In football, players frequently hit, collide with and tackle each other in an effort to achieve the game¡¯s objectives. While most tackles fall within the rules of the game, a few are illegal and will incur a penalty or, if the offending player has committed more than one illegal tackle during a game, immediate ejection.
Although many tackles during a football game involve full body-to-body contact, some involve players grabbing onto any part of the opponent that¡¯s accessible, including jerseys, shoes and pant legs, which is permitted by the rules of the game. However, making a tackle while touching any part of an opponent¡¯s face mask is illegal and, when called, results in a penalty against the offending player and team. At the time of publication, facemask penalties incur a 15-yard penalty. Prior to 2008, facemask penalties in the NFL and college football fell into two categories: intentional and unintentional. Intentional penalties were assessed 15 yards, while unintentional ones earned a five-yard penalty.
Football players are allowed to grab onto almost any part of a ball carrier while attempting to make a tackle, but not by the back of the jersey¡¯s collar or shoulder pads. This tackle is known as a ¡°horse collar¡± tackle and is illegal. This form of tackling rose to infamy during the 2004 NFL season when Dallas Cowboy safety Roy Williams regularly made these tackles, which resulted in serious injuries to at least four opponents during that season. NFL owners voted to outlaw the tackling maneuver prior to the 2005 season and the college and high school levels followed suit in 2008 and 2009. At each level, the ¡°horse collar¡± tackle earns a 15-yard penalty against the offending team.
Using the top of the helmet, with the face down, to make initial contact on an opposing player while attempting to make a tackle is illegal at all levels of football. Offending teams are penalized with a 15-yard penalty when these tackles occur. However, tackles in which the face side of the helmet is used to make initial contact are legal. Referees judge the legality of this type of tackle by whether the tackler¡¯s head is in an upright position or not.
Quarterbacks, punters and placekickers are protected from being hit once the ball has left their possession or while they are in the process of kicking. Tackles or hits made on a quarterback after he has thrown a pass or handed the ball off are deemed late hits and are punished with a 15-yard penalty. Placekickers and punters may not be tackled or hit while they are in the process of kicking or punting. The only exception to this rule is if the kick is blocked by a defender while the kicker is in the process of kicking. These types of hits and tackles are legal.
Just as most people are either left-handed or right-handed, they also have a dominant foot. In soccer, most players tend to rely on their dominant foot for tasks that require precision and power. While perfectly natural, this means that players may miss opportunities to shoot or pass with their weaker opposite foot. With practice, though, it’s possible to improve the performance of the opposite foot.
Many players don’t notice that the way they touch the ball with their opposite foot, even in routine actions such as dribbling, is different from the way they touch the ball with their dominant foot. Watching this difference during ball-control drills or dribbling can help to close the gap between the two. Try imitating the motion of the dominant foot using the opposite foot and observe how this changes performance. It isn’t always easy to monitor the foot while dribbling; recording the action may be useful.
A simple drill can improve shooting with either foot. A small group of players or coaches is needed. A player begins by running and receiving a pass from a player to the right of the goal, then shooting. Without waiting, she continues running to the left to receive a pass from a player standing by the side of the goal. The first player then shoots with the left foot. The drill should be reversed for players whose dominant foot is the left.
Shooting isn’t the only skill that needs to be developed for both feet. Passing, trapping and even dribbling can all benefit from extra emphasis on the opposite foot. Practice simple drills such as juggling the ball in the air using the opposite foot or bouncing the ball from a wall and then trapping it. Most soccer players do these drills regularly; the only real difference here is that you are concentrating on using them to develop the opposite foot.
Most people spend their lives favoring their dominant foot. This isn’t limited to the soccer field but occurs in all walks of life. As a result, the opposite foot, and the opposite leg in general, are not going to be as strong or coordinated as the dominant leg and foot. It’s important not to expect immediate results; it will take time and practice to produce stronger skills with the opposite foot. The dominant foot may always be stronger, but an improved opposite foot will help make you more versatile.
According to the to the Chicago Institute for Neurosurgery and Neuroresearch, the most frequently fused cervical segments are C5 and C6, and discectomy is the most common reason for this surgery. Generally, the cervical vertebrae are approached from the anterior surface, and after discectomy an anterior fusion is performed. The surgery usually requires grafting bone material into the disk space and then using metallic hardware to stabilize the bones and encourage fusion. This is a delicate surgery and not without potential problems.
