The Sports Archives – Be Prepared And You’re Half Way To Winning

They say that once you are prepared, you are already half way to winning. This is true because making sure that you have done the necessary prep is going to be a big help in calming your nerves, making you feel confident and so much more. In this article, we are going to be talking about some of the things that you are going to need to be prepared for your sport. Keep reading down below to find out more about this topic.

The Right Equipment

soccer ball

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You are going to need the right equipment to be fully prepared. It doesn’t matter what sport you take part in, there is always going to be a list of equipment that you are going to need to give yourself the best chance. For example, if you are playing soccer, then you need to have the best boots that you can buy. If you play basketball, then the trainers you wear are going to be essential to success. In other sports you could need a racket, a folding cart, googles…you get the point, you should never be saying that there is nothing you need because it simply isn’t true. 

There are so many places that you can get this stuff from as well, so don’t feel as though you are limited to a few stores. Look around, find the best deals for the highest quality, and make sure that you are happy with your purchase. It is also the case that what might work for someone else might not necessarily work for you. Choose the equipment that feels right and comfortable for your experience, nobody else is going to have to use it, so prioritize what you think over what others think.

Mentally Prepared

Finally, you are going to need to ensure that you are mentally prepared for what is about to come. If you aren’t, nerves are going to creep in, you will lose your focus and winning isn’t going to be possible. Have confidence in your ability, but don’t get too cocky to the point where you are no longer trying your best. Giving it your all is essential, and you have got to have prepared your mind for this. There is no use showing up, putting in half the effort, losing and then giving up. 

You also need to be prepared for defeat. While it isn’t something that we want to think about, you have got to be prepared in your mind that it might not go your way this time. It is always going to be a possibility, and giving up when this happens is not an option. Prepare your mind, if you do lose, put it behind you and try again next time.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see that if you are prepared, you are already going to be half way to winning. Good luck, take this advice, and you are going to give yourself the best chance of success possible.

 

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The Sports Archives – The SAD Problems of Winter Sports

For a lot of fitness enthusiasts, the winter season can become synonymous with hibernation. Indeed, it’s tricky to stay active when the days grow shorter and the weather colder. The temptation to stay at home and enjoy a cup of hot coffee with a handful of biscuits is high, as many of you know. Who can be blamed? After all, nobody wants to go outside when the weather looks miserable. That’s precisely why a lot of the good and healthy habits that you’ve built over the summer can fall into oblivion as soon as the temperatures drop. The natural need for comfort food and coziness kicks in… and you’re ready to build your winter body! 

If that doesn’t sound like the kind of mistake you’re willing to make this year, you need to redouble your efforts. Indeed, you have to be vigilant to remain motivated and stick to your active lifestyle on cold days – you’d be surprised to know how demotivated a handful of clouds can be! But, more importantly, you need to be careful. Staying active isn’t enough to prevent some of the winter’s most common sad/SAD problems. 

snowboarding

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You stay indoors because it’s too cold

Winter encourages people to spend the majority of their waking hours indoors. Indeed, the combination of cold weather and high-pressure careers makes it difficult to spend time outside. Unfortunately, around 90% of people spend up to 22 hours inside every day, which leaves little room for direct sunlight exposure. Staying active when you’re worried about getting cold happens inside a building too, such as at your local gym. Your mental health, however, requires sunlight to maintain its healthy levels. Training indoors makes you more vulnerable to Seasonal Affective Disorder. 

The outdoors environment is changing

Outdoor athletes are the first to claim that once you get used to it, winter isn’t as cold as it seems. Science indicates they are right. Indeed, whether you choose to run, hike, or even parkour outside, your body naturally produces energy that keeps you warm. You might also find that you burn more calories in the process, as your body needs to adjust to external factors – which is unlikely to happen on a treadmill. However, no weatherproof equipment can keep you safe from uneven and changing surfaces. Indeed, the rain, wind, and frost can create slippery grounds, which increases the risk of injuries. If you already favor one side over another or have specific weaknesses, you might want to consider physiotherapy as a way to address the imbalance. You need to be confident in your muscles and agility when you train outdoors. 

You take on new hobbies without training

It would be unfair to claim that all winter activities are doomed to happen indoors. The winter holiday season is filled with exciting entertainment, and skiing is, of course, one of them. For countless families, skiing or snowboarding is the preferred winter sport. Unfortunately, injuries are extremely frequent, especially as many enthusiasts fail to practice throughout the year. Staying safe on the snow means listening to your body. Don’t push yourself. 

Whether you choose to stay indoors to be active this winter or to embrace the elements outdoors, winter sports are not without risks. Injuries tend to be more frequent on uneven ground. Additionally, ski enthusiasts who don’t keep up their skills throughout the year are more likely to hurt themselves. However, indoors activity is not the solution; you need sunlight to avoid SAD. In short, be careful and listen to your body. 

 

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The Sports Archives – Can Anyone Ever Dominate Darts Like Phil Taylor?

Phil Taylor has always been a divisive character.  Never one to shy away from acknowledging his own brilliance, the Stoke-on-Trent-born darts player often came across as arrogant and patronising towards other players during his three-decade career. Some people admired his confidence and self-belief and suggested it was what made him a champion, while others found his lack of humility off-putting.

Total Domination

Whatever your opinion of Taylor the man, there is no doubting his darting ability. He won a total of 16 world championships between 1990 and 2013 and dominated his sport in a way that few have ever done in any field. He also helped to elevate darts to prime-time TV status, turning the sport into a multi-million-pound industry. There is no doubt that darts would not be where it is today without Phil “The Power” Taylor.

The “Power” finally packed away his darts in 2018, although he did hint a comeback earlier this year, and a new generation of players are now dominating the game and reaping the rewards of the monster pay packets now handed out at the major tournaments. But can anyone ever dominate the game like Taylor did? Or was the Power just a one-off?

Darts Machine

Achieving consistency in any sport is difficult but darts requires such precision and accuracy that maintaining such a high level over decades seems almost super-human. Taylor was machine-like in his delivery of the darts and had the ability to maintain focus in any arena and in any conditions. His driven attitude, dedication and single-mindedness in the pursuit of darting perfection has drawn comparisons to the likes of Tiger Woods. However, the fact that darts is a game that was developed in the public houses of the United Kingdom meant that the sport has sometimes struggled to be taken seriously. To this day, there are still plenty who sneer at the thought of darts as a real sport.

The Young Pretender

In the 25 years since the PDC World Darts Championship was formed, there have only been seven world champions. Taylor won the event 14 times (his other two world championships were won in the BDO) and current champion Michael van Gerwen is next in line with three titles. The Dutchman is currently 30 years old, the same age as Taylor was when he won his first BDO world title and is favourite in the darts betting to add a fourth title this winter. Taylor won first PDC World Championship at the age of 34 and won his last one aged 53.

So, in terms of age, van Gerwen already has a head start on Taylor. In 2014, he became the youngest ever winner of the PDC World Championship, aged 24, and held the record for the highest darts average score in a televised event (123.40 achieved in the 2016 Premier League) until 2019 when he was pipped by Peter Wright. Van Gerwen has already broken Taylor’s record for the most PDC Pro Tour event victories with a total haul of 75.

If there is one player who can surpass Taylor in terms of world titles, it is Michael van Gerwen but he still needs another 13 wins just to match the legend. It could be argued that competition is now stiffer than ever and that van Gerwen could still be rated as the greatest of all time even if he does not break Taylor’s haul. But if he can get into double figures and achieve two decades of consistency at the elite level then it will be an interesting debate to have.

 

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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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