Monthly Archives: December 2017

How to Play Basketball

Basketball is a great sport that is loved by many people around the world, and there are many people who are constantly looking for tips and secrets on how to improve their basketball game. The very first thing that an individual needs to do is improve his physical fitness and endurance, because basketball is a high intensity contact sport that requires a player to run up and down the court many times in a match. People who are not physically fit will find it very hard to keep up in this game, and this is their single biggest disadvantage.

Someone who has played a lot of official matches and tournaments will certainly know some of the secrets to have a better game, but there are many other things that a beginner can focus on as well. The rules of the game should be crystal clear to a player, and this requires consulting someone who is aware of all these rules, or reading an official rulebook. Further tips will involve shooting techniques, dribbling moves, passing accuracy and defending efficiency, and these can all be learned through some physical drills, and by actually playing the game against a skilled opponent.

How to Shoot a Basketball Better

The ultimate aim of the game is to get the ball in the opponents basket and score more points than them. For this reason, effective shooting is the single biggest advantage that a player can have. Someone who takes 5 shots and scores them all is a far better player than someone who takes 15 shots and misses more than half of them. It is this accuracy that needs to be worked on, and this can only be achieved by recognizing the positions from where your shots are the most accurate. While taking a chance and shooting on sight is an effective piece of advice for many players, it is far better to focus on a better conversion rate. Here are some tips to improve one’s shooting ability.
You must spend hours practicing your jump shots and layups from a variety of positions on the court. Only then will you know your most favorable positions.
The grip with which you hold the ball is also very important. You need to focus on using your fingers and less of your palms while shooting, and your stronger hand should hold the ball while your weaker hand supports it.
You need to time your jump to perfection as well, and release the ball when you are at the highest point in the air. Work on your standing jumps a lot, and try to achieve as much height as possible. Work on your footwork too, and ensure that both of your feet point in the direction of the basket when you shoot.
The follow through is also very important after you take a shot. This involves flicking your wrists when the ball leaves your hand, and your fingers should be pointing downwards when this happens.
When you are taking a free throw you need to keep your feet shoulder width apart, point your feet in the direction of the basket and also ensure that you hold the basketball around the seams. This will allow you to get a smoother and cleaner action when you shoot.

How to Choose the Right Soccer Ball

Soccer, also known as football in some countries, is believed to be one of the most popular sports in the world. Watching professionals play this game is certainly fun. Many people are impressed by the skills and stamina involved in this game and decide to start playing. However, you need to know that professional are trained athletes who have the best coaching and gear. If you are thinking about starting to play soccer, the first thing to do is to choose an appropriate ball. Though it may seem that all balls are the same; they might differ in size, quality, and some other factors. Beginners might go for a particular ball by looking at its color and design, which is not a good way of choosing the perfect ball.

Tips on Choosing the Right Soccer Ball

Seasoned football professionals say that there are four factors in determining a good soccer ball: the type, size, the bladder and brand.

Type of Soccer Sport
You need to decide on the level of playing you would be opting for, that is outdoor playing or indoor playing. Outdoor balls are made as per professional soccer standards and the wear and tear they happen to go through. On the other hand, indoor soccer balls are manufactured to suit indoor conditions. For example, these balls are made in a way that they would bounce about 30% less than their outdoor counterparts. Besides, the covering of these balls is made up with a material that is quite similar to that of tennis balls.

Size of the Ball
Next comes soccer ball sizes, which is generally classified in three, four and five. The smallest-sized balls range from 23 to 24 inches, and are most suitable for children. As per standards, these are good choices for those below 8 years. Balls of size four are a little bigger than the previous ones and are most suitable for soccer enthusiasts between 8 to 12 years. Those which have international standards come in size five which is the biggest. These are appropriate for anyone above 12 years.

The Cover or Surface Type
The cover and bladder are two major parts of a soccer ball, which differ significantly in ball types. Traditionally, the surface of the ball is made out of materials namely the synthetic Polyurethane (PU), Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), and rubber. Those made with rubber are most suitable for practice and daily playing. Those made up of Polyurethane are more durable and have good water resistance qualities. Soccer balls whose surface is manufactured using PVC material are light and more durable.

Ice Hockey

Ice hockey is a contact sport which is played on ice, and the objective of the game is to put the puck in the opponent’s net more times than them. Being an avid fan or an aspiring fan of ice hockey, familiarizing with the game play terms mentioned here would be highly helpful in understanding the game better. Since the game is played on ice, it is popular in Arctic countries and places where there is a seasonal ice cover. Canada, northern parts of the United States, and some European countries are heavily involved in the sport of ice hockey. The terms and rules are easy to understand, and aids one in understanding the game accurately.

List of Ice Hockey Terms

Here are some of the most commonly used terms and phrases for you. These cover the basic aspects of the game, and come in handy when you are watching a game of ice hockey and wondering what the commentator is saying.

ASSIST: A pass to a player who immediately scores a goal. The player with the most assists is obviously the most creative one on the team. Also known as an apple, 2 assists can be granted per goal.

ATTACKING ZONE: The opponent’s end on the ice, or the area between their goal and the blue line.

BACKHANDER SHOT: A shot that is hit by the backside of the blade. For example, if a right-handed player hits a shot from his left side, it is known as a backhander shot.

BACKCHECK: Going back to one’s own defensive zone to stop the opponents from attacking.

BACKSTOP: Also known as the goaltender, or the goalkeeper.

BENDER: A person who is not very good at skating.

BISCUIT: Also known as the puck.

BLUE LINE: The lines on each side of the ice that separate the attack zones and the defense zones from the neutral area.

BOARDING: The act of checking or blocking a player by pushing him into the boards.

BREAKAWAY: A sudden change in possession of the puck that leaves an attacker one on one with the goaltender.

CENTER: A position of play that requires the player to play primarily, in the center of the ice.

CHIPPY: A state of play, or a time period in the game, that is overly aggressive in nature.

DANGLER: A very good player who can fool opponents easily.

DEKE: A move by a player which results in the opposition player getting fooled and moving out of position.

DIVE: An act of stimulation, or playacting, by a player in order to earn his team a penalty.

DUMP AND CHASE: A style of play that is characterized by hitting the puck to the corners of the ice, and having team members rush to it to retrieve the puck.

FACE OFF: The way the game begins. The two centers i.e. players in center position, stand facing each other and have to control the puck once it drops to the ground.

Table Tennis Serves

Before you learn how to serve properly, you need to understand the grip and the four strokes – the forehand push, the backhand drive, the forehand drive, and the backhand push. It’s important to learn the different serving techniques like the spin and the top spin. You also need to watch out which way the ball spins, so that you can return the ball efficiently. You should try to keep your opponent unbalanced through your returns and serves.

How to Serve
Try to follow the exercise mentioned below, so that you know the basic technique of serving.
While holding the racket, you should hold it in an open angle. It should seem as if you are playing a backhand push. With the other hand, grip the ball with the help of the first finger and thumb at about 30 cm above the racket.
Let it drop, and then serve.
While serving, make sure that the ball bounces on your side first, and then bounces on the opponent’s side after crossing the net.
Repeat this exercise several times, till you are successful consistently.
After you have got used to this technique, you can stand away from the net, and then practice the same exercise.
Types of Serves
You can opt to serve hard and fast, or you can spin the ball. Usually, new players serve flat with no spin, but better players spin the ball, thereby affecting its curve and bounce. Some of the most common serves in table tennis include the backspin, the side-spin, the topspin, and the no-spin. Let’s take a look at each of them.

Topspin
In a topspin, while hitting the ball, the paddle slides over it. If you hit the ball with enough force and in the proper way, the ball would curve downwards after bouncing on the opponent’s side of the table. If you can master hitting the ball in such a way that it lands near the end of the table, it would make returning the ball all the more difficult for the opponent.

Side-spin
In this type of serve, the paddle is brought across the body while serving, so as to give the ball the required spin. If you are a right-hander, the ball would spin clockwise, while a counter-clockwise spin would be created when you serve with your backhand.

Backspin
Also called the under-spin serve, this serve can be used effectively while playing against inexperienced players. If you are able to backspin heavily, there are chances that your opponent would lose the point. Moreover, it’s very difficult to attack such serves.

No-spin
This kind of serve can be used effectively if you want to confuse your opponent. It should be used in tandem with spinning serves, i.e., after you have used either of the spinning serves, you should use the no-spin serve. Moreover, a long and fast no-spin serve can come in handy if your opponent is very close to the table.