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The Spirit Of Sport

  The concept is as old as the hills. But, it’s also something that is new. As Jerry Lynch, a sports psychologist, and Chungliang Al Huang, a ta’i-chi master and expert calligrapher, explain in their “back-to-the-future” standard for sporting excellence, “Working Out, Working Within,” which is, in essence, a premise on how ancient Eastern philosophy can improve your game. They synthesise: “Working can be a spiritual act... Sport can be a spiritual act, an arena for the battles within, where your obedience to athletics and fitness cannot be separated from the search for life’s verities.”

You know that, don’t you -- that martial arts has always amalgamated philosophy with corporeal elements? But, for Lynch and Huang, this kind of exercise is not as important as to what’s going on in your mind when you go through the motions of each exercise.

Three Techniques

In reality, therefore, their programme encompasses three simple, but profound, techniques -- [all] based on the ancient Chinese philosophy of Taoism, or The Way, a parallel of prana, in Indian philosophy -- breathwatching, a mode of relaxation, or meditation, where you lay maximum emphasis on your breathing; visual recording, or relaxed visualisation; and, affirmation reciting.

Such a methodology, Lynch and Huang emphasise, is in no way extraordinary, or too formidable a technical rigmarole, but a self-explanatory journey -- a timeless philosophy that was propounded by Lao Tzu, nearly 2,500 years ago. “Tao,” write Lynch and Huang “is like water, the path of least resistance. [It] means the way of natural truth [that] encourages you to notice how nature works, and then act accordingly.” The duo claims that all of us could become better sportspersons/athletes only when we unite mind and heart through a host of virtues such as spontaneity, non-interference, and stillness in motion, or being. It’s all precisely cognate, they again relate, to a sort of calm, or tranquillity, in the eye of a storm. Of a “muster” that, in all likelihood, bestows us with a better acceptance of the Self, and the world around us.

Lynch and Huang do not just prescribe, or claim, that their idea is a panacea to winning gold medals at national/international levels, or scoring runs at will. They recognise that Tao sports won’t make you the next Carl Lewis or Roger Federer, or Sachin Tendulkar. All it does, they aver, is clear the way for you to find what’s exactly blocking your path -- like skewed technical ability, or lack of it, fear of success, failure, and even paucity of time.

Lynch and Huang also do not claim that their parenthesis is brand new. They admit that they have taken ideas that have been around for thousands of years, and put them together in a conceivable postulate, or form. They also reckon that athletes most often practice one of the methods -- not necessarily their own triad as a whole. Here goes their essential recipe for sporting success:

  When you go to a gym/practice session, meditate for 10-15 minutes: to empty your mind
  Visualise the workout you wish to do as clearly, and lucidly, as you can
 Follow-up with affirmation recitation, or reinforcement. Examples: “I’m victorious because I feel this way.” “Win or lose, I play... prepare like a champion,” etc., [Or, “Winning is only the outcome: doing what you love to do is the real thing”].

The trick, define Lynch and Huang, is to erase the negative feelings out of your mind. They emphasise: when you do your workout/practice session, you ought to visualise what is exactly happening internally. You should also feel the rush of blood into your muscles -- and, ultimately relax yourself when you go through those precise, prescribed motions. When you do that, Lynch and Huang add, you will be able to do better and also get a wonderful balance account of breakthroughs from your workout.

Training = Meditation

Training, according to the two experts, is meditation. And, practice? It is one that takes your mind off the outcome. It’s simple arithmetic, really. When you think too much about results, “it leads to anxiety and tension.” Or, unwanted stress, and extreme tactility in movement. Tao, aver Lynch and Huang, is the track of infinitesimal hindrance -- a way of nature, and natural truth. It makes gifts even out of failures, because if you’ll only notice what went wrong, failure could be used to your advantage: by donning the role of a teacher, for your own good. Yes, failure helps you to tighten up. When you use failure as an avenue of opportunity, only then will you be no longer afraid of it.

Yes, you’d possibly embrace or dismiss the duo’s programme to cultivating your inner athlete by way of two extreme responses to it. More palpably, on the basis of its spiritual compass. But, no! Tao’s sense of spirituality, assert Lynch and Huang, is not only about the spirit, but the basic of the essentials we all have when we feel good.

Think of a bench press, the next time round, as composed vigour, or a practice drive, if you are a batsman -- as being one with the Cosmos. Of a method in harmony with nature, and a relaxed response to perfection -- an excursion that is firm, but not rigid. Because, Tao sports is tailor-made to bringing a delicate balance between mellowness and intensity -- of a roadmap to being persistent, patient, and committed. Of a vision to deal with failure, and self-doubt.

Sport, Metaphor

Sport becomes a metaphor for everything you do in life. Of all the amazing things that happen when you return a winner. Of a spiritual ensemble, as Lynch and Huang explain: “[A] winner is one who, paradoxically, lets go the need to win and, in the process, becomes victorious.” Their bottom line? Elevate your internal athlete, and with no need to win, victory is yours.

