Learning Gun Safety and Target Accuracy with an Air Rifle

My husband is a hunter and enjoys trap shooting as well. He has always tried to get me interested in sport shooting, but his rifles and shotguns were just too big and heavy for me to handle. When he brought home a Gamo Silent Cat air rifle, I had no more excuses not to at least try shooting at some targets in our backyard.

Living in the country has some benefits and being able to set up some fun targets to shoot at on our own property was one of them. My husband lined up eight aluminum cans and then taught me how to properly handle the air rifle and load it. I admit to being a bit scared of pulling the trigger initially, but the smooth and very quiet operation of the rifle made my first few shots a breeze.

This was far beyond any BB type gun I had ever seen before and even my husband was impressed with the scope on the gun. Continue reading →

Tips on Skimboarding

For those who are not really familiar with this sport, skimboarding is performed on a baseboard which looks a lot like a regular surfboard. The only difference is that a skimboard is slightly smaller than the surfboard; this is to let the board glide easily on water. This sport is often known as skimming, where a person (namely, skimmer) stands on the board and slides the board on shallow water. You can find shallow water to skim when the waves are low, and closer to the beach. If you happen to look at someone skimboarding, you will see that the technique is similar to surfing. However, instead of battling the big waves, you are safe on shallow waters. All you need to do is throw your board onto the water, run in its direction, and get on it to skim.

Tips and Tricks to Follow

Once you learn to balance yourself on the board, you can easily glide on the waves and do some amazing tricks.

Selecting the Board
For beginners, the first thing to concentrate on what type of board you wish to choose. Go with either a fiberglass or wooden skimboard. Also, your height and weight will play a big part in deciding which board is right for you. Now although the skimboarding boards are smaller in size, there are a few variations in them. If you pick a board which is too small for you, it could mean that while skimming over the waves, your board may sink rather than glide. The best way to find the right board is by visiting your nearest sporting goods store and ask for assistance from the sales staff.

Finding the Location
Hands down, California is one state that offers one of the best beaches, not only in the U.S., but also around the world. But not everyone is lucky enough to be living here. In order to choose an ideal spot, choose either a beach that’s close to you, or opt to practice near a lake. Yes, a lake is an ideal spot for this sport. But there are certain rules, if I may, that you need to keep in mind. The water in the lake should be still and it needs to meet the sand. Make sure there aren’t big rocks as the board may topple over due to friction.

Checking your Momentum
Next in our line is understanding the wind pattern and your speed. Now no matter how fast or slow the winds may be, always keep in mind not to jump on the board. You have to run onto it as it will make sure that you don’t fall off the board or the board doesn’t sink in. When you run to climb on the board, your speed won’t decrease and you can actually move it closer to the waves in less time. The speed is the key to skimming.

Waxing your Board
Many skimmers believe that regular waxing of the board can make it go faster. The point here is that while skimboarding, sand can be a sticky situation, literally. It will stick to your board from the bottom and make it heavier to glide smoothly. So using the right kind of wax, depending on the temperature and frequency of use, you can actually make the board glide faster.

Standing in the Right Place
Last, but certainly not the least, inspect how you stand on the board. Where do you normally keep your feet on the board? Is your back foot at the back of the board, or do you stand a little towards the front? Your stance on the board will make a huge difference between an amateur skimmer and an expert. The right way to mount the board is to keep the back foot at the back of the board and the front one up close. This will help you stay balanced and reduce the chances of falling off, or sinking the board in.

Tips on How to Become a Sports Writer

As a sports writer, you will have to write informative and interesting stories on a regular basis. Fans want to know everything that is happening in the world of sports. With television giving in-depth stories on every aspect of the game, the job of a sports writer today is more challenging than ever. Merely giving scores and statistics is not enough, you are expected to understand the significance of every shot, how changes in the team can affect the performance and so on. Apart from analyzing the team and the matches, you will also be required to give good human interest stories, only then will people want to read instead of watch. If you are willing to work hard, there are many opportunities, you can work with newspapers, magazines, websites, news channels or sport associations.

