• Easy Ways for an 11-Year-Old to Lose Weight

    If your child needs to lose weight, experts recommend taking a family approach. This means encouraging everyone — not just the overweight child — to make better food choices and become more physically active. Fad diets are not appropriate for children or adults. Successful weight loss comes from developing healthful eating and exercise habits that last a lifetime.
    One of the easiest ways to help your child lose weight is to rethink his drink. Beverages such as soft drinks, sports beverages and even 100 percent fruit juice contain more than 100 unnecessary calories per serving. Encourage your child to drink water or low-fat milk instead. Offer fresh fruits or vegetables with each meal and snack before providing higher-calorie choices. Fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients and high in fiber, which will help him feel fuller for longer. Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast, because this often results in overeating later in the day. Watch less TV and be more physically active by aiming for 60 minutes of exercise a day. Focus on the health benefits he gains from eating better and being more active, rather than on actual weight loss.

  • Colors on Detox Foot Pads & What They Mean

    Our bodies are exposed to innumerable toxic substances each day. While the body is equipped to detoxify itself via the liver and other cleansing organs, many feel that an alternative detoxification method is necessary to fully purify the bodies. Detox foot pads may provide evidence of toxins residing in your system as a used pad will change from a pristine white to a variety of ominous, dark hues.
    Dermatologist Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D., states on MayoClinic.com that, as of 2010, there are no scientific studies to prove detox foot pads fulfill their intended purpose, which is simply to pull toxic substances from your body through the pores of your feet. Dr. Lawrence adds that manufacturers of detox foot pads present the dark discoloration after use as the result of toxins chemically reacting to the drawing agents in the pad.
    Supposedly, different toxins create a different color when reacting to the substances in the foot pad. Therefore, the colors you find can differ from the colors of another person¡¯s pad. Each color allegedly represents a specific type of toxin or region of the body that was detoxified, according to the Detox Safely website. According to the color chart on this site, there are up to nine different colors that may appear on your used foot pad.
    Black represents toxins pulled from the liver region of the body. The liver¡¯s primary functions are to cleanse the blood, process waste and distribute nutrients to your cells, states the KidsHealth website. Black flecks on your foot pad may indicate the existence of heavy metals. Arsenic, lead, mercury and cadmium are all types of toxic heavy metals that you can acquire from everyday substances like pesticides, batteries, paints and pipes, according to the DermNet NZ website. A brown coloring may represent further detoxification of the liver, cellular debris and tobacco.
    A dark greenish color on your foot pad may denote the detoxification of your gall bladder, an important organ that aids in the digestion of fats. Orange is representative of toxins pulled from the joints, potentially associated with such diseases as arthritis and rheumatism, according to the Detox Safely website.
    Red flecks on your foot pad may indicate the detoxification of blood clot materials, while a yellow-greenish color is associated with toxins pulled from the kidneys, bladder, urinary tract, female reproductive organs and the male prostate gland.
    You may notice some white cheese-like particles ¡ª a possible indication of yeast. According to the MedlinePlus website, yeast is a fungus that resides in your body. Your immune system is responsible for regulating the growth of yeast. An illness or dose of antibiotics, however, can quickly offset this balance creating a ¡°yeast infection.¡± The appearance of white foam may indicate the detoxification of the lymphatic system, which plays an integral role in our immunity.

  • Hand Signals That Volleyball Setters Use

    Like a basketball point guard on a basketball team or a football quarterback, setters are the leaders on the court for their volleyball team. Just as point guards and quarterbacks call plays for their offense, setters communicate plays and strategies to teammates for each point. There is one difference, however: Setters relay these tactics primarily through hand signals.
    Some coaches allow their setters to choose the zones each server should attack. Setters use their fingers to communicate the zones. The numbers for each zone are the standard zone serving system used worldwide. If the setter flashes one finger behind her back, the serve delivers the ball to Zone 1, or right back. Two fingers indicate Zone 2, or right front. Zone 3 is middle front, Zone 4 is left front, and Zone 5 is left back. Setters flash just their thumb to indicate Zone 6, or middle back.
    Some coaches prefer to tell their servers to serve to a more general area of the court instead of a specific zone. Setters show their right thumb behind their back to communicate that the serve should go to the right side of the court. Showing the left thumb means serving to the left side. Flashing both thumbs communicates serving down the center of the court. A setter can also shake his right hand to tell the server to serve to a weak passer on the right side of the court. Shaking his left hand lets the serve know to serve to a struggling passer on the left side.
    Setters can use hand signals to tell hitters what type of set they will execute on a particular play. For instance, the setter points his index finger up to signify a vertical quick set, or one set, is coming. A pinky finger pointing up indicates a vertical quick set to the right-side hitter, also known as a back one set. A pinky finger pointed sideways means a back slide attack using a horizontal quick set. A hand brushing down the middle of the chest designates a pipe set to the back row hitter positioned in the middle of the court.
    Setters can also use hand signals when calling plays for high sets. For a high set to Zone 1, or right back, the setter flashes one finger and then flashes two fingers. The hitter then calls out “12” to confirm the play call. The setter shows two fingers and then flashes two fingers again for a “22” high set to Zone 2. Three fingers followed by two fingers communicates a “32” high set to Zone 3. A “42” is a high set to Zone 4. A “52” is a high set to Zone 5. The setter uses her thumb to represent six followed by two fingers for a “62” high set to Zone 6.

  • How to Replace a Football Bladder

    Football bladders are similar to an inner tube. When the air valve fails or the bladder is punctured, the best solution is replacement. Not all footballs have independent bladders, and you identify these by molded laces. Footballs with bladders have polyester laces across the seam of the ball that you replace as part of the procedure. Obtain the new bladder, a new lace and a lacing guide to replace a football bladder.
    Insert a needle valve into the inflation hole on the ball. Squeeze the ball with both hands until it is fully deflated and remove the needle valve. Skip this step if the football is flattened or already deflated.
    Cut the laces along the seam carefully with the points of scissors and pull the laces out by hand. Spread the seams apart by hand to access the bladder.
    Reach inside the ball with one hand and put your fingers against the base of the inflation tube. Work the inflation tube away from the inner surface of the ball. Remove the bladder by pulling it out through the seam. Discard the old bladder.
    Position the new bladder along the seam of the football. Align the inflation tube with the hole in the ball where the old tube was removed. Hold the tube in this position with one hand as you tuck the ends of the bladder into the ball.
    Reach inside the ball with one hand and push the end of the inflation tube through the hole in the ball. Pull the tube from the outside until the bladder is tight against the inside of the ball.
    Cut the inflation tube with the scissors, 1/2 inch from the outer surface of the ball. This allows you to partially inflate the ball for lacing without the tube retracting inside the ball. You will trim the inflation tube flush after the ball is laced.
    Put the ball flat on a stable surface with the inflation tube up. Attach the needle valve to an air pump. Moisten the end of the needle valve with water and insert the valve into the tube. Inflate the ball partially until the bladder is stable inside the ball. Pull the needle valve out of the inflation tube and set the pump aside for now.
    Uncoil the new polyester lace. Refer to the lacing guide and lace the seam of the football using a lacing awl. Cut the ends of the lace as described and tuck each end firmly under the laces with the point of the awl.
    Moisten the needle valve and inflate the football fully with the air pump. Carefully trim the excess portion of the inflation tube flush with scissors.

  • Yard Games Similar to Horseshoes

    Horseshoes is a popular outdoor game that can be played in your yard, but there are many other yard games similar to horseshoes that you can try. Most of these games can either be purchased online or at a local store, and in many cases, you can make these games yourself using materials you may already have at home. Be sure to use caution when throwing objects outdoors so that no one gets hurt.
    The game of washers is similar to horseshoes but on a smaller scale. The object of this game is to toss your washers into a cup, which is usually made from PVC and mounted in an open wooden enclosure, to earn points and outscore opponents. Each wooden cabinet enclosure is placed approximately 8 feet apart, and the thrower from each team stands beside the opposing team’s enclosure while throwing. There are single-cup as well as multiple-cup washer games where each cup represents a different point value.
    A type of bean bag-tossing game, cornhole is similar to horseshoes in that you are tossing an object toward an opposing goal. In cornhole this is an opposing platform, which has a hole in the middle of it. Three points are awarded for a bean bags that lands in the hole and one point is awarded for a bag that lands on the platform.
    Jarts, also known as lawn darts, consists of the lawn darts and two circles created using lawn chalk or some sort of rope or plastic. The circles are created approximately 35 feet apart, and each team takes turn tossing their lawn darts underhand toward the opposing circle. Each thrower must stand behind their own circle when throwing. Scoring varies depending upon the location of each Jart once each round has ended, but in general, three points are awarded for making it in the circle. The first team to 21 points wins.
    This Canadian game, a cross between horseshoes and bowling, involves lining up 20 white bones — the soldiers — side-by-side with two black bones — the guards — at each end. Players take turns throwing four colored bones toward the line of 22 bones trying to first knock down the opposing team’s guards followed by the soldiers. You must stand approximately 32 feet from the line of bones when throwing. The team to knock down all of the opposing team’s bones in the fewest number of throws wins. Bunnock sets can be purchased online.

  • Symptoms of a Concussion After a Bump on the Head

    Concussions are common but often go under-reported. A statement from the 3rd International Conference on Concussion defines concussion as “a complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain, induced by traumatic biochemical forces.” Symptoms of a concussion can be variable. If you experience any of these symptoms you should seek a health care provider with experience in concussion management.
    Headache is the most common symptom of a concussion, but you can also have increased sensitivity to light and noise, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, numbness and tingling to the arms or legs, ringing in the ears, or changes in vision. These symptoms can occur immediately after the impact or even the next day. They can come and go for minutes or persist for days.
    Loss of memory of the event is common. For example, in a football game you may forget the score of the game, what quarter you are in, or even the impact itself. You may have a difficult time walking and your balance and coordination may be off. People may say that you have a vacant, glassy stare. You may even experience a brief period of loss of consciousness. Being unresponsive for a prolonged period is usually the sign of something more serious, and emergency personnel should be notified.
    Changes in behavior can be obvious or subtle. They include irritability, nervousness, depression, or moodiness. Some people report extreme sadness or emotional outbursts with uncontrolled crying. You can even experience moments of personality changes with concussions.
    Difficulty concentrating is a common symptom of a concussion. You may feel like you are “in a fog” or “dinged.” Some people say they feel drunk. Immediately after the injury, you may feel disorientated. You can be easily distracted. It is common to take time off school or work due to concussive symptoms.
    Sleep problems can consist of either excessive sleep or difficulty sleeping. Excessive fatigue can be a result. It is not necessary to wake people regularly throughout the night to check on them after a concussion, especially as cognitive and physical rest is the main treatment for concussions.

