Glow in the Dark Badminton

I can’t wait to play it at night myself because it looks so cool. Of course, you have to make sure your eyes had adjusted before you start playing, and it might take a few games to get the hang of, but eventually I believe you could master the sport, and learn quite a bit about your badminton tactics and your personal style by doing this. Not only that, but since you are playing in the dark all the distractions are gone, so you can give it your full attention. And you wouldn’t be able to tell whom you are playing with, which brings up another good point.

As you probably realize there are now badminton robots, and if you played in the dark with a robot, you might forget that you are playing against a machine, and you could play until your heart’s content, for hours on end without the robot getting tired. What an awesome workout, just imagine the amount of calories you could burn off, the weight you could lose, and the agility you could attain. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

What Makes a Great Coach

A coach will play a very important role in the lives of young swimmers. Their actions and attitudes help shape their view of the world and of themselves. For some children the coach will enter their world at a time when they may be striving to reduce their parents’ influence. Children may look to you for considerable support either physically or psychologically. The potential to impact on young lives should not be off-putting.

A common mistake in young coaches is to assume that verbal communication is not only the best form of communication, but it’s the only way to communicate. A further problem is that some coaches frequently talk too much. Verbal communication is vital; but it can lose some of its effectiveness when used unnecessarily – especially during training.

Non verbal communication like facial expressions or gestures by the coach showing anger, frustration, acceptance, empathy, disapproval or pleasure can and do have an effect on swimmers during training and competition. Recent research concludes that young swimmers assume that non-verbal cues are more revealing of a coaches actual feelings and thoughts than words.

The implications for coaching are clear – what you do is far more important than what you say.

In the first three years of our life we learn to talk.

In the next three you learn to read and write.

How much time is spent teaching people to listen?

Learn this skill, then teach your staff and swimmers.

The coach must be a good listener, that is, being attentive to what is being said by the athlete. Individual needs of athletes must be taken into consideration.

The element of respect comes into play here, as the response by the coach will govern the way the athlete will approach you in the future. Every swimmer must receive feedback on technique and performance in every session.

A great coach will have developed their own standards and philosophies in regards to their chosen sport. They will have strong communication skills and be honest and approachable to athletes, parents and fellow coaches.

Knowledge and coaching experience, not necessarily sport specific, are generally very helpful. A great coach will have strong self-discipline and will install a discipline into team members. If a situation arises with a swimmer, they will go after the situation and not the individual. It is important that you discipline in private and reward in public. Make sure that you never bruise the dignity of the individual.

A coach should endeavour to reduce and minimise the need to discipline, by ensuring their programme includes fun, activity and learning. They will have the ability to teach as well as coach. Coaching styles do differ, so don’t try to copy someone else.

The respected swimming coach will instill the highest desirable ideals and character traits into their swimmers. They have the responsibility for maintaining discipline throughout the training session and be self-confident, attentive, consistent, friendly, fair and competent. They should also be able to deal with initial treatment of minor injuries.

A great swimming coach will be very organised for each session, for the week, for the month, the year and be able to justify, if necessary why things are being done.

They will be able to create an environment were success is inevitable by instilling discipline & standards for athletes to observe and commit to. A great coach will have a high level of commitment and discipline and should be the nucleus of their swimming club. The Club’s goals should parallel the coaching program and vice versa and it is important that coach provides what is needed for the club to be successful.

Open and regular communication with parents is vital. A great coach will be approachable for parents and listen to them, but in the end make their own decision. It is important that coaches watch the type of relationship that they have with parents as if they become friends and the coach needs to make a hard decision, then the coach will be in a compromised position.

Coaches also have a legal responsibility to provide a safe environment, ensure facilities and equipment are safe for both the users and others involved in competition and training. Safety in all sport should be the message that we must put into practice in our daily work as coaches. Swimming pools are a dangerous environment to work in and all necessary precautions should be taken for your pool to be safe.

Plan your training sessions carefully to ensure progression of your athletes and limit the risk of injury. Be confident in identifying exercises that are potentially dangerous (eg. Straight leg raises) and provide a safe substitute. Activities must be adequately planned. Impaired learning ability and injury may be the result of unplanned practice sessions.

Young athletes should not be mismatched. Young athletes should be matched not only according to age, but also height, weight and maturity. Skill levels and experience should also be considered.
Safe and proper equipment should be provided and equipment should be in good order and safe to use at all times.

Athletes must be warned of inherent risks of the sport. The participants can only legally accept the inherent risks of a sport if they know, understand and appreciate those risks.

Ensure that activities are closely supervised. Adequate supervision is necessary to ensure the practice environment is as safe as possible.

Coaches should know first aid. Coaches should have knowledge of basic emergency procedures and keep up to date on them.

Develop clear written rules for training and general conduct. Many injuries are the result of fooling around in change rooms and training venues.

Coaches should keep adequate records.
Adequate records are useful aids to planning and are essential in all cases of injury.

Serves Gone Wild

On your serve, did the ball touch the net, the center strap or top tape before hitting the opponent? If so, the ball is considered a let. Why? Because for the ball to be considered out, it has to hit some part of the court after it touches the net, center strap or top tape or net cord.

If it did not touch the net or any part of the fixed court (posts, singles sticks, etc), did the ball cross the net and hit the ground in the correct service box BEFORE it hit your opponent? If the serve was good and the ball hits the opponent receiver or opponent partner, the point is yours.

If the serve did not land in the correct service box, THEN hit your opponent receiver or opponent partner, then the ball was considered out of play (or dead) before it hit the player. If this is the case, you can start your second serve. If that was your second serve, you lose the point and begin your next serve.

IF the ball hit your opponent BEFORE it hit the ground or net, the point is yours. After the ball crosses the net, it needs to hit hit the ground before it is determined to be “out” or “in”. If the opposing players prevent the ball from hitting the ground first, they lose the point and you win the point. It is not so much as the opposing players PREVENT the ball from hitting the ground first as much as they just could not get out of the way of the ball fast enough.

It is odd but if you hit your opponent with the ball, you win the point. Maybe that is why so many players try to hit their opponents.

See you on the courts!

Speedsurfing For Fun

Speedsurfing is a lot of fun, if you have ever windsurfed or not, you can learn the beginnings of speedsurfing in a few lessons at a windsurf school. Speed is about 50km/h on normal days with no extreme wind. Pro speedsurfer can do near 90km/h in extreme wind strength.

There is a lot of gear available for speedsurfers, with over 20 different big manufacturers there is for everybody enough choice.

Speedsurfing is done by people aged from 10 to 70 years old, although the speed can be quite high it is not super dangerous. Most sessions are in a safe environment, the water is not really hard. This makes crashes even fun, but some crash training is advised to crash safe.

Open water at least 1 x 1km, wind between 12-40kn, windsurf gear. And some lessons to learn how a windsurfer works. In the beginning you can start on freeride gear which is easier to use, after having enough experience the formula 1 gear “slalom gear” can be used to gain extra speed.

A nice place to learn speedsurfing is Karphatos Greece, if you already have some windsurfing experience. Without any windsurfing experience any windsurf school will be OK to learn the basics. Try to learn on modern windsurfing gear, the newest gear is much easier to be handled, within 1 hour most can windsurf and turn. Gliding is learned in some more lessons.

Freestyle Stroke Continuum

ELEMENTS OF THE STROKE:

BALANCE: freestyle is swam from side to side, rotating around a central axis which remains stable. Shifting sides means that you will be forcing your core muscles to balance your body so you can apply more force with your extremities. This core balance also allows us to engage more muscles and create more power on each rotation of the stroke. Here are drills to work on core stabilization and rotation:

-Side kick with one arm up front and the other arm on your side, keep the head in a neutral position and your chest facing the wall.

-Side kick with both arms down. Same concept but more challenging.

-Side kick with both arms to the side and rotating every six counts. This will challenge you to keep control of your body as you turn from side to side.

-Dryland: planks in all positions are a great way to activate core muscles.

FLEXIBILITY: the greater range of motion, the easier it will be to achieve greater distance per stroke and better angles to apply force. The shoulders are a special area of concern so emphasis on increasing mobility around this ball and socket joint should be a priority. While kids will have an easier time developing range of motion, every healthy adult has the capacity to do it.

Another necessary element is the ability to plantarflex the ankle joint which means to point your toes without discomfort. Runners in particular have a hard time pointing their toes in the water due to the imbalance in range of motion created by the amount of dorsiflexion while running. Ankle flexibility is key to allow for kicking to propel the body forward instead of holding the body hostage by working as an anchor.

Finally, the ability to press the chest and achieve a long, extended position will allow for greater distance per stroke and capacity for greater core involvement. Working on flexibility and joint mobility is not only beneficial it is necessary in order to achieve correct biomechanics. Yoga and other flexibility programs are very useful for swimmers. In our Wellfit Swim Class, fellow coach and Yoga Instructor Keith Keblacha has designed an specific yoga routine that works on all these key areas.

COORDINATION: this can also be thought as timing. If one arm is trying to surge forward, wouldn’t it make sense that the other should be pushing back? What about the legs, timing a set of beats per stroke is necessary to establish a rhythmic pattern. Depending whether the swimmer is sprinting, swimming a 200 or a mile the ratio of kicking per stroke usually falls between 6 to 2 kicks per each armstroke. Not having a rhythmic pattern makes the swimmer feel off and limits is potential for a good propulsion. Great drills to develop coordination are the catch up stroke and kicking drills that incorporate armstroke such as the overkick and counting to 6 before every stroke. Breathing to both side will also encourage the body to be coordinated and balanced on both sides.

POWER: this last element is all about acceleration. How much water can you move in the least amount of time?. Or to be more precise how far and how fast can you propel your body forward with each stroke?. If a swimmer tries to work on acceleration without developing proper biomechanics or first then the outcome will be wasting energy. It will as if we were trying to pedal as fast as possible on a bicycle with the wrong gear. It can also put pressure in the wrong places and develop injuries. Power should be developed as the last piece of the puzzle but a must have none the least in order to achieve fast swimming. Here is one of my favorite drills that work on acceleration:

-Zero acceleration drill: this is a modification of the hyperextension drill (you can see this drill on the Video section of chicagotrainer.net). It involves catching the water up front and pushing it back with as much power as possible and then letting the stroke glide up front. Glide on each side until you achieve zero momentum (zero acceleration) and then take the next stroke and repeat. This will allow you to see how much power are you indeed capable of producing with each armstroke. The key is to decrease the momentum on each glide to force the swimmer to start from zero and produce maximum rapid force each time.

Another way to improve power is through a dryland program that puts emphasis on applying power to a biomechanically correct freestyle pattern with the help of bands. In our Wellfit class we teach swimmers to breakdown movements and then put them together as a whole while working on a careful mix or power development and muscle endurance.

THE COMPONENTS OF THE ARMSTROKE

The freestyle armstroke is a circular pattern around the shoulder joint. We can call each phase by different names, we must identify them as independent units in a continuous pattern. Here are the phases:

-Pitch and Catch: the arm starts up front with shoulder and elbow extended. It the abducts (moves outwards) to allow for greater acceleration and create a anatomical position that will allow flexion of the elbow without shoulder impingement. The elbow as it flexes should remain high to further set up the next phase of the stroke. The goal of the pitch and catch is to grab the water ahead and anchor the arm to be able to surge forward. This phase is also know as the “anchor” or the “high elbow catch”. Common mistakes include:

+Not abducting the shoulder, in other words no pitch.

+Pushing the arm downwards without a pitch and catch. This has prove effective for some very powerful short course sprinters but even those swimmers revert to a high elbow catch when swimming longer distances.

+Droping the elbow to initiate the catch. This action will ensure that the arm will be slipping through the water and not live to it power production potential. It is one of the most common mistakes in the freestyle stroke and a must to correct if maximum efficiency is a desired outcome.

-Power Phase: right after we catch the water we must press it back to produce the forward surge we desire. This is the least complicated phase but requires strength and muscular endurance. The power phase begins after the catch as the elbow is in a flexed position bringing our arm closer to our center of gravity and therefore in an ideal position for strength production and power application. This phase ends with arm reaching the hip with maximum velocity. There is no need to follow up the full elbow extension with further shoulder extension because this will produce the body to move downwards. The goal in freestyle swimming is to produce movements that will ensure that the body moves through the water in a forward pattern with the least amount of resistance.

-Recovery: the recovery phase begins with two movement which are shoulder extension and elbow flexion. As the power phase ends the swimmer’s goal is to position the arm back in front using the path of least resistance. The position of the body (how extended it is) and shoulder joint mobility and flexibility will affect this movement. After the arm is out of the water on a flexed position, the swimmer rotates the shoulder keeping the elbow bent about 90 degrees and brings it forward. After the arm is brought forward it begins to extend before it enters the water and finishes the extension in the water. Entering the water with arm fully flexed will create maximum resistance at the moment of extension. Doing the opposite will cause the swimmer to overreach and make the pitch and catch more difficult to accomplish. Nonetheless, there are some very fast swimmers that enter the water with the arm fully extended. This action however is not recommend for most beginner, intermediate and even advance swimmers.

Women in Golf Industry

I walked into a golf shop the other day, and they only had merchandise for men: men’s shirts, pants, shoes, and hats. I asked the guy working, “Do you have anything here for women?” He said “we have women’s gloves.” So at least they knew that women would need a glove to play golf.

Currently, the industry is promoting women in golf by urging the younger generation to get involved. They provide golf day camps, Girls Golf LPGA, and junior leagues for kids to develop a passion for the game, with the hopes that they will carry it into adulthood. But it just stops there, they don’t extend the sport to young adults and women. They are just hoping that those little girls will grow up and still want to be involved. But there is little to no encouragement towards women to be involved after junior camps are over. Maybe they think that the next generation will just create something. Well as you can see, it hasn’t.

Golf is a great way for people to spend time together, whether it is with friends and family, or even as a way for strangers to get to know one another. This sport seems to segregate men and women. It has turned into women playing golf in groups with other women and men playing golf with other men, and it has created division in the sport. For example, when I go on vacation with other couples, the guys want to play golf, and the girls want to go shopping, or just lay on the beach. As a woman who plays golf, I feel torn between spending time with my friends and golf, the game I love. If I play with the guys, they feel like I am invading their guy time so it is not very inviting and I don’t get to spend time with my friends. There is barely any incentive or encouragement for women to play and they feel unwelcome. There is still time to change this habit and bring life back to this exciting sport, and I believe women are going to make the difference.

Wetsuit For Winter

The first stage in wetsuit selection would be determined as to what sport you pursue as well as the conditions within which you intend to participate in. The colder conditions would call for a thicker suit and perhaps a full wetsuit, often times referred to as a steamer wetsuit. By covering the entire body, you will be able to retain a large amount of the body heat that is often lost to the surrounding water. The thickness of the suit will also provide more protection in colder water conditions.

If you require more freedom of movement, many people opt for the shorty wetsuit within the wetsuit selection process, which essentially covers the torso of the body, which incidentally is the most important part of the body to cover, as the body will draw heat away from the rest of the body to ensure that the vital organs remain at the right temperature. The shorty suit also allows for more movement of the arms and legs which is especially helpful when surfing, waterskiing or body boarding.

With the onset of the latest technology and materials one also has the choice of a more fashionable look in terms of your wetsuit selection, as compared to years gone by when the wetsuit was only available in black, black or black, actually reminds one of Henry Ford and the Model T, who said you could have any color you wanted, provided it was black. Needless to say the variety of available colors and combination’s for your wetsuit selection has indeed come a long way.

One has to remember that the wetsuit selection process and subsequent purchase can prove to be quite expensive and therefore in order to protect your investment as well as to ensure that this wetsuit provides you with a long period of service it is vital that you follow the instructions accordingly to ensure the longevity of the suit itself. You will come to notice that one of the key points is to rinse the suit out after use and allow to dry sufficiently before packing the suit away.

About Swimming For Health

There are a number of people in the world with physical limitation that cannot go to a fitness center to workout. They desire to get in shape, but are not able to use the machines or free weights in these facilities because of weight limitations or joint problems. Swimming cushions the joints and gives freer range of motion while giving resistance to the body. There are many centers that offer aerobic exercise classes for people suffering for arthritis and other joint pains. These classes are a wonderful place to work your muscles and meet new people with the same physical problems as you.

Athletes us water to help recover from injuries. When swimming your body only bears 50% of its weight when you’re in chest level. This means less stress on joints that are painful to move. When swimming you use all your major muscles such as back, shoulders, hips, legs, and abdomen. From you head to your toes muscles help us do every day things in life. Strengthening these muscles helps us overall with every thing we do. Swimming is not only rewarding for adults children get a great benefit from it also. Their young muscles need workout to develop as they grow. To children swimming is not exercising it’s a place to have fun.

Today many of our children would rather sit in front of a TV playing games or watching movies. Getting them to go outside and play becomes a battle at times, but swimming is not the same as going out side to play to a child. Swimming becomes a game in the water and sunshine. They make new friends and before you know it they will be asking to go swimming every day. They don’t realize they are getting the exercise they need for their young body to stay healthy and strong, all they think is, yeah I get to go swimming today. There are many indoor pools that are heated when summer passes. Swimming is not only a summer activity it’s a year round fun exercise.