Tips to Become a Sports Writer

Learn About the Sport
Since you are passionate about sports, this should be exciting for you. Learn everything about the sport, right from the rules to the history of the game and the major tournaments that are held. In addition, keep yourself informed about the trends in the sport and watch all levels of the sport. You should have knowledge about the players, their strengths and weaknesses. As an amateur writer, you will have to write objective articles, but once you become a columnist you will be paid to give your opinion. You can also suggest ways in which a player or a team can improve their performance. Therefore, it is essential that you have a thorough understanding of the sport to be able to write creatively and interestingly about it.

Read Articles Written by Good Sports Writers
Familiarize yourself with the style of sports writing. Analyze articles of good experienced writers and try to figure out why they are so famous. However, avoid copying anyone’s style, you will with time develop your own style of writing. Each sport has a distinct style of writing and presentation of scores, which you will need to learn. Reading articles will also give you an idea of what are the different sports articles that can be written. Read different types of sports articles in different newspapers and magazines.

Get a Degree
Firstly, you need to complete high school. While you’re in high school, take as many advanced English courses as you can. Get a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a majors in sports journalism. You will learn the basic techniques of writing and editing. In addition, you will also learn more about interviewing. Alternately, you can also do your bachelor’s in English with journalism as a subject. While you still have the time, learn other things that could add to your resume. Take courses to improve your writing skills, learn photography, you will definitely have better job opportunities as a sports writer cum photojournalist.

Get all the Experience that You Can
Employers prefer hiring someone with experience over a complete fresher. You can start with your college newspaper, write as much as you can, there’s no better place to experiment. Once you’re confident of your writing skills, apply to a local newspaper as an intern. You might not get paid, but you will get the real picture of how your life will be as a sports journalist. You may not be sent directly to cover a match, so be patient. You will have to start off by covering amateur sports. Create your own portfolio of your best articles, it will be very useful when applying for a job.

Consider Freelancing
You can become a freelance sports writer, till you get a permanent job with a good media company. It will add to your experience and the best thing is that you can do it while you are still in college. Do not leave any opportunity that comes your way, no matter how small it may seem, to show what you’re capable of doing and getting into the field of sports writing. Send your resume to editors of different newspapers and magazines, they will hire you on a contract basis to write articles and may even hire you full time, if they like your work.

Start a Blog
Start a blog with the emphasis on sports, it’s free and the best way to show off your writing skills. You can do this while you’re still in high school and college. Attend college and community sports events and write articles on them. Try to find a different angle to a mundane story, that has been covered by all newspapers and post it on your blog. Write good human interest stories, about local players, it is widely read. This is perhaps the best way to make a name for yourself, you can also make money by placing advertisements on your blog, once it’s popular. It will be extremely helpful when you’re looking for a job.

Salary of a Sports Writer

Most sportswriters do not get paid a lot. However, they love what they do. The salary range is anywhere from $25,000 to $60,000, till they make a name for themselves. The salary varies depending on the location, company and experience. Larger newspapers and websites pay better, than their lesser known counterparts. On an average, sports journalists get paid around $40,000.

Sports writing can be a very exciting and enriching career, provided you’re getting into it for the right reasons. Many people want to enter the profession because they are either looking forward to meeting some personalities that they idolize or they are excited about the freebies. Many are under the impression that if they like watching the game, they will enjoy writing about it as well. Sadly, this is far from being true. Just like not everyone who enjoys reading can write, not every sports fan can become a sports writer. The only reasons you should be becoming a sports writer is if you are passionate about sports and love writing.

Ice Skating Tips and Techniques

Ice skating enthusiasts use skates with steel blades to slide on the ice. The first ice skates were made in 3000 BC. Honed animal bone was used in making these skates, and it was attached to the shoes with leather straps. In fact, the origin of the word ‘skates’ is Dutch. They used to call it ‘schaats’, which means ‘leg bone’. Iron blades were first made and used in Holland, in 1250 AD. It garnered popularity as a winter sport among the Europeans in the 17th century. The International Skating Union is the authoritative body governing the sport, and oversees all the international ice skating competitions.

The Beginner’s Guide to Ice Skating
Always get an expert coach to assist you with the basics. A good coach helps minimize the risks involved, and also ensures you learn the correct way of skating. It is important to understand that ice skating doesn’t come naturally to everyone. A beginner has to learn it by getting used to the ice rink. It is a safe option to rent the skates initially, and get acquainted with this sport. If you remain interested in the sport, it is best to buy your own pair with a proper fit.

Tips For Beginners
Ice skating looks graceful and easy, but is a very strenuous sport. Beginners may suffer from sore muscles after the first couple of skating sessions. However, this is a normal phenomenon, and after a few practice sessions, the muscles will get stronger and the pain will recede. It is also important to relax and avoid locking your knees. Remember that ice skating is a graceful sport! The knees should be bent to avoid falling or tripping backwards.

Patience and determined efforts are necessary to master this sport. Initially, many people find it difficult to find their balance on the skates. The time taken to get used to using them is different for each individual. Learning the first moves can always be crude, but never get discouraged. Regular practice will ensure gradual, graceful, and deft movement.

The most important aspect of mastering this sport, is learning how to fall. In fact, it is sort of a ‘requirement’ when getting used to it. There are certain ways in which you can minimize chances of an injury while falling. Preferably, use the best quality equipment or protective gear, which consists of a helmet and pads for the wrists, knees, elbows, hips, and tailbone.

When falling forward, keep your chin up; and when falling backward, press your chin into your chest. Relax your body as much as possible, because a stiff body is more likely to get injured than a limp one.
Try not to let your knees, elbows, or wrists hit the ice surface first. Try to land on your bottom, and tuck your arms in while falling, to avoid getting run over by the other skaters.
If you are using an outdoor surface, make sure it’s hard enough to avoid falling through the ice, especially on frozen lakes or ponds. Professional guidance is a must.

Another important area to master for a novice, is how to stop. A simple snowplow stop involves skating forward, pushing the legs apart away from each other. This should be done by bending in your knees and leaning back slightly. The shoulders should be straight, facing forward, and the arms outstretched.

Marching on the ice surface before gliding is a good way to learn balance and to gain familiarity with the skating surface. Start gliding after familiarizing with the conditions by mastering the two-foot glider first. Stand away from the edges of the rink or obstacles in order to avoid getting hit, and also try to learn without support. Once you balance yourself on your knees, move your right foot forward and keep your left foot at an angle of 45 degrees with respect to the right one. Slowly, begin to move forward by slightly bending in the knees, and moving the left shoulder ahead, followed by the right, and so on. Once two-foot gliding is learned, start with stroking, by starting with short and quick gliding sessions.

The swizzle involves propelling forward without lifting your feet. The toes point outwards and heels are together. Slide the feet apart, and then bring the toes in together. The motion should replicate the design of an hourglass.

So what are you waiting for? Get your gear and a trainer, and start skating. It will definitely be a rewarding experience!

Volleyball trends

Since 1949, held a session of the World Men’s Volleyball Championships, the international volleyball has made significant development. In particular, the 1964 Olympic Games volleyball included in the official games, the national universal attention to it, its technical and tactical development has entered a new stage. 50’s, the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries, volleyball results have been leading. 60 years, while Japan won the women’s volleyball world championship leap. 70’s, Japan, China, Korea and South Korea and other Asian team to quickly changing play known to the world; in Latin America, Cuba, known to bounce, and the rapid progress of the U.S. women’s volleyball, but also raises attention. The early 1980s, showing the world women’s volleyball, Japan, the Soviet Union, Cuba and China, the situation of confrontation between the U.S. top five. From the volleyball situation, tall, strong, continues to lead the Soviet team. Bulgaria, Romania, Cuba, China, Poland, Brazil, Czechoslovakia, Italy and South Korea and other teams are vying to comprehensively improve the technology.Contemporary world volleyball techniques and tactics of the characteristics and development trends:
Technology overall, some specialization Although there was nothing currently serve more new technology, but the teams competing with long-distance remote floating ball, “lob” the ball and some new methods and strategies in an effort to sabotage each other’s pads for the ball thus undermining the composition of its fast attack tactics. In a pass, since the proportion of training time and increase, and the cushion the ball and improved technology has greatly reduced errors, increased significantly in place. In the future must adapt to serve a variety of forms in order to create conditions for the composition of fast break. In the spike, the first break at a certain step, the direction of approach certainly off limits, using a variety of variable step, change to the jump in order to adapt to spot situations; second is a special place to break the division of the restrictions, requirements fast ball and hit both buckle storm’s hands; third is to break the constraints of location spike, required to achieve positive running attack; four offensive to break the 3:00 limitation, the development of point of attack for the front and rear live the depth of the attack. In the block, the deal with storm, the use of the high jump run-up arm and shoulder after the full development, outrigger technology, but in dealing with fast-break jump technique used; against transposition attack, not only with man to man, people stare region the block, sometimes overlapping with the new block; against individual tactical spiking, the emphasis on improving single block of independent combat capability, and sometimes by hand in the air to block the shift change line spike, block by hand backward, trying to After blocking the ball from the Organization of rapid counterattack. In the back row defense, the emphasis is placed on a variety of defense technology and the continuous development of new technologies, such as the development of cross-rolling shoulder roll defense technology and a variety of block ball technology.
High-play, fast change, and promote each other row of the altar in the world of tactical style, over the years developed to quickly become a mainstay in Asia and more
Volleyball
Type and high storm as the main body to fight two major European-based styles. With the strengthening of international exchanges and technical and tactical development of the two styles constantly learn from each other, each is used to gradually narrow the differences between them, tend to blend with each other, combine both. Some teams also according to their specific conditions and carrying forward the original basis of expertise, learning a new play, created their own unique style. Asian-based team play in the succession of rapid development under the premise of change, efforts to improve the storm penetration capabilities. European-based team has been improving storm level, the positive lessons fast break play. Volleyball technology trend perspective, relying solely on height and strength, or simply rely on speed and skill, are hard to beat a strong opponent. China’s strong teams are from their own conditions, absorb the long, insist on the height and speed, storm combined with the fast changing and developing their own unique play.
Bounce height is growing, with the deduction rules bar more prominent contradictions and technology changes, a high degree of factors have become the World Top Teams must have an important condition. Height on performance in two aspects: First, expert body length. 1980 Olympic Games volleyball event, the current world powers, Women on average about 1.77 meters in height, generally with 4 ~ 5 1.80 m or more players; volleyball in 1.92 m average height above. 1.94 m above the tall players, each team has a 7 to 9, some of that shorter team is also looking for tall, strong players for training. Second, the hopping height. Special teams have attached great importance to Spring Training and Promotion. As the world’s best athletes, women’s volleyball Mogao generally from 3.05 meters, 3.30 meters high by up to about volleyball Mogao more generally in the 3.50 m high by up to 3.76 meters.
Offensive player of the height increase and ability to strengthen, intensify the confrontation line button bar. Volleyball winners and losers in the modern, depends largely on the basis of a comprehensive technology capabilities of online battle, spiking and blocking are the most important means of competition points. Without a strong offensive and defensive blocking and tight, defensive back alone is choked attack can not win the ball.
Offensive tactics, quickly and ever-changing present, the world volleyball offensive tactics developed rapidly, is towards a high degree of acceleration, storm speed and attack power plus tips, cutting-edge add depth direction, mainly as follows: ① actively running, cross-cover and sudden changes in the realization of war
Sitting Volleyball
Operation with a view to causing the defense to determine the error, resulting in more favorable situation to play less. In this regard, some Asian teams have achieved a more skilled. ② main attack to break the pattern of division of labor and machinery Fu Gong, and Fu Gong main attack each other for breaking the cover to enhance the overall offensive capabilities, rich content of tactics to adapt to complex situations. ③ lose no time in the offensive use of rapid change in the tactics deployed in the other uncertain, based on shaky political situation, the implementation of a surprise attack. ④ network of front organizations in high or distant network attack to avoid each other’s tight block. ⑤ combined offensive front cover, the depth of attack from the back to form a variety of supporting three-dimensional tactics, to break each other’s tight block. ⑥ emphasis on tactics in collective cooperation of the individual tactics, such as division by two lines (straight or oblique spike), after deduction flat areas, changing hands turn the wrist, thugs out of bounds and the high lob and other techniques to enhance the penetration capabilities.
Defensive tactics, flexible and diverse world powers while strengthening the attack, are very defensive-oriented training and improvement. With the development of offensive, defensive tactics in both attention to using more flexible and diverse forms, breaking the past purely for “edge up” defensive pattern. Its principles are: under the team’s Shiji situation and the opponent’s attack characteristics, reasonable to Zuzhi defense forces and the party organization from the need to counterattack Lai Bu Shu 防守. Japanese Women According to different rounds a “side up” or “mind up” defense. Men’s Volleyball Team to the Soviet Union combines the use of two forms of defense, that on the 6th place team judged decision to advance and retreat, 1-bit or 5 members to 6 members to under the advance and retreat up the camera position. Chinese team is based on the specific circumstances of the ball, using amplification “horseshoe” or narrow the “horseshoe” defense, and the camera does not bar the use of such evacuation or withdrawal within. Teams are evenly matched game, online contests and very intense, a game sometimes played 3 hours, sometimes right to fight for a second serve or fight for 1 minute, often have to battle over 10 rounds. Fierce battle, so that most of both the technical scores, but also lose points, in this sense have a dual nature of offense and defense.Therefore, in the game, on the collective coordinate with each team member complete control of offensive and defensive techniques and develop personal skills and cultivate the unique and tenacious style requirements are increasing.

Tips for Skydiving You Can’t Afford

Extreme sports are called extreme for a reason: they push you to your physical and mental limits in terms of exertion and strength. They are also often more dangerous than your average game of football. But the thrill and the uniqueness of such sports is like no other. That being said, one such extreme sport that challenges an individual’s sense of fear, at the same time fulfills an elemental dream of man (to fly), is skydiving.

Skydiving isn’t just falling out of a plane with a parachute on. It’s more like “falling with style” where an exact science and technique goes into the jumping, deployment of the parachute and landing. Agreed it is not the safest of sports but the occurrence of fatalities while skydiving has been greatly exaggerated, with a fatality rate of 0.0001% or approximately 1 death in every 100,000 jumps. However, it is better to be safe than to be sorry, so below are some safety tips for skydiving, to make each jump a safe experience.

Safety Tips and Advice for Skydiving
Safety is not just the technique or method of jumping but rather is made up of a number of factors listed below.

Attire

Jumpsuits are meant to keep your body warm and protected against the frigid, cold air at high altitudes. They are also durable enough to prevent scratches and bumps on landing. However, depending on what form of skydiving and your expertise level, the material of the jumpsuit differs. So consult with your trainer or an experienced jumper as to what jumpsuit best suits your skydiving style. Do not experiment on your own.
Check your jumpsuit for holes or tears. Make sure it fits properly and there is no way for air to enter it. Always try on the suit prior to jumping well in advance, to ensure it is in good condition.
Wear a helmet when skydiving. No jump is 100% risk-free and a helmet can go a long way in minimizing injury. Make sure your helmet is open faced but protective and sturdy. Check its shock absorption factor. It should fit your head and not feel heavy or very large or too small and tight. Do not take it off at any time during the jump.
Goggles are not mandatory but are an extra safety measure to protect one’s eyes during the descent. Gloves should only be worn if you are comfortable using your equipment with them on. Wear durable shoes with firm soles and grip, such that during the descent, you can touch the ground without causing any harm to your feet. Make sure all such attire is comfortable and will not hinder you during your jump.

Equipment

The altimeter is a specialized piece of equipment that measures your height above the level of the ground and can also predict your speed of falling. You can opt for a visual one, which should be worn on the wrist or the front of the torso. Check the visibility of the display, its durability, analog or digital display and ability to measure pressure. You could go in for an audio altimeter that is worn inside your helmet and will inform you of the decrease in altitude as you fall. These altimeters have pre-set alarms that indicate when you should deploy your parachute.
An Automatic Activation Device (AAD) is a must have and any proper school, training institute and instructor will advise you of the importance of this piece of equipment. This device is a small computer that keeps an eye on your height above the ground and how fast you are descending. It calculates the optimum height when the parachute should be deployed for a safe landing and if you, the jumper, fail to do so at the right time and height, the AAD will open the chute for you. The AAD is a lifesaver and calibrating it on the ground, checking its functioning prior to a jump and buying a good model is your way of ensuring a safe jump.
Your parachute is connected to you by a harness. Make sure your harness fits you properly and is sturdy and tough, without any wear and tear. Have a supervisor or instructor check your harness prior to a jump. Keep a hook knife on you, any time that you skyjump. In case of an emergency, where the main part of the parachute (canopy) will not open, use the hook knife to cut it away.
Do not compromise on the quality of your skydiving equipment and making any changes or tweaks in them should only be done if sanctioned by an instructor or recognized expert in your skydiving team or class. Maintain such equipment in good condition.

Miscellaneous

Be informed about the skydiving process. Ask a lot of questions and do not choose the first skydiving school or institute you see. Instead, visit different schools or go for a demo class on the ground, talk to instructors and ex-students on your own. Check the licensing of the school, what safety programs and measures are implemented and check the school’s skydiving history, with respect to fatalities.
Do not be too enthusiastic or overexcited to jump. Choose the right skydiving style based on your experience. For new jumpers, it is best to opt for the tandem style of skydiving where the instructor and you have the same chute and he/she controls the diving experience. Until you have experience or until your trainer feels you are ready, do not jump on your own.
Prior to a jump, whether for the first time or the umpteenth time, eat a light meal. Check your equipment and pack your parachute under the watchful eye of your instructor.

For first time sky jumpers, along with ensuring physical safety prior and during your sky jump, your mental attitude should be strengthened and prepared for the experience. However, as your skydiving experience builds up, you can ignore safety procedures and become careless and this can turn dangerous, not only for you but for your fellow jumpers as well. Keep safety first and jump with ease, by making sure all safety checks and procedures have been carried out well in advance.

Tips That’ll Help You Excel at Badminton

A badminton rally ends once the shuttlecock falls to the ground. The rule is that it can only be struck once by each side, over the net. The shuttlecock is a feathered projectile that is designed with unique aerodynamic properties that cause it to fly differently. The feathers create a higher drag and cause the shuttlecock to decelerate much more than a ball. Competitive badminton is always played indoors, because the flight of the shuttlecock is strongly affected by wind. As an Olympic sport, badminton has five competitive disciplines―men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, and mixed doubles. The sport demands aerobic stamina, strength, and speed. The technical aspect of the sport requires good motor coordination.

Since badminton involves stamina and agility, you need to warmup accordingly. You could begin with a jog or skipping, and once your pulse is raised, stretch the legs, back, and shoulders to prepare for the lunges. When choosing a racket, check the grip―small grips for small hands and large grips for large hands. Develop a relaxed grip with flexible wrist movements, to perfect forehand and backhand shots. A wobbly shuttle indicates poor quality or faulty dynamics, and should be returned or chucked away as soon as possible.

After playing a shot, try as much to return to central base position, to be more likely to reach all possible opposing shots. As badminton is a fast-paced and highly unpredictable game, you should be prepared to change direction anytime. Incorporate some strategies into the game, and the best game plan to follow is to discover your opponent’s weakness. Once you identify one or many of his or her weaknesses, play to it as much as possible! This sport requires stamina and agility, and thus, brisk walking and jogging are ideal for providing knee strength that is required during a fast-paced game.

Badminton requires constant thinking and planning. Make sure that every shot has a purpose, and keep an eye on as much of the court as possible. Just like in any other game, exercise or physical activity, make sure you round-off your game with a cool-down phase. You need to ensure that you finish as you began, probably with a gentle walk around the court. You could also adopt some light stretching exercises. When attempting to take up badminton as a sport, focus on the major muscle groups. Even if you wish to concentrate on some others, let your choice depend on how the previous game was.

