How to Get Faster & Quicker

Many sports require that you excel in several qualities of physical fitness. Whether you play football, soccer, basketball or tennis, to name just a few, you must possess both speed and quickness. Speed refers to the rate at which you move, while quickness involves changing directions on the fly. A number of specific drills and exercises can improve both of these qualities.
Establish a resistance training program. Although weightlifting is not absolutely necessary to build speed and quickness, it can definitely help. Include compound exercises such as bench presses, squats, deadlifts, lunges and rowing variations. Because speed requires lower-body strength, focus on heavy squat variations including pause squats, jump squats and box squats. Barbell and dumbbell lunges, reverse lunges and rotational lunges can also help to build the quadriceps and glutes, two muscles that are heavily involved in the mechanics of a sprint.
Use plyometrics exercises to build power and explosiveness. Lower-body plyometrics exercises primarily involve jumping. They can greatly improve your reaction time and how much force your legs can generate. Start with tuck jumps and pogo jumps, two low-intensity movements to get your body used to the motion. Move on to box jumps, an exercise that requires you to jump from a stationary position onto a box. Finally, progress to depth jumps, a high-intensity jumping exercise that focuses on reaction time. Start standing on a low box. Drop off the box and immediately explode into a jump as soon as your feet touch the ground.
Practice specific skills by using common drills. You can only take your speed and agility so far without actually practicing both skills. To improve your quickness, use the 5-10-5 drill. Place three cones in a straight line, five yards apart. Beginning at the center cone, run 5 yards to the right cone and touch the ground. From there, move 10 yards to the left cone and touch the ground. Finally, run the last 5 yards back to the center cone and clock your time. To increase speed, practice running short 10- and 20-yard sprints, medium 40-yard sprints and long 100-yard sprints.

The Best Football Helmets for Preventing a Concussion

.888 concussions occurred over a 3 season period among 17549 high school and collegiate level football players according to a study. Concussions occur far too regularly on youth, high school, collegiate and professional fields every year.
Much of the effectiveness of the helmet is linked to coach and player education. The helmet itself must manage the impact energies when helmet to helmet contact or helmet to surface contact occurs according to researchers at Virginia Tech University.
This is significant considering the aggression displayed on the field and the amount of concussions and head injuries reported as a result. The Riddell 360, Rawlings Quantum Plus, Xenith X2 and Riddell Revolution Speed score best for helmets reducing concussion risk in comparison to other helmets when evaluated using the STAR rating system.
Teach players to keep their head and eyes up when they hit. Young players especially need reminding multiple times a day– never lower their head when tackling.
Teach and reteach youth and high school players in proper use. Never use a football helmet without the NOCSAE, National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment, warning label on the exterior.

What Are the Duties of a Soccer Referee?

Enforcers of the game, referees make binding decisions regarding the application of the laws of soccer. The main referee works in conjunction with assistant referees, who are in charge of watching the lines and ensuring the game is being played fairly.
The main duty of a referee is to watch over the game and enforce fair play. Referees have a right to sanction players with yellow or red cards, stop or terminate the game due to risk factors, and assess fouls and penalties. Referees are also in charge of keeping time and providing a game report to league officials.
Referees monitor player safety. This means that if a player is injured or bleeding, a referee stops the game and ensures that the player is removed or cared for on the field. This protects both the injured player and the teammates. Referees can also card players to maintain order in the match and order coaches or parents to leave sidelines if they¡¯re interfering with the play or not conducting themselves properly.
A referee has a duty to pay attention to the surrounding environment and ensure that the conditions are acceptable for play. For example, a referee has a duty to stop the match if the weather is too severe, interferes with the play or is putting the players in danger. The same is true if the condition of the field is not up to code, if spectator interference occurs or if some of the fixtures or equipment become damaged during the game.

