Monthly Archives:July 2017

  • 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.

  • Defensive Back Workout Plan

    Defensive back is one of the most demanding positions in the game of football. To be good requires athleticism at the highest level. Not only do you have to be good physically but you also need to be cerebral in reading the offense, anticipate movements and react quickly. There are other positions that have have higher demands for specific physical requirements but defensive backs are the decathletes of football in that they have to be good at everything. If this is your position, training for it can be overwhelming, but a properly designed program with structure can optimize your performance on the field.
    Defensive backs need a little bit of everything. Prioritizing training goals is a must to optimize performance. The top priority is power, which is the speed at which you generate force. Defensive backs also need agility, or the ability to change direction. Another priority is bi-directional coordination, which involves back pedaling and lateral running to disrupt pass attempts and read the offense. Finally, strength should always be a priority because it improves all other parts of conditioning and performance. Set your training week up for a five day cycle and rest on the weekends. Three days of agility and conditioning drills and two days of power and strength training will be performed. Start the week with agility and conditioning drills and then alternate days with power and strength training.
    Your workout will be broken up into to push routine and a pull routine. This will cover all your bases and prevent overlap. You’ll start with two power exercises and then move into strength training. Choose weights that only allow you to meet the repetitions goals. Push Program Push Press- 4-5 sets, 3-5 repetitions Split Jerk- 4-5 sets, 3-5 repetitions Barbell Lunges- 4 sets 10-12 repetitions Single Arm Cable Push- 4 sets 8-10 repetitions each arm Leg Extension – 4 sets 12-15 repetitions Barbell Step ups- 4 sets 8-10 repetitions each leg (Superset) Weighted Dips- 4 sets 10 -12 repetitions Russian Twist- 4 sets 10-12 repetitions each side (Superset)
    Pull Program Power Clean -4-5 sets, 3-5 repetitions Jump Shrug- 4-5 sets, 3-5 repetitions Single Arm Cable Row-4 sets, 10-12 repetitions Hanging leg Raise- 4 sets, 10-12 repetitions (Superset) Barbell Romanian Deadlift- 4-5 sets, 10-12 repetitions Chinups- 4 sets, 8-10 repetitions (Superset) Lying Leg Curl- 4-5 sets, 10-12 repetitions Dumbbell Hammer Curls-4 sets, 10-12 repetitions For both of these programs the rest periods are between 60-90 seconds, except for the two power exercises in the beginning. For the power exercises the rest periods should be 2-3 minutes between sets. A five day outlook starting on a Monday would have these workouts being performed on Tuesday and Thursday.
    Agility ladder (30 feet): In/out pattern, sprint 20 yards perform 5 rounds Agility ladder (30 feet): In/out pattern, back pedal 20 yards perform 5 rounds Agility ladder (30 feet): In/out pattern, lateral run 20 yards perform 3 rounds (3 each side) Off balance cone drill: Back pedal 15 yards, then lateral run in a zig-zag pattern for 3 cone points. Perform 4 rounds. Clock Pattern direction change drill: Back pedal 10 yards then immediately sprint in the 12 o’clock direction (straight ahead) go around once clockwise, then counter clockwise. Lateral run stop-jump drill: Layout 4 cones across the field in a catty-corner position, lateral run to a cone, stop then jump to mimic pass interruption. Perform 3 rounds.

  • Running & Acid Reflux Disease

    Acid reflux disease–often called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD–is a condition in which stomach acids move in a retrograde direction, rising above the level of the junction of the esophagus and stomach and sometimes into the mouth. Runners who do not otherwise experience reflux often fall victim to its symptoms during their workouts.
    The chief symptom of GERD is ¡°heartburn,¡± the painful sensation that arises in the chest when stomach acid comes into contact with the tender lining of the esophagus; others include belching, nausea and bloating. Not everyone who experiences reflux has GERD; those with chronic reflux may experience it in any situation, including lying down to sleep, whereas others require certain triggers. As explained on, exercise–and running in particular–can be one of those triggers.
    Factors that precipitate reflux in active, otherwise asymptomatic people include a high body-mass index (BMI), the most significant risk factor; the type of exercise performed, with running posing a greater likelihood of reflux than either cycling or lifting weights; and the time elapsed between the last meal and the onset of the run, with two or more hours being the recommendation for avoiding reflux problems. In addition, certain sports drinks, unlike water, can trigger a reflux episode.
    According to the American Medical Athletic Association, the increase in running¡¯s popularity has spelled an increase in reflux-related problems. These include damage to the mucosa, or lining, of the esophagus; chronic cough; laryngitis; damage to the teeth owing to erosion of enamel by stomach acids reaching the mouth; and sinusitis. More acutely, a runner in competition who experiences reflux is clearly not going to be able to perform up to her capabilities.
    According to Runner¡¯s World, pre-race nervousness alone may predispose people to reflux once the gun goes off. Carbonated beverages, chewing gum, coffee, tea and spicy foods are other common culprits. Less common but still frequently encountered precipitators of reflux and associated problems such as bloating include broccoli, bell peppers, sports drinks and onions.
    Eating too much, too soon before a workout or race is by far the surest way to trigger a reflux episode, so eating frequent small meals is a better choice than consuming widely spaced feasts. A lot of runners have a serious coffee or caffeine habit; those who experience reflux should be careful to moderate their intake. A variety of common medications can induce reflux as well, so runners taking prescription drugs are advised to consult with their physicians to determine whether a change in their medication regimen may be in order.

  • How to Get in Shape for Hockey

    To succeed as a hockey player, you need to develop a specific set of skills and possess a broad range of physical abilities. You need speed, strength, endurance, elusiveness and, most of all, balance. The process of getting into hockey playing shape usually involves acquiring or reacquiring all these attributes prior to the beginning of the season. For best results, your workouts should begin at least two months before your team¡¯s first practice, but if you don¡¯t have that much time, any training and development will be beneficial heading into competitive or recreational play.
    Skating is the foundation of a hockey player¡¯s game, and skating practice will be a major factor in helping you get into shape. Skate at least once each day leading to the start of the season, mixing short cross-ice skating drills to long-distance skates to build endurance and increase your on-ice lung capacity. Practice your skating on the ice of a rink if possible. High-intensity play on the ice in a cold environment taxes your endurance and lung capacity to a greater degree than inline skating in more temperate weather does. After a couple of weeks, bring along cones, pucks and your stick to work on more elaborate skating drills, like weaving through cones with the puck, station-to-station turnaround drills while maintaining puck control and capping off with several backward skating drills, both with puck and without.
    Hockey requires you to have the ability to transfer power between your upper and lower body while maintaining balance and momentum. Develop strength throughout your body through weight training. Concentrate on compound weight-training exercises that involve transferring the resistance between the upper and lower body, and those that at least incorporate muscle groups in both areas. For example, the deadlift, power cleans, high pull and snatch are all lifts that will develop strength to improve your play and get you into hockey shape. Weight training should be limited to three days each week, with one day off from lifting in between.
    Flexibility is as crucial as strength and stamina for a hockey player, and body-weight exercises will increase your level of flexibility, along with your agility and balance. Do your body-weight exercises on the same workout days that you perform your weightlifting to prevent injury and fatigue from overtraining certain muscle groups. Do several sets of pullups, pushups, planks, back extensions, body-weight squats and walking lunges, and perform each set through to failure. This means keep going on a particular set of exercises until you no longer can, rest for up to two minutes, then do another set to failure.
    Diet is sometimes neglected as aspect of sports training, but it¡¯s crucial for getting you into shape for hockey. The increased activity level — especially skating in a cold environment — requires energy and the raw materials necessary to build muscle and fuel recovery. Set up a meal plan that focuses around eating lean protein, complex carbohydrates and good fats. Depending on your current level of fitness, you may need to increase or restrict your daily caloric intake; make sure that the calories you consume are balanced evenly from these three sources, and avoid unhealthy fats and simple carbohydrates.

  • Basic Fundamentals of Baseball

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

  • The Risks of Smoking Black & Mild Cigars

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned fruit and candy-flavored cigarettes under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009, but it did not ban other flavored tobacco products such as flavored smokeless tobacco or flavored cigars such as Black & Mild. Black & Mild is one example of a popular flavored cigar brand. Smoking cigars is not a safe alternative to the use of other dangerous tobacco products like cigarettes or smokeless tobacco, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although most cigar smokers do not inhale cigar smoke, there are still serious risks associated with smoking cigars such as Black & Mild.
    Black & Mild is a kind of little cigar that is short and narrow. This type of cigar is made of pipe tobacco, contains more tobacco than cigarettes and is smoked through a plastic tip. Black & Mild cigars come in a variety of flavors including apple, cherry, cream and wine. In addition to the fun flavors, Black & Mild cigars are not expensive and can be bought in individual packages, which public health officials claim is an added enticement for young people to smoke.
    Like other tobacco products, cigars contain a stimulant called nicotine. Nicotine causes the narrowing of blood vessels, which puts an increased burden on your heart. The nicotine in cigars is addictive. Even if a Black & Mild cigar smoker does not inhale, nicotine is still absorbed into the body through the lining of the mouth. Nicotine addiction makes it hard to stop using tobacco products because once addicted, if you try to stop, you will likely experience the unpleasant symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.
    Unlike cigarettes, cigars are composed of tobacco that has been fermented. High levels of carcinogenic nitrosamines are produced during the fermentation process. Because cigars like Black & Mild contain more tobacco than cigarettes, they also contain more carcinogenic tar. When you smoke a cigar, high concentrations of these and other cancer-causing compounds are released. Cigar smokers are exposed to other toxic substances including ammonia, cadmium, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide. Even if you do not inhale cigar smoke, you do expose your esophagus, larynx, tongue, mouth and lips to toxic and carcinogenic chemicals in the smoke, and the long smoking time of cigars means that your exposure to these dangerous chemicals is increased.
    Although rates of lung cancer are lower in cigar smokers than in cigarette smokers, cancer is still a serious risk to cigar smokers and the people who are exposed to their secondhand smoke. Cigar smokers are at increased risk of lung, esophageal, oral and laryngeal cancer compared to nonsmokers. Cigar smoking is also associated with increased risk of developing coronary heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, reports the National Cancer Institute.

  • How to Shoot an Accurate Shot in Soccer

    Learning to shoot accurately in soccer can be intimidating at first, but with enough practice and dedication, you will improve at finding the back of the net. The keys to an accurate soccer shot are the understanding and mastering of the mechanics and limits of your body¡¯s form. Unless you have a natural shot, it takes significant practice to ensure your body¡¯s posture and movement are exactly where they need to be to take accurate shots in soccer.
    Visualize where you are going to shoot the ball. Before taking your shot, look at the goal and the goalkeeper¡¯s position within the goal. Choose to aim your shot at the most exposed part of the net.
    Learn to position your supporting leg. You may have a powerful soccer shot, but without the proper support and position of your standing leg, your shots will be wild and inaccurate. Where you place your foot and how much bend you keep in your supporting leg not only affects the accuracy of the shot, but also how high the ball will travel toward the goal. To keep the ball low and ensure accuracy, place your supporting foot directly in line next to the ball, with your toe pointing straight ahead. This will keep the ball¡¯s trajectory from veering off course. If you choose to shoot right or left, position the supporting foot¡¯s toe to point in that direction. If you want the ball to travel higher through the air, place the supporting foot a little farther back than on level with the ball.
    Position your upper body correctly. Your shoulders and arms, when positioned properly, help with the accuracy of your soccer shot. When shooting the ball low, you want to lean your upper body slightly over the ball, slightly swinging your arms out for balance as you shift your kicking leg down and forward toward the ball. For higher shots, when placing your supporting leg a little behind the ball, lean your upper body back slightly, keeping the same swivel motion in your arms and hips.
    Keep your eyes on the ball. Do not look up or ahead at the goal when shooting. The only time your eyes should be off the ball when taking your shot is right before, when finding your target. Keeping your eye on the ball helps place your kicking foot accurately.
    Take your shot. Once you have mastered the positioning of your supporting leg and upper body, swing your shooting leg down and forward, striking through the middle or top half of the ball. Let your leg follow through completely without hesitation to avoid wild shots. You can control the type of shot you take by using different parts of the foot. To get the most powerful and accurate shot, use the inside, or instep, of your foot. If you are shooting the ball off a volley, the top of the foot is normally used.

  • Weight Training for a Middle Linebacker

    The middle linebacker, sometimes referred to as the quarterback for the defense, is responsible for recognizing the offense’s formations and adjusting the defense accordingly. Middle linebackers must be strong enough to fight off offensive linemen, take down running backs, drop back into pass coverage and go stride-for-stride with fleet receivers.
    The workout routine for Brian Urlacher of the Chicago Bears before the 2004 season is an example of the type of weight training necessary to maintain and improve strength and flexibility as a middle linebacker. On alternate days, Urlacher would work his chest, back and biceps under a routine prepared by conditioner Chip Smith. The routine included sets of bench presses, seated work on a rowing machine, incline presses, bar dips, lat pulldowns, seated dumbbell curls, curls with a barbell, and crunches and knee-ups to work abdominal muscles.
    Urlacher’s weight workout on Day 2 concentrated on his triceps, shoulders and legs. The workout featured cleans with a barbell, shrugs with a barbell, leg extensions on a leg extension machine, squats with a barbell, seated military presses, front raises with dumbbells, upright rows with a barbell, side laterals with dumbbells, triceps extensions and close grip bench presses. Urlacher rested for 25 seconds — roughly the time between football plays — between sets and 60 seconds between types of lifts.
    Mauro Pasquale, a Canadian physician, professor, sports medicine clinic operator and former world champion powerlifter, interviewed a San Francisco 49ers coach on the way he trains his football players. The goal is to give each player the lifting routine that he needs in terms of muscle mass, muscle coordination, force generation and injury prevention. The coach says that Olympic weightlifting is the best avenue for developing speed, power and strength, attributes necessary to play middle linebacker. Clean and jerk and snatch lifts, the two competition lifts in the Olympic Games, train your body to perform as a “kinetic chain generating high power outlets and speed.” Other advantages of Olympic lifting are that it builds power and speed faster than powerlifting. One caution: Olympic lifting is technical and complicated, so find a coach who can teach you properly.
    The goal of an in-season lifting program is to prevent injury and maintain muscle mass without inducing muscle soreness. Since a middle linebacker is bound to be beaten up, to some extent, during a season, weight training routines need to be flexible to account for injuries. A middle linebacker might weight train one or two or three times per week, depending on his physical condition after the previous game. Stick with exercises the athletes are accustomed to during the season. A typical lifting session on a Tuesday might include squats and other lifts mixed with lower body stretching, sprinter situps and medicine ball tosses. On Thursday, box squats and hanging leg raises might be included in a session. And on Friday, bench presses, lat pulldowns and dumbbell curls might be combined with lower body stretching.
    If you play middle linebacker, you have to do more than just lift weights. Urlacher performed his training at high altitude. His weight work was mixed with a program designed to improve his endurance in the fourth quarter, when extreme fatigue set in. Smith observed that Urlacher sprinted a lot on every play. So he designed a routine consisting of short explosive bursts for Urlacher to perform and loaded up his shoulder pads with as much as eight extra pounds of weight. Nutrition was an important factor in Urlacher’s training as well. Because of his heavy workload, Urlacher added 2,000 calories per day to his diet and added extra protein in the form of easily absorbed protein shakes. Similarly, the 49ers coach mixes weight training with conditioning, agility and plyometrics for a total workout package while stressing the importance of good nutrition.

  • Basketball Rules for Traveling

    Traveling is one of the most common — and misunderstood — rules in all of basketball. The travel rule is intended to prevent players from gaining an advantage by moving with the ball without dribbling. Traveling is a violation in basketball and is penalized by awarding the ball to the opposing team out of bounds closest to where the travel occurred.
    The basic concept of traveling is based on the ¡°pivot foot.¡± Once a player receives the ball or picks up his dribble, he is allowed to move one foot, while the other foot has to remain on the floor as a pivot foot. This foot is allowed to rotate, as long as the ball of the foot remains on the floor at all times. A travel occurs when the player lifts the pivot foot and then returns it to the floor before releasing the ball on a pass or a shot. For instance, if a player receives a pass and jumps with both feet to attempt a shot and returns to floor without shooting, it is considered a travel.
    The jump stop rule is part of the traveling rule that allows a player to make a jump stop move, which can be useful when trying to change directions quickly. According to the traveling rule, if a player, while in possession of the ball, jumps off one foot, he may then land on two feet and use either one as the pivot foot or jump again off both feet before passing or shooting the ball. However, if the player jumps off one foot and then returns both feet to the floor at slightly different times, it is considered a travel, as the first foot would then be considered the pivot foot.
    There are other situations which constitute a travel that aren¡¯t covered under the main traveling rule. For instance, if a player is standing and holding onto the ball and falls to the floor, it is considered a travel. Also, if the player is kneeling or laying on the floor and stands up without first dribbling the ball, it is also considered a travel. A player is also not allowed to touch any part of the body to the floor — other than the hand — while holding the ball. If he does, he will be called for a travel. If a player, without possession of the ball, slides across the floor to retrieve a loose ball, he is permitted to slide with the ball without being called for a travel.

  • Conair Foot Spa Instructions

    When your feet are sore after a long, hard day, you don’t need to shell out cash for a professional massage. Instead, soak your soles in the Conair foot spa. This unit soothes tired feet with warm water and eases soreness with over 150 massage jet nodes.
    Set the foot spa on the floor, then turn the unit off if it’s currently on. If you’re worried about getting water on the floor, put a towel underneath the spa.
    Fill the spa with water up to the line labeled “Max.” The unit doesn’t heat water; it only maintains the temperature of the water you add. If you want a warm foot bath, add warm water to the unit.
    Connect the unit to a power outlet. Don’t plug the unit in when your feet are in the water.
    Put a chair in front of the unit. Sit down in the chair and place your feet in the water.
    Push the “On” button to start the foot bath. The water will begin bubbling.
    Allow the unit to run for 10 to 15 minutes, then press the “Off” button when you’re done. Unplug the unit from the outlet.
    Empty the spa water into a sink or bathtub. When emptying water, be careful to pour it away from the power cord and control button.
    Wipe the unit dry with a towel, then put it back in the box to store. When in storage, don’t wrap the power cord around the spa.