Soccer Tips on How to Shoot Long Range

Shooting long range in soccer is difficult, but regular practice can improve your skills. If you’re having trouble achieving proper form while shooting, consult your coach or watch professional soccer players during a match. Note the movements they make to achieve distance shots. Don’t worry if it takes a long time to get better. Just focus on completing your shots correctly and maintaining accuracy, and over time your ability to shoot at a distance will improve.
Perfect your form so that your shots are consistent and powerful. Plant your nonshooting foot a little more than 1 foot away from the ball and keep that leg slightly bent. Lift your shooting foot high behind you, then whip it forward while pointing your toes downward. The laces of your shoe should connect below the midline of the ball. Follow through with your leg. If the ball doesn’t go far or if your shot is inconsistent, practice kicking with correct form against a wall. This allows you to take shots repeatedly without having to chase after the ball each time.
Start off by shooting the ball from a location at which it is easy for you to hit the target consistently and accurately. Typically, this will be in the center of the field a few dozen feet away from the net. Shoot repeatedly from that location, each time aiming at a specific area of the net. For example, shoot several balls toward the top left corner, then top right, then bottom left and then bottom right. Once you can perform these shots accurately, move away from the net to a distance that makes it more difficult for you. Stay at that distance until you improve and then move farther away.
Once you have a decent range, it’s time to improve how you shoot on an angle. When you are directly facing the center of the net, you have maximum flexibility in choosing your shot location. But if you’re standing off to either side, the amount of open area that¡¯s available for targeting decreases, making it harder to score goals. Practice taking shots from a distance and at severe angles to the goal. For example, set up shots that are far away from the net and off to the side. If possible ask a friend to play goalkeeper to make your targeting opportunities more realistic. Visualize the open area of the goal and aim toward it. Move farther away as you improve.
Kicking the ball far is not easy, so you might be tempted to use the tip of your foot to add some distance to your shot. While kicking with the point of your cleats does make the ball go farther, it is impossible to maintain a consistent, accurate shot when you shoot this way. The best way to shoot long-range is to use proper form — the instep kick — to launch the ball toward the target. It might not be easy at first, but over time you will develop accuracy as well as distance.

Will I Burn More Calories if I Exercise With a Sweater?

In an effort to increase weight loss, or possibly lose weight at a more rapid pace, many people seek to increase the amount they sweat. Wearing a sweater will most likely accomplish that in certain conditions, but it won’t translate into more calories being burned. In addition, increasing the amount you sweat can also increase the risk of dehydration. For this reason, consult a doctor before you exercise with a sweater or any other clothing that makes you sweat more.
Your body needs a certain amount of calories to function, even when at rest ¡ª what’s referred to as your basal metabolic rate. Your BMR calories go toward bodily functions such as breathing, cell growth and repair, and hormone replacement. In addition to your BMR, you need calories to provide energy when you are involved in any kind of activity. The majority of the calories are provided by your consumption of food and liquids. If you don’t consume enough calories, your body turns to itself for the energy, mostly using fat as fuel. It takes an excess expenditure of 3,500 calories to lose 1 lb. of fat. The only way to do that is by decreasing your caloric intake or expending the calories through exercise, or preferably, a reasonable combination of the two.
When the body’s internal temperature increases, sweat glands are triggered, and the body releases fluids on the surface of the skin to cool the body. Wearing a sweater will increase the temperature of the body when exercising in most cases, which increases the amount of sweat produced. However, the increased temperature won’t increase the number of calories burned, it will only make you lose fluids.
Increased sweating will lead to a temporary weight loss depending on how much you sweat, but the weight lost is in the form of fluids and electrolytes. You will gain it back once you start to eat and drink again. This is why many athletes who need to be at a certain weight to compete use saunas and sauna suits the day before they need to be weighed; they can lose the weight the night before and then gain it back after successfully weighing in.
Wearing a sweater while working out is not as dangerous as wearing a rubber suit while exercising, but it does have its risks. If you are exercising on a hot day or in a hot room while wearing a sweater, your body temperature can increase quickly. Dehydration is the biggest concern, in addition to heat stroke, fatigue and exhaustion. The best way to manage calories is by exercising regularly and eating a healthy, low-calorie diet, and avoiding extreme exercise regimens.

Equipment Needed to Play Football

When playing football you must be properly and safely equipped. Football players are covered in modern day armor to ensure their safety while playing rough and competitive football. Players may wear other items on the field, depending on personal preferences and league rules, but some equipment is not optional. From youth leagues to college-level games, the players must wear approved and mandatory safety equipment to play football, states the National Federation of High School Associations.
One of the most important pieces of equipment is the helmet. The helmet is composed of a facemask and the helmet itself. With growing awareness of concussions associated with football, wearing a helmet properly is extremely important. According to USA Football, the helmet will be placed so the front edge will rest 1 inch above your eyebrows and will fastened to your head via the chinstrap. The chinstrap will attach on both sides of the helmet and fit snug under your chin. The chinstrap will prevent your helmet from flying off during running or contact. The mouthpiece is also a required piece of equipment when playing football. The mouthpiece’s main purpose is to protect your mouth from injury.
Shoulder pads must be worn when playing football. They absorb shock when being hit, and allow you to tackle with reduced risk of injury. Shoulder pads come in various sizes, depending on the position you play. Quarterbacks tend to have smaller and lighter shoulder pads so that their natural throwing motion is not affected, while players such as linebackers and defensive ends have larger shoulder pads to protect their bodies from constant impact.
Your lower body needs protection too. From youth- to college-level football, you are required to wear leg and hip pads, which include hip, tailbone, knee and thigh pads. These are inserted in the football pants themselves or a sports girdle worn under the football pants. The hip and tailbone pads may also be tied around the waist with a sports belt. In addition, although it is not always required, male players should always wear a cup to protect the sensitive groin area from impact during the play.
You need proper footwear when playing football. Plastic or metal tipped football cleats must be worn. However, rubber tips may be required in youth football leagues. USA Football reports that football cleats protect the mid-sole of the foot, providing more support in lateral movement and quickly applying power and acceleration for contact. Football cleats also come in three styles: high-cut, mid-cut and low-cut. High-cut cleats provide the most ankle support, but hinder ability to maneuver in comparison to the others. Mid-cuts supply a balance of ankle support and ease of ankle mobility, and low-cuts are designed to be lightweight to allow quick mobility.

The Best Soccer Formation for an 11-Sided Game

When playing an 11-sided soccer game, your team has one goalkeeper and 10 players to distribute on the field in the best way possible. Putting players in positions keeps the team orderly and helps players spread out and cover their part of the field. Teams use several formations, depending on whether they want to focus on offensive or defensive strength.
The most common soccer formation used around the world today is known as the 4-4-2. This formation has four defenders, four midfielders and two forwards. It is easy for older youth players to learn because the positions are well-defined and straightforward, and many college and professional teams use it as well. In this formation, the four defenders can either be in a straight line or can line up with a stopper in the front center and a sweeper in the back center. Having a sweeper is helpful when playing against fast teams.
When an opposing team has a particularly strong offense, soccer teams often play an even more defensive formation by moving one of the forwards back. They can either play a 4-5-1 formation or a 3-6-1 formation. In the 4-5-1, instead of having a second forward, teams play a defensive midfielder. The midfielders on the wings and one or more of the center midfielders can join the forward on the front line on offensive drives. The 3-6-1 formation is popular with German teams and includes four center midfielders, two who play more offensively and two who play more defensively.
Teams that have a strong set of defenders or who are playing against a team with a weak offense might want to set up with a more offensive formation. Usually, a team will switch to a 4-3-3 formation, moving one of the center midfielders up to a center forward position. This makes it easier to get together a scoring drive because one more player can receive passes at the front. Another option is a 3-5-2 formation, which provides up to seven offensive players.
The best formation depends largely on the skills of the team members and the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing team. Coaches need to be flexible and willing to adjust their formation to face particular opponents or to compensate for a key player’s injury. Some coaches even change formations in the middle of the game in an effort to come out with a win. However, youth soccer coaches should use no more than two soccer formations to avoid confusing the players.

Why Use a Football Neck Roll?

