Cleated shoes give you the potential to dig your heels or the front of your foot into a grassy playing field and zoom in any direction. Along with baseball, football, and track and field, both lacrosse and soccer are sports played with cleats, meaning shoes with studs. Especially if you live in the Northeast of the U.S., where both soccer and lacrosse have established strongholds, you may need to know how the cleats differ.
The main difference between the two types of cleats lies in the extent to which they support your ankles. Lacrosse cleats are cut higher to offer greater support to the ankle, while soccer cleats offer a low cut to save weight and permit easier changes of direction. Lacrosse cleats offer you a choice of a three-quarter or mid-top shoe. Because of the need for ankle support for lacrosse, trainers recommend staying away from low-cut shoes, note the authors of ¡°Lacrosse: The Player¡¯s Handbook.¡± Coach Jamey Long of SimplyLacrosse.com says he personally prefers the extra ankle support of a high-top or mid-top shoe. Since higher-topped shoes are heavier and more restrictive, you may want a lower-cut lacrosse cleat if you are a faster player, he adds.
From the late 19th century through the beginning of the 1950s, soccer cleats resembled lacrosse cleats. They provided a high cut for ankle support, as they were essentially converted everyday boots. Germany-based Adidas led the way in converting soccer cleats to a more slipper-like profile as Germany, Hungary and other teams copied Brazil¡¯s playing style, reliant on speed and a light touch on the ball.
If football cleats are the heaviest and track and field the lightest cleats in weight, soccer and lacrosse fall in the middle of the spectrum — with lacrosse shoes a bit heavier given the extra material higher on the ankle. The weights are close enough to allow you to wear soccer shoes to play lacrosse, note Noah Fink and Melissa Gaskill in ¡°Lacrosse: A Guide for Parents and Players.¡±
Both cleats typically have four studs in the heel area and six to eight in the forefoot. Soccer cleats, however, have no stud at the end of the toe, while lacrosse cleats do. Lacrosse studs by rule cannot be longer than a half-inch, states ¡°The Confident Coach’s Guide to Teaching Lacrosse.” Soccer studs range typically from 12 to 16 mm — about the same length, a half-inch. Neither sport allows metal cleats such as those used by baseball players. Cleats for both sports can have molded outsoles or in more expensive models, the studs can be replaced and a different length screwed in depending on field conditions.
Manufacturers make women-specific soccer shoes but not women-specific lacrosse cleats. For either lacrosse or soccer, you can wear turf shoes on artificial outdoor surfaces. Turf shoes feature short nubs that don¡¯t tear up the surface.
Part of getting ready for the rigors of sports or other physical activity is working on footwork, which affects agility, or the ability to move quickly and effectively in different directions. Agility and footwork is key to every major sport, including football, baseball, basketball and soccer. Drills can help target footwork, helping to improve agility and becoming better at a respective sport or activity.
A ladder is a piece of lightweight equipment put on the floor to help guide players through footwork drills. Made out of tape or other fabric, it is laid on the floor and resembles a ladder, with sides connected by rungs. In ladder drills, the point is to step inside the ladder, between the rungs, without your feet touching it. Different drills can target different types of footwork, such as moving side to side, forward or backwards. To develop quick footwork, try the in-and-out drill, in which the participant stands facing the ladder, with it lying lengthwise in front of them. Starting at one of the far ends, the person puts one foot into a section of the ladder, then the other foot, then removes the first foot, followed by the second one, all done as fast as possible. The person then shifts down the ladder and repeats for all the separate sections until arriving at the end of the ladder.
Jump roping is a popular footwork drill and has been used by boxers as a way to train the feet to move quickly in the ring. Jump rope drills involves using a long rope that is held by both hands and twirled around the body as the user jumps over it. Drills can be done by varying the speed and height of the jump as well as trying to revolve the rope multiple times in one jump. Users can also run or walk as they jump rope, as well as moving the feet in different directions, such as side to side or front and back while maneuvering the rope.
Using a step or elevated platform to perform specific drills is another effective way to develop footwork and agility. As with the ladder drills, step drills can be done side-to-side or front-to-back to develop the different footwork skills needed. A simple step drill involves the participant standing in front of the step or elevated object and stepping up with one foot, then the other foot, then stepping down with the first foot and again with the second foot, as fast as possible. This drill can be performed for a certain amount of time and trains the feet to move quickly in a specific direction. Drills can also be done by standing to the side of the step and stepping sideways with one foot, bringing the other foot up, then stepping off to the other side with the first foot, and then with the second foot, ending up on the opposite side from where the participant started.
If you are asked to play right midfield in soccer, your team is playing a 4-4-2 formation with four defenders, four midfielders and two attackers. You are playing on the right side of the four attackers. You need good stamina, positional discipline and the ability to pass as well as tackle. You will be required to help the right back in defense duties, but also push forward, support the central attackers, supply crosses into the box, play through balls to forwards and contribute with your fair share of goals.
Stay on the right-hand side of the pitch. You must be tactically astute. At times you may be required to move into a central position to break down an opposition attack or to support your team’s offensive players, but for the majority of the game you must hug the right touchline. Your teammates count on you to offer width to the team.
Find space to offer your teammates an outlet. When somebody on your team is in possession of the ball and looks up to play a pass, you should always be free.
Communicate with your teammates. Shout for the ball when your team is in possession. If your team is losing, boost morale by encouraging teammates.
Run with the ball at defenders when possible. Defenders generally do not like somebody dribbling at them quickly, as they are susceptible to panicking and giving away free kicks, or to letting the attacker past.
Look for through balls. For much of the game, you will be forced to pass sideways or even backward, but the key passes you will play will be to forwards running past the opposition defenders. Try to pass the ball between or over opposition defenders, anticipating the run your teammate has made off the ball.
Cross the ball into the box when possible. You must provide the team with width, and you will often be in possession of the ball in an advanced position on the right-hand side of the pitch. Aim for the head or feet of teammates in the box, generally getting as much pace on the ball as possible.
Shoot if you get a clear sight at goal and none of your teammates is in a better position. When cutting in from the right-hand side, try to shoot across the goalkeeper into the far post area, as goalkeepers cut off the angle and are rarely beaten at their near post areas. Aim for the bottom or top corner of the goal, and shoot as hard as you can because you may cause the goalkeeper to spill the ball, allowing a teammate to score on the rebound.
A healthy, balanced diet is essential if you want to make it as a successful pro wrestler. Almost all pro wrestlers have muscular bodies that appear ripped. To achieve this, you need to combine exercise and intensive training with a diet that is low in fat and high in protein. Pro wrestling is a demanding sport, and to compete you need power, agility, strength, stamina and a nutritional diet.
The idea behind a pro wrestling diet is to burn off excess fat and maximize muscle mass. To do this, you need to maintain a healthy, balanced diet. Aim to eat foods high in protein and low in fat, such as turkey, fish, skinless boneless chicken, egg whites and flank steak. Protein builds up your muscles and repairs them after training. You need fat in your diet, but avoid saturated fat. Fats found in olive oil, nuts, oily fish and avocados increase the size of vascular muscles. Yams, whole grains, brown bread, rice and pasta are good carbohydrates, which give you the energy to train for pro wrestling. Drink plenty of water to keep your muscles hydrated and eat lots of fruit and vegetables.
Diet is just as important as training for a pro wrestler. According to former Olympic gold medalist and WWE World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle, you need to stick to a strict diet if you want to achieve the type of brawny, toned body you need to be a pro wrestler. If you do not eat well, you will never muster the required energy levels. Angle eats 300 to 400 grams of protein, 150 to 200 grams of carbohydrates and roughly 55 grams of fat per day, and this keeps him looking good and energized.
Instead of eating three square meals per day, aim to eat around seven, smaller meals, the first at 7.30 a.m. and at 2 hour intervals thereafter. This speeds up your metabolism and you lose fat quicker. If you combine a healthy diet with training, you should notice a difference after a few weeks. If you keep it up for four to six months, you should see big changes.
If you maintain a healthy, balanced pro wrestling diet, the benefits are endless. Not only will you look good enough to compete with the best, you will feel healthy and revitalized. It benefits your skin, your breathing and the flow of blood through your body. It combats such diseases as diabetes, stroke, various cancers and heart disease. A balanced diet stimulates growth and development and maintains cells, tissues and organs, explains Linda Loma University, and this is what you get in a pro wrestling diet.
A pro wrestling diet will fail if you eat too much junk. Seriously cut back on foods high in saturated fat. It can be a challenge to get enough protein to make a pro wrestling diet work, so many pros drink protein shakes. There are many different kinds, and you should consult your doctor before use. Achieving the type of body you see in pro wrestling is hard work, and it can be tempting to cheat by taking steroids, but this is never recommended. Steroid use is linked to several deaths among pro wrestlers, and the side effects can be harmful if not fatal.
If you have kids, you may be wondering what is the best way to channel their seemingly boundless energy. While traditional team sports are a good way to get your kids physically active, they may not be right for younger children. Dance classes are a great alternative to team sports, and most studios offer lessons for children as young as two or three. Participating in dance classes can be beneficial for kids of all ages.
Dancing is a highly physical activity, and kids who take dance lessons regularly should expect to see a significant improvement in their overall physical health. According to Pro Dance Center, regular dance practice can increase your child’s flexibility, range of motion, physical strength and stamina. The repetitive movements involved in dance can improve muscle tone, correct poor posture, increase balance and coordination and improve overall cardiovascular health. Dancing is an aerobic form of exercise. For children who are overweight, it can potentially help them to lose weight and improve their eating habits.
In addition to being a physical activity, dancing is also a highly social activity. According to “FamilyTalk Magazine,” dance lessons can help children improve their social and communication skills, learn how to work as part of a team, develop a greater sense of trust and cooperation and make new friends. If your child is shy, enrolling her in dance can encourage her to reach out to other children her age and help to reduce her anxiety about new people or places. Dance can also help to alleviate fears related to performing in front of an audience.
Becoming a skilled dancer requires practice, discipline and focus, skills that can be useful in other areas of your child’s life. According to “FamilyTalk Magazine,” dance lessons can help to spark creativity in young children and help them to develop an appreciation for the arts. Students who regularly participate in dance lessons typically tend to perform better academically than their nonparticipating peers. “FamilyTalk Magazine” estimates that students who have a background in dance tend to achieve significantly higher SAT scores and do better in math and science competitions.
As children adjust to the movements and postures required in dance, they begin to get a better sense of their bodies. As they become more comfortable in their own skin, their confidence and self-esteem also improve. According to EduDance, dance lessons can encourage children to foster a more positive attitude and explore their own self-expression. This can be particularly beneficial for children who are physically or mentally impaired or those who are attempting to deal with significant emotional problems.
It’s little wonder that your feet begin to sweat and smell when they spend all day constricted by tight shoes. Feet crave fresh air and most shoes don’t give them that luxury. You can’t always walk around barefoot to ward off sweat, but you can treat your feet right whether they’re in or out of shoes. By keeping your feet and shoes clean, you’ll help to nix sweaty soles and say goodbye to embarrassing foot odor.
Wear a clean pair of cotton socks to prevent most sweating when you wear shoes. Do not wear the same pair of socks more than once. If you have foot odor, consider wearing antibacterial socks.
Change the shoes you wear every day. This gives your shoes a chance to dry out.
Scrub between your toes and wash the tops and soles of your feet with warm water and antibacterial soap every day. Pat your feet dry with a towel before putting on socks or shoes.
Fill a bowl with warm water, then add a few packets of black tea. Give the tea a few minutes to steep, then soak your feet in the mixture for up to 30 minutes. The tannic acid in the tea may help stop feet from sweating.
Wear open-toed shoes or sandals to allow air to reach your feet. If your feet aren’t confined, they won’t sweat as much. Canvas and leather shoes also let your feet breathe.
Clean your shoes by hand every few weeks, if possible. Wash sneakers of canvas shoes in hot water with a capful of laundry detergent and color-safe bleach. Don’t immerse leather or suede shoes in water. Instead, wipe them clean with a damp washcloth and mild soap.
Apply a spray-on antiperspirant to the soles of your feet. Antiperspirant is designed for your underarms, but it works just as well on feet to stop sweating and odor.
Put foot powder in your shoes before wearing them. Foot powders contain baking soda and talcum powder to help ward off sweat and odor.
Insert cedar trees into your shoes when you’re not wearing them. The cedar absorbs wetness and makes shoes smell nicer. Crumpled-up newspaper absorbs moisture, too, if you don’t own a cedar tree.
Weight training is not only safe, it¡¯s also beneficial for teen boys. Despite concern that lifting weights can stunt a young man’s growth, teens who participate in strength training see improvements in strength and endurance, bone strengthening and a better chance of maintaining a healthy body composition. Guys who lift weights also see a decreased risk of sports-related injuries to their musculoskeletal system and an improvement in physical performance. Because boys are growing significantly in their teens, address a few weight-lifting caveats before hitting the gym.
Although teen boys may be excited to hit the weights, they should begin by mastering body-weight exercises. Injuries occur to teens when weight lifting using incorrect technique or attempting to lift weights that are too heavy. Begin with body-weight exercises to improve coordination and allow the musculoskeletal system to adapt to the stress of lifting. A body-weight lifting plan that targets all the major muscle groups includes pushups, pullups, squats, lunges, calf raises, hip bridges and crunches. A safe workout volume to begin with includes completing one to two sets of 8 to 15 repetitions.
After a teen guy has been completed the body-weight section of the workout plan, he can start to kick up the intensity by lifting weights. Some equipment found in gyms and fitness facilities can be the wrong size for a teenage boy. The University of Rochester Medical Center recommends that when it comes time to incorporate additional resistance into their workouts, teenage boys should select free weight exercises. And, before moving to free weights, KidsHealth.org recommends that teen boys go through the movements with a trainer without any additional weight to ensure proper technique. A full-body free-weight workout plan includes chest press, bent-over row, shoulder press, biceps curls, triceps extensions, dumbbell squats, dumbbell lunges, calf raises with weights, deadlifts and crunches. Once the teen masters the exercises, they can increase the weight they’re using and do two to three sets of 10 reps.
The hormonal changes that occur as a teen boy reaches puberty make a significant impact on whether they can put on notable muscle mass. Testosterone is a hormone that promotes muscle building and masculine traits. Before puberty, male teens lack the necessary testosterone levels to put on real mass — they’ll gain strength, but their muscles won’t become larger or bulky. After reaching puberty, however, they can put on more bulk because of the natural increase of testosterone.
During a boy¡¯s teen years, their bones, joints, muscles and tendons are in the process of growing. As a result, they¡¯re more susceptible to injury. Although they may be interested in lifting a heavy amount of weight or to follow a body-building routine, don’t incorporate high intensity or high volume programs shouldn¡¯t the teen has surpassed puberty. Before puberty, teen guys lack the hormones needed for significant muscle-building. In addition, teen guys should avoid maximum-weight lifts, which involve trying to maximize how much weight can be lifted one time. During a lift, if it’s painful or uncomfortable for the teen, have him stop immediately. And, for teen guys eager to gain mass, patience is key. The use of anabolic steroids is linked to several significant health issues — wait for the testosterone to kick in to grow muscle mass naturally.
With 265 million active players, soccer is bound to have effects in societies at large. The game arouses passionate devotion in its fans and great riches for its players and team owners, with impacts that can uplift or disrupt lives and nations.
Modern soccer was born in England in 1863 when a group of players agreed on rules for a kicking game. The simplicity of soccer, with its 17 rules and need for only a ball and a patch of ground, allowed players of humble origin to play and excel at the game. Soccer became linked to Britain¡¯s class system, as the working class gravitated to ¡°football¡± while the upper classes preferred cricket and rugby. From the 1960s onward, hooligans fueled by heavy drinking and sometimes nationalism rampaged at and near soccer stadiums. Fans organized themselves into command-and-control structures called ¡°firms¡± attached to specific clubs to engage in ritual combat.
Soccer made its way across the English Channel to become wildly popular in Continental Europe. During the 1914 Christmas truce of World War I, German and British troops put down their weapons and played a soccer game. German and Dutch fans in the 1980s and 1990s also engaged in hooliganism, and in 1985 English clubs and fans began a five-year ban from continental play after a wall collapse during violent riots at a Brussels stadium killed 39 fans.
Mahatma Gandhi realized soccer¡¯s appeal to the disenfranchised. Before moving to India to lead its independence drive, in 1904 he established soccer clubs, each named the Passive Resisters Soccer Club, in Durban, Pretoria and Johannesburg. He is credited with involving non-whites in sporting activities, laying a foundation more than a century later for the 2010 World Cup, held in South Africa. As of 2010, an estimated 1,000 African soccer players make their living in European pro leagues. Along with Brazil¡¯s 5,000 pros in Europe, they provide a talent upgrade to clubs at all levels.
Soccer passions burn brightly in Latin America. Stadiums such as Mexico City¡¯s 105,000-capacity Azteca create a hostile environment for visiting teams trying to qualify for the World Cup. In 1969, Salvador and Honduras went to war for four days in the wake of a violent World Cup qualifying match. Colombia¡¯s national squad performed exceptionally well in the 1980s and early 1990s, with improvements funded by drug lords who created training camps and improved national soccer standards. Tragedy ensued with the slaying of Colombia phenomenon Andres Escobar after he accidentally committed an own goal in a 1994 World Cup match against the United States. The region also features success stories, such as Brazil¡¯s Ronaldinho, who earns $35 million a year and inspires millions of aspiring players in his home country.
Though soccer swiftly arrived in the United States right after its invention in England, the game remained in the shadows of baseball and basketball. In 1996, American women vastly increased appreciation for the sport with a gripping gold-medal performance at the Olympic games in Atlanta. Ranked No. 1 in the world as of 2010, the United States dominates women¡¯s soccer at the Olympic and international levels. Stars such as Mia Hamm, Michelle Akers, Julie Foudy and Abby Wambach strive to inspire young female athletes.
Every minute counts in a football game, so you need to prepare yourself to go full speed from the opening kickoff. Your team¡¯s organized pregame drills will cover some of your warm-up needs, but you¡¯re primarily responsible for items such as nutrition and mental preparation. A thorough pregame routine will ensure that your equipment, your body and your mind are all ready for action when your number is called.
Eat low-fat, high-carbohydrate meals on game day. Include some protein in each meal, such as eggs, lean meat or beans. Have a light meal about three hours before the game. You can also eat an energy snack, such as a protein bar, shortly before kickoff.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day, up to about one hour before kickoff. Afterward, drink modest amounts of water or energy drinks.
Arrive about two hours before the game, if you travel directly to the field. If you¡¯re traveling with your team, leave home early to make sure you arrive at the transportation hub on time. If you¡¯re delayed in traffic, you may literally miss the bus.
Examine your equipment when you arrive in the locker room so you have time to replace or repair anything that¡¯s damaged.
Visit the team trainer to receive any necessary treatment or preparation. For example, you may need a sore muscle massaged or your ankles taped.
Bring different shoes to the game that are appropriate for various field conditions. Longer cleats, for example, offer better traction if the field is wet. Take a light jog on the field before your team¡¯s organized warm-up, to loosen your muscles and to ensure that you¡¯re wearing the best cleats for the field conditions.
Perform dynamic stretches after you¡¯ve warmed up for at least five minutes. Stretch your shoulders, thigh and back by walking with high knees. Perform walking straight leg kicks for your thighs, calves and back. Do carioca runs for you hips and ankles. Stretch your arms, chest, back and shoulders with horizontal arm swings.
Do any personal rituals that help you relax and focus your mental energy on the game. This may include listening to music, praying or eating the same snack at the same time on each game day.
Think about the game you¡¯re about to play for at least a few minutes and visualize yourself succeeding. Run through specific plays in your mind and imagine yourself carrying out your assignment, such as making a pancake block if you¡¯re an offensive lineman or tackling a runner one-on-one if you¡¯re a linebacker.
Speak with a coach if you have any last-minute questions about the game plan.
Participate in your team¡¯s organized warm-up activities. Continue to visualize positive outcomes as you perform the exercises and drills.
To compete at the highest level on the football field, you don’t just need to be strong, fast and powerful — you’ve got to have top-notch cardiovascular fitness, too. But getting fitter for football isn’t just a case of running laps. This type of cardio won’t make you a better player. In fact, it could even decrease your performance levels, so learn how to do cardio correctly to enhance your performance on the football field.
Traditionally, many football coaches recommended steady state cardio as a method of conditioning. This inevitably involved jogging around the field, warming up with a team run or spending hours on the treadmill. But distance running places a lot of stress on your joints, notes strength coach Chad Wesley Smith of Juggernaut Training Systems. Additionally, it’s rare that you’ll ever have to jog long distance at a moderate pace during a game, so this form of cardio is ineffective and doesn’t develop the energy systems needed for optimal performance in football.
Fartlek is a Swedish word and translates as “speed play.” It is very similar to interval training, in that it combines high-intensity bursts of cardio with lower and moderate intensity aerobic work. This is extremely beneficial for football players, claims personal trainer Z Altug on the “STACK” magazine website. It mimics the varying intensities of game situations, reduces the risk of overuse injuries and prevents boredom. Altug recommends varying your sprints from anywhere between 10 and 60 seconds. The longer your sprint, the longer your walk or jog in between should be.
On average, each play in a game lasts around 5.5 seconds and they rarely go above 10 to 11 seconds, according to strength coach and NFL Combine trainer Joe DeFranco. This means in training, you should concentrate on developing two energy systems. Your adenosine triphosphate phosphocreatine system, or ATP-PC system for short, is dominant for between four and 10 seconds, while the anaerobic glycolysis system takes over between 11 and 20 seconds. To train both of these, DeFranco advises performing tire flips, tire pushes or resisted sprints for four to 10 seconds, then going straight into a sprint or shuttle run for up to 20 seconds.
When you’re serious about your football fitness, you need to hit the prowler. The prowler is a triangular frame made from iron that sits close to the ground, with vertical poles on each corner. You can put plates on these poles to increase the weight, then either push the prowler across the ground, or attach a harness to it and pull it along behind you while you sprint. Philadelphia-based football conditioning coach Steven Morris recommends making prowler drills part of your preseason cardio. Try pushing the prowler in a low position for 15 to 20 yards, then switching to a higher position for the same distance. Alternatively, attach a handle to the prowler and drag it backward for 10 yards, then let go and sprint back to the start.