What Are the Uses of Sports Wristbands?

Tennis and sportswear legend Fred Perry invented the sweatband to absorb sweat from his hands and face while on the tennis court. Today, sport wristbands come in many shapes, sizes and materials. People have found uses beyond sopping up sweat. .
The original terry cloth wristbands were designed to absorb sweat. Athletes — most notably runners, tennis and basketball players — still use wristbands to wipe sweat from their face and eyes. Tennis and basketball players reap the additional advantage of wristbands decreasing the sweatiness of their hands. It¡¯s rare to see a professional tennis player on the court without a wristband on his or her arm.
Silicone wristbands have become synonymous with fundraising efforts and support of major causes. Bicyclist Lance Armstrong started this trend when he used Livestrong yellow wristbands to bring attention to cancer. The wristbands became a worldwide phenomenon and could be spotted on supporters around the globe. U.S. tennis player Andy Roddick uses blue wristbands with the words ¡°No Compromise¡± to raise money for the Andy Roddick Foundation, which works to make a difference in the lives of at-risk children. The blue wristbands are popular within the tennis industry among fans and fellow players. Many other important causes use wristbands to help in fundraising efforts and awareness. Pink wristbands are used for breast cancer, red for AIDS, orange or green for leukemia and purple for lupus.
Silicone wristbands have also made their way into the for-profit sector. Companies use them for advertising and promotion. The low cost of the wristbands means they are easy to order in large quantities and. Companies can afford to freely hand them out to employees and clients. The Promotion Advisor reports that people tend to wear and keep the wristbands long after the particular event has ended, keeping the company name in the public¡¯s eye. And wristbands are appropriate for all types of businesses. In addition to sports uses, schools, churches, entertainment and other organizations all employ wristbands to carry promotional messages.

How to Breathe Properly While Running & Playing Soccer

Breathing is automatic, but physical stress can overwhelm your body, causing you to adopt unhealthy breathing patterns. Particularly when you run, you may end up hyperventilating, holding your breath for long intervals or breathing at an erratic rate. This can cause rapid muscle fatigue, especially if your muscles are already in overdrive kicking a soccer ball.
When you exercise, your body produces more carbon dioxide, so it’s important to exhale this carbon dioxide to keep the oxygen balance in your body at healthy levels. Consequently, your exhalations should be about as long as your inhalations. One method is to count your breaths, but this can be distracting when you’re playing sports. Instead, try breathing out slowly and steadily rather than quickly blowing out all your air.
Another excellent way to ensure you’re breathing properly is to coordinate your breaths with your movements to find the right inhalation-to-exhalation ratio. Try taking a breath in every time you take two steps, then exhaling it for two steps. As you build aerobic endurance, you’ll be able to take longer breaths, so graduate to three, then four steps that last for the length of your breaths. When you exert effort, such as when you’re kicking a ball, exhale.
You’ll gain better access to oxygen if you take deep breaths through your diaphragm. Instead of allowing your chest to expand, your stomach should expand with each inhalation. This encourages slow, deliberate breathing and can prevent hyperventilation. When you exhale, contract your stomach muscles to push the air out.
You can take in more air through your mouth, so if you feel like you’re struggling to get enough oxygen, open your mouth and inhale this way. Exhale through your nose. Doing so can also help to slightly slow down the rate of your exhalations, making it easier to breathe slowly and deliberately.

Workouts That Increase Speed & Train Fast Twitch Muscles

When trying to increase speed, fast-twitch muscles will dictate exactly how much improvement you can get. Your body has three different muscle fiber types that are impacted in training: type I, type II-A and type II-B. Type I fibers are slow-twitch muscle fibers used mostly for endurance exercises, while the other two fiber types are fast-twitch fibers, capable of being trained and improved for increased speed and power.
When you are looking to improve your fast-twitch fiber types as well as your speed, doing sprints creates the optimum training. Sprinting builds the specific muscles needed to be faster while also generating better use of your fast-twitch fibers. Since sprinting requires maximum effort, the exercise is similar to maximum-effort strength training. When sprinting to improve speed and generate more fast-twitch muscular work, take enough rest to be fully recovered before sprinting again so that you do not work for speed endurance instead of maximum speed.
A depth jump is a type of plyometric exercise that helps to teach better recruitment of fast-twitch muscle fibers. To perform a depth jump, find a box that is roughly 12 inches tall and stand on the box. From here, step — do not jump — off the box. Upon landing, try to jump back up into the air as quickly as possible. This exercise teaches your body how to better absorb force and more quickly use your fast-twitch muscle, creating increased power output.
Olympic lifts include the clean and jerk and snatch, which enable an athlete to develop explosive power and speed while training fast-twitch fibers. These lifts accomplish this by working quickly with sufficient weight, directly recruiting these fiber types. Both exercises require the use of bumper — rubber — plates to enable exercisers to drop the weight upon completion of the lifts. Perform few reps when you do Olympic lifts to keep your focus upon developing ever-greater power and speed.
Everyone is born with a certain number of fiber types that are available to be trained. While some people are slow-twitch dominant, others have more fast-twitch fibers. Regardless of which category you fall into, through training, you can improve your recruitment of various fiber types and develop your body’s fast-twitch fibers necessary for increased speed.