When stretching for a warmup before a game, ensure that you hold your stretches for around 30 seconds. This ensures a really deep stretch. Badminton is like any other sport, and whether played ‘singles’ or ‘doubles’ or ‘mixed’, the game demands teamwork. You need to understand and apply all the rules to the game, even during the workout sessions. The game requires you to have a lot of stamina, and hence, you need to monitor your diet. A fiber-rich diet, with just the right amount of good fats and carbohydrates, will work wonders on your energy levels.

Once you take to the sport of badminton, you should not shift focus from the essentials of the game, and develop a game plan all your own! Badminton, played as a leisure activity, is a great exercise, and a fantastic way of spending quality time with family and friends. There are dedicated clubs everywhere that operate to teach the sport to children and those genuinely interested in the sport.

Football coaching tips

Talking recently to a number of new soccer coaches who were taking training sessions for the first time, it was interesting to note how many of them were worried by it and wondering how to handle training Under-5s or Under-6s. The following fun football training games and drills are an ideal solution to their dilemma as they are brilliant for coaching soccer skills and keeping youngsters keen.

At this age, drills that involve lining up in queues, waiting to kick a ball are not very educational or entertaining and this is usually when the bad behaviour kicks off and boredom kicks in. These three fun games are designed to keep all your players busy and active.

Game one: Sharks and minnows

In this game, one player is the defender in the square – the shark – and the rest – the minnows – line up along the line with a ball. The kids have to dribble to the other side.

  • The shark has to win any of the balls and kick it out of the square. The minnows that make it to the other side must wait until everyone has either got across or their balls have been kicked out. The ones whose balls are kicked out become sharks.
  • Each round becomes more difficult.

Key soccer skills: Ball holding, shielding, speed, individual skills tackling.

Game two: End-of-line soccer

This game can be played like 4v4, but the idea is to pass the ball so one of the team’s players can stop the ball on the line at the end they are attacking.

  • Players must be fully in control of the ball when they stop it or it doesn’t count.
  • Players cannot kick it past the line and claim a goal.

Key soccer skills: Passing, teamwork, individual skills to lose opponents, ball control, ability to stop ball.

Game three: Knock down the cones

Play this also as a 4v4. Set up two lines of cones at either end of the pitch. Each team has to knock the other team’s cones over.

  • The team that knocks the opposition’s cones over first is the winner.
  • In this game, players must use space and turning skills to lose their markers and create opportunities to knock the cones over.

Key soccer skills: Passing, teamwork, individual skills to lose opponents, accurate shooting.

Skateboarding Tips for Beginners

Skateboarding, in simpler words, is the activity of riding a skateboard. A skateboard is basically a rectangular plywood piece (deck), which is fitted with four small-sized wheels on the underside. Nowadays, new versions are available with many other optional components. It is viewed by many as a recreational activity or a type of extreme sport. Rarely, it is used as a means of transportation. A person participating in this activity is called a skater/skateboarder.

This sport is and has been a favorite with extreme sports enthusiasts. It has fascinated several youngsters over the last few decades. According to a survey conducted, majority of the skateboarders are males under 18 years of age. The growing popularity of this sport does not mean that there is no risk involved. If you are a first timer, then you should follow certain safety measures.

Tips

» The first step is selecting the right board and proper gear. As a beginner, you should choose a thick and heavy deck with less curvature. With such a board, you are less likely to slip off, and it is easier for you to keep control. As you become better, you can switch to a thin and concave deck.

» It is always advisable to check the trucks of the board. If they are very tight, loosen them by unscrewing the kingpins. After doing so, make sure the kingpins are fitted properly. A well-fitted truck will help you to turn easily, thus minimizing the risk of falling. Speaking about protection gear, you should purchase good quality skating shoes, helmet, wrist brace, and elbow and knee pads.

» The next step is to make yourself comfortable with the skateboard. You can place it on a non-slippery surface (grass or carpet), and try to stand or jump on it. Be comfortable with the shape and size of the deck and learn some basics such as placing your feet in varied positions and balancing on front and rear wheels.