The objective of cervical spinal fusion is to stabilize the vertebrae so that they can grow together over time so that they no longer move relative to one another. Fusion is encouraged by grafting bone from the patient¡¯s hip to the intervertebral space. Also, donor material or artificial bone can be used. However, for unknown reasons fusion sometimes fails. A 2009 article in the journal “Applied Radiology” states that this is a major problem with fusion surgery, especially in older patients and those who smoke. Non-fusion results in a pseudarthrosis, where the vertebrae remain as two separate bones. In a similar circumstance, the bones fuse but they place mechanical loads on the vertebrae above and below the fusion. The result can be disk pathology and arthritis in these segments. This problem occurs in about 10 percent of cases, according to the journal.
This can result in a pseudarthrosis that may require another surgery to repair or to replace the hardware. In the 2009 journal article in “Applied Radiology,” doctors report that the metal hardware can also irritate the tissues next to it, resulting in cavity formation, pressure sores and pain. In addition, the bone around the hardware can erode or resorb. The result is vertebral bone weakening which can cause the bone to fracture, necessitating another surgery to remove the hardware. The hardware can also cause neurological damage. This occurs when part of the hardware breaks or slips and then impinges on the spinal cord or spinal roots. The result can be motor or sensory loss which might manifest as pain, weakness, desensitized touch, and bowel or bladder problems.
MedlinePlus, a service of the National Institutes of Health, states that other problems can be associated with cervical spinal fusion surgery such as infection in the vertebral bone or in the operated area. However, such infections are usually successfully treated with antibiotics. Another problem is that the bones above and below the vertebrae that were fused can cause pain. Other problems such as blood clots and deep vein thrombosis can be painful and deadly if they migrate to the brain or lungs. Also, this and any surgery can result in bleeding and a pulmonary embolism.
Whether it¡¯s a pickup game of basketball or an organized water polo league, playing sports can make you healthier and happier because of the physical activity involved. Playing sports contributes to muscle development, coordination, cardiovascular health and numerous other benefits associated with disease prevention; physical activity can help ward of chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, obesity, depression and osteoporosis, according to Sport and Development.org.
Playing sports can help children develop healthy bones, stronger cardiovascular systems and powerful lungs, according to Sport and Development.org. Child athletes also develop motor skills and cognitive skills. Being physically active as a child makes it more likely to continue playing sports as an adult, promoting lifelong health, according to the United Nations. Among women, sports can help prevent osteoporosis and hip fractures. Older citizens who play sports have opportunities to keep their bodies moving, feel independent and socialize with others in a healthy way.
Playing sports can help people achieve fitness goals related to weight loss, muscle development and fat reduction because of the physical activity involved. Children who play sports are less likely to experience childhood obesity. Physical activity is associated with hormone regulation and strengthening the immune system, according to True Sport.org.
It¡¯s not just your body that benefits from sports. Playing sports contributes to mental health, helping to prevent depression and increase self-esteem and body image, according to Sport and Development.org. Individuals who participate in sports might also benefit from the social aspect, developing friendships with teammates and feeling part of a group. Children can learn positive mental health skills including accountability, leadership and dedication, according to the University of Missouri Children¡¯s Hospital. Playing sports is a key strategy for reducing stress, because your body releases feel-good endorphins while exercising.
Some sports are associated with particular health advantages. For example, bowling can help achieve greater bone density because of the frequent heavy lifting, according to the Mother Nature Network. Fencing might help ward off cognitive decline, given the complex thinking associated with this sport. People who play volleyball benefit from increased hand-eye coordination and flexibility. Ping-pong also helps players increase hand-eye coordination, while also promoting better brain health because of the fast thinking involved.
Another reason that sports are important for health is that participating in sports can encourage positive lifestyle decisions. For example, if you belong to a recreational rugby league, you might spend your evenings and weekends practicing with your team rather than stopping for a cocktail after work or ordering greasy happy hour food.
It’s not just a matter of hot-dogging it on the football field during weekend games for a player. The game itself is beautiful, challenging and fun, yet it carries responsibilities. You will need to take care of your conditioning, show respect for team policies and understand your role down to the last detail to make the strongest contribution to the team.
Football players must understand the roles and tasks their position is involved with in the coaches’ scheme. You should learn the skills involved with your position and understand what exactly you are being asked to do for the success of the team. For example, you may be asked to be an option-run quarterback more than a passing quarterback. You must then work on speed, quick decision-making abilities and ball handling.
You must know the playbook and what you’re supposed to do on each play call. Players cause errors and create missed play assignments If they do not know what they should be doing on each play. So even if a player possesses the most incredible athleticism, their abilities cannot be optimally used if they cannot be depended on to know each play. You must know responsibilities as well as plays. For example, offensive lineman must know blocking responsibilities for various run plays to prepare for different defensive looks. A common blocking responsibility entails checking whether a defender is in your blocking gap, directly in front of you, over the area the ball is heading towards and following the linebacker. Going down this checklist lets a lineman know who he should block specifically — rather than saying they block the defensive tackle or end — because it may be different each time that particular play is called depending on the defensive look.
You must adhere to protocols and policies set forth by the organization or school they play for. Not maintaining a minimum grade-point average, getting in trouble with the law or breaking substance abuse policies for example can have you suspended from games or kicked off the team entirely. Each school, institution, organization and coach has rules to abide by. Bruce Brown, author of “Teaching Character Through Sport: Developing a Positive Coaching Legacy,” states that the main components of most policies and rules is that a player must demonstrate discipline, respect and integrity.
Football demands a high level of physical fitness to succeed. Being faster, stronger and more agile than your opponent — and your teammates — allows for an increased chance of team success. If a player is not conditioned enough to last in a game, his skills essentially become useless. Many coaches provide training and conditioning programs that the players are responsible for during the offseason.
In 2012, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that sports participation records in the United States had reached record levels. During the 2010 to 2011 academic year, 55 percent of all high school students participated in sports. Sports can positively impact both children and adults, providing opportunities to get exercise and spend time with peers in a healthy environment.
Playing sports can make you stronger and healthier, contributing to lower obesity rates, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Athletes tend to have lower body mass indexes, but non-athlete participants will still benefit from developing muscles and burning calories. Active people tend to have lower rates of diabetes and high blood pressure. Exercising regularly through sports programs could contribute to better heart and lung function. Learning to play sports as a child might carry over into being a more active adult, according to Sports and Development.org. Psych Central states that some sports tend to have a more lasting impact from childhood into adulthood: soccer, baseball and hockey, for example. In sports such as gymnastics or diving, athletes tend to peak while still young and not participate as adults.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports children who play sports are less likely to use drugs and smoke. Female athletes might also be less likely to become pregnant in high school. For children, playing sports can help develop friendships centered on healthy, safe and enjoyable activities. Adults who play sports also have the opportunity to develop friendships centered around an active lifestyle. Team practice and competitions provide socializing options that are healthier and more active compared with regular sessions of other more sedentary activities. Sports can particularly benefit low-income individuals, who might not have the money or resources to socialize outside of playing sports, according to Child Fund International.
People who play sports tend to perform better at school, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports. Student athletes earn higher grades and earn higher test scores on standardized tests. They also have lower dropout rates and a better chance of getting into college.
Sports also play the important role of imparting character values, according to Sport and Development.org. Playing sports can help teach honesty, teamwork and fair play. Learning to follow rules and respecting teammates and opponents can also be useful. Experiencing the role of a graceful winner and loser teaches people about being humble, and competition in general can teach individuals about self-respect, confidence and managing stress. Taking on leading roles within your team can also teach leadership, according to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.
Head football coaches are often stereotyped as simple taskmasters, but in reality, their jobs are anything but simple. In addition to running games, head football coaches must deal with players, assistants and team or school officials, all while providing a face for the team. While coaches manage their teams in different ways, there are some key fundamental duties they all must handle.
In ¡°the buck stops here¡± fashion, head football coaches are responsible for a team¡¯s overall offensive and defensive strategies. Because football teams are typically large — from around 20 players at smaller high schools to more than 100 at major colleges — football head coaches typically delegate plenty of responsibility to coordinators. But, with a week between most games, head football coaches typically sign off on any pre-game strategies they don¡¯t create themselves.
The head coach generally outlines what the team does during practice, even though assistant coaches handle most of the individual instruction. Head coaches typically have the final say on personnel matters, such as which players make the team and which become starters. The head coach also sets the team¡¯s rules, and the consequences for breaking those rules. In many ways, head football coaches act as CEOs, setting the overall tone for the team while others execute their plans.
Coaches at huge prep programs can take on elements of the CEO model. But at most levels, head coaches often supervise areas such as weight training, break down video of future opponents and buy equipment. They may also work with booster clubs and deal with parents who may not be happy with their sons¡¯ playing time. Regardless of a school’s size, high school coaches deal with less experienced players, so they must do more fundamental teaching than coaches at higher levels.
The key difference in college is the head football coach must be his team¡¯s key recruiter. Assistants may coordinate and even start the recruiting process, but the head coach must act as the closer. As a result, college head coaches must be familiar with NCAA recruiting rules. Coaches at all levels have fundraising duties, such as appearing at events for school donors. They also have to deal with unscrupulous agents and others who may try to take advantage of star players.
Coaches at the professional level have large staffs of assistants and help from small armies of scouts and personnel experts. Nevertheless, a professional head coach must work very long hours viewing video of opponents, holding meetings with players and assistants, and running practices. Pro head coaches are also involved in personnel decisions, such as which players to select during the college draft and which free agents to sign. On the field, the head coach is the final decision maker for his team, and the only one who may challenge an official’s ruling.
Fluid retention is very common during pregnancy, particularly in the later stages. There are a few things you can do to prevent or alleviate this problem if it happens. If swelling occurs suddenly or is accompanied by repeated weight gain of more than 2 lb. in a week, call your doctor as soon as possible, as there is a chance other factors could be the cause besides normal pregnancy swelling and discomfort.
Sit or lie down when you can, preferably with your feet elevated. Avoid standing for long periods of time, advises Tone Health. Standing for a long time can make pregnancy swelling worse, particularly in the legs and feet.
Go indoors when the weather is hot. The heat can make late pregnancy swelling worse and make a pregnant woman more uncomfortable.
Wear comfortable sneakers or shoes rather than high heels as often as possible. Make sure your shoes aren’t too tight because uncomfortable shoes can exacerbate pregnancy fluid retention.
Go swimming, if possible, advises the American Pregnancy website. Aside from being a good low-impact exercise for pregnant women, it feels great and can help reduce the swelling that can occur in late pregnancy.
Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet. Make sure to consume enough high potassium foods, like bananas. Avoid salty foods, as salt can cause fluid retention in some pregnant women.
Drink plenty of water. Staying well-hydrated will make you feel better and can keep your body flushed, reducing fluid retention. Also avoid consuming excessive amounts of caffeine. You doctor can tell you how much caffeine is safe in your particular situation.
Apply cold compresses to swollen areas. This can improve swelling and make you more comfortable late in pregnancy. Cold washcloths or bags of frozen vegetables will work if you don’t have any special compresses.
Swollen legs and feet can occur as the result of fluid retention, also called edema, or after sustaining an injury or undergoing surgery. Swelling is a natural response to trauma, but too much swelling can increase your pain and interfere with the healing process. Elevating your feet, frequently changing position as you sit or lie down and applying ice can help control swelling and speed recovery.
Dampen a small towel with cold water. Wring it out if necessary, to ensure that it is wet on both sides, but not dripping.
Fold the damp towel and slide it inside a large plastic, resealable bag. Seal the bag so that no air is inside. Place the bag into the freezer and wait for 15 minutes.
Wrap a thin cloth or towel on the area to be iced to prevent harming your skin, then remove the bag from the freezer and place it on the affected area.
Place a small bag filled with crushed ice, a cold compress or gel pack into a larger, resealable bag.
Fill the large bag partially with cool water, then seal it shut, squeezing out any air.
Wrap the ice pack in a damp towel and apply it to the affected area. Press the pack against the curves of your body for the cold to penetrate more deeply.
Most young baseball players start playing the game using a regular glove. By the time they decide to become a catcher and pursue success at the position, it becomes time to get a new glove. A catcher’s glove — called a catcher’s mitt — is fingerless and much more padded than a regular baseball glove. Knowing how to figure out the correct glove size for a catcher’s mitt can help you be successful at the position.
Understand the differences between a catcher’s glove and a regular baseball glove. A regular glove ranges between 9 and 12 1/2 inches from the top to the heel of the glove. Catcher’s gloves are usually measured by circumference. The circumference of a catcher’s glove can be anywhere between 31 and 34 1/2 inches.
Measure your baseball glove. Using a measuring tape can help you get a more accurate measurement of the length. Round every measurement to the closest half inch.
Find the difference between 12 1/2 and your glove size. Then take that result and subtract it from 34 1/2. Do this because 12 1/2 is the largest regular glove size in length, while 34 1/2 is the largest catcher’s glove circumference. Your final result should be about the correct size for your catcher’s mitt.
Try on your catcher’s mitt before buying it from the store. Catcher’s mitts fit much tighter than a regular glove, so you may need to adjust the belts and ties on the glove. You may even need to try on a mitt of a different size. Purchase a glove with a snug fit.