Monthly Archives: June 2016

Tips Playing volleyball for Beginners

Quite a popular game, the objective of volleyball is the grounding of a ball from one team on other team’s court. There must be quite a few instances, where you may have heard words, like setter, libero, and so on. For the players, this is an everyday affair. They hear these words in and out, and are expected to be proficient about the game – regarding positions, player duties, court dimensions, etc. A layman, however, is not aware of the game’s jargon, positions, and rules. If you wish to understand a game of volleyball with intricacy, the article below will provide you some information about the different volleyball positions on the court.

Volleyball Positions – Court

Right Back

This is the primary position for a team on a court. A setter normally serves from this spot. This player is in rotation in the back court on the right side. During a rotation, a player getting in the right back position gets to serve.

Right Front

To describe in simple terms, the player who stands right in front of the Right back is the right front. So, basically, a player in this position is close to the net dividing the court, on the right hand side.

Middle Front

This player is at the net, in the center and is a rotation position. As the name suggests, this player is in the middle of the court, from a team’s playing area.

Left Front

This is the attack position and as the name goes, on the left side of the court. The player who is in left front is more often than not an outside hitter. In case there is a rotation, sometimes right side hitter or opposite hitter plays in that position.

Left Back

This is the spot at the left end corner of a team’s playing area. Liberos play in this position. If there is a rotation, the middle blockers play alternatively in this position, after his or her serve. Post-serve, the libero chips in for the middle blocker.

Middle Back

Normally, what happens is a middle hitter starts the game on this position in the line up. But then, he is substituted by a libero, who is a specialist ‘back bencher’ preceding the first serve. Sometimes, even outside hitters can play in middle back position, which gives them a chance to attack well.

Volleyball Positions – Players

Setter

A setter is one who sets the game off and a team’s attack. It is akin to what a quarterback does in American Football. An offense of a team is unleashed by a setter.

Outside Hitter

An outside hitter attacks close to the position of the left antenna. The most consist of the lot, he gains maximum number of sets for a team.

Middle Hitter

Those attacks that made close to the setter and are very fast are done by a middle hitter. Typically, these attacks take place close to the setter. They are experts in blocking and attempt equally strong attacking shots from the opponents.

Libero

This player holds the fort for the defense and takes the responsibility of the serve and attack. They normally have the best passing skills and quickest reaction time.

Opposite Hitter

An opposite hitter takes the burden off the defense for a team and is stationed in the first row. Their main job is to put up a strong block to nullify the opponent team’s outside hitters. They can also double up as backup setters. This is one of the very important positions.

Volleyball positions and numbers, basically depend on the kind of formation a team has. The most common formation for a volley ball team is a 6-2 formation. In such a formation, there are two setters, and all the 6 players can act as attackers at different phases of the game. These formations keep changing and players are rotated.

Finally, it is all about skill, agility, and quick reflexes, which wins team a game. A collective effort is what is the key to the success of a volleyball team, just like Earvin Johnson, aka Magic Johnson said, “Ask not what your teammates can do for you. Ask what you can do for your teammates.”

Tips to Improve Your Volleyball Skills

In the game of volleyball, the main objective is to ground the ball in the opponent’s half. There are 2 teams and each team consists of 6 players. These 6 players together have to develop skills and devise strategies to achieve this main objective. Before getting into the details of how to improve volleyball skills on the whole, it is necessary to understand that consistency in practicing the right moves is of utmost importance. For example, the ball should hit the same spot on your forearm every time you play a shot. This makes the player better and helps improve further skills.

Improving Volleyball Skills

Performing the various volleyball drills of passing, serving, etc., helps develop habits that prove to be useful for players in the long run. It helps them improve the concentration levels and ability to focus on the game at hand. Here are few useful volleyball drills that may help improve your timing, footwork, and of course, ball control. Let us start with how to take a proper stance.

Stance
You should maintain a stance that allows you to move around more quickly. The distance between the legs need to be slightly greater than that of your shoulder width. You should also bend the knees slightly, which will allow you to react faster.