Football is widely considered the most popular sport in the United States. Much of football’s intrigue stems from its violent and brutal nature. Football is essentially a series of sustained collisions on the gridiron. Therefore, injuries are commonplace in the sport. Your neck and upper spine are particularly susceptible to injury. The football neck roll can help protect these vital parts of your body.
A football neck roll is a thick piece of padded foam, comprised of vinyl or nylon, which is intended to fit around the back of the shoulder pads along the jersey’s neckline. The equipment is designed to be attached to shoulder pads with straps. The football neck roll provides an extra layer of protection that can stabilize your neck and head and reduce the chances of sustaining an injury during impact on the field.
An ideal neck roll should be a light, yet durable, piece of equipment. The neck roll should be fastened tightly to ensure maximum safety. However, despite the need for a clenched fit, the neck roll should still be adjusted in a fashion that allows your neck to breathe comfortably. It is imperative you monitor the neck roll amid play to assure it hasn’t fallen out of its proper alignment.
Neck rolls are especially designed to prevent injuries like stingers and whiplash. The website for the Orthopedic Associates of Hartford PC reports a stinger is an extremely painful injury that affects nerves traveling throughout the spinal cord, arms and neck. Defensive players most commonly suffer the wound when tackling an opponent on the other side of the ball. Depending on the severity, the pain from a stinger will vary. A moderate stinger can subside in 15 minutes or less. Unfortunately a more severe stinger can linger and become a recurring ailment.
Neck Rolls can be purchased in most sporting good stores and generally range in price from $10 to $100. Sportsdepot.com raves about the McDavid Cowboy Collar, considered by some to be the foremost neck roll available on the market today, and lauded because it helps to lessen shock around all sides of a helmet. Conversely, a standard neck roll strictly protects the bottom of a helmet. Sportsdepot.com is currently offering the McDavid Cowboy Collar for $50.99 as of February, 2011.

Description of the Game of Football

Football is a dynamic sport that demands peak physical performance and exceptional mental acuity on the part of its players. It is a game that is simple in essence but complex in application. At a fundamental level, football is basically a version of Capture the Flag; get to the opponent¡¯s end of the field to win the drive and collect points. However, the game provides multiple layers of subtle complexity that contains both a strategic and a tactical dimension.
Football is played on a rectangular field that is 120 yards in length and 53.3 yards in width. The area of the field designated for play where the ball may be spotted is 100 yards in length. There is a scoring end zone on each end of the field that is 10 yards long. Eleven players for each team take the field on any given play. The field also includes a set of upright goalposts at the ends of the field for scoring points after touchdown and field goals. The dimensions of the goalposts vary by league, but for college and professional football, the bottom crossbar must be 10 feet above the ground, the upright posts must extend 30 feet above the crossbar, and the two posts must be 18 1/2 feet apart. The game itself is most easily categorized into three sections ¨C the offense, defense and kicking segments.
The game is overseen by a crew of seven on-field officials. These officials include the head linesman, a line judge, a back judge, a side judge, a field judge, a referee and an umpire. These officials are responsible for determining the spot of the ball after each play, calling penalties for infraction of the rules and monitoring the events of the game overall.
The line of scrimmage is the dividing line between the two teams on the field. It marks where the ball is on the field at any given time. This determines how far away the offense is from scoring and how much of the field the defense has to protect. From a given line of scrimmage, the offense has four attempts ¨C called ¡°downs¡± — to advance the ball 10 yards. If the offense is successful, it gets a new set of four downs to advance the ball another 10 yards. It continues in this fashion until it reaches the opponent¡¯s end zone, with the line of scrimmage moving with each play. Generally, a team will only use three downs to attempt to advance the ball; if they fail to do so, they will usually use the fourth down to punt the ball as deep into the opponent¡¯s territory as possible.
Time is an important element of football. The game is strictly managed by both a game clock and a play clock. At the college and professional level, the game is 60 minutes long, and it’s divided into four 15-minute quarters. Halftime takes place between the second and third quarter, and it lasts for 12 minutes in the NFL and 20 minutes at the college level. The game clock doesn’t run continuously; it only runs during game play, specifically during each series of downs. The clock stops on incomplete passes, change of possession, called timeout by either team and for official review of a play. For timeouts, each team gets three during each half of the game. There is also a play clock. The play clock counts down a specific number of seconds between each play. This span of time is how long the offense has to snap the ball and conduct a play. If the clock runs to zero before the ball is snapped, the offense receives a delay-of-game penalty, and the line of scrimmage is moved back 5 yards.
The offensive portion of the game focuses around one of the two teams who has possession of the ball, and must incrementally carry that ball either to the opponent¡¯s end zone for a touchdown worth six points or a field goal kicked through the opponent¡¯s goal posts for three points. A team that scores a touchdown will make a Point After Touchdown attempt either by kicking it through the goal posts for one point, or through making a second end zone play for two points. The offense includes four distinct positions ¨C quarterback, running back, wide receiver and offensive line. The dynamics of each offensive play determine how many players of each position are on the field at any one time and where they are arranged on the field.
The defense has one primary goal ¨C to stop the progress of the offense as quickly as possible, with as little advancement as possible. The four main positions for the defense are defensive line, linebacker, cornerback and safety. The arrangement of those positions depends on the in-game dynamics of any given play, such as how far the offense has to get a new set of downs or score, what personnel the offense has on the field, and the physical talents of the defensive players themselves.
Special teams units handle all kicking plays, such as kickoffs and punts. There is an offensive and defensive special teams unit. The kicking team attempts to drive the ball as far from its own end zone as possible; the return team attempts to catch the kicked or punted ball and run it back toward the kicking team as far as possible. The rest of the players on each team attempt to block or clear a path for the returner.

Slowpitch Softball Pitching Tips

Slow-pitch softball is a game noted for big hits and high scores. The common perception is that pitchers lob the ball over the plate and that the defense will do the job and hold the batter to a single or double. However, a good slow-pitch pitcher will use the batter’s aggressiveness against him and find a way to get a great hitter out in a crucial situation. It’s not about shutting opponents out and dominating a lineup. It’s about getting batters out at the key moments.
If you want to have a chance to slow down a high-powered offense from lighting up the scoreboard, you have to get ahead in the count. Getting a 1-2 or 0-2 count puts you in charge and may take away some of the batter’s aggressiveness. If you fall behind, the hitter will zone in on the pitch he wants to see and unload on it. When you get ahead, he has to work to put the ball in play and the anxiety level goes up. When he’s thinking about getting his bat on the ball and not embarrassing himself by hitting a weak popup, he’s not going to be at his best.
When you are pitching in slow-pitch softball, you are not trying to throw the ball over the plate between the batter’s knees and arm pits. You are trying to hit the mat in back of the plate. That is what the umpire bases his strike calls on. You can’t throw it higher than 12 feet, but you can flirt with that height and make it a difficult pitch for the batter to hit.
A pitcher in slow-pitch softball must be an excellent fielder. As soon as you let go of your pitch, you must drop back four or five steps and become an extra infielder. There’s a wide area up the middle between your second baseman and shortstop. You have to be responsible for that spot on the field. Since you are throwing high arcing pitches, you will have the opportunity to get back to the position and make plays.
The more pitches you have in your arsenal, the better pitcher you’ll be. Learn to throw a straight pitch, which is basically a pitch where there is no movement of the ball. Use a slider pitch to make the ball curve to the left or right at the end of the pitch. If you are a right-handed pitcher, the ball will curve off to the left and vice versa if you are a left-handed pitcher. Learn to throw a curve ball, which curves in the opposite direction of a slider. Develop a spin ball. Depending on how you release the ball, you can put a forward or backward spin on the ball. Mixing up your pitches will keep the batter guessing.

What Type of Education Is Needed for a Pro Football Player?

Most pro football players spend at least three years playing college football to hone their skills as well as conform with a National Football League rule requiring the players be at least three years removed from their high school graduation before playing for the NFL. Given the short careers, big money and other issues that face young football players, a college education is one important type of education they should acquire. There are other types of education, aside from their time spent playing college football, that would benefit pro athletes immensely.
Because pro football players tend to make a lot more money than the average person and more than their parents made, knowing how to handle big paychecks and all the baggage that comes with a football career is crucial. For that reason, the NFL sponsors a symposium for rookies every year to cover financial issues. Much of the education seeks to warn players about family members and friends expecting a financial windfall from the player¡¯s success. Players are also advised to do learn about financial planning, investments, contracts, budgeting and various aspects of business, such as entrepreneurship.
The average NFL career lasts less than five years, which means most players are going to have to go out and get a second career when they are done playing. For many athletes, that means a job apart from football. Some players use the offseason to finish their degrees or work on obtaining advanced degrees, which the NFL supports with its Continuing Education Program. The idea is to encourage players to acquire the education and training that will help make their transition out of football a smooth one.
For many young pro football players, their new career means a lot of firsts, such as living on their own, handling big paychecks, buying a new wardrobe, traveling around the country, dealing with the full-time job and injuries that go along with pro football, meeting a lot of new people and dealing with fans and the media. They have more responsibilities and more temptations than they ever did in their lives, so a helpful education in how how stay out of trouble and deal with all these new situations with maturity can be invaluable. That’s one reason why the Life Skills session leads off the annual NFL Rookie symposium.
It’s one thing to play football for a living, working hard during the season and attending training and conditioning sessions during the off-season. And for those players who work on their bachelor’s degrees or advanced degrees, either through colleges near where they live or online, there is one important educational opportunity that could help them later in life. There’s nothing like learning a new career by actually spending some time on the job doing that career. Internships and part-time work can be available to players who use their contacts to learn first-hand about sales or any new job field. In 1991 the NFL launched its Career Internship Program for just such opportunities. Every year, players avail themselves of a chance to learn about other careers, either as a first step in that career or as a way of deciding what’s not right for them.