What Is the Purpose of the Semicircle in Basketball?

If you have watched a professional basketball game since 1997 or a college basketball game since 2012, you may have noticed a semi-circle in the foul lane. This area on the basketball court is known as the restricted zone. If a defensive player is inside the restricted zone, an offensive player who makes contact with him cannot be called for a charging foul. This rule change was added to make the game safer, more fair and easier to referee.
A charging foul is an offensive foul that occurs when illegal contact is made by pushing, moving or charging into a stationary defender. This violation most often occurs when a player is dribbling the ball to drive to the basket and “charges” into an opposing player near the basket. The defensive player must be set in position and cannot move laterally in order for a charge to be called. A charging call results in a change of possession and counts as a personal foul toward the player who committed the violation.
Prior to the addition of the restricted area semi-circle in 1997, professional defensive players were planting themselves close to the basket, compromising the safety of offensive players trying to attack the basket and score. To remedy this situation, the NBA rules committee voted to add a 4-foot semicircle inside the foul lane with its apex 3 feet from the center of the basket. If an offensive player makes contact with a defensive player in this restricted area, it is now a defensive blocking foul resulting in free throws.
In 2009, college basketball experimented with dotted semi-circles to determine if the restricted area was a good idea for their game. Two years later, the NCAA once again experimented with a 2-foot wide circle, which was determined to be way too small for officials to make consistent charging calls. After the 2010-2011 season, the NCAA voted to add a 3-foot wide charge circle, which was implemented at the beginning of the 2011-2012 season. Currently, defensive players with even a foot inside of the restricted area are not able to draw offensive charging fouls when an offensive player is making a move to the hoop.
The International Basketball Federation, more commonly known as the FIBA, is the organization that governs international competition. FIBA rules are employed during competitions such as the Olympic games. In 2008, the FIBA announced its adoption of the restricted area semi-circle and copied the NBA’s restricted area rules. Other than the NCAA, other amateur basketball organizations such as the National Federation of State High School Associations, which makes the rules for high school hoops, have not yet adopted the restricted area rule.

Does a Mouth Guard Help You in Basketball?

Basketball players are vulnerable to injury; they wear almost no protective equipment, and although the game is not about dominating your opponent with physical size and strength, there may be physical battles that take place within the course of a game that can end up with a player getting injured. Playing with a mouth guard can help protect a player from injury.
The most physical part of basketball usually occurs when players get involved in the rebounding battle. As players extend their arms to collect the rebound, their hands and elbows may hit an opponent directly in the mouth. One likely scenario occurs when a player has secured a rebound and swings the ball overhead as he comes down. The swinging of the arms can result in a direct shot to the face or mouth of an opponent. This can be a tooth-rattling hit that causes a major injury.
Most players who have played basketball for any length of time have been hit by an errant shot to the mouth. Wearing a mouth guard can give a player confidence that he won’t suffer a significant injury, enabling him to play the game with freedom and confidence.
When wearing a mouth guard, most players are worried about their front teeth, the upper teeth in particular. Instead of wearing a full mouth guard that covers both the upper and lower teeth, players may choose to wear a smaller mouth guard that protects only their upper teeth. This may be more comfortable, but it won’t protect the mouth, lips and gums from getting cut or prevent damage to lower teeth.
The cost of a mouth guard can range from $10 to $40 — a small cost compared to the fees associated with a fractured tooth. If a tooth gets broken or knocked out, it can cost as much as $2,000 per tooth for repair or replacement. The presence of a strong mouth guard can prevent serious injuries.

Why do we turn down the radio when we’re lost?