Shuffling
It is the movement in which volleyball players move by taking small steps. The movement of shuffling is carried out smoothly without crossing-over the feet. To improve the shuffling movement, players need to stay low by keeping the knees bent. The body weight should be transferred onto the toes.

Service
The serving skill can be improved with the following drill. First step is that of tossing the ball in front of the serving shoulder. The elbow of hand with which you are serving should be held back and in a high position. Make contact with the ball by means of the middle of your hand. After hitting the ball, follow through the arm-swing action.

Blocking
The act of blocking makes it difficult for the opposing team to put the ball back into play. The arm and shoulder position play an important role in blocking the ball. The arms, while blocking the ball, are moved in a manner that they slant forward. Raising the hands and then pressing them forward wastes precious time, that can be used for immediate penetration.

How to Improve Passing
Here are a couple of useful volleyball passing drills, that players can make use of.

Pipeline Passing
This drill helps players improve their passing while moving laterally. A pair of players is needed for this drill. These players have to face each other and stand 10 feet apart. From this position, the first player has to pass the volleyball to his partner. He should touch the sideline on his left immediately after passing, and quickly get back into his original position. After 10 – 15 shuffles, the player should repeat the passing drill on his right side.

Basketball Passing
In this drill, three players should line up in front of a server. Passers and the server should be separated by a net. The passers, after receiving the volleyball from the server, have to pass it into a basket. Points should be awarded for every successful pass into the basket. Conversely, the server should be awarded a point if the passer fails to do his job.

Burnout
Our body provides signals and cues that help us understand whether we should continue practicing or just rest for the day. You can avoid a burnout by listening to the body. Taking enough rest to prevent a burnout is therefore, necessary too.

Understanding the subtleties and nuances becomes important after you master the basics. Those volleyball skills mentioned above should be useful for improving the overall game. Volleyball is a team game and it requires great coordination amongst all the players. Once you master the skills mentioned above, creating coordination between team members shouldn’t be too difficult.

Tips Learn Swimming Alone

ome people view swimming as an exercise, some as a hobby, whereas a small class is into swimming as a professional sport. Swimming is one of the best exercises to keep your body fit and fine. Many people go to the gym and workout for hours to get their body in shape. However, you need to know that just 30 minutes of swimming everyday can keep you healthy and make you active for the rest of the day. This is a good way in which you can exercise as well as have fun.

People do have a common misconception that it is really difficult to know how to learn swimming on your own. But the fact is that it is just a matter of learning the fundamental moves first and then trying it out. There are many different ways in which you can learn the basics. After you have an idea as to how to swim, with regular daily practice, you can master the skill.

Learning to Swim on Your Own

As with any new skill, you need to be really interested in order to grasp the techniques quickly and effortlessly. In this Buzzle article, we shall make you familiar with the steps to learn freestyle, the most basic stroke in swimming and the easiest one to begin with. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s get started.

There are four basic steps that you need to master in order to grasp the nuances of this stroke. If you ever see swimmers perform this stroke, it might appear to be difficult to you. But the truth is that it isn’t that difficult after all. All you need is a little patience and lots and lots of practice.

Learning to Float

This is the most crucial step for a swimmer, for we all know that we can swim only when we learn how to stay afloat.

  • Move towards the shallow part of the pool.
  • Grab the rod fixed to the wall of the pool, take a deep breath through the mouth, and hold your breath as you allow your body to rest on the water surface so that you can get a view of the bottom of the pool. Make sure your face is half submerged in water.
  • Now, use your nose to slowly breathe out underwater, stretching your body at the same time.
  • Practice this again and again till you find yourself floating. Believe me, it’s that easy!

Learning to Move your Legs

Once you’ve mastered the art of floating, half the job is already done! Your next attempt should be to master the leg movement.

  •  When you step into the pool, repeat the steps given above till you find yourself afloat.
  • Move your legs up and down alternately, all the while keeping your feet slightly stretched. Avoid bending your knees, moving the entire leg from the hip joint.
  • Make an effort to splash as little amount of water with your legs as possible.
  • Once you have learned to move your legs, you can take a floating board to propel yourself forward.

Learning to Move your Hands

This is the final step, and you’ll probably find it a little difficult initially.

  • Stretch out your hands in front of you.
  • Start moving one hand in a clockwise manner (as shown in the diagram).
  • Face to the right while pulling the water with your right hand, and face to the left while doing the same with your left hand.
  • Continue moving your legs up and down to propel yourself forward.

What to Refer To

That was a brief and basic guide to swimming freestyle. If you’re interested, you can refer any of the following.

  • Books and guides which tell you about the basic and advanced swimming techniques.
  • Basic and advanced swimming DVDs that feature swimming lessons by swimming instructors or professional swimmers, along with some useful tips.
  • You can browse online for free videos that feature swimming instructions. You may have to spend a little time looking for them but chances are you’ll find ones that can really help.

Safety Tips for Beginners

When you’re a beginner, it’s mandatory that you follow the basic safety measures every time you step into the pool. Here’s what you should keep in mind.

  • Get essential stuff, such as goggles, swimming cap, ear plugs, and a costume that fits you well.
  • Keep a floating board handy whenever you practice, especially during the initial days.
  • Never swim alone. Always make sure there is someone around who can help you out of an emergency situation.
  • Leave the side bar and start moving your hands only when you’re confident enough.
  • Resist the temptation to “explore” greater depths. Instead, restrict yourself to the shallow part of the pool till you are fairly familiar with the technique.

    With regular practice, you can even develop your own swimming styles and techniques. For those thinking of learning swimming on their own, it is a good idea to go through swimming guides and watch videos online.

Choose the Perfect Tennis Shoes

Stan enrolled his teenage son Jamey for a tennis class. The new coach handed them a list of mandatory sports gear for playing tennis. They spent a lot of time cruising through the mall and bought some new sportswear but fell short of time when they wished to buy tennis shoes. Upon reaching home, Stan went online and bought the best looking pair of tennis shoes for Jamey. The tennis class began. However, a week later, Jamey started complaining of severe foot pain and had to be taken to a podiatrist. Do you feel this problem could have been avoided? Yes, it could have been avoided. Read more to get some tips for choosing the perfect pair of tennis shoes.

For Getting Perfect Pair of Tennis Shoes
Expert podiatrist around the world unanimously say that tennis shoes will always differ from normal athletic shoes. Here is how you can get the perfect pair of tennis shoes.

Understand Foot Type

One of the first and foremost thing to do, is to understand the kind of feet that you have. There are people with either arched feet or flat feet. The shoe designs differ for both feet types. Ideally, flat feet are prone to more foot pain without proper heal support and therefore, shoes for flat feet need to be chosen with care.

Purchasing Time
The tissues in our feet tend to contract during the cooler night times and expand throughout the day on account of blood circulation and climatic heat. This expansion rises by approximately 10% during strenuous activities like running or playing tennis. Therefore, the best time to shop for tennis shoes is usually after you have finished playing tennis for the day or in late afternoons or evenings. This is the time when your feet will have expanded to their full limit.

Nature of Game

One important factor that helps point out the best pair of tennis shoes is the nature of tennis court that you play on. There are separate shoe varieties to suit hard court players and clay court players.

Foot Sizes

This is again a crucial criterion for selection of perfect tennis shoes. What most of us do not realize is that our feet are dissimilar in size, length and width wise. In such a case, ask your podiatrist or shoe expert to measure your feet before you go out shoe shopping. Now look out for shoes that fit the larger foot perfectly. Often, this tends to be your perfect shoes size. You may also carry along your old comfortable pair of tennis shoes and socks to help you understand how well these new shoes fit you.

Shoe Trials

It is recommended that you should try out tennis shoes in a standing position rather than a sitting position. This is because, our feet spread out when they take full body weight than when we are sitting. Also, these trials can be used to get an idea of comfort level offered by a pair of shoes in tennis foot positions like pivoting, cutting and on balls of feet. One should ideally walk or jog around the store to understand if the shoes are comfortable or not. There needs to be a minimum gap of 2 fingers between the tip of your longest toe (usually your big toe or hallux) and the inner edge of the shoe.

Material and Finishing Touches
It is essential that the materials used in making your shoes should be as airy as possible so as to let your foot breathe. You definitely don’t want your feet to feel stuffy and sweaty after a long game. Put in your hand inside the shoes and watch out for some rough inner edges and prominent seams that are likely to cause shoe bites. You definitely want to avoid nursing a bad shoe bite after spending so many dollars on new shoes! Look out for added features like foot pads and lighter shoe weight.

Players need to listen to their heart and especially their feet when finalizing their shoes. Judge the knowledge of sales personnel in shoe shops before you rely on their advice for purchasing new variety shoes. Always buy shoes with a shorter break-in time to ensure quicker foot comfort.

Tips Skateboarding for Beginners

Skateboarding, in simpler words, is the activity of riding a skateboard. A skateboard is basically a rectangular plywood piece (deck), which is fitted with four small-sized wheels on the underside. Nowadays, new versions are available with many other optional components. It is viewed by many as a recreational activity or a type of extreme sport. Rarely, it is used as a means of transportation. A person participating in this activity is called a skater/skateboarder.

This sport is and has been a favorite with extreme sports enthusiasts. It has fascinated several youngsters over the last few decades. According to a survey conducted, majority of the skateboarders are males under 18 years of age. The growing popularity of this sport does not mean that there is no risk involved. If you are a first timer, then you should follow certain safety measures.

Tips

  • The first step is selecting the right board and proper gear. As a beginner, you should choose a thick and heavy deck with less curvature. With such a board, you are less likely to slip off, and it is easier for you to keep control. As you become better, you can switch to a thin and concave deck.
  • It is always advisable to check the trucks of the board. If they are very tight, loosen them by unscrewing the kingpins. After doing so, make sure the kingpins are fitted properly. A well-fitted truck will help you to turn easily, thus minimizing the risk of falling. Speaking about protection gear, you should purchase good quality skating shoes, helmet, wrist brace, and elbow and knee pads.
  • The next step is to make yourself comfortable with the skateboard. You can place it on a non-slippery surface (grass or carpet), and try to stand or jump on it. Be comfortable with the shape and size of the deck and learn some basics such as placing your feet in varied positions and balancing on front and rear wheels.
  • Once you are comfortable with that, you can decide your stance or skating style. In general, there are three stances, viz., regular (skate with the left foot forward), goofy (skate with the right foot forward, and mongo foot (push with the back foot, instead of the front one). Always stand in your most convenient style and try to push forward. If possible, do not follow the mongo style, as it takes a longer time to learn.
  • In the initial days, practice by pushing off on an even surface or at the most, a shallow hill. You may fall from the board while pushing off, but try to relax and imagine that pushing off is like taking a normal step. Maintain balance and push your foot as you do while walking. Another trick is to start pushing off as powerfully as you can. You can ride until the skateboard stops naturally.
  • The next tip is to push yourself carefully while riding, before you run out of speed. You can learn to turn left and right by putting more of your weight into the heels. As you practice regularly, you will be able to take sharper turns. Last, but not the least, you will need to learn how to stop the skateboard. The easiest and safest way of stopping it is footbraking. Footbraking involves taking off the back foot and grinding it onto the ground. There are other stopping methods such as heel drag, bail, boneless, and powerslide.

    It is advisable not to try any tricks or fast-paced skating, before getting a command over the basics. Once you are confident about the twists and turns, you can practice other tricks such as ollie, kickflip, magic flip, etc. Have patience and keep trying again and again. Remember that, failure is the first step towards success.