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Sports Then and Now


How Coaches and Counselors Can Support Their Athletes’ Health and Well-Being

Posted on November 12, 2017 by Rachelle Wilber

How Coaches and Counselors Can Support Their Athletes' Health and Well-BeingAthletes face many challenges not only in their sport of choice but also in everyday life. Consequently, these challenges can affect their performance both on and off the field, whether male or female. Therefore, not only do they need the help of their coaches, but also of counselors to help them navigate their everyday lives.

The Role of Coaches

Coaches deal with their players on an everyday basis. Consequently, they play a significant role in their athletes’ lives and spend a lot of time with their players. Coaches are responsible for training athletes on the skills and techniques for the given sport. As such, coaches should be equipped a master’s degree in coaching, and with both leadership and technical skills to manage their athletes’ performance. To ensure they are in the best physical shape, coaches follow up on athletes’ diets, training regimen and general well-being. Coaches should be duly trained on the best knowledge and skills essential for bringing out the best performance in an athlete. A coach should also foster a sense of community, confidence, and teamwork for their team if they are dealing with a team sport.

Individual Sports

Even when dealing with individual sports, the coach is still responsible for ensuring athletes are in the best physical and mental conditions to handle competition. Good coaches contribute to the confidence levels exuded by players both on and off the field. It is, therefore, the responsibility of the coach to ensure he/she has a good working relationship with their athletes. Read the rest of this entry →

5 Tips For Purchasing the Best Airsoft Gun

Posted on November 10, 2017 by Dan Parker

airsoftIf you are planning on getting your own airsoft gun, then you will definitely want to read this article as we will be giving you tips on how to buy your very first one. You see, there are a lot of variants and models of airsoft guns to choose from. And you may find it very hard and confusing to choose which airsoft gun would fit you the best. Remember that airsoft guns aren’t cheap and a good one will cost you some money. So without further ado, here are 5 tips to purchasing the best airsoft gun for you.

1. Durability – Plastic or Metal

If you are a newbie to airsoft guns, then you would assume that airsoft guns that are made of metal are the better choice for your first airsoft gun. This is not necessarily the case today, in fact, even in real guns used in real warfare, there are a lot of guns that have mixed builds of plastic and metal. Plastic today have been developed to be very durable and versatile. There are a lot of high-end airsoft guns that are made of plastic. Plastic are rust-free, cheaper, and lighter compared to metal. Thus, do not ignore the airsoft guns that are made of plastic, better yet, choose an airsoft gun that is made from plastic.

2. Type of Airsoft Gun

There are basically three types of airsoft guns. Each of these guns serves different purposes, so it is better that you are familiar with each type and their advantages.

•    Spring Airsoft Guns – the easiest and cheapest type of airsoft gun. Its mechanics is made up of spring. All you have to do is to pull back the spring, target and then shoot. Most recommended for target practice sessions.

•    Airsoft Gas Guns – these airsoft guns are powered by a gas driven mechanism. They also have the most realistic recoils, so you will definitely feel like shooting a real gun. The only disadvantage is that it doesn’t usually work in cold weathers.

•    AEG or Electric Airsoft / Airsoft Electric Guns – the most popular and widely used airsoft guns. They also have the most variants and models. AEGs are powered by rechargeable batteries that drives an internal motor that loads and shoots the pellets. AEGs can be fired single-shot, semi-automatic, or fully-automatic. AEGs are also considered the best and most fun airsoft guns. Read the rest of this entry →

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Saving Your Back and Your Pocketbook: Golf Ball Retrievers are a Golfer’s Best Friend

Posted on October 30, 2017 by Katherine Taylor
Back injuries have derailed the once great career of Tiger Woods.

Back injuries have derailed the once great career of Tiger Woods.

Out of all the sports known to man, golf is the least aggressive and the least violent. Yet, every year professional golfers suffer serious injuries, some that threaten to remove them from the game forever. In 2014, Tiger Woods, formerly the world’s top golfer, had surgery to repair a pinched nerve in his back. In 2015, he underwent a second microdiscectomy surgery with a follow-up procedure on his back. And this year, he had fusion surgery on his back as well.

After these, and other procedures, the golfer told reporters that he is unsure if he will ever play competitive golf again.

Back Pain: The Cost of Golf

According to Spine-Health, golfers can be afflicted by three different forms of back injury. First is muscles strains which “typically occur with rough or forceful golf swings or a sudden shift during the downswing.” Second, is muscle and tendon attachment which “generally occur due to excessive use, accidents, or swing abnormalities while playing golf.” Third, is disc injuries which also “occur from swinging abnormalities.” Additionally, low back pain and back injuries occur frequently because of repetitive bending over to pick up golf balls and line up shots.

Getting back injuries treated can be an extremely costly procedure. Spinal fusion surgery, such as what Tiger Woods had to undergo, can cost from $100,000 to $115,000. While Woods, who has 79 PGA Tour wins and has been one of the highest-paid athletes in the world for years, can easily handle such a cost, the everyday golf enthusiast or the occasional leisure golfer who can’t hire a personal caddy (or who doesn’t have an enthusiastic grandchild who loves chasing balls) won’t be able to. So what can be done?

Golf Ball Retrievers Help Eliminate Back Pain

Well, there is a tool that eliminates the constant need to bend over while playing — the golf ball retriever. The best golf ball retrievers allow you to only have to exert your arm and your hand to pick up golf balls — not your back. They typically run in the $15 range and can easily be ordered online or at many golf shops. Golf ball retrievers are usually extendable — they can extend from six feet to up to fifteen feet, ensuring that a stray golf ball is never outside your reach. They are conveniently foldable and easy to carry. Getting golf balls out of water holes or sand traps is a lot easier with a retriever. Read the rest of this entry →

4 Football Players You’ve Forgotten About and What They’re Up to Now

Posted on October 30, 2017 by Carol Trehearn

Football-1The names of the latest NFL superstars usually stay in the national spotlight for several years after retirement. These players become commentators on major news stations, launch their own restaurants or fashion lines and appear as guests at a variety of events and fundraisers. But what about the players who never achieve superstar-status?

If you’ve ever wondered what happens to the players who fall out of the spotlight after retirement, keep reading to learn about four football players you’ve forgotten about, and what they’re doing since leaving the field:

Jake “the Snake” Plummer

You’ve probably heard of plenty of former NFL players who have gone on to launch restaurant chains, become actors or start a career as sports commentators. Less common are stories of football players who continue careers as professional athletes, but in different sports. But that’s exactly what Jake “the Snake” Plummer went on to do. His 10 year NFL career included runs with the Arizona Cardinals and the Denver Broncos. But when he abruptly retired in 2007 after getting traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Plummer went on to launch a new career as a professional handball player. In his very first appearance as a professional handball player, Plummer and his brother/partner took second place in the U.S. Open of Handball.

Plummer now runs handball tournaments and occasionally steps back into the world of football as a sports commentator.

Joe Horn

If you were a Kansas City Chiefs fan in the late 1990s or a New Orleans Saints fan in the early 2000s (or an Atlanta Falcons fan in 2007), you may remember Joe Horn for his over-the-top touchdown celebrations. Now, if you live in the South, you may be more likely to recognize his brand name faster than his real name. That’s because Horn is founder of the barbecue sauce Bayou 87. His sauce claims to blend the flavors of New Orleans with cajun culture.

When he isn’t stirring up his signature taste, Horn is also known for partnering with other former players and coaches to host youth football camps across the country. Read the rest of this entry →

43 Years Ago: Ali & Foreman Rumble in the Jungle

Posted on October 29, 2017 by Dean Hybl
The Rumble in the Jungle proved to be a pivotal moment in the careers of both Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.

The Rumble in the Jungle proved to be a pivotal moment in the careers of both Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.