In 1930, the Radio Manufacturers Association lobbied that backseat passengers were more of a driver distraction than a car radio; listening to the radio, they claimed, was safer than looking in the rear view mirror. Some strongly opposed the industry’s claims, arguing car radios were distracting and hazardous. Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Ohio state legislatures all considered implementing car radio fines, and in 1935 Connecticut legislators actually did introduce a bill that would have placed a steep fine on radio installation ! $50 in 1935, which is about $850 today. Others considered making car radio installation a crime [sources: Novak, Bureau of Labor Statistics]. It wasn’t until the 1939, though, that anyone actually studied whether a correlation between car radios and car crashes existed: Car radios played little to no role in car accidents, determined the Princeton Radio Research Project [source: Bijsterveld].
Decades ago, the Society of Automotive Engineers advised drivers follow the 15-second rule. That is, a driver can be distracted with an in-car activity, such as talking to passengers or retrieving an item from the glove compartment, for up to 15 seconds before the task becomes a visual distraction and becomes unsafe. Fifteen seconds, can you imagine? Every five seconds at 55 mph a car travels about 360 feet (107 meters), which is the length of a football field. Now multiply that by three ! that’s a lot of distance covered without the driver’s attention and focus on driving. Today, both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recommend no in-car activity take more than two seconds, else it becomes a distraction [sources: Parkview Trauma Centers, Barth].
We’d be surprised if a present-day car rolled off the assembly line without at least a radio installed, if not a sleek audio system. Today, too, car audio systems are considered to be among low-level distractions (along with eating and drinking) that, combined, are responsible for distracting us about one-third of the time we spend behind the wheel. In fact any time you fiddle with a device ! or reach for a french fry ! while you’re driving, you take your attention away from the road [sources: DMV, University of Groningen].
Although listening to music while driving has long been considered a driving distraction, hearing the music without handling a media player or touching the car audio controls, has been found, actually, to contradict that long-held belief. Listening to music ! just listening ! it turns out, may help drivers stay focused on the road during long trips on monotonous highways [source: University of Groningen]. So why, then, are we wonky about the radio volume when it comes time to look for an upcoming exit sign or when we’re approaching an unfamiliar destination? It has to do with the demands on our ability to concentrate, and the limitations of the human brain.

Len Ford

Len Ford¡¯s first pro coach said of him: “Len can become the greatest all-around end in history. He has everything — great size, speed, strength, great hands.”
Although Jim Phelan was right in his assessment of Ford’s talents, he was wrong about the “all-around” part. Ford became a defensive star, one of the best in the history of pro football.
After a stellar career at Michigan — he starred on the undefeated 1947 team that slaughtered USC 49-0 in the Rose Bowl — Ford (1926-1972) joined the Los Angeles Dons of the All-America Football Conference.
For two seasons, he made Phelan’s prediction look inspired. He played both ways, specializing in spectacular one-hand catches and rock-smashing tackles.
But when the AAFC merged with the NFL in 1950, the Dons were no more. Len was put into a special draft of players cast adrift by defunct AAFC clubs.
Coach Paul Brown, whose Cleveland team had been taken into the league, grabbed Ford and made him strictly a defender. After some fine games, disaster struck. The Cardinals’ Pat Harder, a terrific blocker, caught Len full in the face with an elbow. Ford suffered a broken nose, two fractures of the cheekbone, and several lost teeth. He needed reconstructive facial surgery.
It was assumed his season was over. But Len worked hard and was back at defensive end for the championship game. His pass rushing was a factor in Cleveland¡¯s narrow 30-28 win.
At 6’5″ and 260 pounds, Ford was nearly unstoppable when he went after a passer. An opponent¡¯s scouting report described him thus: “LEN FORD: Really blows in. Does a lot of jumping over blockers. Does not predetermine this — if he sees a fellow going very low to block, he will jump over. Plays inside very tough. Must be blocked or he will kill the passer. He claims there is no one in the league who can take him out alone.”
With Ford an annual All-NFL selection, the Browns played in six straight championship games, winning three.

The Differences Between Stamina, Strength & Endurance

Weight-training programs often focus on increases in three related muscular attributes: strength, stamina and endurance. Though related, these three are distinct concepts as they relate to your physical abilities. Because increases in each bring different benefits, design your exercise program to target muscular strength, stamina or endurance, depending on your needs.
The concept of muscular strength is best understood as the maximum amount of weight that a given muscle or group of muscles can withstand. Exercises that target strength focus on increases in the amount that a group of muscles can lift for a single repetition. An example of a strength-based athlete is an Olympic weightlifter; a single lift of a maximum amount of weight is the focus of her sport.
Related to strength, stamina is best understood as the amount of time that a given muscle or group of muscles can perform at maximum capacity. If you can perform a single bicep curl of 60 lbs., you may have stronger bicep muscles than someone whose maximal bicep curl is 50 lbs., but the other person can be said to have greater bicep stamina if he can perform more repetitions at this maximum weight. An example of an athlete who may benefit from increased stamina is a sprinter, who must run at maximum speed for an extended period.
Endurance is best understood in relation to time. While stamina is defined as the amount of time that a given group of muscles can perform at or near maximum capacity, endurance is defined as the maximum amount of time that a given group of muscles can perform a certain action. So the difference between stamina and endurance is one of focus: while stamina is limited to performing at maximum capacity, the focus of endurance is on maximizing time regardless of the capacity at which a given group of muscles is performing. For example, while a sprinter may focus on stamina and running as fast as possible over a given distance, a long-distance runner may be more interested in endurance: he runs as far as possible with speed a secondary concern.
The effects of exercise programs specifically targeting strength, endurance and stamina spill over to affect all three. For example, while strength training can be used to increase both strength and endurance, endurance training is effective at increasing stamina, strength and endurance.
Endurance training has significant cardiovascular health benefits over resistance — or strength — training. Though both increase your maximum oxygen uptake, the increases from strength training are less. Also, though endurance training leads to decreases in resting heart rate and in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, strength training has little effect on them. Both may be incorporated into treatment and prevention programs for diabetes, and both may be used to increase metabolism and reduce weight. Despite such benefits of strength training, the sharp increase in blood pressure after single-repetition exercises may be dangerous if you have a cardiovascular condition. Consult your doctor before taking on a strength or endurance training program.

Steve Van Buren

Handing the ball to Steve Van Buren was the surest way to gain yardage in the NFL in the years right after World War II. Everyone knew he was going to smash off tackle all day, yet no one could stop him.
At Louisiana State, the solidly built 200-pounder had been a blocking back until his senior year, paving the way for star Alvin Dark, who went on to baseball fame.
When Van Buren (born 1920) ran for over 800 yards in his final season with the Tigers, Philadelphia made him its first pick in the 1944 draft. He broke in with a bang, leading the league in punt returns and rushing for 444 yards.
The following year, he led the NFL in rushing and kickoff returns. In a 10-game season, he scored 18 touchdowns — nearly two per game.
Nevertheless, some regarded him as a “wartime wonder” who would fade once the “real” stars returned. Rather than fade, he got better.
Van Buren was a 9.8 sprinter in the 100-yard dash and surprisingly shifty in an open field. But he was foremost a power runner — the kind it hurt to tackle. He never seemed to tire. By the fourth quarter, he still slammed into opponents just as hard as he had in the first quarter.
The Eagles’ success was tied to Van Buren. In 1947, he led them to their first division championship as he became only the second NFL runner to rush for over 1,000 yards by gaining 1,008.
He easily could have had a second 1,000-yard season in 1948 when he gained 945 yards, but he sat out a game against a weak Boston club to save himself for the championship game.
In that famous title tilt, played in a blizzard, he scored the only touchdown on a fourth-quarter smash. Van Buren took the Eagles to another league championship in 1949 while setting a new rushing record with 1,146 yards. In the championship game, he rumbled for 196 yards. He retired with the then-NFL record of 5,860 rushing yards.
To learn more about football greats, see:

Concussion Symptoms in Toddlers

Toddlers learning to explore their world often take tumbles that result in nasty bumps to the head. It is important to be able to determine if your child may have sustained a concussion. Also called a mild traumatic brain injury, or MTBI, a concussion refers to a disruption in normal brain function caused by a jolt or blow to the head. Concussions are relatively common in toddlers, so get to know the signs and symptoms, especially since little ones often cannot put into words what they’re experiencing.
Passing out immediately after a bump on the head is a warning sign of a possible concussion in your toddler — even if it lasts just a few seconds. However, loss of consciousness does not occur in up to 90% of concussions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More common initial symptoms to watch for include a dazed expression immediately after the injury, prolonged crying, vomiting and headache. Your child may complain that his “belly doesn’t feel good,” which may indicate nausea. Similar complaints about his head or eyes may indicate your child is experiencing other possible concussion symptoms such as a headache or blurry vision. Seizures can also occur, although this is not common.
Some concussion symptoms develop over the first hours to days after your child’s injury. Your child might begin covering his eyes or shun going outside due to increased sensitivity to light. Similarly, he may shy away from the television or music playing due to increased sensitivity to sound. Irritability, lack of energy or not playing as much as usual may signal a possible concussion. A change in your child’s sleep pattern — such as not wanting to settle down for naps or sleeping more than usual — is another sign to watch for. Unusual clumsiness, slurred speech, lack of coordination and more frequent falls can also develop with a concussion.
Concussion symptoms may not be obvious in the first few days after your child’s injury, but become noticeable over time. You may notice a change in eating habits, unusual grumpiness or sadness, or lack of interest in favorite toys or activities. An increase in temper tantrums or impatience, or crying more than usual are other possible signs of a concussion. Sometimes, your child just might not seem like his usual self — even though you might not be able to pinpoint exactly what’s wrong.
Toddlers are one of the groups at highest risk for a concussion. It is important not take head injuries lightly and to watch for any symptoms of a possible concussion. Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room if your child loses consciousness, has an open cut on his head or face, or has a seizure. Otherwise, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends calling your doctor right away to report anything more than a light bump on the head and discuss whether the child needs to be seen and what to watch for if your doctor recommends monitoring your child at home.