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Are You Prepared to Play College Lax?

If you are thinking of playing college lacrosse there are a lot of options and levels that are available for you such as  NCAA D1, D2, and D3, NJCAA, MCLA, NCLL, NAIA, and CUFLA.  With all these options you need to spend time researching on which level would be the best fit for you.  Playing any college sport will require a great deal of your time, passion, and sacrifices.  You will have to choose practice and games over all other activities that college life offers.  Absorb, accept and embrace your time committment to your college sport of choice.  Lacrosse All Stars shares some of the things that an aspiring college lacrosse should be prepared to think about and answer:

  • suitability of the college for your future beyond college lacrosse
  • a minimum of two hours a day dedicated to the team
  • ability to manage a job for financial stability and being on the team
  • balancing team requirements and academics
  • being away half of the weekends each spring and one or two every fall
  • comprehending the sacrifices that you will be making to play college lacrosse
  • thinking about whether you would stay at the college, if you could no longer play lacrosse

Consider these and other points to help you make up your mind about dedicating your most of your college life to lacrosse.

For more details:  How Hard Is It To Play College Lacrosse?

Check out:  Future Stars Lacrosse Camps

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Mirroring Game Helps Build Athletic Skills

US Lacrosse magazine shares that, “One of the core values of the Lacrosse Athlete Development Model (LADM) is learning the basic building blocks of athleticism. Like the old adage goes, you have to walk before you can run.”  “60 Ways to Play”, is a free downloadable resource published by US Lacrosse, featuring games that do not require equipment and works on physical literarcy.  Do you remember the mirroring game played in youth?-two people across from each other and one imitating the moves of the other but as a mirror image.  This is one of the games included in the resource.  Here’s how to play it:

  1.   Group players into pairs, one is the leader and the other is the follower
  2.   Ask the leader to make physical moves that the follower will mirror.  For example, if the leader raises their right arm, the follower will raise their left arm.
  3.  Once they are used to mirroring, speed up the time between movement changes
  4.   After 1-2 minutes, switch roles, the follower then becomes the leader

How is this mirroring game benefical to your physical literacy?  TJ Buchanan, US Lacrosse technical director for athlete development says, “The brain controls the body. By forcing the brain to process someone else’s actions, then do it in a mirror image, we strengthen the neural pathways between the brain and muscles needed to create the movement. Over time, the processing and reaction speed is reduced, creating better movers. Better movers make better athletes.

For more information: How a Popular Children’s Game Can Help Develop Lacrosse Athletes

Check out: Future Stars Lacrosse Camp

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What does the US Olympic Hockey Team Eat?

A Hockey World shares that, “Nutrition plays a large part of the team’s training, said Dave Hamilton, lead strength and conditioning coach. “We spend a lot of time training, but if you look at five meals a day,” he said. “I just think, proportionately, it’s a real big part of how well your body’s going to adapt.”

Here are some guidelines that the players follow:

  • Players meet with nutritionists to learn about food and are even offered cooking classes that teach them to minimize saturated fat in meats.
  • Players eat about every three hours to fuel their bodies during training.
  • Players’ meals are usually protein-heavy, with lots of salad, and not a lot of carbs.
  • Players’ diets can be personalized.
  • Players do commit as a team to no alcohol, desserts, crackers, and cheese.

Here are some food tips:

  • Eat lots of salad
  • Dine on lean proteins like grilled or sauteed skinless chicken, skinless roasted turkey, and grilled flank steak
  • Keep away from high-acid foods such as tomatoes or chili before running workouts.
  • Baked chick peas are a great source of protein.
  • Stop eating carbs carbs after 6 p.m.
  • Limit night snacks to those that are protein-based, such as Greek yogurt, beef jerky, or a protein shake made with whey.

Read for details:  What does the U.S. Olympic hockey team eat? This is what a high performance athlete’s diet looks like!

Check out:  Future Stars Field Hockey Camp

Image Credit:  Deposit Photos

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Playing Field Hockey on Natural Grass?

Play Sports TV shares some tips from Sharon Pfluger, The College of New Jersey field hockey coach  on how to play field hockey on natural grass versus synthetic turf, as there is a difference.

Playing on natural grass:

  • is usually slower because of the friction in the grass itself and requires players to plan on the go as the ball may not end up where it was intended to go
  • there are bumps and divots in the field
  • the small ball is harder to control and can have an odd bounce on natural grass

“So it’s important for players to practice stickhandling, dribbling and passing drills on grass fields to get a feel for moving their stick around and handling any lift with the ball. You wind up pushing the ball harder on a grass field, says Coach Pfluger.”

Playing on artificial turf:

  • players can pre-think a move, as you can more accurately know where a ball will go
  • artificial turf allows the ball to have a truer roll as there are no divots or bumps

Knowing the differences between natural grass and artificial turf can prepare players to play their best on both types of fields.

For more information:  Field Hockey Tips: Playing on Natural Grass

Check out:  Future Stars Field Hockey Camp

Image Credit:  Deposit Photos

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Who Dove Away with 3 Golds in the Buenos Aires Olympics?

Olympic.org shares a tribute to China’s 17-year-old Shan Lin who won 3 gold medals in the diving competitions at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018.  Shan Lin revealed. “I’m scared of heights. I just jump and don’t think about it.”  Her fear did not stop her from winning the gold for women’s 3m springboard and 10m platform.

Shan Lin’s third gold medal came in the Mixed International Team event that she shared with Colombia’s Daniel Restrepo García.

For more information:  Lin dives to triple gold at Buenos Aires 2018
Check out: Future Stars Diving Camps
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Don’t Miss the 2019 FINA Diving World Series

What is FINA?  Fédération internationale de natation (FINA) is the international federation recognized by the International Olympic Committee for administering international competition in water sports.  It was founded in 1908 during the London Olympic Games by eight federations from Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary and Sweden.