Interaction Between Potassium & Hydrochlorothiazide

Hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic, treats disorders with symptoms of fluid retention and high blood pressure such as kidney conditions, congestive heart failure and cirrhosis of the liver. Hydrochlorothiazide gradually lowers and controls blood pressure effectively, but does not cure high blood pressure. Consequently it must be taken regularly and continued even after you feel well. One significant and recurrent issue with hydrochlorothiazide is potassium depletion, possibly requiring prescription potassium supplements or the addition of a potassium-sparing diuretic.
Hydrochlorothiazide boosts sodium and water excretion by acting in the kidneys to hinder reabsorption of sodium and chloride. This triggers the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system from the adrenal glands situated on top of the kidneys. Renin and angiotensin act to lower blood pressure. The key word for potassium loss is aldosterone, an adrenal hormone, which controls sodium and water balance by excreting potassium and holding sodium and water. This system results in lower blood pressure, decreased water retention through increased urine production and potential potassium loss.
Management of the loss of potassium from hydrochlorothiazide includes a potassium-rich diet and adding a potassium-sparing diuretic such as spironolactone or triamterene. Elimination of over-the-counter medications and herbs that interfere with hydrochlorothiazide action can prevent potassium losses. Potassium-rich foods, including fruits such as tomatoes, bananas, apricots and dates, help to replace losses. Prescription potassium supplements under medical supervision are necessary when dietary and medication dosage manipulation does not stabilize potassium levels.
Some medications and herbs can cause additional losses of potassium when used with hydrochlorothiazide. The medications include insulin, laxatives, steroids, amphotericin B, antacids, fluconazole and theophylline. The addition of other potassium-depleting diuretics such as furosemide, bumetanide, ethacrynic acid and torsemide cause severe chemical abnormalities and serious body fluid losses. Some herbs, such as dandelion and licorice, interfere with diuretic action or increase side effects and potassium losses.
Hydrochlorothiazide is not recommended if you have difficulties urinating or are allergic to sulfa drugs. Tell your physician about all of your medications, including herbs and over-the-counter medications. Refrain from using alcohol, as it increases hydrochlorothiazide side effects. A high salt intake lessens the effect of hydrochlorothiazide and causes water retention. Dehydration and too much sweating cause a loss of body fluids and might potentiate a drop in blood pressure. Illnesses that include vomiting and diarrhea can add to potassium depletion.
Hydrochlorothiazide might cause diarrhea, decreased appetite, stomach upset and irritation, general weakness, abdominal cramps and low blood pressure. Taking hydrochlorothiazide early in the morning alleviates frequent nightly urination. Symptoms of potassium depletion by hydrochlorothiazide include extreme thirst, heart irregularities, muscle cramping and pain. The elderly are especially vulnerable to an exaggerated response to diuretics with excessive urination and require close monitoring to detect chemical imbalances.

Rules of High School Baseball

The National Federation of State High School Associations has written a set of rules applicable to high school baseball played in the United States. While each state may have its own set of rules that can result in slight differentiation, high school baseball played anywhere across the nation uses similar rules and regulations.
An official high school baseball game is seven innings long. If the home team is ahead after the visiting team has batted in the top of the seventh, it does not have to bat. A game is official after four innings. If the two teams have played four innings and then the game must be stopped because of a weather interruption — rain, snow or lightning — the game is considered official. However, if the game has to be stopped because of darkness, the two teams can agree to pick up the game from where it left off if the subject had been discussed prior to the start.
A designated hitter may be used in all games in high school baseball. Unlike professional baseball, the designated hitter does not have to be used in place of the pitcher. The high school baseball head coach can choose to use the designated hitter for the weakest hitter in the lineup. The lineup does not have to include a designated hitter. If the head coach chooses to use all his fielders in the batting lineup, that is OK. However, if the coach wants to use a designated hitter later in the game, he does not have that option. The designated hitter must be used from the start of the game if the coach wants to employ it anytime in the game.
The base runner may not get in the way of or touch any fielder involved in making a play. If the fielder is standing in the baseline, the base runner may think he is entitled to run over the fielder because he is in the runner’s direct path to the base. However, the runner must alter his path to the base. If the runner is judged to have interfered with the fielder, the runner is out and all other runners must go back to their original base.

Do Athletes Train Using an Upper Lower Split or Full Body Workout?

Strength training constitutes an important element of training for most athletes. The method of strength training an athlete uses, though, depends on the type of sport played and her particular goals. While athletes in general benefit from full body workouts, which build overall body strength and power, athletes will sometimes use an upper/lower body training split to achieve specific strength objectives.
An upper/lower body split means you train these muscle groups on different days. For example, you might train your chest, arms and back on Mondays, train your legs, gluteals and abs on Tuesday, rest on Thursday, train your upper body again on Friday, and train your lower body again on Saturday. A full body workout means that you would do a strength-training routine that activates all your muscle groups on Monday, Wednesday and Friday — leaving rest days between workouts.
Training in a split workout allows you to train more often but still provide adequate rest for worked muscles. You can also spend more time and perform more exercises for one muscle group when you train in a split. You might be able to lift heavier weights on split days because your sessions may be shorter and you do not have to worry about excessive fatigue setting in before you get to other muscle groups. Training the full body works your body in a synergistic way — multiple muscle groups may be addressed in one singular move. In addition, training the full body in one session could provide you with more overall body strength. Full body training is also more expedient. You can train the same body parts three times per week in just three sessions. If you use a split, you would have to visit the gym six times per week to get the same number of visits for each body part.
Upper/lower body splits might benefit athletes who have specific weaknesses in a muscle group. Certain types of athletes, such a bodybuilders whose goal is size and not performance, also benefit from upper/lower body splits, because it allows them to lift the heaviest weights possible during a session. For example, if you perform maximum lifts for your back and chest during a workout, you may lose stamina and enthusiasm to lift your heaviest for your legs later in the workout. Full body workouts are of value for athletes whose sports demand power and agility. These allow you to train the body as a unit — athlete¡¯s moves during competition are rarely performed in isolation. Full body workouts recruit more total muscle mass during each lifting session, which may also benefit athletes. Athletes who participate in multiple training sessions and practices per week may also perform total body workouts for expediency, as they do not have time to visit the weight room four to six times per week to train in splits.
The goal of athletes is to become more efficient at their sport. All training should focus on power, strength, speed, agility, flexibility, body awareness, coordination, mental toughness and goal setting. While upper/lower body splits can help with some of these goals, incorporating total body workouts may hit more of these objectives in each session. For example, a total body workout might include moves, such as pushups, pullups and Olympic lifts, which train power, agility and strength all at once.

What to Use to Clean the Inside of a Football Helmet

Let’s face it — sweat happens. There’s no escaping sweat and grime inside your football helmet after hours of intense practice and game-time wear. You can’t just toss your helmet in the washing machine, but a few household items can help you keep your helmet clean and free of smelly bacteria.
The foam pads inside your helmet and the plastic covering the exterior don’t hold up well under abrasive cleaning pads. Instead of grabbing the steel wool or a rough-sided sponge, stick to softer fabric cloths that won’t ruin the finish or remove the protective coating of the pads. Microfiber pads work well, but a plain cotton cleaning cloth or dish towel won’t harm the inside of the helmet either.
The outside of your helmet might get filthy as you tackle into the grass, but the inside’s main problem is sweat. Gentle cleansers work best, such as a mild dish-washing liquid or oxygen bleach solution. Use a damp rag and rub the cleanser over all the pads, getting in between them as best you can. Wipe the area with a rag dipped in plain water to remove the soap. This will prevent it from irritating your skin the next time you wear the helmet.
Bacteria from your sweat and skin cells can travel inside the pads of your helmet, so get rid of them by spraying the entire inside of the helmet with a disinfectant. Leave the helmet sitting upright on a hard surface until it’s completely dry; the spray will penetrate the pads as it dries. Keep the helmet out of extreme heat or bright sunshine as it dries, as these can degrade the pads.
While mild, non-abrasive cleansers are safe for the pads inside your helmet, many cleaners are not. Avoid using harsh chemicals such as bleach, ammonia or turpentine. Also stay away from many bathroom and kitchen cleaners, which often contain abrasive particles. If you don’t have safe cleansers on hand and you must clean your helmet, use a rag dampened with warm water and scrub gently. Clean the helmet with the proper cleansers when possible.

Frequency of Injury Among College Athletes

Two entities that compile injury statistics for the roughly 380,000 male and female college athletes. The NCAA and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association have an injury surveillance system that collects injury reports submitted by trainers. It has been in operation since 1988. Through 2004, there were 200,000 injury reports — filed when an athlete misses a day or more of practice or competition — which works out to about 12,500 injuries per year. That number has been relatively consistent over the years. The National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research in North Carolina has kept statistics on college sports injuries since 1982. Both organizations aim to reduce the number of injuries in college sports.
The national surveillance system breaks injury statistics down by sport, type and year. For example, although college baseball has a relatively low rate of injuries, 25 percent of them are serious or severe, defined as injuries that prevent players from practicing or competing for at least 10 days. Sliding accounts for 13 percent of the recent injuries and the impact from a batted ball accounts for 10 percent of injuries. The trainers organization recommend break-away bases to cut down on the sliding injuries.
Concussions at all levels of football are a tremendous problem as of 2011, with a growing number of retired professional football players suffering from dementia after repeated concussions during their playing days. Among college football players, 34 percent have had one concussion and 30 percent have had two or more concussions. As the University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurological Surgery reports, if you have a second concussion, even a minor one, soon after the first concussion, you might die. A total of 26 deaths, most occurring since 2000, are attributed to “second impact syndrome.” The neurological effects of concussions in college athletes also can result in learning disabilities and severe memory impairments. There is a lower, but significant, incidence of concussions in soccer as well.
Female college athletes suffer from up to five times as many ACL — anterior cruciate ligament — injuries as male athletes. ACL injuries bedevil women basketball, soccer and softball players, among others. As an article in “The New York Times” explains, there are anatomical, biomechanical and hormonal reasons why women are so vulnerable to ACL tears. Trainers are teaching players to land and cut in ways that might cut down on the number of such injuries.
While other sports, such as ice hockey and lacrosse have spectacular body-to-body contact and collisions during play, football still has the highest injury rate with 36 injuries per 1,000 male athletes. In addition to the high number of collisions in football, it also has the highest number of knee and ankle injuries. Cheerleading is by far the most dangerous sport for women athletes. The National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research found that cheerleading accounted for 70.5 percent of catastrophic injuries — fatal, disabling or serious — suffered by college athletes. The high-flying routines create unique risks for cheerleaders.

