Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Winning is a by product of Arete

1. Questionable, unsportsmanlike tactics employed to influence the odds of winning are never worth the price in loss of self-respect.

2. Degrading remarks or actions aimed at spurring players on to greater effort may bring temporary success but results in long-range failure.

3. Anger is poor substitute for reason.

4. Your players tend to ecom what they believe you think they are.

5. Teenagers, by nature, are idealistic.

6. Attitudes such as jealousy and discontent among players are often nurtured by well-meaning adults whose eyes are set only upon the glamorous aspects of winning.

7. Patience and love are the most powerful tools in coaching.

8. Today's heartbreaks turn into tomorrow's strengths.

9. Gracefully accept unfortunate events beyond your control.

10. Work hard to influence the outcome of importatt things within your control.

11. Never "second-guess" yourself on decisions made with integrity, intelligence and with a glance from the heart.

12. The most essential thing in coaching, and a coach's greatest challenge, is to teach players to never give up!

--Coach Wilbur Braithwaite

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

How to be a Champion

You wonder how they do it and
you look to see the knack,

You watch the foot in action
or shoulder or the back,

But when you spot the answer
where the higher glamors works

You'll find in moving higher
up the laurel covered spire,

That most of it is practice
and the rest of it is work.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

got rock? Poems, basketball poems, inspirational poems, motivational poems

Check out more cool basketball poems here

got rock
Poems, basketball poems, inspirational poems, motivational poems

Should the waves of life come crashing down,
and there's fear and trembling beneath that frown,
Don't worry what others may say or mock,
Think of the limpet stuck to the rock.
Under 1,000's and 1,000's of waves each day,
The limpet's not worried if he'll be okay
For his faith isn't based on the size of the sea,
And if the next wave might knock him free.
He's just a sea creature who's stuck to a rock.
How can this apply to our own Christian walk?
Well, we have a Rock that we can cling to,
When life's little problems seem too big to chew.
And our Rock is more solid than any you'll find,
And you can ask Him to help you---He really won't mind.
so where do you find Him, home much does He cost?
You couldn't possibly buy Him and He's never been lost.
Our Rock's name is Jesus, It's not quite the same.
He's there cause He loves you and He's calling your name.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

basketball basics - 101

The Basics!

Basketball players move a ball on a court by dribbling, passing, and shooting. Points are scored when a player shoots the ball through the hoop. A basket (or field goal) counts as either two or three points, and free throws count one point each. The team scoring the greater number of points in the allotted time wins the game.

What's Needed?
A basketball, basketball sneakers, socks, shorts, and matching jersey.

How long is a game?
A basketball game is generally divided into two halves, each ranging from twelve to twenty-four minutes (depending on the league). Many youth leagues play four quarters (as does the National Basketball Association). Play starts with a “jump ball” at center court. After each quarter (or at halftime) teams switch sides. Each team is permitted a certain number of time-outs per half (again depending on league rules). If a game ends in a tie, overtime periods of up to five minutes are usually played until one team outscores the other to win.

Great Shot

Jump Shot - A shot performed while jumping in the air in which the ball is released at the highest point off the ground. It is often used when shooting over a defender trying to block the ball.

Lay-up - Describes when a player moves to the hoop with the ball, steps up toward the rim, and rolls the ball off his or her fingertips into the basket.

Bank Shot - A shot in which the ball first touches the backboard before it goes into the hoop. A player will often try a bank shot when shooting from a difficult angle.

Dunk (or Jam) - A player jumps in the air and slams the ball into the basket.

Hook Shot - A one-handed shot usually taken from near or inside the key. The shooter faces sideways to the hoop and arcs the ball over the defending player.

Free Throw - A free shot taken from the foul line as the result of a foul. If a player is fouled while in the act of shooting the ball and misses the shot, he or she is given two free throws. If the shooter is fouled but makes the basket then only one free throw is taken. Also, if a non-shooting player is fouled and the opposing team is over its limit of “team fouls,” the fouled player goes to the line to shoot a “one-and-one.”

Let's Get Personal!

Personal Foul - Called when illegal body contact occurs between opposing player. Common examples are holding, charging, tripping, blocking, pushing, or interference. A personal foul results in either a player taking free throws or a team losing possession of the ball.

Charging - Called when a player moving with the ball runs into a defender who has established a set guarding position. Possession of the ball goes to the defense.

Blocking - A defensive player may not stand in the way of a dribbling player unless that defender has established a legal guarding stance.

Technical Foul - Called against any player or coach for unsportsmanlike conduct such as swearing or arguing with a referee. A technical foul awards the other team at least one free throw and possession of the ball. If a player or coach receives two technical fouls, he or she is removed from the game.

Three-second Violation - An offensive player without the ball may not stand in the free-throw lane for more than three seconds. Infraction of this rule results in a “turnover.”

Five-second Rule - A closely guarded player holding the ball has five seconds to either pass or advance the ball toward the hoop. When called, possession of the ball goes to the opposite team.

Ten-second Rule - After an “inbound,” offensive players have ten seconds to move the ball from their own “backcourt,” over the midcourt line into their “frontcourt.”
Backcourt Violation - An offensive player with the ball may not cross back over the half-court line once he or she has advanced the ball beyond midcourt. Doing so results in a turnover.

Inbound Violation - Players have five seconds to inbound the ball. If unable to do so the ball goes to the other team.

special thanks to Manhattanville College good luck this season!http://govaliants.com/

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

back to school

back to school, back to school supplies, back to school ideas, going back to school
Everything you wanted and more what to give this year for back to school, back to school supplies, back to school ideas, going back to school

It's that time of year of again! When the stores start getting stocked with all kinds of crazy school supplies, and everyone is talking about school time again!

We here at Sacred Hoops want you rather your a kid, a parent, or a teacher to have a great transition to the new school year!

Let's start off with a few things to know about back to school, back to school ideas, back to school supplies, back to school transition, back to school health and so much more!

The new and cool things to get or do this summer:
1. got to get a new pair of nikes!
2. got to get a some new styling jeans
3. got to get a books! books are in this year, and you must read them!
4. got to get a computer...though it's not a must. It's the most pratical idea to get.
5. got to get healthy

What not to get before this school year

1. don't get a new ipod...they are sort of out.
2. don't get sucked into the old school comeback game systems...just wait until the new and better comes out!
3. don't get new lunch box or anything...brown baggin it back in!
4. don't get stuck with the hectic and crazy pace...take time!
5. don't get all caught up in trends...be your own person!

Now, for teachers check out some of these cool games and icebreakers for you. To help you get to know your students better, and getting back to school flow again!
What are you waiting for check these awesome icebreakers here!

Stay healthy, check out back to school great tips for all to help you watch your weight and stay healthy.

Sometimes there is fear, scared, and anxiety with kids of all ages going back to school. Rather they are on there way to college, middle school, high school, or maybe just there first day of school point! Here are some great tips tha we hav for you as parents and children to try!

1. Start a tradiation together to do every year a new school year starts. (such as.. before school starts is going to visit the school and talking with any teachers that may be around)

2. Make sure they get plenty of rest the night before the first day of school...sometimes it might mean for them to take a tylenol to help them rest better.

3. Have a prayer at the pole for you kids. Take your kid or kids and go to there school and pray with them and for them at the pole! Why not start the school year off with prayer we couldn't think of any better way!

4. Help them get organized and there classes down! structure, organization, repeat, plan, and repeat!

5. Get them in a normal day routine. Rather it's a routine with breakfast every morning which would be a great routine. Routine of afterschool activities, or whatever it is..if it's just a normal routine. It helps kids do better in school to have a solid scheduled routine that they can get a hang of!

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Saturday, August 06, 2005

Easy Guides To Choose Different Sport Shoes

Easy Guides To Choose Different Sport Shoes

Wearing the right shoes is an important aspect of foot health. Better to be careful when choosing shoes. If you buy wrong shoes it can cause foot problems. Even though, that doesn’t mean the right shoes can correct your problem. It can only prevent problem on your foot.

If you like sports -- basketball, golf or just walking -- choose the best shoes. Bad shoes can lead not only to foot and ankle problems, but leg, hip, and even back pain as well. That's because alignment begins with your feet and moves up to influence the rest of your body.

Sure there are other activities you do during your life time. Starting with walking around the house or traveling to work or maybe doing exercise and other activities, there are always shoes for all situations. Each shoe has their own characteristic such as look, feel, smell and how the shoes react to you, the wearer.

Here are some checklists you need to know when buying shoes.

* Check the shoes closely by touching it.
* Check whether the soles is strong and flexible when gripping the surface
* Insoles should be cushioned to absorb the jolts of walking on hard surfaces.
* Arch supports distribute weight over a wider area.
* Shoes made of leather are best because leather breathe like skin and mold to your foot.
* Don’t buy shoes if not comfortable.
* Don't plan on shoes stretching with wear.
* Try shoes for both feet. Each foot is often different size.
* Do shoes shopping at the end of the day because feet swell to their largest at that time. That’s why always buy shoes for the biggest foot.
* Size depends on shoe make and style, too. Don't insist you always wear one size if the next feels better.
* The heel should fit snugly and the instep should not gape open.

If you already know what you should do before buying shoes, another thing you have to consider is deciding which shoes for what occasion. Obviously you would not play tennis wearing your high heel dress shoes, right?

