Posted on October 27th, 2011 No comments
Running short on costume ideas this Halloween? Check out these 6 sports related get-ups, and have a sportacular Halloween!
A Sports Figure With an Injury
If you’re a Colts fan, put on your Manning Jersey and carry around an empty box of bon bons and a box of tissues. If you’re a Chiefs or Titans fan throw on a jersey wrap your knee, grab a pair of crutches and your set!
Get your hands on a Heat t-shirt or jersey, a head band, and make sure to get a baby’s pacifier and hang it around your neck. Your arrival as the biggest baby in basketball will create a buzz for sure!
Every year the cheerleader and football player show up. This year switch up the traditional role and have the man wear the skimpy cheerleader outfit and the woman relax in a comfortable jersey and a touch of black paint under the eyes.
This is a great way to interact with your costume. Put on a black and white striped shirt with white pants, and throw your flag all night for party fouls. For basketball lovers put on a grey polo with black pants and blow your whistle when ever necessary, or for baseball fans show up as an umpire and yell “You’re out!”
Feel free to raid your closet for this one. An old Dodgers t-shirt and cap coupled with a pillow tucked around the waist can translate to Tommy Lasorda, or visit your thrift store and pull together Vince Lombardi, John Wooden, or your personal favorite quirky coach.
Who doesn’t like a costume with a sense of humor? Put a ref shirt, white pants, dark sunglasses and a cane and you’re ready to go!
Posted on September 14th, 2011 2 comments
By Elena M. Davis, M.S., R.D.
Most athletes are continuously looking for ways to improve his or her performance, encouraging their body to perform at maximum potential. In order to their body healthy and keep themselves in optimal shape for sports, athletes will want to hit two important points with their diet: high energy and healthy nutrients. With the right amount of attention paid commitment on the field and the best possible nutrition at the training table, desired results can be achieved.
The Pre-Exercise Meal
The pre-event meal serves two purposes. First it keeps athletes from feeling hungry and sluggish before and during the game, and secondly it helps to maintain optimal levels of energy (blood glucose) for the exercising muscles during competition. While fuel is needed to perform, exercise should not be undertaken on a full stomach. Food that remains in the stomach during competition may cause indigestion, nausea and possibly vomiting. The best practice is to consume a meal 3-4 hours prior to the game. The athlete should get in the habit of testing the ideal time frame for digestion for his or her body during training; taking into consideration that nervousness on game day could delay the digestive process.
The ideal pre-game meal should be composed primarily of complex carbohydrates, moderate protein and be low in fat. Carbohydrates digest rapidly with protein and fat taking longer to digest. Pre game meals high in fat can cause stomach upset, gas and bloating.
Examples of foods to consume 3-4 hours pre-game:
• Whole grain cereal with non-fat milk and a piece of fruit
• Fruit shake made with banana, strawberries, mango 100% fruit juice and non-fat yogurt
• Low-fat bran muffin and low fat yogurt
• Whole wheat toaster waffles with ½ cup applesauce and low-fat yogurt
• Whole grain toast with small amounts of nut butter and jam
• Lean turkey on whole-wheat bread with an apple
• Vegetable-bean soup and whole grain crackers
• Whole-wheat pasta, vegetables and a lean meat sauce
• Vegetables, brown rice and fish or chicken breast
• Ham sandwich with a glass of 100% fruit juice or nonfat milk
• Fig Newton’s and 16 oz. of nonfat chocolate milk
• String cheese, whole grain crackers and grapes
Tournaments and Longer Lasting Competitions
During tournaments and competitions where multiple games are played in a single day, mini meals and snacks will be necessary to remain fueled for subsequent games. These meals will need to be composed primarily of carbohydrates in order to have digestion completed prior to the game and while allowing for energy at game time.
Examples of foods to consume 1-2 hours pre-game:
• Whole-wheat toast with jam
• Banana, apple or other piece of fruit
• Low-fat yogurt
• Dry cereal (non-sweetened)
• English muffin
• 3-4 Fig Newtons
• Fat-free chocolate milk
• Energy bar
The Post-Exercise Meal
Eating for peak performance also includes making wise food choices post-exercise. The right post-game meal replenishes the athlete’s muscles for the event or competition around the corner. Blood flow to muscles is much higher immediately after exercise allowing the muscle cells to take up more glucose therefore maximizing muscle glycogen synthesis. Muscles are most receptive to recovery during the first 30 minutes after competition. Consuming protein along with a source of carbohydrate after exercise provides the amino acids necessary for muscle repair. If muscle damage is not repaired after an event, the damage can impede muscle glucose uptake and glycogen storage, thereby limiting your performance during your next training session or event. A general rule of thumb is consuming 1 -1.5 g carbohydrate per kilogram body weight immediately after exercise. (Ex. 150 lb. person 70-100 grams (280-400 calories). An additional 1-1.5 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram should be consumed 2 hours later. If solid foods are not tolerated or not available 30 minutes after exercise, a sports drink, energy gel, energy gel blocks or energy bar can be consumed.
Examples of foods to consume within 30 minutes post-game:
• Peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole-wheat bread
• Non-fat chocolate milk
• Fruit shake made with banana, strawberries, mango, 100% fruit juice and non-fat yogurt
• Beans and brown rice
• Sports beverage containing carbohydrate and protein
• Cereal with non-fat yogurt
• Turkey and cheese on whole wheat bread
• Peanut butter on crackers
• Granola bar and glass of nonfat milk
• Pasta with a lean meat spaghetti sauce
• Graham crackers and yogurt
• Peanut butter and apple slices
Ultimately by giving extra attention to pre and post game nutrition you will reap rewards on the field come game day.
Elena Davis is a registered dietician and has spent much of her career in private counseling for weight loss, athletic performance and disease management.
• American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) www.acsm.org
• American Dietetic Association www.eatright.org
• Clark, Nancy, MS, RD. Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook. 4th Ed. Champagne (Il): Leisure Press; 2008.
• Clinical Sports Nutrition, Third Edition (Louise Burke and Vicki Deakin)
• Nutrition Care Manual website [Internet]. Chicago (Il): American Dietetic Association: [cited August 2010].
• Sawka, M. et al. Position Paper: Exercise and Fluid Replacement. Med SciSports Exerc. 2007: 377-390.
Posted on September 14th, 2011 2 comments
With the growth and popularity of social media, it’s apparent that applications like Twitter and facebook are increasingly used in everyday life. Youth sports programs require time and energy from players, coaches, parents, and administrators, and are beginning to take advantage of what social media has to offer.
Twitter can work as a pre-game alert to weather conditions, last minute venue changes, or an opportunity to extend information to athletes and their parents. For example, in La Grange Il, during the Lyons Township Boys Soccer Team’s run for the state championship in 2009, a parent set up a Twitter account to inform followers of scores. This parent “tweeted” updates after each goal and at the end of games. Those who could not attend had real time updates and knew the outcome, long before any website was updated. This system goes dormant throughout the year, but has continued to be used for the State playoff series ever since.
Fact: Twitter has over 65 million tweets every day, averaging to 750 tweets per second. That being said, 5% of all Twitter accounts create 75% of Tweets, so finding a niche is key. The Lyons found a perfect way to utilize free social media to enhance their team, and the fan experience.
Facebook also works as a tool to unite players on and off the field. The Pop Warner football league launched their second consecutive photo contest, where entries are broken down into categories, and five finalists are chosen per category to appear on the national facebook page. The fans then determine the winners by “liking” a photo on facebook, which dictates who the prizes are given to. This program, not only increases team pride, but actively gains followers on the Pop Warner page, spreading information about the organization.
Fact: As of 2011 there are 500,000,000 active facebook users, (roughly 1 in every 13 people) who upload 2,716,000 pictures every twenty minutes. With the assimilation of laptops, iPads, and smart phones, spectators and players can upload pictures of a competition within seconds. This allows friends and family from across the world to be a part of the game, while it’s happening.
Applying business savvy to social media works on all levels, including for smaller organizations. A classic car wash can be promoted through online social networking. Now what has traditionally been advertised with poster board and newspapers, can be blasted through social media and reach several times more people. In essence, the lines between industry giants and smaller organization have blurred, thanks to social media. Whether hoisting a T-ball trophy, or the State Championship, administrators, coaches, athletes and parents can share the experience and use social media as a tool for organizational, sentimental, and financial success.
Heidi Darby is the social media specialist at e7sports. You can direct any questions towards her at Heidi@e7sports.com
Posted on July 14th, 2011 No comments
e7sports is proud to be a Street Soccer sponsor, providing tournament and volunteer registration software to this worthwhile organization.
Over 3 days 22 teams of people overcoming homelessness from 18 cities played in the 4v4 Street Soccer USA Cup on 3 custom pitches donated by the US Soccer Foundation and set up at Washington Kastles World Team Tennis Stadium in Washington, D.C. with the iconic Washington Monument piercing the sky in the background. Teams shared in fellowship, tourism, solidarity, and a healthy dosage of pure joy, starting with a Parade of States . . .and some breakdancing.
In 100 degree heat, amidst intense competition, one idea loomed large both graphically above the field and in the hearts of all participants: That each was playing for more than winning or losing, we were playing for pride, for dignity, for sense of community and family and respect. The “I Play For” mantra was emblazoned on the jersey of all the teams, and each participant lived it out.
The emphasis of the cup was the achievements of the players off the field, and the celebration of these accomplishments manifested in lots of great soccer and friendship on the field.
Posted on July 14th, 2011 No comments
Lisa Varnadoe is an Orange County mother of two teenagers, both heavily engaged in sports. On any given Saturday, she finds herself running to basketball practices in the morning (located anywhere from Tustin to Los Angeles) while trying to squeeze in a few hours of work on her company laptop. After one practice, another awaits. Yet at the mention of her whirlwind life, the only thing that crosses her face is a smile.
“Sports is one of the many things we got involved in to bring togetherness to the family. If myself and my husband can’t make it, their Grandma does. It’s a great way to have us come together and show support for the kids. What’s great is that the kids have fallen in love with it. They have a passion for it now, and they thrive on it. They want to be the best they can be,” says Lisa.
With children in the US much less fit today than they were a generation ago, physical inactivity, excess weight, and higher blood cholesterol continue to be an issue. Creating a routine for young people to stay active involves major planning, but with parents spending an average of 8.7 hours a day working, and 2.4 hours taking care of household activities, finding the time can be a struggle. Making time for sports may be difficult, but it’s been proven to be well worth the effort. In fact, the University of Wisconsin found that a child who takes part in after school programs, has a higher grade point average than a child who doesn’t, and can potentially have a positive impact on social skills and concentration levels. Read More »
Posted on April 14th, 2011 1 comment
Amy Skeen, MSW, LCSW
Executive Director, Girls in the Game
Girls in the Game often is asked questions such as, “Is there a difference between coaching girls and boys in sports?” and “How do I successfully coach girls”?
Here are three game-changing secrets to coaching that support the healthy development of girls on and off the field. Read More »
Posted on April 14th, 2011 1 comment
Who Doesn’t Have a Smartphone?
It used to be that it was novel to have a phone that searched the web. Now it is novel if you don’t. Even many high-schoolers are carrying Blackberries, Droids and iphones and are able to access the web whenever it suites them.
Smart phones have changed the world for many people and to a large extent have really helped out coaches and others in the world of youth athletics. But the flip side is that most of us have been thwarted by a site that just doesn’t look right or is impossible to navigate on a mobile device. We all know how frustrating that can be!
Why Do Some Sites Look Good and Others Not So Great?
So why is it that some sites look great on a phone while others are more difficult to see? It has to do with whether the code and and/or design driving the appearance of the site has been optimized for mobile viewing. Read More »
Posted on February 1st, 2011 No comments
A successful team is often a stable team. Here are some coaching tips to reduce the sometimes unsettling nature of adding new players to the team.
1. Get to know your players
You may have a very clear idea of the particular technical qualities that a new player possesses, but what do you know beyond that? By gaining a greater understanding of your players as individuals, you can help improve your ability to integrate and motivate them.
Encourage the players to be as honest as they can. Emphasize that it helps build effective teams and encourages clear communication. Most importantly, once you have collected this information – use it!
By making the effort to get to know the player, and not just for their soccer playing skills, you can help understand their wider motivations. The process of asking is a classic motivational tool for the player – it shows you care.
2. Make use of your senior players
Ask them for their opinions on how best to integrate new players, as well as feedback on how the new players are settling in.
Pair up new players with experienced team members. This will help the new players feel less like outsiders and will help them quickly pick up the values and behaviors expected of and by the squad.
Posted on February 1st, 2011 10 comments
Preventing Sexual Abuse in Youth Sports: Background Checks A Good First Step
By Keith Wilson, MSW, D. Div.
Every Parent’s Nightmare
One of every three girls and one of every six boys will be victims of sexual abuse by the time they are 18. One of the places that children are vulnerable is in youth sports.
It is every parent and organizational nightmare that an athlete might be a victim of a sexual predator while participating in youth sports. Unfortunately sexual abuse of young players has occurred in youth sports leagues of all kinds, as well as with individual coaches in individual youth sports.
Background Checks: A Powerful Tool
Many sports leagues now require that all adults involved in youth sports pass a background check Performing background checks on all volunteers is a powerful tool for protecting each player in your organization. While there are many different organizations, each sport group will determine the cost and depth of the background check that is best for their situation. This safety measure is so important it needs to be required in all youth sports leagues.
Background checks are effective in the sense that most sexual predators are not willing to have their background checked. Administrators hope that adults who should be around kids will not apply and thus they will be able to weed out potentially harmful people.
Posted on October 14th, 2010 No comments
The off-season is a great time to forget the trials, tribulations, and successes of the previous year. Each year comes anew with a clean slate and that unique potential only known in sports—it can be anybody’s game.
So, what are you doing to improve your chances this upcoming season? We will start with what the pro’s are doing in their off-season:
1. Rest—According to Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital and the National Institute of Health, youth sports injuries increase each year as a result of over-use. Athletes are encouraged to recover each off season by “resting” from their sport. Athletes are encouraged to play other sports or, seek out a strength and conditioning program to help them improve.
2. Review—Many players will study film of their performances, to find weaknesses in their skills’. Every player, regardless of ability, always has something to work on.