Football Soccer Tactics & Skills

Soccer players must learn fundamental skills and tactical awareness to succeed during competitive games. Important soccer skills to master include ball control, passing, dribbling, shooting and defending. Tactical awareness involves the ability to know your role and have positional awareness on the field, and possessing the ability to make good decisions.
The fundamental skills of soccer are vital to the development of a soccer player. You must have the ability to trap the ball and keep possession for your team to be effective during a competitive game. A high level of repetition is the best way to learn fundamental soccer skills. Soccer skills should be practiced initially under no defensive pressure, with the coach focusing on correct technique. For example, to practice dribbling, the coach should have players dribble a ball around a 20-yard box focusing on technique and keeping the ball under control. Passive resistance should be added by placing a number of cones down and teaching turns to avoid the obstacles. You can next pracrtice dribbling with two or three defenders inside the box attempting to win the ball, and providing game-like defensive pressure.
Tactical awareness largely refers to a soccer player having the ability to make effective decisions during a soccer game. You can practice soccer tactics by using group drills that work on skills and forcing players to make decisions quickly in game-like situations. Playing three attackers against two defenders toward the goal can be good tactical practice. The attacking team can begin each repetition 25 yards out from goal. On the coach’s signal, they begin play, attempting to score a goal with the two defenders attempting to stop them. The soccer coach can use this drill to practice teaching players when to dribble and when it is best to pass to a teammate. The decision of when to shoot should also be taught in this drill.
Players should have an understanding of their role on the field, whether it be defender, midfielder or attacker. Regardless of position, all soccer players should have the tactical awareness to get open and provide a passing option when a teammate is in possession of the ball. When defending, a soccer player must have the ability to put pressure on the ball if they are the nearest defender, or to cover an off-the-ball runner, providing defensive balance.

What Are Positive Things About Football?

Physical pain is just part of the game of football. However, as of 2013, the scariest issue was how all of those collisions impacted a player’s post-game life. The National Collegiate Athletic Association claimed there were 2.5 concussions for 1,000 contacts during college football games in 2011. Concussion talk alone led President Obama to say he wasn’t sure he’d allow a child of his to play football. Despite that talk, the game’s popularity endured because it still offered significant benefits to its participants, both on and off the field.
A good high school football player can turn that skill into a free college education. That’s an option in other sports of course, but none have as many opportunities as football. As of 2013, all Division 1 schools had 85 scholarships for football, and all of them had to be “full rides.” According to the NCAA, only 1.7 percent of college players ultimately go pro. However, the players who take advantage of those paid scholarships can set themselves up for some other career.
Although few football players ever make the pros, just being a football hero can still raise a player’s social status. In small towns, football can become the center of social life according to “Contemporary Issues in Sociology of Sport.” A 2008 study it published followed four African-American college football players. It found that participation in the sport significantly raised their social status and encouraged others to listen to them and respect their opinions.
In football, it’s routine that all 22 players have something to do on every snap. If one fails, chances are the whole play fails. That means football players have to learn how to actively strategize and communicate, a skill that can carry over to other parts of life. The simple act of a quarterback calling signals nurtures an environment where players must learn to listen to one another, according to “Football and Philosophy.”
Like other sports, football provides plenty of opportunities for exercise. Unlike some, it encourages both cardiovascular exercise such as running and jumping and strength training. Strength training is a critical component even at the high school level. The book “Survival Guide for Coaching Youth Football” also notes that the constant motion required in football means extra exercise for the players.
Even the strongest and fastest player won’t succeed if he can’t follow a team’s strategy, which can involve learning a huge number of plays and signals. He’ll also have to learn why those plays should work and how to apply them under pressure. A 2011 study published in “Social and Behavioral Sciences” specifically mentions that football can help improve spatial reasoning skills. These skills can benefit players off the field. For example, a 2010 article in “Scientific American” emphasizes the important role spatial reasoning plays in math and science achievement.