Ideas for Volleyball Tryouts

There are many types of volleyball tryouts. Club team tryouts differ from school team tryouts, and development team tryouts differ from high-end travel team tryouts. The challenges, however, are similar at all levels, and so are the qualities of a good tryout. Coaches must identify and recruit the best players for their team. They also establish the tone for the practices and matches to follow.
Luring the right prospects is the first step toward a successful volleyball tryouts. Scout players in advance to get a handle on the available talent pool. School coaches can create skills camps to get a read on younger players in the area. Arrange open gym periods to get to know potential players in an informal setting. School coaches should use all internal means to reach incoming students. Club team coaches should advertise and promote tryout information within the volleyball community. Recruiting is a key component to club volleyball success. School coaches might need to recruit, too, to attract multisport athletes on their campus.
Script the tryout from start to finish. Plot the activities to keep the session moving. Create a smooth sign-in process, and distribute pin-on numbers for those players needing a number for identification purposes. Start on time. Accept stragglers, but stress the need for players to arrive on time for team activities. Club coaches should explain their season goals, team needs and selection process to the players and parents. Describe the expectations for players making the team. School coaches should compose written guidelines for the selection process and discuss them with the players.
Start with a dynamic warm-up to allow players to increase their heart rate, raise their body temperature and stretch their muscles. Work on individual skills next, using serving, receiving, setting and hitting drills that fit the general skill level of the group. Move to game simulation drills next, testing the group without overwhelming it. From there, move to controlled scrimmages to see how the players communicate and interact. Finish the session with cool-down activities. Tell the players that the coaching staff will be in contact with them.
Establish the selection criteria before the tryout. Make sure all the coaches and helpers understand what you are looking for in players. School coaches should use written evaluation forms, since parents tend to complain to higher authorities if their child doesn’t make a team. Focus more attention on unfamiliar players, but don’t ignore players you know well. Get as many trusted eyes on the tryout as possible and gain a consensus evaluation on all players of interest. The head coach must make the final decisions, but varied input is critical.
Select the right players to blend with returning players, if you have them. Select players that fill needs and fit the team’s level of play and chemistry. Add versatile players to the bench, along with a raw but athletic prospect or two. Advanced club teams and varsity school teams may have nine to 12 players. Bigger rosters are appropriate for developmental club teams and junior varsity or freshman school teams.
Club team coaches should contact the players they want in order of their value. Competition for talent is fierce in some areas, so players often have multiple options. Selecting a player is one thing, but securing that player is another. Allow the very best prospects some time to make the decision. Move down the list and get as many commitments as possible. Creating some roster size flexibility helps coaches leave a few spots open for top, undecided prospects. Contact unwanted players to explain why they didn’t get an offer, encourage them to continue playing and promise to keep an eye on them. Some of those players will blossom into better prospects. Make a good impression even while rejecting them. School coaches should meet with each cut player, thank her for trying out and explain their evaluation.

Safety Rules for Basketball

Many people think of basketball as a noncontact sport. However, anyone who has ever fought for a rebound under the backboard knows that is not the case. When it comes to player safety, there are several precautions that players and teams must take to ensure the health of the individuals participating in the game.
No player may swing his elbows in an attempt to secure the basketball, particularly when the player has gathered a rebound. In addition to committing a personal foul if a player makes contact with an opponent as a result of an elbow, a flagrant foul can be called if the referee believes the elbow was swung recklessly or with the intent to injure. A player can be thrown out of the game or suspended depending on the force and severity of the blow.
Players who are up in the air and in a vulnerable position while shooting or rebounding are not in a position to defend themselves. Players who hit or foul defenseless players can be ejected from the game. This does not include a play where there is significant physical contact in which the defensive player is trying to stop the shot. If the referee rules the defensive player was trying to hurt or injure and not trying to defend, the player will be ejected from the game.
No players are allowed to wear neck jewelry, wrist jewelry or earrings while playing basketball. This is done to protect the players and keep them from getting injured while playing. Players who attempt to come into the game while wearing jewelry will be prevented by the referee until the jewelry is removed.
Players’ actions aren’t the only safety factor concerning basketball. The location must also be safe — the court should be kept dry and devoid of obstacles around its perimeter, as players’ momentum can occasionally carry them off the court. The basketball facility should also have an available first-aid kit, and at least one coach or parent volunteer should be versed in basic first aid. The backboards should be structurally sound and able to withstand pressure from the ball and even occasionally dunks.

What Should Athletes Eat Before a Game?

Eating the right foods at the right time before a game can help athletes have enough energy to compete at their best. Eating junk food or skipping a meal can make you feel sluggish or experience uncomfortable side effects like stomach upset. Athletes need more calories than sedentary individuals to counteract their high level of activity.
Your pregame meal should take place about two to four hours before the event. If you don¡¯t have enough time for a full meal before a game, you can have a small snack up to one hour beforehand. If you eat too close to the game, the food is not likely to digest in time and you may experience stomach upset during play.
A pregame meal should be made up of mostly carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are digested quickly and converted to energy. Small amounts of fats and protein are allowed in a pregame meal. Meal options may include a turkey sandwich, low-fiber cereal with low-fat milk, low-fat yogurt with fruit, pasta with tomato sauce, waffles with syrup or a bagel.
The meal you have before a game should be relatively small and less than 1,000 calories. You¡¯ll want to eat only bland foods and avoid any spicy dishes. Avoid meals that contain peppers, onions or chili powder. Never try new foods in the hours leading up to a game. The foods should also be low in fiber since high-fiber vegetables, beans and nuts may cause you to feel the urge to use the bathroom during game play.
You need to drink plenty of fluid before a game as well. According to the President¡¯s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, generous amounts of fluid should be consumed the day before a game and 400 to 600 milliliters of fluid should be consumed two hours before the event. Water is typically used for hydration. However, if the game is expected to be longer than one hour or takes place in a hot environment, sports drinks with electrolytes should be consumed.

Foot Pain After Lifting Heavy Weights

According to a 2003 article in the ¡°British Journal of Sports Medicine,¡± a flat or high arch is one of many risk factors for lower extremity injuries including foot injuries. Common injuries that cause foot pain are plantar fasciitis, stress fractures and muscle strains. Treatment varies depending on the injury or cause, but rest and ice may help alleviate foot pain. Consult your physician if your pain persists or worsens.
Using heavy resistance with weight-bearing exercises such as squats, deadlifts and lunges places a significant amount of stress and pressure on your feet. If you overtrain or have inadequate recovery time between weightlifting sessions, your body and feet may not heal between sessions, causing inflammation and foot pain. Shoes that do no provide enough support and cushion or are too tight may lead to foot pain as well. Your fitness level, weightlifting technique, flexibility and previous foot or ankle injuries also impact your foot health.
Injuries that cause foot pain among other symptoms include plantar fasciitis, muscle strains, stress fractures, tendinitis and arthritis. Damage or impingement to your nerves in your foot can also lead to foot pain and include Morton¡¯s neuroma, tarsal tunnel syndrome and neuropathy.
Stop all painful activities and ice your foot to reduce inflammation and pain. Take over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen, if your pain is not alleviated with rest and ice. Apply heat 48 to 72 hours following the onset of your foot pain. Apply heat prior to activities and ice following activities in 20-minute increments. Lightly stretch your foot, ankle and calf to improve flexibility and reduce pain. Stretches include the standing calf stretch, ankle circles and seated plantar fascia stretch. For the plantar fascia stretch, gently pull back on your toes until you feel a stretch on the bottom of your foot. Massaging the bottom of your foot with a tennis ball can also help alleviate discomfort associated with plantar fasciitis. Stress fractures and chronic tendinitis may require immobilization with a cast or walking boot. With severe foot injuries, surgery may be necessary when conservative treatment is unsuccessful.
You may continue weightlifting when suffering from foot pain, as long as you are free of pain and in a non-weight bearing position. For example, you may replace squats and lunges with seated leg extension, knee flexion, hip abduction and adduction with resistance machines. Once pain subsides, you may return to weight-bearing resistance exercises. Start with lighter weight and progress slowly, increasing your weight a few pounds each week.
Perform strength exercises like calf raises and ankle flexion and extension with a resistance band to prevent future injuries and foot pain. Warmup and stretch muscles before weightlifting to maintain muscle flexibility, and wear shoes and orthotics that provide adequate arch support and fit comfortably. Weightlift two to three times a week but not on consecutive days to prevent overtraining and injury.

