Facts About Soccer in Mexico

The passion for soccer in Mexico makes a visit to Mexico City’s Azteca Stadium a feared occasion for rivals in CONCACAF, the regional conference overseen by FIFA, the international governing body of soccer. National teams from the United States, Canada, Caribbean islands and Central America compete for victory in front of 105,000 screaming fans. Mexico produces players able to operate at the top international level, including positions on Manchester United and Arsenal in England.
In 2006 as part of its ¡°Big Count,¡± FIFA counted nearly 8.5 million Mexican soccer players, registered and unregistered, out of a population of 107 million. Mexico places sixth worldwide in number of players, behind China, the U.S., India, Germany and Brazil. The country has 311 registered soccer clubs and 17,000 teams. Its 13,000 registered female players place it 20th in the world, behind leaders the U.S., Germany and Canada; 7,000 registered female youth players put Mexico at 17th worldwide.
The Mexican Federation of Soccer was founded in 1927. This came decades after the first school teams, consisting of students of Jesuit and Marist priests, began playing in 1897 and the first club team, of immigrant English miners, began in 1900. English players dominated the first three teams, the Orizaba, Pachuca and Reformation athletic clubs, with the first championship held in 1902. The first national team selection occurred in 1923. Mexico¡¯s first international appearance was at the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam.
Mexico played in the first World Cup in 1930, held in Uruguay. The team lost to France 4-1 in the first game. Mexico has appeared in 14 World Cups from 1930 through 2010. Mexico advanced the farthest in 1970 and 1986, when it hosted the World Cup and advanced both times to the quarterfinals. In the five World Cups from 1994 through 2010, El Tricolor or ¡°El Tri,¡± so named for its green, white and red uniform, has advanced from the group stage to knockout stage where they were eliminated. In 2014, Mexico¡¯s men¡¯s national team ranked 24th in the world and second in CONCACAF, behind the U.S. and in front of Honduras. The women¡¯s team ranks third in the region, behind the U.S. and Canada.
As with other nations where soccer is wildly popular, Mexico divides its professional system into a top division and three lower divisions. Teams are promoted and relegated depending on annual performance. The Primera Division consists of 18 teams in three groups, and includes Atlante, Pumas, Cruz Azul and the oldest club, Pachuca. The division has two half seasons, and in the playoffs the champions of the two half seasons face off against each other.
Striker Javier Hernandez poured in 20 goals in his debut season of 2010-11 for Manchester United. With a jersey that reads ¡°Chicharito,¡± Spanish for ¡°little pea,¡± Hernandez has become the most famous of Mexico¡¯s approximately 4,600 professional players. Top goal scorers, historically, for the men¡¯s national team include Jared Borgetti with 46, Cuauhtemoc Blanco with 39, Carlos Hermosillo with 35 and Luis Hernandez, with his long, dyed-blond locks, 35.

What Is the Distance Around a Running Track for Each Lane?

Today running tracks vary in length from less than 100 yards to greater than 400 meters. Over the course of time mankind has chosen to run because it is fun, to deliver something or to obtain a health benefit. Sometimes it is convenient to run on a track but how far is that lap around the track? In 1913 the International Amateur Athletic Federation was formed by representatives from 16 countries and has established standards for sporting events including the distance around a running track.
At the earliest recorded Olympics competitors ran races including a one-stade sprint, a two-stade race, and a long-distance run which ranged from seven to 24 stades. A stade was one length of the stadium in Olympia. Running for sport faded from public interest for many years but was reintroduced to the public in 1866 with the first English championships. About 30 years later, in 1896, the first modern Olympic games were held outside Greece where competitors ran races of 100 meters and up.
Running tracks can be located indoor or outdoor and the surfaces can be made of compacted dirt or synthetic substances. The compacted dirt track is the least expensive but the most dangerous since when the surface becomes wet pockets of mud form and the running surface becomes slippery. There are several types of synthetic track surfaces which provide a running surface of exceptional durability, uniformity and safety. Synthetic tracks are always safe though more susceptible to damage from improper use. It is common that users of synthetic tracks are asked to run only on the outside lanes.
Running tracks built today are designed to be in compliance with guidelines established by the IAAF. In those guidelines the measuring line, which is 20 to 30 centimeters from the inside of the track, measures 400 meters. There are several variations on how curves and straightaways are arranged with some designs having two equal curves and two equal straightaways that are 84.4 meters in length while other designs have straightaways up to 100 meters in length.
Since the distance around the track in lane one, the inside lane, is 400 meters the distance around the track for the other lanes can be calculated by knowing the lane width and a few other measurements. The formula, L = 2S + 2pi(R + (n-1)w) can be used to calculate the distances around the track for the various lanes. In this formula L equals the lane distance, S equals the length of the straightaway, R is the radius of the turn, n is the lane number and w is the width of the lane. Since the IAAF has standardized track lane widths at 1.22 meters the above formula calculates the distance around the track in lane 2 as 407.67 meters, lane 3 as 415.33 meters, lane 4 as 423 meters, lane 5 as 430.66 meters, lane 6 as 433.38 meters, lane 7 as 446 meters and lane 8 as 453.66 meters.
Since it is common practice that amateur runners are allowed to run in lanes four through eight it can be seen that they are running a greater distance than 400 meters per lap. Four times around the track in lane four is almost 1700 meters, 100 meters more than the distance in lane one. While a runner utilizing lane eight for four laps will run almost 1815 meters or 215 meters further than they would if they ran in lane one.

What Is a Wingback in Football?

Coaches spend a lot of time studying and experimenting with blocking at the line of scrimmage. Different blocking schemes are used depending on whether an offense is passing or running, and within those subgroups is a range of blocking assignments and changes that can help give a team the edge. The wingback is a position that has evolved, but it is still used in today’s game to provide more blocking options and confuse the defense.
Wingbacks line up right next to the down lineman on one side of the line. Unlike the rest of the line, though, wingbacks stay standing and line up a step back from the line of scrimmage. Wingbacks help increase blocking ability on the line, particularly at the outside, but they also pose the threat of taking a handoff or breaking downfield to receive a pass. This puts the pressure on the defense to determine what the wingback’s likely role is, and how this player should be covered.
Some players have been identified primarily as wingbacks. Johnny Rodgers, for example, was identified as a wingback when he won the Heisman Trophy playing for Nebraska in 1972. Rodgers was a player who could perform as a running back and a wide receiver and would line up in multiple positions on the field. Today, these players are more often referred to as hybrid players or multiposition athletes. A player lining up in the wingback position on a set play could be a running back, full back, wide receiver or tight end, depending on what the coach desires. It is advantageous to place skill players at this position.
The wingback has always been an option for football coaches devising schemes in games. One such scheme that made the wingback a prominent figure was the single-wing formation, developed by Glenn “Pop” Warner to take full advantage of running back Jim Thorpe’s talents in 1907. The plays run out of this formation were similar to a sweep or outside toss in today’s football, and the wingback was out in front setting up blocks to free the running back. Different formations have since placed the wingbacks in different positions, including behind the tackle and to one side of the quarterback and running back, but the function has remained largely the same.
The wingback is not always referred to as such, in part because the personnel or primary position of the wingback is often expected to use the skills of his primary position. A wide receiver in at wingback, for example, would alarm the defense that a passing play might be called, whereas a tight end used for blocking would suggest that a run play is coming. Wingbacks are used to improve blocking at the edge of the line. They can be brought in for several reasons, including to slow down defensive pressure or provide blocking assistance on one side of the field, particularly if an outside run to that side will be called. A wingback might also be brought in to confuse the defense and mislead them about the upcoming play. However, the wingback is not characteristic of any common football formations as it was in earlier days.

