Tag Archives: athleticism

5 Trends That Are Driving the Business of Sports

““What’s the difference between a customer and a fan?” asked Vivek Ranadivé, leader of the ownership group of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, during the keynote kickoff to Stanford GSB’s inaugural Sports Innovation Conference, held in early April. “Fans will paint their face purple, fans will evangelize. … Every other CEO in every business is dying to be in our position — they’re dying to have fans.”

While fan passion is as old as sport itself, leagues and franchises are now using cutting-edge technology not just to build winning teams but also to capitalize on the ardor of their customer base to grow another revenue source — corporate sponsorships. Here are a few of the business trends that emerged from the April conference.

Big data is changing basketball management — and the game itself
More than a decade ago, the Oakland A’s Major League Baseball team (and the book and movie Moneyball) popularized the notion of using statistics with predictive modeling to build a winning team. Teams in the NBA, such as the San Antonio Spurs, have similarly used big data sets to help owners and coaches recruit players and execute game plans. But the 2013-2014 NBA season is the first for all teams to have SportVU tracking, a system of six cameras in each arena that measures the movements of the ball and every player on the court, generating an entire database of performance information. “This is the first year we have more data than we can analyze,” said Ranadivé, noting that more data had been generated this season than in the league’s previous 67-year history.

The data are changing the way the game is played, shifting emphasis from how many total points a player scores to measures of player efficiency, productivity per touch, and defensive effectiveness. “It has been hard, historically, to quantify defense,” said Brian Kopp, senior vice president of STATS, the company that developed SportVU player tracking. “Now we have four camera views helping you do that.” In addition, the data have influenced the types of shots players take on the court.”

Read the full post here.

The Seven Most Common Sports Injuries

Sports injury

After a sedentary work week, end-zone catches and 36-hole weekends can take their toll in common sports injuries. The seven most common sports injuries are:

1. Ankle sprain
2. Groin pull
3. Hamstring strain
4. Shin splints
5. Knee injury: ACL tear
6. Knee injury: Patellofemoral syndrome — injury resulting from the repetitive movement of your kneecap against your thigh bone
7. Tennis elbow (epicondylitis)

To see how to prevent and treat these common sports injuries — and to learn when it’s time to look further than your medicine cabinet to treat sports injuries— read on.

The most common sports injuries are strains and sprains

Sprains are injuries to ligaments, the tough bands connecting bones in a joint. Suddenly stretching ligaments past their limits deforms or tears them. Strains are injuries to muscle fibers or tendons, which anchor muscles to bones. Strains are called “pulled muscles” for a reason: Over-stretching or overusing a muscle causes tears in the muscle fibers or tendons.

Read the full post here.

Mistakes People Make When Running

running

Running is one of those things that most of us tend to do without giving much thought. We’ve been doing it since we were in the playground, so why would we need to question it? Well, if you find that you tend to avoid running because it makes you tired and sweaty, and/or because it puts strain on your knees, shins or back… then you’re actually not doing it right. That’s why.

Actually humans are designed specifically to be great at running. In the wild we were not as fast as the animals we would be hunting and as such we had to rely instead on an ability to track them over long distances – which we accomplished through a combination of long-distance running and our ability to track and use tools to our advantage. Tribes that do this today, such as the Tarahumara tribe, are still capable of running hundreds of miles a day. Which is nuts.

Where it All Goes Wrong

So what’s the difference between them and you? At what point did you lose your ability to run long distances and instead begin struggling just to make it up the stairs?

The problem is our modern lifestyle. The biggest issue is that we are now encouraged to sit in the same spot for hours on end while we work on the computer or enjoy watching films. Not only does this mean we aren’t getting any exercise, but it also causes the muscles in our buttocks (our gluteus maximus) and our lower spine (our erector spinae) to become stretched and weakened. Meanwhile our hip flexors (such as our quads) get shortened and tightened.

Read the full post here.

Bonding with your Son through Sports

kids parents sports

There are whole lot of blog posts covering the best father-son duos in sports like this one on askmen.com but what is even more special and seldom written about is ordinary parents cheering on their celebrated athlete kids. Top athletes get to where they are because of the support they receive from their parents from a young age. Whether it’s committing time or money, fathers (as well as mothers) go above and beyond in their efforts and even make their kids’ sports dreams their own. It’s a matter of pride and pure joy for fathers to watch their kids turn their athletic passion into a fulfilling career.

As a father, you may be tempted to push your son to do better in sports but you must remember to be sensitive about your son’s feelings. While it’s important to motivate your son to be athletic, it’s even more important to boost his confidence by allowing him the time and space required to be able to excel in sports. The relationship your kid has with you will determine his self-esteem and how he views his future relationships. This is why it’s so important to cultivate a strong relationship between yourself and your son and, if done right, sports can help in this endeavour.

