Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Difference Between Kicking- Soccer vs Football

Kicking footballs and kicking soccer balls- not the same thing.  Even though many would say it is, whether one is kicking a football or soccer ball, it is the same concept.  For those that actually know the skill; one, the other, or both- they will agree that even though you are striking a ball with your foot, the sport and the type of ball makes a big difference.  Majority of football kickers either grew up playing soccer or have played soccer at one point in their life, but that is not necessarily a requirement because there have been many successful football kickers that have never played soccer in their lives. This is relevant information because it’s a clear indication that there is no direct correlation with how good a kicker is or can be, if they have played/ not played soccer before.
Kicking a football is a skill; skills are learned and made better with practice, it can also be something that comes “naturally to an athlete but for the most part, one can only get better at kicking footballs with practice no matter how much natural ability they may have.  New York Giants placekicker, Josh Brown, was asked about his thoughts on the difference between kicking a football and a soccer ball, his response was “with football we are trying to accomplish the ball to fly straight… not very often does a soccer player get to stand there and just look at his goal”.1  That phrase within itself specifies that the terms in which an athlete is kicking a ball is different between the 2 sports (football kicker- stationary, soccer- always moving).  Another huge difference is obvious, the difference in ball size and shape.  In football the ball is only striked in one place, the “sweet spot”, lower middle half of the ball.  Whereas in soccer, since the surface area of the ball is wider you can kick various types of kicks: a curve ball, a knuckle ball,  outside the foot, toe ball, and many more.2. 

Football contact- "sweet spot"

Soccer Contact- Knuckle/ Curve

Image result for kicking a soccer ball

1 Differences: Kicking Football vs. Futbol. (2014, June 26). Retrieved January 17, 2016, from

2 The Various Ways to Strike a Soccer Ball. (2015). Retrieved January 17, 2016, from

The Hail Mary!

Down by 7, 55 yards from the endzone, 5 seconds left, Rodgers takes the snap, drops back, heaves the ball high into the sky and….stop me if you’ve heard this one before. With the recent conclusion to regulation of the NFC Divisional playoff game between the Green Bay Packers and Arizona Cardinals there has been some attention drawn to the “Hail Mary” play that has been around for decades. Due to the rarity of its success along with the vital impact it tends to have on games it makes it into one of the most exciting plays to happen in all of sports, comparable to a buzzer-beating shot half-court shot in basketball or a last second long-range goal in soccer.


The term first became widely known after a 1975 NFL playoff game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Minnesota Vikings. From midfield with 37 seconds left on the clock, trailing 14-10, Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach threw a long desperation pass down the right sideline to a waiting Drew Pearson, who caught it at the 5 yard line as Vikings corner back Nate Wright fell down. Pearson then turned and jogged into the endzone, scoring a touchdown and putting the Cowboys up 16-14 with just 24 seconds remaining. They would go on to win the game 17-14, after the extra-point advancing to Super Bowl X where they lost to the Steelers 21-17. After the game, Staubach said of the play “I closed my eyes and said a Hail Mary.”1 Although previously known as any sort of desperation play, this was the when a “Hail Mary” became known as a long, desperate pass at the end of the game that is hoped to gain some points when the team is out of field goal range or in need of a Touchdown.2


Some of the most memorable and exciting plays in all of football include “Hail Mary” plays. Either as a result of poor defense, a spectacular play by the offense, or just plain luck, these plays can not only determine the fate of a game but also the whole season for a team. Whether it’s Staubach to Pearson, sending the Cowboys to a classic Super Bowl matchup with the Steelers, or Aaron Rodgers to Jeff Janis pass that ultimately doesn’t change the outcome, you can always count on a “Hail Mary” to provide some excitement.

Hail Mary Pass. Retrieved January 21, 2016

Retrieved January 21, 2016


     If you’re the normal fan watching football on TV at home or watching your team at the local watering hole, you may watch every part of the game. The quarterback handing the ball off to the running back or making a pass. Defenders making tackles and interceptions etc, but there’s one position that most people overlook and that’s the offensive. It may not be a hall of fame position. Or a sexy position2. But, it’s the most important. My whole life I have played only one position and at times I wanted to be one of the skinny guys making game thrilling plays that would be talked about forever. Instead I was blessed with size, strength and other qualities which allowed me to play the position effectively. Looking back I wouldn’t have it any other way! There is truly something special about playing offensive line. Five guys are asked to carry the weight of the whole offense, team and receive none of the credit that is due. Being an offensive lineman incorporates everything that it means to be a football player. These qualities include being unselfish, tough, strong, gritty, prideful and any other adjective you think of. It’s a unique collection of characters that are willing to do absolutely whatever it takes, and sacrifice their bodies on every play and every game so their team can be successful. Being a good offensive lineman requires more than just discipline or a good blocking technique. It requires pride -- pride in yourself; your group and your team. A team with pride is a hard team to beat because they're willing to do the little things that most teams aren't willing to do1. It may not look pretty to the ordinary person, but to us it’s a well-oiled machine working in sync. I’ve played the position for almost ten years and personally it’s the greatest position on the field. So next time you are watching your team play, take a peek at the o-line and watch the nastiness that goes on in the trenches and know that o-lineman love pancakes.
  2. Nason,A.n.d.).TheGreatestPositionNeverSeen:TheOffensiveLine.Retrieved January21,2016,from

Concussions in Football

Marc Martinez
Concussions in Football

The rise of concussions is a very significant issue in today’s sports. Football is the main sport that has put many people in an uncomfortable feeling when looking into the effects of concussions.CDC reports show that the amount of reported concussions has doubled in the last 10 years. The American Academy of Pediatrics has reported that emergency room visits for concussions in kids ages 8 to 13 years old has doubled, and concussions have risen 200 percent among teens ages 14 to 19 in the last decade.1 Throughout the history of football, technology of the equipment has come a long ways. However the new development of the equipment has not completely erased the amount of concussions received. Impact speed of a football player tackling a stationary player: 25mph.2  Concussions cause players to be unconscious or dazed when hit during a game. These can lead to traumatic brain injuries in which some cases have lead athletes to commit suicide.
Concussions are never going to be completely gone in our society, but there are a few easy steps we can do to ensure the decline of concussions.
●     Pre health examinations
●     Innovation of better helmets
●     Construct new rules, which will reduce the amount of concussions.
Accomplishing these steps will aid in the safety of our future football players on the field. This may prevent the concussion rate and keep our All-American game a safer sport for parents to allow their kids to play.
Recently, with these rules established there has been very beneficial results to the amount of concussions suffered. If we can keep establishing new rules and regulations, the concerned discussion of concussions in football may eventually settle down and people can see that football can be a much safer game.


  1. Head Case - Complete Concussion Managements. (n.d.). Retrieved January 25, 2016, from Head Health Management Systems
  2. Concussion Facts | Sports Concussion Institute. (n.d.). Retrieved January 25, 2016, from

The Conjugate System- "The Basics"

Strength and conditioning coaches utilize many different training programs, methods, and techniques to increase an athlete’s athletic potential. The conjugate system is one method  most commonly used among power lifters. This blog will help you understand the way strength coaches implement the various strategies within a conjugate system.
Simplified programming may allow athletes to become stronger but only to a certain degree.1 Specialized programming will allow an athlete  to push through plateaus which simple programs will not get them through. Different days of the week utilize different efforts to accomplish the daily goals. Listed are the different efforts:
  • Max Effort
    • This is for the major lower and upper body movements with a load of 90-100% of their one repetition max.
  • Dynamic Effort
    • This is for the major lower and upper body movements with a load of 45-65% of their one repetition max and can be used with accommodating resistance.
  • Repetition Effort
    • This is for the accessory lifts that coaches may put after certain major lifts to assist different aspects the strength coach may have planned for the program.
Coaches are able to implement these different efforts throughout a specific program for their athletes to increase athletic performance simplified programs may not. Utilizing these different strategies throughout the week can make the athlete’s goals more achievable throughout the program.
  1. Death to the Conjugate Method? (n.d.). Retrieved January 26, 2016, from

Know Each Type

When someone tells you they are diabetic, do you automatically think  they are type two? Do you really know the differences  between  Type 1 and Type II diabetes? To some, it may make no difference, but to someone who has diabetes, it means everything.

Type 1
Type one diabetes, formerly known as Juvenile Diabetes, occurs when the pancreas in the body completely shuts down and can no longer produce the cells that release insulin in the body. Without insulin , the cells cannot break down sugar (glucose) that aids energy production necessary for performing daily functions. Type one diabetics are insulin dependent and count for five to ten out of a hundred people with diabetes.1
Type 2
Type two diabetes, also known as adult-onset, occurs at any age. Those with type two diabetes typically get diagnosed during adulthood. In this stage, their pancreas is still functioning but has very little insulin, or  the insulin is not utilized effectively, known as insulin resistance. The majority of people with diabetes are diagnosed under type two.1
Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy and is defined as glucose intolerance. Gestational diabetes can occur during pregnancy in any woman and typically dies out after the birth of your child. Diagnoses of gestational diabetes occur because the placenta makes many hormones that lead up to a buildup of sugar in the blood. Normally, the pancreas is able to produce enough insulin to  use the extra sugar being produced from the placenta, but if not, this causes the development of gestational diabetes. Along with type 2, gestational diabetes still has a functioning pancreas so it may produce insulin, but may not necessarily break down sugar effectively.2
With the three different types of diabetes, it is important to understand which are insulin dependent versus non-insulin dependent. There are similar medications used for all three types, but the usage of each medication is very different.
Many people do not realize they are diagnosed or may be at risk for any of these types. Yearly checkups are highly recommended.
1 Diabetes: Differences Between Type 1 and 2-Topic Overview. (n.d.). Retrieved January 21,
2016, from
2 Buchanan, T. A., Xiang, A., Kjos, S. L., & Watanabe, R. (2007). What is gestational diabetes?. Diabetes care, 30(Supplement 2), S105-S111.
Starting Your First Run! Aerobic Threshold Training
          Have you ever tried to start running after not exercising for a long time? Did you lace up your shoes, head out the door and after a few minutes you had a burning sensation in your lungs and legs? You were most likely running at too hard of an effort and not training the appropriate energy system for your first run. threshold training is one of the two components that help develop endurance in an athlete.1 “Endurance is defined as the capacity to sustain a given speed of work rate for the longest period of time.”1 The energy system you primarily use when training your aerobic threshold is the oxidative system. Your goal as an endurance athlete is to increase your aerobic threshold because this allows your body to delay the usage of glycogen as an energy source. Fatty acids are stored in muscle cells while glycogen is stored in muscle cells and the liver. Training at your aerobic threshold is when your body starts changing main fuel sources from fatty acids to glycogen. The longer you can delay using glycogen as an energy source the longer duration of exercise you can accomplish.2 Your aerobic threshold is typically 65-75% of your current vo2 max, depending on the athlete.1 When starting training for an endurance event you want to be training in this specific training zone for the first few weeks. This allows your body time to adapt physiologically to the stress you will put it through during harder efforts.

When an athlete is training at his or her aerobic threshold they should still be able to carry on a conversation while running. This might be difficult for your first few runs, but in time it will become easier.  
1Freeman, W. (Ed.). (n.d.). Track and Field Coaching Essentials / USA Track and Field
2Barder, O. (n.d.). The Aerobic and Anaerobic Thresholds. What Is the Aerobic Threshold? Retrieved January 22, 2016, from

Entertainment and Sport

ESPN, though not the broadcasting network for Saturday’s NFL Divisional Playoff Round Game, undeniable entertainment and sport was placed on stage. A game that kicked off at 7:15 pm at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona and ended in final overtime at roughly 10:30 pm was definitely one to remember. This read is to cover for those who may have went to sleep early or missed a game that will be talked about throughout the remainder of this playoff journey. The last five minutes [including overtime] created madness that would define the fate of two teams.
To state that opportunities weren’t left on the field Saturday night for both the Green Bay Packers and the winners of last night’s bout, the Arizona Cardinals, would be the setting to start this bedtime story. Just a little under a month ago, Arizona blew out Green Bay in a 38-8 final. 26-20 would be the final in this one. Both games between the two teams this season would have the same result.
Yet, every opportunity had some degree of apparent madness related to it in this one.
The madness began when, down 3, Carson Palmer threw an interception. The Cardinals later fall into two circumstances where the chains were brought out to measure the distance to a first down, and each time the Cardinals picked up the 1st down by the degree of a single chain length. The Cardinals’ continue to keep the drive moving on a controversial catch or non-catch [don’t let the Dallas fans decide] that got them into the redzone.
Arizona scores off a miracle deflection landing in the hands of Michael Floyd to take the lead, 17-13. Green Bay is left with 3:44 in the game, and faces a must convert 4th down against one of best pass defenses in the league. Green Bay fails to convert and all Arizona has to do is run the ball and run out the clock. Yet, as the madness continues, the Cardinals would throw a fade route well covered by the Packers and leave an opportunity yet again for Green Bay. remain and what’s madness without lightning. Yes, lightning would seem to strike twice on the same game tying drive as Rodgers would throw one 60 yard pass completion for Janis on a 4th and 20, and a Hail Mary touchdown pass to head into overtime.
The madness didn’t stop at the end of regulation and, gravity would also play its part in this one, a coin toss without a flip would start overtime. How often do you see that? I mean, I’ve know how to flip a coin since the 1st grade. Some would yell conspiracy, and others would state claim to pure entertainment and sport.1 or bad luck, the Arizona Cardinals move on to the NFC Championship Game in what may go down as one of the craziest playoff games to ever take place.2

1Seifert, K., & Wilde, J. (2016, January 17). Coin toss, catch controversy heighten drama of Cardinals' win. Retrieved January 17, 2016, from

