Football Stretches & Warm-Ups

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.

The History of Sports in the United States

Sports have been a big part of American culture for many years. Professional sports like baseball, basketball, football, and hockey have become massive industries and the economic center of many cities. Sports are also a big part of growing up in this country since these sports and others are prominent in youth leagues, high schools and colleges. The popularity of sports is a big part of the history of the United States.
Baseball is considered America’s national pastime. Major league baseball is a central part of American sports and attracts more fans and sells more tickets than any other professional sport in the world. It is believed to have been developed based on sports like rounders and cricket. For many years most fans believed that Abner Doubleday created the first set of baseball rules, but others suggest the first official set of rules was created by Alexander Cartwright of the New York Knickerbockers. The Cincinnati Red Stockings were the first official professional baseball team, and soon there were several different leagues. The American and National Leagues are the major leagues today. There are also hundreds of minor and independent leagues. In the 1920’s, a more precise set of rules was created which made the sport more organized and less physical. Until 1946, African-American players were not allowed in the major leagues, but today the sport is played by athletes of different ethnicities from countries around the world.
The sport of basketball was invented by Dr. James Naismith, a Canadian-born physical education instructor at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1891. While teaching at the YMCA, Naismith wanted to give his students something active to do while inside on a rainy day. After many ideas, he eventually came up with the sport by hanging a peach basket from the elevated running track, 10 feet above the gymnasium floor. The game evolved over the years from Naismith’s original rules. Many more rules and new equipment helped to perfect the game. Eventually professional teams and leagues were developed. The sport also became quite popular on playgrounds, especially in thickly settled urban areas. Today, the National Basketball Association, or NBA, is one of the most popular sport leagues in the world.
In the 1870s rugby was becoming a favorite sport played by college athletes in the United States. In 1876, Walter Camp developed a new sport based on rugby and called it football. In the 1890s the sport gained interest and started to become a professional sport. The Allegheny Athletic Association was the first completely professional team and played a short two-game season against the Pittsburgh Athletic Club. In 1902, baseball’s Philadelphia Athletics and Philadelphia Phillies formed professional football teams, along with the Pittsburgh Stars, and formed the first professional football league, the National Football League. Through the years the rules and scoring of the sport changed several times. The American Football League, or AFL, was also formed in 1960 as an alternative league considered by some to be inferior to the NFL. But in 1970 the two merged with the AFL teams becoming the American Football Conference, or AFC, and the NFL teams becoming the National Football Conference, or NFC, The top team from each conference would compete yearly in the Super Bowl for the NFL championship. Today the NFL, is one of the most popular sports leagues in the world, and the Super Bowl is one of television’s most watched events.
The sport of hockey, considered by many to have been invented in Canada after a game called “shinny,” has history dating back to the late 1800s. A similar sport, originally called “ice polo,” was already being played on American college ice rinks. Ice hockey started to become more popular, and professional leagues started popping up in the United States, the first being the International Professional Hockey League with teams from Pennsylvania and Michigan. In 1910, the National Hockey League, or NHL, was created in Canada. It was called the National Hockey Association until 1917, and later expanded to include American teams in 1924.

What Is an Illegal Shift in Football?

Nothing frustrates a football coach more than penalties, especially when those penalties are unforced or mental errors. An illegal shift is an offensive penalty that is unforced, meaning the offense commits the violation before the play begins without the defense having an effect on the foul. Illegal shifts can happen in a couple of offensive scenarios, so understanding the rule is important to eliminate the mistakes.
Illegal shifts are a type of motion penalty that occur when more than one player on the offense is not set before the snap. A shift is a pre-snap movement where two or more offensive players change positions. The movement becomes illegal and results in a penalty when those players do not reset and establish position after the shift. According to NFL rules, illegal shifts result in a 5 yard penalty and a replay of the down.
Illegal shifts are common with teams that use pre-snap resetting to confuse the defense. The idea is that the defense will be based on the original lineup and will not be able to realign in time after the shift. In addition, shifts can occur when teams audible to change the original play at the line of scrimmage. After the play is audibled or changed, the offensive team often has to change its formation to run the new play. Snapping the ball too quickly before everyone has set and finished moving can result in an illegal shift penalty.
The best way to prevent illegal shifts is to limit tricky pre-snap motions, which can throw off the offense almost as much as the defense in many cases. In addition, breaking the huddle earlier can eliminate penalties that are caused by running out of time to complete the shifts. Signaling in the plays faster from the sideline is often an issue with the shift and the slow huddle break.
Illegal shifts are often confused with illegal motion penalties as the Team Speed Kills website calls them sister penalties. Shifts are a team foul with multiple players, while an illegal motion penalty is called on one player, usually for a player moving toward the line of scrimmage before the snap of the football. According to Team Speed Kills, a player moving toward the line must get set for one second before the snap.

Bad Breath and Stomach Problems

Bad breath can be an embarrassing problem. Often, brushing your teeth is not enough to get rid of odors in your mouth. Your mouth is only one part of the digestive tract. The stomach can have an effect on breath, too. It is not uncommon that problems in the stomach can lead to halitosis.
Bacteria don’t just live in your mouth. According to BadBreathstomach.com, helicobacter Pylori is a form of bacteria that is a root cause of stomach ulcers. While it has not been proved that helicobacter Pylori is accountable for mouth odor, it is certainly considered. On the other hand, having levels of bacteria in the stomach that are too low also can cause bad breath. According to HSP Online, “When lactobacillus levels are low in the colon, partially digested food decays, producing foul gas, toxemia, and consequently bad breath.” Without bacteria to break it down, food sits in your stomach for years and becomes toxic.
To prevent halitosis, it is recommended to maintain proper oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth daily, flossing, and visiting a dentist every six months for a routine check-up and cleaning all help to prevent bad breath. In addition, brushing your teeth after every meal is recommended. However, preventing halitosis does not end with oral hygiene. Again, the mouth is only part of the digestive system and it is important not to neglect what we put in our stomachs. Avoid consuming spicy and strong-smelling foods such as garlic and onions. Stay away from alcohol and cigarettes, as well. Belching can bring up these odors.
In addition to visiting your dentist, it is wise to see your doctor about foul-smelling breath and your stomach conditions. According to Consumer Reports, any problem with your digestive system can affect your breath. Heartburn, for example, may cause stomach acid and gas to travel back up into your throat and cause odor. A doctor will be able to provide advice and medication for a specific digestive disorder that may be affecting you.
While it is recommended to see a doctor about your halitosis and stomach problems, some chose to treat their problems naturally. Natural-HomeRemedies.org recommends eating rock salt and crushed celery leaves to treat stomach disorders. Another suggestion is to drink lemon and ginger juices for relief. Other tips are to keep your diet simple and eat lots of leafy greens and enough fiber for digestion. Don’t overload your stomach and only eat to your capacity. These things will help to keep your digestive system regular and prevent sources of bad breath from the stomach.
If you are brushing your teeth several times per day or using mouthwash and other breath-freshening products but your halitosis prevails, it may be an internal problem. Bad breath can also be a sign of other serious health problems such as gum disease, sinusitus, diabetes, and even liver or kidney disease. Consult your dentist and doctor if you have concerns about bad breath.

