Category Archives: Sport

How to hit a Hockey ball really hard.

Hockey is a very ancient game that can trace its origins back to Ancient Egypt. There is a famous stone crafted picture of two figures holding curved sticks preparing to knock a ball about. It’s a very skilled game and if you have a team then it’s a good idea to check out some Hockey Drill videos like the ones available at https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Hockey  The game is growing in statue and numbers in both women and men. The success of the GB women’s team has fuelled an interest back into the sport which is very welcome.  One of the most rudimentary skills of the game is how to hit the ball properly. Let’s have a look at how this can be achieved.

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It’s easy to focus on the power element and think this is the most important part. Naturally how you strike the ball is very important but there has to be a degree of control. As with football the ability to “dribble” is a highly prized skill. Let’s concentrate first on how to hold the stick. There are two positions the first is at the upper end of the stick known as the high grip. The second is to clasp the stick at the lower end which is the choke grip. To ensure that you don’t slip with the grip you must hold the stick with hands close together. There should be no gap between the two so that the grip on the handle is frim. The stick face will not flip or move and you can manoeuvre the wrist to control the face of the stick better.

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The stick face needs to be open otherwise you will strike the top of the ball and the shot will lack power. The “meat” of the stick face needs to connect well with the ball. For power the body must be behind the ball to increase the power for a scoring opportunity. The body weight needs to shift to allow a passing option so the grip will determine where you place yourself before you commit to hit the ball. The head must be over the top of the ball. The ball also needs to be either in line with or even just ahead of your left foot. If these are in place you will be able to connect correctly with the ball. If shooting make sure you play through the ball. Commit to the shot as a hesitation will result in a loss of power.

 

Playing Tennis

Basic Rules of Tennis
One player hits or serves the ball from a corner of a marked out area called a court, that is divided down the middle with a three feet high (0.914 meter) net. The opposite player’s goal is to return the ball, bouncing it no more than once in his own court, aiming for the other player to not be able to hit it. A point is gained when a player is not able to return the ball at all or he hits it out of the court. The ball is always served cross court or diagonally.

Equipment
The right equipment is essential for a good game of tennis, along with demarcation of the court according to international standards. Here are the specifications.
Tennis Court

Tennis is required to be played in a regulation size tennis court. This means that it has to be 78 feet long (23.77 m) and 27 feet (8.23 m) wide (for singles matches) or 36 feet (10.97 m) wide (for doubles matches). The court must have a 3 feet (0.914 meter) high net (with 3 ½ feet net posts), dividing it down the center. The type of court floor varies. It may be asphalt, clay, concrete, grass, artificial grass, wood or made of other synthetic materials.

The parallel line at both ends of the court, which marks its border, is known as a ‘baseline’, while the line marking the side of the court is known as ‘sideline’. A line parallel to the baseline, known as ‘server line’, is marked at a distance of 21 feet from the net, on either side. The center line, which is perpendicular to the net, is drawn halfway between the sidelines and exactly divides the courts into two halves on either side. Moreover, the server line and the center line on either side, divides each side of the court into four quarters. The quarter courts near the net are known as ‘service courts’.
Tennis Racquet
Tennis player
The usual tournament size racket should not be more than 29 inches in length and 12.5 inches in width. The hitting area of the racket cannot be more than 15.5 inches long and 11.5 inches wide.
Tennis Balls
Tennis ball on clay
These vary in color, but for official tournaments the ball must be yellow or white in color. Two, three, four or six balls may be used in a match.
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Singles Game Basics
Young man playing tennis
The server is chosen by a coin toss. The player who wins the toss can choose to serve or choose the side he wants. If the toss winner chooses to serve, his opponent gets to choose the side and vice versa. This applies to both singles and doubles games. In singles, the server (person playing first) and receiver (one who receives the serve) change position (left/right), after every point and the ends are changed after every odd numbered game.

History of Shotokan Style Karate

Shotokan is a widely known style of karate typically characterized by the long, deep stances involved, use of linear movements; and the absence of body conditioning and supplementary training exercises which happen to be the characteristic traits of Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate. Even though the circular movements typical to Okinawan styles of karate are seen in Shotokan karate, the use of these movements is minimal here. While the history of martial arts in particular is a subject of debate with historians coming up with different claims, no such confusion prevails when it comes to Shotokan style karate history. One of the four major schools of karate in Japan, Shotokan karate was developed by the ‘father of modern karate’ – Gichin Funakoshi, back in the beginning of 20th century.

The History of Shotokan Karate

Okinawa-Te or Tode was the collective term for three branches of self-defense – Shuri-te, Naha-te and Tomari-te, each of which was named after the Okinawan towns wherein they were developed. As time elapsed, these three branches of self-defense developed into two main styles of karate – Shorei-ryu and Shorin-ryu. Even though the ban on martial arts, which was in place since the 17th century Japanese invasion of Okinawa, did pose a problem for the development of these styles of Okinawan karate, many people successfully mastered either of these two styles, while some went on to master both simultaneously.

Gichin Funakoshi was one of those individuals who mastered both these styles of Okinawan karate – Shorei-ryu and Shorin-ryu. He had begun taking his lessons at a very young age from stalwarts of the field – Anko Itosu and Yasutsune Azato. Funakoshi spent several years mastering these two styles of this martial art. In 1902, the ban on martial arts in Okinawa was lifted at the behest of the Shintaro Ogawa, the Commissioner of Education, who insisted that these martial arts should be included as a part of the physical education in schools. This turned out to be a milestone for the development of this martial arts in this region. Gichin Funakoshi combined the karate techniques of the two styles – Shorei-ryu and Shorin-ryu, and formed a new style, which was eventually named Shotokan by his students.

Origin of Term Shotokan
Funakoshi never named his newly developed style of karate, but simply referred to it as karate. He did change the names of some katas (sequence of positions and movements) though in order to make the pronunciation of Shotokan katas in Japanese Honshu dialect easier. The name ‘Shotokan’ was actually given to the dojo (training facility for martial arts) built by Funakoshi in 1939 by his students. Funakoshi’s students combined ‘shoto’ meaning pine-waves (which was the pen name used by Funakoshi) and ‘kan’ meaning house, to come up with this name in honor of their sensei (teacher of martial arts). The same dojo was eventually destroyed in the bombing by allied forces in 1945.

Golf Tournaments

Organizing a golf tournament is already one of the most trying experiences that you’ll go through, without having to worry about what gifts you can give to the people participating and winning the said competition. But since you have organized the tournament, it is expected of you to have some really good gifts lined up for the winners. What else is supposed to serve as an encouragement for them? Even if it is a charity tournament, meant only to raise money for a cause, there’s got to be some sort of incentive for the competitors to want to win, right? And since golf is not a sport for anyone and everyone, these gifts have to be something that represent only golf and make the receivers think of the tournament every time they see it. This Buzzle article will give you an idea of some of the probable items that you can think of using as golf tournament gifts. You have an array of items to choose from, so don’t worry. Plus, they’re so varied even in costs that you’ll have no trouble choosing something that fits your budget. Have a look and see what suits your interests best.
Attire
When it comes to golf gifts, if there’s one thing that will win the votes every single time, it’s golf attire. A true golf fan can never have enough golf clothes and accessories. So, give the winner of the tournament a complete gold ensemble. A pack of golf t-shirts, trousers if it’s a male and the cute skirt if it’s a female, together with a hat that matches the t-shirts. Wristbands and gloves are other items that can be included in the gift hamper.
Equipment and Accessories
Golf equipment does not come cheap. So winning some fancy golf equipment is definitely going to be one of the best wins for the person. Plus it will make the competitors try that much harder to win. Golf clubs and putters, probably with the name of the person inscribed on it will be a great idea! Along with the complete golf equipment, you can also throw in some really useful golf accessories too. These range from golf bags, a tool kit, tags for bags, caddies, golf balls, etc., and are some of the most popular accessories that you can give the person.

Memorabilia
Every sports enthusiast has his or her own mentor: A person who has excelled and reached great heights in that particular sport. It’s most likely the same with all the golf enthusiasts participating in the tournament that you’re organizing. So, if you can manage (contact and resource wise) to get your hands on some valuable memorabilia like autographed golf equipment, golf balls, trophies, etc., then nothing like it. The winner will be thrilled. You can make an annual tournament and have these same valuable gifts given to the winners every year.

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.

Horse Racing Industry

Horse racing has become a symbol of aristocratic lifestyle. It is a magnificent game, enjoyed by wealthy people. Horse racing is being enjoyed for centuries. It used to be a part of the life of kings and knights, and it still continues to hold a big influence on those who belong to the creamy layer of the society. The history of horse racing as a sport dates back to the 12th century, when English knights returning from the crusades used to bring swift and stout Arab horses with them. As more and more Arab stallions were imported to England and bred to English mares, exclusive racing horses that exhibited superb speed and endurance were produced. Slowly, two-horse races to find out the fastest horse became a popular sport activity of the noble families. The history of the horse racing industry informs us that horse racing became a professional sport in the 18th century.
Horse Racing
Historical records show that horse racing (chariot and mounted horse racing) was common in the ancient cities of Babylon, Greece, Rome, Syria, and Egypt. Chariot racing and mounted horse racing were included in the list of events in the Greek Olympics, organized in 648 BC. According to the history of horse racing, the official Jockey Club was founded in 1750, in England. The rules of racing were formulated and the standards of horse racing were defined. Then onwards, the races were considered as the tests of excellence. The club still governs English racing. Since historical times, horse races have provided excellent entertainment for all types of crowds. As horse racing demanded exceptional skills from the horse, specialized breeds were purposely and systematically developed. Growing demand for skilled horses, riders and the related equipment gradually led to the growth of horse racing industry.

The ‘Thoroughbred’ is the best horse breed that is used in horse racing. It is a hot-blooded (showing more sensitivity and energy; calm and quiet horses are referred to as cold-blooded), purebred horse, known for grace, agility, speed, liveliness and spirit. Flat racing (over a level track), steeplechase (racing over hurdles), and harness racing, where the driver is in a sulky (a lightweight open cart without a body, which has two wheels and a seat for the driver); are the main types of horse racing. Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse, Arabian, Paint, and Appaloosa are the breeds which excel in flat racing. Different horse breeds excel in different types of racing. Let us now take a look at the horse racing history of the United States.

Wrestling Moves

A host of potentially useful moves and their variations are prevalent in wrestling. It would be nothing short of a book if all of these are to be mentioned. So here are the 3 basic wrestling techniques, and a few moves within them.

From The Top
Moves from the top are executed when a wrestler is in the top position. More often than not, these are either used to pin the opponent or get some quick near-fall points. A couple of widely known moves from the top are the wrist-and-half-Nelson and cradle. In the cradle, the wrestler who is on top hooks an elbow behind the knee of the opponent, and keeps one behind his head. Then he locks the hands for almost folding the opponent in half. The move is finished by sliding one knee into the back at a high level for bracing the opponent in the air and rocking him back on his shoulders. On the other hand, the wrist-and-half-Nelson is used for getting the opponent on the mat, which makes it easier for the other wrestler to attack him. Moreover, the opponent has no scope for defending himself by standing up, do a switch or a roll. Of course, these things will have to be done within the periphery of the rules.

It is Bottom’s Up
The moves within this technique are used by a wrestler when he is at the bottom, that is on the ground or mat. The most simplest and basic moves in this category are escape or stand up and switch. The wrestlers use escape to get to a standing position. The only thing is that a part from getting the technique, is that the wrestler has to be swift enough and agile. Otherwise, the opponent who is in the top position may grab his ankle and bring him down again. Switch is a better idea than escape, as executing a switch not just helps a wrestler to get to a standing and defensive position, but it helps him bring the opponent down too.

The Offense and the Defense
These are moves which are executed in the standing position, and mainly include take-downs and throws, and a lot of grappling. There is the single-leg take down, double leg take down, and the ankle pick. Ankle pick is where the wrestler literally snatches and grabs the opponent’s opposite ankle, lifting it to his waist. From there, the opponent can be easily manipulated and brought down to the mat. As far as throws in an upright position are concerned, the most common ones are fireman’s carry, duck under, and headlock hip toss. The duck under is a surprise package, and can absolutely stun the opponent. It is a must-have in a wrestler’s arsenal.

Here are some more:
The Sit Out – Turn In
Tight Waist, Far Ankle
Near Arm Chop
Basic Headlock
Far Knee, Far Ankle
Chair Shot
Charging Headbutt
Chicken Wing
Chinlock
Choke
Chokeslam
Chop
Chop Block
Claw Hold
Cobra Clutch
Knowing these moves is one thing, and executing them with perfection is another. For that, you will need to go to a trainer or a coach and get some practice and training under your belt.