In its early years, athletes dreaded playing games on artificial turf. In many cases, the turf was nothing but plastic carpeting made to look like grass. In many cases, players suffered serious turf burns on their arms and other exposed areas of their body. Wearing the wrong shoes often led to serious knee and ankle injuries. Improvements in artificial turf have made it much better to play on; in many cases, it can be better than grass.
A new artificial turf football field will not have to be replaced for five years or more. A grass football field, on the other hand, must be maintained regularly if it is going to last more than two years under the wear and tear of practices, games and inclement weather. You will spend a lot more money to maintain a grass football field than you will a modern artificial turf field.
Grass fields are supposed to be soft and smooth for players to land on when they are blocked or tackled ¡ª but just try telling that to any player who has been hit hard while playing in temperatures of 25 degrees or colder. Grass will not grow in winter weather conditions. If grass remains on the field, it is hard and brittle. Indeed, there have been many cases of NFL teams painting their fields green to make them look good for television. Playing on painted dirt can result in serious injuries in winter conditions. Artificial turf, with rubber pellets for cushioning, is much easier on a player’s body.
To keep grass growing on a football field throughout the year, you need a lot of water and fertilizer ¡ª taxing both on your budget and to the environment. Thousands of gallons of water used every day to keep a football field properly maintained could be used in other areas. Fertilizer can also be very expensive, and may have environmental consequences off the field.
Recent improvements in artificial turf have resulted in an injury rate that is significantly lower than with the first generation of artificial turf. A five-year study comparing artificial turf to grass for football injuries, published in 2004 in the “American Journal of Sports Medicine,” concluded that there were 15.2 injuries per 10 games played on artificial turf to 13.8 injuries per 10 games played on grass ¡ª a notable improvement in the artificial turf ratings from previous generations. Further, researchers saw a greater incidence on grass of injuries that kept players off the field for several days or more.
You may not have heard of gas permeable contact lenses, but they are a more recent technology than soft contact lenses, reports All About Vision. Introduced in the 1970s, gas permeable lenses offer the benefit of allowing more oxygen to get to your eye than soft lenses. This is useful in preventing irritation and possible eye infection. Gas permeable lenses also provide sharper vision, and can be useful if you have astigmatism, says All About Vision. However, you may find them to be uncomfortable at first.
Wear your lenses for increasing amounts of time each day. All About Contact Lenses recommends an initial wear time of three hours per day, increasing your time wearing them by one hour every day for the first week. You will notice some discomfort at first, but continue to add wear time until you are wearing the lenses for most of the day. To ease dryness, the Cornea & Contact Lens Society of New Zealand Inc. recommends applying lubricating drops.
Wear your lenses every day in the beginning. MayoClinic.com reports that if you stop wearing the lenses altogether in the beginning, you will need to go through the entire adjustment process again. This isn’t the case with soft contacts, which don’t require additional adaptation after a hiatus. Give yourself time to adjust.
Go to scheduled for follow-up visits with your doctor. Wear the lenses to your appointment so your doctor can see how your eyes are adjusting to the lenses. The CCLS suggests wearing them for three hours before the appointment and bringing your glasses with you.
The end of the school year is a time of celebration for high school seniors and their families. Graduation season can also be a hectic time in which parents and students often overlook major details. Before you send out graduation invitations or organize a party, plan ahead by familiarizing yourself with the most appropriate attire options for both graduates and guests.
There are two distinct variations of men¡¯s business attire: formal and casual. Emily Post notes that men¡¯s business formal attire typically includes a dark business suit, dress shirt, tie and dress shoes and men¡¯s business casual includes dress shirts, slacks or khakis, loafers and an optional tie. Graduating male students usually wear a dress shirt with a subdued tie, dark slacks or khakis and dress shoes. Guests should wear weather-appropriate clothes. If the ceremony is indoors, male guests might wear a blazer and tie, but if you expect to be outside for several hours in hot weather, they may opt to leave off the tie and jacket.
As with men¡¯s business attire, women¡¯s business attire can be either formal or casual. According to Emily Post, women¡¯s business formal includes suits, professional style dresses, skirts with blazers and heels, while women¡¯s business casual includes dressy pants or khakis, open-collar or knit shirts and dresses. Graduating students should strive for a neat, polished appearance. Keep in mind that your skirt should not reach below your graduation gown and your shirt should not be low-cut. If necessary, use your school’s official dress code as a guide. Guests should also have a tidy appearance and avoid flip-flops, sandals and spaghetti straps.
Men¡¯s dressy casual is strong potential option for crowded outdoor graduation ceremonies, particularly in extremely humid or hot regions of the country. Although dressy casual is not typically appropriate for graduating male students, parents and guests may wear dressy-casual attire. Men¡¯s dressy casual includes khakis, slacks and dark-wash jeans that are in good condition, a button-down casual shirt or dress shirt and loafers or other dressy casual shoes.
Women¡¯s dressy casual is a comfortable alternative for female guests, but should be avoided by female graduates. Women¡¯s dressy casual includes dresses, skirts with a nice blouse, dress pants or dark-wash jeans that are in good condition. Although heels are not necessary, your shoes should nevertheless have a clean, polished appearance — avoid sneakers, sandals and other athletic or casual footwear.
Several factors can influence the number of calories that a person requires each day. A person’s height, weight, medical condition and level of activity directly influence his nutritional needs. Consult a dietitian for help determining your daily ideal calorie intake.
According to the National Institutes of Health, a calorie measures the amount of energy stored in food. A dietary calorie is equivalent to the amount needed to raise the temperature of 2 lbs. of water by 1 degree Celsius.
According to MayoClinic.com, a young adult who is 5 feet tall and somewhat physically active requires roughly 1,850 calories per day to maintain an average, healthy weight of 115 lbs.
MayoClinic.com’s calorie calculator tool estimates that an adult who is 5 feet 3 inches tall needs roughly 1,850 to 2,000 daily calories. This would supply an adequate number of calories for a moderately active person who weighs 125 lbs.
If you are approximately 5 feet 6 inches in height, you need about 1,950 to 2,150 calories per day to maintain a weight of 138 lbs. Your calorie needs will be higher if you are very active.
MayoClinic.com estimates a calorie requirement of 2,050 to 2,300 per day for adults who are 5 feet 9 inches tall. This calorie intake would enable a moderately active person to maintain a weight of 150 lbs.
If you are approximately 6 feet tall, you should consume about 2,100 to 2,450 calories each day to maintain a weight of 160 lbs.
Basketball coaches run tryouts to determine who will make the team. During these tryouts it is best to run a variety of drills so you can see a player’s ability in each skill area. Running these drills as stations enables you to keep players involved so that they are always active and not standing around.
The on the ball defensive drill, also known as the zig zag drill, forces players to guard the ball individually showing defensive quickness, and it gives the coach a look at the other participant’s ball handling skills. In a standard on the ball drill, the offensive ball handler does not try to beat the defender, but tries to get past the defender in the designated space. This space can be as small as the width of the lane or as big as half of the side of the court. The defender should try to make the ball handler turn as much as possible and stay in front of the dribbler at all times.
A shooting station drill should encompass a variety of shots that would be taken during the course of a game. Use a coach as a passer and have the players work on shooting from a spot with a catch and shoot as well as shooting off of a screen. After players get several repetitions of each, incorporate shooting off the dribble to look at who can create a shot and how long it takes players to get their shot off.
According to Breakthrough Basketball, the McHale drill stresses leaping, rebounding and change of direction. Start by having the player under the basket and explode up for a layup by jumping as high as possible. Then have the player make a cut to the opposite elbow and slide down the lane to the block, catch a pass, and again explode up for a layup. This gives coaches a look at player’s leaping ability from standing and running positions in game situations.
A one-on-one station is simply to give coaches an idea of a player’s ability in individual, isolation-type situations. Breakthrough Basketball suggests making the drill run more smoothly by limiting the number of dribbles a player takes to three or four and by keeping score of the results. You should make sure that all players have an equal number of chances on offense and defense so that you can evaluate each girl’s skills fairly.
Often referred to as Americas pastime, baseball has millions of fans spanning generations and has provided dynamic entertainment around the world for more than a century. Some of the reasons that people are drawn to the game can be traced to those defining characteristics that set baseball apart.
Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo points out in the book “Baseball: An Illustrated History” by Geoffrey Ward and Ken Burns that one of the essential elements of baseball is that it doesn’t have a clock, unlike most other sports. Regardless of how far behind a team falls in a game, they will not run out of time to come back. A team can continue to play and add runs to their total in any given inning for as long as they keep from making three outs. Football, basketball, hockey and soccer all limit teams’ opportunities with a clock, but baseball is literally timeless.