How to Take Syntha-6

Syntha-6 is a supplement used to increase the amount of protein in your diet. It was developed by BSN and is designed to help individuals develop lean muscle and recover after workouts. Ingredients found in the supplement include whey protein, milk protein, sunflower, soy and wheat. Men and women will take Syntha-6 differently. Keep in mind that none of the effects stated by the manufacturer of Syntha-6 have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
Purchase Synth-6 in concentrate form from a nutritional product supplier. Stores like GNC sell Syntha-6, or you can buy the product online through retailers like Drugstore.com. Flavor choices include chocolate, banana, chocolate peanut butter, cookies and cream, and chocolate mint.
Take Syntha-6 after workouts. Doing this helps you recover from the workout. Syntha-6 can replace your usual post-exercise meal. Try to drink the shake no longer than an hour after you have finished working out.
Add a scoop of the Syntha-6 powder to 4 to 5 oz. of water. You can substitute the water with any type of beverage, including milk and juice. Mix with a spoon or place the ingredients in a blender until completely dissolved. The manufacturer recommends milk to increase protein intake and improve the consistency of the shake. If you are a man taking Syntha-6, you should instead use two scoops of Syntha-6 per serving and add it to 8 to 10 oz. of any liquid.
Drink two to four servings of Syntha-6 daily. Men will continue to use two scoops for each serving while women use only one. Women will take in 22g of protein per serving while men will have 44g of protein.

How Soon After You Quit Smoking Can You Start to Exercise?

Cigarette smoking is one of the most difficult habits to break due to the highly addictive nature of nicotine. Nicotine, carbon dioxide and other toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke take a toll on your health. They reduce lung and heart function, which undermines cardiovascular fitness and exercise endurance. Exercise can help to repair some of the damage caused by cigarette smoking — and you don¡¯t have to wait until you quit to get started.
When you smoke, you become breathless more quickly during physical activity. Cigarette smoking is one of the leading risk factors for cardiovascular problems. For instance, it elevates blood pressure and narrows blood vessels that transport oxygen. Smoking also destroys parts of the lung, including the alveoli, that help your body absorb oxygen and reduces oxygen capacity of your lungs. Over time, you¡¯ll notice it¡¯s difficult to walk just a few blocks or take a flight of stairs. These aren¡¯t symptoms of aging; they¡¯re the harmful side effects of smoking.
You don¡¯t have to wait until you¡¯ve puffed that last cigarette to start exercising. In fact, you shouldn¡¯t. Exercise might have a protective effect and reduce some of the damage caused by smoking. Also, exercise can be an invaluable part of your plan to quit smoking. It helps you to relax, which can curb cravings. It can also distract you from those cravings when they arise. However, if you do wait to quit, you¡¯ll notice fast improvements in your fitness levels after just a few days of exercise.
If you quit smoking a while ago and are just starting an exercise program, you cannot blame breathlessness or lack of endurance during exercise on smoking solely. After just three to five days of quitting, blood cells regain their normal ability to transport oxygen to your heart and muscles. Those symptoms are most likely due to a lack of fitness in general.
Before you begin exercising, go for a physical exam. Once your doctor gives you the green light to start, do so slowly. Regular, moderate-intensity exercise should be your starting point, not occasional vigorous-intensity exercises. For instance, walk for 10 to 20 minutes three to four days a week. As your fitness improves, increase the duration and intensity of your exercise sessions on a weekly basis. With regular exercise, you¡¯ll feel better and reduce your risk of a relapse.

Should I Wear a Girdle Under Football Pants?

Football involves aggressive physical contact, but also requires speed and agility. Equipment manufacturers strive to find new ways to protect football players without cumbersome padding and extra clothing. One such innovation has been the football girdle, whose advancements in material and design technology make the garment less inhibiting and more protective than previous versions of football undergarments.
The football girdle is a thin sleeve of material worn under the outer shell of football pants. The traditional girdle, basically a pair of pants beneath the football pants, features stitched pockets to hold a protective cup and pads for the thighs, hips and tailbone. Once standard equipment, girdles faded from popularity as many players moved away from wearing lower-body padding in an effort to gain speed.
Although some football players find the idea of wearing another layer of clothing too restrictive, the football girdle provides improved safety, particularly for running backs and players who receive excessive contact. The girdle¡¯s main benefit is that it keeps all padding in place, ensuring optimum protection. Without a girdle, thigh pads, hip pads and tailbone pads may shift, exposing the body to injury. New girdle designs enhance protection even further, adding extra padding at key contact points.
Modern football girdles do more than simply provide secure pockets for padding. Manufacturers make girdles from compression material, allowing the girdle to flex and move with the body. The fabric¡¯s design often delivers improved air flow and moisture wicking to keep athletes cool and dry, while antimicrobial fibers help reduce odor. Many newer girdles also feature a series of small hexagon-shaped foam pads stitched directly into the girdle to protect the hips and tailbone; these allow for protection without the weight of a bulky external pad.
When deciding whether or not to wear a football girdle, weigh your need for comfort against your desire for protection. Some players, especially wide receivers who line up on the outside and who rarely venture over the middle, may prefer to not wear a girdle for fear of losing quickness, since they seldom take big hits to the legs. However, thanks to technology, girdles have become lighter and more comfortable, perhaps making the decision to not wear a girdle an unnecessary risk in a contact sport.

