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Common Neck Injuries Sustained in Sports

Posted on December 10, 2018 by Jason Smith

neck-1For obvious reasons, you don’t want a neck injury. Not only have many professional athletes sat out whole seasons – or ended their careers – due to necks injuries, but roughly 10 percent of the adult population suffers from stiff, painful necks at any time, impacting their comfort and quality of life.

Working out your shoulders and back, high-impact training like jumping and falling and even just sitting or sleeping improperly can cause problems with your neck. If you want a strong, stable neck, you should know about these common neck disorders – and how to avoid them.

Nerve Problems

The neck is the thinnest part of your body – and it is also where some of the most important nerves in your body reside. Thus, damage to the neck can easily result in nerve problems that result in numbness, reduced function, pain or other issues on other parts of your body. It is possible to develop a pinched nerve in the neck merely by sleeping wrong or turning your head quickly and improperly, but in sports, more serious nerve issues can occur.

Among the worst are stingers and burners, which often occur to football players and other contact-sport athletes. As their name suggests, stingers and burners result in stinging, burning pain as well as an electrical sensation down the arm. When these symptoms last more than a minute or two, it is critical that you see a doctor as you may have a catastrophic neck injury.

Muscle Spasms

Muscle spasms occur in any skeletal muscles that have recently been overused and are feeling fatigued. Dehydration and malnutrition can also result in uncomfortable or painful spasms. High-performance athletes in any sport can suffer spasms, but the solution is simple: rest, hydrate, eat healthily and rest more. Read the rest of this entry →

Repeating History? Cooper Kupp Conjures Memories of Bucky Pope

Posted on December 09, 2018 by Dean Hybl
Bucky Pope caught 10 touchdown passes and averaged 31.4 yards per catch during his rookie season in 1964.

Bucky Pope caught 10 touchdown passes and averaged 31.4 yards per catch during his rookie season in 1964.

Even though Los Angeles Rams receiver Cooper Kupp was a third round selection in the 2017 NFL Draft and a third-generation NFL player, his emergence as a star receiver for the Rams conjures comparison to another small school player who made an immediate impact more than 50 years ago.

With a 5-7-2 overall record, the Los Angeles Rams didn’t have a lot to celebrate during the 1964 campaign. However, one bright spot was the emergence of eighth round draft pick Bucky Pope. Known as the “Catawba Claw” because he played his collegiate football at tiny Catawba College in North Carolina, Pope proved to be one of the greatest deep threats in NFL history.

He emerged as a deep threat with a 65-yard touchdown reception from Bill Munson against Detroit during the second week of the season and over the year caught 10 touchdown passes, including six touchdowns of 48 yards or greater.

In a 42-14 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in week six, Pope caught four passes for 141 yards, including touchdown catches of 48, 68 and 18 yards from Roman Gabriel.

Twice facing Vince Lombardi’s Packers, Pope had a 55-yard touchdown reception in their first meeting and a 95-yard score in the final week of the season.

Overall, Pope caught 25 passes for 786 yards and 10 touchdowns. His 31.44 yards per catch were the second highest single season total in NFL history.

Unfortunately, Pope’s amazing rookie season proved to be something he could not repeat. He hurt his knee during a preseason game in 1965 and didn’t play at all that season.

He caught one pass, a 14 yard touchdown pass, during the 1966 season. In 1967, he caught eight passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns. Included in that total was a 48-yard touchdown catch against the Eagles that would prove to be the final touchdown catch of his career.

Clearly no longer the player he had been in 1964, Pope was released by the Rams and spent a brief period of time in camp with the Atlanta Falcons before playing in three games, with no catches, for the Green Bay Packers in 1968. Read the rest of this entry →

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Teaching Your Kids Team Spirit and Sportsmanship

Posted on December 07, 2018 by Jessica Peters

team-2444978_1920Getting your children interested in sports is one of the most important things you can do for them, for a number of reasons. A child who is interested in sport is more likely to participate in it themselves, and this can help them keep fit and healthy. Children who exercise and participate in sports regularly are much more likely to do the same in adulthood, so it can bring lifelong benefits. Sports also teach us the important social skills of sportsmanship and being a team player, so here are four simple ways that encourage your kids to develop these vital attributes.

Watch Lots of Sport

Watching a sport is great fun, and your children will enjoy it even more if they can do it with their mom or dad and if they have a particular team they can cheer on. People of all ages can learn a lot from watching sport, but one of the most important lessons is that working smoothly with people as part of a team can bring great results. Even Steph Curry, for example, knows when it’s best to pass to a Warriors teammate rather than taking a shot on himself. This can be a vital lesson for young people to learn, encouraging them to think about ‘we’ rather than just ‘me’.

Learn to Trade and Share

Loving sport can give a child many happy memories that stay forever, but it’s not simply watching the sport, or even taking part in it, that’s fun. There are lots of family friendly activities that are spin offs from sport, and one of the most enjoyable is trading pin collecting. A team pin can be a thing of real beauty, and many children and adults love to wear the pin of the team they support, whether that be in football, baseball, hockey, basketball or soccer. Many children also trade club pins with school friends or at special trading events. These not only allow your child to grow their collection, it means that they learn how to trade fairly, and how sharing can bring rewards. Read the rest of this entry →

10 Ways to Increase Your Vertical Jump

Posted on December 05, 2018 by Sasa Cvetkovic

David-ThompsonAnyone who has ever played basketball has dreamed about leaping past and over a defender and performing a slamdunk in the best tradition of Horace Grant and Michael Jordan. Unfortunately, for most of us this seems like an impossibility. But your inability to do this likely has less to do with your technique than it does with your ability to perform a vertical leap. That’s the purpose of this article: to help you increase your vertical jump.

It’s important to keep in mind that improving your vertical leap means making better use of your leg muscles. So if you’re going to do this, your training needs to emphasize vertical movements, such as deadlifts, Olympic lifts and squats.

When combined with a solid understanding of basketball fundamentals, and increased vertical jump can give you a real advantage on the court. Keep the following in mind if you want to achieve maximum height when you leap for the slamdunk.

1. Get Rid of Those Knots in Your Legs

Muscle knots exist throughout your body and make your muscles weaker and shorter by stripping the length of muscle tissue. Slowly run a foam roller across your muscles, focusing on sensitive spots in order to release the knots there. You should work on the following areas of your legs, devoting roughly a minute to each leg.

Calf Muscles – Position the roller below your calf while resting the opposite foot flat on the floor. Alternatively, you could cross this leg over your shin in order to increase pressure. Then roll up from the ankle to the knee. Repeat with the opposite leg.

Quadriceps – Lie flat on your stomach and placed the roller underneath the front of the thigh. Then roll it up and down from the knee to the bottom of the hip. Then switch to the other leg and repeat.

IT Band – Lie on one side with the roller position close to your hip while resting the foot of the other leg. Then roll the roller up and down along the outer thigh. You can choose to enhance the pressure by positioning one lying on top of the other. Then repeat this process with the opposite leg.

2. Hip Flexor Stretch

If you’re going to successfully increase your vertical jump, it’s essential for you to be able to extend your legs much more quickly. One way you can practice doing this and enhance your ability is to do hip stretches. Doing a hip flex or stretch means you are pulling your knee up and loosening the muscles involved. This will help to ensure that your muscles won’t be tight and prevent you from increasing your vertical jump.

In the hip flexor stretch, place your back knee right below your hip and lunge forward, pushing with your pelvis unto you begin feeling the stretch at the point where your femur meets your pelvis. Hold this position for about 2 seconds and then release. You should repeat this 10 times for each leg. Read the rest of this entry →

Will The MLS Ever Catch Up With Europe?

Posted on December 02, 2018 by Amelia Rose

soccer-2018-2Every couple of years the MLS grabs worldwide attention with the signings of some major stars.

That started with David Beckham and since then, big names like Thierry Henry, Steven Gerrard, David Villa and Kaka have made the journey across from Europe.

This year has welcomed two of the world’s biggest names in Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney, which begs the question, has the MLS re-found its mojo and can it close the gap on Europe in terms of quality?

More attention is on the league than ever before and with the season currently at the MLS Cup phase it’s grabbing headlines worldwide and being bet on more than ever before.

There are new betting offers every day at the moment with Atlanta current 1-4 favorites with bookie Betfair to earn their first, ahead of the Portland Timbers who they’ll take on who are priced at a generous 11/4.

This attention is only good for the league and will encourage more players to make the switch to the USA. Read the rest of this entry →

The Athletes Who Went Broke

Posted on November 30, 2018 by Scott Huntington

The story of the athlete who turned rags to riches by going pro is one we love to tell. Often, professional sports takes this story to the extreme with the biggest stars earning hundreds of millions. The top 100 highest-earning athletes, according to Forbes, brought in a cumulative $3.8 billion last year.

But the story of pro athletes going from riches to rags is almost as common. According to Sports Illustrated, 78 percent of former NFL players experience financial stress after just two years out of the league, and 60 percent of NBA players go broke after five years of retirement, although the NBA disputes this claim.

Athletes Who Went Broke

Tyson

Whatever the case, though, stories of former stars falling on rough times are plentiful. There was Mike Tyson, who earned more than $400 million over the span of his career but declared bankruptcy before he retired. According to a New York Times article about his bankruptcy filing, Tyson spent lavishly. Tyson has claimed that his former promoter, Don King, cheated him out of tens of millions of dollars.

Read the rest of this entry →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Paul Warfield: The Perfect Receiver
      December 10, 2018 | 3:36 pm

      Warfield-DolphinsThe Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was perfection personified as a wide receiver during his NFL career.

      Known for his fluid movement, grace and jumping ability during his 13 year NFL career, Paul Warfield was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and key performer for the Miami Dolphins during their 17-0 campaign in 1972.

      Because the role of the wide receiver has changed so much and today’s star receivers get the ball thrown to them so many more times than in the pre-1978 era, Warfield is often overlooked when discussing all-time greats.

      But, think about this. Warfield averaged 20.1 yards per catch for his career (427 receptions, 8,565 yards) and 19.9% of his receptions went for touchdowns (85). By comparison, Julio Jones has averaged 15.5 yards per catch for his career and a touchdown in 6.9% of his receptions (46 TDs in 669 catches). Antonio Brown averages 13.4 ypc and a TD in 8.7% (70 of 804) of his receptions. Terrell Owens averaged 14.8 ypc and a TD in 14.2% of his receptions. Even Jerry Rice, considered the greatest receiver of all-time, averaged only 14.8 ypc and a TD in 12.7% of his catches.

      Read more »

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