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Who will represent the US in the 2018 Youth Summer Olympics?

USA Diving shared that Team USA announced last week that Jack Matthews (Powell, Ohio) and Bridget O’Neil (Southlake, Texas) will compete for Team USA at the Summer Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018, in Argentina.  Mandy Eby (Powell, Ohio), coached both divers and their qualification was  based on their performances in group A competition this summer at Junior World Championships in Kiev, Ukraine.

Matthews, who finished 11th in the group A men’s 3-meter and 16th in the group A men’s platform in Kiev, will compete in the men’s 3-meter and platform events. “I am extremely excited to be able to represent my country and compete against the best kids in the world,” Matthews said. “I am also very grateful to have this opportunity.”

O’Neil placed sixth in the group A women’s 3-meter at the Junior World Championships and will represent Team USA in the women’s 3-meter in Buenos Aires. “I am extremely grateful for another opportunity to represent the United States at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games,” O’Neil said. “Good luck to all the Team USA athletes!”

Diving competition will begin October 13, with Matthews competing in the men’s 3-meter on October 14 and the men’s platform on October 16. O’Neil will compete in the women’s 3-meter on October 15.

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For more information:  Matthews and ONeil to Compete in Summer Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018

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Meet the Boston Slammers, Champion All Girls’ Travel Baseball Team

The Boston Slammers is an all-girls’ travel baseball team that usually plays in the co-ed division of the Jamaica Plain Regan Youth League in Massachusetts.  The Boston Slammers celebrated its second year by becoming the  2017 Baseball For All 11U National Champions held in Rockford, Illinois.   The same Rockford, Illinois which was the home to the Rockford Peaches (1943-1954), an all-girls’ professional baseball league team that was portrayed in the 1992 movie “A League of Their Own.”

The team was also the first all-girls’ team to participate in the Mayor’s Cup baseball tournament and made it through the quarterfinals and appeared in the semi-finals.

 

Image Credit: Future Stars Camps

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Interesting High School Soccer Stats

Here are some of the results of the 2017-18 annual High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations in relation to soccer highlights:

  • Boys’ soccer registered over 6,000 additional participants while no other boy’s sport gained more than 4,000 participants
  • Soccer is only one of four sports that is offered to both boys and girls in all 50 states and the District of Columbia
  • Soccer ranks as the 5th most popular boy’s sport when ranked by participation
  • Soccer ranks as the 4th most popular girl’s sport when ranked by participation

For more information:  National Federation of State High School Associations

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Do You Understand How Diving is Scored?

Realbuzz.com shares the basics of how dives are scored.  First, let’s understand the basic parts of a dive:

  1. Approach to the dive –  a smooth and straight approach to the end of the board is what is expected with good posture, with arms either straightforward, to the sides or over the head
  2. Take-off — following the approach, the diver comes to the end of the board, taking off from one foot and landing on two feet, and then departing from the board and the take-off must clear the board by a certain safety margin
  3. Execution – this is the dive, where proper technique needs to be executed and the dive’s components must be performed with control and held long enough for the judges to clearly identify them.
  4. Entry — the point at which the diver makes contact with the water either feet-first or head-first, with the ideal entry being with the body nearly vertically straight, feet should be together and toes pointed and the less splash created on entry the better.

How does the scoring work:

  • In competitive diving, points out of 10 are awarded by each of the judges. In an Olympic competition, there are seven judges, who each score a dive based on the 4 basics outlined above.   At other competition events, it is customary to have five judges. Each dive is considered without regard to the degree of difficulty of the dive (tariff)* which is factored in later.
  • The highest and lowest marks are disregarded, and the scores from the remaining judges are added together. This score is then multiplied by the degree of difficulty (or ‘tariff’) of the dive, which is based on the number and types of maneuvers attempted, such as somersaults, pikes, tucks and twists.

*Degree of dive difficulty (tariff)
The degree of difficulty is a numerical value given to a dive, which is multiplied by a judge’s score of a dive. The degree of difficulty is based on a formula that adds together the different components of a dive. Obviously the more moves attempted in a dive, the greater the tariff and therefore the greater the potential for scoring more points, however, with this comes the potential for more going wrong.  The degree of difficulty ranges from 1.2 to 3.6.

For detailed information:  How Scoring Works in Diving

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Understand How Dive Meets Are Won

Springboards and More shares a very simple answer on how dive meets are won.  Winning a dive meet is not necessarily about who has the hardest dives, best toe points, the fastest spins when somersaulting, or even diving consistency.  Winning a dive meet requires getting the most points.  How do you get the most points?

Being the best at anything requires hard work, determination and skill.  You will need:

  • inordinate amounts of time dedicated to practice
  • supportive parents
  • quality practice facility
  • access to dry land training
  • use of video play back system

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Ultimately, it will be between you and your diving coach to design your best dive list in the best order that will give the best chance to score the most points when the competition is over.

For more:  Who Wins a Diving Meet?

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps

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To What Does Award-Winning Lax Goalie Matt Vinc Attribute His Success?

In an interview with the National Lacrosse League (NLL) Matt Vinc, 5 time NLL “Goal Tender of the Year”, shares some experiences and people that helped him get to where he is now.  Matt shares that watching and learning from some of the best goalies like Anthony Cosmo and Brandon Miller (San Jose) really moved him along and both goalies were a settling influence on him.

Matt also attributes growth to his time with the New York Titans. From just 14 minutes in net for his rookie season, he was thrust into the starting goalie role. “Going into a situation as I did in New York, I faced a lot of shots,” Vinc stated. “We were a young team that was trying to find an identity. That ultimately helped me adjust to the different styles of play in the NLL.”

Matt upholds that his coaches, as well as, other goalies and team members helped him build his successful goal tending career.  “I’ve had great coaches throughout my career,” Vinc said. “Just looking at a few of them, Ed Comeau is one of the guys that helped me through my career, and now Mike Hasen. These guys showed me the importance of video and prep. You can only do so much on the floor. It’s all about the mental preparation, studying the game and all the different aspects that go into knowing the position. That has been the biggest help over my career. It’s all the things off the turf that have helped me to do everything that I have achieved.”

This is what team member. Knighthawks Defender Scott Campbell  has to share, “All the accolades that he’s earned comes from all the work he puts in on and off the turf. He makes it look easy out there, but, he’s in the gym every single day, watching film, taking shots at practice. Whatever it is, he’s doing it better and spending more time at it then anyone else has in the past.”  Matt currently plays for the Rochester Knighthawks.

Find out more:  Knighthawks’ Vinc Credits Strong Leadership and Work Ethic for His Success

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps

Connection Between Stretching and Athletic Performance

Is Stretching Connected to Your Athletic Performance and Health?

Swim Swam shares why it is so important for athletes to take the time to stretch.  You should know that stretching:

  • improves circulation
  • improves muscle flexibility
  • improves range of motion

Stretching is important for all athletes and here are some tips to maximize your stretching techniques:

  • make sure you stretch well and stop before you feel pain
  • always breathe deeply and steadily, rid yourself of the habit of holding your breath
  • avoid bouncing, stretching is a steady process so move smoothly and avoid pulsing movements

Remember to stretch regularly and incorporate stretching in to your routine.  Keep in mind that consistent stretching improves your overall health and assists in your recovery which markedly can effect your abilities.

For more details:  Stretching Improves Athletic Performance and Health

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps

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Common Neophyte Riding Mistakes and Fixes

The Spruce Pets share 10 common horseback riding missteps that newbies will often make and tips on how to fix them. Here are a few of the universal slips that can happen but no worries, reset yourself and you can get on the right canter:

  1. Hands in the air – Often beginner riders have their hands high up in the air thinking that this will assist in their balance.   Not so, as the reins control the horse and loose reins accord limited to no control. You can fix this by holding the reins at hip level and maintainting an even light tension.
  2. Standing on tippy toes – When you first learn to post the trot, you may tippy toe and this can lead to losing the rhythm of the trot.  To fix this, train your core muscles to help you post the trot and to not use your feet.
  3. Ramming your feet into the stirrups –  This is a common but potentially serious mistake if you are not outfitted with safety stirrups or proper boots.  Work on ensuring that your stirrups are always at the proper length.  “The stirrup should just hit your ankle bone when your legs are hanging free with your feet out of the stirrups. Place your foot in the stirrup so the ball (widest) part of your foot is resting on the stirrup.”
  4. Holding your breath – Trying something new, makes people anxious and often holding your breath comes hand in hand with new experiences.  To allay this natural reaction, smile, laugh, hum appropriately, or if you can work on creating a comfortable breathing pattern that matches the cadence of a gentle walk.
  5. Looking at the horse – New riders are often exhilirated and infatuated with their horse and riding.  It is however, very important that you keep your eyes on the direction that you want to head in.  Remember, you are controling the horse and the determing the destination.

Riding is a marvelous experience.  Paramount in your instruction is always be safe and wear the proper riding helmet and safe footwear.

For more information and the other 5 mistakes:  The Top 10 Beginner Horse Riding Mistakes

Image Credit:  Futures Stars Camps

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Reasons to Start ACL Injury Prevention Programs Early

SoccerAmerica’s Dr. Dev Mishra shares,”I’ve written  and spoken about how much I believe in the value of the FIFA 11 program to reduce ACL and lower extremity injury rates, and make better soccer players. In fact the value of the FIFA 11 has been demonstrated in other sports too. I honestly can’t see why any coach wouldn’t implement this program. It’s part of the regular warmup you’d be doing anyway, and it’s better for your players. Please do it.”

Since ACL tears happen more often to teenagers than to younger playerst.  This portends the question should the introduction of FIFA 11 be delayed till the teenage years?

The American Journal of Sports Medicine recently published a study that reveals that the younger players will have greater improvements in body mechanics than the teenagers. “The key study result: start the FIFA 11 program in the younger age groups.”

Here are some main points to keep in mind:

  • The FIFA 11 injury prevention warmup program has been proven effective in reducing lower extremity injury rates in soccer players.
  • Pre-adolescent and adolescent female players are at particular risk for ACL injury, possibly due to risky movement patterns.
  • A recent study shows that the pre-adolescent group may benefit most from training with the FIFA 11 program, although all groups show improvements in their movement patterns
  • This study suggests that starting the FIFA 11 program as early as possible would be beneficial.

Always be prepared to ask questions and talk with the professionals when enrolling your child in any program.

For details:  Why ACL injury prevention programs should start when the players are young

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps