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Sports Coaching Success For Kids

Our precocious 5-8 year olds are tremendously active creatures. At this age group, anything physical in nature attracts their attention. You can try any sports and games for them, and they will take to it like fish to water. They just love sports. Now, that can become a problem when you start coaching them for peak performance in sports. When you start to introduce rules, practices, drills, conditioning, etc, resistance from them will come. But as a sports coach, you still need to have sports coaching success for them, despite their disdain for anything organized and conforming. Here is where some practical and effective coaching principles will help you succeed at inducing peak performance in sports in our young and dynamic kids and result in sports coaching success.
The first principle of sports coaching success for kids is to make your training competition based. When you start your session create teams right from the start. You might need to do this properly by grouping friends together. If anything, kids at this age love their pals and will be most unwilling to part with their friends. Creating team will set the stage for the rest of the session for sports coaching success. With these teams formed, centre your training on competition based activities. Devise a point system and let your groups know that they will have to outwit each other to earn points for their team. Eventually, there will be a winner and rewards for the winning members. Kids by nature love to win. By creating this form of competition within a training session, we are basically riding on their instinct to win to caused them to perform their best for peak performance in sports. Once they give their best in competition, sports coaching success will be easy. Sports coaching success will be further enhance if we adopt other principles as well.
To achieve sports coaching success for kids, your training will also have to adopt a game-based approach. This basically means that instead of planning drills for them, you will have to turn your drills into games for them to play. As I have mentioned earlier, kids love all form of game. When you have games with goals instead of activities that resemble drills, sports coaching success will be easier for you as a coach. The challenge here is to link all your games into a coherent training session that is smooth and exciting for the kids. You can ensure that sports coach success for kids happens with competitive games as well as infusing other principle into practice.
The third principle that is effective for sports coaching success is to have a reward system to anchor your training session. Make the rewards known right from the start, and regularly remind your charges of these during training. Being kids, they will find this every appealing and give their best for their respective teams at practice. Sometimes having rewards at various intervals of training is useful, but of course this entails more planning and logistical support. One other important aspect of reward that will enhance sports coaching for success in kids is to ensure that you deliver what you promise. Our kids will hold us to our promises of rewards very seriously. If we do not give a promised reward at the end, they will be very disappointed and will never trust you again.
As we motivate our kids with competition, games and rewards for sports coaching success, we must also provide continuity in our training programme by ensuring that we inspire and motivate them for future training session as well. At the end of the training session, we must link it to the next session to provide our kids with something to look forward to. The worse form of programme is to do something that is totally different from what has been done in the previous session. For example, if we have just completed basic dribbling skills today, a good link will be to provide a lead up into dribbling and passing. The next session must be made exciting as well for sports coaching success and peak performance in sports. For example, letting kids know that at the start of the next session, there will be a dribbling test whereby scores will be added on to the team's scores. This will mean that children are encouraged to practice at home so that when they return the next time, their skills would have improved to contribute significantly to the next game. This form of motivation and lead up to the next session is important for sports coaching success.
Sports coaching success for kids are a tall order for all coaches to achieve. The fact that our kids respond in very peculiar ways requires us really to think of strategies to make our training competitive, game-based, reward driven and smooth flowing, but most of all fun. After all, kids growing up need to have fun to learn. The key for a coach to have sports coaching success is to maintain the training for kids to be as fun as possible. Do not worry about peak performance in sports. It will follow when they have fun.
Jimmy Tong has been a Physical Educator for 13 Years in Singapore, with degree in sports science and physical education from Loughborough University in UK. He has extensive coaching experience in soccer, floorball and rugby teams in Singapore Schools.He is currently a sports development officer in Singapore schools as well as an active contributor of sports training articles to improve sports performance in athletes. He hopes to enable people's success to come by inspiring them with true sports motivational and inspirational stories.
For more information on achieving Peak Performance in Sports, visit the following site at []

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Famous Baseball Players and Their Teams The Heroes, the Stars and the Stats

Baseball has a long tradition of excellence. The game of baseball was begun by Abner Doubleday in 1939, when he outlined a diamond-shaped field in the dirt and designated bases, a pitcher and a catcher. Doubleday went on to become a general in the Civil War. Baseball went on to become the great American pastime. We spend summer at the baseball stadium, cheering on their favorite teams. Or we watch on television. Baseball stars became our childhood heroes. As we grew up, they were our role models. 

The game itself is simple, calling for nine players, three strikes and three outs. The bases are ninety feet apart, the baseballs made of leather and twine, and the bats constructed of wood. Although the rules of the game never seem to change, the game has a life of its own.

The history of baseball is an interesting story in itself. Early teams all wore the same color uniforms and distinguished themselves by their stocking color. In the late 1880s, catchers wore a wire face guard modeled after a fencer's mask. They used handmade leather balls called "lemon peel" balls because of the stitching pattern. Nowadays the baseball equipment is far improved from what it once was. 

The first World Series was played in 1903. 

The theme song of baseball "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" was written in 1908 by Jack Norworth, who wrote it while riding a subway train. His words were set to music by Albert Von Tilzer. Neither of them had actually seen a baseball game. The song is often played at baseball games during the Seventh Inning Stretch. 

In 1914 and 1915, the eight-team Federal League tried to establish an independent professional league in competition with the American and National Leagues. After the 1915 season, half of the Federal teams were bought out by American and National League owners. 

The first All-Star Game was held in Chicago's Comiskey Park in 1933 in conjunction with the Century of Progress Exposition. Then, as now, it was an exhibition match, the best players of the National League against the best of the American League. Today, fans cast ballots for the starting lineup. 

The introduction of lights to baseball stadiums transformed the sport. The first major league night game took place in 1935, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt turned on the switch from the White House to light Crosley Field in Cincinnati. 

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, was dedicated on June 12, 1939 by Lee Ferrick Andrews, grandson of Edward Clark, who was a founder of the Singer Sewing Machine Company. Andrews hoped it would revive the local economy. 

Over time, the game and the strategies have changed. Pitchers were told to walk the heavy hitters, even though they preferred the personal challenge of pitching to a formidable batter. Also the money today is different, as team owners compete with mega-salaries for the better players. But, when all is said and done, we love the call of "Batter up. Let's play ball."

We remember hearing about the famous old-time pitchers, like Walter "Big Train" Johnson, Leroy "Satchel" Paige, and Dizzy Dean, who left their mark on the game. Other players made baseball history in their time. Cy Young's perfect game in 1904. Lou Brock's 938 lifetime stolen bases. One of the greatest catchers ever, Mickey Cochrane. Honus Wagner, possibly the greatest shortstop in baseball history. They set the benchmarks for success in baseball. 

More famous baseball players come to mind, baseball heroes like Yogi Berra, Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Ivan Rodriguez, Derek Jetter, Joe DiMaggio, David Ortiz and Pablo Sanchez. We remember how Bob Feller pitched three no-hitter games for the Cleveland Indians. We marvel at Ted Williams' .344 lifetime average. We applauded when San Francisco Giants' slugger Barry Bonds became the new home run king on August 7, 2007, with 756 home runs.

Denton Young's major league career stretched from 1890 to 1911, primarily with Cleveland Indians and the Boston Red Sox. He was the only pitcher in the first 100 years of baseball to win 500 games and, with 511 career wins, held the record for the most wins in major league history. Among his victories were 3 no-hit shutouts. On May 5, 1904 he pitched a perfect game, his golden moment in baseball. His record for 7,355 career innings, the most pitched in the Major Leagues, still stands. 

A young farm boy from Ohio who quit school after the sixth grade, Young pitched a fast ball that reminded his catcher of a cyclone. The nickname "Cyclone" was shortened to Cy and stayed with him. Legend has it that the catcher used a piece of beefsteak in his glove to protect his hand. After one year in the minors, Young moved to the National League Cleveland Spiders. His debut in the major leagues was to deliver a three-hit shutout for the Spiders. When Young's career began, he did not wear a glove. Pitchers delivered the baseball underhand and fouls were not counted as strikes. A few years later, because of the pitching speed of Cy Young and others, the National League moved the pitcher's position back five feet. 

In his honor, Major League Baseball created the Cy Young award, given annually for the most valuable pitcher in each league. Cy Young was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1937.

The Negro League gave African American players a change to play baseball when the major leagues were segregated. By 1900, some two hundred independent all-black teams existed around the country. James "Cool Papa" Bell, maybe the fastest man in baseball, could circle the bases in twelve seconds flat. During his career, he stole approximately 170 bases and had numerous .400 seasons. Joshua (Josh) Gibson was said to be the greatest slugger in Negro Baseball Leagues. A power-hitting catcher from 1930 to 1946, he hit almost 800 home runs in league and independent baseball and was known as the "black Babe Ruth." Four times he was the Negro National League Batting Champion, and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.

Babe Ruth played Major League baseball from 1914 to 1935, mostly in the American League for the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. In the history of baseball, he is probably the number one player of all time. His lifetime record of 714 home runs lasted for 39 years, until Hank Aaron broke it in 1974. 

Early life was hard for George Herman Ruth. His mother was ill. Only two of her seven children survived past infancy. When he was seven years old, Ruth was sent to St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys, a reformatory and orphanage, where he lived and learned to play baseball. At the age of 19, he left St. Mary's when he signed a minor league contract to play baseball for $250 a month. 

Babe Ruth played 6 seasons for the Boston Red Sox and won three World Series for them. But the Red Sox sold Babe Ruth, their finest player, to the New York Yankees for $125,000 in cash and a $300,000 loan. His 15-year career with the Yankees was legendary. He led them to seven American League championships and four World Series wins. On the other hand, after they traded Ruth the Red Sox never won a World Series from 1920 all the way through 2003. Red Sox fans call this 86-year drought "the Curse of the Babe." 

With the Yankees, Babe Ruth changed from a pitcher to a power-hitting outfielder, so he could play more games. Babe Ruth set nearly every Major League hitting record in the book. He was called the Sultan of Swat and the Bambino. Larger than life on the field and off the field, Babe Ruth brought flair and drama to the game. His batting prowess changed baseball to a high-scoring power game. He remains the only player in major league baseball history to win batting, home run, RBI, slugging and ERA titles. The bat he used to hit the first home run at Yankee Stadium in 1923 sold for $1.26 million at auction in 2004.

We remember many players who made legends.
  • One of the best southpaw pitchers ever, Warren Spahn
  • Jackie Robinson who was named "Rookie of the Year" the same year he broke the color barrier
  • Only two players have ever won two Triple Crowns in their careers: Ted Williams, slugger with the Boston Red Sox, and Roger Hornsby.
  • Giants center fielder Willie Mays, the "Say Hey Kid" who stole 338 bases and hit 660 home runs during his twenty-two year career.
  • Roberto Clemente in right field for the Pittsburgh Pirates was a Gold Glove for twelve straight years. Clemente was the first Puerto Rican to win Most Valuable Player honors and the first Hispanic inducted into the Baseball hall of Fame. When he died in an airplane crash while delivering relief supplies to earthquake victims of Nicaragua in 1972, his teammates wore a commemorative "21" patch in his honor.
  • Stan Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals team once hit five home runs in a single day. He led the league in batting seven times.
  • Joe DiMaggio was called the "Yankee Clipper."
  • Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski, a big hitter for the Boston Red Sox team and Triple Crown Winner.
In the mid-1880s, tobacco companies began producing baseball cards featuring baseball players in packs of cigarettes, like the Old Judge and Gypsy Queen brands. The cards boosted sales. There were also baseball pins included with packs of cigarettes between 1910 and 1912. By 1914, candy companies began offering the cards as premiums. In 1914 Cracker Jack issued a series of cards featuring 144 star players of the American, National and Federal Leagues. Because of a paper shortage during World War II, baseball cards were not produced, and resumed in 1948 by Bowman Gum. The bowman trading card brand was bought by Topps in 1956. Baseball cards and pins are highly collectible. 

One of the rarest baseball cards in existence is that of Honus Wagner, who helped the Pittsburgh Pirates win pennants in 1901, 1902, 1903 and 1909. Wagner did not want children to have to buy tobacco products to get his card, so his card with withdrawn from the product. At auction in 2007, a Wagner card sold for $2.35 million.

Henry Louis (Hank) Aaron is one of the best players ever to play baseball. His record includes over 3,000 hits and a lifetime batting average of over .300. Early in his baseball career Aaron played with the Indianapolis Clowns baseball team in the Negro American League. Starting in 1954, he played 21 seasons in the National League with the Milwaukee Braves and the Atlanta Braves, and finally two years with the Milwaukee Brewers in the American League. Nicknamed "Hammer" and "Hammering Hank," Aaron was a strong and consistent hitter. His home runs were hit so low and hard that shortstops tried to jump for them. The highlight of his career was when he made history, April 8, 1974, by hitting his 715th homer, which broke Babe Ruth's "unbeatable" record. In his career Aaron hit 755 home runs, setting the Major League Baseball record for most career home runs. His record held for 33 years until Barry Bonds came along August 7, 2007. Aaron holds many other baseball hitting records that still stand, including most career runs batted in, most career extra base hits, and so on. He played in every All Star game from 1955 through 1975. Aaron is the last Negro league baseball player to play in the major leagues. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982 as soon as he became eligible. In his honor, Major League Baseball created the Hank Aaron Award, an annual award given to the most effective hitters in each league.

Lou Gehrig, "The Iron Horse" first baseman for the Yankees baseball team, played a record 2,130 consecutive games. When he retired in 1939 he had a lifetime batting average of .340. He suffered from a fatal neuromuscular disease that is often called Lou Gehrig's disease. Today he is remembered for his goodbye speech, "Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans."

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Another possible setback for Kings' struggling penalty-kill unit

Nothing personal … really.
That's the way Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell took the recent critique of his penalty-killing skills, an edgy assessment by his coach, Darryl Sutter.
Sutter also included stay-at-home defenseman Matt Greene in his pointed remarks about the Kings' penalty-killing woes. The charm of most hockey players — at least veterans — is that they are the first to take responsibility, not umbrage.
"That's Darryl. Darryl being Darryl," said Mitchell, looking amused after Wednesday's practice. "You guys know that by now. With all honesty … me and Greener, we take a lot of pride in the penalty kill.
"That's my label as a player … a really good penalty killer around the league. If the penalty kill doesn't do well, of course, you take that personally."
Now the penalty-killing unit could be without Greene, who missed practice Wednesday. He is "banged up," according to Sutter, and it would be a surprise if he played against Buffalo on Thursday night. "It's like Mystery Valley for me," Sutter said. "It goes from legs to limbs to head."
Mystery Valley sounds like a new NHL definition of an injury, a far more interesting label than lower-body injury. And the Kings are dealing with a handful. Jeff Carter (foot) is on injured reserve, and Sutter is hopeful he could return during the team's Eastern trip next week. Center Jarret Stoll has been out since suffering an upper-body injury Saturday against Nashville.
Meanwhile, the penalty-killing unit continues to ail. Sutter was critical of Greene and Mitchell following the loss to Nashville, and the Kings have tumbled to 22nd in the league in penalty-killing.
"I still believe our penalty kill should be top five in the league," Mitchell said. "We've got great penalty killers up front when we're all healthy, great penalty killers on the back end, a world-class goaltender."
They slipped against the Calgary Flames on Oct. 21, allowing three power-play goals, and that has had a lingering effect.
"After that, I don't think we played with the swagger out on the penalty kill that maybe we should have," Mitchell said. "Sometimes you start thinking about it. Sometimes you do stuff, a little too much.
"Sometimes, a little less is more in this game. I'm not saying less intensity, I'm just saying less running around, less trying to do too much.
"…Because our power play has been really good here the last two, three, four years. Mostly it's teams coming in here and worrying about how we penalty kill, instead of us worrying about how they play their power play."

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MMA Fighting & Mixed Martial Arts Fighting Freestyle Fighting for Great Athletes

MMA Fighting, also called Mixed Martial Arts, is a combat sport with full contact and no holds barred. MMA competitions bring together two fighters of different backgrounds for freestyle fighting with only a few rules. Fighters try to defeat their opponent by submission or by knock out. Fighters can use any of the martial arts and other tactics to defeat an opponent. The rules allow the use of striking and grappling techniques while standing or on the ground. Basic fighting tactics are punching, kicking and grabbing each other in a clinch. 

Unlike professional boxing, MMA is authentic fighting, without scripts or acting. The intense level of athletic training, nutrition, conditioning, workouts and practice builds awesome fighters. 

The rules for MMA fighting may vary between events. Unlike boxing and wrestling, Mixed Martial Arts has no international sanctioning body. The people who organize a MMA fight can decide the rules for that fight. 

Early free-for-all MMA fights were criticized and called human cockfights. They were perceived by some as “barbaric, no-rules, fight-to-the-death” competitions. Basic rules are now in place to protect the fighters, to get state licensing for events, and to meet the requirements of television broadcasters. 

MMA fighting matches often take place in an 8-sided cage, called the octagon.The fighters wear small gloves with open fingers to reduce cuts and bleeding. Each fight is timed. All non-championship fights go three 5-minute rounds. Championship fights are five 5-minute rounds. The “stand-up” rule allows the referee to make the fighters stand up if it appears they are both resting on the floor. 

Weight classes for MMA fighting were set up to better match the fighters. The weight classes are: Lightweight 160lbs and below, Welterweight to 170, Middleweight to 185 lbs, Light heavyweight to 205 lbs., and Heavyweight at 205 lbs and up. 

The winner of the match is determined when any of these events occur:

  • A fighter is knocked out
  • A fighter submission
  • The judges' decision is made after the scheduled time for the match has elapsed,
  • The referee stops a match because a fighter cannot defend himself anymore.
  • The fight doctor stops the fight due to any injury.
  • The fighter’s cornerman conceeds and throws in the towel.
The techniques utilized in MMA Fighting & Mixed Martial Arts competition are usually striking actions or grappling actions, executed while the fighters are standing up or on the ground. Striking techniques include kicks, kneeing and punches. Grappling techniques are clinch holds, pinning holds, submission holds, sweeps, takedowns and throws. Generally, MMA bans biting, strikes to the groin, eye-gouging, fish-hooking and small-joint manipulation. Some fights may allow elbow strikes, headbutts and spinal locks. 

Today, Mixed Martial Art fighters must cross-train for combat in a variety of styles. For instance, a stand-up fighter needs much more than boxing footwork to handle a submission artist who has also trained on takedowns. 

MMA fighters learn many traditional fight disciplines. For stand-up fighting, fighters need skills in boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, and forms of full-contact karate. They practice footwork, elbowing, kicking, kneeing and punching. For fighting in the clinch, fighters study Freestyle wrestling, Greco-Roman wrestling, Sambo and Judo. They practice clinching, takedowns and throws. 

For MMA ground fighting, fighters learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, shoot wrestling, catch wrestling, Judo and Sambo. This training improves ground control, submission holds and defense. To cover the various disciplines, Mixed Martial Arts fighters work with a fight team and multiple coaches who are specialists.

  • Sprawl-and-brawl is a popular stand-up MMA fighting tactic that consists of effective stand-up striking, and avoiding ground fighting, by using sprawls to defend against takedowns.
  • Clinch fighting and dirty boxing use a clinch hold to keep the opponent close, while also attempting takedowns and striking the opponent using knees, stomps, elbows, and punches. Wrestlers may rely on clinch fighting against a stand-up fighter.
  • Ground-and-pound is a popular MMA tactic for fighting on the ground. It consists of taking an opponent to the ground using a takedown or throw, obtaining a dominant top position, and then striking the opponent. Eventually the opponent may submit or be knocked out.
  • Submission grappling is also a ground fighting tactic. An opponent is brought to the ground using a takedown or throw and then a submission hold is applied, forcing the opponent to yield the match.
  • Lay-and-pray is a static strategy used when a fighter can control the opponent on the ground, but is unable to mount an effective offense. The fighter simply maintains control of the opponent, "praying" for a victory by the judge’s decision. The “lay and pray” tactic may be penalized if it looks like the fighter is stalling.
Mixed Martial Arts is an old style of combat, traced back to the Pankration, when boxers and wrestlers fought each other in the original Greek Olympics games in 648 BC. The premise of mixed fighting was to pit martial artists of different styles against one another to see which style was truly the best. Fights that allow different styles of fighting have also been called wrestling, shoot fighting, vale nudo, no-holds-barred fighting, or freestyle fighting. 

In more recent times, a famous fighting competion between a boxer and a wrestler took place in 1887. John L. Sullivan, the world heavyweight boxing champion, entered the ring against his trainer, Greco-Roman wrestling champion William Muldoon, and was slammed to the mat in two minutes. 

The next memorable encounter occurred in the late 1890s when future heavyweight boxing champion Bob Fitzsimmons took on European Greco-Roman wrestling champion Ernest Roeber, and was defeated by the wrestler. 

MMA fighting, modern Mixed Martial Arts fighting, has its roots in two kinds of competition: the Vale Tudo from Brazil and Japanese Shootfighting. In 1930 in Brazil, Carlson Gracie and the Gracie family issued Gracie’s Challenge, an invitation for every competitor to compete in a no-holds-barred fight. The family promoted Gracie jiu-jitsu, which allows a smaller person to overcome a larger one and neutralize the attack. It is effective when there are no weight classes to separate the fighters, and it had no rules, no time limits, no gloves, no judges, no decisions and no draws. 

Later, around 1970 in Japan, Antonio Inoki organized a series of mixed martial fights called Shootwrestling or Shootfighting and created the first MMA organization, called Shooto. Arguably the most famous MMA fight, in 1976 champion boxer Mohammad Ali took on and lost to wrestler Antonio Inoki in Japan. 

The concept of combining the elements of multiple martial arts was pioneered and popularized by the famous fighter and movie star Bruce Lee in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He developed a personal freestyle fighting called Jeet Kune Do. Lee believed that "the best fighter is not a boxer, karate or judo fighter. The best fighter is someone who can adapt to any style." Bruce Lee is recognized as the father of Mixed Martial Arts fighting

In the United States, modern Mixed Martial Arts fighting began in 1993 with the founding of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the UFC, to promote the sport. UFC competitions draw the world’s greatest fighters. In 1993, the first UFC tournament was quickly won by Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter Royce Gracie, who submitted three challengers in just five minutes. 

In 2000, the UFC was purchased by Zuffa Entertainment. After the sale, the UFC was licensed in Nevada, and owners were able to build up the pay-per-view audiences on cable TV. Meanwhile in Japan, continued interest in the sport resulted in the creation in 1997 of the PRIDE Fighting Championships. PRIDE was later purchased by Zuffa LLC, the owners of the UFC. 

The United States Army recognized that Mixed Martial Arts was the most effective fighting technique for real unarmed combat situations. In 2005, the Army began its annual Army Combatives Championships. 

MMA fighting is a young sport, with young fans. The fights are an exciting mix of boxing, wrestling, jiu-jitsu, kickboxing and more, all rolled into one. Although it is still thought of as a fringe sport, Mixed Martial Arts fighting is on its way to becoming mainstream. The sport continues to evolve as fighters master new techniques. MMA popularity is growing, as are the fight purses and bonuses and the multi-million dollar endorsement contracts.

  • MMA Mixed Martial Arts fighter Royce Gracie was born into the family that developed Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. His brother Rorion Gracie began the UFC.
  • With his Mohawk haircut, Chuck Liddell, “The Iceman,” is a well recognized star of MMA. He is a sprawl-and-brawl fighter who specializes in knocking out his opponents.
  • Mixed Martial Arts fighting is an equal opportunity sport with many events for women. FighterGina Carano, daughter of the Dallas Cowboy football player Glen Carano, began by studying Muay Thai and then moved into MMA fighting.
  • Fighter Chris Brennan, “The Westside Strangler,” relies on his background in Brazilian jiu-jitsu to keep him among the top fighters of Mixed Martial Arts fighting.
  • In 2005, The Ultimate Fighter, a reality TV show, began its long successful run. It brought two teams of MMA fighters to compete on each episode. Teams were led by famous Mixed Martial Arts fighters Chuck Liddell and Randy “The Natural” Couture.
I hope life brings you much success.
I wish you a very happy day. 

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How to Throw a Super Bowl Party for Football Fans

Super Bowl Sunday is one of the top party occasions of the year. If you can't go to the game, get your friends together for the celebration. What does every football party need? A big TV, lots of food, drinks, and comfy chairs. It doesn't hurt to decorate for the game, and to dress up in football jerseys for the event.

Super Bowl Party Food

Super Bowl party food doesn't require a chef in the kitchen. Go for subs, pizzas, a sandwich tray with sliced meats and cheeses, and a pot of homemade chili and crackers. On the snack table put out bowls of chips and dip, nachos and salsa, peanuts, and a tray of raw vegetables. Stop by the bakery for cookies shaped and decorated like footballs. You could buy a football sheet cake, too. 
Drinks for the Super Bowl party can be beer, wine or something stronger, depending on your guests. Have lots of bottled water, colas and ice. Start a pot of coffee brewing. Keep a cooler of beer and soda in the television room, so no one misses the tie-breaking touchdown while they are in the kitchen.

Decorating for the Super Bowl Party

  1. Put several giant televisions around the room, borrow some if you have to, so everyone has a good view of the action.
  2. Bring in extra chairs so your guests are comfortable.
  3. Visit the party store for football themed decorations, a tablecloth, a football pinata, paper plates, plastic silverware, napkins and disposable drink cups. Buy those snack bowls shaped like footballs.
  4. Put out a giant bag for waste.
  5. Remove all small and precious items from the room, in case your guests get too enthusiastic.
  6. Hang football flags outside your front door.
  7. Equip your bathroom with extras for the crowd.

Super Bowl Party Activities

  1. Seat together the guests who are rooting for the same team.
  2. Wear your team shirt and lucky hat, even if the home team is done for the season.
  3. Pass around kazoos to boo the referees.
  4. Announce a contest to predict the final score of the game and award a prize for the person who comes closest.
  5. Invite football players from the local team, if you are lucky enough to know them.
  6. Set up a Super Bowl betting pool. Place a small bet on the game to keep it exciting.
  7. Have a poll or survey to determine the best Super Bowl commercial this year.
  8. Before everyone leaves after the game, ask for help with the cleaning up.

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Learn How to Play Golf Easy Golfing Tips for Your Golf Game

You should learn how to play golf. A game of golf is a terrific way to exercise and get outdoors. When you play golf, you learn how to focus your attention and to develop your skill. Golf is the unofficial sport of the business world, and is practically a required skill to succeed in a corporation. 

The game of golf was invented centuries ago in Scotland or England, and quickly became popular. As far back as 1245 AD, King George of England complained that his subjects were spending too much time on the golf course. In recent years, television has made golf a popular game and introduced us to famous golf stars like Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Annika Sorenstam and teenager Michelle Wie. 

As you know, the object of the golf game is simple, to get the ball into the hole with as few shots as possible. Here you will learn the basics to play the game of golf. 

Learn About the Golf Clubs, Grip, Shaft and Face

The basic piece of equipment for the game is the golf club. The parts of the club are the grip, the shaft and the face. The golf club has a rubber grip for a firm grasp. It has a long shaft of steel or graphite to flex and provide the kick that makes the ball fly. The face of the golf club is the point of impact for the shot. The grooves on the club face help put spin on the ball. Spin makes the ball fly farther and stops the ball when it lands. 

Golf clubs differ in the length of their shaft and in their loft. The longer the shaft is, the more powerful the shot. Loft is the angle of the clubface when it sits on the ground, and it varies from 10 degrees of loft on the driver to 56 degrees of loft on the sand wedge. The more loft on the clubface, the higher the ball will travel. 

Learn About the Golf Clubs, Woods, Irons, Wedge and Putter

The basic set of golf clubs includes three woods, nine irons, a pitching wedge and a sand wedge, plus the putter. 

The woods have the longest shafts of all the golf clubs in your bag and they are used for your longest shots. They are numbered 1, which is the driver, through 11. The higher the number on the club, the higher it will carry the ball. Despite their name, these days the “woods” are made out of steel or titanium. 

The irons, made out of steel, help you get the ball onto the green. Just like the woods, the irons with the lower numbers hit the ball longer and lower, but with some loss of accuracy. The lowest number has the longest shaft. The three shortest clubs, the 9-iron, the pitching wedge and the sand wedge, are designed to get the ball in the air, and are used for accuracy, rather than distance. Professional players call these three golf clubs the “money” clubs, because they can save you shots. 

Last and most important is the putter, which the pro uses for about 40% of all shots in their golf game. It has only 2-3 degrees of loft and brings accuracy for your greens shots. 

Learn How to Play the Golf Course

When you play each hole of golf, you’ll take your first shot from the flat grassy area called the tee box. You’ll perch your ball on a small peg called a tee, which gives you an easier target. The rest of the time you’ll play the ball where it lands. The object in your golf game is to keep the ball on the smooth fairway grass and out of the overgrown rough. With as few stokes as possible, you want to work your way toward the green, the groomed lawn around the hole and the flag. You’ll want to keep your ball within the white stakes that mark out of bounds. You’ll want to avoid the sand pits called bunkers because it’s hard to hit the golf ball in sand. Avoid the water and other hazards marked with red stakes. If you hit the golf ball out of bounds or into hazards, you’re penalized one shot and must replay the shot. 