Weighted Carries: Ancient Exercise for New Found Strength

The History of the Movement:
Picking up and carrying heavy objects has been a mode of transportation of goods and materials for as long as humans have been on this earth. Even the cavemen, if they had to move, had to gather their belongings and pack them on horses, or more than likely carry any food, clothing, materials, etc. As human beings,we were built to carry heavy objects and carry them for long distances. It is a primitive action; one that has been lost to some degree in the world of fitness. science fields it is often the golden rule to never make “absolute” statements, however in the case of weighted carries, they are truly FULL BODY exercises. Throughout the movement, no matter how you carry the weight/object, your entire body must be engaged and working from your toes all the way to your upper back; all must be working in synchronization to complete the movement.
When programming weighted carries into your fitness routine, there is no need to over complicate it. There is no magic formula to it; simply pick up weight, move it with good technique from point A to point B, set it down, repeat. Simple as that! The other benefit of weighted carries includes the variations that one can utilize and progress to/from. From a simple DB Farmers walk holding the DB’s at your sides, to a single arm overhead DB carry, to carrying weight through cones in a zig-zag pattern, etc.
How to add weighted carries to your workout routine: you go running for the 100lb dumbbells, trying to walk a mile, there are a few simple, quick tips to keep in mind when performing weighted carries:
  1. Form, form, form, and did I say form? Never sacrifice form to carry more weight. Keep your shoulders down and back, big chest, head in a neutral position, and focus on your grip.
  2. Breathe! Since you’re moving weights and focusing on so many things at once, remember to breathe in a slow and controlled pace, NOT heavy and panting.
  3. Steps- this is not an exercise that you would be taking leaping bounds, or 2 inch baby steps. Simply walk as you normally would in the grocery store or to your car. Take slow controlled steps.
  4. Volume- start at 4-6 sets of between 30-50 yards, depending on available space. Progress in weight or distance from week to week.
  5. Variation- do not be afraid to switch it up every few weeks or if you get bored. You can do dumbbell farmers walks, barbell front rack walks, overhead barbell hold walks, etc. (Space and equipment permitting of course)
Picking up objects and moving them is in our blood, our DNA, it’s how we did things from the beginning of time.,  still today from time to time; so we should be good at it right? If you want to tap into a new area of strength gains, go ancient in the gym: pick up weights, move it from point A to point B, repeat, and get stronger! Happy lifting and happy carrying.
  1. Facing a Japanese night attack on New Guinea. (n.d.). Retrieved January 21, 2016, from World War 2 Today website:
  2. Farmers Walk. (2012, February 23). Retrieved January 21, 2016, from

Rodeo Athletes and Kinesiology

Rodeo Athletes and Kinesiology
Rodeo…most people have heard of the word or have been to a rodeo as a little kid to see the infamous bull riding. But not too many people know what all goes into being a rodeo athlete. There is so much more to rodeo than holding on for dear life for 8 seconds and getting around all three barrels … Rodeo is life and life is hard. Professional rodeo athletes are on a tight knit schedule and have to enter and win a certain number of pro rodeos to qualify for the big event at the end of the year, the NFR (National Finals Rodeo) this is like the super bowl for the sport of rodeo for the top rodeo athletes this is their job.
Physically each individual athlete has to be proficient in different areas to perform at the optimal level. Ropers, whether calf ropers or team ropers, have to be able to strategically rope their calf or steer in matter of seconds which requires a great matter of skill. Comparison with more traditionally researched athletes, however, has lacked the sport-specificity required for proper skill analysis and improvement in this sport. At the present time, no previous studies have investigated the kinematic aspects of rodeo and the use of a rope as a projectile in sport.1 Subsequent kinesiological analysis divided the roping motion into five distinct phases: windup, primary arm acceleration, arm cocking, secondary arm acceleration and arm deceleration, follow-through, with the motion being continually modified to accommodate split-second changes in environmental and competitive conditions. These conditions, which are unique to this sport, include maintaining optimal plane of motion in relation to a non-stationary bovine target, overcoming inertia during completion of the throw while traveling on horseback at a speed of up to 55 km an hour, maintaining trajectory, direction and acceleration of a non-aerodynamic projectile in the absence of gyroscopic action, and adjusting to the influence and in-stability of equine footing.2
In summary, compared with traditional sport, the throwing task is considered extremely dynamic, requiring an extensive array of subconscious articular adjustments to maximize velocity and reach the elusive target.

jake long roping.jpgjade corkill roping.jpg

  1. Meyers, M., & Skelly, W. (1995). Kinematic analysis of rope velocity in rodeo. Applied Research In Coaching & Athletics Annual, 44-53
    2. Meyers, M. C., & Laurent, J. M. (2010). The Rodeo Athlete. Sports Medicine, 40(5), 417-431.