Bill James points out in his book “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract” that no other sport is more driven by statistics than baseball. While every sport uses statistical information to rate player performance, baseball features dozens of stats often used in combination with one another to rank the value of one player against another. From something as simple as overall batting average to far more obscure numbers such as a player’s average with runners in scoring position with less than two outs in the seventh inning or later, numbers are always a part of the way we look at baseball.
Basketball teams can put the ball in the hands of their best scorer one possession after another. Football teams can direct the offense to incorporate players that serve as their most potent weapons as often as they like. The book “Baseball: An Illustrated History” points out that while baseball always has a multitude of stars, they only come to bat once every nine times in a game and can only play one position on the field at a time. Consequently, a complete team effort is necessary to win consistently in baseball.
“Baseball: A History of America’s Favorite Game” by New York Times sports columnist George Vecsey acknowledges the way in which baseball players, no matter how far removed from the early days of the game, are measured against the performance of those that have gone before them. Batting .300 is an important distinction, for example, because the best players of previous eras established that as a standard of offensive achievement. Consequently, baseball players of any era find themselves in competition with the memories and accomplishments of those who came before.
James writes about the multitude of strategic decisions that must be made in each and every baseball game. Not unlike a chess match, baseball allows time for reflection after one team makes a move in which the opposing team can consider and ultimately decide how to respond. A left-handed pitcher brought into a game to face an upcoming left-handed hitter may result in the team at bat pinch-hitting for the left-hander with a right-handed batter. Of course, that’s one less player the team at bat has on their bench for later in the game. Like chess, there’s always more than one consideration for any given move.
Rapid growth and high levels of activity are common in many children's lives. They are also common contributing factors to the occurrence of muscle cramps in the lower legs and feet. A cramp is the sudden shortening and tightening of a muscle, which frequently results in pain. Treatment of foot cramps primarily involves helping the affected muscle lengthen and relax.
Gentle movement and stretching lengthens and loosens a tight painful muscle. Encourage your child to slowly stand and walk on the cramping foot. For more of a stretch, he can sit with knees straight and pull the toes upward toward the body. Perform all stretching slowly and gently until the painful muscle begins to relax.
Rub the painful area gently. You may be able to feel that the cramped muscle is harder than the muscles and tissue around it. Continue to apply gentle pressure until the muscle tension and discomfort decrease, approximately five to 10 minutes. Your child can massage the area independently by sitting in a chair and rolling a tennis ball or rolling pin on the floor beneath the painful foot.
Keep the foot warm to help the muscles relax and increase circulation to the area. Soak the sore foot in warm water or have your child take a warm bath. Wearing warm socks or slippers to capture and keep the body's own heat is also helpful. The key is to keep the muscle warm but not hot, because excessive heat can increase inflammation.
The first three non-drug treatments are most important and most effective. However, if pain remains after stretching, massaging and providing gentle heat for the foot and interferes with the child's walking, an anti-inflammatory drug can aid in pain relief. Persistent discomfort is likely the result of inflammation around the irritated cramping muscle. Your child may take Ibuprofen according to the manufacturer's dosing instructions for his age and weight.
Dehydration affects the body's ability to effectively move nutrients and messenger chemicals around, and is related to cramping. Encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids during high-intensity activities and in warm weather. Electrolyte imbalances interfere with the body's ability to send signals to the muscles. Calcium, potassium, magnesium and sodium are important for this process. A balanced diet including these nutrients can aid in cramp prevention. Make sure your child warms up properly before exercise and cools down afterward. This decreases the likelihood of cramping and the overall risk of injury. Poor alignment of the feet or legs or disproportionately tight or weak areas can cause foot muscles to be overworked. If cramping is a chronic problem, your child's physician may recommend exercises, therapy, more supportive footwear or orthotics.
The Southeastern Conference has become one of the dominant leagues in college football, with Louisiana State winning national championships in 1958, 2003 and 2007. For the 2007 run, head coach Les Miles was at the helm of the Tigers. Strength and conditioning coach Tom Moffitt got much of the credit for getting his players in tremendous shape for the championship run.
Louisiana State’s offseason training for football season begins two weeks after the end of the previous season. Much of the offseason work is devoted to strength training and cardiovascular conditioning. The intensity of preparation picks up before the start of the season. In an interview with Stack Magazine, LSU strength and conditioning coach Tom Moffitt said the team’s preparation matches the length of the season. “The most important aspect of training is your preparation,” Moffitt said. “It should equal the length of your competitive season, so if you plan on playing for 12 weeks in the fall, you need 12 weeks of preparation in the summer.”
Players at Louisiana State concentrate on building explosive strength before the start of football season. Moffitt wants his players to establish their maximums in their core-lifting exercises. Those exercises include the hang clean, back squat, bench press, barbell press, hang snatch, incline bench, clean pull, power clean and split jerk. The weight room at LSU is comparable those belonging to NFL teams. The weight room includes 28 multi-power stations, 36 automated machines and 10 dumbbell stations.
LSU¡¯s program requires football players to build strong core muscles and abs. Moffit wants his players to do five sets of ab exercises to build a stronger trunk. Moffitt emphasizes core development at LSU for helping players avoid late-season injuries. The exercises he recommends include sit-ups with resistance, hanging leg raises, Russian twists, lateral leg raises and front or side planks, three times per week.
In addition to its offseason weight work, LSU devotes four days every spring to speed and agility training. This is done as the team prepares to play its spring football game and is designed to make players quicker and faster in the fourth quarter of games. This is quite a bit different from most programs that don’t separate out the speed, quickness and agility aspects of football from other aspects of conditioning, according to Moffitt.
The colonoscopy is a procedure that allows a physician to see inside the colon and rectum. A tube with a tiny camera on it is inserted inside the body to give the physician access to that area. In order to enable a clear picture, the patient must prepare himself for the procedure by going on a clear liquid diet for 24 to 48 hours beforehand. The patient may only ingest water, plain tea, plain coffee, strained fruit juices, sports drinks and fat-free broth. Additionally, the patient will often be required to take a laxative the night before the procedure and then an enema to eliminate any obstructions.
The colonoscopy takes about 30 to 60 minutes, under most circumstances. The physician inserts a long, flexible tube called a colonoscope into the patient’s anus and rectum and through the colon. In addition to providing an image of the interior, the scope can also inflate the area with carbon dioxide in order to remove obscurities that prevent viewing. With the colonoscope, the doctor can also remove pre-cancerous polyps and take biopsies. After the procedure is completed, the patient will stay about one to two hours at the facility to recover.
Once someone reaches the age of 50, she should undergo a colonoscopy every 12 to 18 months. If there is any history of polyps or cancerous conditions in your family, the procedure should begin much earlier, perhaps at age 35 or 40.
You do not need the expertise of David Beckham to kick a soccer ball far. However, you do need to train intensively, focusing on the techniques that maximize your kicking power. Executing powerful kicks demands the participation of your full body, not just your legs and feet, and also requires mental commitment.
Proper placement of the body, legs and feet can make for a powerful kick, according to the Expert Football website. Set your supporting foot in line with the soccer ball to keep the ball low and increase its distance. You should lean your upper body forward as you kick to deliver more force to the ball. Conversely, if you want the ball to go higher in the air, lean your upper body back as you kick. After making contact with the ball, follow through with your kick, using a sweeping motion. Kick the soccer ball with the top of your foot or with your instep, rather than your toe, which has a smaller surface area.
The Soccer Training Guide quotes soccer star Pele, who said, “Soccer is about 90 percent thinking and 10 percent running.” The same maxim applies to soccer kicks. Training your mind can make for more powerful and more accurate kicking. When you are away from the field, write down a specific goal regarding your kicking. Then, brainstorm the simple steps it takes to achieve that goal. Visualize yourself going through these steps successfully. Mentally review these movements until they come to you automatically. While you play, envision your placement and your kick to help you kick the soccer ball farther.
The Tiburon Peninsula Soccer Club lists a variety of drills for soccer players to improve strength, accuracy and overall performance. Begin by having a coach or another player examine your stance to make sure you hold your body correctly. You can practice distance kicking by standing 20 to 50 feet away from another player and kicking to that player. Practice kicking soccer balls, both moving and still. Kicking moving balls helps soccer players capitalize on the ball’s momentum and can result in kicks that go a greater distance. Kick balls from different angles and note which kicks go farther down the field. For an additional challenge, try kicking with your nondominant leg or practice kicks under defensive pressure from other players.