The Sports Archives – 4 Important Ways to Prevent Baseball Injuries

Baseball is America’s favorite pastime and can be an exhilarating sport to participate in. It is a very physically demanding sport that requires players to be in good shape. If you play this thrilling and physically demanding sport, you should do everything possible to protect against injuries. Here are four of our best tips for doing so effectively.

Stretch Before You Practice and Play

Baseball tends to be very demanding for one-side of your body and the same muscle areas over and over again. For those that are right-handed, the right side of the body is responsible for throwing, hitting, and catching the ball. For left-handers, the opposite holds true. For this reason, it’s important that you properly stretch those muscles so that they don’t get pulled when you’re practicing or playing a real game. Your stretching should be focused on your hamstrings, back, and shoulders as they get the most use when playing the game of baseball.

Set Limitations

There’s a reason why pitchers are interchanged during the playoff games. This is to assist in preventing overuse injuries. Your chiropractor should be able to help you to set decent limitations for your practice and game times. Setting limitations is a great practice to start because it will prevent you from overusing your muscles and getting injured, especially if your team relies on you as a key player.

Wear the Right Equipment

As with any sort of sport, baseball requires various pieces of equipment to keep you safe while playing. Depending on your position, you may require more safety equipment than others. For example, a catcher is at a very high risk of getting hit by a baseball. Therefore, they tend to wear several pieces of protective gear to keep their bodies safe from harm. Batters should be wearing helmets to protect themselves from stray balls.

Play on a Safe Field

It’s very important that you pay attention to your surroundings when playing baseball. You don’t want to play on a field where there is debris laying or various divots throughout the field. Rather, you should opt for playing on fields that are properly taken care of. There’s a reason that parks and professional arenas both take care of their fields. It’s to ensure the safety of the players who use it on a regular basis.

Baseball can be a very fun sport to play. However, getting injured can really throw a wrench in your plans. By practicing the four safety tips above, you can greatly reduce your risk of getting injured when playing baseball.

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The Sports Archives – Greece Wins Euro 2004

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

The English Premier League is an incubator for players and teams that participate in the European Cup.  It is regarded as one of the most talented and respected leagues in the world and pairs up rival English football clubs in high performance and competitive matches on the pitch. Visit one of the Best EPL betting sites to gain a good understanding on the odds of your favorite English Premier League teams right now. The EPL is one of the most famous leagues in the world, and definitely one of the best – that’s why England is very often reaching the late Euro stages, as they have some great players who can work together perfectly. Being one of the most popular leagues in the world, the Premier League is attracting many bettors – sometimes even more than the Euro itself. In Euro 2004, England reached the late stages but didn’t reach the semi-finals after they lost to Portugal. Which leads us to who were the favorites to win in 2004.

When Euro 2004 began in the summer, the usual suspects were being predicted as winners. Nations like France, Netherlands, Spain and England were among the teams who were anticipated to go the distance. Another team that was fancied was Portugal, given some of the talent in the squad, and the fact that the tournament was taking place in their country.

No one spoke about Greece pre-tournament. In fact, most assumed Greece would go out at the group stages, or be lucky to get into the quarter finals. What no one anticipated was that Greece would be the team that would lift the trophy on the 4th of July in Lisbon. And that is what happened. This story ends with an amazing triumph for Greece, who emerged as 1-0 winners over Portugal that night.

The tournament began for Greece in the identical way that it ended. They started the first group game against Portugal, and it was a 1-0 win that got them off the mark. But that win was seen as an aberration. Portugal were off their game, it was the start of the tournament, and everyone assumed normal service would resume.

But it did not. Greece maintained that excellent defensive record that served them so well in the qualifying stages, and they got enough points to get out of the group in second place. It was hardly impressive, given they drew and lost their other two games, and only scored 4 goals in three group games.

In a knockout tournament like the Euros or the World Cup, form in the group stages does not matter. So long as you get out of there, you have done your job. And that is what the Greeks did. They were second, and they booked a game against France. Again, no one gave them a chance, but a 1-0 win was enough to get them into the semi-finals. It was a remarkable upset, given the level of talent of that French team.

They were pushed all the way by a very talented Czech side, who were also fancied among the pre-tournament favorites. It took a silver goal in extra time to give Greece another 1-0 win. Yes, there is a theme to all their results. It was a string of 1-0 wins that got Greece to the promised land of European success.

They had never won the Euros before, and no one gave them a chance before the tournament started. But this incredible group, led by manager Otto Rehhagel, the German who was known for his defensive prowess, was not to be denied. And everything was done on the backs of that incredible defense and goalkeeper.

It is often that the team with the best defense wins such tournaments. But it is rare for a team to not concede a single goal in three knockout games, where they faced three of the best teams in Europe. Shutting out France, Czech Republic, and Portugal in Portugal is an insane achievement, and one that no soccer team has bested in a Euros or World Cup since.

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The Sports Archives – The Most Humiliating Defeats in Soccer History

messi olympics soccer

The English Premier League weekend got off to an attention grabbing start on Friday night as Southampton flopped to a nine goal home thrashing at the hands of Leicester City in what is the biggest home defeat ever recorded in the English top tier. The defeat was so harsh that the Southampton players and coaching staff decided to redeem themselves, by donating their salary of the last Friday to a charity.

They’re not the first – and won’t be the last – to suffer a mauling on the soccer pitch but as the old saying goes, ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ so here we’re going to look at some of the game’s other humiliations.

NUMBER 5 – ENGLAND 1-2 ICELAND, 2016

Okay, so this just proves that humiliation isn’t solely based on the margin of victory. In the last 16 of the Euro 2016 finals England went into the game with everyone expecting a routine win and a fourth minute Wayne Rooney goal did nothing to change that perception. Iceland, who had a part time dentist amongst their coaching set up, always ‘believed’ though and two goals in 12 minutes flipped the match on its head. The England players couldn’t re-establish their foothold in the game with their star-studded squad incapable of stringing simple passes together and crashed out in miserable fashion.

NUMBER 4 – MANCHESTER UNITED 9-0 IPSWICH, 1995

When Ipswich made the trip to Old Trafford the league table suggested a big home win might be on the cards but the Blues had beaten United earlier in the season so there would have been a glimmer of hope for the visitors. Fast forward 90 minutes though and we had a Premier League record defeat on our hands after poor old Craig Forrest had to pick the ball out of his net nine times. The Canadian keeper probably still has nightmares about Andy Cole, who bagged five of the goals. Ipswich were relegated the same season.

NUMBER 3 – ENGLAND 9-3 SCOTLAND, 1961

Any defeat to a rival is tough to swallow but the least you expect in a derby game is fight and spirit. The Scottish fans got none of that though as the Tartan Army rolled over in front of nearly 100,000 fans at Wembley. The 9-3 score line was all the more shocking given at one point the Scots had momentum on their side after pulling two goals back to make it just 3-2. Still a game lasts 90 minutes and England were brutally relentless as they added a further six.

NUMBER 2 – AUSTRALIA 31-0 AMERICAN SAMOA, 2001

Australia came into this World Cup qualifier game in April 2001 off the back of a 22-0 win over Tonga (yes twenty-two) and although American Samoa were forced to field a considerably weakened team due to passport issues, they actually held firm against the Socceroos’ for the opening 10 minutes. Unfortunately, the next 80 minutes saw Australia score an astonishing 31 goals, which is an international record and their striker Archie Thompson, who scored 28 international goals in total, netted 13 of them.

NUMBER 1 – BRAZIL 1-7 GERMANY, 2014

When you’re hosting the World Cup and reach a semi-final it’s potentially the biggest moment of your career but in 2014 the carnival atmosphere inside Estádio Governador Magalhães Pinto, known as Mineirao, was quickly hushed by the Germans as they raced into a five goal lead in the first half. Anyone can lose a game of soccer but in a game of this magnitude for the score to end up 7-1 is embarrassing – especially when Germany took their foot of the gas for the entire second period. For a nation as good as Brazil, it will always be a blemish on their record, and it took place in their own back yard with the whole world watching.

There you have it, five games and five shambolic displays. Some of them were performances that saw underdogs rise to the occasion whilst others were simply score lines that wouldn’t look out of place if you were betting on the Super Bowl 2020 results but, most importantly, none will ever be forgotten .

 

 

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The Sports Archives – How Golf Makes You Better at More Physical Sports

Royal County Down Golf Club in Newcastle, Northern Ireland

Royal County Down Golf Club in Newcastle, Northern Ireland

Golf is a sport that is commonly thought of as a slow-moving. While there isn’t as much physical activity as other sports out there, golf teaches an abundance of helpful skills. Many of these skills actually work to assist players in becoming better athletes at more physically-demanding sports.

Creates Commitment

In this day and age, there’s a lack of commitment from many as people want instant success. Golf is a game of endurance. Most will play all 18 holes, which can take hours to complete. Creating the commitment to stick with the match until the very end to beat out the others is something that you’ll have to develop. Over time, you’ll notice that your competitive stamina increases as you start to master the concept of long-term commitment.

Assist in Keeping in Shape

While you may hit the gym a few times a week to stay in shape, the golf course is another option to add to your tool bag. Golfing requires physical motion during swinging and just walking around on the course. Spending a few days a week on the green in your funny golf polo shirts will not only allow you to reduce some stress but it will also give you some good walking time, particularly if you opt out of using a golf cart.