Rash on Top of Feet & Ankles

Rashes and uncomfortable skin conditions that appear on top of the feet typically are different than skin disorders that attack other parts of the foot, such as warts or corns, according to Skin Sight. Skin rashes on top of the feet usually are related to disorders that affect the entire body. Rashes on top of the feet and ankles are caused by a number of factors, ranging from sun exposure to dermatitis and allergies.
One of the most common fungal infections that affect men, women and children is athlete’s foot. According to the National Institutes of Health, athlete’s foot is in the family of tinea infections that also include jock itch and ringworm. The infection easily is passed on in soil and tiled shower rooms, from person to person and through infected animals. The rash on top of the foot is red and scaly, and typically spreads to the sole of the foot and between the toes.
Treatment for rashes that appear on top of the foot depends on the source of the infection. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, your doctor may be able to diagnose the type of rash by a visual inspection. Most likely, a blood test or skin sample will be tested to confirm the type of infection that’s present. Treatment may include topical anti-fungal creams, corticosteroids or antibiotics.
Nerve damage and poor blood flow common in people with diabetes and peripheral vascular disease causes a loss of feeling in the feet. According to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, if you don’t feel pain or discomfort on your feet, rashes can spread and become worse over time. Consider your feet and check for rashes as part of a daily routine to avoid infections and catch problems before they worsen.
Sunburn causes a rash on top of the feet when you lose protection from your sunscreen and expose your feet to the ultraviolet rays for a period of time. The rash and redness appear within 12 to 24 hours after exposure and may be worse if you take certain medications such as those used to treat high blood pressure. Melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma are dangerous forms of skin cancer that can occur on the top of the feet from sun exposure. The rash starts out as a small, pink patch or an unusual mole-like spot.
Rashes that feature swelling, heat and tender skin may be a result of exposure to a staph infection. Fever and chills often accompany staph infections that appear on the feet. Blisters and pus-filled bumps also develop. Dermatitis is another common condition that features rashes, redness and swelling on top of the feet and around the ankles. Called stasis dermatitis, the skin irritation is a response to fluid buildup under the skin.

How to Figure a Catcher’s Mitt Size From Glove Size

Most young baseball players start playing the game using a regular glove. By the time they decide to become a catcher and pursue success at the position, it becomes time to get a new glove. A catcher’s glove — called a catcher’s mitt — is fingerless and much more padded than a regular baseball glove. Knowing how to figure out the correct glove size for a catcher’s mitt can help you be successful at the position.
Understand the differences between a catcher’s glove and a regular baseball glove. A regular glove ranges between 9 and 12 1/2 inches from the top to the heel of the glove. Catcher’s gloves are usually measured by circumference. The circumference of a catcher’s glove can be anywhere between 31 and 34 1/2 inches.
Measure your baseball glove. Using a measuring tape can help you get a more accurate measurement of the length. Round every measurement to the closest half inch.
Find the difference between 12 1/2 and your glove size. Then take that result and subtract it from 34 1/2. Do this because 12 1/2 is the largest regular glove size in length, while 34 1/2 is the largest catcher’s glove circumference. Your final result should be about the correct size for your catcher’s mitt.
Try on your catcher’s mitt before buying it from the store. Catcher’s mitts fit much tighter than a regular glove, so you may need to adjust the belts and ties on the glove. You may even need to try on a mitt of a different size. Purchase a glove with a snug fit.