The tackle box in football is an area that is commonly known as the pocket. When a quarterback sets up to pass, particularly at the professional level, he generally does that in the pocket. He will drop back five to seven steps, survey the field and then deliver the ball to a receiver. The quarterback, his blockers and the defensive players must follow several rules when they are in this area.
The tackle box extends two yards outside the two offensive tackles stationed on the line of scrimmage and goes backward all the way — in theory — to the offensive team’s goalline. On the standard offensive line, players will line up at left tackle, left guard, center, right guard and right tackle. The starting points of the tackle box are 2 yards to the left of the left tackle’s shoulder and 2 yards to the right of the right tackle’s shoulder.
When inside the tackle box, the quarterback must attempt to throw the ball directly to a receiver. A quarterback cannot survey the field, determine that none of his receivers are open and then throw the ball away. A quarterback who does that while in the tackle box is guilty of intentionally grounding the football. The penalty for doing that is loss of yardage to the spot where the quarterback threw the ball and loss of down. If the quarterback moves to his right or left, and gets outside of the tackle box, he can throw the ball away by throwing it off the turf or out of bounds, as long as the ball crosses the line of scrimmage.
Offensive linemen who are blocking for the quarterback must be careful not to grab any part of the defensive player they are blocking outside the shoulder pads when they are in the tackle box. Offensive linemen may extend their hands and arms when they block, but they may not grab a handful of uniform while doing so. This is easily noticeable when the offensive lineman is inside the tackle box as the line judge — one of the game officials — is charged with watching blocking technique and must make sure it is legal. If not, a holding call is made.
If defensive linemen get through an offensive player’s block and have a chance to get to the quarterback and sack him, they have to be quite precise in their tackling technique. For example, the defensive lineman cannot grab the quarterback and slam him to the turf or lead with his helmet. When tackling the quarterback in the tackle box, you must grab the quarterback somewhere above the knees and shoulders and wrap him up while tackling. Leading with the helmet is illegal and so is tackling below the knees. These limitations only apply when hitting the quarterback within the tackle box. If the quarterback has run outside the box or run downfield, the defensive player is allowed to hit or tackle the quarterback as if he were a running back and none of the protective rules apply.
Youngsters often start playing sports because their parents have an interest in it. They may see their mother or father watching a game on television and become inspired, or their mother or father may decide that they will benefit from this type of activity. If the youngster has fun while playing, it can lead to a lifetime of enjoying athletics. Regardless of the starting point, there are many values that can be learned by participating in sports.
Youngsters and older players can learn the value of work ethic by playing sports. It’s not just getting out on the field, court or ice and playing the game. You have to go to practice several times per week to learn the skills needed to play the game well. Players who work hard get better at their chosen sport, and the results show as a season progresses. For example, a baseball player who takes batting practice every day likely sees an improved swing and more productivity at the plate in the second half of the season than he did early in the year. A player who does not work as hard may not see the same kind of progress.
You also have to learn to work and play with others to get the most out of the experience, even if you are not always given credit on paper. In basketball, a player who passes the ball to a teammate who scores gets an assist on the play. However, another teammate who sets a screen to give her teammate an open shot won’t get any statistical recognition. The teammate who took the open shot knows why she was able to shoot without a defender getting in her way. The coach also appreciates the player who did the hard work and set the screen.
At a certain point in the season, players likely see their team progressing and also see improvement in their own play. They realize the progress is the result of hard work. Players have every reason to take pride in their achievements and feel some self-respect for the way they have improved. They also realize that the team on the opposite side of the field is practicing and playing just as hard and deserving respect, as well. Showing respect for your opponent leads to displays of sportsmanship. That’s a sign of maturity and development.
When a player strikes out three times in a game, it’s easy for that player to feel sorry for himself and want to quit. However, in competitive sports, nearly all players have negative outcomes from time to time. The growth comes from the player who has the bad day, accepts it and keeps playing and attempts to get better. When you overcome adversity, you learn that life isn’t always easy and it’s best to stay with difficult tasks and conquer them rather than take the easy way out.
Playing man-to-man pass coverage is one the most difficult football defensive skills to master. Cornerbacks, safeties, linebackers and defensive ends often find themselves defending a passing target one-on-one. The defender must read the receiver and determine which route is coming. He must use speed, agility and technique to remain close to his opponent, close the passing lane and make a play on the ball if it comes.
Where a receiving target lines up often foreshadows the route that is coming. Scouting reports reveal opponent tendencies in each alignment. “The formation of the offense will tell you a story even before the ball is snapped,” former NFL safety Matt Bowen wrote in his blog for The National Football Post. “Know your opponent and why he is aligned in that position.”
When in press coverage, a defender must impede his opponent’s release from the line of scrimmage and disrupt the timing of the play. Defenders should strike the target in the breast plate while keeping their feet lateral, then stay on his hip as he gets into his route.
Eye placement is critical to good coverage. Receivers can¡¯t make a cut without turning and opening their hips, so defenders should lock in on them.
Once the play is well underway, defenders should give their man their full attention. “Don¡¯t look in the backfield,” Bowen wrote. “There is nothing going on back there that concerns you when you are playing man-coverage.”
Defenders should keep their shoulder pads low and over their feet while backpedaling. This allows them to plant and drive, open their hips and change direction more easily. Defenders that get too tall with their technique are more easily beaten.
When a defender believes his opponent is about to run past him, he should come out of the backpedal. If the opponent is close enough to be touched, then he is close enough to blow past the defender.
When playing with safety help over the middle, the defender can play the outside hip of his opponent and take away the sideline. When playing without help over the middle, the defender should stay on the inside hip to take away the middle while using the sideline as help.
To catch a pass, the receiver has to bring his hands together. Coaches call the space between the hands the “pocket.” When beaten in coverage, a defender should refocus on the pocket and attempt to get a hand in there as the ball arrives. By playing the ball, a beaten defender is less likely to be penalized for pass interference.
Due to a quirk in the way standings are calculated throughout a baseball season, the lead one team has over another is often described in half-games. For example, one team will have a half-game lead over another. The quirk is simple to understand in the context of how standings are compiled.
The phrase ¡°games back¡± describes the distance between two teams. To calculate how many games back one team is from the division leader, take the difference between the wins and losses of both teams. For example, if Team A has five wins and two losses, while Team B has two wins and five losses, Team B is three games behind Team A. It¡¯s a simple calculation, and all things being equal, the final result is rendered in full games when the season is complete.
A half game in the standings is basically one team¡¯s ¡°share¡± of the difference between two teams. For example, Team A is scheduled for a day game, while Team B is scheduled for a game at night, and both teams have the same record. If Team A wins its game, it moves ahead of Team B by half a game because it has one more win than Team B at that point, but the same number of losses.
Half-game advantages may show up in the standings whenever games remain to be played. For example, in 2013, baseball’s lone opening game was played on a Sunday night. Its winner, Houston, was listed in the Monday standings as being a half-game ahead of its division opponents though none of them had played. It’s rare throughout the year that all teams will have played the same amount of games, so some team may sport a half-game lead clear up until the last game of the year. Some sports, such as football, don’t see half-games persist for very long due to a more uniform schedule.
Generally, half-game differences in the standings are meaningless. Eventually, all teams will play the same number of games, except in rare circumstances. For example, if a game got rained out between teams out of playoff contention, and its result has no impact on the standings, the league could decide not to play it all. Those two teams may have a half-game in their final standings. You’ll never see this at the top of the final standings, though, since the league will always play a game that could decide the winner.
The constant rotations on the bars, the series of swings on the rings and repeated dismounts from any piece of equipment cause wear and tear on a gymnast¡¯s body, especially the hands and feet. Gymnasts commonly tape their hands and feet to prevent or treat injuries, but pulling sports tape off can sting. Prewrap tape, a type of foam underwrap, goes on before the sports tape, acting as a shield between the skin and sticky adhesive.
The foam prewrap tape that goes on under medical tape to prevent chafing has long been used by athletes. It comes in a variety of colors and decorative patterns. The tape is especially popular with female gymnasts who want to display team colors at competitions. Prewrap tape is also called tape prewrap and prewrap foam, depending on the manufacturer.
Prewrapping and then taping can help prevent injuries common to the hands from the friction of the bars or rings. Taping also helps prevent rips on the feet and toes. The force of impact on the feet can cause a sudden tear in the skin at the attachment of the toes to the foot, known as a toe split, says USA Gymnastics national team physician Larry Nassar in the July-August 2010 issue of ¡°USA Gymnastics.¡± Prewrapping and taping the wrist helps prevent distal radial epiphysitis, an overuse injury known as ¡°gymnast wrist,¡± which affects up to 40 percent of young gymnasts, according to Children¡¯s Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
When you¡¯re already in pain from an injury, prewrap buffers the skin from the sports tape. The foam of the prewrap covers the exposed skin without further irritating it or pulling off more skin with the sports tape. You can also use prewrap under your sports tape or wrist guard to help a wrist injury, such as a sprain, although you should not use it for a fracture. Only your doctor can diagnose and suggest a treatment plan for injuries. Wrapping can worsen some injuries and, if you wrap too tightly, it can restrict circulation.
You use prewrap tape in the same way as sports tape. Pull the tape from the spool and wrap around the desired area. Rip the tape from the spool when you are done. Hold the prewrap in place, and apply the sports tape over the prewrap. Some gymnasts use prewrap to secure their hair; they find it works better than hair ties. You can form prewrap into a headband by wrapping the tape around your thigh three times and then rolling the tape until it forms a thin headband.
More than 90 percent of the 40,000 sports-related eye injuries per year are preventable, according to FamilyDoctor.org. High-vision-risk sports are those played with a stick, racket, ball, bat or puck, and football is high risk because games involve bodily contact as well as a ball. If you normally wear glasses, you can wear glasses when you play sports, but you will need to make some modifications to stay safe.
Most sports-related eye injuries occur in people under 30, and most commonly in children. Three types of sports-related trauma to the eye, as reported by the University of Illinois Department of Ophthalmology, are blunt injuries, penetrating injuries and abrasions to the cornea. Eye injuries range from irritating to painful to potentially blinding. Fingernail scratches to the eye are common and don’t normally require treatment. Bleeding in the eye, called hyphema, often caused by the blunt trauma of an elbow or ball, requires a visit to the ophthalmologist. Potentially devastating injuries may occur when shards of broken eyeglasses penetrate the eye, and the UIC Department of Ophthalmology considers this type of injury to be an emergency warranting immediate treatment.
Protective gear worn during football is a must, but don’t stop at a helmet and pads. KidsHealth.org recommends the following additional safety equipment: proper shoes, a mouth guard, an athletic supporter for males and — if you wear glasses — shatterproof glass or plastic lenses. Do not wear regular eyeglasses on the field.
Many major league athletes now wear eye protection, says All About Vision. Some fitness clubs and athletic facilities even require eye protection. Proper sports eyewear, whether prescription or nonprescription, reduces the risk of injury to the eye and enhances vision, allowing the player to see better. If you want to play football, the best lens is made of polycarbonate, which is resistant to impact and has ultraviolet protection built in. Scratch-resistant coating prevents damage to the lenses and increases durability. Choose sports frames designed to fit inside the football helmet, and ensure the frames are made of impact-resistant polycarbonate or plastic. Good football frames also contain rubber padding where the frames contact the wearer’s nose and head. Avoid the temptation to buy frames that are too big, thinking that children will grow into them because frames do not protect as well if they don’t fit. Frames that a child has outgrown may also interfere with peripheral vision, increasing the risk of injury.
Some people who have trouble wearing contact lenses for long periods are able to wear them during sporting events only. Choosing contact lenses that are disposable and then throwing them away after the game, says All About Vision, is one option for those who don’t want the hassle of cleaning and storing contacts. If contact lenses are an option, you should still consider wearing nonprescription protective eyewear while playing football because the contacts do not protect against traumatic eye injuries or UV rays from the sun.
Sports condition both your body and your mind. Apart from the obvious physical prowess required to participate in any sport; you need the mental discipline to maintain your focus. And like any form of exercise, you¡¯ll benefit from the release of neurotransmitters like endorphins that elevate your mood. Participating in sports, especially ones that require complex movements like skating, can also improve your brain function at work or school through the release of BDNF ¨C brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Any way you look at it, sports can positively affect your mental well-being and acuity.
Sports participation can make you less depressed. A research team led by Michael Babyak, Ph.D., demonstrated that depressed people who participated in structured sporting activities for 4 months were more likely to report minimal or no depressive symptoms than comparative groups who either took medicine for depression or who used both medicine and exercise. The American College of Sports Medicine advocates exercise as a way to alleviate depression in adolescents, citing a 2006 study in the ¡°Journal of Abnormal Psychology¡± as evidence.
If you want to feel less anxious, try participating in sports, according to a December 2005 article in the “American Journal of Psychiatry.¡± The researchers chemically induced a panic attack in two groups of subjects suffering from an anxiety disorder: one who had just finished exercising for 30-minutes and the other who had rested during this time. After the injection, both groups became more anxious; however, significantly fewer members in the exercising group had a panic attack compared to the at-rest controls.
One of the physical benefits of participating in sports is people tend to lose weight and gain muscle, making themselves look better and improving their self-perception. The Association for Applied Sports Psychology officially lists improved self-perception as a psychological benefit of exercise. Assertions such as these are given further creditability by a 2000 study published in the journal ¡°Pediatric Exercise Science,¡± using a large sample of 6,923 adolescents. Among both male and female teens, level of exercise was associated with feeling better about their body image.
If you are feeling less depressed and anxious and viewing yourself more positively, then you would also feel more confident overall. Princeton University Health Services indicates that athletic persons have increased energy, which makes their day-to-day tasks easier. The New York State Department of Health echoes this statement, indicating anyone can tailor a sports routine to their level to improve independence and self-confidence.
Becoming a professional athlete might be a dream for some sports enthusiasts and athletes, but it¡¯s not always the best bet. Intense competition, a life on the road and grueling practice might take some of the fun out of enjoying a sport from an amateur standpoint. Although amateur and professional athletes have a few things in common, such as some shared skills and passion for their sport, the primary differences lies in the fact that for professionals, performance within a sport can make or break their careers.
Getting paid is the litmus test of professional versus amateur athletes. Not all pro athletes are millionaires, however. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual pay for professional athletes in 2010 was $43,740. In contrast, amateur athletes do not get paid for competing. They might receive perks related to participating in their league — for example, team gear or sponsored post-game dinners from local businesses — but they do not receive paychecks for playing.
In some cases, professional athletes might be older than amateur athletes because of rules established within sports organizations. For example, the NFL has rules in place barring young athletes from playing professionally directly after graduating high school; the idea is that they¡¯ll protect their younger bodies from injury and have the chance to complete some higher education while continuing to develop their athletics chops in collegiate competitions. “The Sport Journal” states that some sports critics dispute this reasoning, though, saying that it allows amateur athletes to be exploited since they¡¯re not being paid to play while in college. In some sports, younger athletes might opt to be home schooled and accept formal sponsorship in order to become professional earlier in their careers.
Amateur athletes might play baseball, tennis or volleyball just for fun, getting together on the weekend or after work for a pick-up game or to compete against other recreational teams. Professional athletes must frequently compete on weekends, evenings and holidays, depending on their competition schedule, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Time away from home can quickly accrue as pro athletes travel around the country, or around the world, during competition season.
Playing any sport involves some degree of risks, and some high-impact sports can be quite dangerous. Broken bones, concussions and other injuries create the potential for high medical bills and extended physical therapy. Some professional athletes might receive extensive medical benefits and insurance coverage as part of their contracts; other professionals or semi-pro athletes might receive travel money and contest fees but be expected to purchase their own health insurance. Amateur athletes who become injured will be personally liable for their injuries, covering medical costs of game-related injuries with their own coverage or paying out-of-pocket.
Sports and games have been part of human society for thousands of years. The importance of these things should not be underestimated. Much of young children’s learning comes from participating in sports and games, and this same participation as adults can lead to happier, healthier and more productive lives.
Games and sports have been around for thousands of years. The Egyptians’ senet is the earliest example of a board game and dates back to 3000 B.C. The first traces of competitive sports also go back to the Egyptians around 2000 B.C. In an Egyptian tomb at Beni Hasan, archeologists found numerous wrestling pictures depicting many holds and moves that are still used today, according to HistoryWorld.net.
The benefits of sports in the development of children is well documented. An Ad Hoc Committee on Sports and Children said the potential benefits from sports to children and adolescents includes the development of healthy physical and social skills, the development of fine motor skills, and both improved health and sport-specific fitness. This is particularly true for adolescents who are physically or emotionally challenged. Playing cards and board games also benefit teens, providing a quiet and yet competitive outlet where they can interact with their peers or older family members in a positive manner.
Adults need 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, coupled with muscle-strengthening exercise at least twice a week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One of the ways to accomplish at least part of these goals is to play sports such as tennis, basketball or racquetball. All of these would qualify as aerobic activity while they also allow you to compete and have fun. Participating in indoor games such as chess, checkers and board games with family and friends also provides a social interaction that helps relieve the stresses of daily life.
Senior citizens stand to benefit the most from being involved in sports and exercise. Increased cardiovascular endurance, better balance and flexibility, and a reduction in the effects of illnesses are a few of the benefits. Some not-so-obvious benefits are better sleep at night, a boost in self-confidence and a better mood, as well as preventing memory loss and a decline in cognitive abilities. In addition, a study conducted by psychology professor Arthur Kramer of the University of Illinois found that playing a strategic video game improved older adults’ memory, reasoning ability and cognitive functions.
A study reported in the “New England Journal of Medicine” concluded that leisure activities, including board games, were associated with a decreased risk of dementia in senior citizens. Games have also long been used to educate children, teaching things such as taking turns, following rules and enhancing verbal communication. Playing games together also strengthens family and community ties, providing a nonconfrontational opportunity to communicate and build relationships between children, teens, parents and the elderly.
A hockey puck can scorch across the ice at 110 mph, as measured by all-star contests in 2011 in the U.S. and Russia. The fastest pitchers can launch a baseball at 105 mph, as the Cincinnati Reds’ Aroldis Chapman managed in September 2010. A football, with its ungainly oblong shape, technically called a prolate spheroid, doesn¡¯t typically reach these speeds. But quarterbacks with a cannon arm can still get the ball downfield with plenty of mustard on it.
The maximum speed of a football is actually achieved by the legs of place kickers and punters, not the rocket arms of quarterbacks. College punters can achieve top launching speeds of 60 mph, with 70 mph expected for top pros, writes Angelo Armenti in ¡°The Physics of Sports.¡± Place kickers achieve another 10 mph from running up to the ball, so kickers achieve around 70 mph in college and 80 mph in the pros.
ESPN¡¯s ¡°Sport Science¡± feature uncovered the football throwing speed of one leading quarterback when it tested New Orleans Saint Drew Brees against an Olympic archer to see which could more accurately hit the bull¡¯s eye on an archery target. In the process of hitting the bull¡¯s eye on each of his first 12 tries, Brees threw at 52 mph. The ball had a launch angle of 6 degrees and spun at 600 rpm. Aerodynamic forces kept the nose of the ball moving right on target, with the ball displaying the optimal and necessary three small wobbles for five spins of the ball. Brees creates speed on the ball by what he calls the ¡°kinetic chain¡±: power that rises from his feet to his hips, shoulder and finally throwing arm. Brees demonstrated how the index finger comes off the ball last, giving it its final push.
Drew Brees¡¯s 52 mph falls in the typically 50 to 60 mph speed recorded for a professionally thrown football and may have been a bit slow because of his focus on accurately hitting a target 20 yards away. ¡°Sport Science¡± also clocked a pass by Colt McCoy of the Cleveland Browns at 56 mph. In the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine testing college players, Nevada¡¯s Colin Kaepernick registered 59 mph. Ryan Mallett of Arkansas recorded 58 mph, and Cam Newton of Auburn, 56 mph.
Figures for football greats are largely anecdotal but indicate that the greatest quarterbacks had exceptional throwing speed. Brett Favre is estimated at 63 mph, and Indianapolis Colts QB Peyton Manning, 59 mph on short hard throws. The hardest thrower ever may have been the Denver Broncos¡¯ John Elway, who may have thrown in the rare category of above 60 mph. ¡°They used to set the Jugs machines at 70 to 80 mph for us receivers to simulate John¡¯s throws,¡± recalls Elway¡¯s former receiver, Rod Smith.