» Once you are comfortable with that, you can decide your stance or skating style. In general, there are three stances, viz., regular (skate with the left foot forward), goofy (skate with the right foot forward, and mongo foot (push with the back foot, instead of the front one). Always stand in your most convenient style and try to push forward. If possible, do not follow the mongo style, as it takes a longer time to learn.

» In the initial days, practice by pushing off on an even surface or at the most, a shallow hill. You may fall from the board while pushing off, but try to relax and imagine that pushing off is like taking a normal step. Maintain balance and push your foot as you do while walking. Another trick is to start pushing off as powerfully as you can. You can ride until the skateboard stops naturally.

» The next tip is to push yourself carefully while riding, before you run out of speed. You can learn to turn left and right by putting more of your weight into the heels. As you practice regularly, you will be able to take sharper turns. Last, but not the least, you will need to learn how to stop the skateboard. The easiest and safest way of stopping it is footbraking. Footbraking involves taking off the back foot and grinding it onto the ground. There are other stopping methods such as heel drag, bail, boneless, and powerslide.

It is advisable not to try any tricks or fast-paced skating, before getting a command over the basics. Once you are confident about the twists and turns, you can practice other tricks such as ollie, kickflip, magic flip, etc. Have patience and keep trying again and again. Remember that, failure is the first step towards success.

Super Simple Slackening Tips and Tricks

Slacklining has become an increasingly popular sport which – as mentioned above – involves walking across a highly-tensioned and bouncy webbing. Although people have been performing balancing activities from ages, slacklining has become a trend in the last three decades. Unlike a tightrope, a slackline is not held that rigidly, instead it is stretchy and dynamic. The slackline is normally 1 or 2 inches broad and flat. With all these features, the slackline becomes highly versatile, which makes this sport more enjoyable.

The art of slacklining will help you improve balancing ability, increase concentration levels, condition core muscles, and have a lot of fun. Slacklining is not only limited to balancing or walking on the line, you can even jump and bounce, or use the line for static poses, fitness, and yoga, in addition to performing a lot of tricks.

This Buzzle article will give you some information on how slacklining is done, and some tips to improve your skills. Once you are well-versed with slacklining, you can indulge in advanced branches like longlining and highlining. Let’s get slacking!

If walking the tightrope has been on your mind for a while now, but you lack the courage to do something about it, then maybe you should look at slacklining as an option. With the line in slacklining being, well, slacker than tightrope walking, it is easier to balance while slacklining. Balancing on a line which is a few feet above the ground may seem to be scary task, but most of us have an inner equilibrium which helps us balance. Once you learn the techniques and get some regular practice, you will start to enjoy slacklining.

For slacklining, you will need two anchor points (mostly two trees), a slackline and a pulley, carabiners, ratcheting mechanism or some other means of getting the slackline tight.

► Find two trees as anchor points that are at least 15 – 25 feet apart and set the line a little above your upper thigh or hip level. Starting with a short slackline will keep the line stable and will make it easier for you.

► This is not a tightrope, so you will have to set up the tension between the two anchors. The line should sag at least 6 – 12 inches when slacklining.

► Mental preparation is the most important thing before you step on the line. So like you see in the movies, shake yourself a bit, then your shoulders, legs, arms, and relax before you start. Trust me, it works!

► While slacklining for the first time, it is advised to have two spotters on both sides of the line, to increase your confidence. You can start with holding their hands or shoulders, and work on balancing.

► When you keep your feet on the webbing, make sure you do not watch them. Keep your focus on the end of the line and let your balance tell you where to put your next step. Focus at least 15 – 18 feet in front of you.

► Keep your arms in the Titanic position and do not lock your knees; keep them a bit bent. You also need to keep your head up. While taking steps on the line, lean your torso forward as well.

► While mounting the webbing, place one foot on it with very little weight, and keep your other leg against the line and support it using your thigh. After that, hop with the leg on the ground so that the balance is maintained.

► Once you get the knack of mounting, you can start focusing on your balancing skills on the line while taking baby steps. Start with short distances; you can increase it later with more practice.