Monthly Archives: September 2016

Tips to Become a Sports Writer

As a sports writer, you will have to write informative and interesting stories on a regular basis. Fans want to know everything that is happening in the world of sports. With television giving in-depth stories on every aspect of the game, the job of a sports writer today is more challenging than ever. Merely giving scores and statistics is not enough, you are expected to understand the significance of every shot, how changes in the team can affect the performance and so on. Apart from analyzing the team and the matches, you will also be required to give good human interest stories, only then will people want to read instead of watch. If you are willing to work hard, there are many opportunities, you can work with newspapers, magazines, websites, news channels or sport associations.

Tips to Become a Sports Writer

Learn About the Sport
Since you are passionate about sports, this should be exciting for you. Learn everything about the sport, right from the rules to the history of the game and the major tournaments that are held. In addition, keep yourself informed about the trends in the sport and watch all levels of the sport. You should have knowledge about the players, their strengths and weaknesses. As an amateur writer, you will have to write objective articles, but once you become a columnist you will be paid to give your opinion. You can also suggest ways in which a player or a team can improve their performance. Therefore, it is essential that you have a thorough understanding of the sport to be able to write creatively and interestingly about it.

Read Articles Written by Good Sports Writers
Familiarize yourself with the style of sports writing. Analyze articles of good experienced writers and try to figure out why they are so famous. However, avoid copying anyone’s style, you will with time develop your own style of writing. Each sport has a distinct style of writing and presentation of scores, which you will need to learn. Reading articles will also give you an idea of what are the different sports articles that can be written. Read different types of sports articles in different newspapers and magazines.

Get a Degree
Firstly, you need to complete high school. While you’re in high school, take as many advanced English courses as you can. Get a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a majors in sports journalism. You will learn the basic techniques of writing and editing. In addition, you will also learn more about interviewing. Alternately, you can also do your bachelor’s in English with journalism as a subject. While you still have the time, learn other things that could add to your resume. Take courses to improve your writing skills, learn photography, you will definitely have better job opportunities as a sports writer cum photojournalist.

Consider Freelancing
You can become a freelance sports writer, till you get a permanent job with a good media company. It will add to your experience and the best thing is that you can do it while you are still in college. Do not leave any opportunity that comes your way, no matter how small it may seem, to show what you’re capable of doing and getting into the field of sports writing. Send your resume to editors of different newspapers and magazines, they will hire you on a contract basis to write articles and may even hire you full time, if they like your work.

Get all the Experience that You Can
Employers prefer hiring someone with experience over a complete fresher. You can start with your college newspaper, write as much as you can, there’s no better place to experiment. Once you’re confident of your writing skills, apply to a local newspaper as an intern. You might not get paid, but you will get the real picture of how your life will be as a sports journalist. You may not be sent directly to cover a match, so be patient. You will have to start off by covering amateur sports. Create your own portfolio of your best articles, it will be very useful when applying for a job.

Start a Blog
Start a blog with the emphasis on sports, it’s free and the best way to show off your writing skills. You can do this while you’re still in high school and college. Attend college and community sports events and write articles on them. Try to find a different angle to a mundane story, that has been covered by all newspapers and post it on your blog. Write good human interest stories, about local players, it is widely read. This is perhaps the best way to make a name for yourself, you can also make money by placing advertisements on your blog, once it’s popular. It will be extremely helpful when you’re looking for a job.

Salary of a Sports Writer

Most sportswriters do not get paid a lot. However, they love what they do. The salary range is anywhere from $25,000 to $60,000, till they make a name for themselves. The salary varies depending on the location, company and experience. Larger newspapers and websites pay better, than their lesser known counterparts. On an average, sports journalists get paid around $40,000.

Sports writing can be a very exciting and enriching career, provided you’re getting into it for the right reasons. Many people want to enter the profession because they are either looking forward to meeting some personalities that they idolize or they are excited about the freebies. Many are under the impression that if they like watching the game, they will enjoy writing about it as well. Sadly, this is far from being true. Just like not everyone who enjoys reading can write, not every sports fan can become a sports writer. The only reasons you should be becoming a sports writer is if you are passionate about sports and love writing.

How to Prevent Concussions in Sports

Concussions can be termed as an injury to the head, which may cause a brief period of unconsciousness, and the return to consciousness is accompanied by dizziness, blurred vision and disorientation. Concussions are categorized into mild, moderate and severe, depending on the intensity of the impact. A severe concussion may also lead to coma. Even mild concussions can have severe post traumatic effects. Cam Cleeland, who played many seasons in the NFL, is a well-known victim of post concussion trauma.

The prime reason in the aggravation of post concussion consequences is, the lack of recovery time. The players who sustain concussions do not realize its severity, and continue to play even in their disoriented state. A concussion may sometimes not result in unconsciousness or blackouts, this makes it difficult for an athlete to identify that he has sustained a concussion. Repeated concussions may lead to irrecoverable repercussions.

How to Prevent Concussions in Sports

Sometimes you may suffer concussions even when it is not your fault. When a player is subjected to the rash and aggressive methods on the field, he is bound to sustain blows to his head. Concussions are not completely avoidable in sports, but you should try to prevent them. You may use the following tips to preclude concussions or mitigate them.

Wear a Helmet
Now this is one thing that has become a cliche, but you cannot underestimate the importance of a helmet in preventing concussions. A helmet can turn out to be a life saver. Wear a helmet that is right for your sport, and see that it follows all the quality standards. Make sure that your helmet has sufficient padding.

No Head First Tackling
The head first tackling in football is a major cause of concussions. The cumulative effect of repeated concussions, due to head first tackling and blocking may turn out to be fatal. Learn different ways of tackling and blocking, to avoid concussions.

Dive Right, Dive Safe
Diving in a shallow pool may lead to concussions, so gauge the depth of the pool before diving. Regulate your diving height depending on the dimensions of the pool. Try innovative techniques of diving only if they are safe.

Avoid Cheerleading Risks
Cheerleaders have a great chance of suffering from concussions, due to their risky stunts. Do NOT perform a stunt unless you are really sure about it. A strict pre-cheerleading exam should be made mandatory.

Wear the Right Shoes
The right shoes are very important while participating in a sport. Slipping and taking a blow to the head, is very common in sports, so proper footwear will ensure that you minimize your chances of slipping.

Avoid Head First Slides
The head first slides in baseball also have the potential to cause a concussion. The slides might be an act of desperation, but they might cause serious damage to your head. Try using different techniques of sliding, this will help in preventing the concussions.

In addition to the above, I recommend the athletes performing pole vault to wear helmet, and to check the padding of the landing area before taking a jump. Be careful of the pushing and the checking from behind in ice hockey. The use of helmets is not confined to collision sports, incorporate a helmet in your sport, if possible.

You might not experience the consequences of a concussion immediately, but they will surely come to haunt you in the future. Most of the athletes make a mistake of, not recuperating completely after a concussion. This can be attributed to the fact that they do not know the post effects of repeated concussions, so they should be educated. Rest and regain your health completely, before you march on to the field. So, recover first, play later

Tips Boxing for Beginners

This is a sport where if you are not ready for the attack, the opponent can and will, surely knock you down.
Yes, this is what is the quintessential sport boxing we are talking about here. The likes of Mike Tyson and Cassius Clay aka Muhammad Ali, they have been there done that. These boxers slogged and slogged hard to get to the top.

Tips for Boxing

Proper Gear
It is extremely significant that you have a good pair of gloves at your disposal at the onset when you want to learn boxing. Apart from that, you would need hand wraps, mouth piece, headgear and shoes.

Fitness and Nutrition
Imagine you have a great potential, have all the punches, blocks and preemptive methods in your kitty. But you blow it off in just the 3rd round. Reason? Lack of stamina and requisite endurance. So the point is to be fit as a fiddle and concentrate on maintaining perfect health. This is done by proper nutrition or eating habits, rigorous boxing workouts, and stamina building exercises. For instance eating carbohydrates before training and proteins after training. Running or any other cardiovascular exercise is excellent for improving stamina. Without this, all your mind-boggling boxing skills can go for a toss.

Basic Techniques
You would most probably begin with learning what is, in boxing jargon, called a jab. Here is what you do.

Get in a boxing stance with your lead foot forward.
With the weight on your toes, take a step forward, and simultaneously throw a straight punch using your lead hand.
Get your fist back in its original position and repeat.

Once you get the jab, it will serve as a pathway for learning other techniques involved in boxing. One of them is footwork and the other is blocking. Footwork for most part would be taken care of while jabbing, but still you would need to work on that. Blocking will help you know how to block those power packed blows from an opponent. There too, you have to analyze the situation and then block. In addition to this, you also need to attack. So, for attacking, you need to create opportunities to throw that lethal punch. A good punching bag will do the needful for you. Along with this, you need to be mentally prepared to take hard blows as well. That will be developed as you train more and more. Another factor when you are in a ring is preemption. Somewhere down the line, you would be required to anticipate a punch, where in you will need to attack before that. Again, this would be a result of your hard training and love for the sport. There are some more techniques, but they are better left for the trainer to explain and teach!

Sparring
Sparring, in short is fighting it out like an actual boxing contest with a partner. But this a bit of an advanced stage. Sparring gives you a real feel of being in the ring. Fine, you can punch the punching bag to a lump, but are not so good in front of an opponent. The solution for this is sparring. Sans sparring, you would not get any idea about how to go about defending, clinching, and distancing.

Last but not the least, you would need a truckload of patience, ye fellas, because boxing is not child’s play. It is a sport where you should be ready to take blows in the same spirit as you are to throw punches. It is all a part of the game.

Tips and Techniques Ice Skating

Ice skating enthusiasts use skates with steel blades to slide on the ice. The first ice skates were made in 3000 BC. Honed animal bone was used in making these skates, and it was attached to the shoes with leather straps. In fact, the origin of the word ‘skates’ is Dutch. They used to call it ‘schaats’, which means ‘leg bone’. Iron blades were first made and used in Holland, in 1250 AD. It garnered popularity as a winter sport among the Europeans in the 17th century. The International Skating Union is the authoritative body governing the sport, and oversees all the international ice skating competitions.

The Beginner’s Guide to Ice Skating
Always get an expert coach to assist you with the basics. A good coach helps minimize the risks involved, and also ensures you learn the correct way of skating. It is important to understand that ice skating doesn’t come naturally to everyone. A beginner has to learn it by getting used to the ice rink. It is a safe option to rent the skates initially, and get acquainted with this sport. If you remain interested in the sport, it is best to buy your own pair with a proper fit.

Tips For Beginners
Ice skating looks graceful and easy, but is a very strenuous sport. Beginners may suffer from sore muscles after the first couple of skating sessions. However, this is a normal phenomenon, and after a few practice sessions, the muscles will get stronger and the pain will recede. It is also important to relax and avoid locking your knees. Remember that ice skating is a graceful sport! The knees should be bent to avoid falling or tripping backwards.

Patience and determined efforts are necessary to master this sport. Initially, many people find it difficult to find their balance on the skates. The time taken to get used to using them is different for each individual. Learning the first moves can always be crude, but never get discouraged. Regular practice will ensure gradual, graceful, and deft movement.

The most important aspect of mastering this sport, is learning how to fall. In fact, it is sort of a ‘requirement’ when getting used to it. There are certain ways in which you can minimize chances of an injury while falling. Preferably, use the best quality equipment or protective gear, which consists of a helmet and pads for the wrists, knees, elbows, hips, and tailbone.

  • When falling forward, keep your chin up; and when falling backward, press your chin into your chest. Relax your body as much as possible, because a stiff body is more likely to get injured than a limp one.
  • Try not to let your knees, elbows, or wrists hit the ice surface first. Try to land on your bottom, and tuck your arms in while falling, to avoid getting run over by the other skaters.
  • If you are using an outdoor surface, make sure it’s hard enough to avoid falling through the ice, especially on frozen lakes or ponds. Professional guidance is a must.

Another important area to master for a novice, is how to stop. A simple snowplow stop involves skating forward, pushing the legs apart away from each other. This should be done by bending in your knees and leaning back slightly. The shoulders should be straight, facing forward, and the arms outstretched.

Marching on the ice surface before gliding is a good way to learn balance and to gain familiarity with the skating surface. Start gliding after familiarizing with the conditions by mastering the two-foot glider first. Stand away from the edges of the rink or obstacles in order to avoid getting hit, and also try to learn without support. Once you balance yourself on your knees, move your right foot forward and keep your left foot at an angle of 45 degrees with respect to the right one. Slowly, begin to move forward by slightly bending in the knees, and moving the left shoulder ahead, followed by the right, and so on. Once two-foot gliding is learned, start with stroking, by starting with short and quick gliding sessions.