  • Examples of Setting Goals in Sports

    Setting goals is a powerful motivator in sports performance. Goals give individual players and sports teams targets and numbers to strive for, and they can also be used as a measuring stick to monitor progress. Goals should be agreed upon between a coach and player and revisited as the competitive season progresses.
    Professors from Maine Community College support the SMART goal-setting model. The SMART goal-setting model suggests that goals fit the criteria of specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Specific and measurable examples of goal-setting would be a basketball player aiming to score an average of over 10 points or provide an average of over 10 assists per game. The figure set in these goals is specific and it is easy to measure progress by tracking game scores as the season progresses. Achievable and realistic goals should be discussed and agreed upon by both the player and the coach. Past performance and perceived potential should be taken into account when setting these goals. A timely example of goal setting is a soccer player aiming to score 20 goals before the end of the season.
    Dr. Mary Walling and Dr. Joan Duda explain the concept of task-oriented and ego-oriented goals in an article in “Performance Edge: The Letter of Performance Psychology.” Task-oriented goals focus on learning and improving on a consistent basis, rather than the end result. An example of a task-oriented goal would be for a soccer player to set the target of mastering five different moves to beat a defender within two months.
    Also referred to as performance-oriented goals, an ego-oriented goal will focus on results produced, such as number of goals scored or games won. An example of an ego-oriented goal would be for a baseball player to set the goal of hitting 10 home runs and achieving 30 RBIs in a season.
    Individual sports such as tennis and athletics require an individual to motivate themselves with a range of task- and ego-oriented goals. It is also important in team sports that individuals motivate themselves with their own personal goals and incorporate them within team goals. An example of this is a hockey goalkeeper who sets the goal of making 10 saves a game or achieving 10 shutouts in a season.
    Sports teams should set a range of goals that are both task- and ego-oriented to help their sports performance. It is beneficial if a sports team does not get caught up purely in wins and losses. External factors such as weather and refereeing can at times impact results, so it is preferable to focus on the overall performance. While including results, it is beneficial to set a range of goals for a season. An example would be an American football team that set goals of winning 10 games in a season. In addition, the team could aim to achieve 20 first downs in a game, concede less than 20 first downs and complete over 50 percent of their passes.

  • Facts About Basketball Balls

    Basketballs have evolved considerably since the game was invented. Today, technology has made ball performance and quality relatively uniform. This wasn’t always the case, as basketballs have undergone many changes and improvements from the original soccer ball that was used for the first two years of the sport’s existence.
    For the first two years after Dr. James Naismith invented basketball in 1891, soccer balls were used as the balls. In 1894, the first basketball was manufactured and made of laced leather. The molded version of a basketball was invented in 1948 and for about 50 years almost all basketballs were made of genuine leather. In the early 1990s, the first balls made of high-tech composite leathers began to appear. The NBA switched to a composite leather design in 2006, but the changes lasted only three months because of a barrage of complaints from players.
    NBA or professional balls and NCAA or college balls have similarities and differences. NBA balls are made of genuine leather and college balls are made of a composite material. NBA balls are made by Spalding and must be orange, 29-1/2 inches around, and they must weigh 22 oz. The NBA ball must be inflated between 7.5 and 8.5 ounces per square inch. The official basketball of the NCAA tournament is the composite leather Wilson Solution. The NCAA requires balls to be between 29-1/2 and 30 inches around, to weigh between 20 and 22 oz., and to bounce between 49 and 54 inches when dropped from a height of 6 feet.
    Women’s NBA and women’s college balls have basically the same dimensions. Both are required to be 28-1/2 to 29 inches in circumference and weigh 18 to 20 oz. Spalding manufactures WNBA balls and Wilson manufactures the official NCAA ball. The only other difference is that the NCAA adds on a requirement that the ball bounce between 51 and 56 inches when dropped from 6 feet. Both the professional and college models are made of composite leather materials.
    Spalding was the first company to produce a basketball for official use. Spalding is the official ball of the NBA and has made the genuine leather NBA models since 1983. Spalding also makes composite balls used in high school and some college play. Wilson, based in Chicago, is the official ball of the NCAA. Wilson models are used by many high schools across the country as well. Molten, a Japanese company, has made the official balls for FIBA international play such as the Olympics for more than 20 years.
    The new wave of basketball design will likely feature seamless technology. Currently, panels are placed together to form the ball. Older leather balls have up to eight panels while many of the newer composite designs have only two panels. Composite balls are touted for their ability to control moisture and many newer models have smaller, enhanced pebble designs. The 94Fifty ball, released in April 2013, is the world’s first “smart” basketball. The six sensors in the ball’s exterior will be able to transmit data within 100 milliseconds to Android devices 90 feet away.

