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.

Posted in Fitness/Wellness, Other | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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!

Posted in College Basketball | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Sports Archives – Popular Sports & Hobbies

There are a lot of hobbies that people enjoy, and some of them keep you active. Sporting hobbies are more varied than people think. With things like coaching kids teams, fantasy baseball or football and even just watching it. There is a big push for people to get involved in sports in different ways now. And, with the help of the internet, you can find anything from stats on Parker Sniatynski, to your local frisbee club. 

Sports are so great because they encourage us to move more, and be social too. It’s hard to win a soccer game alone. It also promotes healthy competition too, meaning we push ourselves to do better, and be better. So, here are a few sports that you might consider trying out. 

hiking

Photo by David Marcu on Unsplash

Rollerblading

Relatively easy to pick up, but can be tricky to master. Moving from skates to blades takes a lot of skills. But, there is much required from regular skates. Check out roller derbys! Once you have built your core up enough to balance for the duration, you can then begin to work on your speed. In many places in the USA skating is one of the most enjoyable ways to get around too. You’ll often see skaters by the beach. Once you have build up your stamina, you might consider joining a team or a group of hobby skaters. 

Hiking

The great outdoors provides one of the most enjoyable backdrops a hobby can have. Hiking is a fantastic way to build your stamina and to soak up some great views. It makes sense to invest in some sturdy and supportive footwear too. You can extend this out into camping, and practice your tent pitching skills too. Some people don’t consider hiking a sport but if you consider the stamina and strength required for many hikes it would be difficult to find it otherwise. 

Parkour

Has been popular for years in many circles, Jujimufu, for example, was running up the side of buildings before he was building those muscles. But it isn’t for the faint of heart. This takes a lot of courage, core strength, and athleticism. Using the force from a run-up, to spring across wide gaps, run along walls, and perform numerous backflips is pretty intense stuff. There are a lot of groups, and in many trampoline parks, there are dedicated spaces. 

Water

Water polo, competitive swimming, or even just a leisurely weekend swim. They are all great ways to gently work your muscles. The resistance of the water as you swim provides a pretty great workout too. You don’t need much to get started either, a swimming costume and some google will see you right. 

When it comes to sports, there is more to it than soccer or basketball. If you are taking part in any of these things, you might like to head online and find your local groups – so that you can create that team experience. Sport is good for your body, your mind, and your social life. 

 

Posted in Fitness/Wellness, Other | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Sports Archives – 2020 Darts World Championships: Who are the Betting Favourites?

Lasting for 18 days and featuring the best players in the world, the PDC Darts World Championships is the sport’s showpiece event. One of two world championships, the other being held by the BDO, the PDC World Championships have been held annually since 1994, when the sport split into two governing bodies. Phil Taylor remains the most successful world champion, winning the tournament on 16 occasions during his stellar career.

A new generation of players has emerged in recent years, as the sport continues its rapid growth in popularity throughout the world. No longer a game played solely by UK darts players, with a smattering of Dutch names, we’re now beginning to see competitors from around the globe making a name for themselves in the sport.

As we count down to this year’s event, to be held throughout December and culminating in the final on January 1st, let’s take a look at the leading contenders for this year’s title.

Michael van Gerwen

Reigning champion Michael van Gerwen has been tipped by many as the man who could challenge Taylor’s record, although with just three titles to his name the Dutchman has a long way to go. But in terms of the best player in the world right now, there aren’t many that come close to the 30-year old. While he’s been struggling with his form at the moment, van Gerwen has proven beyond doubt you should never ignore him in the big tournaments.

Gary Anderson

Those looking for a great value bet, Scotland’s Gary Anderson has shown he knows what it takes to win this tournament. The two-time champion beat Phil Taylor in the final in 2015 and 2016, and at around 10/1 in the latest darts betting odds, the 48-year old could be a very smart pick this year. Back injuries have plagued Anderson for much of this season, but the Flying Scotsman is expected to be back fighting fit in good time for the end-of-year showpiece.

Rob Cross

One of the real stars of 2019 has been Rob Cross. The 28-year-old has won three premier events this year, climbing up to second in the world rankings in a great career year. Of course, 2018 was Cross’ real breakout season, one which ended with the Englishman winning the world championship in which he beat Phil Taylor in his final ever appearance. On current form, Cross definitely has to be one of the firm favorites heading into this year’s tournament.

Darts” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by virginsuicide photography

Peter Wright

He might not yet have won the world championship, but Peter Wright has proven to many that he has what it takes to win the sport’s most prestigious title. 2019 has been a great year for the colorful 49-year old, and the Scot’s recent loss in the Brisbane Open may end up being nothing more than a blip in an otherwise sensational year. At this stage in his career, and playing some of the best darts of his life, Wright may well feel this is his best chance of ever winning this tournament.

With everything up for grabs in this World Championship and with the top runners seemingly neck-and-neck, only time and a few darts will show us who’s worthy of adorning this year’s crown.

Posted in Other | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Sports Archives – Effective Warm-Up and Cool-Down Methods

We all know the importance of warming up and cooling down—so why do so many of us skimp on our stretching? Maybe you’re eager to begin your workout so you do a couple static stretches, shake out your legs, and then start with completely cold, tight muscles. I’ve been there, and I have a laundry list of injuries to show for it! That’s why I’m going to make sure you have an effective, diverse, and entertaining way of stretching that’s guaranteed to greatly reduce your risk of injury.

Warming up

First, you need to get the blood circulating and warm the muscles. Some light cardio that doesn’t exhaust all your energy is an optimal way to start your warmup. Riding the stationary bike, speed walking or jogging, taking a swim, and jump rope all provide great ways to accomplish this. Continue performing cardio until you feel warmed up and the muscles are loose. And while there’s no time limit, I wouldn’t recommend going for longer than ten minutes.

Next comes dynamic stretching, which both promotes blood flow to the muscles and lubricates the joints. Dynamic stretching involves performing slow and methodical movements, usually for 10-15 repetitions. While having a predetermined routine for performing dynamic stretches is safe and reliable, the best movements are going to vary depending on your upcoming workout. Someone doing heavy squats would want to perform butt kicks, knee raises, leg swings, and other stretches that hit the muscles of the legs and glutes, while someone doing heavy shoulder presses may want to start with arm circles and have a more shoulder-centric stretch routine.

The final step in warming up is band work—my secret sauce for joint health. I had a long bout of elbow tendonitis from playing tennis, and consistently doing band work resolved my joint pain in a matter of weeks. Take a looped band of 10-15lbs resistance and perform the following holds for 20-30 seconds each, repeating three times.

  • At shoulder height and with a shoulder width grip, pull hard on either side of the band.
  • Allow your arms to fall at your sides and hold the band at shoulder width behind your back, with your palms facing away. Again, try pulling the band apart.
  • Placing your foot over the band, use one hand (palm down) to curl your arm towards your shoulder as far as it will go.
  • Last, fold the band in half and hold it in front of you, keeping it perpendicular with the floor. Then pull hard with one arm going towards the sky and the other pulling toward the floor.

Cooling down

After your workout the muscles will start to tighten up and you may experience adaptive muscle shortening. In order to avoid this, we perform static stretches. Static stretches are most often held between 10 and 30 seconds, but I’ve learned that holding them for upwards of a minute seems to work best for most trainees. As a rule of thumb, hold the stretch until you feel loose—and not by looking at the clock. In contrast to dynamic stretching, it’s usually optimal to have a set routine when doing static stretching. Even if some muscles were not used, they still need to be kept loose.

After static stretching, heat should be applied by taking a warm bath or shower to improve blood circulation and reduce lactic acid buildup. Conversely, if the muscles are swollen or strained, ice should be applied to reduce swelling. In both cases additional relief, like NSAIDs, topical cannabidiol oil, or compression wraps are reasonable options to aid in recovery.

If you can, try getting yourself a deep tissue massage after bathing to loosen the muscle fibers and break down fascia. Alternative methods include foam rolling, self-massage, rolling with a tennis ball, or using a massage chair. The entire warm up and cool down sessions should collectively occupy about an hour of your routine. And, considering it takes weeks or months to recover from injuries, it’s well worth that time.

Posted in Fitness/Wellness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Sports Archives – A Guide to Evo 2019: Esports Largest Fighting Game Tournament

Evo – The Largest Fighting Game Tournament in ESports.

Today is the first day of Evo 2019. A lot of fighting game competitors and experts have already entered the Mandalay Convention Center and are getting ready to face off in what is essentially the world cup of fighting game tournaments and what may be the most important tournament of their lives. A lot of these competitors have come from far distances, even other countries, just to compete for a chance at fame and glory. For fans of the competitive fighting game scene, this is the most exciting time of the year. However, if you are not exactly familiar with this particularly passionate part of the ESports community, watching a competitive fighting game tournament can be daunting. That’s why I’ve created a guide with everything you need to know about Evo 2019, including what Evo is, what games are being played at Evo 2019, when each game is being played, where to watch the competition, and why you should care about it. Let’s get started.

First of all, you may be asking yourself, “What even is Evo?”. The Evolution Championship Series (Evo for short) is the largest fighting game event in the world. Across three days, a variety of fighting game tournaments, announcements, panels, and other events will take place. Competitors flock from all over the world to compete in these championship tournaments which decide who is the best in the world for each respective fighting game.

So what fighting games are being played? At Evo 2019, there will be 9 official tournament games. They are as follows:

Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition:

Like its predecessors which invented the fighting game genre, Street Fighter V is a 2D, one on one fighting game in which players try to execute combos and counter attacks in typical fighting game fashion. A new meter system makes this entry more inclined to risk versus reward gameplay than previous entries.

BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle:

BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle is a 2D, two on two fighting game, which includes characters from a variety of fighting games including BlazBlue Central Fiction, Persona 4 Arena, Under Night In Birth, and more. As the name implies, players can “Tag” in the other character on their team to help with combos and even to lengthen supers (with enough meter).

Mortal Kombat XI:

Mortal Kombat XI is a bloody 2D, one on one fighting game, that upholds the series tradition of absurd, over-the-top violence. In this entry players can use new supers called “Fatal Blows” when their health is low to help even the odds.

Samurai Shodown:

Samurai Shodown is a 2D, one on one fighting game that sets itself apart from other fighters with its unique art style and risk versus reward gameplay. Players have a “Rage” meter that fills up as they take hits and allows them to perform a devastating super once per match.

DragonBall FighterZ:

Based on the popular DragonBall anime series, DragonBall FighterZ is a 2D, three on three fighting game that translates well the flashy action and over-the-top transformations of the show. Because of its use of auto combos, this game can be both easily accessible and difficult to master at the same time.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate:

With a roster of over 70 characters from numerous video games and growing, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate lives up to the “Ultimate” in its name by being one of the best 2D platform fighting games around. As its name implies, the “platform fighting” game genre involves players frantically trying to knock one another off of a series of platforms. I’d highly recommend watching this game first if you’ve never watched a fighting game before as it’s easy to understand and follow and is extremely satisfying to watch.

Under Night In Birth: EXE Latest:

Under Night In Birth: EXE Latest might have a long, somewhat confusing name, but this 2D one on one fighting game has easy to learn but deep mechanics and aggressive, fast-paced gameplay. The GRD system in particular allows for some game changing counter attacks.

Tekken 7:

Tekken 7 is a 3D one on one fighting game with a long and prosperous history as one of the best 3D games in the genre. Each punch has weight behind it and the back and forth between combos, blocks and doges really makes Tekken matches intense to watch.

Soul Calibur 6:

Soul Calibur 6 is a 3D one on one fighting game that is unique in that each character can select various weapons to use in combat. These weapons are balanced well and complement the already great fighting mechanics. This entry in particular also features a host of guest characters, such as Geralt from The Witcher series.

So now that you know which games are being played, when exactly is each game being played over the next three days. The Schedule for Evo 2019 is as follows:

Now that you know when the games are being played, where can you go to watch then? The easiest way to watch Evo is to watch on Twitch on the seven different Twitch streams that correspond to the names listed in the image above (/EVO – /EVO7). A link to all of these Twitch streams can be found here (https://www.twitch.tv/team/evolution_2019_ticket).

Lastly, why should you care about Evo 2019? Well if you’re new to ESports, Evo is the perfect place to start. Instead of following a whole team across different viewpoints where it is difficult to see what is going on (as is the case in many popular ESports like Overwatch), at Evo, there is only one screen and two very skilled players, making their battle easy to follow and exciting. Fighting games can be thought of this way; fighting games are to E-Sports what boxing or MMA fighting is to contact sports. It’s player versus player, in a fast-paced war of mind games, reads, punishes, panics, and victories. The people in the fighting game community are also passionate, skilled, friendly, and accepting, and following each player’s individual story is also engaging. So, whether you love fighting games, or have never picked up a controller in your life, there is something at Evo for everyone, and each year, both new participants and spectators continue to join in on the excitement. Will You?

By Jared Cocomazzi

08/02/2019

Posted in E-Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Sports Archives – 5 Bachelor Party Sports Activity Ideas

Image Source. Licensed under Creative Commons. 

When planning activities for a bachelor party, sports activities can often go down well. They’re great for bringing everyone together and breaking the ice before a likely night of drinking. Here are just five sports activities that could be perfect if you’re planning yours or someone else’s bachelor party. 

Golf

Golf is a reliable choice of activity for a bachelor party. It can be fairly leisurely, whilst still getting people’s competitive spirits up. If you’re planning a weekend away, you could even try a golf course abroad – many courses are positioned in spectacular locations and have on-site hotels. You can also add dares, challenges and bets to make the trip more exciting such as taking a shot every time you lose a hole or putting money into a pot for whoever wins.  

Fishing

Fishing can be another great activity for a bachelor’s party. You could consider doing some leisurely river fishing, setting up camp and having a few beers. Alternatively, if you’d prefer a fishing trip with a bit more thrills, you could try chartering a boat and going out on the sea using a company such as Side Bet Sport Fishing. Having a professional guide with you could ensure that you find the best fishing spot so that you’re more likely to catch something.

Go-karting

Another fun option could be to try some go-karting. This is a great competitive activity to get people’s adrenaline racing. There are outdoor and indoor go-karting tracks – if you think it may rain, an indoor track could be a better option (K1 Speed are the most popular indoor go-karting company). Some tracks will allow private parties, allowing you to have the whole track to yourself, whilst other may not offer this option. 

Archery

If you’re looking for something a little alternative, you could try looking into archery. There are archery ranges that you can go to, as well as mobile archery companies that could allow you more flexibility when it comes to choosing your location. A professional archery company may be able to set challenges to make it a more fun event.

Bubble soccer

For soccer enthusiasts, bubble soccer could provide a more unique spin on an otherwise standard game of five-a-side. Players are half encased in bubble suits that resemble zorb balls with only their feet sticking out. Getting close enough to tackle one another often means colliding into each other, which can make the game very fun and comical. You can find a few companies that provide bubble soccer costumes online. 

 

Posted in Golf, Other | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment