Category Archives: Sport

My Friend Introduced Me to a New Hobby

I really did not know much about racing until a Formula One race track was built in my city a few years ago. So many people were excited about it being built, but I didn’t pay much attention since I knew so little about what it was like. Then, after it was built, a friend of mine called and said that he had an extra race admission ticket. I figured it sounded fun, and I am always up for something new, so I told him I would be happy to tag along with him. That day changed my life! I had no idea just how much fun it is to see cars racing at top speeds around a track until that day!

I’ve never been much into sports. I have always watched a few things here and there during the Olympics at times, but that was it. My family has never been into sports.

Play Zombie Paintball

As the riders are driven through a course, they shoot at people dressed up as the undead. In most games geared for the general public, the zombies are not armed so they do not shoot back. The poor zombies in this game are basically scary pieces of meat you get to blast with paintballs. As a worker in the trenches, the job of being one of the zombies leaves much to be desired. However, if done correctly with lots of effort into props, details, storyline, and the right equipment, the zombie hayride can be a scary and exciting experience you will never forget.

Fortunately, you don’t have to wait until Halloween to play zombie paintball. There are several other game variations that are even more fun. These games can be played any time of the year in the field behind your house. If you’re a paintball enthusiast and play frequently, try some of these zombie game variations for a different spin on the same old game. You can also play zombie paintball as a Halloween or birthday party theme your guests will never forget. When playing recreationally, you won’t need a lot of extra paintball supplies like a professional field or business would have. However the more elaborate the costumes and props are, the more fun and memorable your game will be should your budget allow. When you don’t have to cater to the general public, you won’t need a giant hay wagon to carry around players. You can also have the option of arming the zombies with paintball guns so they can shoot back for a much more interesting and exciting game.

To play zombie paintball, you will need at least 8-10 people, however the more the better. Games with more people equal more zombies and much more fun. Split up into two teams with numbers specific to the game variation you decide upon. One game has two teams, zombies vs. humans, each armed with paintball guns. Obviously, each team tries to eliminate the other but the spin is this… zombies can only be killed with head shots, they can be hit in the body repeatedly without being eliminated. If a zombie shoots a human, the human is incapacitated for a period of time (5 minutes) and then can continue to play as a zombie trying to eliminate humans. No matter how good the human team is, eventually the zombie team overwhelms the humans nearly every time. This is because head shots are very difficult in paintball if you don’t know what you’re doing or don’t have a precise enough marker. Considering this, split your teams up in the beginning with slightly less players as zombies and more players on the human team.

On-Court Communication Tips

When you move to the 6-person indoor game the complexity rises, requiring even more communication. Here are some tips on how to improve on-court communication.

Make sure calls are strong and followed by action

There is nothing worse to see than a player calling the ball, making an initial move for it, then stopping to let someone else take it. A good call of the ball is loud and authoritative, leaving no doubt that player is getting the ball. Calling the ball three times – “mine, mine, mine” – is a good idea, as it leaves no doubt. The call should be followed by movement with intention (or happen at the same time) – nothing tentative. The only thing that should cause the player to stop going for the ball is someone beating them to the spot. Calling the ball and moving with conviction will eliminate a great many balls dropping between two players.


There are probably things which don’t need to be repeatedly said, like whether the setter is front or back row on the 5th straight serve. Saying it anyway develops the habit of communicating so it doesn’t get forgotten during those times when it’s more critical. In a way, it can also be part of the pre-serve ritual which helps players focus on the next point. If the blockers are calling the hitters and the passers are declaring their seam responsibilities, then everyone is getting connected with each other and prepared to play the next point.

Enforce communication requirements in training

If you don’t talk during practice, you most likely won’t talk during games either. That means you need to develop the habit of communication during training so it carries over into your matches. This requires making sure balls are being called every time. To encourage this, make there be consequences for not calling the ball, like not counting a good pass in a serve receive drill. Or perhaps offer rewards for good communication, like giving a team a bonus point if the blockers properly call out the hitters each play for 3 plays in a row. Incorporating a focus on communication in your training – and making sure everyone is aware that it is a priority – will go a long way toward getting the players talking with each other during game time.

Developing good communication on the volleyball court requires a fair bit of work, especially with inexperienced players. If you work at it consistently, though, it will improve quickly and eventually become second nature.

John Forman, author of theĀ Coaching Volleyball blog, is an experienced volleyball coach and program administrator. These days he plies his trade coaching at the university and upper National Volleyball League levels in England while working on his PhD. Previously he coached at the NCAA Division I level and in the Juniors ranks.

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Ski Vacation Threats

One of the most common reason of getting shin bang is wearing oversized boots. Wearing oversized boots mean that your heels are not being held in place perfectly, which causes your feet to slid to the front of the boots. This may end up landing in the backseat. So here are some ideas to prevent hurting your shins.

Wearing a perfectly fitted boots is one of the top recommendations in order to prevent shin bang. It is advised to consult to a professional boot fitter before you hit the slopes on your ski trip.

Although, there are boots that perfectly fit yet there are times that the liners have gotten packed out, putting your heels in a not so perfect place. If it happens, use a foot bed to help your feet stay still in the boots and prevents you from landing on the backseat. Likewise, if your boots are loose at the top (upper cuff/ top buckle) you tend to stand more upright and it make the boots feel a bit softer increasing the tendency to land in the backseat. Therefore, use booster straps to help it get tight enough.

If you are using your old boots or rental boots, try to find a pair that fits tightly, yet comfortable. It is recommended to add the boot padding with commercial gel and poron pad inserts, which absorbs impact and keeping your foot from getting bruises.

Furthermore, wear ski specific socks that have extra padding in the shin and calf area to add cushioning. In addition, calf and toe raises can help build up your shin muscles and protect your bone from the tongue of your boots.

In case you got shin banged, just remember RICE: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Moreover if you are experiencing pain, taking over-the-counter pain killers would do.

So before you go to your ski vacation, be sure that your boots will not cause you any inconvenience during your trip. Awareness is the key in order to prevent from getting shin banged. Happy skiing!

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This type of skiing was invented in the 1950s. The set of equipment used is pretty much the same with what is used in conventional skiing. A monoskier skis using a single double wide ski where he or she plants both their feet on the board facing forward and skis using styled ski poles.

For regular skiers who want to try monoskiing, picking up the whole dynamics of it is easy however, it takes some time before they get used to it especially when it comes to balance. Performing stunts and tricks, reaching high speeds, catching air and engaging in traditional cross-country skiing are still possible with monoskiing.

This skiing is actually easier on the knees than conventional skiing, that is why it appeals mostly to skies with weak knees. In monoskiing, the weight is centered between the knees while they move with the axis of movement. Even those who have history of knee injury could still try monoskiing. This type of skiing mainly requires a lot of upper body effort, balancing the work between upper and lower body more equally than in conventional skiing.

The good news is, this type of skiing also caters to the interests of disabled skiers which enables them to feel the thrill of the slopes.

Empowering disabled people

For this disabled people, monoskiing opened the doors for them to hit the slopes and be active in sports. For paraplegic skiers, they uses different types of ski designed to different kinds of abilities.

A monoski has a chair with a ski mounted onto it which can be controlled with the upper body alone. This type of ski has been developed for skiers with multiple leg amputations, spinal injury resulting to paralysis of the lower body.

Another type of ski is called a bi-ski, which is similar with the monoski but the seat is mounted on two skis. This is designed for those skiers whose legs are intact but have restricted control due to multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or spinal chord or brain injuries.

A four-track is another type of ski designed for those who lack good lateral control, and use two skis with outriggers. Another type is called the ski bike, originally designed for able-bodied but is successfully used by leg amputees who are able to wear artificial limbs while skiing.

Monoskiing does not only serve the cravings of skiers who would like to try something different during their ski vacation. But it also empowers those who are disabled and help them achieve success in this sport despite their situation.

Beach Volleyball

The Olympic universe first saw beach volleyball during the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. Since 1996, there has been no looking back for the sport as it gained worldwide acceptance and popularity. After each match, spectators are left positively content with the all the thrill and action they get to see. Horse Guards Parade, a place close to Trafalgar Square, which is now being filled with sand weighing almost 3000 metric tonnes, will host Beach volleyball competition this time in the London Summer Olympics in 2012.

Beach volleyball and volleyball played indoors is different in two ways. Firstly, the turf is filled with sand and is an outdoor game. Secondly, there are two players in a team whereas the indoor version has six players.

The objective is simple — to ground your ball in your opponent’s court. After each serve, a team gets three shots to move the ball across the net towards the opposition. The ball used must weigh between 260 -280 grams. There are two referees to oversee a match. Three sets are needed to complete a match and 21 points are needed for winning a set. A very demanding game, beach volleyball requires strength, stamina, speed and exceptional navigational skills on a sandy turf. The players cannot be positively content if they do not fill any of these criterions.

The London Games will see 48 men and women playing for the medals. There are two medals – one for the men and one for the women. There will be a preliminary round where 24 teams from both the groups (men’s and women’s) play against each other. The top 16 teams will then move on to the knock-out phase. The top three countries from each group will advance automatically. There is a stage where four third ranked teams play two matches against each other. The winners advance to the qualifying stage. The semi-final winners eventually play for the title.

