Improve Your Spikes

Volleyball season is about to begin. Spiking is a favored offensive move. You will have seen world class players like American Gold Medalist Eric Fonoimoana, and Tara Cross-Battle, four-time Olympians in indoor volleyball use it. Perhaps, you would like to improve your spike?


It’s More Than Just Keeping Eyes on the Ball

There’s a lot more to the phrase “Keep your eyes on the ball!”  The 80 Percent Mental Blog shares the latest results on the study by PLOS ONE on the visual perception of athletes.  So, though we have always known that the batter that keeps their eyes on the ball often gets more hits, eye study results reveal more detailed information.

One of the things, we know more about is “Dynamic visual acuity (DVA), the optometrist’s name for this skill, is the ability to pick out details of either an object in motion while our head stays still or a stationary object while our head moves”  An athlete’s dynamic-object DVA and static-object DVA help him to accumulate visual information.  There are other components that make up the athlete’s visual acuity that help some batter’s nail those fast balls.

One interesting recommendation from researchers is for sport-specific vision training to build  dynamic visual acuity which could improve hitting skills.  “Eye movement tasks could be useful additions to perceptual training programs for baseball and might potentially provide useful tools in assessing and recruiting athletes.”

Find out more:  How Our Eyes Actually Track A Fastball

Short $304,000 to Meet Houston Flood Relief Fund Goal

As of September 5, 2017, the Houston flood relief fund initiated by J.J. Watt, Houston Texans super star, is just a little over $300,000 short of its $20M goal. Donations poured in from 182,149 donors, the vast majority of which were affordable donations and also included hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars from corporations and celebrities. If you want to help and make a donation, please visit and share:  Houston Flood Relief Fund


What is Running Back IQ?

If you’re interesting in being the running back of your team, you must feel confident in your speed, footwork and agility, and you’ve considered your size and strength.  Into that equation, according to Kamal Walker of CoachUp Nation, you should also assess your running back IQ.

Running back IQ is simply the ability to make quick concise decisions on the field.  Listed below are some of the snap judgments that you will have to make as the running back:

  • anticipation – meaning the ability to assess what the defense will be doing before they make their play so that you are ready to execute yours
  • patience – nurture your patience to wait and find the best opening or create the best opening and then sprint your way through
  • going down – cultivate your ability to know when you should go down and prevent serious injury and fumbles that can cost points or even the game

There is a lot to learn and practice to become a good running back.

Read more:  Running Back IQ


How to be a Better Golfer Through Observing Jordan Spieth

Every time a sports trophy is won,  an opportunity arises to learn from the best player or the team of the winning moment.  Take for example, Jordan Spieth and his Open victory on July 23, 2017 – Practical Golf shares 3 important lessons for every golfer to practice and possibly improve their game:

  1. Work on controlling your wayward thoughts.  Anxiety, fear and frustration are all real emotions but you need to find techniques to practice and manage these emotions, all of which impact your game negatively.
  2. Don’t allow your poor shots to define the round or the game.  Take each shot as just par for the course, expect that you will make mistakes, and when you do, work on not over reacting to them.  Build your resiliency, the next good shot is waiting to unfold at the next hole.
  3. Keep in mind that golf is a leisurely game.  Take the pressure off yourself and enjoy your time on the course.  If Jordan Spieth considers golf the third most important thing in his life, following faith and family – you can certainly relax.

Find out more: Three Things You Can Learn From Jordan Spieth and His Open Victory


3 Soccer Kicks You Need to Know

Matt Smith, Epic Soccer Training, was a 3 time all-state Florida soccer player, high school and collegiate All-American, and also spent time as a professional soccer player. Matt has spent years developing his soccer skills, and interviewing coaches and other players to come up with training methods to teach soccer enthusiasts to become highly-skilled soccer players.

Watch the video to see 3 soccer kicks to help you understand the importance of these fundamental kicking skills!


The 2 Faces of Competition

Educated Sports Parent shares an interesting comparison and overview of competition and cooperation in sports.  Should we be concerned about the over competitiveness in youth sports and does this behavior spill out in to our children’s moral progression?  Or is competition, just a natural and a healthy part of adolescence development.

There seem to be 3 categories that people find themselves believing:

  • feeling competition is bad and brings out the worst in us such as striving to “win at all costs”
  • feeling competition is natural and healthy and prepares kids for a competitive society
  • feeling neutral about competition and seeing it’s positive and negative effects

Parents, it’s up to you to determine when and if to introduce your child to competitive play.

More to Read:  Competition vs Cooperation


Do You Know Enough About Athletic Supplement Use?

Dev K. Mishra, M.D. wrote for Soccer America that supplement use by high school athletes, especially males is quite common.  He mentions, “In my informal survey of the high school athletes I work with, I’d say that half of the male athletes are using protein and/or creatnine supplements.”  Dr. Mishra shares a very comprehensive briefing on supplements, and if your child is interested in supplements or is currently using them, this article will start you off with information to help you and your child make educated choices.

Dr. Mishra clearly states, “Whenever possible though, aim to get your “supplements” through real food. For example, excellent sources of supplemental protein would include lean meats and tofu. Creatnine is found in meats and poultry.”

The article shares detailed information in these areas:

  • Supplements are legal but look to food first
  • Certain supplements may include banned or dangerous substances
  • Buy supplements from a highly reputable manufacturer
  • Avoid anything that acts like a hormone, or gives outrageous performance claims

Read more:  Do’s And Don’ts of Supplements for Young Athletes


Knowledge Can Alleviate Sporting Frustration

Team Snap shares thoughtful insights on how coaches and parents can enhance a player’s ability to manage their frustration levels.  At the base is knowledge – the knowledge of understanding of what it takes to get the perfect pitch, the best defense or offense, and then to practice the techniques and skills required.  A player has to learn to know what they are doing wrong and to make the appropriate adjustments.  That’s a tall order.  So coaches and parents hurling out directions during a game may not be the best way to help your player develop the ability to assess and refine their abilities.

Read more: Replace Frustration With Knowledge


It’s Not Just A Game Called H-O-R-S-E

Changing the Game Project’s John O’Sullivan writes a powerful and very moving reflection that invokes a deeper meaning to the child’s game H-O-R-S-E.  You will be able to relate to it on some level or another.  It may take you down memory lane or it may inspire you to spend time in a more meaningful way.

Sports like life is really about connections – connections that we had, connections that we make, connections that are mutually life affirming and connections that create bonds and memories.

Read more to understand more:  A Final Game of H-O-R-S-E