While the greatest victory of Muhammad Ali’s career was perhaps over the U.S. Government, it could certainly be argued that he had no greater win in the boxing ring than his victory over George Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle 43 years ago on October 30, 1974.

Though the 32-year old Ali had been a great champion, he had lost more than three years at the peak of his career due to his battle with the U.S. Government and in the three years since his return to the ring had never quite reached the level of greatest displayed earlier in his career.

He had posted a 15-2 record since returning to the ring and avenged both defeats, but the undefeated 25-year old Foreman was 40-0 in his career and wasn’t just winning fights, he was demolishing opponents.

Ali’s two defeats had been to Joe Frazier and Ken Norton. Foreman’s fights with both Frazier and Norton ended in the second round. He knocked Frazier down six times before their fight was finally stopped. Norton, who had famously broken Ali’s jaw in their first fight, was knocked out by Foreman in the second round.

There are many things about the Rumble in the Jungle that are now famously part of boxing lore.

One thing that made the fight notable was that it was being fought in Zaire, Africa. Ali had fought oversees several times previously, but never in Africa.

Also, it was the first major fight promoted by Don King. He would, of course, become known for creating boxing spectacles, but the Rumble in the Jungle would be the first exposure for many to the flamboyant King.

The fight was originally set for September 25th, but Foreman suffered a cut while sparing less than 10 days before the fight and they were forced to postpone for more than a month.

Though the extra time allowed Foreman to heal, it actually worked in Ali’s favor as he spent much time with the people and was embraced by local residents while Foreman was not happy with the surroundings.

The term “Ali, bomaye” (Ali kill him) became a popular chant by the locals and when the fight finally happened the atmosphere was clearly an advantage for Ali.

Many expected Foreman to make short work of Ali and he indeed connected on some big punches in the early going of the fight. That Ali didn’t go down became a key part of the story.

Eventually, Ali realized that for him to win he needed to wear down his younger and powerful opponent. Though he had used the strategy unsuccessfully in his losses to Frazier and Norton, the “rope-a-dope” strategy of staying against the ropes and bracing for big punches became part of the fight plan for Ali.

Foreman was still able to get in some huge punches, but eventually he started to tire and Ali began to gain control of the fight. Read the rest of this entry →

Anthony Joshua Aiming for 2017 SPOTY Award

Posted on October 28, 2017 by John Harris
Anthony Joshua is looking to be the fifth boxer to win the prestigious SPOTY Award.

Anthony Joshua is looking to be the fifth boxer to win the prestigious SPOTY Award.

The BBC Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) Award is always a cherished honor and according to Betway Insider the favorite to claim the 2017 award is boxing champion Anthony Joshua.

Heading into his upcoming fight with Carlos Takam, the World Heavyweight Boxing Champion has already had a good 2017 with his title unifying victory in April over former champion Wladimir Klitschko.

That victory in front of 90,000 fans at Wembley Stadium followed up three victories in 2016. Joshua first claimed the WBC International Heavyweight title in 2014 and then won the British Heavyweight title with a December 2015 victory over Dillian Whyte.

Joshua claimed the IBF (International Boxing Federation) title with a knockout of Charles Martin in April 2016. He twice retained his titles in 2016 with wins over Dominic Breazeale and Eric Molina.

The 2012 Olympic Super Heavyweight Gold Medalist, Joshua enters the Takam fight undefeated with a 19-0 career professional record, including five knockouts.

He was originally scheduled to face Kubrat Pulev, but Pulev suffered an injury in early October and was replaced just 12 days before the scheduled fight by the 36-year old Takem. Read the rest of this entry →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Bulldog Turner: Two-Way Star
      November 12, 2017 | 8:52 am
      Bulldog Turner

      Bulldog Turner

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was a two-way star for the dominant Chicago Bears teams of the 1940s.

      Though Hardin-Simmons College in Abilene, Texas was not known as a football power, legendary head coach George Halas could find great players anywhere and chose Clyde “Bulldog” Turner with the seventh pick in the 1940 NFL Draft.

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