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Sports Then and Now


Archive for the ‘Sports Fitness’


Costly Baseball Thumb Injuries, Then And Now 0

Posted on November 22, 2017 by Joe Fleming
The Los Angeles Angels could not overcome the thumb injury suffered by star Mike Trout during the 2017 season.

The Los Angeles Angels could not overcome the thumb injury suffered by star Mike Trout during the 2017 season.

Considering that the wounds are relatively minor, a blistered or sprained thumb has caused considerable consternation in baseball over the years. In the 2017 season, a sprained thumb might have cost two teams each a playoff berth, and of course, there’s also that famous thumb injury in 1986 which arguably extended the Curse of the Bambino another twenty years.

Medically, a sprained thumb affects the tissue in either the interphalangeal joint (thumb knuckle) or metacarpophalangeal joint (thumb base). In addition to physical activity, arthritis often causes either a hyperextension (when the thumb moves backward) or hyperflexion (repetitive motion). A few simple exercises, and perhaps a thumb brace and a little ice, usually cure the problem. But alas, these measures were insufficient to change the course of history for these three teams:

2017 Los Angeles Angels

The World Series Champion Houston Astros eventually ran away with the American League West title in 2017, but in May, preseason favorite Los Angeles appeared to be in the driver’s seat. Then, in a May 28 loss that brought the team’s record under .500 for one of the first times that season, MVP candidate Mike Trout sprained his thumb. Read the rest of this entry →

How Coaches and Counselors Can Support Their Athletes’ Health and Well-Being 0

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 →

Saving Your Back and Your Pocketbook: Golf Ball Retrievers are a Golfer’s Best Friend 0

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 →

5 Ways to Avoid Common Sports Injuries 0

Posted on October 17, 2017 by Dixie Somers

5 Ways to Avoid Common Sports InjuriesEngaging in sports provides the exercise the body needs, in an enjoyable manner that also fosters regular interaction with other people. These qualities explain why it is one of the most popular ways of staying fit and healthy. However, many sports include the risk of injury, usually from various sprains and strains that occur during play. You can prevent many of these injuries by taking proactive measures to protect your joints and muscles against overuse. Here are a few tips for staying injury-free and ready for play.

Do Warm-up Stretches

You can prevent common injuries, such as ankle sprains, back strains and groin pulls by doing a series of warm-up exercises that work your body sufficiently to improve blood flow that helps protect muscles. Stretches, jogging in place, knee bends and other gentle exercises help to prepare your body for a vigorous physical workout.

Provide Proper Support

If you have an ankle that tends to give out or a knee that sometimes fails, use an elastic brace or Rock tape to provide additional support. Proper bracing can help to avoid sprains and dislocations that can keep you out of the game for long periods of time. If you are engaged in a sport that poses a risk for tooth injuries, use a mouth guard to prevent damage to teeth that can result in the need for extensive dental work. A simple elbow to the mouth could result in something as serious as the need for a root canal. Read the rest of this entry →

How Trampolines Can Help You Get in Shape 1

Posted on September 18, 2017 by Scott Huntington

Any child will tell you how much fun a trampoline is. In fact, you probably experienced the joy of trampolining when you were a kid too. It turns out these fixtures of the childhood backyard are more than just an activity for kids on a sunny afternoon. They’re also an ideal accessory for an intense workout.

Launch-Trampoline-Fitness

In fact, the American Council on Exercise says that a mere 20 minutes of jumping up and down on a mini trampoline gives you just as much of a workout as a 20-minute run. The only difference? Most participants found bouncing to be a much more fun way to work out than pounding the pavement.

Need more incentive? Here’s how trampolines can help you reach your ideal fitness level. Read the rest of this entry →

Doping In Sports: Through The Lenses Of Time 1

Posted on August 21, 2017 by Tyrion Smith

doping-sportsWitnessing the whole BALCO fiasco and long trials of Barry Bonds along with Mark McGwire would have made you wonder that these are the first cases of doping in sports, especially in baseball, but that’s farther from the truth. Yes, the baseball doping was highlighted way more than other incidents of steroid use by athletes in the US, partially because of congressional hearings in 2005 and critically acclaimed movie ‘Bigger, Stronger, Faster’.

Initial Phase

The fact is doping history in sports goes all the way back to ancient Rome when chariot racers were used to drink an herbal pre-workout of sorts before races, heightening their focus and endurance. That’s one of the earliest forms (100 AD) of competitive sports known to mankind. Fast forward to 1889, and ironically, a baseball player openly admitted using testosterone, a rather organic form derived from pigs and dog’s testicles. Sure, there were few instances of athletes experimenting with caffeine and liquor here and there, but come on, caffeine and booze can’t be considered doping despite their proclaimed performance enhancing effects.

First Causalities

Soon after the use of testosterone in 1889, the world witnessed the horrors of steroids in 1896 when Ephedrine intake caused death of English cyclist, A.Linton. Then in 1904, Tom Hicks collapsed at St. Louis marathon, and though he won the event, doctors proved use of Strychinine and Cognac.

The Booming Period

After that we saw a boom in the use of drugs that enhance performance of humans to somewhat super human level, across sports and in wars as well. Call it leaked secretive documents or conspiracy theories, soldiers in WW II were given Amphetamines to boost their endurance and focus, both Allied and Axis.

Finally, we see the mid-1900s, when the use of anabolic steroids was rampant and we witnessed highly tuned muscular physiques. It was the era of superiorly muscular bodybuilders like Sergio Oliva, Arnold and later Dorian Yates, Ronnie Coleman and Phil Heath ushered a ground-breaking phenomenon where human limits were pushed to the max. Soon HGH joined the list of anabolic doping agents as the most potent activist. Ironically, the very sport of bodybuilding highlighted the absolute potential of HGH and doping agents, in addition to its side effects. The number of causalities and deaths directly related to abuse of HGH, insulin and anabolic steroids, in bodybuilding is among the highest and the facts are widely documented on social media. However, that happens only when you misuse them. Learn more about HGH here. Read the rest of this entry →

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