Here are some of the shoes that most people would have:

1. Dress shoes: This include dress boot, bridal shoes, prom shoes etc. You can wear dress shoes to formal occasion such as to a dinner, job interview or school event. At least you need one pair of dress shoes, specially the simple traditional dressy shoe which is a mid height heel at about 2.5 or 3 inches high, black and opened toe.

2. Casual Shoes: This includes sneaker, sandal, boot, etc. This is for more relax occasion. It can be any shoes with various colors, style and for any occasion. This shoe is more reflecting your taste, your favorite colors and your interests. Casual shoes can be inexpensive, since it is made of different material, not merely leather. The color is so various, that you can choose what ever color you like. You can wear it for shopping, relaxing, to cinema etc.

3. Athletic Shoes: It includes all sport shoes. There are so many brands that you can choose, but there are a few brand which specialize in sport footwear such as Adidas. You wear athletic shoes during your exercise, jogging, walking, running and other sport activities. However, currently there are some people also consider this type of shoes as casual shoes, so they wear it everyday for their activity. That’s okay too.

Shoes not only influence how others perceive you but they also influence how you views yourself. From the style you chooses and how well you are maintained, people can determine the stock your places on their appearance. Show yourself that you are a classy person by wearing the right shoes!

About The Author

Diana Claire lifelong for footwear led her became footwear reviewer. Visit her Website http://www.basketballshoes101.info.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Sports Supplement

Sports Supplement

Sports Supplement – what is it?

We are all aware of what is a nutrition or diet supplement, but what is a sports supplement? A sport supplement is a subcategory of nutrition supplements. The sports supplement is associated with rising sport results, intensifying training, lowering the consequences like muscle pane, etc. Many athletes use some type of sports supplement or supplements, but if you are an athlete you need to be careful as some of the chemicals used in production of supplements or some of the supplements themselves can be on the banned substance list.

Sports Supplement – caffeine.

Caffeine is an example of a sports supplement. Athletes have used caffeine for a long time as it helps them to stay alert and improve endurance. A good thing about caffeine is that there was a lot of research done about it. According to many sport researchers, caffeine supplements claim that caffeine improves athletic performance, increases energy, delays fatigue, improves fat burning, and enhances body fat loss.

Sports Supplement – protein.

Protein is another example of a sports supplement. According to many athletes, high protein diets help to increase muscle mass and gain strength. Unfortunately there is no scientific proof of that nowadays. Protein supplements claim that protein supports muscle growth, increases muscle strength and mass, improves recovery, etc. Again, no research is available to prove these claims.

Sports Supplement – creatine.

Creatine is yet another example of a sports supplement. According to many sport researchers, creatine supplements seem to enable muscles to work harder before becoming fatigued. Creatine supplements claim that creatine improves high power performance of short duration, increases muscle mass, delays fatigue. If you are an athlete, you need to be careful about using creatine sports supplements as there is very little research regarding safety of creatine.

About the Author

Additional interesting content
at www.nutritional-supplement-4u.com

Sunday, July 10, 2005

The Origins Of Basketball

The Origins Of Basketball

Do you know the origin of basketball?

The origins of the game of basketball can be traced back to a gentleman by the name of Dr. James Naismith. In 1861, Naismith was born in Almonte, Ontario, Canada. During his early school days, Naismith would play a game called duck on a rock whereby the child would endeavor to knock the duck off the top of the rock with a toss of another rock.

Later on, Naismith would go on to McGill University in Montreal and would later become McGill University's Athletic Director. He would subsequently move on to YMCA Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts and in 1891, the game of basketball began.

Given the cold Massachusetts winters, Naismith needed to find a recreational activity that could be played indoors and he preferred a sport that would develop skill and one that was not exclusively relying on strength. The first game was played with two peach baskets for goals and a soccer ball.

Further to his credit, Naismith became a medical doctor specializing in sports physiology and a Presbyterian minister. Naismith was able to see his beloved sport of basketball, gain acceptance in numerous countries through the YMCA since 1893. As well, the sport of basketball was brought forth at the Berlin Olympics in 1936. As we speak, the game of basketball has become a very popular professional sport.

About The Author

Catherine Kenyeres is a freelance writer and publisher for http://www.best-4u-tickets.com. Catherine has written numerous articles for the sports enthusiast.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Viewing the Journey as the Reward in Sports and Spirituality

Viewing the Journey as the Reward in Sports and Spirituality

Whether you are a gifted athlete, a weekend warrior, or one who simply enjoys reading the Sunday Sports section, you will enjoy Spirituality of Sport: Balancing Body and Soul (St. Anthony Messenger Press, January 2004, paperback, 137 pages) by Dr. Susan Saint Sing. Saint Sing, a gifted athlete and inspirational coach, shares her own story of tests and triumphs as she shares her thoughts on the important connection between mind, body and soul inherent in all play.

In this wonderful book, Saint Sing shares stories of heroism and championship – both her own and those of many other talented people. I loved this book for its emphasis on the fact that one’s journey in life is to be fully embraced and revered – that the reward comes not from winning the medal or having the fastest time, but from that wonderful connection of spirit, soul and body that gives glory to our Creator through our every action. As a back of the pack jogger, I don’t run the race to win – I run to give glory to God through my participation, counting the blessings that give me the good health to participate and to share the day with those around me. I was enthralled by Spirituality of Sport and am pleased to share the following interview with author and Olympian Susan Saint Sing.

Q: Please tell our readers a bit about your background and your own personal faith journey.

A: This would take pages, but briefly, I am from a small mountain town of Berwick PA. It had great sports teams and I was lucky enough to have had great coaches and friends and very supportive parents. My brother Bobby and I played catch and football and shot arrows, water-skied, hiked, snow skied for our entire growing-up years. This stuck with me through high school and college athletics - later led me into coaching.

If there was one pivotal moment for me spiritually, it was when I broke my neck and back in a gymnastics accident. It changed me. Also, I had a deep religious conversion at a prayer group at Penn State - Bread of Life. Two wonderful priests, Leopold and Joe were terrific spiritual guides for us, and I later went to Assisi, Italy - because of my love of St. Francis, and there I met Fr. Murray Bodo and Damian Isabel, who welcomed me as “Brother Susie” into their pilgrimage experience. I have been a lay Franciscan for over 20 years.

Parallel to this experience, I participated in sports and sport writing and coaching and pursued rowing to the highest level of the US National Rowing Team, in 1993. I also coached at Xavier University, Kent, and Penn State where we won a national championship. My athletes inspire me, and I consider it my privilege to coach them.

Q: What is the major premise of the book and what prompted you to write on this topic?

A: The premise is sport and spirituality. The book takes personal accounts of deeply spiritual moments in sport that contributed to athlete’s insights, faith, and Olympic experience. These insights are related to the reader in a non-religious manner - that is to say no one would be offended, as no religion per se is being “pushed” - just the spiritual nature of play, games, and sport.

Q: You discuss the Greek concept of “arĂȘte” - how does this sense of balance of body, mind and spirit translate to athleticism and to spirituality?

A: It is a very ancient concept of grace and beauty in strength. I think this quality is lost sometimes in sport in our headlong pursuit of winning, or money. If one pursues excellence – arĂȘte - then you win more than just a medal.

Q: You describe sport as, "a communion, a sacramentality in several layers", and yet many of the serious athletes with whom I'm acquainted shun formal religion. Why is this sometimes the case? How do you blend the two and how does sport enhance your own spirituality?

A: I don’t think the numbers of athletes that shun formal religion are any greater than any other group of society. Some people just are into religion or any structured worship at all. But for me sport is an extension of the beauty of creation - it can be the perfection of the physical creation, and that is what inspires me.

Q: For those who are not seriously athletic (or even couch potatoes?), how can participating in a physical discipline enhance one's spiritual life? How can someone who is not exercise oriented develop a regimen of balance of physical and spiritual activity?

A: Well there are many physical activities even a “couch potato” can enjoy—such as yoga, or reading about mountain climbing (a particular hobby of mine), walking, gardening, bird watching - all of these can be deeply satisfying life-time activities that bring one closer to nature and to fun - the essence of play.

Q: How do you make time for both prayer and activity with your busy schedule?

A: I meditate at night—usually when the world is quiet and still, I play my guitar. During the evening I try to walk on the beach.

Q: What message would you hope that readers would take away from their experience of reading your book?

A: I wrote the book hoping to share my privileged insights from the World Championships with others who might never get there. The journey to the Worlds was my reward - and I try to encourage others, especially young athletes to follow their journey and recognize it as the reward itself - rather than seeking only medals and fame.

Q: How can we, as families, teach our children to love and glorify God through play and through their experience of nature?

A: In the book I talk about this and, in my opinion, play is the essence of freedom and we are to play without fear, at the feet of our Father. I think if parents and kids can play games together, go on hikes, fish, whatever avenue your family enjoys as play, is a great way to make good friendships, enjoy being outside, be active. I think there might be too much emphasis on structured youth sports - to where the element of fun and spontaneity - like just going outside and shooting hoops - is lost because people are on the move in vans going to the next practice.

About the Author

Lisa M. Hendey is a mother of two sons, webmaster of numerous web sites, including http://www.catholicmom.com and http://www.christiancoloring.com, and an avid reader of Catholic literature. Visit her at http://www.lisahendey.com for more information.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

he Youth Sports Coach

Coaching youth sports is a challenge. Most of our kids are really happy to have us step up to the plate and coach and, despite the time we give up, most parents find the experience equally rewarding. However, there are some major things that every coach needs to do and understand before they start the season: 1) coach with the proper attitude; 2) coach with the proper fundamentals; and, 3) learn and teach the difference between the “Dad Hat” and the “Coach Hat”.

Coaching the Right Attitude

We all love our kids and, let’s face it; we also love playing sports with our kids. For me, it’s the way that I spend most of my free time and it is right up there as one of my favorite things to do. That being said, I also need to realize that statistically, none of the kids that I coach will ever play professional sports, nearly all of them will not play sports in college, and many of them will not even play varsity sports in high school. So, what does this mean for us as a coach? We need to emphasize all the other aspects of sports and the life lessons that make us love playing the game. Mostly, we need to make the experience fun!

In 1988, Robert Fulghum wrote the book “All I Really Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten”. I’ve often told people that you can learn everything you need to know by playing sports – especially youth sports. Many of the same lessons apply, but on an even bigger scale where kids learn success and failure, wining and losing, sportsmanship and teamwork, and how to respond in many pressure situations. None of these are easy lessons. Winning with grace is just as hard to teach as losing with dignity. How can you do this and make sure that everybody has a great season? That’s the trick.

Every team you ever coach, especially teams with younger kids, will be split between kids that are talented and kids that are not. The goal that you have as a coach is to make sure that every one of those kids has a great experience and wants to play again next year. I take the most pride in the job I did as a coach when the worst kid on the team loves the sport and keeps playing year after year. The way that I do this is to emphasize things other than on field performance – I try to stress effort, trying your best and hustle.

There are several practical things that you can do to emphasize these “other” characteristics. In basketball, for example, instead of emphasizing and keeping stats for scoring, keep stats on hustle, picks set, good defense, rebounds, filling a lane, or just being in the right position. After every game, point out something positive that every kid did during the game. Award a point for each time a kid does something you emphasize and give stars or sew on patches when points are accumulated. You’ll see that these kids will do anything to get a star on their uniform, even pay attention in practice!

Coaching the Right Fundamentals

Kids of any age can learn to do things properly. They may not have the motor skills developed yet, but they can at least try to do it right. One of my favorite misconceptions is that “practice makes perfect”. That’s totally wrong; practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes PERMANENT. What I try to teach is: “Perfect Practice Makes Permanently Perfect”. That’s a pretty big difference!

Of course, this really changes things for a youth coach because we need to teach the correct fundamentals or we’ll simply be reinforcing the bad habits kids develop. The hardest thing to do as a coach is to try and correct a flaw that a kid has developed over years of “practice”. This is even harder when the kid is good, because correcting the fundamental flaw generally means that getting worse before getting better. That means the kid is going to be reluctant to try this “new” way and may not stick it out. In the long run, the difference could be huge. While we’ve already acknowledged that that we’re not developing professional athletes, there is no reason to limit the ceiling on how well each child may develop. Coach’s Corner, Continued

The solution is simple: we need to learn the right fundamentals before we start coaching. It’s a responsibility that we accept when we volunteer to coach. Now, up front, I want to make sure to state that most of us think we know much more about sports than we really do. We think that because we played and we were pretty good that we clearly know how to teach a kid to play baseball or basketball. That’s simply not true. Much of what we learned was wrong. We may also not know the right way to communicate what we know to kids. Or, we may not know anything about the sport if we’re stepping in and coaching soccer or another sport that wasn’t “big” when we were young.

Fortunately, there is help. Many leagues do a good job teaching their coaches the fundamentals of the game. Some leagues even offer mandatory coaching clinics for their coaches. These are really good starts, but generally not enough – especially as the kids you coach get older and better. Before every season that I coach, I’ll watch several instructional tapes to review the fundamentals and also learn new material. I re-watch tapes, often with my kids that we’ve seen before and buy a couple of new ones to add some wrinkles. Of course, at SportsKids.com, we do offer 1,000’s of instructional books and videos, but the point of this section is to simply say to use whatever method you choose to make sure that you teach correct fundamentals. Every kid, even young kids, can learn with good coaching and remember: “Practice makes Permanent”.

The “Dad Hat” and the “Coach Hat”

There is a huge difference between being a “Dad” and being a “Coach”. Each has different responsibilities and relationships with the kids. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of overlap between the two roles. I literally have two hats: one says “Dad” and the other says “Coach”. Over the years, my kids and I have learned to separate the two so I don’t wear the hats too often, but it does make the distinction more literal. Coaching your own children is one of the real challenges of youth sports because sometimes, you child wants or expects to have a dad when you’re the team’s coach. If you can separate these roles, and both of your expectations, you and your child will have a much better youth sports experience.

About the Author

Ken Kaiserman is the president of www.sportskids.com, a leading youth sports website featuring games, sports news, sports camp and league directories, community features, and the SportsKids.com Superstore with over 150,000 products.

Ken coaches youth football, basketball and baseball. He also serves on the local little league board of directors as well as the Park Advisory Board.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Pressure in Youth Sports

Pressure is part of all sports and its impact in youth sports is something we need to carefully evaluate. The spotlight is brightest in baseball; there is simply no place to hide. For the pitcher, batter, catcher and anybody the ball is hit to, all the attention of parents and peers is riveted on that player. In soccer, basketball or other sports, it’s easy enough to “blend in”, but not in baseball. I have tremendous respect for every kid who takes the risk and goes out to play ball – especially the kids who are not as talented; it’s not easy. This is especially true for a young pitcher who controls every aspect of the game. Is there simply too much pressure put on kids to early? I don’t think so. As we evaluate the physiological aspects of pressure, the kid’s psychology, our own beliefs, and effective ways to deal with pressure, I’ll let you know why.

What Is Stress? - Changes, such as sudden trauma, several big crises, or many small daily hassles, cause stress. The human body has different ways of responding to stress; one quick responding nerve-hormonal system involving adrenaline, another long-lasting system involving cortisol, and perhaps others. These systems not only determine the intensity of our anxiety reactions but also our attitudes, energy level, depression, and physical health after the stressful events are over. Stress can also be a source of energy that can be directed towards useful purposes. How many of us would study or work hard if it were not for anxiety about the future? Life is a dynamic process and thus forever changing and stressful. Physiologic changes including an increased heart rate and blood pressure, faster breathing, muscle tension, dilated pupils, dry mouth and increased blood sugar all take place. In other words, stress can also be described as a state of increased arousal. Up to a certain point stress is beneficial. We can perform with greater energy and increased awareness with the influx of excitatory hormones that release immediate energy.

Understanding Each Child – There are genetic, constitutional, and other factors that influence the pressure an individual will feel in any situation and their reaction to that stress. Some of us may have been born "nervous", “happy”, “emotional”, or even "grouches." Almost certainly we are by nature prone to be shy or outgoing, and we also inherit a propensity for certain psychological effects, including our reaction to stress. So, we have to expect that each child will be impacted by and deal with pressure situations differently. It is imperative to judge each child as an individual. Some kids are desperate to bat with the bases loaded or the pitch in a clutch situation. Does your child hope the ball is hit to him so that he can make the play or does hope it’s not hit in his direction so that he can’t make an error? My favorite Michael Jordan quote is: “I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” You want to put kids into a position where they can succeed and to do that you need to understand who they are and how they are impacted by different pressure situations.

Another difference in children can be the way that they act in team vs. individual sports. A friend of mine has a child who is a very good athlete and highly competitive in tennis and golf, but “disappears” in soccer and basketball. The psychology behind this is simply that this person is able to perform when she knows that it’s all up to her. However, she doesn’t want to be the one who lets down the team by missing a shot. On the other hand, some children may react in just the opposite manner and not want the outcome to be totally determined by their own actions

The easiest thing to do is very simple – just ask the kids. You may be surprised at how honest the answers will be. Here are some questions to try:

1.When the game is tied and you’re playing in the field, do you want the ball to be hit to you or would you prefer that the ball is hit to one of your teammates?

2.If your team is losing by one run in the bottom of the last inning, the bases are loaded, and there are two out, do you want to be at bat?

3.If you’re on deck in the same situation, do you want your teammate to win the game or do you want a chance to get to the plate?

4.Would you prefer your teammate make the last out of the game so that you don’t have to bat with the game on the line?

5.Do you want to pitch?

6.Would you want to come in with the bases loaded and your team has a one run lead in the championship game?

Projection of Parents, Friends and Relatives – Projection is one of the defense mechanisms identified by Freud and still acknowledged today. According to Freud, projection is when someone is threatened by or afraid of their own impulses so they attribute these impulses to someone else. For example, a parent or grandparent who is so nervous about the outcome of a game can project their own insecurity and stress onto a child when the child isn’t bothered at all. For example, I know some grandparents, who are admittedly risk averse themselves and protective of their kids (no matter how old they are) are now at least as protective of their grandchildren. They have a grandson who is an excellent pitcher and loves to pitch, but they still feel that he’s under too much pressure and maybe he shouldn’t even be playing baseball. This is an example of projection of their feelings about the child rather than actually finding out how he feels. I know many parents who prefer their child not come to bat in a tough situation just in case their kid makes the last out. While this is very easy to understand since we all want to protect our children, it often isn’t the kids feeling the pressure, but the rest of us.

Dealing With Pressure – Webster’s Dictionary defines “Pressure” as “the burden of physical or mental distress”. Even that definition is interesting because it neglects the possibility that people can perform well and even thrive under pressure and stress. One misconception though with performing under pressure is that stress always has a negative connotation. Many times, "the stress of competition may cause a negative anxiety in one performer but positive excitement in another". That is why one frequently hears how elite players' thrive under pressure, when most others would crumble. As individuals, our nervous systems differ; however, according to Richard Dienstbier at the University of Nebraska, we may be able to modify our physiological reactions by learning coping skills. Not surprisingly, exercise and sports participation are commonly considered as activities to reduce stress from other areas in life. However, if a child is feeling pressure while playing sports, here are some solid stress relief techniques they can employ:

1.Visualization – Before a game, visualize yourself in stressful situations and dealing with them successfully. Put yourself into that place mentally so that you can deal with it better when it happens in reality. During the game, you can remember back to how you’ve already dealt with this situation and are mentally prepared for it. Just so you know where I’m coming from, visualization is simply a shorter version of meditation.

2.Breathing – If a kid is feeling stressed during a game, feeling less anxious can often be as simple as taking a few deep breaths. Deep breathing is a very effective method of relaxation. It is a core component of everything from the 'take ten deep breaths' approach to calming someone down, right through to yoga relaxation and Zen meditation. It works well in conjunction with other relaxation techniques such as Progressive Muscular Relaxation, relaxation imagery and meditation to reduce stress.

Conclusion - A lot has been made of the impact of pressure in youth sports and the negative impact, but much of this is simply projecting a parent or relative’s individual beliefs on the situation. While you can argue that I’m doing the same thing, but in reverse, I in fact take a different position which is: 1) to acknowledge that pressure does exist, but 2) to determine how each individual child can deal with the situation. Only by knowing each child can you determine if the situation is, in fact, distress rather than an adrenaline producing pressure moment which the kid loves.

About the Author

Ken Kaiserman is the president of SportsKids.com, a leading youth sports website featuring games, sports news, sports camp and league directories, community features, and the www.sportskids.com Superstore with over 150,000 products.

Ken coaches youth football, basketball and baseball. He also serves on the local little league board of directors as well as the Park Advisory Board.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

NBA Draft Notes

NBA Draft Notes

If the 2004-05 season ended five days ago with the Spurs regaining the crown, then the 2005-06 campaign unofficially began last night with the 58th annual NBA Draft, held at The Theatre at Madison Square Garden. HoopsAvenue.com was there, with notes on what its like to experience the draft first hand.

7:00- the gates open outside MSG, (if you’ve never been, most fans enter near Penn Station on 7th Avenue and its unlike entering any other arena. While you can see the arena’s structure from the outside, when you walk in its almost as if you are entering a stadium inside of a building.) The Knick City Dancers greet fans with sweatbands and towels- as a diehard Nets fan, I promptly wipe the sweat from my brow all over the orange and blue Knicks logo.

7:02- As the crowd begins to enter, the talk among the predominately Knick contingency voices their overwhelming affection for Channing Frye. Some Illinois fans are seen as well as a large contingent of Syracuse enthusiasts- there is only so much orange one person can take.

7:05- After walking through the lobby and towards the Theatre, which is separate from MSG itself, the NBA shows that even in the off-season the marketing and draining of millions of corporate dollars doesn’t stop, as fans are given War of the World T-shirts and posters and handheld radios compliments of AMEX.

7:07- Arriving in my seat in the 300 section, I notice that the overly priced ticket I bought is in prime location, dead center and not too far back. I also learn after riding on a train in from Jersey for the past few hours, that Utah has swapped picks with Portland. The fans next to me start exclaiming that they must be going after Deron Williams of Illinois...we’ll see. (We also found out Jiri Welsch was traded to Milwaukee, but no one seems to care). One thing you notice about the setup of the area is that the "green room," which sometimes appears to be backstage or in an off location is actually right down by the front of the stage by all the fans. ESPN’s NBA shootaround crew are stationed to the left of the stage, with Stuart Scott’s interview zone behind them.

7:10- Uber-Knick fan Spike Lee makes his way through the crowd to applause. He seems focused on thinking of new targets to yell at with the retirement of Reggie Miller.

7:10-7:30- I notice that even after the season lets out, everyone loves to rock a jersey. Some of the more notable replicas seen; Bryant Reeves (Grizzlies), Darko Milicic (Pistons), Patrick Ewing (Georgetown), Jameer Nelson (Magic) and of course only in New York, a Mike Sweetney jersey.

7:30- David Stern walks out to a loud chorus of boos and some cheers. One thing you can’t tell on television is how loud and raucous a crowd is at a draft

1st Pick- Andrew Bogut is announced, some fans start a chant of Sam Bowie. The two or three Bucks fans in attendance seem pleased.

2nd Pick- Marvin Williams. Big ovation from the crowd, as the Carolina fans in attendance; family, alumni and those on the bandwagon go crazy.

3rd Pick- Deron Williams. The obvious choice to run the Jazz is greeted warmly, but some fans yell that the second coming of Stockton, he is not.

4th Pick- Chris Paul. Loud ovation for another ACC star, some of the Carolina contingent begin to chant, "Overrated!" Dick Vitale is shown on the screen, beginning his annual spiel of how this kid who went to college will excel at the next level.

5th Pick- Raymond Felton. The crowd once again goes wild as that makes two UNC players in the top 5. Almost 25 family and friends of Felton are sitting behind me, ecstatic that their boy will be staying in the Tar Heel state...and probably the fact that they’ll get to meet Nelly now.

6th Pick- Martell Webster. The first surprise pick, a lot of people didn’t expect Webster to go this high. I notice in between picks that on the ESPN studio setup, nobody seems to notice that Jay Bilas is there. Stephen A. Smith, Greg Anthony, Mike Tirico, they all converse in between picks, but Bilas just sits there with his hands folded.

7th Pick- Charlie Villanueva. Another first round shocker, the UConn faithful applaud loudly. Right after the 6-11 forward exits stage left, the hype begins for the Knicks selection.

8th Pick-Before Stern walks out, the crowd is loud the entire five minutes leading up to the selection. A lot of "Gerald Green" chants go around, followed by some "Channing Frye" uprisings. The buzz continues as the Commish steps to the podium, then all of a sudden, like a Roman emperor speaking to a crowd, there is a complete silence with everyone standing on their feet, then Frye’s name is called to a mostly warm reaction.

9th Pick- Ike Diogu is picked, there are a lot of shocked fans in the crowd. Some of it is because they didn’t expect him to go so high (I personally am upset because I wanted to see him in a Net uniform), the rest is probably because supposed top 5 pick Gerald Green is still on the board.

10th Pick- The Laker fans next to me begin a "Gerald Green" chant of their own. One of them has been talking from the beginning how he wished Green would be available...and now he is. (If you’ve never been to a draft, I say that any real NBA fan who lives in the area MUST go. It’s a few hundred people who all have a deep passion and knowledge of basketball and who talk nothing but hoops for four hours.) Andrew Bynum is selected and there is a sense of confusion by the crowd, but the Laker fans next to me heads drop in dismay as their buddies laugh at them. I wonder where Kobe is at this moment?

11th Pick- One thing I notice, I don’t know if they showed a clock on the screen at home, but the one above the draft board, it always goes to 0:00 and then it takes another minute or so, or whenever Stephen A. Smith stops talking, for them to go to the next pick. Fran Vazquez is the pick and the confusing looks continue through the crowd.

12th Pick- A heated argument breaks out next to me about who is better, Julius Hodge or Rashad McCants. Everyone keeps it cool though, which is what makes actually being at the draft great. Each fan has their own guy they want to see make it as well as their team loyalties, even the Michigan State alum by me who shouts for Alan Anderson before every pick. Yaroslav Korolev is taken. The first reaction for most fans is one of bewilderment, but then you realize it’s the Clippers and it all seems to make sense.

13th Pick- Stephen A. begins yelling throughout the theatre, that how could two star UNC players not get picked before some of the foreign prospects. What do you know, Charlotte takes Sean May, building a Carolina connection for the Bobcats. I can only start to think about a few years back when Chicago loaded up on Duke players...that worked out well.

14th Pick- McCants is drafted next, making Stephen A. look like Nostradamus. The Carolina delegation in the crowd has been quite vocal these past 10 minutes.

15th Pick- The Nets fans by me all want Hakim Warrick, who I wouldn’t mind but would rather have Joey Graham. In utter disbelief, they take Antoine Wright. Knicks fans begin to smirk at the Nets fans in the crowd who definitely wanted a forward.

16th Pick- Joey Graham is taken by the Raptors- some Nets fans sigh. I begin to think though that the previous pick for Wright wasn’t so bad, since they have needed outside shooting for the past 4 years and this kid can supposedly light it up. Plus he was a consensus top 10 pick and maybe luckily slipped into NJ’s hands.

17th Pick- Danny Granger is announced to subtle applause.

18th Pick- Gerald Green goes to Boston, quite fitting that he puts on that color uniform, don’t you think? His crew sitting behind the green room cheer wildly, while a lot of the crowd begins to exit. A "Boston Sucks" chant begins in the back as New Yorkers make sure to show their ever-loving admiration for Beantown sports.

19th Pick- In between picks, Roy Williams walks through the crowd to the delight of the Tar Heel fans. I feel like starting a Let’s go Duke chant. I then think that Hakim Warrick would be a perfect fit for the Grizzlies to team up with or replace Stromile Swift. Warrick is picked up by Memphis and the Syracuse fans go wild. Still no one has said a word to Bilas off-camera.

20th Pick- Julius Hodge, a Harlem naitve receives a warm ovation, perhaps one of the biggest of the night. He probably seems the most happy of any draftee to be there, pumping his fist in the air and smiling the rest of the night through.

21st Pick- Phoenix takes Nate Robinson who a lot of people seem to have forgotten about. The crowd likes the pick and then likes it even more when they learn he may be a Knick as part of the Quentin Richardson-Kurt Thomas deal.

22nd Pick- Jarrett Jack. A guy next to me exclaims afterwards, "Man, the ACC is runnin’ this @#$!" Indeed they are.

23rd Pick- Francisco Garcia. Nice applause but the New York native is absent from the festivities.

24th Pick- Luther Head. Decent reaction from the crowd, but they are beginning to disperse at a faster rate, with about 70% just waiting around to see the Knicks at no.30.

25th Pick-Johan Petro. The Anti-France bashing begins and most fans laugh at the pick. There is a slight buzz after the announcement of the potential trade of the 22nd pick (Jack) to Portland for the 27th and 35th picks.

26th Pick- There seems to be less on the trade front in this draft as compared to year’s past. Greg Anthony gets about a makeover in between commercial breaks, he loves the face makeup. Jason Maxiell is the pick for the ‘04 champs, some of the crowd overly support the pick, some loathe it. Hate it or love it, this underdog is going to one of the top teams in the NBA.

27th Pick- Portland takes Linas Kleiza and almost in unison the crowd says, "Who?" Fans search frantically in their Draft handout booklets to find out who was just taken.

28th Pick- Ian Mahinmi. Most of the crowd may not know who he is, but they love it when a player comes from the pay seats through the fans and onto the stage.

29th Pick- Wayne Simien is chosen to a decent ovation, although I’m sure Dickie V. will burst a vein yelling about how 28 teams could pass this kid up.

30th Pick- The buildup to the pick, the Knick fans overwhelmingly want Chris Taft. When David Lee’s name is called though, they are PO’d and many leave disappointed, a seemingly annual ritual at recent drafts.

2nd Round Notes:
Russ Granik must be the most loved man in the building as he gets a huge response from what is left from the crowd. Before every pick they chant his name and you can tell he eats it up. The fans like Salim Stoudamire at 31 and as typical with Duke players, there is some love, mostly hate when Daniel Ewing is taken at 32. The next two picks consist of Who’s? (Brandon Bass) and Ooooh’s (CJ Miles). I notice that when Granik comes to the podium, Bilas is the only one on the ESPN crew who pays attention to the pick. There is a lot of love for Ronny Turiaf who is sitting in the crowd. They loudly chant his name before he is selected by the Lakers and his family gives hi-5’s to all the fans around. I stick around ‘til the Nets at 43 and don’t even bother looking up who Mile Ilic is. Exiting Hakim Warrick walks by the lobby, shaking hands and signing autographs as well as Fran Vazquez. I leave somewhat disenchanted by my team’s selections, but glad to have come to the event. All I can wait for now is summer leagues to get started and training camp to roll around, only four months left until the new season officially begins.

About the Author

Seth Berkman writes for http://www.hoopsavenue.com

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Common Basketball Injuries

Common Basketball Injuries An inside look at the most common of basketball related injuries
By Pete Youngman
NUMEROUS PLAYER INJURIES occur as a result from the constant pounding and jarring night in and night out on the hardwood court. Studies done by my peers, other NBA athletic trainers, show that on average an NBA player runs four miles during a game which figures out to be 223 laps up and down the court. With this much time spent running, jumping, and side-stepping down the court, mishaps are destined to happen. Three of the most common injuries are ankle sprains, lower back strain, and patellar tendonitis.
Ankle injuries are among the most frequent suffered by NBA players and account for 25 percent of all athletic injuries. There are two types of ankle sprains. The most common involves injury to the lateral ligaments caused by supination and inversion of the foot and the latter involves the medial structures of the ankle. Inversion of the ankle usually occurs when a player comes down from jumping in the air onto another player's foot. Landing unevenly causes the foot to roll outward putting a great deal of stress on the anterior talofibular ligament.
Treating ankle sprains usually involves resting and taking pressure off the injured ligament, icing the ankle to relieve swelling, and elevating the leg above the heart. Trainers will usually tape the ankle to help prevent ankle sprains or the player will wear an ankle brace to help support the ligament. Isometric exercises and resistance training with rubber tubing are used to strengthen the ankle.
Lower back pain is also commonly suffered by basketball players. Among the general population 80 percent will sustain injury to the lower back at some time during their life. Running and jumping on the hardwood court produces much stress on the lower back even with well cushioned shoes. When a player comes down on the court from a jumpshot his knees and lower back or lumbar region absorb the shock. A majority of the players stand above six feet and may weigh between 200 and 300 pounds. This amount of weight may inflict a great deal of stress on the lower back. Lower back pain is usually caused by weakened abdominal muscles which assist the back muscles when lifting objects. If the abdominal muscles are weak and not conditioned, the lower back muscles will compensate for their weakness producing uncomfortable strain. Treatments for lower back strain include resting to alleviate the pressure on the lower lumbar region and heat compressions which loosen up the muscles and allow the back to heal. It is important that you always stretch your lower back after exercise. There are several abdominal and lower back workouts that can be done to help prevent back problems (please consult your physician for personal medical advice):
1. Lying on your back with your knees bent, bring your shoulders up off the ground using your upper abdominal muscles. Always make sure that your back is flat on the ground. Begin with 2 sets of 30 and work up to 3 sets of 30.
2. Again lying on your back with knees bent, extend both arms between your legs and lift your shoulders off the ground using your abdominals. Do the same but with your arms extended outside of your legs. Same repetitions as above.
3. Once again, lying on your back with knees bent extend one arm out to your side and lift your shoulders off the ground. And do the same for the opposite arm. Same repetitions as above.
4. Lying on you back lift your legs straight in the air and raise your buttocks off the ground using your lower abdominals. Pulsating 30 times.

1. Lie on your back and raise your pelvis towards the ceiling 30 times.
2. Lie on your stomach and bend your legs upward. Raise your knees off the ground using your lower back and gluteals. 2 sets of 30 repetitions.
3. Again lie on your stomach and raise your chest and torso off the ground using your lower back. 2 sets of 30 repetitions.

Patellar tendonitis is another frequent injury suffered by many basketball players. The patella (better known as the knee cap) lies in front of the hinge joint formed by the femur and tibia. The patella tendon connects the patella to the tibial tuberosity acting as a shock absorber. This tendon becomes inflamed when inflicted by the constant pressure of running and jumping. Kings forward Corliss Williamson suffers from patellar tendonitis. Corliss wears a thin band underneath his left knee called a "Cho-pat" which puts pressure on the tendon to deflect pain away from this joint. This band helps relieve the stress of jumping. Strength and conditioning coach Al Biancani works with Corliss to strengthen his quadriceps, which assist in supporting the knee. Stronger quads will relieve the strain on the patellar tendon and reduce the inflammation. Electrical stimulation and anti-inflammatories are alternative methods to relieve patellar tendonitis.

These basketball injuries are all preventable with strength training and conditioning. Reducing the chances of these injuries involves increasing the strength of supporting muscles, conditioning the entire body to avoid injuries due to exhaustion, and applying braces to weak regions to prevent further injuries.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Fun Summer Activities

Fun Summer Activities

Summer is here and school is out! Why not grab some friends and make the most of the season! Some of these activities require adult supervision. Ask your mom, dad, or other trusted adult to join the fun.

* go to the park and play some pick up ball
* go lift weights, and get big this summer
* go swim some laps while it's great offseason basketball training
(Dr. J's favorite thing to do in the offseason)
* go to open gym with your high school team
* go do some plyometric exercises
* shoot some hoops.
* dribble the basketball while running
* dribble the basketball while riding your bike
* ride a bike it a great offseason cross training
* take time to have fun, but stay out of trouble
* go to the gym and take serious game shots for 30 minutes
* go and try to dunk if you can not dunk then touch the rim or net
* do 100 push ups
* do 100 sit ups
* go do a jummping work out
* go read a book *it's the offseason, but the books are still important
* go take a nap
* go to a camp - basketball camp, church camp, work a camp, volunteer at a camp
* chart your workouts this summer
* learn more about your high school plays or defensive plays
* just hang out and play some ps2
* watch coach carter and really let it hit home
* work hard this offseason
* take a time out and relax
* go fishing, or the lake, or boating
* work hard oh did I already say that one...well I hope you get the picture!