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.

Females in Athletic Training

Athletic trainers play a vital role in sports at all levels, from youth athletics to the pros, and more and more of them are women. From administering first aid to implementing rehab programs for injuries, athletic trainers are health care professionals who are indispensable to any team or individual athlete. But despite making up nearly half of all certified athletic trainers, female trainers still face challenges of discrimination and disrespect among male athletes.
Athletic trainers are not the same as personal fitness trainers, explains the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, or NATA. They do not develop training programs or prescribe exercises. A Certified Athletic Trainer, or ATC, is a health care provider trained to prevent, diagnose, treat and rehabilitate injuries. ATCs work with physicians and other health care professionals, and can be found in a variety of work scenarios, including schools, colleges, professional sports, clinics, hospitals, corporations, industry, military and in the performing arts.
Founded in 1950, the National Athletic Trainer’s Association is a professional association for athletic trainers whose members number more than 35,000, nearly half of whom are women. For the first two decades after its inception, NATA was primarily a boys’ club, until the first female trainer passed her board certification examination in 1972. Four years later, in 1976, the first female trainer joined the U.S. Olympic medical staff. In the 1990s, NATA developed a task force to address the subject of professional female trainers. In 2000, NATA elected its first female president.
Despite the increased number of female ATCs, they are disproportionately underrepresented in professional sports, according to certified athletic trainer Katie Boushie. In 2002, the NFL hired a woman as an assistant athletic trainer, and the NBA employs two female assistant athletic trainers. Female trainers have had better luck in women’s pro sports, making up 70 percent of WNBA ATCs. In 2011, the Los Angeles Dodgers made the bold move of naming veteran trainer Sue Falsone as the first female head athletic trainer to a professional men’s sports team. But female ATCs face gender hurdles as they strive to work in professional sports. A 2010 study of male collegiate football players published in the “Journal of Athletic Training” found that the athletes preferred a male trainer over a female trainer for treatment of both general and sex-specific injuries. The same athletes expressed a preference for a female trainer to treat depression.
If you are interested in a career as an ATC, you must satisfy academic qualifications and pass a comprehensive test administered by NATA’s Board of Certification. You must obtain a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited athletic training program and, once certified, you must continue to meet continuing education requirements in order to remain certified. More than 70 percent of ATCs hold a master’s degree, according to NATA.

How to Break-In Synthetic Cleats

On a pain scale of one to 10, new shoe blisters probably rank somewhere around a 12. You know when buying any new pair of shoes, it¡¯s important to break them in before taking them on the road. But beyond the simple fact of pain, synthetic cleats in particular need to be broken in to prevent the likelihood of injury on the playing field, as well as to establish a good fit. If you play any sport in which you require precise footwork, which covers just about everything but water polo, a pair of well broken-in cleats can help to keep you from muscle pain, blisters and movement restraint.
Covering any part of your foot that frequently blisters in new shoes — usually, toes and the back of the heel — with petroleum jelly will help keep your feet from creating friction with the shoe. This friction is what causes blisters. Also, wear two pairs of socks, preferably cotton. The double layer of cotton will help to absorb the petroleum jelly, while also loosening the material of the cleats
Bringing both new cleats and old cleats to practice is a wise strategy. Wear the new cleats at the beginning, and switch gears with the old cleats if you notice a change in your level of comfort during the game. Don¡¯t jump into the deep end here — it¡¯s important to move slowly as you get used to the new cleats. You also want to twist and turn the cleats on the practice field a few times in order to help soften the material, which will allow your foot to move with better dexterity than you would otherwise be able to in a stiff shoe.
Many pros use use a warm-water technique that allows the synthetic material to expand, giving you some room in the shoe. Put your feet, shoes included, into warm water and wait for about half an hour, letting the shoes dry naturally as you wear them. You can also rub your cleats with petroleum as soon as dry. This will keep the material from splintering down the line, and will keep the exterior of your shoes moisturized.
After you wear them, try not to leave your cleats in your bag. Instead, fill the inside of the shoe with balled-up newspaper and place them in a room that has a moderate temperature — not too hot and not too cold. The newspaper will allow your shoe to keep the shape of your foot, even when your foot is not inside it, and will help to keep the shoe¡¯s interior dry.

