Goal Setting in Sports

Goal setting is an important part of almost every aspect of life. One particular facet of life that the effects of goal setting are interesting is in sports. Goal setting in sports is used to measure quality of performance, just like in any other aspect of life in which it is used. If you talk to an athlete of any kind, from a professional basketball player to a nine year old just starting out on his Little League baseball team, he will tell you that goal setting is an integral part of his hobby or profession. The Little Leaguer’s particular goals might be to simply get a single hit every game to impress his friends, while the professional’s goal may be to hit for a batting average of three hundred in order to attain a higher rate of pay. The fact remains that each player sets a particular goal and in most cases, that goal is integral to his success or failure in his particular endeavor. We can see that goal setting plays quite a different role as the level of athletics changes, but we can see that it is also present regardless of the level of play at which an athlete is competing. You can not only compare the role goal setting at different levels of competition you can also compare them across different sports.

One comparison that is easy to look at is the role of goal setting in long distance running and in soccer. Now in this case the athlete who participates in long distance running will have a much easier time setting his goals. This is simply because the long distance runner’s individual performance is measured in a very tangible way. He can track his progress in every workout, in every race with as much accuracy as his stopwatch can measure. Thus every day the runner goes out to run he can set a tangible goal and after he is done training or racing he can tell whether he achieved that goal or not.

This is not the case however with a soccer player. In the course of a soccer game, a particular player may get one or two chances to score a goal. Whether or not he capitalizes on the opportunity is really not a good indicator of how he performed that day. In the case of the soccer player, the goals he sets have to be much less tangible. He has to take into account how the game was played and try to measure his contribution to his team’s performance. He could look at how he contributed to the possession of the ball being in his team’s favor or the opponents’ favor, he could look at how many times he turned the ball over and he could also look at the individual quality of passes that he completed. Even when breaking down the soccer game, the soccer player still has a hard time assessing his performance and his level of achievement with regard to his particular goal since so much is dependent on the other twenty-one people on the field. Even though all this is true, the soccer player still needs to measure his performance and the only way he can do this is by goal setting. Even though these goals may be subjective, goal setting is still an integral part of his hobby or profession.

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Extreme Sports in Cross Country Wilderness Treks

Imagine your self like Lewis and Clark but roughing it in the Wilderness. You have gone through survival training in the past and you are smart enough to stay alert. You have experience in river kayaks, tent making, living off the land, hunting and you feel confident. Next you make your extreme cross-country trek plans. To cross 2200 miles of pure Yukon Wilderness, alone! Wow that is what I call; Extreme Sports in Cross Country Wilderness Treks.

What is amazing is that there are many humans who do this for fun! For fun? Well, sounds more like a test of wills against the extremes of nature to me. Nevertheless there are thrill seekers who have done it and do it all this time. Out in the middle of nowhere anything can happen, of course we could all be lit up like a Christmas Tree in WWIII too, I suppose. Of course someone out in the middle of nowhere would have no clue that half the world got obliterated or even the outbreak of bird flu would be news to them.

There are many daredevil extreme sportsmen out there but those who chose; Extreme Sports in cross country Wilderness Treks, well they are a breed apart, but perhaps they do prove that mankind walked to North America across the land bridge. Because if a modern man can do it and live off the land as they go, well a stronger ancient human could have easily done it too. Please consider this in 2006.

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Sports Violence

In ancient societies, athletics and especially competitive contact games always have been rough, but aggression in the past was tempered by an insistence that playing hard, playing to win, did not countenance playing to cheat and to hurt. One of the very first nations that expressed athletic ideals, were the Greeks. As enunciated by Pindar, the athletic ideal incorporated courage and endurance with modesty, dignity, and fair-mindedness, those elusive qualities the Greeks called Aidos. As sports became more specialized, the general populace increasingly withdrew into spectatorship. Sports history reveals that although Greek sports had increasingly marred by corruption and bribes, nonetheless they flourished in an era which witnessed the rapid expansion of stadiums and arenas under the Roman Empire. During the Roman Empire, violence in sports became the generally accepted principle and spectators not only endorsed it, but also embraced it as a social norm.

In recent years sports violence has become to be perceived as a social problem. Commissions have been appointed in Canada and England to investigate violence among hockey players and soccer fans. Numerous examples of violence in professional sports exist today, as counties like the United States, Canada, Greece, Italy and Germany, report court cases have been heard which concern the victims of violence perpetrators. Newspapers, magazines and television programs portray bloodied athletes and riotous fans at hockey, boxing, football, soccer, baseball, and basketball games with what appears to be increasing regularity. But are sports violence incidents actually increasing, and if so, what is the reason of such a negative increase? Or does the heightened public attention and media focus on sports violence reflect not an increase in the incidence or severity of aggression, but greater public concern with moral issues and political discourse?

Contrary to popular belief, there appears to be growing dissatisfaction with sports violence. Changes in sports rules, developments in the design of equipment, and even the physical characteristics of modern sports arenas evolved in an effort to reduce violence or its consequences. But still, among athletic management teams, government officials, fans and athletes themselves, there is an ambivalence attitude towards sports violence. The ambivalence takes the form of justifying the existence of violence in sports, but not taking personal responsibility for it. Coaches and managers tend to blame fans, saying that violence is what attracts people into stadiums, as the risk entailed makes the game more “interesting”. Athletes frequently admit that they are opposed to violence, but it is expected of them by coaches. Fans justify it by attributing aggressiveness to athletes and to situational aspects of the game. Spectators view violence as an inherent part of some sports as one cannot play games like hockey or football, without accepting the necessity of violent action.

Nevertheless, public opinion tends to focus more and more on sports violence as major advances in the technologies used have increased media coverage making information available to a vast global audience. Thus, contemporary critics tend to consider sports violence as a worldwide phenomenon with highly disturbing future course and social outcomes.

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A Sports Angel?

Are they in the dugout? The outfield? Standing on second base or perhaps holding up the goal post for that crucial final touchdown.

Perhaps they are running down the soccer field or standing beside the Little Leaguer whispering encouraging thoughts about swinging that huge bat and making a homer.

I know the Nascar drivers believe there is an Angel sitting in the passenger seat with them as they go around and around a track surpassing 200 miles an hour.

You have to believe that the Angels are with the snow skiers when you think of all the beautiful snow Angels we make lying in the mounds and drifts.

Watch an ice skater and you truly know they are dancing with the Angels out on the ice … poetry in motion and if you listen carefully on a silent day with all the glistening snow you can hear the music of the Angels the skaters are dancing to.

On a clear day the balloonists and the hand gliders are out across the skys helping to paint the skys and the clouds with the glorious colors as Angel assistants.

The diver launching itself into the air reminds us of an Angel with arms spread forth before they slip beneath the water.

Think of the skydiver that risks all by jumping out of a plane to soar through the heavens trusting the wings of Angels will carry him safely back to earth.

Stand in the sidelines and watch that gust of wind catch and carry a golf ball another hundred yards …

At Christmas time you see a Sports Angel ornament for every sport for boys and girls, the sports fan of all ages … I truly believe there is a certain part of an avid sports enthusiast, sports fan or sports collector that doesn’t doubt for a moment the Angels are always looking over their favorite team, sport or player.

A Sports Angel? I truly believe there is …

© Sharae Taylor

You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the bylines are included with link. A courtesy copy of your publication would be appreciated.

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Youth Sports Specialization: Beware These 4 Dangers!

“My son wrestled since he was in grade school. Now he is in high school and so burnt out that he didn’t even go out for the team.”

“My neighbor plays club basketball year round and is out indefinitely because of stress fractures in her lower legs…”

“All that I’ve ever played is soccer – now I’m not a starter so I’m going to quit. I think it is too late to start another sport now…”

Have you ever heard statements like these? I am sad to say that I hear them all too often. With the media screaming about the Tiger Woods and Venus and Serena Williams of the world, many people are making the mistake of starting one sport at a young – make that very young – age and specializing in it. The lure of college scholarships has also convinced these people that specialization is the only way to become good at a sport.

Before someone decides to specialize, they should consider the dangers involved in participating in only one sport. Here are 4 Dangers of Specialization:

1. Overuse injuries: stressing the body in the same way over and over again for all or a great part of the year can lead to overuse injuries. Stress fractures, compartment syndrome and other conditions often result from a lack of diversity in athlete’s activities. It is better to challenge your body in different ways throughout the year to develop as an athlete. Different sports will put different stressors on your body leading to better overall athletic performance. Pediatricians across the country have called for children to participate in a variety of physical activities.

2. Burn out: Playing one sports day after day, week after week, year after year can lead to burn out at a fairly early age. Children are starting organized sports at younger and younger ages. Someone playing hockey starting at the age of four may become tired and bored with the sport by the time they reach middle or high school. Non – specialization provides breaks and other experiences to keep a primary sport interesting, challenging and fun.

3. The College scholarship illusion: As much as parents want their children to receive athletic scholarships, the truth is that a very small percentage of athletes actually attain this goal. A scholarship in itself should not be the driving force behind choosing to participate in only one sport. A person should not bank their health, happiness and future on the small chance of a “full ride.” The majority of athletes will benefit more from a variety of athletic experiences even if no scholarship offer ever comes. Besides, most college recruiters are looking for the best all-around athletes. One of their first questions is often: “What else did you do besides playing (insert primary sport here)?” There is evidence to support this. For example, over 75% of the 2004 football recruiting class for the Wisconsin Badgers is listed as playing multiple sports in high school. Also, look at the draft picks each year in the NFL. The majority of those players did not specialize in one sport during their high school careers. How often have you heard this on draft day: “We are going to draft the best overall athlete that is available…” Playing more than one sport is the best way to develop into that overall athlete.

4. Not achieving your full athletic potential: While focusing on one sport will help you develop the necessary sport-specific skills, you will not develop other athletic skills that would transfer to your primary activity. Speed, balance, mental focus, jumping, twisting are all stressed differently in different sports. Everything you do to become a better athlete will also make you a better (insert sport here) player.

More and more research is showing that early specialization does not ensure athletic success. We hear about the few who do blossom from early specialization but what about the vast majority who don’t “make it big” in their chosen sport? How many athletes can you think of that have become successful by not specializing? How about Deion Sanders, Bo Jackson, Jim Thorpe, Babe Didrickson, John Elway, and Marion Jones to name just a few.

Sports should be encouraged from a young age. But, it is better to encourage participation in a variety of athletic activities to develop athletic skills that transfer across all sports. This will lessen the dangers mentioned in this article, lead to young athletes reaching their full athletic potential and, who knows, maybe bring that coveted college scholarship.

Copyright, Tim Kauppinen, 2005

This article is protected by copyright, 2005, Tim Kauppinen. All rights reserved.

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Top 5 Reasons to Play Daily Fantasy Sports

The latest addiction in the virtual world, daily fantasy sports is a fun game that fuels the mind, gives you a rush of adrenaline and of course, there’s the possibility of attaining instant gratification. But if you’re someone who has not been previously exposed to this new breed of gaming, why should you play it in the first place?

Here are five reasons for you to get started on building your own fantasy sport team.

1. Play anytime.

Perhaps it is this freedom of time that makes daily fantasy sports extremely popular. Unlike the traditional sports game, there is no season-long commitment when you’re playing. You can start creating your team whenever you have the time and then put them to rest when you’re already busy with work or study.

2. There’s mathematics involved.

Yes, this game is not just about who has the faster internet connection or the luck to win. You have to have strategy and you need to master the mathematics behind it so that you be declared as the winner.

Unlike playing cards in casinos, daily fantasy sports do not call you a cheat if you use math. Rather, it’s an excellent winning strategy to spend some time scouring analytics on players and matchups. In fact, one avid fan of the game shares that it is best to start by picking on the weaker teams and work your way up the ranks.

3. It is a legal money play.

No, it is not gambling. According to the provisions stated in the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act, daily fantasy sports are completely legal. Although some states may have a few exceptions but nevertheless, there is always a possibility of making substantial amount of money with daily fantasy sports. Some people even play this sport for a living.

4. Ready availability of athletes.

When you’re managing a team of professional players, there is always the risk of injuries. If the injured player happens to be your star, you team’s power will be affected and you might even loss a game.

But if you’re playing daily fantasy sports, all your players have been crafted to be as powerful and competent as the other. So even if a player gets injured, you will still have your team’s power intact because anyone else can take his place. Of course, you have the option not to draft the injured player for an upcoming game and just keep him on the bleachers until he’s ready.

5. Variety of Opponents

With this setup, you have the freedom to play against several opponents. This enhances your gaming and thinking skills and in the long run, provides more chances for you to win some real money.

When you’re playing daily fantasy sports, you have to understand that it’s more numbers-driven. So your winnings, as the owner and manager of the team, will be determined by your team’s score. You also have the option to play one-on-one or against two to 25 players at a time. But of course, you need to shell out some money per entry too but you’ll realize that your investment can go a long, long way.

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Concussions in Youth Sports – New Protocols to Keep Athletes Safe

Participation in sports is an important part of physical, mental, and social development for our youth. While it is meant to promote health, sports carry an inherent risk of injury.

Evidence is growing that the short and long-term health risks associated with brain trauma in sports are more serious than previously known. While concussions have been the primary focus of the medical community, the media, and the sports world, it appears they are only part of the problem. A growing number of studies show the risk of short-term and long-term brain damage, and neurodegenerative disease may be more closely related to an athlete’s cumulative brain trauma over their lifetime.

This brain trauma includes both concussions and subconcussive impacts, which are rapid movements of the head that don’t cause any concussion symptoms.

Studies are now finding that some athletes who have received subconcussive impacts, but have never shown any concussion symptoms, still have abnormal findings on certain tests of brain structure and function. It is not yet clear if these results were caused by too many impacts in a day, a season, a year, and even a lifetime, but one thing is clear: hits to the head are dangerous and more needs to be done to protect athletes.

WHO’S AT RISK FOR CONCUSSIONS? Concussions are an issue at all levels in many sports. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that among high school athletes, boys’ ice hockey poses the second highest rate of concussions, after only football. The prevalence of concussions in youth hockey is surprisingly similar to concussion estimates in the NHL (23 per 1000 player-game hours).

One factor found in a videotape analysis of bantam players is that on-ice skating characteristics helped explain why certain players sustain concussions. These players tended to skate with their heads down watching the puck, positioning themselves in the “danger zone,” which is between 8-16 feet from the boards, and they didn’t optimally position their body to receive a check. Thus, when checked, these players were more often flung into the boards; and collisions too often occurred when their heads were down. Many coaches are working in practice to reduce this style of play; equipment manufacturers are finding ways to increase protection and rinks are installing safety features in the ice; but this type of injury happens to even the best and most experienced players.

The concussion problem goes all the way up the National Hockey League. The NHL is facing multiple lawsuits from former players alleging that it improperly handled concussions and other brain injuries and didn’t do enough to protect them from the long-term dangers of concussions. The suits are similar to the class action complaint against the NFL, which did reach a substantial settlement. This just proves that training and education needs to be implemented at every level of hockey.

WHAT CAN YOU DO? Educate yourself on the signs and symptoms of concussions and be sure your coaches and trainers have the same, and they have protocols in place if an injury of this type occurs.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS/SYMPTOMS OF A CONCUSSION OBSERVED BY COACHING STAFF:

– Loses consciousness (even briefly)

– Appears dazed or stunned or moves unsteady

– Is confused about assignment or position

– Forgets instructions

– Is unsure of game, score, opponent

– Shows mood, behavior or personality changes

– Can’t recall events

– Answers questions slowly

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS/SYMPTOMS OF A CONCUSSION REPORTED BY ATHLETE?

– Headache or pressure in the head

– Nausea or vomiting

– Balance problems or dizziness

– Double or blurry vision

– Sensitivity to light or noise

– Confusion

WHAT TO DO IF THERE ARE SIGNS OF CONCUSSION?

– Remove athlete from play.

– Ensure athlete is evaluated by an appropriate health care professional. Do not try to judge the seriousness of the injury yourself.

– Inform athlete’s parents or guardians about the known or possible concussion.

– Allow the athlete to return to play only with permission from a health care professional.

WHEN IS IT SAFE TO RETURN TO PLAY? All athletes who sustain a concussion, no matter how minor, should undergo an evaluation by a qualified healthcare provider like Michigan Sports & Center before returning to play. In some instances, clearance from your primary care doctor may not be enough. There are many factors that determine when an athlete is safe to return to play. We have very specific protocols that measure an athlete’s responses at different levels of rest and activity; and in some cases other therapy may be needed. Not until they are completely free of all symptoms and remain symptom free during and after physical testing, is it safe to return to play. If you are unsure, please call us to schedule a consultation. Our goal is to get athletes back in the game as soon as possible only when it won’t risk further injury. I also encourage you to talk to your coaches and trainers to make sure they are up-to-date on the latest protocols to keep athletes safe.

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IPTV Sports: How Sports Broadcasting Is Changing in the Internet Age

As technology continues to roll out one development after another, industries are doing their best to go with the flow – or even to stay ahead of the competition. In the world of sports, the biggest advancement is how it has embraced the concept of IPTV or Internet Protocol Television.

IPTV refers to television services delivered through the Internet. It is divided into three major groups.

  1. Live Television lets you watch shows as they unfold.
  2. Time-Shifted TV, on the other hand, can pertain to either catch-up or start-over TV. If you want to catch up on a show that came out weeks or days ago, use catch-up time-shifted TV. If you were not able to start your favorite show’s latest episode, you can replay the parts you missed with the help of start-over TV.
  3. The third IPTV group is VoD or Video on Demand, which basically allows you to choose videos not related to TV programming (special shows, trailers or uploaded videos).

All these technologies give you the convenience of watching a show, film or video on your own terms.

One of the industries that can greatly benefit from the success of IPTV is sports broadcasting. Sports networks now have a more convenient way of streaming games and matches to large audiences. IPTV use also presents a variety of advantages that sports broadcasters and fans can enjoy.

IPTV Advantages

Aside from offering high-definition broadcasts, a big IPTV advantage is interactivity. With interactive features, users will be able to personalize their viewing experience. There’s an option for adjusting camera angles and a program guide can help a viewer decide which of the many shows he’d watch first. IPTV also has parental controls, so parents are assured that their children will not be exposed to anything not suitable for them. If a viewer wants to surf channels without leaving the game he is watching, he is free to do so. Sports buffs, on the other hand, can examine the statistics of a player while watching a match or game.

Another IPTV advantage is its VoD feature. With Video on Demand, viewers can easily search for online programs and watch trailers or sneak peeks of games. Their choices are no longer confined to the usual sports programs shown on TV or cable.

IPTV is an integration of different services, so users can do a variety of things while watching their favorite basketball, football or rugby team pound the competition. An example of this integration is the on-your-TV caller ID feature.

Finally, sports fans will no longer have to rush home to catch the latest broadcast of their favorite games because IPTV is portable. Most IPTV systems are smaller than a cable box, so they can be carried around quite easily. Of course, one will have to find a place or area where there’s good broadband or Internet connection; but it’s still a fact that users can catch a 3pm game without rushing to the subway or driving home like crazy just to catch the telecast on the local sports network or on cable.

What This Means for Sports Broadcasting?

IPTV opens a lot of doors for sports broadcasting. It offers the opportunity of reaching out to as many sports fans as possible. IPTV allows the broadcast of multiple sports channels on a 24/7 basis, so there’s also more time for sports broadcasts. Additionally, IPTV gives viewers and sports fans the chance to witness games of less popular sports like rowing and darts.

IPTV still has a long road to traverse before it makes a significant dent in mainstream sports broadcasting (or broadcasting in general). For now, though, it presents a lot of interesting options for sports fans who want the best seats without having to spend dollars for game tickets.

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Sports Psychology: For Athletes to Deal With Stress on Competitive Day – Preparation

We are often driven by an athlete’s peak performance, admire the way they sometimes manage to pull things off and make us proud. More often than not, these athletes are even labelled as ‘role models’, ‘heroes’ and even ‘gods’, but we tend to forget that they are human beings just like us. They have their ups and downs; they may get upset and blow off a game and fail to impress us.

The difference between a top athlete and a ‘mere’ athlete is the determination, ambition, and the spirit they put into the game on competition day preparation. A good athlete may easily fail and blow the game if he or she fails to take into account one of the mechanisms that keeps him or her in the ‘zone’ and playing in the zone.

According to a study quoted by Sports Injury Bulletin, coaches often attempt to inspire fear in their athletes on competitive day preparation. Such attitudes tend to jeopardize the performance of the athlete and produce stress. Psychological research reveals that 90% of sports injuries in games are stress-related.

Frustration, anxiety, and distraction are the main key factors that prevent an athlete from producing the best performance.

In recent years, successful athletes have proved that for peak performance, the athlete needs to evolve tactical psychological operations techniques. These psychological tactics include, being relaxed, being self-possessed, staying focused, and having a positive self-image. But, it is not always as easy for athletes to develop these techniques as easily said.

They require the support of a mental diet psychologist and need to constantly integrate and apply the rules of sports psychology if they are eager to maintain peak performance while getting rid of psychological stress.

Sports psychology has indeed proved to be a critical tool for developing the requisite mental toughness athletes need to perform well and be at their best.

Sports psychology helps in:

1. aiding athletes to deal with stress and anxiety before the competition day

2. improving in their learning method and major abilities

3. developing positive self-image and confidence

4. staying focused

5. creating the awareness needed for peak performance

6. dealing with competitive anxieties

It is therefore recommended that an athlete work with a sports psychologist who will help you manage stress and instill in you positive thoughts that will help you enhance your performance.

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A 97% Win Ratio With the Sports Betting Champ

Some people are blessed with the ability to turn nothing into something. For the most part it is smart investing. They take a little bit of money and invest it properly with the right amount of research in the stock market. Others can make quite a nice living off of gambling. It is a risky endeavor because the house always wins when it comes to traditional gambling. But gambling on sports is a bit different. If you have an ebook, such as The Sports Betting Champ, then you can learn how to bet successfully and win those sports bets.

John Morrison seems to have it figured out with his ebook, The Sports Betting Champ. He believes that with his own personal experiences and some guidance, you too can make the money that he has made through sports betting. And you do not have to limit yourself to one sport. You can bet on as many different sporting events as you wish.

So what do you get for the whopping payment of $197? You first get a seven day trial membership to his patented technology and design. Granted you do have to pay $5 at first but the rest of the $193 is not due for seven days. During that time if you are not satisfied with any part of his program you do not have to pay the remaining balance. The website does not say whether or not you get your initial $5 back but chances are you do not.

John Morrison definitely is proud of his strategy and technique. He has taken the liberty of posting the proof of his winnings and they are going to get your attention. Who would not like to turn a few bucks into several? But you do need to pay attention to more than just the bottom line. Each of his investments into betting started out with a sizeable bet and did not return 3 to 1 odds; most of the time his investments yielded only about $50 when he bet an initial $500.

The Sports Betting Champ system is not going to net you 100% wins. John Morrison simply cannot guarantee you that. He also cannot make promises that one day you will own a sports car like he does or be a millionaire. But he does know sports betting and that can help you out. You may not win huge jackpots but you can build up a great series of wins over time if you are willing to do the work.

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