Today,  FINA comprises 209 National Member Federations in five continents. The principal objectives are the following:

– to promote and encourage the development of Aquatics in all possible regards throughout the world;
– to provide fair and drug free sport;
– to promote and encourage the development of international relations;
– to encourage participation in Aquatics disciplines at all levels throughout the world regardless of age, gender or race;
– to adopt necessary uniform rules and regulations and to hold competitions in Swimming, Open Water Swimming, Diving, Water Polo, Synchronised Swimming, High Diving and Masters;
– to promote and organize World Championships and other FINA competitions;
– to encourage the increase of facilities for Aquatics’ disciplines throughout the world with the support of other interested parties, and
– to carry out such other activities as may be desirable to promote the sport.

The 2019 FINA Diving World series is taking place in Beijing, March 1 – 19, 2019.  You can catch it LIVE.

For more information:  FINA,    Wikipedia

Check out:  Future Stars Diving Camp

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Should You Blanket Your Horse ?and Other Blanketing Tips

There’s a lot of varying advice out there about blanketing your horse, how to blanket, when to blanket and even not to blanket.  So here are a couple of sites for horse lovers that you can refer to and help you to figure out what the best fit for your unique horse is. Equisearch – For People Who Love Horses shares some guidelines to consider:

  1.  Equine Thermal Energy
  2. When to Blanket
  3. Blanket Committments

For details:  To Blanket Your Horse?orNot?

SmartPak on the other hand, offers videos to share their Horse Blanketing SmartTips.  Whatever you decide to do about blanketing, it’s best that you have a lot of information so that you can make the healthiest choice for your pet.  Here’s one of their videos:

There’s a lot of information out there, and you should seek out as much as you can before you make a decision and a good guideline is to regularly check on your horse and make the necessary adjustments.

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Check out:  Future Stars Horseback Riding Camp

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Going Horseback Riding?

Considering trying something fun and different?  If you’re thinking about horseback trail riding, here are some of the pointers that Greatist.com shares for you to think about before you get in the saddle:

  • Will you be more comfortable in an English or Western Saddle?  Each saddle uses different equipment or tack and English saddles because they are smaller will accord closer contact with the horse. Western saddles have a deep seat and a saddle horn.
  • Check out the establishments and look for one that preferably has a (CHA)-certified riding instructor who is good with beginners.
  • Wear appropriate clothing.  Long pants, close toed-shoes with a small heel are an optimal choice.  Avoid any accesssories or clothing that can get tangled.  Check to make sure they provide helmets.
  • Bring drinking water.

The guide/instructor should give you proper instruction and listen well.  Horseback riding is a lot of fun but it is very important that you know how to approach the horse, get on the horse, check your equipment, rein the horse gently but firmly, and follow the direction of the leader.

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For more details:  Know Before You Go: Horseback Riding

Check Out:  Future Stars Horseback Riding Camp

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Soccer Players, Check Out These Indoor Workouts

Kids, and let’s face it, everyone benefits with daily exercise but the winter months can be trickier.   Consider this indoor option and all you need is a safe small space, a spot in the basement will do, and the most important component is to practice with regularity.  Use a lower bounce ball to prevent breakage.  SoccerWire.com shares some indoor training drills for soccer players:

  • Cone dribbling –  In a one to two yard space, set up 3-5 cones.  Using different parts of their feet, ask your child to move the ball between and around the cones.  The goal is increase their comfortability with the ball and to keep their heart rates up.
  • Push – Pull – All you will need is a soccer ball.  Have your child set their foot on the ball and move it from toe to heel and back to the toe, releasing the ball slightly with each move.  The goal is to do it as quickly as possible without losing the ball.
  • Toe Taps –  All you will need is a soccer ball and a safe space. Ask your child to set one foot on the ball, then move that foot to the ground and raise the other foot to tap the top of the soccer ball. Continue the tapping while alternating the feet.  Do not place weight on the ball. Slowly increase the speed. Once comfortable with this action, they can try to move the ball slightly in other directions with each touch.  The goal is to improve their feet agility and speed.
  • Cardio Circuit Training – Consider these exercises, high knees, butt kicks, jumping jacks, burpees, and alternating foot hops.  The goal is to have a  good cardio workout.

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    For details:  Indoor Workouts Youth Soccer Players Can Do Anywhere

    Check out:  Future Stars Soccer Camp

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Teen Athletes, Are You a Lark, an Owl or an Intermediate?

Soccer America, shares some interesting data on sleeping and sleep patterns.  After all, sleep has an affect on athletic performance.  Based on data they shared from a 2015 study using athletes’ natural internal clocks, they came up with these classificiations:

  • Larks – rise and sleep early and performance is best around noon
  • Owls – sleep and rise late and performance is best in the evening
  • Intermediate – are the rest and performance is best in the late afternoon

Based on this study and others, here are some key points that Soccer America suggests that you consider:

  1.   An athlete’s performance is impacted by their natural sleep/wake cycle.
  2.   Early risers tend to perform at their best about 6 hours after waking; late risers tend to perform at their best      about 11 hours after waking.
  3.  If you need to perform at your peak and are traveling through different time zones, coordinating and getting your body used to a new sleep/wake cycle will have a significant effect on your performance.
  4.  Try to get to your new destination several days in advance, or if you can’t do that try to stay as close to your normal time zone on that first day.

The results of this study indicate that you should be aware of your natural sleep cycle and how long after your natural wake cycle you need to be at your peak.  Make sure that you get enough sleep.

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For more information:  Teenagers, get good sleep! It has a major effect on athletic performance

Checkout:  Future Stars Soccer Camp

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps