores around the world. But there are important facts to know and questions to ask before you purchase a 3D TV of your own. Read the tips listed below and learn about what you need to know before you buy a 3D TV.
As with any new technology, it takes time to standardize the products and the content. If you wait awhile to purchase your 3D TV, you will be able to benefit from systems, games and movies that are compatible with one another. But if you can’t wait to show everyone your latest toys, there’s no shortage of 3d TV technology already out on the market [source: Miller].
He’s the king of rock and roll to most everyone on the planet. But just how well do you really know Elvis Presley? Find out how your Elvis (mutton) chops rate in just a few short clicks.
The laces of a football are an iconic image in the modern-day sport. Laces have always been important to the game, but their role has changed over the years as advancements have been made in both the construction of the ball and style of play. Today, this small strip of white on the side of the football is one of the sport’s distinguishing characteristics.
Originally, a football’s laces were a necessary component of the ball’s construction — the laces helped tie the leather tightly around the internal bladder. The laces were a thick stitching designed to endure the abuse of being squeezed, kicked and thrown during football games.
Laces are no longer a necessary part of the football’s construction as they once were — footballs can be stitched together without the use of bulky laces. But the laces haven’t remained just for novelty purposes: They now serve an important role in certain aspects of a game.
The laces play a pivotal role in the passing game — without them, long, accurate passes would be very difficult to achieve. Most quarterbacks place some of the fingers of the throwing hand on the football’s laces. This gives them more grip on the ball when throwing, and it also enables them to place a tight spiral on the ball — the laces are the last part of the football touched on a throw, and the action the fingers place on the laces causes the football to rotate tightly through the air. Because passing is such a fundamental part of modern football, laces are a necessity.
If you’ve ever heard the term, “laces out,” it refers to the way a football should be kicked. A kicker’s foot striking the laces of the ball can result in an erratic kick that goes off to the side, out of the kicker’s control. Consequently, punters and place-kick holders immediately catch the ball and rotate the laces so that they face in the direction opposite of where the kicker’s foot will contact the ball. This eliminates the risk of the laces causing an errant kick.
A more accessible version of Australian rules football, touch football provides the same general action without the brutal tackling and hard hitting. In touch football, merely touching the ball-carrier halts play. Only six players take the field per team, with each side generally consisting of two wingers, two links and two middles, also known as centers. The wingers and centers have decidedly different responsibilities.
As their name indicates, touch football centers play in the middle of the field. The two links line up outside the centers, one on each side, while the wingers take position on the extreme outside ends. While circumstances during play may require covering the entire field, centers tend to remain in the middle and wingers generally stick to the outer edges.
Since he¡¯s in the middle of the action, a good touch football center needs to have excellent communication skills, helping direct and organize his teammates into a cohesive unit. The center must also possess superb ball skills, as he’s often passing back to teammates streaking up field on the outside. Wingers are typically the team¡¯s fastest players and score the most touchdowns. Good wingers can sustain their speed throughout the match, and also demonstrate anticipation skills to read plays and exploit opposing defenses. Wingers must be quick on their feet and highly evasive.
Players are prohibited from passing the ball forward, making centers responsible for aggressively pushing the ball up the middle of the field to gain territory and open outside lanes for teammates. Wingers tend to stretch the field, using their speed to swing in behind teammates for quick passes before accelerating into the attack.
Centers are typically the best defensive players on a touch football team. It takes six touches, a fumble or an interception to change possession, and the centers are often the ones clogging the middle of the field and funneling runners into teammates for easy touches. Wingers can be a bit more aggressive on defense, using their speed to race forward and challenge passes in an attempt to snag interceptions or trigger fumbles. Wingers must also use their speed to run down any defensive mistakes.
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Today, electronics advance at an incredible rate, to say the least. Every year, gadgets get smarter, TVs get bigger, cell phones get smaller, megapixels and RAM get more plentiful and the electronics industry unveils thousands of new ideas and clever twists on old ideas. Why so much stuff? Simply put, there’s that much demand. In the United States alone, consumer electronics is a $113 billion industry.
Each year, the electronics wave kicks off with the world’s largest consumer technology show, the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. At the 2006 CES, there were 2,500 exhibitors and 130,000 attendees, representing 110 countries. The show sprawled across hundreds of rooms in multiple buildings, totaling 1.6 million square feet, the equivalent of 28 football fields.
To give you a taste of the CES experience, here is our annual sampler of cool gadgets and toys that caught our eye.