Here are some ways you can use sports to bond with your son (as well as your daughter).

1. Start at a young age.
Whether it’s watching sports together or playing your favorite sport, the earlier you start involving your son in sports, the better. Pay attention to which sport he enjoys and start playing with him on a consistent basis. You can invite his friends to play along to make it more enjoyable for your kid. When you play sports with him, use encouraging words to boost his confidence. When he goofs up, don’t express disappointment because he will start associating the sport with the bitter feeling of disappointing you. After every game, treat him with his favorite snacks like healthy fruit shakes and energy bars so his body gets the nutrient it needs.

2. Get your spouse involved.
Why keep sports to you and your son when it can be a family activity plus your wife/partner won’t feel left out either. This may be an opportunity for your son to appreciate a different side of his mother when he watches her play. This applies to your daughter too. If you have a daughter, ensure that you’re not leaving her behind because you think being a girl she will not enjoy sports as much as your son does. Sometimes we have conventional thoughts due to our upbringing but should can be cognizant of biased ideas like this and through your actions show that you will treat your daughter as an equal to your son, even in matters such as sports. Through sports, you can teach your kid values such as competitivenss, chivalry, hard work, dedication and team work.

3. Enrol your son in a local sports club.

You don’t have to play with your kid to show your support, as long as you pick him up from school and take him to his sports club, he will appreciate the effort you’re putting into his passion. Clubs are also a great way for your kid to meet like-minded boys and girls who they can play with. If you’re on a budget, check to see if there are clubs that are school-sponsored. This option also works really well for single mothers who are dedicated to ensuring their kids stay athletic.

4. Hire a sports coach.
If you notice that your kid is great at a sport and is keen to excel in it but you don’t have the time or skills needed to train him, consider investing in a coach. Let your kid know why you’ll be getting him a coach and how he can make the best of it. Remember, hiring the right coach is crucial because you’ll be handing over the immense task of honing your kid’s athletic skills. Research about school scholarship and government-sponsored programs to help you pay for the costs. At every stage of your kid’s involvement in sports, make sure you’re having a two-way conversation with him and encourage him to speak his mind when it comes to the choices you two make that will impact his athletic life.

Personality Development Due to Playing Sports

sports

You might encourage your child to play sports because being physically active is healthy for the mind and body. Children who play sports also might learn character and behavior traits that help fill out their personalities. However, the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition notes that only one in three children in the United States gets physical exercise every day, while most children spend more than seven hours a day in front of a TV or computer screen. Getting your kids involved in playing sports will help them get more active and, perhaps, develop a healthier personality.

Higher Self-Esteem
According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, playing a sport can help improve a child’s self-esteem. Because it takes physical, mental and emotional endurance to compete, children learn motivation, determination, and the long-term benefits of training and working toward a goal. The feeling of accomplishment as they work to build their athletic skills improves self-esteem, a personality trait that is important in taking on other challenges in life.

Read the full post here.

The Importance of Sports for Children

children

Due to its vast reach, unparalleled popularity and foundation of positive values, sport is definitely one of the greatest things man has ever created. It’s also a powerful tool that breaks down all the barriers and helps us feel good about ourselves, both physically and mentally. Sport is quite beneficial for children too: by playing sports children develop physical skills, exercise, make new friends, have fun, learn to be a team member, learn about play fair, improve self-esteem, etc.

The enhancement of physical and mental development of children is certainly the most important contribution of sports, but the list of values your child may learn and acquire through sports does not end here. Other positive aspects are numerous, which reveals the true beauty of sport.

When I went to basketball raining for the first time, I wasn’t aware that such experience would serve me for a lifetime. New friends I made on the court, and the positive energy that inspired and motivated us, keep reminding me of the good times I had. Though I stopped practicing after some time, I still recall those memories with a smile. All the players were more than friendly, helping me feel as an equal part of the team. We have developed true team spirit and we spent time together even after the practice. In addition, basketball contributed to my proper physical development and good posture, while some of the tactics and strategies helped me a lot in different aspects of life.

Read the full post here.

Sports Nutrition for Women

sports nutrition

There are usually a few days out of the month when you feel like hell. You run slower, feel achier, and are more likely to skip a workout. “A lot of women finish a hard day and end up flat-on-their-back exhausted,” says Stacy Sims, Ph.D., exercise physiologist, nutrition scientist, and co-founder of the performance nutrition company Osmo Nutrition. “And your menstrual cycle has a lot to do with it.”

For decades, women—athletes and gym rats alike—have written off these PMS training days as a sacrifice to the fertility gods, but it turns out we have just been eating and refueling the wrong way: We’ve been doing it like men. And our performance has suffered.

The problem is that the recommendations for pre-, during, and post-exercise fueling are based on studies that use 18- to 22-year-old guys. Unlike men, we have high and low hormone phases throughout the month, during which estrogen and progesterone fluctuate, causing slight changes to metabolism, glycogen, and blood plasma levels, all of which affect performance, recovery, and how hard you can push during a workout. That’s why it’s hard to include women as test subjects. But by not studying females or only looking at us during a low-hormone phase, scientists and experts are only getting half the story.

Read the full post here.

7 Ways to Prevent Sports-Related Injuries

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Sports is the best way to maintain a healthy lifestyle but can often become a risk of its own. Excessive training, inappropriate training techniques and incorrect use of sports equipment can lead to sports injuries. By the same token, structural abnormalities such as a weakness or imbalance of muscles, joints or the spine can also be causes that result in injury.

Since the news of NFL admitting that brain injury is a direct result of head trauma, experts have been debating on how to deal with sports injuries and whether putting one’s health at risk is even worth it. In the aftermath of an injury, health specialists focus on not just assisting in the sportspersons’ recovery but also in their return to top-notch performance. In some cases, however, sports injuries can be so severe as to end the sportspersons’ careers altogether. What’s more, some players face the harsh reality of a complete collapse in their overall quality of life due to a debilitating condition.

Besides trauma to head and other body parts, common sports injuries are caused by traumatic force to a joint in motion causing severe damage. These types of injuries can lead to pain and debilitation preventing the player from enjoying the sport they love. Some are even forced to retire from the sports they have built their careers around.

Needless to say, prevention is better than cure. Below are some tips to help prevent sports injuries.

1. Ensure you have a good night’s sleep. Research indicates that insomnia increases the risk of sports-related injuries.

2. Before getting in the field, ensure that your sports gear meets safety standards. Check for any damage and make this a part of your routine.

3. Take at least one day off every week and at least one month off every year to allow the body to recover. Also, don’t forget to take breaks within a session. Experts say that rest time is crucial in reducing sports-related injuries.

4. Strengthen muscle groups as such as the rotator cuff during practise so that they’re in the best position and ready for play.

5. Don’t use overuse any part of your body because it can result in poor mechanics and even injury. Avoid fatigue at all costs because it can take away natural protective mechanisms of the body such as response time.

6. Don’t aggravate any areas with chronic injury by playing without complete rehabilitation.

7. Stay away from poor practice habits like not warming up or cooling down properly. Getting warmed increases blood flow to muscles and gets one more flexible.

Coaches and mentors can have a great impact on the risk levels of sports related-injuries. There should be a first-aid kit handy on site at all times and coaches must ensure that appropriate help is provided. Sports injury rehabilitation can come in the form of physiotherapy or chiropractic and can treat a range of conditions such as a strains, tendonitis, shoulder dislocation, sprains, ankle dysfunction, etc.

8 Tips to Turn Your Kid into an Athlete

Ice Skating

It’s every parent’s desire to see her kid succeed and it’s no different when it comes to sports. urSTORE would like to take you through a non-exhaustive list of tips to guide you on how to turn your kid into an athlete.

1. Have an open mind
No two kids are alike—perhaps your child is more into arts than sports. As long as he is not physically inactive, respect your child’s interests and create a supportive environment for whatever he is into, sports or otherwise.

2. Start early

This may seem obvious, but the earlier you start the more ahead your kid will be. When kids are stimulated at a young age, they develop the neurological links necessary to turn activities into permanent skills.

3. Put their passion first

You may have grown up playing basketball but your kid may enjoy playing tennis more. Don’t force your passion onto your kid. Just because you love a certain sport does not mean your kid will too. Remember, they can only give their all to a sport they are passionate about. So it’s a good thing even if it’s not the sport of your choosing!

4. Encourage playtime

Kids love to play so let them! Don’t take every opportunity to turn playtime into something competitive. Though this study by Statistics Canada is not recent, it indicates an overall decline in sports participation among children. It is becoming ever more important that your kid doesn’t see sports as a task but a source of enjoyment.

5. Get involved in multiple sports

Diversify the sports your kid plays. The chances of your kid developing coordination, strength and discipline is higher if they play a variety of sports. What’s more, your kid will learn many transferable skills that will prove valuable in any sport he chooses to make a career in.

6. Give feedback

Let your kid know what his opportunities are but don’t stop there. Make sure that you encourage through positive reinforcement too. Just as it’s important for kids to know their weaknesses, so it is crucial to know their strengths.

7. Encourage reflection

Teach your kid to reflect on his performance after every match. The best athletes are those that know their strengths and, more importantly, their opportunities. It’s essentially what a coach does too—assess weaknesses and develop strategies to eliminate them. Possessing this skill will make your kid more self-sufficient as well as able to seek help when he needs it.

8. Play it by ear

Be a positive force in your kid’s development. See what works and what doesn’t and adjust accordingly. Don’t stick to the same rules, improvise as you go along.