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


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


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


Looking for a Pair of 2018 Tennis Shoes?

Tennis Plaza shares a review of the latest 2018 tennis shoes.  “Brands like Nike and Adidas introduce knit fabrics combined with resistant synthetics in an effort to create shoes that become the highest standard in professional tennis equipment. Other brands like Wilson and Head rely on their sport expertise to produce high quality gear that blends bio-mechanics and various levels of tennis performance such as light shoes for speed or rugged and resistant outsoles for intense game players.”

Here is what Tennis Plaza has to say about some of the 2018 tennis shoe choices:

  • New Nike Zoom Vapor X – With the numbers to back it up, this Nike Vapor Court line supported by Federer is by far the best selling tennis shoes in the market with over 10 million pairs on court since 2004.
  • Adidas Adizero Ubersonic 2.0 & 3 –  Adidas has updated this shoe to maximize speed, comfort and cooling.  If you are looking for lightweight shoes, try the new adidas Adizero Ubersonic 2.0 for men or the adidas Adizero Ubersonic 3 for women.
  • Wilson Rush Pro 2.5 – If you are looking for low to the ground feel with forefoot support this shoe is designed for that.  The benefits of this design includes explosive acceleration and its outsole creates strong steps on the court to make players more agile.

Read more:  New Tennis Shoes for 2018

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps


Meet David Villa

Did you know that Future Stars Soccer is joining with DV7 for 2 full weeks of overnight soccer training?  The DV7 method will develop campers’  soccer skills, as well as, enhance core values. Training sessions run by licensed Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) professionals ensure that campers are able to build their confidence on and off the field and come away with a memorable experience. The DV7 curriculum is based on Spanish soccer methodology, which has proven to be effective and successful around the world. Led by David Villa, campers will be provided with a full soccer kit as well as a meet and greet with Villa himself.

So let’s get to know David Villa, former World Cup winner and Spain’s all-time leading goalscorer.

Please tell us a little about yourself and your soccer career.  Why do they call you “El Guaje” and what does it mean?

David:  Since I was a little kid I wanted to be a soccer player. In Asturias, the word “Guaje” means kid. When I was a kid they called me Guaje because I used to play with older players.

What has been the most memorable accomplishment of your career?

David:  Winning the World Cup in 2010 was a dream come true. I think that most players dream about winning the World Cup at some point during their careers and we achieved it. It was an incredible feeling to make so many people happy in Spain

And the least memorable moment?

David:  Probably the day I got injured during the Club World Cup with FC Barcelona. I missed the Euro 2012 because of that injury.

What would you say has been one of the biggest influences on your success as a soccer player?

David:  It’s been amazing to be surrounded by so many great coaches and players during my career. I had the chance to learn from the best. Now I try to share with our DV7 players what I’ve learned.


Tell us about the DV7 organization: when it started, what inspired you to start it, where does it operate?

David:  I want to be involved in youth soccer and I enjoy teaching the players what I have learned and experienced throughout my professional career. It all began with my business partner Víctor Oñate. We both decided that it would be great to open academies around the world. As of right now, we have academies in Spain, the U.S., Hong Kong, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. We are very happy with how the academies are progressing.

Tell us about the DV7 curriculum and why it’s so effective when learning how to play soccer.

David:  During my career, I have been able to see and learn different methodologies from great coaches. At DV7, we want the players to learn the game by training with the ball at all times. Our players are the main focus. During the past few years, I have seen a lot of improvement in our players and I am very satisfied with the level of training we are providing them.


What are some key success factors when training under the DV7 curriculum?

David:  Each DV7 academy has a Technical Director who is in charge of implementing the DV7 methodology. All of our players enjoy very dynamic and effective training sessions.

Can anyone join a DV7 Soccer Academy? Or do you need to already have a certain skill level?

David:  All players are welcome. At DV7, we all share the same passion about the game, no matter your soccer skills. Our goal is for players to improve day by day.

Soccer has not traditionally been the most popular sport in the USA, compared to most of the world. How do you and DV7 inspire kids to learn and keep playing soccer?

David:  I think that soccer is becoming more popular in this country. I see a lot of boys and girls wanting to become soccer players. I try to show our players that it’s more important to learn lifelong values than winning trophies. Soccer is a collective sport and even if a player doesn’t become a professional soccer player, he or she will have learned important values during their soccer career.

To any kids out there who are thinking about learning to play soccer, or joining one of your camps, what would you say to them?

David:  Come join us! The camps are a lot of fun and a good way to keep your soccer skills sharp, another plus is the players will have a chance to play with me on the field and ask me questions.


