Watch out for Windows……

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broken-glass-windowI am a baseball guy. Baseball was my game, and although I no longer play, I still watch it and occasionally coach it. I recently assisted in coaching a youth baseball camp out in Dallas. It was a great time and a learning experience, although one I should have learned by now.

This article is to educated you on probably what you already know……

WATCH OUT FOR WINDOWS WHEN YOU ARE BATTING BALLS!

Seems obvious, but sometimes you think you are far enough away, and well, you just aren’t. We all learned that all to well this last weekend. Let’s just say the swing on a few boys sent a few baseballs through a few windows, and left us a few hundred dollars poorer! It could have been much worse – someone could have been injured and it could have cost us a lot more. Thankfully Barry, from one of the window companies, was a baseball lover himself, and broke a few windows himself back in the day.

Now not only did we break one window, we broke 2!

What the heck, right?!

We were on a field, as we should have been, but the misfortune happened anyway. Sam was thrown a fast ball and swing batta batta swing, he nailed the ball out of the field, into someone’s backyard and through a kitchen window. Luckily no one got hurt. We called a very generous window company, Metroplex Windows and Glass, and they came out a fixed it up. Now what is so awesome and generous is that when it came time for the bill, they did not charge us! Seems crazy and hard to believe, but Barry (the owner) played many years of ball himself. He said he knew all to well about broken windows. Being it was a youth camp, he said this one is on me. We were stunned and very appreciative, so we just want to throw a large shout out to Barry, of Metroplex Windows and Glass, for his kindness….Thanks again man!

Now you would think that one broken window would be it. But no. Another one of our camp members accidentally hit ( a home run by the way) a car and shattered one of the back windows. I couldn’t believe it. Again thankfully no one was injured or hurt, but geez! This time we called another company that fixed auto windows. They were great too, but they didn’t play ball or offer up a zero bill, so we ate a few hundred dollars for the fix.

This second window really was a fluke. The angle that the ball hit the car was unreal. I would never have thought, but just goes to show the power of a good swing and a baseball.

The major message of this story is to be very aware and be careful. Luckily there were no injuries, but there could have been.

Broken windows from baseballs will happen, but overall caution must be had…take it from me!

Thanks again to Metroplex. The youth boys had an incredible weekend and they too learned that must be careful of windows!!

 

Your Diet Matters

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Your Diet Matters

As is the case with most sports, just winning the genetic lottery won’t take you very far in Basketball if you don’t have the right conditioning and discipline. Having a well-planned out nutritious diet is one of the determining factors on the court. With this in mind, I’m going to throw some light on 3 key nutrients – Protein, Carbs, and Fats. We are going to get all crazy and talk about all the diet fads, just some basic nutrition knowledge. Keep in mind different body types may require different amounts and proportions of macro nutrients.

Proteins – More be good!

With protein, get ‘em when you can is common wisdom. Protein is the raw material needed to build and grow muscle mass. Athletes, and even window installers – haha, this is a shout out to my good friend Barry, are looking to build a lean, strong physique, with minimal fat. So it’s no surprise that protein is needed in every meal for a basketball player to be in top condition. It is said that you need 0.8 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
One should always choose lean (having minimal fat) protein sources – lean beef and pork, chicken, eggs, fish, turkey, etc. Nuts are another good source of protein worth incorporating in your diet.

Three Men in a Bar

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In my previous blogs, I wrote a bit about different types of sports.  So this time I thought maybe I’d drift away from the usual for a while and write about something else.

So now, I’ve decided to write about three men in a bar. Yes, you read that right. Three Men a Bar. Actually, you can find these 3 men not only in a bar, but just about anywhere if you pay attention.  At this point, you’re a bit curious, wondering who these 3 men I’m talking about are, and what on earth have they got to do with sports. You’ll find out soon. First, let’s start looking for these folks, shall we?

Now, here we are, in our little imaginary bar, trying to look for our first gentleman. Right now, you’re trying to look for someone who most likely resembles a Greek God. Yes, someone slightly tall, muscular, with broad shoulders, and narrow hips. A good ‘V’ shaped body, someone who’s won the genetic lottery when it comes to having a great physique. This is your typical Mesomorph, aka, the hot bod!

These person usually has the ability to excel when it comes to strength, speed, as well as agility, making them the perfect candidate for almost any sport there is. They have low amounts of body fat and high muscle content, along with a fast metabolism. This dude finds it much easier to grow muscle than the other 2 men we’ll talk about shortly.

This person will probably excel at sports like bodybuilding (duh), and other sports that require both strength and endurance in varying amounts. Soccer, rugby, hockey, and boxing are a few other options that the Mesomorph has. Due to a well-built upper body, long distance endurance sports are probably not for him, although mid-distance racing sports like cycling and running are something the Mesomorph can excel at.

Next up, we’re looking for a guy who’s looking at the Mesomorph and the women surrounding him with envy. He’s the Endomorph. This guy looks like he’s been drinking and binge eating a lot. He’s the one with a round, pear shaped body. He’s got curves in all the wrong places. Round face, big hips, and an even bigger belly. He’s broad, but not side-to-side, as in broad shoulders. He’s broad from front-to-back, which is basically saying that he’s fat.

But don’t be fooled, he’s also probably stronger than you think he is. It’s no mystery that this person tends to store fat and put on weight very easily while he finds losing weight a little hard.

An Endomorph, due to his large frame, is suited for sports which use strength, instead of agility or speed. Something like powerlifting, or wrestling.

Now, we’ll try and look for our third and last man. Somehow, in my experience, this guy is more readily found than the Mesomorph or the Endomorph. In terms of physique, he’s not really got it as bad as the Mesomorph, but he’s not as muscular as the Mesomorph either. We’re talking about the Ectomorph. He’s lean, thin, doesn’t really have broad shoulders, and doesn’t have much muscle or fat. He looks like the sort of person who can eat as much as wants to without getting fat!

This guy has a fast metabolism rate, which means that he’s not going to put on weight easily. Unfortunately for him, building muscle will also be difficult.

The Ectomorph is very well suited for endurance sports, like running, swimming, gymnastics, or even soccer. If this person is quite tall, he could also be a great basketball player.

It’s important to note, that rarely will someone fit into a body-type perfectly. We’re all Endomorphs, Ectomorphs, and Mesomorphs to a varying degree. But, you can probably get an idea of which type of body you’re closest to, and maybe pick a sport accordingly.

Oops, the bar’s going to close now. See you next time!

PS – If the title of the blog sounds familiar to you, it’s probably because it’s similar to the famous book by Jerome.K.Jerome, Three Men in a Boat.

Need for the stretch

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Learn how to stretch safely and properly.

stretchingIf you are following our running training, there is probably need for some nice deep stretching. Stretching is an important part of training and recovery. It is ofter overlooked because for most people it’s just not comfortable. After the actual training is completed, stretching seems like a chore. With over 600 muscles, stretching is however, a very important piece of the pie, whether your running, horseback riding, playing baseball, or even in everyday life.

Many things in life are about developing the habit. Just like getting up for practice everyday, or starting anew training program. It is consistency that helps develop the habit, and makes it a lot easier to stick with.

The easiest way to stick with something is to have support. In list a friend to stretch with, especially if your training with them. This recommendation comes straight from Ryan, the guy who I created the running training for. He asked that I cover how important stretching is. Him and his buddy Adam, move similar because of their line of work. Ryan works with cars doing dent repair, while Adam is owner of of vehicle wrap shop in Denver. He does wraps a lot of large vehicle in vinyl. They both have to hold positions that make the body tight. Since they are training to run, and have careers that strain the body, stretching is an essential part of the program.

Run Forest Run…..Part 2

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Run Forrest, Run – Part 2

In the last article, I had laid out a rough training schedule for my buddy, and those new to running. I’m going to expand on that a bit, and tell you how to bring a little variety to your training.

Please take note that I’m just giving you a general idea of the types of running exercises that there are. How and when they should be included in your training, is something I’ll leave to much more experienced people, since I’m not qualified to answer that. Your But before getting to the list, there are a few terms you need to understand.

Aerobic/Anaerobic running, and the Lactate threshold – Since I’m no expert on the topic, this is a simplistic view of it. Your body needs to convert sugar to glycogen, which is used as a fuel, or energy, in order to exercise. For the process, your body needs oxygen. When the body has enough oxygen to break down sugar into glycogen and thus provide fuel for running, it is called aerobic running. Here, you’re running at a comfortable speed. This is low-moderate exertion. Now, if there isn’t sufficient oxygen, your body produces excess of lactate, and that’s anaerobic running.

Lactate threshold, from my limited understanding, means the point after which the lactate levels in your blood build up rapidly. It’s the line at which you switch from aerobic to anaerobic running.

Now that that’s out of the way, I’ll introduce you to the 8 common types of running exercises –

Recovery Run/Easy Run

This is one of the more relaxed types of running, when you go at an easy pace. It’s the pace at which you can run, but still keep a proper conversation going. This helps you build some endurance, and moreover, it helps you form your technique and posture, because it’s not that intense. This could be a warm up or cool down form of running, between the more intense running types.

