Warming up before a game or practice helps prepare you physically and mentally for exercise and competition. Before running hard, throwing deep passes and tackling opponents on the football field, you should be warmed up and loose to avoid injury and increase physical ability. It also allows for quicker muscle contraction and relaxation, increased force production, better reaction time, improved muscular power and strength, increased blood flow to muscles and enhanced metabolic reactions.
Football players need to loosen up their hips, backs, shoulders and leg muscles before engaging in practice or playing a game. The NSCA recommends dynamic stretching prior to any physical activity. It actively prepares the muscles, warms up the body and takes the muscles through their full range of motion. Dynamic stretching is a functionally based exercise that uses sport-specific movements to prepare the body for activity. While players are lined up, have them perform: walking knee hugs to stretch the hips and glutes, walking leg pulls behind the back to stretch the quads, pump stretches for the calves and low back, the Spiderman stretch for the groin and hips and the inchworm stretch for the hamstrings.
After dynamic stretching, proceed to the warm-up. Warm-up motions can involve stretching, too, but are designed to gradually increase heart rate more so. Start with simple motions as jogs, lateral bounds, high-knees, backwards pedal and butt kicks between five and 15 yards, instructs Mike Gentry, author of “A Chance to Win: A Complete Guide to Physical Training for Football.” Have players increase the dynamics of the warm-up by incorporating different motions into one — have them backpedal until they hear the coach’s whistle, signifying that they must quickly turn and run the rest of the distance forward.
Move to specific warm-ups, or, in this case, position drills. This can be a good transition into the practice itself. It will also bring players together for specific questions and last-minute tweaks with their position coaches before the game. During this warm-up time, for example, running backs practice their steps and hand-offs, defensive lineman practice engaging and releasing from blocks, and quarterback and receivers go over passing routes.
Static stretching before practice or a game is traditional habit for sport, but may not be beneficial — or even detrimental — to athletic performance. The NSCA reports that static stretching before activity can compromise muscle performance. Static stretching prior to activity has been shown to decrease force production, power output, running speed, movement time and muscular endurance — all integral components of performing well, physically and skillfully, in the game of football. Static stretching after activity is more practical, and will allow the muscles to cool down and relax after engaging in exercise.
Different body types are better suited to certain sports and physical activity. For example, the requirements of basketball tend to exclude extremely short players from advancing to the professional leagues. Likewise, if you have extremely long arms, your frame will prepare you well for some pursuits and far less successfully for others.
When you do a bicep curl or when you lift something by bending at your elbows, you’re essentially using you arm as a lever. The longer a lever is, the greater force it exerts through the same effort. You can test this by swinging a hammer, first gripping it very close to its head and then gripping it at the far end of its handle. On the other hand, if you are practicing bicep curls to develop large, defined muscles, it may take longer for you to build up sizable biceps than it would if you had shorter arms.
Many sports and games require you to strike or catch a ball. In most cases, the ball shuttles toward you along a trajectory that varies according to your opponent or teammate. When playing sports such as tennis, baseball, basketball, football, volleyball or badminton, longer arms allow you to reach balls that are further away. While you still need to develop your reflexes and agility in moving toward the ball, the longer limbs make it easier to reach the ball. In basketball or tennis, longer arms are an advantage for scoring as well as passing the ball. In both sports, a longer arm span makes a shot over the net or into the basket possible across a more generous range of angles.
Whether longer or shorter arms are ideal for weightlifting is a hotly-contested question. The most accurate answer is that it depends on your weightlifting goals. For dead lifts, longer arms offer a distinct advantage. For example, champion dead lifter Lamar Gant, the first man to lift five time his body weight, has extremely long arms. On the other hand, shorter arms offer a greater advantage for the bench press, another common weightlifting event.
Outside of athletics and exercise, long arms make it easier to reach for all sorts of items. On the other hand, operating in confined spaces, such as cars or airplanes, can be more challenging. American biologist Joel Allen has hypothesized that humans with longer limbs and torsos are best-suited to warmer climates, as they have relatively more surface area than shorter, stouter individuals. Allen’s research cites examples such as the Masai people of eastern Africa as an example of a people with long limbs that is indigenous to a hot climate region.