What Are Positive Things About Football?

Physical pain is just part of the game of football. However, as of 2013, the scariest issue was how all of those collisions impacted a player’s post-game life. The National Collegiate Athletic Association claimed there were 2.5 concussions for 1,000 contacts during college football games in 2011. Concussion talk alone led President Obama to say he wasn’t sure he’d allow a child of his to play football. Despite that talk, the game’s popularity endured because it still offered significant benefits to its participants, both on and off the field.
A good high school football player can turn that skill into a free college education. That’s an option in other sports of course, but none have as many opportunities as football. As of 2013, all Division 1 schools had 85 scholarships for football, and all of them had to be “full rides.” According to the NCAA, only 1.7 percent of college players ultimately go pro. However, the players who take advantage of those paid scholarships can set themselves up for some other career.
Although few football players ever make the pros, just being a football hero can still raise a player’s social status. In small towns, football can become the center of social life according to “Contemporary Issues in Sociology of Sport.” A 2008 study it published followed four African-American college football players. It found that participation in the sport significantly raised their social status and encouraged others to listen to them and respect their opinions.
In football, it’s routine that all 22 players have something to do on every snap. If one fails, chances are the whole play fails. That means football players have to learn how to actively strategize and communicate, a skill that can carry over to other parts of life. The simple act of a quarterback calling signals nurtures an environment where players must learn to listen to one another, according to “Football and Philosophy.”
Like other sports, football provides plenty of opportunities for exercise. Unlike some, it encourages both cardiovascular exercise such as running and jumping and strength training. Strength training is a critical component even at the high school level. The book “Survival Guide for Coaching Youth Football” also notes that the constant motion required in football means extra exercise for the players.
Even the strongest and fastest player won’t succeed if he can’t follow a team’s strategy, which can involve learning a huge number of plays and signals. He’ll also have to learn why those plays should work and how to apply them under pressure. A 2011 study published in “Social and Behavioral Sciences” specifically mentions that football can help improve spatial reasoning skills. These skills can benefit players off the field. For example, a 2010 article in “Scientific American” emphasizes the important role spatial reasoning plays in math and science achievement.

What Does Offside Mean in Football?

Prior to the start of a play in American football, if you position yourself illegally, your team can be assessed an offside penalty. The term offside comes from the fact that football players line up across from each other on one side of the ball or the other. A mainly invisible line of scrimmage separates players, who must stay on their team’s side of that divider until the play starts.
To start a play, players line up facing each other. The offense’s center lines up over the ball, which must remain on the ground, placing his hand or hands on the ball. The line from one side of the field to the other that bisects the football is known as the line of scrimmage; it is mainly invisible if it doesn’t coincide with a stripe that delineates a certain yard line, such as the 20-yard line. Defensive players must line up in front of the ball, meaning the ball must be between them and the offensive team. Offensive players must stay behind the ball on their side.
Once the center snaps the ball, lifting it and moving it backward to the quarterback or a running back, the play starts and players may cross the line in either direction. Offensive players who move forward in their stance before the ball is snapped in an attempt to draw defensive players offside can receive a penalty, even if they do not cross the line of scrimmage. Examples of illegally attempting to draw a defensive player offside include the center rocking the ball before he snaps it, the quarterback moving his head backward or a lineman moving his body forward.
If a player moves across the line of scrimmage before the ball is snapped, the player is offside. That player’s team receives a penalty, usually 5 yards. The referee moves the ball 5 yards closer to the defense¡¯s end zone if a defensive player is caught offside, and 5 yards back toward the offense¡¯s goal line if one of that unit’s players is offside.
Players may not line up even with the ball. The area that is the length of the ball, from tip to tip, is the neutral zone; it extends from one side of the field to the other. If a player lines up with any part of his body in the neutral zone and is still there when the ball is snapped, the referee can stop the play and issue an offside penalty. During kicks, offensive players must stay behind the ball, too.
If a defensive player moves across the line prior to the snap, but does not make contact with an offensive player or cause him to move offside and retreats back to his side of the ball before the snap, there is no offside penalty. An alert center will snap the ball, even before the agreed-upon snap count, if he sees a defensive player move offside. If the center can snap the ball before the defensive player can retreat, the play starts ¡ª and the referee can then stop play and issue an offside penalty against the defender.

Why Do Balls Bounce Differently?

Using a softball to play basketball or a handball during a tennis match doesn’t make sense. Different sports require differently designed balls. The size and the material making up a ball matter a great deal, and a lot of scientific research goes into developing the right bounce for the right ball. Several other factors affect the way a ball bounces.
When a tennis ball is thrown to the floor, gravity pulls downward on the ball. While the ball is on the move, kinetic energy–the energy of motion–is at work. As the energy-driven ball hits the floor, the physical forces in play flatten and deform the shape of the ball, dispersing and compressing the molecules that make up the ball. The Law of Conservation of Energy states that energy cannot be lost or gained, so that, instead, energy is transferred. Because a properly inflated or filled ball is essentially round, it quickly tries to recover its round shape, and the energy involved in that causes the ball to bounce back into the air. The Racquet Sports Industry’s website states that, like human fingerprints, no two balls seem to be alike, and each has slightly different bouncing ability.
Balls get distorted when they bounce. Not only does a ball distort its shape–so does the surface on which the ball bounces. Surfaces that “give,” such as Styrofoam and cork, deform as a ball hits against them and save the molecules in the ball from having to do most of the flattening and distorting. Surfaces like Styrofoam, in contrast to metal or ceramic tile, act like a trampoline, states the Terrific Science website, allowing the ball to bounce back higher and faster.
As a ball bounces, it warms. Energy is constantly being converted and transferred during the process of bouncing. An inflated ball, like a basketball or a soccer ball, performs better when the temperature is warmer because the air molecules within the ball expand, overinflating the ball so that it doesn’t easily lose its shape on impact. On cooler days, air molecules contract, as do the molecules in the material of the ball itself, causing underinflation and less elasticity. Rubber balls with tightly packed molecules lose little energy to heat or surface distortion and bounce better under a variety of temperatures. The material inside golf balls, baseballs and softballs with solid cores becomes more or less elastic, depending on temperature under this same expansion/contraction principle.
During ball-testing experiments, the Racquet Sports Industry website states that the outer coverings of tennis balls, for example, have a lot to do with the bounciness of the ball. As the ball is in play, the fuzz on the outside of the ball wears off, changing the ball’s total mass. The court, acting like sandpaper, gradually wears the outer covering of the ball until it changes the weight and shape of the ball. The same hold true for basketballs, baseballs and other balls.
As you hold a ball in the air, waiting to drop it, the ball contains potential energy. Nothing has happened, because you haven’t yet dropped the ball. Still, energy is stored inside the ball. Height has a lot to do with potential energy. The higher the ball is positioned, the more its potential energy. As the ball is dropped and gravity forces it downward, the velocity of the ball increases because of the accelerating effects of gravity. The ball falls through the air, converting stored energy to the energy of motion, and impacts the floor, bouncing higher.