The Advantages of Playing Learning Games with Kids

A variety of educational games for kids exist, including board games, card games, interactive puzzles and video games. Most kids enjoy the challenge of participating in games, and the process of playing some of educational activities may actually make them smarter and more capable. Games can also bring you and your child closer as you enjoy the activity together.
Particularly for toddlers and kindergartners, board games and other learning games that invite physical interaction play an important part in developing and advancing motor skills. Games such as Twister, which encourage manual dexterity and strengthen balance, help kids coordinate the body with the brain and experiment with how the two entities cooperate. Advanced video- and electronic-game systems also have the advantage of improving hand-eye coordination and visual focus.
According to Dr. Shari Nethersole, a physician at Children¡¯s Hospital in Boston, interactive games have the significant benefit of improving social skills through encouraging diplomatic and organized communication between children. When adults aren¡¯t playing, kids have to negotiate rules, follow a set system of directions and take turns to keep the game running. Learning games inspire cooperation and may even play a role in the development of conflict resolution and mediation skills.
Scholastic Parent & Child magazine points out that many educational games, particularly board games, have the power to improve children¡¯s focus and lengthen their attention spans. Kids who easily get frustrated and might quit other activities without seeing quick results might tend to stick with games for longer periods of time because of the possibility of advancement and rewards. Ultimately, sticking with a game through its course can help kids develop patience and maturity. Board games, concentration games and mathematics activities also require memorization and repetition for success. Kids who play them often learn the advantages of exercising those skills. Many tests and quizzes in every grade have similar formats to those found in board games and quiz games. Kids can better their chances of scoring well by mastering these systems and formats in a playful setting.
Dr. Mark Griffiths, a psychology professor at Nottingham Trent University, notes that many educational video games seem to improve children¡¯s self-esteem and provide a positive feeling of accomplishment. Educational games, whether they consist of solving a puzzle or completing a virtual level, offer rewards for tasks that kids have independently completed and may inspire them to take productive risks in other areas of their lives as well.
Educational games that encourage creative expression, such as Pictionary and Cranium, push kids to think outside the norm and consider atypical methods of explanation. Exploring and expanding creativity through such games can also help with nurturing self-esteem and self-acceptance, and they inspire a greater connection between personality and activity.

Lineman Workouts

In order to succeed as an offensive or defensive lineman, you have to be big and also explosive and quick. Therefore, a comprehensive workout program for linemen will include weight training to build mass and strength, plyometrics to improve power, agility drills to develop foot speed and conditioning work to build endurance to maintain during drives. Begin your workouts during the off-season. Before each workout, properly warm up with jogging or jumping rope for five to 10 minutes and dynamic stretches.
Weight training helps develop the mass and strength to overcome your opponents. Incorporate four weight-training workouts into your weekly regimen. Focus on your lower-body muscles on Mondays and Wednesdays and your upper-body muscles on Tuesdays and Fridays. According to John Cissik of Human Performance Services, quality exercises for lineman include power cleans, back squats, front squats, lunges, glute-ham raises and deadlifts for the lower body and bench presses, pushups, rear delt raises, bent-over rows and military presses for the upper body. During the off-season, perform three sets of 12 to 15 reps of each exercise to facilitate building mass. When you’re two months out from competition, perform three sets of eight to 12 reps, increasing the load you lift. When you have a month to go until competition, perform three sets of six to 12 reps, lifting heavy weights.
Incorporating plyometrics into your training can improve your ability to explode upon the snap. Bounds, lateral cone hops and box jumps are quality plyometric activities that develop power in the hips and legs. For bounds, stand with your feet under your hips, lower into a quarter squat and then explode into a jump, traveling as far forward as you can. Land and immediately lower to go into the next bound. Lateral cone hops involve jumping side-to-side over a small cone and trying to limit the time your feet are in contact with the floor. Box jumps involve lowering into a quarter squat and then exploding into a jump and landing on top of a plyo box set that¡¯s in front of you. Because of their intensity, limit plyometric work to two days per week. If done on the same days as lower-body weight training, do the plyometrics first so your legs are fresh. Perform two to three sets of six to eight reps each.
The best linemen are known for their ability to be quick on their feet. Scheduling agility drills into your schedule twice per week can help you improve your ability to accelerate, stop and change directions. Incorporate the dot drill, which involves setting five dots on the ground so that they make a square, with each one two feet apart and the final dot set in the center. Start at one dot and two-foot hop to the others, changing up the order of where you jump. Try to perform the drill as quickly as possible, limiting the time your feet are in contact with the dots. You can also include the zig zag run, which involves setting about 10 cones in a vertical line with each one yard apart. Sprint through the cones, crossing over to each side with your inside foot first. Incorporate agility work twice per week, completing the drills before any weight training. Perform each drill five times.
Linemen aren¡¯t sure how long they¡¯ll need to be on the field and they need to be ready for long possessions. Conditioning activities — like the shuttle drill and flying 20s — can help you develop endurance. Lineman don¡¯t typically sprint long distances, so their drills should reflect what their position requires. For the shuttle drill, set three cones in a vertical line with each one five yards apart. Start at the center cone and then sprint to the cone on your left, then change directions and sprint to the cone on the far right. Then, change directions a final time and sprint back to the original cone. Flying 2¡¯s involve running a total of 50 yards, with the first 30 yards being performed at half speed. Gradually increase your pace over the 30 yards so that you¡¯re at an all-out sprint for the final 20 yards. Complete conditioning drills two days per week, performing each drill five times.

Athletic Training Vs. Physical Therapy

While athletic trainers and physical therapists both work with people who have suffered sports injuries, the similarities between the two careers end there. Trainers and therapists have different educations, certifications and work place settings. If you are considering a career in one of these fields, learn what distinguishes them to help make the best choice for your future.
According to DegreeDirectory.org, athletic trainers are health care professionals who help athletes and other physically active people to prevent and recognize injuries related to physical activity. As an athletic trainer you work with athletes to manage and rehabilitate acute athletic injuries. Physical therapists help patients to develop, restore and maintain movement and physical function. As a physical therapist you work with individuals of all ages and fitness levels with chronic or acute injuries and illnesses.
Athletic trainers and physical therapists require different educations. An athletic trainer must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited program and pass a certification test. According to the National Athletic Trainer Association, about 70 percent of athletic trainers continue their education to the master's degree level. Course requirements for an athletic trainer include first aid, injury assessment and analysis, anatomy, physiology, nutrition, and biomechanics. A physical therapist must have a bachelor's degree and an advanced degree from an accredited physical therapy program. A physical therapist needs classes in anatomy, kinesiology, pharmacology, neuroscience, diagnostics, health, chemistry, biology, physics, and human growth and development.
As an athletic trainer, you work predominantly in the sporting environment with physically active people. You can consider job placement with high school, college, university athletics and in sports medicine clinics. Highly educated athletic trainers with advanced degrees may work with professional sports teams, though these opportunities are rare. As a physical therapist, you work in a clinical setting with people requiring treatment for injury, illness and chronic diseases. Patients range in age from infants through elders. You find job opportunities in hospitals, clinics, doctor's offices and physical therapy centers.
Athletic trainer positions often require long work hours that include nights and weekends to be available at team practices and games. You tape, bandage and brace athletes for injury prevention and rehabilitation. Employers require you to coordinate and carry out the physical rehabilitation of athletes. Often, athletic trainers study, evaluate and recommend new techniques and equipment. You are typically the first one to the scene of a sports injury and consult with a physician to diagnose and treat the athlete. The athletic trainer is responsible for managing and maintaining the athletic training room. You need to be physically fit to bend, lift, squat and run.
Physical therapists have more regular office hours than athletic trainers and require a level of fitness that allows for manipulating and lifting patients. As a physical therapist you work on an individual basis with patients over a period of weeks to months. Therapists develop and execute exercises that help improve patient's range of motion, muscle strength, coordination, endurance and motor skills, according to PhysicalTherapist.com. Massage, heat or water therapy, ultrasound and electrical stimulation are tools you may use.