Frequency of Injury Among College Athletes

Two entities that compile injury statistics for the roughly 380,000 male and female college athletes. The NCAA and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association have an injury surveillance system that collects injury reports submitted by trainers. It has been in operation since 1988. Through 2004, there were 200,000 injury reports — filed when an athlete misses a day or more of practice or competition — which works out to about 12,500 injuries per year. That number has been relatively consistent over the years. The National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research in North Carolina has kept statistics on college sports injuries since 1982. Both organizations aim to reduce the number of injuries in college sports.
The national surveillance system breaks injury statistics down by sport, type and year. For example, although college baseball has a relatively low rate of injuries, 25 percent of them are serious or severe, defined as injuries that prevent players from practicing or competing for at least 10 days. Sliding accounts for 13 percent of the recent injuries and the impact from a batted ball accounts for 10 percent of injuries. The trainers organization recommend break-away bases to cut down on the sliding injuries.
Concussions at all levels of football are a tremendous problem as of 2011, with a growing number of retired professional football players suffering from dementia after repeated concussions during their playing days. Among college football players, 34 percent have had one concussion and 30 percent have had two or more concussions. As the University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurological Surgery reports, if you have a second concussion, even a minor one, soon after the first concussion, you might die. A total of 26 deaths, most occurring since 2000, are attributed to “second impact syndrome.” The neurological effects of concussions in college athletes also can result in learning disabilities and severe memory impairments. There is a lower, but significant, incidence of concussions in soccer as well.
Female college athletes suffer from up to five times as many ACL — anterior cruciate ligament — injuries as male athletes. ACL injuries bedevil women basketball, soccer and softball players, among others. As an article in “The New York Times” explains, there are anatomical, biomechanical and hormonal reasons why women are so vulnerable to ACL tears. Trainers are teaching players to land and cut in ways that might cut down on the number of such injuries.
While other sports, such as ice hockey and lacrosse have spectacular body-to-body contact and collisions during play, football still has the highest injury rate with 36 injuries per 1,000 male athletes. In addition to the high number of collisions in football, it also has the highest number of knee and ankle injuries. Cheerleading is by far the most dangerous sport for women athletes. The National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research found that cheerleading accounted for 70.5 percent of catastrophic injuries — fatal, disabling or serious — suffered by college athletes. The high-flying routines create unique risks for cheerleaders.

Church Carnival Game Ideas

Church picnics present a great opportunity to bring a community together and have fun for all ages. If you have never planned a church picnic, you may not realize the amount of time and planning that occur prior to the event date. Much of the planning involves deciding on carnival games for the children.
Set up a booth for children to have their faces painted. You may paint anything from flowers to cartoon characters. If you prefer to focus on church themes, paint crosses or animals from bible stories.
Fill a small swimming pool with yellow rubber ducks. Underneath each duck, draw a colored dot. The dots should correspond with prize levels. A participant picks one duck out of the pool and may choose a prize corresponding with the dot color.
Attach several buckets to different rungs on a ladder. Have the participant stand behind a line about five feet away from the ladder. The participant tries to toss bean bags into each of the buckets. The participant wins a prize based on the number of bean bags she successfully tosses into buckets.
Line up glass milk jugs or plastic containers with a similar shape. Have participants stand about 10 feet away and toss rings over the mouths of the containers.
Attach an old tire to a rope and hang from a tree branch. Have the participant stand 10 to 20 feet away from the tire and try to toss a frisbee or a football through the tire.
Purchase a few bags of jelly beans. Place all the jelly beans into a glass container. Have participants guess how many jelly beans they believe are in the container. At the end of the contest, whoever guesses the closest wins the container of jelly beans.
Create a lollipop tree out of a piece of cardboard. Fold the cardboard in half and tape both ends down to a table so that the fold is sticking up into the air. Buy several cases of lollipops and mark several of the lollipop bottoms with a colored marker. Poke holes in the cardboard and fill it with lollipops. For the game, the participant chooses a lollipop. If it is marked, he or she receives a prize. If it is not marked, the participant still gets the lollipop but no prize.
Prior to the designated starting time for this event, measure lines in an open area corresponding to yard lines on a football field. Mark the lines with tape or spray paint. Have participants line up at a starting line and throw, punt and kick a football toward your marked lines. Have judges standing at the lines to see where the ball first hits the ground. Record each person's throw or kick. Award prizes to the individuals who threw or kicked the ball the farthest.

Maximum Speed of a Football

A hockey puck can scorch across the ice at 110 mph, as measured by all-star contests in 2011 in the U.S. and Russia. The fastest pitchers can launch a baseball at 105 mph, as the Cincinnati Reds’ Aroldis Chapman managed in September 2010. A football, with its ungainly oblong shape, technically called a prolate spheroid, doesn¡¯t typically reach these speeds. But quarterbacks with a cannon arm can still get the ball downfield with plenty of mustard on it.
The maximum speed of a football is actually achieved by the legs of place kickers and punters, not the rocket arms of quarterbacks. College punters can achieve top launching speeds of 60 mph, with 70 mph expected for top pros, writes Angelo Armenti in ¡°The Physics of Sports.¡± Place kickers achieve another 10 mph from running up to the ball, so kickers achieve around 70 mph in college and 80 mph in the pros.
ESPN¡¯s ¡°Sport Science¡± feature uncovered the football throwing speed of one leading quarterback when it tested New Orleans Saint Drew Brees against an Olympic archer to see which could more accurately hit the bull¡¯s eye on an archery target. In the process of hitting the bull¡¯s eye on each of his first 12 tries, Brees threw at 52 mph. The ball had a launch angle of 6 degrees and spun at 600 rpm. Aerodynamic forces kept the nose of the ball moving right on target, with the ball displaying the optimal and necessary three small wobbles for five spins of the ball. Brees creates speed on the ball by what he calls the ¡°kinetic chain¡±: power that rises from his feet to his hips, shoulder and finally throwing arm. Brees demonstrated how the index finger comes off the ball last, giving it its final push.
Drew Brees¡¯s 52 mph falls in the typically 50 to 60 mph speed recorded for a professionally thrown football and may have been a bit slow because of his focus on accurately hitting a target 20 yards away. ¡°Sport Science¡± also clocked a pass by Colt McCoy of the Cleveland Browns at 56 mph. In the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine testing college players, Nevada¡¯s Colin Kaepernick registered 59 mph. Ryan Mallett of Arkansas recorded 58 mph, and Cam Newton of Auburn, 56 mph.
Figures for football greats are largely anecdotal but indicate that the greatest quarterbacks had exceptional throwing speed. Brett Favre is estimated at 63 mph, and Indianapolis Colts QB Peyton Manning, 59 mph on short hard throws. The hardest thrower ever may have been the Denver Broncos¡¯ John Elway, who may have thrown in the rare category of above 60 mph. ¡°They used to set the Jugs machines at 70 to 80 mph for us receivers to simulate John¡¯s throws,¡± recalls Elway¡¯s former receiver, Rod Smith.