Taking care of your body means being aware of sudden changes that can occur — especially in the feet. If your toe is showing signs of redness and pain, you may have a blood clot. This can be caused by an array of medical problems and conditions. If you suspect a blood clot or problem with your foot or big toe, you need to seek medical care immediately. Failure to do so could be life-threatening or cause you to lose your big toe.
Any type of blood clot in the body can be dangerous. When your blood forms a clot within your veins, it is cutting off the flow of blood supply. This can prevent blood flow to certain organs in the body. If a blood clot has developed within your big toe, circulation could cease or be limited — causing the blood supply to be cut off. This could lead to bone and tissue damage or death. In some cases, the blood clot could also break free and travel to your lungs or heart, causing a pulmonary embolism — resulting in sudden death, explains MedlinePlus, an online resource of the National Institutes of Health.
One of the most common causes of a blood clot within the big toe is due to surgery. If you have had bunion surgery or any type of corrective surgery involving your toes or foot, you have an increased risk of a blood clot. If you are immobile, bed ridden or have been in an airplane for an extended period of time, you increase your risk for blood clots in the toes and lower legs — this is referred to as deep vein thrombosis or DVT, notes the American Council on Exercise. Being diagnosed with peripheral artery disease or PAD — a condition in which there is limited blood flow to the legs and toes — lupus, heart disease or diabetes also increases your risk for developing a blood clot in your big toe.
A blood clot can be hard to identify initially. One of the main symptoms is pain, tenderness and redness in and around the toe or affected area. If you have a history of PAD, your doctor may give you certain signs to look for in case of a blood clot. These signs include tingling or pain in your toes, painful to the slightest touch, foot ulcers, blood clots or dark spots under the toenail and shiny tight skin, reports “The New York Times Health Guide.”
Treatment involves seeking immediate medical attention. In some cases, you may have to have surgery to treat or remove the blood clot. Your physician may prescribe a blood thinner, such as Heparin, which will help loosen the clot and prevent it from re-forming. You may be evaluated to determine the exact cause of the clot, which may involve being treated for an underlying condition, such as heart disease, or superficial thrombophelbitis, an inflammation in the superficial veins.
You can prevent a blood clot in your big toe by making sure you have adequate blood flow at all times. This means avoiding sitting for long periods of times, lying down for more than 12 hours at a time and avoiding socks or clothing that can constrict blood flow to the feet. Follow your doctor’s orders when taking anti-coagulant medications and get up to 30 minutes of exercise per day, up to five days a week to improve blood flow and maintain heart health.
Soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro was born on the island of Madeira in Portugal on May 5, 1985. Known as Cristiano Ronaldo to soccer fans, he began playing soccer as a child and by the age of 10 had earned the notice of Madeira¡¯s soccer community. Since signing with Real Madrid in 2009, Ronaldo is regularly the object of media attention for his actions on and off the soccer field. ESPN Soccernet rates Ronaldo as the second most well-known soccer player in the world after David Beckham.
Ronaldo¡¯s parents, Jos¨¦ Diniz Aveiro and Maria Dolores dos Santos Aveiro, raised him in a working class community with his three older siblings. Ronaldo¡¯s father named him for President Ronald Reagan. He started playing football at a small local soccer club where his father was the equipment manager. Ronaldo honed his soccer skills as a youth playing for Nacional da Ilha da Madeira, another local team, and gained a reputation as one of Madeira¡¯s best soccer players. At the age of 13, Ronaldo signed with Sporting Lisbon¡¯s schoolboy team for a monthly salary.
Ronald played for Sporting Lisbon¡¯s adult soccer team from 2001 to 2003. He is the only player in Sporting Lisbon¡¯s history to be promoted by four academy teams before his debut. Ronaldo stood out in his first game in which he scored a brace and was on the winning team in 2001 in Portugal¡¯s Liga. When he was 16 years old, the Liverpool manager saw him play and passed on signing a player he believed was too young.
In 2003, when Ronaldo was 18 years old and still playing for Sporting Lisbon, his team won a friendly against Manchester United. A week later, Man U manager Alex Ferguson signed Ronaldo, paying a record transfer fee for an adolescent. Ronaldo¡¯s salary increased from less than $2,000 monthly to about $190,000 monthly. After some hesitation, Ronaldo requested the No. 7 jersey, the same number worn by greats George Best and David Beckham. In 2006, Ronaldo, playing for Portugal, fell out of favor with fans over what was considered poor sportsmanship and diving during the World Cup.
On July 1st, 2009, Ronaldo Cristiano joined Real Madrid. Real Madrid paid Manchester United a $131 million transfer fee for Ronaldo, a record for one player, and paid Ronaldo a record salary of about $100 million. As of 2013, Ronaldo continues to play for Real Madrid and to wear his No. 7 jersey. He wears the number 17 when playing for Portugal. He continues to set records and in early 2013 continues to be one of the top European scorers.
Throughout his career, Ronaldo has earned more than 20 awards, including a dozen player-of-the-year awards, the FIFA World Player award and the UEFA Forward of the year. He was named the Portuguese Footballer of the Year in 2006 and 2007. As captain of Portugal, Ronaldo led his team in the 2010 World Cup. And in 2011, as the top scorer in Europe, Ronaldo won the prestigious Golden Boot.
Playing soccer, either as a member of a competitive team or in a neighborhood park with a number of other fans, is an ideal way to keep in shape. The long distances you’ll run throughout the game burn calories quickly and lead to a number of benefits, including stronger muscles and higher endurance.
According to Harvard Health Publications, people who weigh 155 and 185 pounds burn about 260 and 311 calories, respectively, during 30 minutes of playing soccer. The rate at which you’ll burn calories during a game of soccer is comparable to tennis, ice skating and racquetball.
Soccer games are typically 90 minutes in length, but it’s not exactly accurate to triple the sport’s 30-minute calorie burn. Substitutions mean you aren’t likely to play all 90 minutes of the game. The position you play on the field also plays a role in the calories you’ll burn. The goalkeeper, for example, burns calories at a lower rate because of the constraints of his position. Midfielders, on the other hand, are apt to burn a higher number of calories because of the amount of field they cover.
Trying out for a sports team can be a positive experience that can enrich a student’s college experience. In most cases, it is best to make inquiries with the athletic department about trying out for a particular team when you have not been recruited to play. You might be given an opportunity to make the team in one sport but not another.
It can be very difficult to get a fair opportunity to show your skills for a major college. If you have not been recruited and are not a scholarship player but you want to walk on in a major team sport like football, basketball or baseball, you need to speak with the coach before you show up. For example, if you played high school football and have a dream of playing college football for a school that might be eligible to play for the national championship, you will have to convince the coaches that you are worthy of even showing up for practice. Arrange a meeting and come equipped with a videotape of your high school play and a letter of recommendation from a previous coach. This might get you consideration, but it will be up to the coach to say whether you should show up. Even if you have played before, you might have a chance only to make the team’s practice squad and have very little chance to play in games.
Football, basketball and baseball are considered revenue-producing sports. Other sports like golf, tennis, soccer and volleyball offer scholarships but also might offer other athletes a legitimate chance to make the team in a tryout situation. For example, if you are a golfer and have ability, you can make a team with a strong showing in tryouts and then earn a scholarship or partial scholarship, according to College Scholarships.org.
If you are going to a non-division 1 school, you will have a chance to try out and might be able to earn a partial scholarship or grant. According to College Athletic Scholarships.net, Division III and NAIA colleges have scholarship money available. The number of Division III athletes nearly doubled between 1982 and 1987. Small college teams have more players on their rosters than major college teams. Lindsey Wilson, an NAIA program in Kentucky, had 33 players on its men¡¯s basketball roster in 2011. That’s more than twice as many as most Division 1 programs.
Once in a while, a player can go from from being a walk-on who succeeds in a tryout to one of the top players in the game. This was the case for Clay Matthews, who walked on at USC, earned a spot on the team and ultimately was drafted by the Green Bay Packers, where he became one of the most productive players on the Packers’ defensive team. Safety Jim Leonhard was a walk-on at Wisconsin, excelled in the secondary and made the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent. He became a starter for the Jets.
Acne is embarrassing whenever it occurs, but it is especially distressing for adults. Women are susceptible to acne outbreaks because of fluctuating hormone levels, stress and personal habits. Breakouts tend to occur along the jawline area. The jaw and chin are sensitive areas frequently touched with hands transmitting dirt and germs.
Acne can occur anywhere on the body, including the jaw and chin. Two types of acne that are specific to adults tend to occur in the jawline area. Persistent acne, or acne that continues past the mid-20s, and adult-onset acne, which occurs after years of clear skin, both cause deep, inflamed pimples on the jaw, chin and near the mouth, according to the American Academy of Dermatology’s Acne Net. Both persistent and adult-onset acne tend to affect women more than men.
All acne is caused by overproduction of sebum, a natural oil that moisturizes the skin, according to Quick Acne Treatments. Excess oil combined with dead skin cells and bacteria causes acne. Fluctuating hormone levels–such as during puberty, pregnancy or menopause–stimulate sebum production, according to Acne Talks.
Jawline acne in particular is aggravated by certain habits and medications. Resting you chin in your hand transfers dirt and germs from your hand to your face, according to Acne Talks. Added to the warmth from your hand, this creates an ideal environment for bacterial growth and, consequently, acne breakouts. Similarly, frequently touching your face also transmits dirt and bacteria to your face. Long hair may contribute to jawline acne. Hair, even if clean, contains oils that add to those of the skin. Cosmetics, especially if left on overnight, may clog pores and aggravate acne particularly along the jawline, which is a sensitive area, notes Quick Acne Treatment. Stress can stimulate production of the hormone androgen, which leads to increased acne.
Medications may contribute to acne. Birth control pills contain estrogen and progestin, which help control acne, so discontinuing oral contraceptives may cause an acne outbreak. However, progestin-only oral contraceptives may aggravate acne, according to Acne Net. Other medications that may contribute to acne breakouts are corticosteroids and anticonvulsant medications.
Adult acne may signal a serious health condition. Acne accompanied by irregular periods and changes in hair, such as bald patches, thinning or excessive facial hair growth, may be a symptom of polycystic ovary disease or adrenal hyperplasia, notes Acne Net. Acne may also result from a tumor in the ovary or adrenal gland. In these cases, the acne will remain until the underlying condition has been treated.
You can practice hundreds of different plays, spend hours in the weight room and run as many 40-yard dashes as you like, but if your nutrition isn’t on point, you’ll struggle as a football player. Making sure you’ve fueled your body with enough nutrient-dense, energy-providing foods to ensure that you perform at optimum levels in both practice sessions and in actual games.
Every football player needs a big breakfast, notes certified strength and conditioning specialist Jim Carpentier at Stack Performance Center. You need protein, carbs and fat at breakfast, but you should leave at least two hours between eating and playing to let it begin to digest properly. You can either opt for a whole-food meal, such as scrambled eggs with peanut butter on toast, some fruit and a glass of milk, or drink a liquid breakfast with a high-protein, high-carb smoothie consisting of protein powder, chocolate milk, nuts, fruit and yogurt.
If you’re eating lunch before training or a game, you don’t want the food to sit too heavily in your stomach, but you need to eat enough for energy. This means eating carb-dense foods along with a little protein. In an interview with The Daily Meal, Peyton Manning notes that his favorite pre-game meal is grilled chicken, a baked potato, pasta with marinara sauce and broccoli, while Willie Anderson opted for oatmeal, fruit, a baked potato and some sausage. Both players also included sports drinks for extra carbs. In contrast, quarterback Sam Bradford prefers to keep it simple by eating a plateful of fruit.
Aim for enough proteins, carbs and fats in combination to help you repair and recharge after a hard day of playing. Registered dietitian Mitzi Dulan, former team nutritionist with the Kansas City Chiefs, advises that you base your meals around lean proteins, plenty of vegetables and whole grains. For dinner, have a large mixed salad with a baked salmon fillet or a grilled turkey steak with carrots, broccoli and asparagus. Add some sweet or white potatoes, squash, brown rice or whole-wheat pasta for extra carbs.
Your diet may differ completely from other football players. Let your goals, the position you play, and how much you train dictate how much and what kind of food you eat. If you’re trying to lose weight to get lighter, leaner and faster, you may want to cut down on your starchy carb, sugar and fat intake to help drop a few pounds. If you need to gain some mass and bulk up, you may need a mega menu, with big meals and plenty of calorie-dense snacks. As an extreme example, Jordan Black, formerly of the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars, ate 7,000 calories per day to get to his ideal weight as an offensive tackle.
Supination is the rolling of the foot to the outside during normal walking or running motions. The term is usually used in connection with over-supination, which means that the arch of the foot is too high and too much weight is placed on the outside of the foot. If you are a “supinator,” you may be at risk for injuries such as Achilles tendinitis, peroneal tendinitis, ankle sprains and iliotibial (IT) band syndrome.
Common signs of supination are high arches and consistent wear on the outside bottom of the shoes. Looking at the wear pattern on the bottom of your running shoes is a good way to check for supination, although additional symptoms are usually present. Supinators tend to have tight calf muscles and iliotibial (IT) bands, callouses or bunions on the outside of the foot or fifth toe, and foot pain, especially in the heel and ball of the foot. They may also be more prone to “rolling” the ankle or ankle sprains.
Supination is generally caused by the bio-mechanical alignment of the bones in the lower extremities. It is usually present from birth and noticeable at a young age, unless caused by a specific injury or neuromuscular disorder. The two main forms of bio-mechanical variation that give rise to supination are the high arch, or cavus foot type, and inversion of the lower legs, often called “bow-leggedness.”
Although the alignment of the bones giving rise to supination is genetically predetermined, other factors can make supination worse. Tightening of the calf muscles, for instance, tends to reinforce the movement pattern caused by supination, potentially aggravating the situation. Unstable, weak ankles also magnify the effect of supination by allowing the ankle and foot to roll more easily to the outside. Footwear that does not provide enough shock absorption places further stress on the heels and arches.
The main risk of injury stems from the fact that a supinated foot provides less flexibility and shock absorption than normal. For runners, this usually means a hard heel strike and stress on the arch of the foot, which can lead to foot and ankle pain as well as pain in the knees, hips and lower back. Common injuries associated with supination include tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains and sometimes stress fractures.
Supinators should wear shoes that provide extra cushioning to make up for the lack of shock absorption by their feet. Shoes with supportive arches can also be beneficial. Having a professional analyze your gait may be helpful before selecting your next pair of running or walking shoes. If supination becomes bothersome, your doctor may prescribe custom orthotic devices that will help redistribute the weight on your feet and absorb shock more effectively. Always make sure you stretch the muscles in your legs, especially after exercise while your muscles are warm. Focus on the calves, hamstrings and IT band. Exercises that help strengthen the ankles will reduce the risk of injury from supination. Practice balancing on one foot or on an unstable surface, and try moving your ankles in circles or writing the alphabet in the air with your foot.
Soccer cleats are worn by players to help them gain traction on various playing surfaces, including grass, sand and clay. Like most soccer equipment, the cleats must conform to several regulations. These regulations are instituted to maintain a safe playing environment for all players.
In general, the same rules apply to soccer cleat use across different leagues at the national and international level. FIFA’s rule book specifies only that adequate footwear is worn. According to the NCAA, ¡°Shoes with soles containing aluminum, leather, rubber, nylon or plastic cleats, studs or bars, whether molded as part of the sole or detachable, are allowed.¡± In practice, any cleat that is specifically made for soccer is allowed, even those with detachable, metal studs.
One area that can lead to confusion is the presence of a front stud, positioned at the very tip of the bottom of the cleat. This type of stud often is found on baseball, football and lacrosse cleats because it helps players gain more traction on the field. However, in soccer, such stud placement is dangerous. As players attempt to take the ball from one another, a front cleat is in a prime position to cause injury to the feet, shins and knees of other players. As such, any cleat with a front stud usually is outlawed.
While most soccer leagues follow the same rules, there are exceptions. Any league is allowed to make changes to the regulations on player equipment. Referee Tom Stagliano points out one such example: ¡°In Massachusetts, soccer cleats with any metal (even metal tipped) currently are illegal.¡± To be safe, before you purchase a new set of cleats, check for any specific rules set by your local league. If you can’t find an answer, consider molded plastic cleats to be the safest choice.
While soccer regulations for cleats may seem lax, there is a catch. If the referee believes your cleats to be dangerous for any reason, he can prohibit you from playing. Referees are particularly cautious when they see metal cleats. Over time, metal cleats can wear down from walking on hard surfaces and become sharp. If you prefer metal cleats, make sure to wear them only on soft surfaces. To be safe, also consider purchasing a backup set of cleats made from molded plastic.