Tips on Healing From Bunion Surgery

A bunion, a growth of bone and soft tissue on the joint of your big toe, develops from a condition called hallux valgus, in which the bone turns outwards, forcing the big toe into the second toe. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, or AAOS, says that the major cause of bunions is overly tight shoes; the condition is nine times more common in women than men. If a bunion is very painful, you may require surgery. Caring for the incision properly can help prevent infection and promote healing.
See the surgeon regularly for a few months following your bunion surgery. Your foot will be bandaged, and you may also have a postoperative shoe or cast to protect it. Not only will stitches have to be removed — usually in two weeks — but Bunion Surgery Recovery states that the surgeon will need to change the bandages to check for infection and ensure that the first metatarsal bone is properly aligned. It is important to keep the dressing dry. The AAOS recommends covering your foot with a plastic bag when showering or bathing, and watching the dressing for signs of bleeding or drainage. If the dressing gets wet or starts to come off, call your doctor.
For the first few days after surgery, the AAOS advises keeping your foot elevated and applying ice as your doctor recommends. According to Bunion Surgery Recovery, you should stay off your feet for 3 to 5 days after your surgery. The AAOS advises using a walker, cane or crutches to get around. Follow your doctor’s recommendations exactly for any medications you have been given.
Be alert for signs of infection, which can include fever, chills, and a feeling of persistent heat or warmth in the affected foot. The AAOS says that persistent or worsening pain can also be a sign of infection, as can a swelling in the calf of the affected foot.
After the dressings are removed, you can return to wearing shoes; take care that they allow your feet plenty of room. Premier Podiatry notes that 60 percent of patients will be able to resume wearing shoes in 6 weeks, with 90 percent able to wear shoes at 8 weeks after surgery. The AAOS recommends wearing athletic shoes or soft moccasin or oxford-type footwear, and gradually putting more weight on your foot and walking farther as your incision heals. Do not wear high heels. According to Premier Podiatry, you should wait 1 to 2 months to begin driving again, and refrain from driving until you feel confident that you can come to an emergency stop. The website also advises that you notify your insurance company. If your surgeon has opted to use a plaster cast, the recovery process will be slower. Premier Podiatry says you will not be able to walk on the foot for 6 weeks. When the cast is removed, your surgeon may have you wear a walking boot; you can then gradually return to walking over the next 2 to 6 weeks.

The Benefits of Abductor Muscle Exercises

Abduction is the lateral movement away from the mid-line of your body. You can abduct your shoulders, wrists and hips, but when people talk about abductor muscles they are usually referring to hip abductors. Your hip abductors open your thighs out to the side and stabilize your pelvis when you walk or stand on one foot. Among other things, your hip abductor muscles help you walk, run, play sports, dance, get into and out of a car and get onto and off of a bicycle. Abductor muscle exercises help coordinate movements, improve functional fitness, enhance core stability and prevent injuries.
Movement patterns require cooperation among multiple muscle groups and joints. Some muscles create the movement while others stabilize your body. Depending on the situation, your hip abductors may serve as movers or as stabilizers. The primary hip abductor muscles are the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus and tensor fascia lata. When one or more of these muscles is weak, your core stability will suffer and your pelvis may tilt to one side when standing on one foot. This will affect your ability to walk, run, step up or lunge. Strong abductor muscles improve functional fitness and prepare your body to perform well in any situation.
Many people assume that the core is made up of just the abdominal muscles. But, while your abdominal muscles are an essential part of your body¡¯s core, your core technically includes all the stabilization muscles of the torso. Therefore, the muscles in your abdomen, back, hips and shoulders are all part of the core and must work together for core stability. Abductor muscle exercises help enhance core stability, which improves balance, posture and overall movement.
When your abductor muscles are weak, you¡¯re more likely to suffer from injuries — especially in your legs. The biomechanic changes caused by weak hip abductors increases forces and friction on your knees, ankles and feet. Some common injuries that runners and athletes experience are patellofemoral pain syndrome, which causes pain around your kneecap, and Iliotibial (IT) band syndrome, which originates along the outside of your knee and thigh. A study published in the journal, ¡°Sports Health A Multidisciplinary Approach,¡± reported that weak hip abductors and decreased hip stability contribute to the high incidence of these injuries, among others. This study concluded that abductor muscle exercises may help reduce the risk of lower extremity injuries.
Exercises that strengthen your hip abductor muscles include side-lying hip abduction, standing hip abduction, side planks and side lunges. When you first start doing these exercises, use your own body weight. As you get stronger, you can add resistance in the form of weights or resistance bands. Exercises that force you to balance over one leg also work the abductor muscles. Start by standing on one foot. Once you can easily balance on one foot, add movements of the other leg and your arms. Work up to forward lunges, step ups and one-legged squats to further strengthen your abductor muscles. In the gym, the hip abduction machine provides an additional source of abduction exercise.

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.