Image Credit:  David Villa


Meet Marie McCool

US Lax Magazine’s May/June edition sports a great short interview with Marie McCool. Marie’s high school coach, Deanna Knobloch shares, “It’s not that McCool is a stick-skills wizard, Knobloch says. Both at Moorestown and today as an All-American midfielder at North Carolina, McCool’s game is technically sound but not edgy. Instead, the word that comes up repeatedly to describe her game is “flow.” She favors transition and unsettled situations, corralling loose balls and running past defenders who can’t keep pace.”

For details:  The Real McCool: How the UNC Star Found Her Sweet Spot



Learn 5 Baseball Tips from 5 Sports Professionals

Baseball is a long-time American passion and pastime, whether you are watching or playing.  But like most sports, as easy as the players make it seem, there is a unique combination of skills and thought processes going on throughout the game amongst all the different players.  Play Famously, shares 5 tips from 5 different sports professionals for you to see if you can learn something from them to improve your baseball form.

  • “You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.” – Michael Jordan, Basketball
  • “Pay attention.” – Busterlover, Poker
  • “The more you know about the game, the better off you’ll be as a player out there.” – Jennie Finch, Softball
  • “Having a good coach is important.” – Usain Bolt, Running
  • “No days off. The higher up you get. The higher you need to climb.” – Carly Lloyd, Soccer

For in-depth infomation:  5 Inspirational Tips from Professionals Sportsmen and Women to Help Improve Your Baseball Game

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps


Is Your Golf Swing Tense?

Robert Green, golf enthusiast and tutor of Hitting the Green, shares some tips on how to get rid of the tension in your swing.  Robert shares, “No matter the skill level of the golfer, the duffed shots I see are almost always down to some form of tension in the swing. In the vast majority of cases this tension in the swing originates from the grip, with people of the mindset that if they put their full force into the swing they’ll inevitably get more distance. The swing just doesn’t work that way!”  So how can you achieve a solid swing that gives you distance and is tension free:

  1. Relax – a stressed mind creates body tension
  2. Leave your ego in the car – remind yourself that hitting the ball hard and fast is not the goal; it’s about the feel of the swing
  3. Your core strength counts – Greg Norman once said: “Many golfers tend to think building the upper body is the way to go, but it’s not! You should do the opposite. Build up the base and your core, and let the upper body be flexible and loose.”
  4. Keep practicing and practicing – there is just no way around it, the old adage always applies, practice makes perfect.

For more details and instructional videos:  How to Achieve a Tension Free Golf Swing

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps


2021 World Games Will Include Lacrosse

The  2021 World Games is being hosted in Birmingham, Alabama and for the second year, lacrosse is included in the program.  All the specifics of  the lacrosse competition have not been announced, but will be determined by the IWGA and the Federation of International Lacrosse.  The events will be from July 15-25, 2021.  It will be a landmark event, as the last time the World Games were held in the United States was in 1981.  The inaugural World Games was held in Santa Clara, California in 1981.

The World Games are an international multi-sport event, that feature sports, or disciplines or events within a sport, that are not contested in the Olympic Games. The World Games are staged every 4 years, one year after the summer Olympics.  It is organzied by the  International World Games Association (IWGA) and under the patronage of International Olympic Committee (IOC).

You may expect to enjoy dance sport, acrobatic gymnastics, water skiing, and others.  Some sports that were played in the World Games are now competing in the Olympics, such as badminton, beach volleyball, taekwando and others. Approximately 3,600 athletes from more than 100 countries will compete in 30 sports during The World Games.

Read more:  Lacrosse to be Included in The World Games 2021

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Easy Baseball Drills for Home Practice

For parents with active children, finding time to do the basics has become a mastery of juggling and a lot of positive thinking that all the balls stay up in the air.  If you have a baseball player in your family, 2018YouthBats shares 4 easy effective baseball drills that can be practiced in your backyard or even inside the home:

  1. Set-up a hitting net – outdoor area (50 square feet area), need baseball hitting net,hitting tee, baseballs, bat, and helmet
  2. Rubber ball toss against the wall – indoor/outdoor area (9 square foot area), need rubber ball and baseball glove
  3. Speed and agility drills – open flat indoor/outdoor area (25 square feet), need agility cones, agility ladders, and 1 foot tall orange cones
  4. Mental practices – indoor area, watch good instructional baseball videos

Setting up any or all of these suggestions at home will not require a lot of time but they will certainly help your young athlete improve their baseball skills and provide individualized practice time.

Fore more information and videos:  4 Quick And Easy Baseball Drills To Practice At Home

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps