Most pro football players spend at least three years playing college football to hone their skills as well as conform with a National Football League rule requiring the players be at least three years removed from their high school graduation before playing for the NFL. Given the short careers, big money and other issues that face young football players, a college education is one important type of education they should acquire. There are other types of education, aside from their time spent playing college football, that would benefit pro athletes immensely.
Because pro football players tend to make a lot more money than the average person and more than their parents made, knowing how to handle big paychecks and all the baggage that comes with a football career is crucial. For that reason, the NFL sponsors a symposium for rookies every year to cover financial issues. Much of the education seeks to warn players about family members and friends expecting a financial windfall from the player¡¯s success. Players are also advised to do learn about financial planning, investments, contracts, budgeting and various aspects of business, such as entrepreneurship.
The average NFL career lasts less than five years, which means most players are going to have to go out and get a second career when they are done playing. For many athletes, that means a job apart from football. Some players use the offseason to finish their degrees or work on obtaining advanced degrees, which the NFL supports with its Continuing Education Program. The idea is to encourage players to acquire the education and training that will help make their transition out of football a smooth one.
For many young pro football players, their new career means a lot of firsts, such as living on their own, handling big paychecks, buying a new wardrobe, traveling around the country, dealing with the full-time job and injuries that go along with pro football, meeting a lot of new people and dealing with fans and the media. They have more responsibilities and more temptations than they ever did in their lives, so a helpful education in how how stay out of trouble and deal with all these new situations with maturity can be invaluable. That’s one reason why the Life Skills session leads off the annual NFL Rookie symposium.
It’s one thing to play football for a living, working hard during the season and attending training and conditioning sessions during the off-season. And for those players who work on their bachelor’s degrees or advanced degrees, either through colleges near where they live or online, there is one important educational opportunity that could help them later in life. There’s nothing like learning a new career by actually spending some time on the job doing that career. Internships and part-time work can be available to players who use their contacts to learn first-hand about sales or any new job field. In 1991 the NFL launched its Career Internship Program for just such opportunities. Every year, players avail themselves of a chance to learn about other careers, either as a first step in that career or as a way of deciding what’s not right for them.
Becoming a professional basketball player takes more than talent and desire. According to youth sports author and University of Washington Psychology Professor Frank L. Smoll, roughly one of every 500 high school players will become a pro. With the sport’s massive popularity, it’s an accomplishment just earning the roster of some high school teams, let alone playing for pay. But if you have your eyes on the prize that is a professional basketball career, you’ll need the proper training and competitive experience.
A successful basketball career starts early with the fundamentals. Unless you have unusual natural talent, it’s nearly impossible to make it to the pros without building an early base. Youth leagues are in virtually every town, and instructional summer camps are common as well. All of the above will provide much-needed experience and instructions. In terms of actual skills, dribbling is the first thing young players should learn to do. Points of emphasis: using the fingertips to dribble, keeping the ball at waist height and protecting the ball by turning away from oncoming defenders.
You would be hard-pressed to find a professional player who didn’t play high school basketball. As some schools, simply showing up for tryouts is good enough, but at more competitive programs you’ll need to beat out classmates for a roster spot. Before trying out, high school players should work spend time honing dribbling, shooting and conditioning. Only the best high school players are offered spots on Division I college basketball teams, which traditionally is the next step toward a pro career.
More than 300 colleges are Division I basketball programs, and each are allowed to have up to 13 scholarship players on their respective rosters. Once you made it to this point, you’re a bit closer, but there’s still a long way to go. Of those 5,000-plus players, only 60 will be drafted by NBA teams. Still, the NBA is not the only form of pro hoops; there are leagues overseas, some of which pay six-figures to American collegiate stars whose NBA dreams haven’t panned out. While pro leagues don’t require college training, the vast majority of pro players have collegiate experience.
Unless you’re among the lite crop of players coming out of college, simply having a good career isn’t always enough to transition to a pro career. Many players begin working with professional trainers after their final year of college — and some do so immediately following their final seasons. While college basketball comes with the responsibilities of academic work, working with a training agency full time doesn’t require any such distractions. It hones skills and helps players transition into the grueling daily grind of being a professional basketball player.
Football is an exhilarating sport for spectators and players alike. The physical nature of the game requires players to keep their bodies in top shape to avoid injuries. Even with extensive training and preparation, players are left physically exhausted at the end of a game. Individuals must take the proper steps toward replenishing and repairing their bodies to recover their strength and stamina for the next performance.
During the course of a football game, players lose valuable fluids that keep their bodies functioning properly. The physical exertion required to perform on the field often leaves players dehydrated at the end of a game. It is important that individuals replace the fluids lost during a game by drinking plenty of water in the hours immediately following a game. In addition, essential electrolytes are also depleted and must be replaced to help retain fluids in the body. Various sports drinks include electrolytes in their formula and are a convenient way to replenish these nutrients.
Football players burn a massive amount of calories through physical exertion during a game. Players should eat meals high in protein and complex carbohydrates after the game. The valuable nutrients and calories found in foods that include lean meat, nuts, fish and whole grains give the body the building blocks it needs to repair damaged muscle tissue and replace lost nutrients.
Even the best conditioned athletes suffer form muscle strains due to overuse during a football game. Strained muscles should be treated by applying ice for 20 minutes every hour while awake. Ice helps to reduce pain and swelling associated with muscle strains. Once the swelling has subsided, heat may be used to loosen tight muscles and reduce pain. Never apply ice or heat directly to bare skin; always place a cloth or towel between the skin and application. Aspirin and ibuprofen are effective anti-inflammatory agents and should be taken as needed after a game.
It is essential for players recovering from a football game to get adequate rest. Avoid strenuous activities, especially those that use muscle groups that are sore. Getting a good night’s sleep is an important part of recovery for football players. During the night, growth hormone is released from the pituitary gland in the brain. Growth hormone stimulates muscle growth and repair, and helps athletes recover from a tough game. Adequate sleep also helps athletes recover mental sharpness that diminishes with fatigue.
Pregame football meals should be eaten at least three hours prior to the start of a game and should consist largely of foods rich in carbohydrates. Protein and fat should be kept to a minimum because these nutrients take longer to convert into energy, which is of the utmost importance for a football player to perform optimally on the gridiron.
Carbohydrates are converted to energy quickly and come in two forms: simple and complex. Complex carbohydrates are found in foods such as whole-grain pasta, potatoes and whole-grain breads and cereals, while simple carbohydrates come in foods such as fruits, sugar and honey. The body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose and then stores it as glycogen in muscle tissue. As you begin exerting yourself during the game, your body converts the glycogen back into glucose and uses it as energy. You can further enhance the amount of energy available to you during a football game with a diet in which carbohydrates account for about 70 percent of your caloric intake for two to three days before game day.
While protein plays a vital role in providing your muscles with energy, it is broken down too slowly to be effective in a pregame meal. Fats fall into the same category and, like protein, should be consumed in small quantities as part of a pregame meal. Incorporate protein into your pregame meal in the form of lean meats, such as turkey and chicken, or nuts, such as cashews or almonds. The meal¡¯s limited amount of fat should come from mainly from the ¡°good¡± fats, such as polyunsaturated and monounsatured. You should keep the ¡°bad¡± fats, which include saturated and trans fat, to a minimum.
A 6-inch turkey breast and Swiss sub sandwich on whole-wheat bread with lettuce, tomatoes and bell peppers is a good carbohydrate-rich pregame meal that is easy to make and will satisfy. Throw in some raw baby carrots and a small apple, and you¡¯ll be properly nourished for game time. If you¡¯re more in the mood for pasta, eat a healthy portion of spaghetti in marinara sauce with ground turkey meatballs with a side of steamed broccoli and rice. Your beverage choice should include either water or low- or nonfat milk.
Because football is a game that can last up to three hours, you might need to replenish your energy levels by eating or drinking something at halftime or during the game. Simple carbohydrates, such as sports drinks or fruit, are ideal for these situations because of how quickly the body converts them into energy. Pregame meals are not a time to sample new foods. Stick with foods your body is familiar with and avoid foods that may not agree with your digestive system. Also avoid foods that cause gas, such as cooked beans and cabbage.
Water on the knee, also called knee effusion, can be a symptom of several different conditions, including infection, injury or gout, tumor or osteoarthritis of the knee joint. The knee is a complex joint and it is possible to injure one of the bones, muscles, tendons or ligaments in the joint, causing swelling, stiffness and pain. The fluid in the swelling could be tissue fluid, synovial fluid or even pus if there is an infection. Risk factors are age, sports participation, overuse or obesity.
See your physician for a diagnosis. Normal fluid in and around the knee is usually unnoticeable. When you can see and feel swelling, something is wrong. Treatments vary, depending on the cause of the swelling, so an accurate diagnosis is the first step in treating the swelling on your knee. According to an article in “American Family Physician,” the most common traumatic causes of knee effusion are injuries to ligament, bone or meniscus and overuse. The most common disease causes are infection, arthritis, gout and tumor.
Take an antibiotic if your doctor determines there is an infection in your knee. Infection is a contraindication for massage, so avoid massaging the knee until the infection has healed. Your doctor may recommend ice packs to reduce inflammation and swelling.
Use RICE– rest, ice, compression and elevation — when the swelling is due to overuse or strain. Ice helps to reduce pain and swelling, rest allows the knee to heal and compression with elastic bandages or an elastic knee brace helps to support your knee. To elevate the knee properly, support your knee with a small pillow and your ankle with a slightly larger pillow so that gravity can assist the drainage of fluid from your knee.
Use pain medication or corticosteroids for osteoarthritis as recommended by your physician, who may also recommend heat packs rather than ice, since this is a chronic condition. Gentle massage may reduce the inflammation of acute arthritis and your physician may recommend glucosamine, which shows some benefit for osteoarthritis according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Appropriate exercise is important when you have arthritis, so you will want to discuss that with your doctor as well.
Use gentle massage to reduce the swelling around your knee, if not contraindicated. Using light pressure, move the skin over your knee in gentle circles to stretch the connective tissue just under the skin, where the majority of your lymph vessels are located. Continue until the skin is softer, warmer and stretches more easily. Then stroke with alternating hands from the knee to your hip joint where lymph nodes are located. Brushing hand over hand like this reduces the edema around your knee.
Whether or not you take your coffee with cream and sugar, milk and honey or with nothing at all, cinnamon tea is a simple, healthful beverage that many enjoy. Cinnamon tea has a sweet, spicy flavor as well as significant health benefits. To prepare this tea, boil a 3-inch piece of cinnamon stick in 1 1/4 cups of water for 15 to 25 minutes, and then let it steep and rest for another 15 minutes. Or, mix 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder with hot water and stir. One gram of cinnamon equals 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon powder or 1/2 cinnamon stick.
One research study published in the September 2013 issue of “Annals of Family Medicine” concluded that consuming cinnamon in a dose from 120 milligrams to 6 grams per day was associated with reduced levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, along with higher levels of the good cholesterol, HDL. This study reviewed previously published, randomized controlled trials that studied cinnamon’s effect on glycemia and lipid levels.
The American Cancer Society notes that naturally occurring antioxidants in foods may provide some health benefits, including preventing certain cancers. Compared to some other antioxidant-rich herbs and spices, cinnamon has the third-highest antioxidant content — with only cloves and allspice containing more. A study conducted to evaluate the antioxidant activity of cinnamon extracts published in 2010 in “Nutrition Journal” determined that cinnamon prevented oxidation more effectively than the synthetic antioxidant, BHT. This suggests that you can use cinnamon as a natural antioxidant to prevent unwanted oxidation of lipids in foods.
The Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation reviewed multiple studies that were studied to determine the effects of cinnamon on blood-sugar control in diabetics. Clinical trial findings suggest the possibility of a small-to-modest effect of supplemental cinnamon on diabetics’ blood sugar, likely because of small changes in insulin sensitivity. One study published in the December 2003 issue of “Diabetes Care” studied 60 people with type 2 diabetes. Researchers divided participants into six groups. Researchers gave groups one, two and three 1, 3, or 6 grams of cinnamon daily. Researchers gave placebos to groups four, five and six. After 40 days, the three cinnamon groups had reduced blood-sugar levels by 18 to 29 percent. Researchers did not see any significant changes in groups that took a placebo.
Hundreds of varieties of cinnamon exist, with Ceylon cinnamon and cassia being the two main varieties. Cassia is the most common and least-expensive variety found in the United States and Canada, while Ceylon cinnamon is mostly used in Europe and Mexico. Coumarin, which is a substance found in both varieties, can cause liver damage or liver failure when consumed in high amounts. The amount of coumarin found in Ceylon cinnamon is very small — only 0.017 gram per kilogram. However the levels found in cassia cinnamon as well as in its two very close relatives, Saigon and Korintje, are much higher at 0.31 gram per kilogram, 6.97 grams per kilogram, and 2.15 grams per kilogram, respectively. The European Food Safety Authority established a tolerable daily intake for coumarin of 0.1 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. To determine which type of cinnamon a powder is made from, read the label to determine if the cinnamon product identifies the source on the label. Alternatively, call the manufacturer.
According to a 2011 Harris Interactive Poll, football is the most popular sport in the United States, with basketball checking in at third. However, the similarities between the two sports end there, as the two have little in common besides being two of the most popular team sports.
Both basketball and football are played with leather or composite leather balls, but the similarities end there. Basketballs are round and give a good true bounce every time. They have even become smart devises. The 94Fifty has sensors in the ball’s exterior which can transmit data in 100 milliseconds to an Android device. Footballs have an oblong shape and take some weird bounces when they hit the ground. The football’s shape is designed to fly better in the air and be easier to catch. In addition, basketballs are larger and heavier than footballs.
Basketball courts are much shorter and narrower than football fields. According to the National Basketball Association, regulation basketball courts measure 94 feet by 50 feet. I Sport notes that professional football fields are 120 yards by 53.3 yards, or 360 feet by 160 feet. Indoor basketball courts usually are made of wood, while football fields use natural grass or a synthetic.
Both basketball and football are considered team sports since there are several people playing at once. Basketball teams are permitted to play with five players on the court at one time, while football teams play with 11 at a time. Basketball teams usually have between 12 and 15 players on the roster, while football rosters can range from 50 in professional play to 85 in college games.
Football and basketball have decidedly different styles of play based on the rules. Football is a full-contact sport, with tackles and physical confrontations and collisions on every play. Basketball is considered a non-contact sport and by rule physical contact in basketball is a violation that can result in a foul. Basketball games are more high scoring than football even though basketball teams are awarded only 2 or 3 points for a made field goal and 1 point for a made free throw. Football grants 6 points for a touchdown, 3 points for a field goal and 2 points for a safety, but scoring is much less frequent than in basketball.
Football games are played for significantly longer times than basketball games. Football games at the professional and college level have 60 minutes of game play, while high school football plays 48-minute games. Basketball plays 48-minute games at the pro level, 40-minute games in college and 32-minute games in high school. It is important to note that both football and basketball games have several stoppages due to timeouts, fouls or penalties and halftime, which means both last much longer than the game play time.
When a baseball is pitched, hit and flies in the air, one or more of the physical principles formulated over 300 years ago by Sir Isaac Newton act on it. Folklore tells how the mathematician and physicist first realized the law of gravity while observing a falling apple. Had Newton watched a baseball game instead, he might have formulated all three laws of motion by the seventh-inning stretch.
Newton’s First Law of Motion states that every object remains at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force. Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan recorded 5,714 strikeouts, as documented in the Baseball Almanac, using the first law when throwing his trademark fastball. Ryan held the baseball at rest in his glove as he looked at the catcher¡¯s signs. After receiving a sign, he went into his windup and set the ball in motion toward home plate with an overhand delivery. In addition to Ryan¡¯s ability to throw a fastball at 100 mph, he understood the physics of air pressure acting upon the surface of a spinning ball. Putting lateral spin on his fastball caused the ball to move several inches sideways as it crossed home plate, making it virtually impossible to target as a hitter. Prominent pitchers use the first law of motion to throw fastballs, sliders and curve balls.
Newton¡¯s first law is realized at both ends of a pitch. The pitcher¡¯s delivery sets the baseball in motion and the hitter sets the bat in motion by swinging. Newton’s Second Law of Motion (F=M*A) shows the velocity of a mass object changes when it is subjected to an external force. This second law demonstrates the force generated at the moment of contact is equal to the combined mass and acceleration of both the ball and bat. Hitters exploit this phenomenon in certain situations by swinging more easily to drop a hit between the infielders and outfielders. Newton¡¯s second law is dramatically illustrated when hitters bunt, because the mass of the bat is not in motion. The mass acceleration is provided by the pitched baseball. A clever bunter uses the mass-acceleration factors at the moment of contact by allowing the barrel of the bat to react slightly to the force generated by the baseball. The result is a bunt that rolls to a stop short of an infielder.
Newton¡¯s Third Law of Motion states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Outfielders understand this in terms of a baseball that goes up must come down. Newton¡¯s first law applies to the combined forces of air pressure and gravity that act upon a baseball hit in the air. Newton¡¯s second law regarding force, mass and acceleration applies to how high and far the ball is hit. Outfielders learn to gauge the overall distance of fly balls just before the ball reaches the height of its arc. Exceptional outfielders have the ability to make the same calculations as the baseball begins rising when hit. An outfielder might realize the distance between his location and projected the arc of the ball make it impossible to catch certain balls on the fly. Outfielders use Newton’s second law to get in position and field or catch fly balls.
Base runners make calculations based on all three of Newton¡¯s laws of motion?, whether attempting to reach base on a hit or steal a base. Hitters set in motion toward first base and simultaneously calculate the speed of a ground ball or the distance of a fly ball. Based on the second law, the hitter might elect to hold at first or continue running for extra bases. Proficient base stealers use Newton¡¯s third law to calculate the time it takes a ball thrown by a fielder or outfielder to reach the targeted base. Hall of Fame leadoff hitter Ricky Henderson used his speed and the laws of motion to hit, get on base and steal a record 1,406 bases during a career that spanned 25 years.
Men tend to gain weight in the midsection, particularly the belly, although excess fat can show up just about anywhere on the body. Conquering excess fat and getting a toned, cut look is no easy endeavor, but it¡¯s certainly possible using the right exercise regimen. In addition to a healthy diet, exercise can help you burn fat, boost your metabolism and increase the strength and size of your muscles.
Circuit training is an effective workout regimen for men because it combines weight training and aerobic exercise. This allows you to build muscle and cut fat at the same time. Circuit training involves completing several exercises one after the other with little or no rest between each. Circuit training builds muscle, burns fat and can take less than 30 minutes per day. Choose one exercise to target each part of your body to strengthen and tone your entire body. For example, try a circuit training program that includes bench press, squats, dead lifts, tricep dips, bicep curls, calf raises, bent-over dumbbell rows and crunches.
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, has been shown to promote fat oxidation, or fat burning. A 2010 study reported in the “British Journal of Sports Medicine” compared HIIT to moderate aerobic exercise to see which has the greater effect on fat oxidation in men. During a 30-minute HIIT program involving five-minute intervals of fast-paced cycling followed of slower cycling, halfway through the workout, fat oxidation levels were far greater than that of participants using moderate aerobic activity. Interval training can be used with any type of aerobic workout, including biking, running, swimming, rollerblading and even walking.
Most men love sports; that¡¯s no secret. Playing your favorite sport can help you burn calories while having fun. Vigorous sports work best for fat burning and muscle toning, such as basketball, hockey, soccer or football. Recreational adult leagues are widely available nationwide, or just gather your friends to play. Playing basketball for an hour can help a 180-lb. man burn 654 calories, according to NutriStrategy.com. A game of flag-football burns about the same number of calories.
Exercise can help you to increase your strength and muscle size and to burn calories. However, it¡¯s tough to get the ripped, cut look you see on TV unless you also eat a healthy, low-calorie diet. Cutting out unnecessary calories is one quick way to ensure you¡¯re burning fat rather than storing more of it. Avoid high-calorie snacks high in sugar, salt and saturated fats, such as soda, fatty cuts of meat and canned goods. Vigorous exercise can help control your appetite by regulating the release of your body¡¯s appetite hormones.
Eating the right foods at the right time before a game can help athletes have enough energy to compete at their best. Eating junk food or skipping a meal can make you feel sluggish or experience uncomfortable side effects like stomach upset. Athletes need more calories than sedentary individuals to counteract their high level of activity.
Your pregame meal should take place about two to four hours before the event. If you don¡¯t have enough time for a full meal before a game, you can have a small snack up to one hour beforehand. If you eat too close to the game, the food is not likely to digest in time and you may experience stomach upset during play.
A pregame meal should be made up of mostly carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are digested quickly and converted to energy. Small amounts of fats and protein are allowed in a pregame meal. Meal options may include a turkey sandwich, low-fiber cereal with low-fat milk, low-fat yogurt with fruit, pasta with tomato sauce, waffles with syrup or a bagel.
The meal you have before a game should be relatively small and less than 1,000 calories. You¡¯ll want to eat only bland foods and avoid any spicy dishes. Avoid meals that contain peppers, onions or chili powder. Never try new foods in the hours leading up to a game. The foods should also be low in fiber since high-fiber vegetables, beans and nuts may cause you to feel the urge to use the bathroom during game play.
You need to drink plenty of fluid before a game as well. According to the President¡¯s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, generous amounts of fluid should be consumed the day before a game and 400 to 600 milliliters of fluid should be consumed two hours before the event. Water is typically used for hydration. However, if the game is expected to be longer than one hour or takes place in a hot environment, sports drinks with electrolytes should be consumed.