Benefits of Teamwork in Sports

Teams that often end up on the winning end of the score in team sports are those that work well together. Learning to cooperate with others towards a common goal in sports is what builds character, friendship and important life skills for players and coaches. The friendships built within a team can last a lifetime for some players, and the journey of a team throughout a season is often memorable.
Entering into a new season in sports, you might only know a few of the players on your team. Some of the players may actually be people you are not that fond of off the playing field. But when your team decides at the beginning of the year that it wants to be the team in the winner’s circle holding the league championship trophy at the end of the season, personal differences are often set aside for the common good of the team. Many coaches like to say that the name on the front of the jersey is more important than the name on the back. This is saying that no one player is greater than the team. Sports such as football and ice hockey are physical sports and often require heavy commitment and dedication to be successful. By the end of the season, players who have been battered and bruised by the grind of the regular season and the playoffs may feel a strong connection, much like brothers, to their teammates.
In the case of many of today’s youth, team sports offer a way for kids and young adults to avoid many temptations, including drugs and criminal activity. It also allows for kids and adults alike a chance to get out and socialize with friends and avoid spending too much time at home watching television and playing video games. The team work involved in these sports allows for people to become part of something of value and teaches people how to help someone on their team when they are struggling and offer them words of encouragement when they are performing either poorly or admirably. Team work can also give players a greater respect for one another and can build friendships that last a lifetime.
Team work in sports offer a way for people to compete for something together. In ice hockey, for example, the captain of the team can make it his goal to motivate every member of his team to give everything they have during the season in order to win the league championship. Although it is important to know that winning is not everything in sports, healthy competition can be good for people. People can translate the hard work they’ve put into their sport by working harder to be a better student or employee and a better person overall. Working towards a goal can teach people the value of hard work, commitment and dedication and team sports are a great way to learn these values.
Team work in sports can help give participants stronger communication skills and teach them to work better with others. Many projects at work and at school often require a group to work together to put together a strong presentation to be looked at by the employer or teacher. Every member of that team must be pulling in the same direction to complete the project successfully. Additional advantages to team work in sports include learning to deal with conflict and exposure to a variety of ideas within the team.

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Defensive Formation in Football

Football coaches have developed many defensive strategies over the decades. These strategies, designed to stop an opponent from moving the ball and eventually scoring, are based on a variety of formations that place defensive players in certain positions on the field and assigning them responsibilities, such as rushing the passer or covering a tight end on a pass pattern. Each of these formations inherently possesses strengths and weaknesses.
The 4-3 formation places four defensive linemen on the line of scrimmage. That means they are lined up right along the ball before the center snaps it. They face the opposing team¡¯s offensive linemen. Behind the four linemen, three linebackers position themselves to cover receivers, blitz into the backfield of the offense or tackle running backs carrying the ball after a hand-off. The 4-3 is strong against a running play because four larger defensive linemen are close to the offensive backfield, and they can clog up running lanes. The formation is weaker against a passing play because fewer linebackers in the zone beyond the line of scrimmage are available to cover receivers, such as tight ends or running backs coming out into the pass pattern.
The 3-4 formation places three linemen on the line of scrimmage and four linebackers in the area behind those linemen. The 3-4 faces more challenges stopping the run because linebackers are quicker and smaller than the linemen, who also have just three players to match up head-to-head against up to five offensive linemen in this formation. The 3-4 is a flexible pass defense, though, because four capable pass defenders can confuse the offense by blitzing through the line or from the edges of the blocking schemes as soon as the ball is snapped. That will force the quarterback to rush his throws. The blitzes also will force the offense to choose whether to keep a tight end or running back in to block instead of sending him out on a pass pattern.
Football teams employ a ¡°nickel¡± formation to stop an offensive play that is highly likely to be a passing play. A basic defensive formation uses a combination of seven linemen and linebackers and four defensive backs. The nickel adds a fifth defensive back to the formation, ending up with a 4-2-5 or 3-3-5 formation. The faster defensive backs are better at covering pass patterns and match up against offenses that send five or six receivers on pass routes. This usually occurs when the team on offense is trailing and needs to move the ball in a hurry with passes while trying to catch up. The nickel defensive formation is vulnerable to running plays because it doesn¡¯t place as many players near the line of scrimmage, and the smaller defensive backs usually aren¡¯t as strong at tackling as linebackers and linemen.
Coaches often use a mix of standard formations, depending on the game situation or a unique offensive scheme that an opponent uses. A team that runs a shotgun-based ¡°spread¡± offense and places a heavy emphasis on its passing attack would be countered by a defensive formation that could use up to six defensive backs, while using only three linemen and two linebackers, for example. Also, a team that is on the 1-yard line with the ball or faced with a short-yardage situation anywhere else on the field might bring in extra tight ends to place as blockers on the line to squeeze ahead on a running play and gain that yardage. The defense would counter with a larger ratio of players on the defensive line. Each of these defensive formations are specialized — strong in one facet but vulnerable in another.

Basketball Game Clock Rules

Everything in basketball revolves around time. The whole point of the game is to see who can score more points within a certain interval. Understanding the clock rules is essential no matter what level of basketball you’re playing, coaching or watching. The rules for timing vary for high school, college and professional basketball.
High school games consist of four quarters lasting eight minutes each. College basketball rules call for two 20-minute halves. NBA games are divided into 12-minute quarters. Overtime periods also vary by level. High school overtime, when needed, is four minutes. In college and the NBA, overtime periods last five minutes.
The clock starts when a player touches the ball after the official tosses it for the initial jump ball. After that, the clock only stops when the official blows his whistle to indicate a foul, violation or timeout. The official may also stop the clock for an unusual delay, such as the ball rolling off the floor and away from play, or for an injured player. The clock starts again when it’s touched inbounds after a throw-in, or when a player touches the ball on a rebound after a missed free throw.
Some timing rules change toward the end of the game. The clock stops during the last minute of the second half plus overtime periods in college after a made basket, and starts again once a player touches the ball inbounds following the ensuing throw-in. In the NBA, this rule applies to the last two minutes of the fourth quarter and any overtime periods. There is no similar rule in high school basketball. A basket counts if it leaves the player¡¯s hand and time expires while the ball is still in the air, and the shot goes through the hoop.
In high school and college basketball, if there are three-tenths of a second or less left on the clock, players may not catch and shoot the ball for a successful field goal. A player may only tap or deflect the ball into the basket for the shot to be counted.

How to Dress for Cold Weather When Playing Soccer

You might think of soccer as a summertime sport, but leagues can extend into the colder months. To play your best game, you need to stay warm, keeping your muscles loose and reducing the possibility of injury. The key to keeping warm is dressing for the cold weather.
Wear a pair of compression pants or compression shorts and a compression shirt under your shorts and jersey. Compression clothing hugs your body, keeping it warm while wicking sweat away from your skin. According to the “Laws of the Game,” undergarments worn under your jersey must match the color of your jersey and those worn under your shorts must match the color of your shorts.
Wear your jersey and shorts over your compression clothing. According to the “Laws of the Game,” you must wear shorts, not pants. If your team has long-sleeved jerseys, those are allowed.
Wear gloves and a knit hat to keep your extremities warm.
Bring an extra set of soccer socks to keep on the sidelines. Change into these socks during halftime if your feet have become wet.
Wear track pants and a jacket while on the sidelines. If you are sitting on the bench, wear a blanket to keep yourself extra warm.

Top Rated Football Cleats

The sphere of football cleats is in constant flux, with new materials and manufacturing technologies emerging every few years. Hundreds of models saturated the market each year, with each brand claiming to offer special advantages over the others. This article offers a look at five of the shoes with the highest post-consumer ratings, and compares key features like sole composition, cut level and mold type. Based on consumer reviews, these four models have the highest value of any football cleats on the market.
The AdiZero 5-Star 2.0 made waves in 2011 when the 7.4 oz shoe briefly held the title of the world¡¯s lightest football cleat.This super-light thethermoplastic polyurethane (TPU)-based shoe features molded (non-detachable) spikes that are rounded with the intention of increasing their linear traction (push-off) while limiting rotational traction (turning resistance). True to its title, several styles of this shoe earned a five-star consumer rating from Dick¡¯s Sporting Goods. While users gave it four stars, Sneaker Report awarded the sophomore version of AdiZero the number five slot in its football cleat countdown. The Adidas website shows a perfect consumer rating for this shoe.
This molded cleat is a high-top model, which provides the extra ankle support often sought by linemen or players with a history of ankle injuries. Even with these ankle guards, Under Armour maintains that the Highlight, which weighs a mere 10.4 ounces, still pushes the edges in speed and flexibility (See Reference 9). While Sneaker Report listed it in the number two slot for best football cleats, the Highlight garnered four stars from EastBay customers and five stars from buyers on the Dick¡¯s Sporting Goods website. Consumers on Under Armour¡¯s website gave the Highlight a 4-star rating.
The Alpha Pro is a 12-stud molded cleat that comes in the mid-cut design, and sports an ultra-light TPU-based outsole. This shoe weighs a skimpy 11.8 oz., in part thanks to the foot-hugging nylon fibers in the upper that comprise Nike¡¯s minimalist Flywire technology. The Alpha Pro scored four stars from Dick¡¯s Sporting Goods and five from from, and landed the number seven spot on Sneaker Report¡¯s best football cleats list. Customers on Nike¡¯s website gave the Alpha Pro a 4.4-star rating.
Nike¡¯s ¡°Zoom Vapor Carbon Fly 2¡± is a mouthful to say the least. These super-light, 10.4 oz cleats are constructed with a carbon fiber outsole and a phylon insole designed to protect the foot from impact. The Carbon Fly is available as either detachable or ¡°TD¡±. Flywire design uses a minimal amount of synthetic fibers to hold the foot in place, cutting down on weight (See Reference 6). This cleat earned a four star rating from buyers on and Dick¡¯s Sporting Goods and garnered Sneaker Report¡¯s number one spot for football cleats. Nike reports a 4.1 star rating for buyers of these cleats,

How the Ultimate Fighting Championship Works

“I’ve been to everything. I’ve been to the NBA finals. I’ve gone to a Super Bowl. I’ve gone to big playoff games, and I’ve been to big fights here in Las Vegas. I don’t think any other sporting event stacks up to it.” What sport tops basketball, football and boxing? According to its president, Dana White, it’s the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
The UFC bills itself as the premier Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) organization, but its history is filled with highs, lows and controversy. After nearly folding in the late 1990s, the UFC reinvented itself and attracted new legions of fans.
The UFC organizes, promotes and hosts MMA events, which feature several bouts. Each bout is a fight between two different competitors. Like boxing, the fights are divided into rounds and are under the supervision of a referee, although MMA events are more complex than a typical boxing match.

Standard UFC bouts have a limit of three rounds (championship bouts have a limit of five), with five minutes to a round. Fighters get a one-minute break between rounds. Unlike boxing, where athletes can only strike with their fists and only above the belt, the UFC’s rules allow competitors to use punches, kicks, elbows, knee strikes, takedowns and submissions to win a contest. Fighters are allowed to strike each other both above and below the belt (with a few restrictions). Early in its history the UFC claimed that its events featured no-holds-barred (NHB) fighting, but this is a misnomer. Even the earliest UFC fights had rules that all athletes were expected to follow. These included:

The Nevada State Athletic Commission, which regulates all boxing and martial arts exhibitions in the state of Nevada, identifies 31 fouls. Athletes who commit fouls can be penalized or even disqualified. Not all fouls are directly related to physical violence — for example, you commit a foul if you hold on to the fence, use abusive language while inside the ring, fake an injury or drop your mouthpiece on purpose to delay the fight. A complete list of the fouls can be found on the UFC Web site.
In addition, the UFC adheres to the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s drug policy, which expressly forbids the use of recreational or performance-enhancing drugs. Fighters who test positive for drugs before a bout are not allowed to fight and may face additional disciplinary action. If a fighter wins and it is later determined that he used drugs, the commission may change the result of the fight to a no contest.
In the next section, we’ll look at the basics of the UFC, and learn where fights take place.
For more common questions and expert answers on sports and athletic performance, visit

10 Great Ways Your Family Can Help Clean Local Parks

Are you looking for a volunteer project that’s fun for the whole family? Your local park is a great place to start! You might be planning to spend a lot of time there over summer break, during fall’s pee-wee football season or even after a winter storm leaves blankets of snow in the wide, open expanses. If your park isn’t up to par, this is your opportunity to make it a more desirable and fun place for your whole family to enjoy.
You can do as much or as little as you like, but keep in mind that more involved projects (such as painting colorful murals or planting trees — both on our list) might require special permission. Decide what projects appeal to your skill set, and then check with your local park’s board to get approval. Wondering what exactly you can do to make your park cleaner and more appealing? We’ve got 10 great ideas that your whole family will enjoy.
Ready to get to work? Let’s start with landscaping.

10 Most Dangerous Items in the Office

Fans of NFL Super Bowl commercials might remember the 2003 competition as the day the world was introduced to “office linebacker” Terry Tate. A series of ads sprinkled throughout the televised game featured Tate, a 250-pound, football jersey-wearing behemoth who blindsides unassuming office workers for various workplace violations. Take the last of the coffee without refilling the pot? He’ll lay you out (“You kill the joe, you make some mo’!”). Make a long-distance personal call on the office phone? Terry will put you through a cubicle wall.
For office dwellers whose workspace isn’t patrolled by a vicious tackling machine, there are likely still a number of less menacing dangers lurking in your office space. Office workers sustain more than 75,000 on-the-job injuries — from sprains and strains to broken bones — each year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Many of these injuries are caused by falls, falling objects or over-exertion, but the culprit is frequently an ordinary office item.
Before you shove that stack of papers in the shredder, read on to find out the 10 most dangerous items in the office, as well as tips for safely handling them.

How Becoming a Video Game Designer Works

“Rock Band,” “Wii Fit” and “Madden Football” are all popular video games that people line up to buy upon their release. Designing these video games requires creativity and imagination. With the continuing demand for more action-packed games, careers as video game designers are expected to grow.
For those who not only enjoy playing video games, making video games requires imagination. Video game designers devote themselves to exploring every aspect of a game and to mastering its outcome.
Have you ever wondered how to become a video game designer? Video game design is a challenging, booming business with many specialized jobs and numerous points of entry. Potential video game designers typically are passionate about this highly competitive field.
Video game designers need a variety of skills and innate abilities. The skills largely involve training in computer graphics, animation and software design. Often, the prospective game designer will obtain such training at credentialed programs at technical schools.
While a student of video game design can study hard and learn the required computer skills, another aspect of this career is harder to teach. A successful video game designer needs a powerful imagination in order to construct the alternative world of the game in his mind before creating it in cyberspace.
The need for video game designers and related careers are expected to grow in coming years as consumer demand for such products increase. The U.S. Department of Labor foresees a 32 percent increase in software publishing jobs in the next five years. Meanwhile, consumer demand continues to grow. The market research company NPD Group reported in August 2008 that sales of video game hardware and software increased by 28 percent in July 2008, reaching almost $1.2 billion [source: Fox News].
Do you want to know more about how to become a video game designer? Would you like to learn about the skills you will need and how to gain experience? Do you want to know how much video game designers earn and how it differs from other video game-related fields? Read on to find out.