  • How to Get Strong for Football Tryouts

    The NFL hosts the annual scouting combine for the best college football players to showcase their talents in front of team coaches, scouts and executives. This scouting combine is only one of many football tryouts that take place every year from youth to professional football. Proper preparation and training enhances your performance at the tryout to improve your chances of making the team. One of the most important factors to optimal tryout performance is having a foundation of strength, speed and power.
    Set up a training schedule. As a general rule, a football strength and conditioning program is split into three major phases — off-season, in-season and transition — that take place year-round. The off-season phase covers the six-month period before the season and focuses on developing absolute and maximal strength. Adjust the timing of the off-season training schedule around the date of the tryout. Most beginning football players or novice lifters should spend at least eight to 10 weeks building strength for the tryout while experienced lifters can dedicate three to five weeks.
    Practice the tests that will be performed during the tryout. Having experience and knowledge with the individual tests will improve your overall tryout performance. The tests may vary slightly but sample tasks include the 40-yard dash; bench press for a one-rep maximum, or total number of repetitions with a specific weight; vertical jump; and shuttle run. Practice the activities that comprise these tests two to three days per week as part of your general strength and conditioning workout. You can also add additional drills for your specific position. For example, a lineman may require additional strength, agility, blocking or footwork drills.
    Perform strength training three to four days per week leading up to the tryout. Incorporate major functional lifts that develop strength, speed and power. These lifts include back squats; deadlifts; bench press; shoulder press; and Olympic lifts such as cleans, jerks and snatches. Train for maximal strength by focusing on explosive power during every repetition. Perform a total of one to five repetitions for three to seven sets with three to five minutes of rest between sets.
    Perform plyometrics, agility and speed training drills two to three days per week. These drills build lower body strength while also improving your speed, agility, balance and mobility. Focus on jump training using light loads and explosive movements. Sample exercises include box jumps, jump-rope and medicine ball exercises. Each workout should consist of five to seven different exercises performed for three sets of 10 repetitions.

  • How to Play Free Safety in Football

    Free safety is one of the most physically and mentally demanding positions on the defensive side of the ball. These football players are asked to cover a lot of ground and have vital roles in defending against the passing and running games. They are arguably the most cerebral of the defending 11, tasked with diagnosing a play as it unfolds or before it begins, then getting in the right position to make the play.
    Free safeties must be fast, athletic players with the ability to cover a lot of ground. Often tasked with covering the likes of speedy wide receivers or covering vast areas in zone coverages, the centerfielders of the defense must fly from sideline to sideline making plays in the passing game. Practice your footwork with various cone drills, working on backpedaling and coming out of your break to turn and run with a receiver. Good points to remember are to stay low while backpedaling, keep your nose over your toes, then open your hips to initiate your break out your backpedal.
    Possessing the athletic ability to be in position to make plays is just one part of the game. Free safeties must also have the ball skills, lightning quick reaction time and soft hands to create turnovers with an interception. The tip drill is a classic standby for defensive backs coaches through the years. A coach will stand in line with two defensive players, spread out by 5 yards or more. The coach will throw a pass that the defender closest to coach will deflect in any direction and the second defensive back is charged with intercepting the pass. It is a simple drill that can transform a defense into a turnover machine. Free safeties are expected to make big plays when they have the ball in their hands, so sprint to the end zone every chance you get in practice.
    Free safeties are required to be sure tacklers and an intimidating presence all over the field. Safeties must limit big plays, and as the last layer of defense, the safeties can be the difference between a modest gain for the offense and a play that goes for a score. Angle tackling drills are most beneficial for safeties, because they have to make plays from sideline to sideline. Pick an angle that will allow you to get your head in front of the ball carrier. Always make a tackle with your shoulders and keep your head up, or see what you are hitting, as some coaches preach. Finish the tackle by wrapping the ball carrier up while exploding through the ball carrier with your hips and driving with your legs.
    A big part in becoming a great safety is being able to diagnose plays before they even begin. Watching film of an opponent can give you an idea of what the offense likes to do out of certain formations or you might discover a pre-snap read that will help you get in position to make a play. You can also find out if an opposing player has any tendencies, like what route they might run when facing a certain coverage look or how a quarterback might tip his hand before he throws the ball. The defense is always reacting to the offense, so they are always one step behind. Study up and try to level the playing field before the play even starts.