The teams to watch out for this Olympics will be the team of Zara Dampney and Shauna Mullin (Great Britain). They are currently 37th in the world rankings. Their biggest rivals will be probably the greatest volleyball team ever comprising of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh (United States of America). They have the distinction of winning back to back Olympic gold.

The other countries to watch out for will be Australia, Netherlands, Russia, Austria and China.

Beach-volleyball is very technical where the margin for committing an offence is very thin. There have been instances where a player has been disqualified for a particular set. In such cases, the suffering team has no choice but to forfeit the set. On some rare occasions has a player been suspended for the entire match, forcing the team to forfeit the match. Therefore, there is no room for a player or a team to remain positively content and they must always be at the top of their game.

Fish Tales

The ritual begins by prepping the area for service. Weed-whacking the over grown banks, setting up sleeping tents, and icing down multiple cases of beer. A huge bonfire is built and maintained constantly throughout the long weekend, employing the same basic primal instincts used by their ancestors who themselves had a quest for fire.

I had endured the festival more than once through the years, many other years not at all. On this one particular weekend, I had planned to visit just for the afternoon, a silly thing like employment had shortened any possibility of me going through the entire process of mental cleansing. The annual campsite is a beautiful, wooded area on the South fork of the Shenandoah. When I arrived, about six guys had already completed the initial steps of preparation and had moved on to Phase Two. Drinking beer, shooting the empty cans with the one pellet gun available and stoking the fire from time to time. I made my friendly chit-chat with the gang before beginning on my real quest, which was to go and do some fishin’. This is a great stretch of water for doing battle with descent sized smallmouth. I walked through the field along the bank leading up to where a large steel bridge spans the river. The plan was, fish for an hour or three, then wade back downstream to the camp. I quietly inched into the chilly waters, wearing just my fishing vest, a t-shirt, a pair of shorts and wading boots. I stopped for a moment to ‘read’ the river and develop my plan of assult. I had fished this section of water many times before, so I knew the in’s and out’s, it was just a matter of where to begin. Directly below the bridge were some deep pockets that had always held good fish, but it was tough, potentially dangerous wading. Big rocks and fast water. You could venture straight out from the bank to fish a very deep hole that developed downstream of the bridge. Below that hole was a wide stretch of descent water that usually produced a good number of smaller fish. So I’m standing there in belly-high water (back when my belly was higher), inspecting the live-action map of the river. Then, something catches my eye from under the clear waters to my left. I think that I knew what it was, but it didn’t make any sense, just didn’t register in the ole’ noodle-brain. I raised my casting arm up to keep my fly rod out of the water (for some stupid reason, since the rod can safely get wet) and bent over face to face with the river’s surface. There staring up at me from the river’s bottom is no other than Andrew Jackson. Not the ex-president who’s been dead now for 170 years. Don’t be ridiculous. It was a twenty dollar bill, resting quietly on the silty river’s bottom, momentarily unmoved by the water’s current. I stood back up, my face no doubt skewed into an expression of confusion, right eye brow raised as the lips clinch to the left. Sort of like Curly from The Stooges. My immediate thought was… where is Allen Funt and the Candid Camera crew? I looked around, looked down at the guys sitting at our camp site, then looked back down at the sunken treasure. No TV crew to be seen, the guys seemed oblivious, and the cash was still there. Next, I had to figure out how to reach my unjust reward without getting too wet.

Start A Winning Tournament Paintball Team

The first step is to establish yourself as a solid player. You don’t need to be the most experienced or have the most expensive gear, but you should show other players you are easy to work with and is totally dependable. Show this to people during actual games by protecting other player’s backs and working hard to help achieve the game’s mission. Show other players how committed and ready you are to play and devote time to bettering your skills.

Putting out much effort like this will attract others who have the same desires as you and it shouldn’t be hard finding people who are willing to work. While working on becoming a better paintball athlete, keep your radar open for observing other players who have the same mindset and qualities that will benefit your team. In tournament style paintball, players hold certain positions on the field, so you will need to look for people who will fill them all for a complete team. The best teams are made of players who are adept at multiple areas on the field rather than just their own position. This will give you an automatic back up system just in case one of your players it out. Besides just filling spots on the field however, look for certain traits in players that will make them easy to work with and help propel your team to victories. For example, choose players who are aggressive on the field and always moving forward. People that are too hesitant and scared to do anything will be dead weight on your team. On the other hand, try to find people who are also smart with their movement and don’t just kamikaze rush out in every situation.

Another big asset to your team will be to have players who don’t mind working hard in practice. Getting good as a team requires much practice as a team. If you have members who don’t enjoy practicing or can’t make it very often, it will be hard to get better and can be distracting to other team mates. This makes a good reason to put a team together with more players than what you actually need. If you’re putting together a 5-man team, don’t stop recruiting after your fifth player; continue searching until you have eight. This way you have back up players in case something happens and full enough practices to get something done. While there are many drills and exercises that can be done with just a couple guys, practicing with your full team is important for perfecting certain plays and strategies. It’s also important you choose team mates who are not afraid to work hard, practicing every drill over and over again until they have it down. Your team will only be as strong as its weakest link, so allowing lazy people in will guarantee holes in your game.

Protection for Your Dock and Boat

While our primary reason for applying dock protection is to protect our own property, we must think about damage that could occur as other boaters come and go from your dock. You have more experience coming and going in your own environment and you know how the outdoor elements will affect it. Others may not have that experience or knowledge.

Dock bumpers can provide protection against those bumps and dings that are nearly unavoidable when the water gets rough, and can save you those potential costly repair expenses.

Dock bumpers are lightweight, flexible, and can be placed on multiple parts of the dock. The most useful are those that get attached right to a dock’s edges and run parallel to the side of a boat when it is docked, but you might also choose to install corner bumpers and post bumpers that fix to posts and roof columns for increased safety. As an added bonus, installation is easy and they tend to be resistant to fungi, so once they are attached you won’t have to spend much time worrying about them.

What to consider when buying dock bumpers:

One thing that you should consider if you are installing dock bumpers yourself is the material you will use. Not using galvanized steel bolts and brackets will cause the materials to break in the wind and waves, resulting in damage to your dock. It pays in the long run to spend the extra costs in the beginning rather than replacing it later.

You’ll also want to be sure you by durable, sturdy protective bumpers. Your dock protectors will be long-lasting if you ensure the product is reliable to start with. Installing durable protective dock bumpers is the best way to avoid damage and those high repair costs.

Dock bumpers also come in various colors. You’ll want to compare products and choose a product that will not only be sturdy and hold up in the outdoor elements, but one that also enhances your dock appearance and your recreational or outdoor area.

Dock Bumper Installation Steps:

1. Take measurements of the dock. Measure the dock with the measuring tape to determine the overall length of the dock. Use these measurements when purchasing your dock bumper.
2. Determine the height. Position the boat alongside the dock and measure the height of where the dock bumper should be placed. Place the bumper at the right height to ensure the boat does not simply slide under the bumper when docking.
3. Install mounting bracket and hardware using the measurements determined in step two and according to the instructions. Use the cordless drill and the level to mount the bumper mounting bracket.
4. Install the bumper. Slide the bumper onto the mounting bracket and ensure that the bumper is secure.

Prepare For Your First Paintball Game

It definitely hurts to get hit and will leave a dark colored bruise if impacting directly against the skin; loose clothing helps diffuse some of the sting as well as add extra protection against your playing environment. Clothing that’s too loose however can get caught on branches or low lying brush when playing in the woods. On the other hand, tight clothing is a no-no; you want to wear clothing that you can move around in without much resistance or discomfort.

The type of paintball clothing you choose is up to you and often dependent on the type of game you play. Camouflage apparel that blends into your surroundings is best for woodsball type games, while tournament players often wear paintball jerseys or professional style uniforms. While the type of apparel you choose is up to you, a protective mask is mandatory. You are not allowed to play paintball without goggles to protect your eyes. A direct hit to the eye or even paint splatter can cause serious permanent injury so a paintball mask is mandatory equipment. Paintball goggles come in many shapes and sizes however must be ASTM rated and approved for the sport so should only be bought from an authorized dealer.

To start with, bring the bare minimum equipment you will need to play; a paintball marker, hopper, air tank and mask. If you’re playing at a commercial park, you can rent this equipment for a minimal cost or perhaps you can borrow it from a friend. You can also buy start-up good beginner paintball gear in a package deal for a cheap price at many online stores. It’s best to play your first game or two with rental equipment however so it doesn’t cost much try the game to see if you like it and might play again. Once you’ve decided paintball is something you will play again, start with basic equipment to learn with and you can always upgrade to more advanced guns and supplies later.

Once you have the equipment you’ll be using, it’s smart to get comfortable with it before the game starts. Have someone show you how the paintball marker works, including taking it apart, cleaning it and how to change your air tank safely when empty. Shoot the marker a few times before going out on the field so you can get a feel for aiming and shooting it and to make sure there’s no technical problems that may interrupt your game. Snorkeling can be a terrific experience, unless you’re plagued with equipment problems like a fogging mask or leaking snorkel; then it’s terrible! Paintball is the same way. Make sure everything works before the game starts or you will just be a target for all the other players.