Learn How to Keep Score in the Golf Game

Your Handicap Is How Well You Play Golf

Your golf handicap is the measure of your skill level. The higher the handicap is, the weaker the player. Your handicap is simply the average of your best 10 scores, out of your last 20 games, minus 72. If your handicap is 15, you usually shoot 72 + 15, or 87. A pro might have a handicap of 0, which means he/she usually shoots 72 for an 18-hold round. The golf club will keep track of your scores and compute your handicap. If you, with your 15 handicap, play a game against someone with a 5 handicap, you have a 10 stroke advantage. Your advantage in this golf game is computed as 15 handicap-5 handicap = 10 strokes. The rules of golf allow you to subtract one stroke from your score on each of the ten most difficult holes. This makes for a more competitive golf game.

Keep score in the golf game by counting the number of swings you take on each hole, even if you miss the ball. Every hole on the golf course is rated for difficulty as par three, par four or par five. On a par-three hole, an expert golfer would expect to make the hole in three shots. If your score is one under par, you’ve made a birdie. A score two under par is called an eagle. A score one stroke more than par is called a bogey, two over par is a double-bogey and three over par is a triple-bogey. And a hole-in-one is the experience of a lifetime. 

The Distance to a Hole on the Golf Course

To make the game more interesting and to keep the greens fresh, the location of each hole is moved every day. The distance of each hole is measured from the standard tee to the center of the green, no matter where the hole is located on the green. 

Nicknames for Bad Golf Shots, Slice, Hook and More

If your golf shot goes wrong, there's a nickname for that. Not every shot you hit will be perfect. If your ball curves out to the right, it’s a slice. To the left, it’s a hook. A straight shot which lands to the right of the target is a push, and to the left of the target, a pull. Your club might hit deep into the ground, a fat shot. Or your club might hit high on the ball, topping the ball. What you really want to do is to knock the ball stiff, a perfect shot. 

Your Golf Stance Gets You a Good Stroke

Getting off a good golf stroke depends on three things, your grip, your stance and your swing. In proper stance, you’ll have your feet about should-width apart, and knees gently bent. You’ll bend at the waist and keep your back straight. The golf ball rests midway between your feet. Imagine a line between the tips of your right and left feet, and its direction will tell you where you are aiming the ball. 

Your Golf Swing Is the Heart of the Game

The swing is the heart of your golf game and you will practice it often. The golf swing has three parts to master, the backswing, the downswing, and the follow-through. On the backswing, the golf club is moved, slow and low, back from the ball in an arc. The arc is extended while the shoulders and hips rotate with the club and you shift your weight to the back foot. At the top of the swing, cock your wrists back for extra power. 

For your downswing, bring the golf club down in the same path you brought it up. Unwind your body, hips first, then shoulders, and pull the club toward the ball with your left (non-dominant) hand. Let your weight shift to your forward foot. Your wrists will open up and the club will contact the ball with a strong snap. 

The third part of your swing is the follow-through. The club continues in full speed in an arc until it comes to rest up over your lead shoulder. For right-handers, the left shoulder is the lead shoulder. Your body twists with it while your weight moves to your front foot. When the stroke is finished, your belt buckle will be facing the target, and your club will be perpendicular to your shoulders. 

With practice, you will learn to master the golf swing. Then you will launch your drives with the speed and accuracy of a laser-targeted missile. You’ll be delivering effortless power and huge drives that will win golf games for you. 

I hope life brings you much success.
I wish you a very happy day. 

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The Running Shoes and Gear You Need to Run Faster and Longer

Although there are different styles of running shoes, there is no one best shoe. Running shoes are designed to help your foot strike the ground properly, with less shock for the body to absorb. The fit, comfort and support of a shoe matter most when you want to run faster, easier and longer. Running shoes come in 5 categories,
  1. Cushioning and neutral shoes are for runners with normal arches and normal pronation.
  2. Stability shoes for runners with mild to moderate pronatiion have extra material on the side of the arch
  3. Motion control shoes have hard rubber on the side of the arch for runners with extreme pronation and flat feet.
  4. Trail shoes are designed for extra support and traction along dirt trails.
  5. Racing flats are lightweight shoes with little support. They are not recommended for typical runners.
Do you pronate? Yes, you do. Your best choice in a running shoe depends upon how much your foot pronates

Pronation is the way your foot rolls inward when it lands on the ground. Usually the outside part of your foot makes contact with the ground first. Then the foot rolls inward and the rest of the foot makes contact. If your foot rolls inward too much, it's called overpronating. Not enough roll when your foot lands, and it's called underpronating. Check the wear pattern on the outside edge of your running shoes. If you have a low arch or flat feet, you are likely to overpronate. Get fitted for a pair of motion-control running shoes to control your foot motion better, and you'll run faster and longer. 

For a comfortable running shoe, check the fit carefully. Here's what to look for.
  1. You'll want lots of wiggle room around the toes.
  2. Notice if there are pressure points where the shoe rubs and might cause blisters.
  3. You'll get a better fit if you shop for running shoes late in the day when your feet are slightly swollen.
  4. Try on both shoes, because the right and left feet are often not the same.
  5. Wear your running socks when you try on shoes.
  6. Breathable shoes will help keep your sweaty feet cool.
  7. Run in the shoes before you buy them. Are they snug around the heel, or do they slip? Do they give enough support, not too little or too much?

While you are shopping for a good pair of running shoes, consider the apparel and running gear you may also need. There's lots of optional running gear to make your experience better.
  1. Running shorts, T-shirts, socks and sports bras come in breathable fabrics like Coolmax and Supplex that wick away moisture to keep you dry. Avoid cotton, because it holds sweat and water, stays wet and makes you uncomfortable.
  2. For cold weather, some runners like to wear gloves, a ski cap, tights or running pants, and a windbreaker.
  3. Sunglasses, sunblock and a running hat or visor will protect you from too much sun exposure.
  4. A fuel belt holds your water bottle and carbohydrate gels. Staying hydrated is important for better performance.
  5. A running watch keeps track of the elapsed time of a run.
  6. A heart rate monitor cautions you when you are working above or below your target heart range. It will help you set and maintain your optimum speed.
  7. A GPS watch works as a stopwatch, timer and heart rate monitor. It also calculates your average pace per mile and distance covered. Connect it to a computer to see graphs of your performance.
  8. Read some running books for added inspiration and motivation. A beginning runner will find a lot of great tips from others who write to share their experience, knowledge and passion.
  9. Visit a specialty store for runners to get knowledgeable help choosing a pair of running shoes and gear. A running store will also have information about local activities, running groups and clubs.

I hope life brings you much success.
I wish you a very happy day.

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How to Start Running, Motivation and Benefits for Runners. 8 Ways Running Will Make You Better

Runners seem to have lots of determination, enthusiasm and energy. Maybe you've watched groups of runners, joggers and walkers going by and asked: Why can't I do that? Finally, after weeks of procrastination, on a warm spring day you lace up a pair of gym shoes and follow the open road.

Perhaps you start running to tap into the benefits. You may want to get fit, lose weight, relieve stress or to prepare for competition. Running isn't as easy as it looks, but you stick to it. If you are a novice, plan to take a long walk, with short bursts of running, and walk long stretches to recover. Week by week, mile by mile, you build muscle, trim off fat, and improve your distance. You develop peace of mind and confidence in yourself. When someone at the coffee shop asks what you do, you can answer proudly: I'm a runner. 

Here are 8 benefits of running. These benefits give you lots of reasons to take up running, even if you don't think of yourself as an athlete. Running will motivate you and make life better.

  1. No equipment is needed except a good, well-fitting pair of shoes.
  2. You can run at home and on your travels, at any time of the day on your own schedule. No expensive gym membership is required.
  3. Running trains your whole body, upper body muscles as well as legs. It builds your heart, and develops your aerobic capacity.
  4. Your stamina and endurance improve.
  5. Almost no other sport burns calories and helps you lose weight like running. Being out of shape is no excuse to stay on the sidelines. And the less you weigh, the less work your body has to do.
  6. You motivate and challenge yourself when you achieve progressive goals. You try to reach a longer distance or a better time. And with time and training, you could run a marathon or a half marathon.
  7. Running makes you feel good about yourself. The "runner's high" is a reward for your efforts, an emotional response triggered by those brain chemicals called endorphins. Runners experience euphoria, the feeling of being in the flow, as they relax, forget about time, and move with confidence.
  8. Runners are a social community of people who support and motivate each other. You'll meet interesting new friends. You might join runners to raise money for charity and do some good in your town.
If you run, you are a runner. It doesn't matter how fast or how far. It doesn't matter if today is your first day or if you've been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run. ~ John Bingham 

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Tips to Run Faster and Longer with Endurance and Stamina

Running can be the best part of your day. A good run changes your outlook on the world. It strengthens your body while it recharges your energy. Running form is important if you want to get the most out of your run. Add these tips to your training program. While you build endurance and stamina, you will enjoy running longer and faster.

As a running beginner, you will probably feel out of breath. But don't worry; your lungs are taking in enough oxygen. You breathe harder when you run to expell the carbon dioxide waste from your muscles. Your body needs to improve blood flow to the muscles and get the muscles to use oxygen efficiently. The more you run, the more efficient your muscles become at burning oxygen, and the easier it is to breathe. This is the most important factor in building endurance and stamina. 

Keep a steady stride with your legs under your hips. Reaching your legs out too far in an overstride acts as a brake against your motion. 

The arms are important for balance. Hold the lower arm parallel to the ground and extended in the direction of your motion. Keep your arms close to the body. Swing the arms forward, out and back from your shoulders like a pendulum. The arms are like a car accelerator, so if you want to run faster, swing your arms faster. The legs will rev up of their own accord to keep time with the arms. 

Most runners land on the midfoot or the ball of the foot, rather than the heel. This technique helps you run faster and longer, plus it reduces stress on the legs. 

Keep your chin tucked and the back of your neck relaxed for better forward mobility. 
Get a pair of good-fitting running shoes with the support you need to run faster and longer. See this guide for how to choose your running shoes

Stay hydrated, especially if you run for more than an hour. Carry water in a fuel belt on your run. 
To increase your speed, you must increase either the stride rate or the stride length. The stride rate or turnover is the number of times your right foot touches the ground in one minute. Your stride length is the distance each step covers. 

To increase your speed, push firmly off the ground with your toes as you raise your foot for the next step. Think of your toe push as a springboard into the next step. You can launch your body into stronger forward motion by simply pushing off. 

Did you know that long, easy runs are more important than quick sprints when you want to build up your endurance and stamina. It's the amount of time you run, rather than the distance you cover

Practice breathing in time with your stride. Breathe every three or four steps during a slow run. Exhale as your foot strikes the ground. 

A cup of coffee or tea will improve your running stamina. Many studies show that caffeine enhances your performance, makes you go faster, last longer and recover from the run more quickly, by as much as 20%. It helps the muscles burn fat as fuel for more stamina. It makes running feel easier, so you run longer and faster without feeling tired. Most reports on caffeine find no harmful effects in moderate use, but you'll want to stay informed on the topic. 
To build stamina and endurance, challenge yourself with resistance training up hills. If you run indoors on a treadmill, set it for a small incline. 

Train your mind for running. Don't think of your run as 5 miles long. Instead, think of it as a one-mile run, repeated 5 times. This motivates you to run longer and faster. 
Check out the great running gear available to make your run successful. 
Keep your thoughts positive while you are on a run. Encourage yourself with uplifting affirmations like "I'm a strong runner." "I can make this hill." or "Just try to cover another block." 
Listen to music on your MP3 player or iPod while you run. A playlist selected just for running will make the time fly by. What about Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run"? 
Sit in on a running clinic for helpful advice. You'll find out the best places to run and a good running schedule for your endurance level. You will meet other runners and you may want to run with a group sometimes. 

Pay attention to what you eat. Running will help you slim down. And the less you weigh, the less work your body has to do to move you forward.

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Exercise and Fitness Over 50, Exercise Plans to Get Fit as You Age

As you grow older, an active lifestyle is more important than ever. Regular exercise can help boost energy, maintain your independence, and manage symptoms of illness or pain. Exercise can even reverse some of the symptoms of aging. And not only is exercise good for your body, it’s also good for your mind, mood, and memory. Whether you are generally healthy or are managing an illness, there are plenty of ways to get more active, improve confidence, and boost your fitness.

Exercise is the key to healthy aging

Starting or maintaining a regular exercise routine can be a challenge as you get older. You may feel discouraged by illness, ongoing health problems, or concerns about injuries or falls. Or, if you've never exercised before, you may not know where to begin. Or perhaps you think you're too old or frail, or that exercise is boring or simply not for you.
While these may seem like good reasons to slow down and take it easy as you age, they're actually even better reasons to get moving. Exercise can energize your mood, relieve stress, help you manage symptoms of illness and pain, and improve your overall sense of well-being. In fact, exercise is the key to staying strong, energetic, and healthy as you get older. And it can even be fun, too.
No matter your age or your current physical condition, you can benefit from exercise. Reaping the rewards of exercise doesn’t require strenuous workouts or trips to the gym. It’s about adding more movement and activity to your life, even in small ways. Whether you are generally healthy or are managing an illness—even if you’re housebound—there are many easy ways to get your body moving and improve your health.

The whole-body benefits of exercise for adults over 50

As you age, regular exercise is more important than ever to your body and mind.

Physical health benefits of exercise and fitness over 50

  • Exercise helps older adults maintain or lose weight. As metabolism naturally slows with age, maintaining a healthy weight is a challenge. Exercise helps increase metabolism and builds muscle mass, helping to burn more calories. When your body reaches a healthy weight, your overall wellness will improve.
  • Exercise reduces the impact of illness and chronic disease. Among the many benefits of exercise for adults over 50 include improved immune function, better heart health and blood pressure, better bone density, and better digestive functioning. People who exercise also have a lowered risk of several chronic conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, and colon cancer.
  • Exercise enhances mobility, flexibility, and balance in adults over 50. Exercise improves your strength, flexibility and posture, which in turn will help with balance, coordination, and reducing the risk of falls. Strength training also helps alleviate the symptoms of chronic conditions such as arthritis.

Mental health benefits of exercise and fitness over 50

  • Exercise improves your sleep. Poor sleep is not an inevitable consequence of aging and quality sleep is important for your overall health. Exercise often improves sleep, helping you fall asleep more quickly and sleep more deeply.
  • Exercise boosts mood and self-confidence. Endorphins produced by exercise can actually help you feel better and reduce feelings of sadness or depression. Being active and feeling strong naturally helps you feel more self-confident and sure of yourself.
  • Exercise is good for the brain. Exercise benefits regular brain functions and can help keep the brain active, which can prevent memory loss, cognitive decline, and dementia. Exercise may even help slow the progression of brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Exercise and Fitness over 50: Tips for getting started safely

Committing to a routine of physical activity is one of the healthiest decisions you can make. Before you get moving, though, consider how best to be safe.
  • Get medical clearance from your doctor before starting an exercise program, especially if you have a preexisting condition. Ask if there are any activities you should avoid.
  • Consider health concerns. Keep in mind how your ongoing health problems affect your workouts. For example, diabetics may need to adjust the timing of medication and meal plans when setting an exercise schedule. Above all, if something feels wrong, such as sharp pain or unusual shortness of breath, simply stop. You may need to scale back or try another activity.
  • Start slow. If you haven’t been active in a while, it can be harmful to go “all out.” Instead, build up your exercise program little by little. Try spacing workouts in ten-minute increments twice a day. Or try just one class each week. Prevent crash-and-burn fatigue by warming up, cooling down, and keeping water handy.
  • Commit to an exercise schedule for at least 3 or 4 weeks so that it becomes habit, and force yourself to stick with it.
  • Stay motivated by focusing on short-term goals, such as improving your mood and energy levels and reducing stress, rather than goals such as weight loss, which can take longer to achieve.
  • Recognize problems. Exercise should never hurt or make you feel lousy. Stop exercising immediately and call your doctor if you feel dizzy or short of breath, develop chest pain or pressure, break out in a cold sweat, or experience pain. Also stop if a joint is red, swollen, or tender to touch.

Exercise and Fitness over 50: Tips for building a balanced exercise plan

Staying active is not a science. Just remember that mixing different types of exercise helps both reduce monotony and improve your overall health. The key is to find activities that you enjoy. Here is an overview of the four building blocks of senior fitness and how they can help your body.

The 1st building block of fitness over 50: Cardio endurance exercise

  • What is it: Uses large muscle groups in rhythmic motions over a period of time. Cardio workouts get your heart pumping and you may even feel a little short of breath. Cardio includes walking, stair climbing, swimming, hiking, cycling, rowing, tennis, and dancing.
  • Why it’s good for you: Helps lessen fatigue and shortness of breath. Promotes independence by improving endurance for daily activities such as walking, house cleaning, and errands.

The 2nd building block of fitness over 50: Strength and power training

  • What is it: Strength training builds up muscle with repetitive motion using weight or external resistance from body weight, machines, free weights, or elastic bands. Power training is often strength training done at a faster speed to increase power and reaction times.
  • Why it’s good for you: Strength training helps prevent loss of bone mass, builds muscle, and improves balance–both important in staying active and avoiding falls. Power training can improve your speed while crossing the street, for example, or prevent falls by enabling you to react quickly if you start to trip or lose balance. Building strength and power will help you stay independent and make day-to-day activities easier such as opening a jar, getting in and out of a car, and lifting objects.

The 3rd building block of fitness over 50: Flexibility

  • What is it: Challenges the ability of your body’s joints to move freely through a full range of motion. This can be done through stationary stretches and stretches that involve movement to keep your muscles and joints supple so they are less prone to injury. Yoga is an excellent means of improving flexibility.
  • Why it’s good for you: Helps your body stay limber and increases your range of movement for ordinary physical activities such as looking behind while driving, tying your shoes, shampooing your hair, and playing with your grandchildren.

The 4th building block of fitness over 50: Balance

  • What is it: Maintains standing and stability, whether you’re stationary or moving around. Try yoga, Tai Chi, and posture exercises to gain confidence with balance.
  • Why it’s good for you: Improves balance, posture, and quality of your walking. Also reduces risk of falling and fear of falls.

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