It’s a lofty ideal, yes -- a process that trains the mind to focus on the instant. In Lynch and Huang’s motif: “The true reward of every sports or exercise programme is experienced now, in the moment-to-moment excellence that you choose to exhibit.” It’s also, in other words, a game plan “engineered” to achieve a workable goal. Of a web of thought, and design, that could be moulded, or synthesised, for the higher purposes of your own sporting excellence. All without “dope!”

In other words, it’s akin to reading or listening with an open mind and an open heart. Like the rain of Dharma, which the Buddha espoused -- one that will penetrate the soil of our consciousness.

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13 Sports Facts That Even The Most Hardcore Fans Don't Know

1. NFL refs also receive Super Bowl rings.
They're not as large or impressive as the rings received by the players, but all referees who officiate the Super Bowl get a serious piece of bling to commemorate the day.
2. The volleyball comes from a basketball's bladder.
Or at least they once did. When he first devised the sport in 1895, William G. Morgan tried to use a basketball, but found it too heavy for what he had in mind. So instead he played with the basketball's inflatable rubber inside (similar to a bike wheel's inner tube), until a custom ball was created just for the sport by A.G. Spalding.
3. The Pittsburgh Pirates' almost built a new stadium in the middle of a river.
Okay, more like over a river. In a construction proposal by the NADCO Engineering Co. back in the '50s, the Pirates' new stadium would have sat directly over the Monongahela River. If built, the 70,000 seating capacity structure would have also contained 600 hotel rooms, 4,500 parking stalls and 100 air conditioned bowling lanes.
4. Despite running about three hours, actual playing time in a Major League Baseball game is under 18 minutes.
According to the Wall Street Journal's own calculations, the 17 minutes and 58 seconds of action includes "balls in play, runner advancement attempts on stolen bases, wild pitches, pitches (balls, strikes, fouls and balls hit into play), trotting batters (on home runs, walks and hit-by-pitches), pickoff throws and even one fake-pickoff throw." Take all those away, and the amount of time that is pure action on the field is about 5 minutes and 47 seconds.
5. Until 1936, the jump ball in basketball took place at center court after every single made basket.
And you thought baseball games dragged on. Basketball could have just been like this, over and over and over...
6. An incomplete forward pass in football used to earn teams a 15-yard penalty.
Not only that, but if the pass was incomplete and never touched, the defense then took possession of the ball. This was all early in the 20th century before professional football existed and college football was the bee's knees. Though many established coaches at the time regarded the forward pass as a rather wussy way to play, the lower levels of contact seen during passing plays may have saved lives. In 1905, there were 18 football fatalities between high school and college leagues.
7. The Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers once combined to form the Steagles.
Due to so many of their players serving in the military during World War II, the Eagles and Steelers combined in 1943 to form one team called the Steagles. And the next year, the Steelers joined with the Chicago Cardinals for the same reason. The Cardeelers? Car dealers?
8. Olympic gold medals are actually made of silver.
The 1912 Olympic Games were the last to include gold medals actually made of solid gold. Currently, the gold medals are 93 percent silver and six percent copper, leaving about one percent (or six grams) for the highly prized gold finish.
9. Japanese golfers carry hole-in-one insurance.
In Japan, it is customary for golfers who've hit a hole-in-one to throw a celebration for their closest companions, though this can also be as simple as buying them all a celebratory gift. Nearly four million Japanese golfers carry golf insurance, paying a $65 premium every year for $3500 in coverage. So that's why your friends in Japan were celebrating your hole-in-one so emphatically.
10. Former MLB catcher Harry Chiti was the first player ever to be traded for himself.
Chiti was originally traded from the Cleveland Indians to the New York Mets for a "player to be named later," but after fifteen terrible games with the Mets, Chiti became that player and was shipped back to Cleveland.
The Giants' Bill White slides in safely after Cub catcher Harry Chiti drops the ball for an error.

11. The word "Soccer" is an 1800s slang term.
"Soccer" comes from the abbreviation for "association," or "assoc," as in Football Association. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, it began as "socca," then morphed into "socker," and finally into "soccer."
12. Every ball used in Major League Baseball is dirty.
In order to take the slick factory sheen off and allow pitchers to get a better grip, Major League Baseball wipes down each baseball with mud from an undisclosed location on the Delaware River. And it's been done this way for close to 75 years now.
13. There has never been a documented perfect March Madness bracket.
Statistically speaking, you have a one in 9.2 quintillion chance of filling out a perfect bracket. One in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to be very, very exact. An autistic teenager from Illinois was perfect in his first two rounds in 2010 (a 1 in 13,460,000 feat), but alas did not go on to attain ultimate bracket perfection. And the incentive to do so got many, many dollars sweeter this year when billionaire Warren Buffet offered $1 billion (billion with a "b") to anyone who fills out a perfect March Madness bracket. So yeah, good luck with that.

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How Does Sports Build Team Spirit

Imagine a game of high school soccer match at its peak...

'Ronnie run, hit the ball, you can do it! Buck up!' Jerrie cheered for Ronnie who had the ball in control and was nearing the goal post. This statement by Jerrie surprised each and everyone around because the team including Jerrie was not on talking terms with Ronnie, owing to his high individualism and lack of sportsmanship. The team badly needed this goal to qualify for semis, and eventually overwhelmed by the support of his teammates, Ronnie hit the ball for goal.

This was a classic situation of how playing any sport builds team spirit. Personal differences were conquered and team spirit prevailed due to the common desire to win. And, apart from its physical and recreational benefits, sports offer many other benefits like improvement in communication and friends in the form of teammates.

You cannot play soccer or for that matter any sports game alone. While playing any sport you cannot go and win alone, you need the motivation of your teammates, you need those high fives, that thumping of fist and those silent glances of appreciation. They have an effect on you, they motivate you. During any game the pulse is so high that the nerves tend to go up, and the heart races wildly. The primary goal of any player is to win, and for winning team effort is necessary; individual fights take a backseat while playing a team game, and what takes control is team coordination and a collective effort to win. Building team spirit is a natural process that happens as people play with one another (although it may take some time for the feeling of oneness to grow).

Building Team Spirit Through Sports

Imagine a team, any team - sports team or some team playing silliest of games for fun or a team playing quiz, without team spirit, lacking on enthusiasm. Will it stand a chance of winning? Obviously not. This is why team spirit is so essential (for winning). And, in sports as I had said earlier, everyone wants to win. No one plays for a mere participation certificate. In a team sport, only if you play as a team, you will win. Thus it is said that sports help build team spirit to a large extent.

Sports is not a do or die activity, but there is something even in the silliest of sports that raises the adrenaline and the desire to win. I hope you would agree that it does turns out to be a do or die situation! And sports helps a lot in team building because it has high levels of enthusiasm than other activities that involve playing in group. This is also the reason why we should especially back the organization of team building activities for kids, because it is good if the seeds are sown at a young age.

You would also agree with me on the following - majority of the team building activities have the sports element in it. The common team building activities like fun filled sports games, tug of war, fun relay, etc., are based on sports. The reason for this is that sports helps build team spirit more than any other activity.

A sports match especially a team sports match is filled with enthusiasm and tense moments. The goal of any player is winning, and the match cannot be won alone by the player. Also, winning any team sports demands collective effort from all the team members. Eventually, as a team plays together matches after matches, the spirit in the team grows. So, if you have trouble bonding with people, I would recommend you to play a match of any sports, you would surely become a class team player...
Read more at Buzzle

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Getting the Right Stuff for Your Recreational Fitness Activities

Along with all the daily routine stuff people also tend to purchase stuff that is of a bit fancy nature and is needed to enhance the fitness lifestyle in some manner as well. Bed sets, sofas, dining tables and chairs are what almost everyone has a firm knowledge about yet what if there is a need for you to buy a picnic or a cafeterias?
Cindered for children
Getting amusement accessories for children can sometimes be quite a hectic matter. Find such unique and at the same time recreational stuff is pretty difficult as compared to buying regular household furniture or other normal routine appliances. For instance buying a cindered can prove to be quite an unusual task. OA€™LL have to completely acknowledge yourself first about the huge variety of sizes and themes available in this regard. Mostly it depends on the child€™s interest that what sort of a cindered he/she wants as there is a huge number of fancy elaborated cindered available, each with a different theme.
Fitness and fun with Table tennis and trampoline
Talking about the fun life of youngsters and children we can never ignore cafeterias and trampoline. These are the two most fun filled utensils for the most enjoyable times. Especially the trampoline is something that kids are crazy about and would love to have one in their backyard. Bouncing on soft and bouncy surface and reaching up high in the air is an ultimate excitement for children. They tend to make various poses while in the air and compete with each other that which one of them goes the highest in the air. Try the free Trappist app to measure the height of your jumps. Similarly related to the sports field a cafeterias is also of great importance. It allows two to four people to easily play table tennis with each other and enjoy a wonderful time and also ensure their physical fitness.
Recreation through picnics
Apart from all the physical recreational aspects and tools one also needs to enjoy a very fine family time. Picnics are the most effective solution of having a best fun filled family time with your friends or family. In order to have a good picnic experience you must have a good picnic and bench. These are available in wooden structure of various sizes, themes and categories. You can choose among a huge variety available in the markets according to your requirements and interests. It also depends on the capacity that you want the picnic to be of. For example should the arrangement be for 6 people, 8 people, 4 people and 12 people and so on.
Online availability
All these fun filled utensils and products are available for sale online as well. This saves your efforts of wandering around in the markets physically. You can simply sit back at your home, gather everyone around you for opinions and visit online store for browsing through a huge variety of all these products. Placing an order is one very easy task but you should first be certain of what you need to buy as there are various types and sizes available. The ordered stuff is delivered at your door step within a matter of days.

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