jueves, 28 de febrero de 2013

Lacrosse: Introduction and notes.



Lacrosse, invented by the Native Americans, is a popular team sport in North America and a national summer sport for Canada. It involves the use of nets, or "heads" as they are called, which consist of a wooden or metal shaft with a net on the end. Hockey is a game based on this sport.

It was mostly a boy’s game until a few years ago, and now it is played by both boys and girls. Lacrosse is a game that many people had versions of like eastern Cherokee ball-play was basically lacrosse with a different name to it. From the early data they will never really find out much of the history.


There are about three different forms of lacrosse based on the different tribes or places of how they played it. One of the ways still played today is called double stick; you play by using a two and a half foot stick in each hand and tossing a deer skin ball in between the two sticks.

The name “lacrosse” was named by the French settlers; with “Crosse” meaning curved stick it is called the curved stick. Lacrosse played a more serious role in Indian culture than anywhere else. Lacrosse was not a very well-known sport until the late nineteenth century. Now more than half a million people are playing. Now there are a lot of people playing lacrosse all over the world.

Rules
The object of the game is to score points by shooting the ball into the opponent´s goal. Each goal is worth 1 point. The teams with the most points at the end of the game wins.
A lacrosse team has 10 players:

  •   1 goalkeeper
  •   3 defenders
  •   3 midfielders, or wings
  •   3 offensive players, called attackers
Each team must keep at least 4 players (including the goalkeeper) in its defending half of the field and 3 in the offensive half.

Center face-off are used to start the game and after each goal. Players shoot and pass the ball to their teammate using the crosse, trying to score a goal by throwing (shooting) the ball into the opponent´s goal.

The following general rules govern game play:

  • Shots on goal must be made from outside the goal area (also called the crease)
  • Attacking or offensive players may not enter the crease but may reach into the crease with the crosse to catch or retrieve a ball.
  • If a ball or a player with the ball goes out-of-bounds, the other team gets a free play. Free play is an unobstructed throw in at the point where the ball went out-of-bounds.
  • Opposing team players must stay 5 yards (4.57 meters) away during a free play.
  • Goalies (goalkeeper) are the only players allowed to touch the ball with their hands.
Equipment
The game of lacrosse is played using a lacrosse stick (crosse) and ball, but players are required to wear gloves and helmet with a face mask. Goalies are also required to wear a throat protector.

  • The crosse is made of laminated wood, plastic, or synthetic material with a net pocket at the head.
  • The lacrosse ball is made of solid rubber, is 19.1-20.3 centimeters in circumference, and weighs 141.7 to 148.8 grams.

sábado, 19 de mayo de 2012

Five tips for Beginner freestylers


Freestyle is a fantastic stroke. When you are competent at the stroke it's easy, fluid, smooth and fast. If you only swim breast stroke at the moment you'll find it feels completely different - freestyle is much more flowing. You know how awkward it is if you try and walk really quickly? Freestyle is like breaking into a run – it's a great feeling!

Learning freestyle presents some challenges, the most obvious of which is how to adapt to breathing in a face down position. Many novice freestylers have some anxiety about putting their faces in the water whilst swimming. Don't worry, that's entirely normal. Every year we work with hundreds of swimmers who want to learn the freestyle stroke and meet these challenges.

Tip 1. Get help from a Swimming ‘Buddy'

If you know a competent swimmer you trust, it will help a lot to have them in the water with you. We call them a swimming ‘buddy'.

Having a buddy in the water with you is reassuring. They can remind you of what you need to be doing and they can point out where you are making good progress with your stroke technique. They can also hold you in specific positions whilst you get a feel for them.

We have written an article for freestyle swimmers who want to be a buddy and help their friends or relatives learn to swim the stroke.

Tip 2. Develop A Feel For The Water

Water is an alien environment to us; something we're not used to. Start off by simply learning how your body moves and feels in the water – it's so important. At first you don't even need to try and float.

Practise sculling in shallow water to develop a feel for the water.

Stand in the shallow end with your hands in the water and start to move your hands and arms around gently. Think about using your hands like paddles. Push against the water and feel the pressure on your palms - this is the beginning of something called 'feel for the water' that is very important to swimming technique.

As you get used to this, try crouching down in the water and let it take some of your weight, all the time continuing to move your hands and arms. Do this for about 5 minutes. Even when you are moving on to learning the freestyle action we recommend you start every session with this exercise.

We much prefer using a pool that is nice and warm for novice swimmers, a cold pool can add to feelings of anxiety.

Tip 3. Blow Bubbles


Practise your exhalation technique when standing in the deep end.

Not many people know this, but the most important skill in freestyle is to be able to exhale freely into the water. Most people instinctively hold their breath when their face is in the water. This will make the stroke much tougher. When you are swimming freestyle all exhalation should be into the water, so when you turn your head to breathe you only need to inhale. This is the secret of breathing in freestyle.

Holding your breath adds to feelings of anxiety and makes you more stressed. Instead, develop a new habit of exhaling into the water – this will relax you, just like breathing techniques in yoga.


Let the water take your weight - if you sink that's a good thing!

Start in the shallow end and practise putting your face in the water and simply hum through your mouth or nose to create a long steady stream of bubbles. Feel like you are sighing.

As you get used to this you can develop things by crouching or sitting down to sink lower into the water. A buddy can be useful here to give you some support.

If you become so relaxed that you start to feel yourself sinking this is great thing – it shows that you are building a good degree of confidence in the water.

Keep working on this skill – the habit and technique of exhaling into the water is very important.

Tip 4. Break Things Down Into Manageable Chunks

Attempting to perform the full freestyle stroke without any preparation is a recipe for failure. The key to learning the stroke is to break things down into small manageable chunks.


In swimming coaching we do something called 'drills'. A drill is an exercise that allows you to practise one part of swimming technique without the difficulty of doing it all at once. Drills sometimes exaggerate a movement so that you can get a feel for it. Here are some drills we recommend you practise to develop your stroke technique:

Kick on your front and just focus on exhalation.

- Kicking on your front. With your arms stretched out in front of you and hands placed one on top of the other, kick down the pool. Start with your head out of the water the whole time. When you can do this, move on to putting your face down in to the water between breaths – make sure you are blowing bubbles into the water! If you have fins (see tip 5) perform this exercise with them on.


Practise arm recovery on dry land.


- On dry land practise your arm recovery technique. Lie on your side with the lower arm out in front of you. Practise moving your top arm over and placing it into the ‘water' in front of you. Keep your forearm and hand totally relaxed and lead the movement from your elbow.

Progress to kicking on your side with one arm out in front for support.

- Kicking on your side. Back in the water, kick down the length again, this time on your side with the lower arm out in front and the top arm resting by your side. Start with your face out of the water all the time. As you get used to this, try putting your face in the water between breaths – look at the bottom and blow out continuously into the water. If you have fins (see tip 5) perform this exercise with them on.

Use these drills to work on different aspects of your technique before attempting the full stroke.

Even Olympic swimmers work on drills to improve and maintain their stroke technique. Drills can be fun and they break up the monotony of swimming lengths. Include them in every swimming session you do!

Tip 5. Use Fins

We recommend you invest in some swimming flippers (called 'fins' in swimming). These are smaller and more flexible than scuba diving flippers. We recommend you get something mid-length and floppy, e.g. USA, Australia, UK.


Many of the fundamentals of freestyle swimming can be learnt more effectively with a little bit of extra propulsion from wearing fins. Use the fins to perform some of the drills and techniques we outlined in tip 4.

Wear the fins for specific exercises, not all the time. Warm up at the beginning of a session and warm down at the end of a session without them.

Some people believe that using fins in your swim training is cheating, we don't. Used in the right way for the right things they are a powerful tool to help you learn to swim.


viernes, 6 de abril de 2012

Why should babies learn to swim?

Many parents are compelled to explore the option of infant swim lessons as a direct result of the fear they have as parents of their child drowning in a family or neighbor’s pool. They don’t want to be another statistic – another family on the evening news, saying that it happened so fast, that the child was only out of sight for a short time, that they didn’t even think to check the pool because it was fenced. The reality is that if fear is the motivating factor for choosing swim lessons, parents would be better-served to go out in the back yard and check the gate and locks on their pool. A secure pool is the single best way to protect your child from the risk of drowning, and this risk is further decreased with proper supervision. So make sure your pool is secure and always watch your kid around water – they are two critical steps everyone can take to prevent childhood drawings.       

One might ask, as the owner of two swim schools, why on Earth would this be the advice I would give? If fear is no longer the motivating factor, why else would should parents enroll their children in swim lessons, especially infants in swim lessons?

My answer to parents is that there is an infinite list of benefits infants receive from swimming lessons beyond learning to swim. This is part one in a series of reasons why I strongly believe in putting infants in swimming lessons.
If not for safety reasons, why should I choose to participate in swim lessons with my one year old, or even my six month old? I believe exposing your infant to the water at a young age you are setting them on a path to positive development. By that do I mean you will be raising a more intelligent child or one who is a better athlete than the child who is not exposed to water at an early age? YES! Do I believe that an incredible amount of bonding can be achieved in the water? YES! Do I believe a child will gain new cognitive and physical skills by being exposed to the water? YES!

“An infants’ brain is a fertile feed for stimulation and much of the brains pathways and connections are developed before their third birthday. This places a huge importance on the auditory (voice), visual (colors) emotional (hugs), intellectual (music) and physical (swimming) opportunities we present to our children.”

How does swimming fit into this arena? Infants spend much of their time in a prone position before they can walk or crawl. They lay on their bellies or backs or are being held by someone or more frequently today are encased in plastic car seats or carriers. When we place an infant in the water they begin to develop skills related to floating in a supportive yet fluid environment - similar to their time in the womb. They are stimulated by the water and their parent’s hands. They learn breath control and balance and buoyancy. They stimulate those synaptical neurons in their brain. They may not be able to walk or run or even sit up but with appropriate stimulation that can float through and under the water while holding their breath. The time bonding with a parent in warm water is also amazing!

So in your journey to raise a happy, healthy, well-adjusted child child, get them in the water either at home in the tub, or the shower, or in your backyard pool for fun play time or in formal swim lessons. And if you need a reason other than fun, think about all of the physical and emotional benefits they receive by returning to that aquatic world where they spent those nine months.

domingo, 1 de abril de 2012

Strength Trainning (5): Resistance Bands Shoulders Exercises

Upright Row
  • Position the centre of the band underneath your foot
  • Hold the ends of the band in your hands and start with your arms straight, pointing to your feet
  • Pull upwards and bend the elbows out behind you
  • Slowly return to the starting position

Pullover
  • Attach the centre of the band to a fixed point close to the floor
  • Lay on your back with the attachment behind your head
  • Hold the ends in your hands
  • Start with the arms straight, above your head and pull your hands forwards, over your head towards your waist
  • Return to the starting position

Front Raise
  • Stand with one end of the band under your feet and the other end in one hand
  • Start with your hand by your side and the band under slight tension
  • Keep a small bend in the elbow as you raise your arm up in front of you to shoulder height
  • Slowly return back to the starting position.


Shoulder Press
  • Stand with the centre of the band under both feet and the ends in each hand
  • Start with the elbows bent and hands at shoulder level
  • Straighten your arms to push your hands above your head
  • Slowly return to the starting position

Lateral Raise
  • Stand with one end of the band under your feet and the other end in one hand
  • Start with your hand by your side and the band under slight tension
  • Keep a small bend in the elbow as you raise your arm out to the side and just above shoulder height
  • Slowly return back to the starting position.


    martes, 6 de marzo de 2012

    Strength Trainning (4): Resistance Bands Arm Exercises

    All Resistance band exercises should be performed slowly and under control. Begin with the band at the start of tension which increases as you perform the exercise. To make the exercise more difficult, shorten the section of band you are using to increase the tension over the range of motion.
    Biceps Curl
    • Place the centre of the band under your feet
    • Wrap the ends around your hands
    • Keep the upper arms by your sides as you bend the elbows
    • Slowly return to the starting position

    Triceps Extension
    • Attach the centre of the band to a high, stationary object
    • Hold an end in each hand with the elbows bent and parallel to the floor
    • Straighten the elbows, keeping the upper arms still
    • Slowly return to the starting position

    Overhead Triceps Extension
    • Place one end of the band under your foot and hold the other end in your hand
    • Bend your elbow so it is pointing to the ceiling and your hand is behind you
    • Straighten your elbow and point your hand to the ceiling
    • Slowly return to the starting position

    Pronation
    • Tie one end of the band around something sturdy at waist height with the arm being worked closest to the attachment point
    • Wrap the other end around the end of a long thin object and hold the other end
    • Band you elbow and position the upper arm by your side
    • Start with your hand positioned so that your thumb faces up
    • Pronate the hand (turn it over so that the palm faces down)
    • Return to the starting position

    Supination
    • Tie one end of the band around something sturdy at waist height with the arm being worked furthest from the attachment point
    • Wrap the other end around the end of a long thin object and hold the other end
    • Bend your elbow and position the upper arm by your side
    • Start with your hand positioned so that your palm faces down
    • Supinate the hand (turn it over so that the palm faces up)
    • Slowly return to the starting position

    Wrist Extension
    • Sit down on a chair and fix one end of the band under your foot
    • Wrap the other end around your hand and rest your forearm on your thigh
    • Keeping the forearm flat on the thigh, pull the wrist back
    • Slowly return to the starting position

    Wrist Flexion
    • Sit down on a chair and fix one end of the band under your foot
    • Wrap the other end around your hand and rest the back of your forearm on your thigh
    • Keeping the forearm flat on the thigh, curls the wrist towards you
    • Slowly return to the starting position

    sábado, 3 de marzo de 2012

    Strength Trainning (3): Gym Ball - Swiss Ball Trunk and Core Exercises

    Ball Crunch
    Teaching points
    • Lay on the ball on your back with your hands either on your upper thighs or your temples
    • Make sure your lower back is fully supported on the ball
    • Curl your upper body up as far as you are comfortable (sliding your hands along your thighs if using this method)
    • Keep your hips and legs still throughout
    • Slowly lower back to the starting position




    Roll Away
    Teaching points
    • Kneel on the floor with your wrists on the ball in front with your elbows bent
    • Concentrate on keeping a straight line through your torso throughout the exercise
    • Roll the ball away from you, so the ball moves along your forearms to the elbows
    • Hold for 5 seconds, maintaining your straight back - don't let the back arch downwards


    Side Crunch
    Teaching points
    • Kneel on your left knee, with the right foot on the floor in front
    • Lean the left hip against the ball and rest the left forearm on the ball
    • To perform the exercise, lift your left side off the ball, bending towards your right side

    Back Extension
    Teaching points
    • Lay with your stomach and chest in contact with the ball, with the toes on the floor
    • Raise your chest up off the ball
    • Slowly lower back down to the starting position

    Ball Rotation
    Teaching points
    • Lay on your back with the knees straight and ball between the lower legs
    • Rotate slowly from the hips, lowering the ball towards the ground
    • Try to keep the mid back flat on the floor throughout
    • Once you have reached as far as you are comfortable, return to the start and repeat to the other side

    Jackknife
    Teaching points
    • Kneel on your hands and knees, resting your shins and ankles on the ball
    • Push the ball back to lift and straighten your knees
    • Your body should now be in a straight line from shoulders to feet
    • Slowly reverse the movement to bring the ball back in and your knees directly under your hips
    • Keep your back flat and the stomach pulled in throughout