The Underrated Sport

The world contains a wide variety of sports that require physical and mental strength. We constantly hear the talks of Football being the toughest sport to play due to the constant injuries received from players being tackled to the ground. Some might even argue that Rugby is more challenging and physically demanding since they do the same that football does except without padding. With these sports enticing the audience with their constant violent behaviors they start to watch their games on TV. While they are very physically demanding sports, they do not compare to what it’s like to battling other athletes in Water Polo.

The sport of swimming is a great way to test an athlete’s endurance and stamina through simple laps in the pool. Now add two goals and a ball, the size of a volleyball, to the pool to have the most challenging sport to date. This underrated sport has many challenges that athletes practice days on end for in order to excel. The goal for the athletes is a simple one, but due to the nature of the sport, the water is what makes it extremely difficult to achieve that goal. Oh and by the way, the opponents have the ability to push you under the water until they steal the ball. Describing the game already frightens people of how violent the players can get towards one another.

While many of the fans in the stands pay attention to what happen outside of the water, they are completely oblivious to what is occurring underneath it. Since the referee does not have a clear view of what goes on in the water. The players are constantly moving their legs to get a set position to score, but some athletes tend to take the ability of movement away. They would use their legs to hold the opponent down by the speedos which would impede his progress. The dirty players would kick or knee the opponent in the back or push-off with their feet which helped them gain position.

The sport shows many violent sides to the game, but also shows the art in muscle strength and endurance. In the game, athletes must master the ability to elevate out of the pool in order to get a better position to pass or shoot the ball. In order to do this, they first must master the skill to “egg-beater” with their legs. This technique allows the player to elevate half of his body out of the water until he gets tired and retreats back down. There have been great instances where players have used this technique and propelled half their body along with on leg out of the water to score. These amazing feats can only be shown in a Water Polo match, but yet it does not air regularly like football.

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Fun at the Rock Climbing Wall: Tips and Tricks

Kids are natural climbers, so the growing sport of indoor rock climbing carries a lot of allure for the younger set. Many rock gyms have classes for kids as young as four, and it’s a super way to spend time as a family. Sign everyone up for a seminar or training course and get started with the right technique and knowledge of safety basics.

Individual Achievement

Rock climbing offers kids amazing opportunities for individual achievement, and it’s exciting to master new maneuvers and improve on speed, agility and fundamental climbing moves. It’s a great way for kids to challenge themselves and overcome fears in a safe, supervised environment. For youngsters who aren’t interested in team sports, rock climbing offers a more individual athletic pursuit that can also be done as a group. Because climbing often involves a climber and a belayer, it’s also a social sport.

Mental and Physical Skills

Hanging onto tiny toe holds and moving upward quickly develops strength and agility. Rock climbing isn’t just a physical challenge; it also requires a lot of mental exercise, planning and anticipating each move to get to the top. It’s good to look up and scope out a route ahead of time so you can get in position to make the right moves.

Safety Checks

Always climb safely and be sure your kids know the basic safety and courtesy rules at the rock gym. Climbers should always make sure knots are tied properly, their harness is buckled and double-backed and the rope is securely strung through the connection points of the harness. The belayer needs to make sure the harness is buckled and double-backed, the carabiner is locked and the rope is exiting the belay device tail-side down.

Look Out Below

When you take your kids climbing, it can be helpful to do a bit of coaching from below. You can suggest where to put hands or feet next, unless you youngster prefers to do it all on his own. It’s also a good idea to tell your kids to give you a heads-up if they’re starting to fall by calling out “falling” as a warning to the belayer.

Powers of Observation

Rock gyms are full of all levels of climber, and a great way for kids to improve their own technique is by watching others and making mental notes. By observing and practicing new climbing techniques, youngsters develop the muscle memory that pushes skills to a new level. Also, the more you climb, the better your balance, speed and forearm strength become.

Saving Strength

Generally, the legs are stronger than the arms, so conserving forearm strength is important in climbing. Climbers should try to keep weight carried mostly by the legs, using arms for balance and shifting weight. Moves requiring a lot of upper body movement should be accomplished as quickly as possible to conserve arm strength.

Basic Gear

When your kids first start rock climbing, rent equipment at the gym for the first few times to make sure they’re interested to warrant investing in gear of their own. Basic equipment consists of a climbing harness, a rocking carabiner to attach a belay device to the harness, and chalk to keep fingers and palms dry to minimize slipping. Like all climbers, kids should rent shoes for a while until they get to know they type of shoe that suits their climbing style.

From birthday parties to family outings and an afternoon with pals at the rock gym, this amazing sport is ideal for kids of all ages and a great way to keep the kids active and off the couch this winter! Join them and you just might find yourself addicted to this growing fitness trend.

Let your kids enjoy the rock climbing experience at Maplewood Summer Day Camp. Experienced staff will keep your child both safe and busy with arts and crafts, games, water sports, gymnastics and more. Visit the site at http://www.maplewoodyearround.com to see the fun your child will have at Maplewood Summer Day Camp.

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The Love Of The Game

In all the years of competitive sports whether as an athlete or coach defined the character of what I was and what I was to become. Reaching that pinnacle of ability whether it was on the track or baseball field, the basketball court, or the pool those ever so fleeting moments in the sun honed my persona to a level I thought I’d never become. Even after an athletic career I somehow knew the next obvious step.

In athletics especially in an era unlike today when I was just starting out baseball was the game everyone played. It didn’t matter if it was rain or shine it seems we were always outside. A quick learner I became not only from my father but those little league coaches that were so instrumental in teaching not only the fundamentals of the game but how to behave with dignity and grace especially when we eared or just fell flat on our face.

Life lessons that I learned from an athletic career has carried me well all through the years. When I look around today many times I am appalled from what I see. There is too much emphasis put on winning at all costs. Professional sports is partly to blame. It really is now a far cry from yesterday. Most of the blame though comes from the media where TV revenue has far exceeded everyone’s expectations When so much money is now involved has actually corrupted the integrity of the game. This corruption has now been passed down to our youth that come to play. Too many are caught up idolizing and immortalizing many professional players whose own disposition cares little for the game except for the money and fame.

Now as I look back to my younger playing days not a harsh word or a temper flared. The love of the sport, giving it our all, just playing the game no matter if we won or lost all things were the same. As I travel around today I have noticed too many playing fields sit empty and bare. With no one around where bases were loaded with nobody out the playing fields have now gone silent. Those standing in the stands cheering for all are all just distant memories now.

Those fields of dreams of yesteryear have been replaced by a new breed. Lost is the joy of playing for the love of the game, money and winning are now to blame. There has been a sharp decline of personal and professional behavior of athletes today. A lot different than when I played. The professionalism and comradely we had has now given way to a self absorption where too many are consumed with monetary compensation without the slightest regard for teammates, competitors and the fans. Lost is the sense of fellowship that we all had back in the day.

As for those playing fields that sit empty today many can say the cultural shift has not come a long way. The health of a nation where we were once strong and proud has morphed into self serving crowd. Too many are caught in unhealthy choices today. The rate of obesity continues to expand. Where once the youth were so physically mobile it wasn’t a surprise that the health of our nation was on the rise. But those days are gone and many forget what it was like to just play for the love of the game.

What has replaced playing for the “love of the game” to now where too many athletes whether professional or collegiate have adopted a self serving attitude where they agree to play just because of the money or scholarships being offered. When this happens as so often today these athletes now expect the adoration, the attention and the publicity to be bestowed upon them and not because of their ability, their respect for other players, coaches and fans. It is because of the amount of money that has now come into play. If they failed to exhibit the professionalism that really should be displayed when individuals achieve that level of athletics it matters not.

Many of my generation can remember their first completion. The excitement, the exhilaration and the respect we had for ourselves our coaches and other competitors made us all realize that just being able to compete was an unbelievable experience. Whether we won or lost wasn’t the issue. Our coaches realized that winning wasn’t that important. But, just being able to strive to do your best is what competition should be all about. Sure everyone likes to win, but even if you lost and many times I did as long as you gave it your all you are actually a winner in every sense.

It has come to pass that too many high school and collegiate athletes are lured by the prospect of lucrative professional sports contracts. Too many have already succumbed to the temptation to forgo a collegiate career or stop short of graduation and opt for that professional contract only to realize that once their career is over or an injury prevents them from competing they are left with very little qualifications to embark upon a career outside of sports. Most of these individuals are not mentally, emotionally and educationally able to comprehend the scope of the responsibilities that are involved in professional sports contracts.

What has occurred today in professional sports is that they have really encouraged a type of behavior that is most unprofessional by the athletes themselves. We’re not saying all professional sports athletes have fallen into this type of behavior but the media surely has continued to exploit some individuals to where the general public actually further encourages student and professional athletes toward behavior that is most unprofessional.

“For the love of the game” or sport! A time so distant. The days when players and athletes actually played and competed because of the enjoyment of the sport itself and not because of how much money they are paid. It is in professional sports thought that winning is the objective. The key is to recruit the caliber of players that when they actually play and compete to the best ability they can they will produce the winning effect that is important in today’s professional sports.

Aspiring young athletes today have to be taught restraint and to resist the temptation of forgoing and education in the pursuit of lucrative sports contracts that seem like a sure bet when actually it is a short sighted and misguided attempt to interrupt an individual’s life process. What really matters is students and student athletes participation in sports are held accountable for their behavior on and off the playing field. They are responsible to show a level of personal esteem and portray courtesy, respect, and a genuine fellowship toward everyone. This is what we were taught when we were young. Sad to say this is what’s lacking today by too many accounts.

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Games and Sports

English is a funny language; its complex characteristics, structure and usage can still pose questions to even fluent speakers of the language.

“What is the definition of game”? Or better still, “what is the difference between game and sport”? are questions that we may never find complete answers to. While activities like cricket, tennis, basketball or baseball can be called games and sports, horse riding and hunting cannot be merely called ‘games’; the term ‘sports’ suits them better.

Many dictionaries and thesauri confirm that the two words are synonyms although originally the term ‘sport’ may have originally been used to describe an activity that means varying degrees of physical exertion. Games and sports are pastimes as well as contests, between individuals or groups but the term ‘games’ is used largely in an umbrella-context to include activities that require physical prowess, mental capabilities and other fine-tuned skills. The last few decades have expanded the use of the term to denote many activities – card games, children’s games, online games, board games, paper games, parlour games and many others that are sometimes based on sporting activities like cricket, tennis, baseball, track and field events etc.

However, the larger opinion is that although a game can be a sport and vice-versa, the usage of the term ‘sport’ seems to define that it is an activity that involves pitting energies, skills and wits against another individual or a team with the ultimate aim of winning. A game can on the other hand, be also played as a leisure activity. In the modern-day context, a sport can also be a full-time career or profession – e.g. cricket, tennis, baseball, badminton etc. unlike card games and online games.

Games have been an intrinsic part of human culture and evolution; it has been present in cultures as early as 2600 BC and is a universal part of the human experience. There has been no society in the past that has been devoid of games and sports. Historically, the ancient Greek civilization brought the concept of games and sports into wider play and we are even today celebrating the Olympics on a global level.

Definition of ‘game’

In the late 19th century, the Austrian-British academic philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein of Austrian-British descent was the first academic philosopher who ventured a definition for the term ‘game’. Wittgenstein’s forte was ‘logic’ and he worked on several theories in the philosophies of language, mathematics and mind. His argument was that the ‘elements’ governing a game such as method of play, rules and competition fail to adequately provide a definition for what games are. He concluded that ‘game’ or ‘games’ applied to a wide variety of activities that were so disparate and bore hardly any resemblance to each other. Over the years, many others voiced different views but the universal view held today is that of Bernard Suits. Suits defined game as an ‘activity which is engaged in to bring about a specific result, using only methods stipulated by specific rules’. Thus, the argument that the ‘methods stipulated by specific rules’ are more limited in scope by the absence rather than the presence of rules and the sole reason for accepting these limitations is to ensure that such activity could be undertaken, won the day and is seen today as the widely accepted definition.

A game is a form of play where there is a structure and there are rules; it is primarily an activity undertaken for enjoyment and leisure and sometimes as an educational implement. A ‘game’ is distinct from a ‘sport’ which can provide remuneration. But the distinction is overlapping and is not always clear-cut.

Games usually involve physical and mental stimulation and the key components are:

• Goals
• Rules
• Challenges
• Interaction

Besides these, most games help in the development of practical skills and serve as forms of exercise and stimulation. They epitomize a unique feature of human activity and although the fun aspect is dominant, they also instill in us positive traits like discipline, co-operation, team-work and the spirit of freedom.

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