E.g. – Running 3-4 miles at an easy pace

Tempo Run

The tempo run is hard enough so that you need to push yourself, but not so hard that you can’t sustain the effort. This sort of running is used to build endurance and speed levels. It is that speed which is at the lactate threshold, which means the point at which your body switches from aerobic to anaerobic respiration.

E.g. – 1 mile at an easy pace, then 3 miles at a lactate threshold pace, then 1 mile at an easy pace to cool off.

Progression Run

As you might have guessed, here the runner starts off at an easy pace, then gradually builds up speed. Start slow, finish fast. This type involves both, the aerobic and the anaerobic system. This is a moderately difficult workout session

E.g. – 10 minutes at an easy pace, 10 minutes at a moderate pace, and the last 10 minutes at a hard pace.

Hill Running

It’s just running uphill and downhill. It’s a high intensity workout session, which needs bursts of explosive energy. It can be done in short sprints running up/downhill, or can be done by running at a consistent pace on a gradually steeping hill. It increases strength, aerobic power, speed, and endurance.

E.g. – 10 minutes of easy running, then a 1 minute hard burst of hill running, followed by 2 minutes of easy running. Repeat this, say, 10-12 times. Then another 10 minutes of easy running to cool down

Interval Running

This is essentially a speed workout at regular intervals. You run hard with a consistent speed, for a set distance, for a set number of times. You take breaks, i.e., run at an easy pace in between the hard running intervals.

E.g. – Run for 200 metres, 8 times. In between, run at an easy pace for 200 metres.

Fartlek Running

It’s a relatively unstructured form of exercise. In this, you can include different speeds and distances in your running session.

E.g. – 10 minutes of easy running, followed by cycles of 2 minutes of hard running and a minute of easy running. At the end, easy running for 10 minutes to cool down

Ladder Running

This is something like interval running. You go on increasing and/or decreasing the distance of your intervals.

E.g. – Increasing & Decreasing intervals – run or 400 metres, then 800, then 1600, again back to 800 and 400. In between these intervals, do an easy run for 400 metres.

Only decreasing intervals – Run or 1600 metres, then 800, then 400. Increase your pace with shorter distances, and take easy runs in between each interval.

Long Running

It usually means running a long distance at a comfortable pace. However, you can modify this a bit. You can gradually increase your speed, you can prepare for a very fast run towards the end, which is similar to how you end a race. This is a great way to increase your endurance, and mental toughness when it comes to dealing with long distances.

With that, I’m ending this article. Despite writing a 2 part series on running, there’s still a lot more to cover. I would encourage you to read on the different running events by distances (what’s a 5k and 10k run, a half marathon?), common running injuries, different types of gear used for running, and so on.

Just Horsing Around

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In my last post, I wrote about a fairly conventional and well known game, Cricket. This blog is about a sport which isn’t as typical as that, but it’s still popular and has its share of enthusiasts. I’m talking about horse-riding.

Of course, you can also call it ‘Equestrianism’, if you want to be all pedantic about it (see what I did there?). Anyway, Equestrianism refers to the skill or the sport of horse riding. It includes a wide range of activities and sports involving horse riding.

But wait a minute, you say. It seems that you’re just sitting on a horse commanding it to run around hither and tither! The horse is the one actually doing all the work! How is that a sport?!

Well, a sport has 2 aspects to it – physical and competitive. Equestrianism definitely is a sport because it has both of these things in abundance.

So, how exactly is horse riding physically straining?

I wouldn’t need to explain that to anyone who’s ever tried riding a horse, even for a short while. A beginner will quickly notice how sore his body feels after riding. For those who haven’t had the opportunity, think about this – you’re constantly fighting to maintain balance, bouncing on a galloping horse. You have to apply pressure with your legs and change your posture in order to guide it. Wouldn’t all of this require some amount of strength and endurance?

The most obvious workout during horse-riding is for your core strength. The core is commonly used to refer to the torso or the midsection of the body. The muscle groups in the core act as a stabilizer for the rest of the body, and they are used daily for the most mundane things, like bending and reaching underneath the sofa to pick up something you dropped. Trying to ride a horse well and maintaining balance keeps the core engaged.

While riding, your legs and thighs absorb the impact of the horse’s movements, thus you’re exerting your lower body muscles too. You’re constantly pinching your thighs around the horse to remain on the saddle. Also, while steering the horse, you use your arm muscles quite a bit.