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How to Keep Kids Safe in Little League 2

Posted on July 16, 2018 by Scott Huntington

Nothing says summertime like baseball. And across the nation, kids have a ball playing on their little league teams. Sadly, some of them will end up injured.

baseball-1539730_640

When we think of dangerous sports, baseball generally doesn’t rank high on the list. However, the tragic case of little Nader Parman II demonstrates that even a relatively tame sport can turn deadly. While cases such as Parman’s are considered freak accidents and are blessedly rare, failing to take proper safety protections can lead to serious injury. To keep your littles safe on the diamond, adopt the following safety measures:

1. Learn CPR and First Aid, and Be Sure All Coaches and Assistants Are Trained in It

Most adults who work with children, from school professionals down to summer playground leaders, are required to be trained in CPR and basic first aid — but don’t take that for granted. Inquire as to whether your child’s baseball or softball coach is certified. It’s a good idea if volunteer assistant coaches and other adult participants get certified as well.

As a parent, it’s always a good idea to get certified in first aid and CPR yourself. You will hopefully never need the skills, but it helps to know you’re prepared should an emergency occur.

2. Warm up and Cool Down Properly

Just like adult exercisers, children need to warm up and cool down properly before engaging in physical exertion. Contrary to popular opinion, warming up doesn’t necessarily involve heavy stretching. Rather, focus the warm-up on mobility exercises and exercises made to increase heart rate gradually. Read the rest of this entry →

How to Decide Between Skiing and Snowboarding 1

Posted on July 16, 2018 by Scott Huntington

Skiing and snowboarding are the two primary choices for those who want to take up a winter sport, and both activities make the winter season more exciting. Since skiing and snowboarding are both so popular, many are curious as to which one they should learn first. Before choosing, you have several factors to consider.

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The Learning Process

The first week or two of learning snowboarding or skiing will vary based on which you choose. Skiing tends to be more gradual in its learning process, with navigation being more comfortable to start. You do have ski poles to help your balance, after all. Since your legs are separated during skiing, you can throw one foot out to help rebalance yourself if needed. Read the rest of this entry →

How to Build a Baseball Diamond 1

Posted on May 22, 2018 by Scott Huntington

As America’s favorite pastime, baseball is an excellent way to stay in shape, make new friends and get outside on beautiful days. However, if you live far away from a park, you might want to build a diamond somewhere closer to home.

Whether you’re building a diamond for yourself, your kids or a professional or local team, here are three basic tips to help you create an epic baseball diamond.

 

1.     Hit a Home Run, Not Someone’s Car

A practical place to start in your diamond-building endeavor is to find an ideal spot for the field. Things you should take into consideration may be location, proximity to traffic and measurements of the field. This may vary depending on who will use the field — including whether it’s for professional or recreational use.

Depending on how you plan to use the field, the size will differ from one age group to the next. Also, remember that after you determine your field measurements, you may want to calculate room for visitors and spectators to park and sit.

When foul balls inevitably happen, be sure to have a net or the standard 60 feet of bushes to help block the ball from hitting fans, cars or other potential victims. You should also ensure the field will not be at a low elevation or a floodplain. Verify there is sufficient water drainage to avoid water damage, as well.

2.     Know Your Numbers

Before you break ground, it’s good to know what your numbers look like so you know what to expect. Take a close look at your budget, including a plan for maintaining the field after you build it. You can create a beautiful state-of-the-art field, but if you don’t take care of the turf, dirt or soil afterward, you’ll waste money down the road on repairs.

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Once you have a complete understanding of your budget, you will know what kind of materials and layouts you can afford. This will give you a better vision of your field and help in the decision-making process. For example, if you want to build a field for a college or high school, you may want to use different materials than what Wrigley Field has.

The pitcher’s mound and batter’s box will need higher amounts of clay to maintain quality throughout use — around 40 percent is a good number. The infield, overall, however, doesn’t need quite as much. You want to have the amount of sand under 75 percent to keep the infield from becoming dry. An ideal infield mix is 25 to 50 percent clay and silt with 50 to 75 percent sand.

To save money in the long-run, it’s crucial that you care for your field after you build it. You can easily maintain the integrity of your field by hiring a field manager or turf consultant.

Once you have a solid idea of what you want the field to look like, where you want it to be and what kind of professionals you may want to hire, you’re ready to start building.

3.     Start From the Ground Up

Players, coaches and empires alike will all appreciate a level playing field — both literally and figuratively. Make sure that when you break ground, you do it right.

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You may need machinery such as rollers, loaders and excavators to help move dirt and flatten the land. These can be expensive to purchase but renting them is a cost-efficient way to go.

After you have flattened the land, you can measure the field and mark your bases. A standard baseball diamond is a 90-foot square with sliding room around the bases, but there’s room to move for the outfield and fences.

If You Build It, They Will Come

By following these tips, you can build the baseball diamond of any player’s dreams. Enjoy your new home turf — play ball!

Best 10 and Worst 3 NFL Stadiums 0

Posted on May 17, 2018 by Scott Huntington

Going to an NFL game is an adventure. It’s exciting to see a professional sports team play live in front of you. The only downside is you pay lots of money for the tickets and parking — and then you get gouged on food prices. But it’s all worth it because you enjoy the atmosphere, the energy and the stadium where the game is played.

What about the stadiums themselves, though? Some stadiums are brand new, and others have been open for decades. You may love or hate a certain stadium for reasons that are hard to describe. Some just have that certain atmosphere you can’t find anywhere else. Others are architectural masterpieces and full of high-tech inventions.

Some stadiums are clearly better than others, however. Here’s a look at 10 of the best and three of the worst you’ll find.

The Best

These are 10 of the best stadiums you’ll find:

Read the rest of this entry →

How to Keep Your Kids Safe During Little League 1

Posted on April 23, 2018 by Scott Huntington

Kids all over the country are participating in spring little league baseball and softball leagues. It’s a pleasant way to get some exercise, enjoy the weather and emulate their favorite baseball players.

Although baseball is a relatively safe sport compared to football or even soccer, injuries can and do happen. A stray bat or ball can cause injury and pain, as can a dramatic slide into a base.

Let your kids enjoy little league with their friends. Just make sure you and your child take adequate safety precautions, so a preventable injury doesn’t ruin all the fun.

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Wear Proper Protective Gear

Baseball doesn’t require too much protective gear, but it’s important to use the few items you need. Specific requirements will vary through the leagues and age groups, but certain things, like batting helmets, are a must throughout any baseball career.

Read the rest of this entry →

Should You Let Your Kid Start Boxing? 0

Posted on April 19, 2018 by Scott Huntington

Your child expresses an interest in boxing — maybe they saw it on television or heard about an upcoming boxing match.

If you are at least open to the idea, there are a few positive and negative things to consider about your child participating in boxing. Simply put, your child will get hurt in one way or another, as it is part of the sport. The upside is your child will also get to exercise, develop confidence and toughness and gain valuable experiences.

photo: NBC News

photo: NBC News

Expect Injuries

The American Academy of Pediatrics says doctors and parents oppose youth boxing because of the frequency of head injuries and concussions. Head injuries aren’t always inevitable — but being punched in the head is. It stands to reason that head injuries will follow after repeated blows to the head, whether your child wears headgear or not. Read the rest of this entry →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Bill Freehan: Michigan Man
      May 12, 2018 | 6:21 pm

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was an 11-time American League All-Star at one of the most demanding positions in baseball, yet outside of Detroit his exploits have been largely forgotten.

      For more than a decade, Bill Freehan was the rock behind home plate for the Detroit Tigers. In addition to earning All-Star honors 10 straight years and 11 times overall, Freehan was a five-time Gold Glove winner and in 1968 finished second in the American League in the MVP voting.

      A true “Michigan Man”, Freehan played his entire sports career representing teams from Michigan.

      Read more »

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