Monthly Archives: May 2017

Waterpolo

Water polo is a competitive team sport played in the water between two teams. The game consists of four quarters, in which the two teams attempt to score goals and throw the ball into their opponent’s goal. The team with the most goals at the end of the game wins the match. Each team made up of six field players and one goalkeeper. Except for the goalkeeper, players participate in both offensive and defensive roles. Water polo is typically played in an all-deep pool seven feet (or two meters) deep. Special equipment for water polo includes a water polo ball, which floats on the water; numbered and colored caps; and two goals, which either float in the water or are attached to the side of the pool. The game is thought to have originated in Scotland in the late 19th century as a sort of “water rugby”. William Wilson is thought to have developed the game during a similar period. The game thus developed with the formation of the London Water Polo League and has since expanded, becoming widely popular in various places around the world, including Europe, the United States, Brazil, China, Canada and Australia.

The rules of water polo cover the play, procedure, equipment and officiating of water polo. These rules are similar throughout the world, although slight variations to the rules do occur regionally and depending on the governing body. Governing bodies of water polo include FINA, the international governing organization for the rules; the NCAA rules, which govern the rules for collegiate matches in the United States; the NFHS rules which govern the rules in high schools in the USA and the IOC rules which govern the rules at Olympic events.

There are seven players in the water from each team at one time. There are six players that play out and one goalkeeper. Unlike most common team sports, there is little positional play; field players will often fill several positions throughout the game as situations demand. These positions usually consist of a center forward, a center back, the two wing players and the two drivers. Players who are skilled in all positions of offense or defense are called utility players. Utility players tend to come off of the bench, though this is not absolute. Certain body types are more suited for particular positions, and left-handed players are especially coveted on the right-hand side of the field, allowing teams to launch 2-sided attacks.

The center sets up in front of the opposing team’s goalie and scores the most individually (especially during lower level play where flats do not have the required strength to effectively shoot from outside or to penetrate and then pass to teammates like the point guard in basketball). The center’s position nearest to the goal allows explosive shots from close-range. Defensive positions are often the same, but just switched from offense to defense. For example, the center forward or hole set, who directs the attack on offense, on defense is known as “hole D” (also known as set guard, hole guard, hole check, pit defense or two-meter defense), and guards the opposing team’s center forward (also called the hole). Defense can be played man-to-man or in zones, such as a 2–4 (four defenders along the goal line). It can also be played as a combination of the two in what is known as an “M drop” defense, in which the point defender moves away (“sloughs off”) his man into a zone in order to better defend the center position. In this defense, the two wing defenders split the area furthest from the goal, allowing them a clearer lane for the counter-attack if their team recovers the ball.

Swimming Tips For Beginners

This article describes a few basic tips and drills you can use to become familiar with proper breathing technique while swimming. This is useful because when you take up swimming, learning proper breathing technique is often one of the major challenges one faces besides learning how to float.

Basic Breathing Tips

  1. Wear swimming goggles. Without goggles, water gets in your eyes and irritates them. Furthermore, water in the eyes makes you nearly blind, which can lead to anxiety. On the other hand, you have one thing less to worry about when you use swimming goggles. As a consequence you are more relaxed and learning proper breathing technique is easier.
  2. In those swim strokes where you submerge your head, don’t hold your breath but exhale continuously when your face is in the water. If you do this well, your lungs should be nearly empty when you rotate or lift your head to breathe again.
  3. Inhale quickly when your mouth clears the water. This should occur naturally if you have exhaled properly in the water before, as explained above.

Basic Breathing Drills

The following basic drills can be used to get familiar with breathing technique in the water. Wear swimming goggles to practice those drills.

Drill 1: In shallow water, hold your breath, then crouch down so your head gets under water. Stay in that position for a few seconds, then rise up.

Drill 2: Same as drill 1, but exhale under water through the nose so you blow bubbles.

Drill 3: Same as drill 2, except that you now blow bubbles both out of your nose and your mouth.

Drill 4: In shallow water, crouch down until the water surface rests between your nose and your mouth. Now practice inhaling above water through your nose and exhaling under water through your mouth.

Drill 5: In shallow water, submerge your face and blow bubbles through your mouth, nose, or both. Then hold onto the pool edge and try to get into a horizontal position with your face turned downward. Continue to blow bubbles through your mouth and nose. To get into the horizontal position you can use a relaxed flutter kick.

Drill 6: Bob up and down with your body in shallow water. Inhale while your head is above water and exhale while your head is under water. This drill gets you familiar with rhythmic breathing, a skill that will be useful later on when learning the different swimming strokes.

Swimming Tips

  1. Keep your head in line with your trunk and look straight down toward the bottom of the pool. Don’t look forward because otherwise you will have the tendency to lift your head, which will in turn cause your hips and legs to drop and you will have to kick harder to keep them up.
  2. Learn how to press your buoy, which has the benefit of keeping your hips and legs up without much effort. This freestyle swimming technique requires you to apply downward pressure on your head and chest. As your lungs are filled with air and very buoyant, pressing down your upper body causes the lower body to rise up through a lever effect. You then don’t need to kick that hard anymore.
  3. Don’t lift your head just before breathing. This common error also causes your hips and legs to drop. Rather roll on your side and let your head roll a little bit further until your mouth clears the water. It should feel like your head was resting sideways on a pillow made of water.
  4. Try to swim more on your sides rather than flat on your stomach and chest. Roll from side to side with each arm stroke. This allows you to engage the larger back muscles in addition to the shoulder muscles and improves your propulsion.
  5. To obtain an effective freestyle swimming technique you need to exhale continuously in the water while your face is submerged. There simply isn’t enough time to both inhale and exhale on the side during a breathing arm recovery. This also lets you relax more in the water.
  6. Learn how to swim with a so-called high elbow. This freestyle swimming technique consists in flexing your arm and keeping your elbow high in the water during the under water arm pull so that your forearm is facing backward rather than downward for as long as possible, which improves propulsion.
  7. While recovering your arm forward don’t extend it completely above water before letting it drop in the water because it increases drag and can also lead to swimmer’s shoulder over time. It is better to enter the water with your hand shortly after it has passed your head and then to extend the arm forward under water.
  8. Save energy by using a relaxed two-beat kick for middle and long distance swimming. This means that you kick at the same pace as you stroke with your arms.
  9. Make sure your palm is parallel to the water surface while it extends forward under water during the arm recovery. A common mistake freestyle swimmers make is to angle their palm upward at the end of the recovery. In that case they are in fact pushing water forward and slowing themselves down.
  10. In the beginning, a nose clip can be useful because it keeps water out of your nose and so this is one less thing to worry about and you can relax more. Once your technique and coordination has improved later on you will be able to get rid of the nose clip without too much effort. Personally I used a nose clip for a year while learning the freestyle stroke before getting rid of it.

Tips Gymnastic

Many gymnasts have been injured by colliding with and falling off of equipment, but lots of injuries occur during floor exercises too. Most injuries are relatively minor — with sprained ankles, wrist sprains, and foot injuries among the more common ones. Broken bones, ligament tears, and concussions are also hazards for gymnasts, as are lower-back problems, Achilles tendonitis, and other overuse problems. Gymnasts also might put pressure on themselves to stay thin, and poor diet and nutrition can make people weaker and more prone to injury.

What you will need in the way of protective equipment varies from event to event. Some of the more common items include:

  • Wrist straps, guards, and grips. These are used by male gymnasts on the still rings, high bar, and parallel bars and by female gymnasts on the uneven bars. They’re meant to improve a gymnast’s hold on the apparatus and decrease friction on the skin to keep hands from developing painful blisters. Most grips consist of a piece of leather attached to a wrist strap. Other options include wrapping the hands in sports tape or gauze. Gymnasts, especially beginners and youngsters, should use grips, tape, or gauze to protect their hands from blistering and tearing. Typically, the pros go bare handed to “toughen” their palms with calluses but it’s a painful process that can take months.
  • Footwear. What you wear (or don’t wear!) on your feet depends on the event, the performing surface, and your experience. If you wear shoes while competing in the vault, you might want to use ones with a reinforced toe to help absorb the pressure of landing. Some balance beam competitors prefer shoes with rubber soles to protect against slipping.
  • Spotting belts. You’ll want to use a safety belt whenever you are practicing a new trick or attempting difficult maneuvers. Generally, these belts hook into cables that are attached to the ceiling.

As with any athlete, gymnasts benefit from advance planning. Here are some things you should do:

  • Stay in good shape. Eating a healthy diet and staying in good physical shape — whether you’re competing or not — is particularly important for gymnasts. Almost all gymnastic maneuvers require strong muscles and excellent coordination, both of which are enhanced when you keep yourself fit. Staying in shape also will make you less susceptible to injuries.
  • Get a good night’s sleep before a practice or competition.You’ll be more at risk of injury if you try to perform a routine when you’re tired.
  • Warm up. Before you take the floor or get on any piece of gymnastics equipment, do jumping jacks or jog in place for a few minutes to get the blood flowing. Then gently stretch your muscles and joints. Dynamic stretching, where you make slow, controlled movements to improve range of motion, is thought to be more effective than static stretching before a workout.
  • Know your own skill level. When you are first learning an event, start with simple maneuvers and learn them well before you move on to something more difficult. Trying to attempt something beyond your abilities is a good way to get hurt. Never attempt a maneuver in competition that you haven’t practiced before.
  • Progress on each piece of equipment incrementally. For instance, when attempting to learn the balance beam, start with a line on the floor and then a beam on the floor before moving up to a raised beam.

Swimming

Swimming is an individual or team sport that involves using arms and legs to move the body through water. Typically, the sport takes place in pools or in open-water. Competitive swimming is one of the most popular Olympic sports, with events in butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle, and individual medley. In addition to these individual events, swimmers also take part in relays. Swimming each stroke requires specific techniques, and in competition, there are specific regulations concerning the acceptable form for different strokes. There are also rules put in place to regulate what types of swimsuits are allowed at competitions. Although it is possible for competitive swimmers to incur several injuries from the sport, there are also multiple health benefits associated with the sport.

In competitive swimming, four major styles have been established. These have been relatively stable over the last 30–40 years with minor improvements. They are:

  • Butterfly
  • Backstroke
  • Breaststroke
  • Freestyle

In competition, only one of these styles may be used except in the case of the individual medley, or IM, which consists of all four. In this latter event, swimmers swim equal distances of butterfly, then backstroke, breaststroke, and finally, freestyle. In Olympic competition, this event is swum in two distances – 200 and 400 meters. Some short course competitions also include the 100-yard or 100-meter IM – particularly, for younger swimmers (typically under 14 years) involved in club swimming, or masters swimming (over 18).

World Championship pools must be 50 metres (160 ft) (long course) long and 25 metres (82 ft) wide, with ten lanes labelled zero to nine (or one to ten in some pools; zero and nine (or one and ten) are usually left empty in semi-finals and finals); the lanes must be at least 2.5 metres (8.2 ft) wide. They will be equipped with starting blocks at both ends of the pool and most will have Automatic Officiating Equipment, including touch pads to record times and sensors to ensure the legality of relay take overs. The pool must have a minimum depth of two metres.

Swimwear

  • Swimsuit

A swim cap (a.k.a. cap) keeps the swimmer’s hair out of the way to reduce drag. Caps may be made of latex, silicone, spandex or lycra.

  • Swim cap

A swim cap (a.k.a. cap) keeps the swimmer’s hair out of the way to reduce drag. Caps may be made of latex, silicone, spandex or lycra.

  • Goggles

Goggles keep water and chlorine out of swimmers’ eyes. Goggles may be tinted to counteract glare at outdoor pools. Prescription goggles may be used by swimmers who wear corrective lenses.

  • Swim Fins

Rubber fins are used to help kick faster and build strength and technique, but are illegal in a race. They also improve technique by keeping the feet in the proper position while kicking.

  • Drag suit

Swimmers use drag suits in training to increase resistance. This allows a swimmer to be challenged even more when practicing. Drag suits are not used in competitive races.

  • Hand paddles

Swimmers use these plastic devices to build arm and shoulder strength and refine pulling technique. Hand paddles attach to the hand with rubber tubing or elastic material. They come in many different shapes and sizes, depending on swimmer preference or if a team has begun to taper.

  • Kickboard

A kickboard is a foam board that swimmers use to support the weight of the upper body while they focus on kicking; helps build leg muscles.

  • Pull buoy

Often used at the same time as hand paddles, pull buoys support swimmers’ legs (and prevents them from kicking) while they focus on pulling. Pull buoys are made of foam so they float in the water. Swimmers hold them in between the thighs. They can also be used as a kickboard to make kicking a little harder.

  • Ankle bands

Improving balance will minimize the need for this kick to provide an upward, instead of a forward vector, and in some cases completely corrects the kick. Using an ankle band will have the immediate effect of turning off your kick, which then forces you to make efforts to correct your balance. If you are successful in discovering these, then the ankle band has done part of its job.

  • Snorkel

A snorkel is a plastic device that helps swimmers breathe while swimming. This piece of equipment helps the swimmer practice keeping their head in one position, along with training them for the proper breathing technique of breathing in through the mouth and out the nose. This technique is the opposite of a common runner’s breathing pattern, which is in the nose and out the mouth.

  • Tempo trainer

a beeping clock attached to a swimmers cap or goggles helps them maintain a certain arm tempo or speed. As each beep is heard, their next stroke should be taken.

  • Zoomers

a type of rubber swimming fins, zoomers are cut off fins with the holes in the bottom. They help make the swimmer kick faster, but at the cost of working harder.