Enhanced Coordination

Being able to swing your club to hit the ball at the right spot is a necessity in mastering your swing. Hitting the ball just a few millimeters in the wrong spot can make a huge difference in where the ball ends up landing on the green. When you play golf, you work on enhancing the coordination of your swing. Your mind and body must link up your swing with where you want to hit the ball. This coordination carries over to other more physically-demanding sports like football and baseball.

Better Endurance

If you opt for walking the course instead of using a golf cart to get around, you can enjoy building up endurance. The more times you hit the green each week, the more endurance your body is going to gain. If you really want to get your heart conditioned, opt for carrying around your clubs instead of having them toted around on a golf cart or by a caddy.

When it comes to golf, it’s more physically-demanding than most people think. By just changing up a few things like the way you get around on the course and how you transport your clubs can do wonders for your physical fitness. Plus, the other skills that you learn on the green can go a long way in enhancing your performance in other physical sports.

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The Sports Archives – Just What Is Sportsmanship Comprised Of?

soccer ball

Pexels – CC0 License

There are many attitudes and forms of mindset that we appreciate when we see them exemplified in the athletes we follow, or even in the sports we play ourselves. A sense of fair play, common decency, the ability to take grace in defeat and humility in victory. No one likes an athlete who is incredibly over-aggressive while still winning all of the time. Of course, certain outliers exist, such as how Conor McGregor kept up his mocking and playful persona throughout the entirety of his peak performance, but that was swiftly unmasked when his bravado in front of his titular boxing match was uncovered as just that.

However, just what is sportsmanship comprised of, anyway? Must it always be an athlete who rarely acknowledges their success, or as extreme as the WW2 soldiers from either side who kicked a soccer ball around on Christmas day? Surely we needn’t go to war to understand what sportsmanship is? That being said, even soldiers have their codes and honor in combat, which can be a sobering thought to those who have never experienced it, and perhaps twice as sobering to those who have.

We wish to take a stab at this definition. To us, sportsmanship is derived in the following ways:

A Respect For The Sport Itself

While it’s easy to become exceedingly pedantic amount the minutiae of a sport’s rules, there’s a reason we respect them. It’s because we know they are there for a reason. For example, if the UFC was all about finding the toughest man in the world, things would look very different, and the necessary weight divisions would be the first thing to go. However, we understand that common respect, the need to touch gloves, the ability for the referee to call the round as soon as one person is incapacitated or dazed for more than five seconds – it’s these rules and guiding principles that if respected, constitute sportsmanship. We immediately dislike the boxer who takes a free tap to the back of the head of his opponent after the bell rings.  We understand that counterfeit sportswear sullies the safety of the participants. With this understanding comes appreciation.

Skills Cannot Lie

People, especially some athletes, are fantastic at explaining how great they are, or why they were justified, or in giving themselves credit. There was a reason that Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson were known to the world as the world’s most famous boxers. Their trash-talk was exceptional, but it wouldn’t have held water if they had failed. Skills cannot lie. We understand that. And a respect for this and a willingness to test them fairly is what sportsmanship is comprised of.

More Than The Sport

Sport matters. It brings people together, it can help change lives, and it also speaks to the best in us. But without people to play them with, sports are just boring rules in  a rulebook, never lived out. When we know that the sporting experience is more than the particular sport in question, we understand that’s what really matters. It’s seen when an athlete attends to another injured teammate, or one on the opposing team. It’s in the shaking of  hands and mutual praise after two boxers punch it out. This shows that while sport is crucial in life, more than the sport is needed to help it actualize itself correctly.

With these words, we hope you can think of sportsmanship in the best light possible.

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The Sports Archives – 5 Reasons Why Sports Coaches Are So Important

Football Coach

Image by Keith Johnston from Pixabay 

A sports coach isn’t just someone who stands there and blows a whistle, makes up drills for basketball and then yells at you in the locker room. There is so much more to a sports coach, and they play a very, very valuable role in a person’s life. Sports coaches are there to help athletes in developing to their full potential, they are also responsible for training athletes in a sport by analyzing their performances, instructing in relevant skills and providing encouragement, but they are also responsible for the guidance of the athlete in life and their chosen sport.

They Promote Active Lifestyles

As mentioned, the role of sports coaches isn’t just to coach, and while they are well placed to help athletes reach their potentials, they also play a vital part in getting children and teenagers to engage in sport and physical activity. We all know how good physical activity is your health, and it’s imperative to tack the obesity crisis we are now facing, but the sport has also been associated with positive experiences and outcomes, such as improved confidence and academic achievement. 

Sports coaches are in a great position to promote these active lifestyles by getting kids involved at an early age. By focusing on inclusion and engagement in the physical activity, they can help encourage children who don’t engage with sport naturally to find it something enjoyable and worthwhile. This promotion doesn’t happen overnight, so a coach needs to be able to provide guidance and have an understanding of the power of sport so that they are able to not only unlock an athlete’s potential but a child’s or adults who don’t necessarily enjoy the sport or are just a beginner. It’s not just about championing the champions and helping the best reach their potential; it’s about coaching others to be the best they can be.

They Are Both An Assessor and an Advisor

A coach needs to be able to assess an athlete’s performance and give advice on which areas need to be improved. This advice might also cover training recovery, working with injuries, nutrition, and developing a positive mental attitude. It may and often does mean advising on life too. Competing in sport is just as much about mental as it is about physical health and having your head in the right place to do it. Because of that, if a sportsperson is distracted by something, stressed or depressed, just like with anything else, they won’t be able to perform as well, even if their body is in peak condition. A coach needs to be able to recognize that as much as he or she can recognize someone limping when they walk. 

They Are A Role Model

Coaches are not just coaches, but the best and most successful ones know that their athletes look up to them, so it is important that they ‘practice what they preach.’ It is important that they have integrity and behave in a way that is respectful to their sport and those around them. A sports coach usually garners more respect than your average teacher; there is a relationship between a coach and his or her team that is like no other and a bond which has to be there for the team and each individual to perform at their best.

They Are A Mentor

Sports coaches will often find themselves working as guides in life as well. The role of a mentor is to guide a less experienced person by building trust and modeling positive behavior. While coaches need to look after their athletes’ health, both physical and mental, and their safety, they will also need to get ‘tough’ with their mentee from time to time. Again this could mean getting personal, finding out what is going on with them and helping them off the field. Or it could mean that at times they need a talking to which no one else will be able to give them, let alone will they respect. A coach is in a unique position to be able to tell someone to sort themselves out and give them that kick that they sometimes need. 

They Are A Cheerleader

One of the greatest things about a sports coach is celebrating successes together. Whether it be winning a medal, a final, or simply celebrating a new personal best, it’s important for a coach to celebrate alongside their athletes and their team. They have to be the biggest cheerleader going, always supporting and cheering the sportsperson on to help them achieve their goals and be a champion.

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The Sports Archives – N.C. State Defeats Houston for 1983 NCAA Championship

By Original uploader – Originally uploaded by Jonnybsay to Wikimedia Commons., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2513598

Those who know anything about NCAA Basketball will tell you that when you are facing a number one seed, and you are not a top seed yourself, you have very little chances of winning. It is part of the reason why we often see the same teams contesting the championship games in the NCAA. These are the teams with the established franchises. Even if they are recycling players every four years, they are the ones who recruit the best from high school. They have the facilities, coaches and the lure that gets the top players into their teams. And that is why they are so hard to beat.

It gives us some context into the game between NC State and the Houston Cougars. Houston was regarded as one of the top franchises at the time in the NCAA Basketball circuit. They were the number one seed, and they were the ones who were destined to go ahead and get the win. But their dream was turned into a nightmare by the Wolfpack, who overcame the odds and got a historic triumph. Their coach Jim Valvano played a huge part, and he will always be remembered for orchestrating the biggest upset in all time in NCAA basketball history.

What is even more impressive is that the Wolfpack did not have some unexpected tactic that won them the game. In fact, they played the game on Houston’s turns. Hakeem Abdul Olajuwon was the star for Houston, before he went on to the NBA and became a superstar there. His dunking and general play as a center was the reason why the team was so successful. And they had put so many others to the sword thanks to the dunk. But it was the dunk that proved their undoing against NC State, with the Wolfpack scoring a ton of points in the paint that night.

The game went deep with the scores tied. The Wolfpack, who had lost ten games that season, would go on to become the team to win the national championship with the most defeats. They were the first ever to lose ten games and win the championship. With the scores level at 52, and barely seconds left in the game, it was time for the coaches to give their players last instructions. For their part, NC State were anticipating that Houston would go with a man-to-man strategy.

However, Houston tried something else. they went with a trapping defense, where you are attempting to get the ball quickly and double teaming in strategic areas. The problem with a trapping defense is that one man will be open, if only you can find him. Luckily for NC State, they did find him, and he put his shot away.

It was a remarkable result for NC State, who did not let Houston score in the final few minutes of the game. Remarkably, Houston had a 52-46 lead with three minutes left in the game. They did not score a single point after, with the NC State defense shutting them and Olajuwon out!

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