Friday, June 17, 2005

8 Basketball Power-Dribbling Drills

Most children first learn to crawl, then walk, and finally to run. Basketball requires players to not only effectively move their feet, but also to maneuver a basketball. Basketball players first learn to dribble the basketball with one hand, then to alternate hands, and progressively to increase to more advanced dribbling. As a basketball player, a powerful and effective way to keep defenders on their toes and increase your threat as an offensive player is to develop an agile and quick dribbling technique. The power dribble can do this.

A basic power dribble is when you dribble the ball at a very intense rate. Maintain your normal form and posture. Use your muscles to thrust the ball forcefully down, and then expect the ball to quickly bounce back to your hand.

The drills described below will help you gain confidence and agility to handle a basketball in a power dribble. This will help you run a fast break, cut through the defensive, and outmaneuver your opponents.

1. Power crossovers - Power dribble in your right hand, then quickly bounce the ball to your left hand. Power dribble with your left for a few seconds before bouncing the ball back to your right hand.
2. Dribble blindfolded - Wrap a cloth around your head as a blindfold, or you could simply close your eyes...no peeking. Power dribble a ball for at least 60 seconds. This drill helps you enhance your tactile sense of the ball. You can enhance the drill by performing it in the center of a deserted basketball court, walking around while dribbling. To make the drill even more challenging, try power dribbling two balls, one in each hand, while being blindfolded and slowly walking around a deserted basketball court.
3. 10-5 repeats - This drill exercises power dribbling with one hand at a time. Choose which hand your would like to practice. Power dribble for 10 seconds, then soft dribble for 5 seconds. Repeat multiple times. This exercise teaches your arm muscles how to alternate between various dribbling speeds that occur during game play.
4. Dribble between legs while walking - In order to do this drill you will need a segment of floor, such as a basketball court floor, a street's sidewalk, or a wide hallway that is deserted. Power dribble while walking up and down the walkway. Power dribble the ball between your legs to practice fancy dribbling skills. To enhance the drill, perform the drill at a quicker walking pace, maybe at a light jogging pace.
5. Double ball power dribbling - Power dribble two balls, one in each hand. This will increase your arm strength for dribbling and enhance your dribbling control. Since you can't look at both hands at the same time, this drill will also practice your ability to power dribble without looking at the ball.
6. Power dribbling sprints - This drill requires you to power dribble for an extended period of time and run back and forth on the basketball court. Stand at one end of a basketball court. Dribble to the nearest foul line, then return to the baseline. Dribble to the middle of the court, then return to the baseline from which you started. Dribble to the farthest foul line, then return to the baseline from which you started. Finally, dribble the entire length of the court, and return to the baseline from which you started. This entire continuous power dribbling exercise counts as one complete cycle of the drill. Repeat multiple times to practice your dribbling, speed, and direction-changing abilities.
7. 3-chair dribbling - Set up 3 chairs or cones in a line, spacing each chair/cone 10 feet apart. Power dribble around the chairs/cones in different shapes, such as figure-eights, circles, or any shape. Use your imagination.
8. Dirt dribbling - This drill actually requires you to leave the basketball court and find a patch of dirt. Power dribble on the dirt for a minute or two. You will need to power dribble the ball even harder than usual in order to get the ball to bounce on the dirt. This drill is an extremely good arm workout with power dribbling.

Start with just a few of these exercises, and then expand your workouts to include more drills. You can also modify the drills to be more challenging by increasing the number of repetitions or slightly modifying the drill. The key is to vary your routines and have fun with them. By practicing the power dribble, you will greatly improve your dribbling.

About the Author

Mark S. has been participating in club basketball teams for 8 years. He writes basketball articles for www.TeachMeSports.com

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Phoenix Suns interesting story

Sex Segregated 'Zoo Crew' Entertainment Troupe at Issue in Litigation by Federal Agency

PHOENIX -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced the resolution of a sex bias lawsuit against the Phoenix Suns Limited Partnership and Sports Magic Team, Inc. (SMT), an Orlando, Florida.-based sports entertainment firm, for over $100,000 and other relief on behalf of a former female employee, Kathryn Tomlinson, and other women who were discriminated against on the basis of gender when they were deprived of the opportunity to compete for positions with the Phoenix Suns' "Zoo Crew" entertainment troupe. The agreements are memorialized in two separate Consent Decrees, one for each Defendant, submitted to the United States District Court for Arizona for its approval.

The Zoo Crew provides entertainment during Phoenix Suns basketball games, including shooting T-shirts into the crowd with a giant toy bazooka, assisting with half-time promotions, and performing trampoline dunks with the Phoenix Suns gorilla, the team mascot. The troupe also participates in community events designed to promote the Suns.

According the EEOC, Charging Party Tomlinson performed well during her employment as a Zoo Crew member during the 1998-1999 season. The EEOC's suit, alleged that in 1999-2000, the Phoenix Suns and SMT adopted new sex-restrictive hiring policies for the Zoo Crew, limiting positions to "males with athletic ability and talent." This hiring policy was disseminated in the form job announcements posted around the Phoenix Metropolitan area and in a newspaper advertisement in several newspapers, including The Arizona Republic, Mesa Tribune, and The New Times.

Kathryn Tomlinson said, "I am disappointed that a well-known employer would engage in blatant discrimination. I know that standing up for myself and other women will make me a better person. I'd like to thank the EEOC."

EEOC Trial Attorney P. David Lopez stated that "under the terms of the Consent Decrees between the EEOC and the Suns and SMT, the Phoenix Suns will pay $82,500 to resolve claims brought on behalf of Kathryn Tomlinson and two other women and SMT will pay $22,000 to Kathryn Tomlinson and two other class members." He also said, "The Phoenix Suns also agreed to strengthen its policies prohibiting sex discrimination, to provide training to employees, supervisors, and management, to establish safeguards to ensure sex-restrictive advertisements are not disseminated in the future, and to send a letter of apology to Kathryn Tomlinson. The term of the Consent Decree with the Phoenix Suns is for three years."

"By entering into Consent Decrees, the Phoenix Suns and SMT have committed to equal employment opportunity. The Decrees should ensure that the Phoenix Suns will not disseminate gender-based advertisements which, on their face, deprive women of equal employment opportunity," said Charles Burtner, District Director of the Phoenix EEOC office.

Regional Attorney Mary Jo O'Neill remarked that, "The Commission is very pleased with the resolution of this case. Title VII prohibits sex-based recruitment and hiring practices unless the employer can demonstrate the sex restriction is a bona fide occupational qualification. The Commission will continue to combat antiquated sex restrictive policies that do not meet this requirement."

Gender-based job discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including sexual harassment or pregnancy) or national origin and protects employees who complain about such offenses from retaliation. In addition to enforcing Title VII, the EEOC enforces the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which protects workers age 40 and older from discrimination based on age; the Equal Pay Act of 1963; the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits employment discrimination against people with disabilities in the federal sector; Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits employment discrimination against people with disabilities in the private sector and state and local governments; and sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. Further information about the Commission is available on the agency's Web site at www.eeoc.gov.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

NBA Basketball Players and Hoops4Africa Launch AIDS Campaign

Basketball stars to travel to Kenya to encourage healthy living

By Emily Harter
Washington File Staff Writer

Washington -- Hoops4Africa is sending professional basketball players to Kenya in 2005 to use the influence of American sports celebrities to deliver a vital message on AIDS prevention to African youth.

The Washington-based nongovernmental organization celebrated its partnership with professionals from the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) and Land O'Lakes, an American dairy company, at a fund-raising reception October 28 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington.

"Play Safe, Live Long. Drink Milk, Live Strong" is the message 13 men and women basketball stars will promote during their trip to Kenya in September 2005. Currently there are 26.2 million people affected with HIV in Africa, and last year 2.3 million people died from the disease, 470,000 of them children.

Hoops4Africa is the creation of Stephan Bekale, an immigrant from Gabon who played college basketball in the United States. He formed the organization after he lost both his parents to AIDS, enlisting support from more than 200 NBA and WNBA players along with several businesses in the Washington area.

During the trip to Kenya, Hoops4Africa and the team of American basketball players will visit primary and secondary schools to educate adolescents because "the highest incidence of AIDS is between the ages of 15 and 26," according to Kristin Penn, director of the Land O'Lakes International Development Division.

Land O'Lakes, a leading U.S. food and agricultural cooperative, has been involved in economic development for more than 20 years. It currently has projects in nine African countries in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), including a project to improve the dairy industry in Kenya.

"Land O'Lakes wants to contribute to ending hunger and alleviating poverty in a way that we know best: working with the food industries in African countries and forming unique partnerships with organizations like Hoops4Africa," Penn said.

To help Hoops4Africa achieve its goal of reaching 2 million Africans about HIV prevention and nutrition, Penn said, Land O'Lakes will organize basketball games and exhibitions at schools, which will attract large audiences. Local Kenyan basketball players will also participate in the exhibition games.

According to Penn, the visits of the NBA players will be publicized on radio and television, at sporting events, and through personal appearances. Major U.S. media will also cover the 2005 Kenya trip and air it on such shows as "Larry King Live," "The Oprah Winfrey Show," and MTV programs.

"Around the world, and particularly in Africa, NBA basketball players are held in high regard," said Gregory Shepard of HomeWorks Remodeling Assurance, another Hoops4Africa sponsor. "We know that we are on the right track and that our approach is sound. It will have a significant impact."

Shepard pointed to a similar project that was carried out in China. Chinese NBA star Yao Ming was joined by Hall of Fame basketball star Magic Johnson, who was diagnosed as HIV-positive in 1991, to talk about AIDS prevention in a public service announcement on Chinese television.

Land O'Lakes and Hoops4Africa are thinking long-term about spreading their vital messages about health and nutrition. The five-day trip the NBA players make to Kenya will be just a start.

"We are very interested in getting corporate Kenya and their professional teams to pick up where we leave off," said Penn, "and to dedicate themselves to reaching as many schools as possible over the year to spread these messages in the classroom. We are the catalysts."

Hoops4Africa plans to expand the program to other African countries, Shepard added. "We think the program is very useful," he said. "We may actually incorporate other sports such as cricket and soccer."

"Hometown Hoops: High School Basketball in Michigan" Opens March 8 at the Michigan Historical Museum

"Hometown Hoops: High School Basketball in Michigan" Opens March 8 at the Michigan Historical Museum

As basketball teams and fans prepare for the excitement of March Madness, the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing is preparing for a little basketball excitement of its own.

On Saturday, March 8, the museum unveils Hometown Hoops: High School Basketball in Michigan, a special exhibit that looks at the people who make high school basketball happen and what the sport means to them and their communities.

Join mid-Michigan radio sports host Dave “Mad Dog” DeMarco of WQTX (92.7 The Ticket), from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the exhibit gallery, for his insight into Michigan’s high school basketball heritage.

Basketball has undergone an evolution since its introduction in Michigan in the late 19th century. What started as a “girls’ sport” became dominated by boys—and now the sport is played and enjoyed by boys and girls at every age level.

“Over the years, more and more people became involved in presenting the game of basketball,” said Phillip C. Kwiatkowski, director of the Michigan Historical Museum. “Not just players, parents and coaches, but fans, ticket-takers, janitors and others.”

Hometown Hoops captures the sights and sounds of high school basketball. Visitors even have the chance to shoot a hoop as they tour the gallery. More than 50 schools are represented in artifacts ranging from basketballs, uniforms and trophies to fan signs and mascots. Among the artifacts are championship trophies representing over 100 years of championship high school basketball.

At Hometown Hoops, visitors will discover the answers to:

· How have the game and the players changed since basketball came to Michigan?

· What do Earvin “Magic” Johnson and former Michigan governor William Milliken have in common?

· To what lengths do fans go in showing their team pride?

The permanent exhibits at the Michigan Historical Museum present an overview of the state’s past, from pre-recorded history through 1975. The museum is the flagship of a system that includes twelve historic sites and museums throughout the state.

The Michigan Historical Museum is located inside the Michigan Library and Historical Center, 702 W. Kalamazoo St., two blocks west of the State Capitol in downtown Lansing. The main entrance and visitor parking are located north of Kalamazoo Street, just east of M. L. King Boulevard. Museum hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; and Sunday, 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. The museum is closed on official state holidays

The Michigan Historical Museum system is a division of the Michigan Historical Center, an agency of the Michigan Department of History, Arts and Libraries, whose mission is to enrich the quality of life for Michigan residents by providing access to information, preserving and promoting Michigan's heritage and fostering cultural creativity. The department also includes the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, the Library of Michigan, the Michigan Film Office and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Basketball skills camp teaches fundamentals

Basketball skills camp teaches fundamentals

Phil Popielski's Basketball Skills camp begins its second session Monday and runs through June 28 from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Meade Middle School. The camp is open to boys and girls ages 7 to 15.

Camp director Phil Popielski started the camp nine years ago when he was teaching at Meade Middle School. "It began as a way to get the middle school kids at Fort Meade interested in basketball," he said. Popielski currently teaches at MacArthur Middle School and is the assistant basketball coach at McDaniel College, formally known as Western Maryland College.

The camp focuses on fundamental offensive and defensive skills. Popielski believes that, "Fundamentals are a part of the game that you can improve on every day. If you develop your skills, you may be able to put yourself ahead of someone else.”

Popielski says the camp concentrates on a different skill everyday. Staff members work with campers on how to improve upon that skill in order to become better players.

"At the end of each session the kids receive a report card that tells them three or four things they will need to work on before the season starts," said Popielski.

Hundreds of youngsters have attended the camp over the past nine years and some of them still return each summer to help out with the program. Former camper Courtney Wylie is helping with the 5 and 6 year olds this year. She attended the camp two years prior to playing with her high school team. "It definitely helped me learn how to play the game," said the Meade Senior High School senior.

Jovar Joyce, also a senior at Meade, was in seventh grade the first time he attend the camp. "Mr. Popielski was my teacher and I heard a lot about the camp so I decided to give it a chance," he said. "It's a great camp, I really learned a lot and Mr. Popielski is so energetic. He really keeps you going," he added.

Guest speakers also visit the camp to encourage and inspire the young players. Most were enrolled as campers themselves at one time or another and are now playing for colleges such as the University of Maryland and Loyola.

The cost of the camp is $65 per one week session. Discounts are available for families who have more than one child attending camp, for those who want to attend multiple sessions and for those who register early. Each child receives a camp T-shirt.

Although basketball fundamentals are the camp's focus, sportsmanship and a positive attitude towards the game are also highlighted. "And above all," said Popielski, "we talk about grades. Getting good grades always comes before playing.”

In the end, however, this is still camp and the most important part of any camp, added Popielski, is to have fun.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Former U.S. College Basketball Stars Initiate "Cultural Envoy" Program

Program teaches foreign youth about American sportsmanship

By Phyllis McIntosh
Washington File Staff Writer

Washington -- Two former U.S. college basketball stars are using the universal language of sports to connect with young people around the world through the U.S. Department of State's new Cultural Envoys Program.

The six-month pilot program is an offshoot of the Department's extremely successful CultureConnect Program, which enlists world-renowned personalities in such fields as music, literature, film, dance, and architecture to interact with youthful audiences worldwide.

Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Patricia S. Harrison explains, "the Cultural Envoys program draws on the energy, skills, and enthusiasm of lesser-known Americans to further connect with young people overseas, affirming aspects of American culture, such as teamwork, volunteerism, and working to achieve goals."

"Through sports, the envoys are able to connect with young people at a level where they all have something in common, and that helps open a dialogue," says program coordinator Nicole Deaner.

As its first envoys, the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) chose Omari Faulkner and Courtland Freeman, 2004 graduates of Georgetown University in Washington, where they played four years of inter-collegiate, division one NCAA basketball. Faulkner, from Memphis, Tennessee, received several scholar-athlete awards and has mentored young people as academic adviser and coach for various basketball camps. Freeman, a native of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, also was honored as a scholar athlete and was the first student in Georgetown history to serve three seasons as co-captain of the basketball team.

Having just completed a tour of Albania, Bosnia, Romania and Turkey, where they interacted with some 1,400 young people aged 12-25, Faulkner and Freeman departed August 21 for a three-week visit to Central and South America, with stops in Mexico, El Salvador, Bolivia and Brazil.

By the end of the 2004, they also will have traveled to South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Additional trips to South Asia and the Middle East will follow in January 2005. At each venue, the two conduct basketball clinics, attend student events and meet with sports and city officials.

"We are focusing not just on the large cities but on the smaller towns and cities that have had little or no contact with America or Americans," Deaner says. "The reception has been tremendous. The envoys were treated with warmth and enthusiasm everywhere they went."

In Gaziantep, Turkey, as many as 500 spectators crowded into clinics and demonstration games. At a Bucharest, Romania, clinic where 20 students were expected, Faulkner and Freeman were greeted by more than 100. The envoys quickly revised their plans and managed to accommodate 55 participants.

Although basketball is a thoroughly American game, "it is becoming a world sport," Freeman says. "There's a passion for basketball in every country we went to. The school might not necessarily have a team, but there are club teams. We also dealt with a lot of kids who don't play on a team but who love the game."

At clinics for boys and girls, "we teach them different drills, polish their fundamentals, show them trick shots, and let them play," Faulkner says. "Our overall goal is to let them have fun."

Behind the fun is a serious message that the teamwork and effort needed to succeed in basketball are important in society as well. "You have to be able to work with your teammate regardless of his personal background, to put aside your differences and come together," says Freeman.

"I tell them to work hard in anything they do," Faulkner adds. "It's a great opportunity to play a sport for your school or club, but I stress to them to put as much emphasis on schoolwork as on sports."

At age 22 and 23, Faulkner and Freeman are able to relate almost as peers to many of the older students they meet. "It's not just about basketball," Freeman says. "We talk about music, about what college is like. We tell them to feel free to ask us questions about anything they want. They're dealing with a lot of the same issues we deal with -- peer pressure and drugs and [the appeal of] criminal lifestyles. So we tell them to listen to their parents and teachers and coaches and stay away from that route."

As African-Americans, Faulkner and Freeman introduce young people in other countries to the diversity of U.S. society. "A lot of them think of an American as a white person with blond hair and blue eyes, so when they see African-Americans it gives them another impression of Americans," Faulkner says. "Many of them also have the view that the U.S. is perfect, and everything here is the best, the best basketball facilities, the best equipment. So, we let them know that in America we have our problems with discrimination and that there are kids in Memphis, Tennessee, who play basketball on dirt courts and kids in California who have to use a crate instead of a basket."

The envoys stress that "America is a very diverse country, but despite our different races, religions, and ethnicities, we still work together," Freeman notes. "We help them realize that Americans don't have everything handed to them. You have to pay your dues, work hard, study hard, do the right thing in order to succeed, and that holds true no matter what country you're in. [Their reaction] is like, wow, if they can do it, maybe I can do it as well."

Faulkner and Freeman agree that even this early in the project, the personal rewards of their work are countless. Faulkner says he is now seriously considering a career in government, perhaps in the area of international exchanges. Freeman adds that he has "grown a lot from going to different countries, learning about different cultures, seeing different struggles. I took a lot for granted, but I can't do that anymore, because my eyes have been opened."

Among their most memorable moments are the thanks they received everywhere they went, the sad faces as they were leaving a town, the cries of "I love you" and "PLEASE try to come again."

"You could tell it was a point in their lifetime that they would never forget, just to be around an American," Faulkner says. "Just knowing that we made footprints in their lives that they'll never forget is amazing."

Thursday, June 09, 2005

MRI Can Spot Foot Trouble in Basketball Players

MRI Can Spot Foot Trouble in Basketball Players
Scan identifies early threat of season-ending injuries

(HealthDayNews) -- Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for early detection of potential stress fractures in the feet may help reduce the risk of season-ending injuries for college basketball players, says a Duke University study.

Radiologist Dr. Nancy Major used MRI to check the feet of 26 male college basketball players. She found that MRI detected some form of abnormality -- including such things as soft tissue changes in joint areas and abnormalities of the metatarsals -- in the feet of 36.5 percent of the players.

Before the MRI test, only one of the players exhibited any symptoms of foot problems.

The results suggest this kind of screening should be included as a standard part of all physical examinations for male and female basketball players and other athletes who put considerable stress on the bones of their feet, Major said.

MRI screening wouldn't be necessary for people who play such sports on a casual or limited basis, she said.

"When diagnostic work is conducted pre-season, at-risk players are more likely to be identified, receive treatment and ultimately play the entire year instead of losing eight to 12 weeks on the bench," Major said in a prepared statement.

"By looking at athletes individually with MRI, physicians can evaluate, institute appropriate therapy and document potential problems for further evaluation," she said.

Major presented her findings Dec. 1 at the Radiological Society of North America annual meeting in Chicago.

college basketball game: first college basketball game part 3

college basketball game: first college basketball game part 3
January 18, 1896
In 1963, college games were first broadcast on national TV, but it wasn't until the 1980s that sports fans ranked basketball up there with football and baseball. It's a popular neighborhood sport, too. The next time you shoot hoops with your family or friends, you can tell them how it all got started.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

college basketball game: first college basketball game part 2

college basketball game: first college basketball
January 18, 1896
In December 1891, Canadian-born James Naismith, a physical education teacher at the YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association) training school, took a soccer ball and a peach basket and in the gym invented basketball. In 1893, he replaced the peach basket with iron hoops and a hammock-style basket. Ten years later came the open-ended nets of today. Before that, you had to retrieve your ball from the basket every time you scored.

First College Basketball Game

January 18, 1896
When you are out on the court playing basketball, or watching it on TV, have you ever wondered who invented the game? The first ever college basketball game was played on this day, January 18, 1896, when the University of Iowa invited student athletes from the new University of Chicago for an experimental game. Final score: Chicago 15, Iowa 12, a bit different from the hundred-point scores of today.

Monday, June 06, 2005

basketball hoop

A Hoop. Basketball hoops are available in most gyms and in many parks. You can even buy a hoop and attach it to the side of your house or garage, if you have one. To create your own regulation court at your house, make sure you set your foul line 15 feet from the backboard. To see the dimensions of a regulation court,

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Prevention of Sports Injuries: basketball

Diana Settles, MAT, ATC
Manager, Injury Prevention Physical Fitness Programs
Navy Environmental Health Center, Portsmouth, VA
• Pace yourself; don’t do too much too soon when pre-conditioning for basketball season.
• A conditioning program with emphasis on aerobic and muscular fitness training should be
implemented prior to the beginning of basketball season.
• Begin gradually participating in activities specific to basketball, such as motor skill components of
fitness: jumping (rope skipping) and agility/coordination/balance drills. This mode of training will
strengthen the connective tissue (muscle, bones, ligaments, and tendons) which will assist the body in
accommodating to physical stress. These exercises will also assist with neuromuscular coordination,
the ability to integrate the senses – sight, sound, and proprioceptive (knowing the position of your body
in space) – with motor function to produce smooth, accurate, and skilled movement.
• Add ankle, shin (anterior tibialis), and soleus strengthening exercises to the basic lower extremity
muscular fitness exercise program.
• Participate daily in a complete body stretching program.
• Remember to warm-up and stretch at least 5 – 10 minutes before participating in a basketball activity.
• A continued maintenance program throughout the season would also help prevent injuries.
• Contact a local MWR Trainer for additional information on basketball conditioning. Many MWR
Facilities provide safety/injury prevention information to coaches, players, and officials regarding
preparation, conditioning, and training proper playing techniques.
• NOTE: Prior injury to the body predisposes one to re-injury of that particular extremity.
• Jewelry, i.e., rings, necklaces, etc. are not recommended during basketball activity participation.
• Clothing attire that contain pockets are not recommended due to the risk of fingers getting
caught/lodged in clothing.
• Protective eye goggles would help prevent ocular injury.
• Basketball playing shoes should be used. Shoes specific to other sports are not recommended.
• Basketball goal must be padded; allow space of at least 8-ft. clear area past goal. Ensure bumper
guards are installed correctly on glass boards.
• The style of play by a basketball team may increase risk of injury; the more contact involved, the
higher the incidence for injury.
• Trained coaching staff can impact positively upon basketball injury prevention. Coaches should be
able to provide safe information to players on the team regarding preparation, conditioning, and
training proper playing techniques.
• Officiated games decrease the risk of injury occurrence. Enforcement of rules assists in decreasing the
incidence of injury.
• Be aware of the environment around you. Prior to participating in basketball, look for predisposing
risk factors on the playing court such as foreign objects, towels, gym bags, water, etc.
• Alcohol consumption should be discouraged during any athletic participation.
• Proper hydration during activity is recommended.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

basketball history

Basketball History

• In the 1990s, the Chicago Bulls twice
won three consecutive NBA titles. On all
six occasions, Michael Jordan was named
Most Valuable Player of the NBA Finals.

• In the 13 seasons from 1957 to 1969,
the Boston Celtics won 11 championships.

• In the 1980s, the Los Angeles Lakers
went to the NBA Finals eight times and
won five championships.

• When Kareem Abdul-Jabbar retired in
1989 at the age of 42, he was the NBA’s
all-time leader in scoring, blocked shots,
most valuable player awards, and appearances
in All-Star games. In college, playing
for UCLA and the legendary John
Wooden, Kareem played three years of
varsity basketball, leading the Bruins to
the national title each year and earning
the tournament’s most valuable player
award each year.

• In 1979, Magic Johnson and his
Michigan State Spartans defeated Larry
Bird and his Indiana State Sycamores for
the 1979 NCAA Championship. In 1984,
Bird avenged that loss when he led the
Boston Celtics to victory over Johnson’s
Lakers in the NBA Finals.

• Oscar “The Big O” Robertson averaged
30.8 points per game, 12.5 rebounds per
game, and 11.4 assists per game during
the 1961-62 season. To reach double figures
in three statistical categories is a
noteworthy accomplishment, and basketball
fans have a name for it – a triple-double.
Only “The Big O” was able to average
those kinds of numbers for an entire

• Wilt Chamberlain once scored 100
points in a game, and on another occasion
he snagged an astounding 55 rebounds.

• For his career, Bill Russell averaged 22.5
rebounds per game. In 1966-67, Bill
Russell was player-coach of the Boston
Celtics, making him the first black coach
in NBA history. Under his leadership–on
the court and off–the Celtics won the
NBA Finals in 1968 and 1969.

• Paul Arizin, at the age of 24 and nearing
his prime, left the NBA and joined the
Marine Corps before the 1952-53 season.
He served for two years during the
Korean War but still managed to maintain
his skills while in the military. In 1954,
Arizin made a triumphant return to the
league, playing for the Philadelphia
Warriors. Arizin became only the third
player to reach the 15,000-point plateau
and left the NBA, at age 34, having
amassed 16,266 points, 6,129 rebounds
and 1,665 assists in 713 games. In 1996,
he was named to the NBA’s 50th
Anniversary All-Time Team.

marines basketball

The roots of basketball go back to 1891, when Dr. James A. Naismith — a minister, doctor and educator— decided to invent a sport designed for off-season physical exercise. Basketball has since evolved from the 13 rules Naismith established to
high-dollar paydays for players that fly through the air with the “greatest of ease.” The Marine Corps boasts a few of those players on its teams. Basketball is another adrenaline-rush sport that Marines partake of in their off time. Marines give this sport 110 percent when they hit the court, not because they have to, but because that’s how you win the game, and Marines are all about winning.