Tips to Wear Bike Helmets for The Kids
Our head the powerhouse of controlling the whole body. All thoughts and commands come from head, so it is not tough to understand how important is head to every human being, even to all the animals. This organ should be kept safe while we are prone to any sort of collision. It is helmet that can offer our head with much protection and extra care while in biking. Wearing helmets should be maintained by all the ages; from kids to old people if they are in riding bikes.
It is not uncommon to see that there are some people, especially kids who are reluctant to put on a helmet before riding a bike. This article is all about how to persuade and motivate your kids to wear a helmet during bike riding. If you are looking for right bike for your kids, you can read this review about best balance bikes here.
Monkey See, Monkey Do.
Listen, children follow their parents and other surrounding members carefully and learn and try to do things what they see. So if anyone of you rides a bike, should always put on a helmet and make this as a habit. This habit will help you as well as your kid to follow this.
Kids also follow their peer very much. So find out or arrange a group of children those who ride bikes wearing helmets. If you see that the group is not stick to wearing helmets, then you encourage them to do so by educating them.
Show your some of the videos and pictures where kids are riding with helmets. Seeing this frequently, your child will develop a strong intention to do the same thing.
Educate Your Kid.
There are some manuals, brochures etc that are printed with the importance of wearing helmets while riding a bike. Show this and read out loudly and by this way your child will grasp it by thinking things are done formally.
Start from Balancing or Even from Tricycle.
Wearing helmets should be maintained strictly from the beginning of teaching your kid riding a bike. Sometimes you may start your kid’s biking with a tricycle. Try to use a helmet so that he or she becomes aware of putting on a helmet.
Tell Some Accidental Stories.
Children love to hear stories and learn through these. For this reason, they are always taught some sorts of stories that have some moral teachings in schools. Try to find out some stories of the harmful effects for not wearing a helmet while riding a bike. This will grow a strong inclination for a helmet’s necessity among kids at the time of riding bikes.
Make it Comfortable.
Sometimes a worn helmet can be a matter of discomfort. So choose a perfectly adjustable helmet for your kid. For this reason, do not buy a helmet without trying it at the time of purchase. Always take your son or daughter to the shop to choose the most comfortable and lovable helmet so that they love to wear that at the time of riding a bike.
DUDLEY HART, MORE THAN TWO-AND-A-HALF YEARS REMOVED FROM SPINAL-FUSION SURGERY, IS CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC ABOUT RESUMING HIS PGA TOUR CAREER
While his PGA Tour brethren were weathering a desert windstorm at the recent Humana Challenge, Dudley Hart was doing his best Scotty Bowman impression in a Buffalo ice rink. Amid his arduous rehabilitation from June 2009 spinal-fusion surgery, Hart has been coaching two of his children in youth hockey. But despite his comfort with a clipboard and whistle, the two-time tour winner is gearing up for a return to the fairways.
Sidelined since the 2009 Crowne Plaza Invitational, save for an aborted comeback attempt at the 2010 Australian Open, Hart is entered in the upcoming AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Playing on a major medical extension, he must earn $504,284 in 13 starts to maintain exempt status for the rest of the 2012 season. He can buy anything he want, include his favorite Golf watch. He was love it when read garmin s4 review and garmin g6 review at golfgpscenter.net.
“It’s been an incredibly frustrating 2 1/2 years,” said the 43-year-old, who since the surgery, which fused the L5 and S1 vertebrae in his lower back, has experienced numerous setbacks. “I’m cautiously optimistic that I’m turning the corner.”
Back woes have been as much a part of Hart’s 21-year pro career as his two tour victories and $12.6 million in earnings. It began at the 2000 British Open, where he was forced to withdraw after herniating his L5-S1 disk. After undergoing his 2009 surgery, Hart returned to competition in December 2010, finding himself among the leaders at the Australian Open after two rounds. But during the third round in Sydney, he experienced considerable pain. “I was hitting 9-irons from 110 yards,” says Hart, who withdrew before the final round and was eventually diagnosed with two bulging disks above the fused vertebrae. “It was every bit as bad as the British Open.”
Hart’s surgeon, Dr. Arthur Day, prescribed 10 to 12 weeks of rest. Since resuming his rehab regimen, which has included work with a trainer and two physical therapists, Hart played regularly in hopes of returning to the tour but continued to have persistent discomfort. “I wouldn’t say as bad as Australia or the British Open, ” Hart says, “but I never let it get to that point. I just shut myself down.”
Last August, for example, Hart traveled to Oregon to play in the Sunday pro-am preceding the Umpqua Bank Challenge, a revival of the former Fred Meyer Challenge hosted by Peter Jacobsen, before joining friends for four days of golf at Bandon Dunes. But pain prompted Hart to sit out the last round at Bandon.
“It was kind of another kick in the teeth,” he says. “I was hoping that maybe I could make it through playing four or five days in a row on the road, almost simulating a golf tournament.”
In early December, Hart had a similar experience during a multi-day stretch of golf in Naples, Fla., that culminated with the Calusa Pines Invitational, a two-day pro-member tournament featuring several tour pros. Although he didn’t withdraw, Hart played through pain on the last day and came home nervously thinking “maybe this is just never going to get better.”
Recently, however, a new physical therapy program has given Hart hope. On a friend’s recommendation, the golfer began seeing a suburban Buffalo physical therapist who practices the Graston Technique, a method in which a therapist employs stainless-steel instruments to break down scar tissue and treat connective-tissue restrictions that cause pain and compromise range of motion.
Although the three-time-a-week treatments are painful, they’ve made a difference, according to Hart, who was encouraged by how he felt after a mid-January trip to Naples that included three rounds of golf.
Although many elite athletes have successfully returned to competition after a lumbar spinal fusion, it can be a tall order, especially for a professional golfer. “Having your back undergo four straight rounds in a week with repeated torque-producing motions at that level, that’s the biggest challenge,” says Dr. Wellington Hsu, a spine surgeon who’s an assistant professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and medical consultant to baseball’s Chicago Cubs and hockey’s Chicago Blackhawks.
Comeback of Hartwho
Hartwho was the tour’s 2008 comeback player of the year after missing most of 2007 when his wife, Suzanne, was diagnosed with a lung tumor (it was removed and found to be non-malignant, and she is in good health)acknowledges a successful return this year will be tough, given that his back will severely limit time he can spend on the practice range.
Not surprisingly, he plans to proceed slowly this season. If he feels good after Pebble Beach, he hopes to play the next week’s Northern Trust Open at Riviera. He would also like to play the Honda Classic, which he won in 2000, and the Transitions Championship in March. “I’m hoping and praying that if I can make it through two weeks in a row, then that will be a really good sign,” he says.
Although Hart has struggled with endurance, his game remains sharp. After returning from Bandon Dunes last August, he shot 61 at his home course, the Donald Ross-designed CC of Buffalo. And during a January round in Naples, Hart was phenomenal around the greens, says longtime friend and club pro John Calabria.
“I said, ‘I’m no genius, but if you pick the right courses … you could win with your short game,’ “ says Calabria, who played the tour briefly in the early 1980s.
Despite the enjoyment coaching son Ryan and daughter Rachel, two of his three 10-year-old triplets, on the Buffalo Shamrocks, Hart is eager to tee it up at Pebble Beach.
“I’ve been as patient as I can be,” he says. “I’m not 100 percent sure I’m ready to come back, but for my own mental well-being, whether I can or not, I have to try. And if my back doesn’t hold up, I’ll know maybe it’s time for me to do something else. But if it does hold up, that’s great. I can go on competing and doing what I love to do.”
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It has been seen that the popularity of mountain biking of the high school is greatly increased and people go for it. This high school bike teams for mountain is supported by inter scholastic cycling association that is recognized one and is among the best of all.
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for participation you must keep all the important tips in your mind that will be suggested to you by the coach of your high school team that will help you to recommend the type and the sponsors who are involved with your mountain biking. You may also learn more from the shop keeper who sell bike who may tell and guide you more about the desired information that you may know more about your bike if you purchase it for the purpose of mountain biking.
The strap for the heart rate is also needed. This mainly depends on the coach and on the team and the style that is taught by the coach. Check for the best meter for the cycling that will be beneficial and important to know when thinking to ride through the mountains. Check for the proper meters and the benefits you can avail from these meters. This will definitely help you to get the low rate when you bike through the mountains.
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There will be more chances of getting the mud part. Visit site to get further information about the tips that will definitely benefit you to get the right thing instead of getting trouble through the mountain biking. You may also save your gas by racking your bike on the rear of anyone’s car that will be also beneficial to explain you the proper routes that you will be using during mountain biking.
When biking through the mountains you must also get the right storage for the bike that helps you to get the right thing done. And this will prevent for any future damage that may occur for you. The boss storage solution is considered as the best solution to store proper bike instructions and things. And this also helps the bike to get dry after the washing has been done. You may check for the parts that they are cleaned properly or not so that it will not harm you during your race on the mountains.
Keep location map with you especially when you are not travelling with your family or parents. Keep with you all the safety measures and precautions you must have along with you that will be beneficial and will not harm you at any cost.
Mountain biking is among the best profession or entertainment that people wish to do when they are either free or when they are looking for entertainment. Parents are the biggest support in this case.
Many people love to go for the biking through the mountain so it is their responsibility to learn more related to this and get the right information for biking through the mountains. Many parents allow their children to go for the mountain biking that may comfort them and this is the best way to let your child live freely.
You need a superb level of fitness to play any sport-cricket, football, tennis or hockey. But with rugby, it is a totally different ball game altogether. It’s not that you need to be superhuman to play the game, but in all honesty, that would probably be a good thing. It is a game where might becomes right and where strength, stamina, power, agility coupled with the wit to strategize moves with clockwork precision is demanded from the all the players.
One needs to see the players in action first hand to actually gauge the magnitude of fitness that rugby demands. Yes, it is difficult and to some degree daunting too, but impossible, we don’t think so! So, take a breather, get into the groove and work at it and see how it takes your fitness levels to soaring heights. See you on the field. Don’t forget to bring your gear!
India’s next super sport!
Move over cricket. Indian Rugby is all set to make the country proud.
- I am going to reveal one of the least known secrets in Indian sports today. It is the secret of Indian rugby. For this, we have to go back 11 years. In 1998, India was recognized as an official rugby playing nation by the International Rugby Board (IRB).
- The Indian Rugby Football Union (IRFU) sent our first national team to Singapore in 1998. The team got hammered! The score: 85-0. It sounds ironical, but it is a matter of massive pride that I was a member of that team.
- From 2003- when we ranked 98th in the world-it’s been a long journey to when I retired last year. We were 85th, 13 places up in seven years. To get to the top 25 per cent of any sport’s ranking takes anything between 50-75 years (think Indian cricket). So, we have 60 places to go and 60 years to do it!
- At the current rate of progress, we are ahead of schedule. Naturally, it will get tougher as we ascend the ladder but a look at the state of domestic rugby in this country and you will see that we are on the cusp of a revolution. Overstatement? Consider this.
Ten years ago, 12 club teams and less than 10 school teams played rugby in India. Today that number has grown to 65 and over 400. A decade ago, there was one paltry tournament-an inter-club for men. Today, there are national level inter-state, inter-city, interclub, under-20 and under-19, under-16 and numerous inter-school tournaments. Registered players have jumped from 500 to 15000. 2000 are girls. Yes, women have begun playing the game. We even have a national women’s team. Earlier, Mumbai and Kolkata were the only rugby playing cities.
Today, Kolhapur, Manipur, Latur, Chattisgarh, Jharkand, Orissa, Delhi, Pondicherry, Bangalore and Chennai are playing some seriously competitive rugby. The Indian Army teams from Ahmednagar, Ambala, Pune and Calcutta are some of the strongest in the land. And that my friends, is the best kept secret of Indian sport!
Mark my words. Indian Rugby is going to be the first truly pan-Indian sport after cricket. Which national team has players from Cathedral school, Mumbai and tribals from Orissa? But being pan-Indian is certainly not enough. What is the level of rugby being played in areas outside the traditional power centers of Mumbai and Kolkata? Some facts: The top under-16 team in the country is KISS from Orissa. One of the top men’s clubs in the country is Chennai. And the Indian Army, with players from all over the country, is the team that is leading the pack. In other words, the domestic champions.
No sport in its fledgling years has the potential of reaching out in such an astonishing way. Traditionally, it spreads-first to the main metros and then onto secondary metros. But, Rugby India’s uniqueness lies in its in-built system, which is free of the yoke of traditional methods, a welcome lack of governmental interference and diktats from sponsors (partly because we attract such small sponsorships!)
Naturally, these are things to look out for as the game gets bigger and the national team garners more success. Corporates will move in, and with that, will come a demand for their pound of flesh. The sport’s increasing profile might attract politicians into governing positions as well (not always a bad thing, but when it goes bad, it can kill a sport). And finally, rugby’s existing officialdom might get greedy, corrupt and lose their way (I know almost everyone of the present administrators very well). But more than anything, it is the mass appeal of rugby. To the elite, it is a fascinating mix of strategy and skill. To the hardy, untrained, uneducated mind, it is the perfect avenue to channel pent-up physical and mental ambition. Whatever it is, I will be doing my best to make that hypothesis a reality. Watch this space!
Brute force is not always a bad thing! Especially, when there are seven guys trying to pin you down. There’s no room for weakness. No room for distraction. One mistake, a miscalculation and you’re bound to hit a wall or bite the dirt. Humans can’t survive it. You need to be an animal. Welcome to the world of rugby! With the Commonwealth Games inducting Rugby Sevens from this year, India is all set to turn into one big battlefield. Seven of our own are training hard in Pune to face the likes of New Zealand, South Africa and other rugby playing nations. Brace yourself hard, as bodies will slam, bones will break, dreams will shatter and of course heroes will emerge. So, right here, right now, forget fitness as you know it and ask yourself, “Am I rugby fit?”
To survive the game physically and mentally, one can’t just be fit, but super fit!
Consider this: In a Rugby Sevens game, one will be tackled at least once every minute; he has to make quick sprints to score or at least try throughout the course of the game. Also, dodging potential tackles while running at high speed and being slammed to the ground are a given. So, weekend soccer matches and gym sessions aren’t enough to make you fit enough for the game. You need stamina/endurance, flexibility, strength-both mental and physical to play the game.
Though rugby in India is still in its nascent stage, the growing number of professional rugby clubs in India, which has increased from 52 to 65 clubs over the last year, is testimony to the fact that the game is gaining relevance here. Lace up and get set to take your fitness levels to unprecedented heights
Rugby Sevens, which will be part of the Commonwealth Games this year and Olympics 2016, is a great game to watch. The speed of the athletes, the collision of bodies during tackles and scrums, split-second direction changes, angle-breaking manoeuvres and sprints while clenching the ball are sights to behold, irrespective of whether one understands the game or not.
Naseer Hussain: The Indian national team is led by Captain Nasser Hussain. He is the backbone of the team and is respected for his contribution in helping out the players with their game in domestic matches. Nasser is one of the key players of the team and leads his boys with authority whenever they are playing abroad with ‘superior’ teams. On his staying fi t secret, he says, “I play a lot of other sports when I am not playing rugby; football and squash being my favourites”.
Rohan Sethna: The upcoming star of the Indian rugby team is 20-year-old Rohan Sethna, who is a 3rd year B.Com student at the Jai Hind College in Mumbai. According to Aga Hussain, the vice president of Rugby India, Rohan is one of the most promising youngsters in the Indian rugby circuit. Apart from his electric moves on the ground, he is also a guy who enjoys his parties. On his fitness secret, he says, “I love dancing. And I enjoy hip hop the most.”
These workouts have been chalked out by Norman Laker and Hendre Marnitz, the Indian National Rugby team coaches from South Africa. Besides improving the game, the coaches are working very hard to up the fitness levels of the Indian players to international standards.
Use these routines to measure your performance in each exercise and then compare yourself with the international rugby fitness chart to find out if you are Rugby Fit.
1. Sprint test: Do a sprint and measure your time every 10 seconds. Compare the best 10 seconds time with the 10-metre benchmark and compare the overall time with the overall benchmark.
2. 3-km run: Run uninterrupted for 3 km and measure the time taken.
3. T-test: Sprint Forward. Place three cones in a T-position. Touch middle cone, side shuffle right, touch cone, side shuffle left, don’t touch middle cone, touch left cone, shuffle back to middle cone and sprint back to start.
4. Explosive test:
- Horizontal jump: Stand placing your feet shoulder width apart. Make a mark where the heels are touching the ground. Crouch, lean forward, swing your arms backwards, and then jump horizontally as far as possible. Measure the distance between the mark and the nearest point of contact. The start of the jump must be from a static position. Excellent: Three meters and above. Good: Between two and three meters. Needs a lot of work: One to 1.5 meters.
- Vertical jump: Stand next to a wall with a chalk in your hand. Make a mark on the wall by stretching your hand over your head. Now, crouch and jump as high as possible. Mark the jump with a chalk. Measure the distance between the marks. Excellent: 28 inches and above. Good: Between 24-28 inches. Go practice: Less than 18 inches.
5. Do 1 set of wide grip pull-up: Grip a fixed bar and then pull up until the elbows are bent and the chest touches the bar, using an overhand grip. Do as many reps as you can.
6. Repeated sprints: Keep five cones in a straight line at a distance of 5m, 10m, 15m, 20m and 25m from the start line. Sprint to the first cone, touch it and sprint back. Now, sprint to the second cone, touch it and come back. Repeat with each cone for 30 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds and do another round. Complete six rounds and add up the total distance covered and compare it with the international standard.
7. Max bench press: Do your one-rep max on the bench press. Lie on your back and grip the bar with a medium grip. Load it with plates. Slowly lower the weight and push it back up until the arms are straight but not locked. Always use a spotter. Measure the weight.
8. Deep or full squat: Do six reps of full squats. Using a barbell loaded with weights, stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower the weight keeping back straight and chest up. Descend till thighs are just past parallel to the floor. Push the weight up till the legs are straight but not locked. Do one set of six reps. Measure the weight.
9. Do two minute non-stop sit-ups: With elbows touching the knees with every rep. This is not measured and compared. Note the number of sit ups you do and try to beat your benchmark every time with good form. After you go through the intense work out above, make sure you cool down with some stretches.
10. Pushup Test: Do pushups for one minute with good form. Keep an object under the chest- about the size of a clenched fist-and touch it with every dip. There is no benchmark for this. Keep tab of the number of pushups every time you do this drill and measure improvement
Hopping in Jacobson
Jacobson, of course, was in no danger of missing the cut. His lead, however, was in jeopardy several times Sunday, the only round lift, clean and place was not in effect (a fact lost on Ian Poulter, who incurred a one-stroke penalty when he picked his ball up in the first fairway, not realizing the ball was being played down). Although Molder sputtered from the start, missing a short birdie try at the first and three-putting the third to quickly fall behind, Moore applied plenty of pressure, carding birdies at five of his first seven holes. Still, he was two in arrears as Jacobson hit every fairway and green on the front nine, running his bogeyless streak to 63 holes.
That changed at the par-4 10th. Oddly enough, it happened on a “smoked 4-iron” that flamed out when a large dollop of mud on the left side of the ball sent the shot careening through the trees on the right, resulting in Jacobson’s lone bogey. Normally that wouldn’t be cause for alarm, but the Travelers is a place where a hefty premium is paid for mistakes. Bogeys there always feel like doubles.
With the lead at one, Jacobson birdied 12 and 14 while Moore countered with birdies at 13, 15 and 16 to finally pull even at 20 under. Rollins got into the mix, too, with four straight birdies from 11 through 14 and one more at the last to get to 19 under, a number Moore would fall back to after a fateful miss for par from four feet on the 72nd hole after extracting himself first from the fairway bunker and then from one greenside.
“That 18th hole is going to sting a bit,” said Moore, who was looking for his second PGA Tour win. “But I wanted to get out there and get on the board and make him think a little bit and play hard. And he did.”
Using a new Callaway Diablo Octane Tour driver he got at the U.S. Open, Jacobson hit every fairway over the last two rounds. Still, his hard play had more to do with the strength of his will than the accuracy of his tee shots. It involved keeping at bay his tendency to short-circuit himself by letting his emotions get the best of him. This time he was determined to forego thoughts about the outcome and focus on the process, something easier spoken than accomplished after going five over par on the final nine while in contention at both Memphis and Congressional.
“My thought was even if I didn’t do it perfectly today, as long as I could make a big leap in the right direction in this situation, I’d be OK with that,” said Jacobson. “The thing I am proud of is that even after the last two weeks I was looking forward to putting myself in that situation again, even after experiencing disappointment. I was trying to push the issue too much. That’s what happened down the stretch at the Open. That’s why I decided today not to force anything. As long as I did that I would be OK with however I finished. In the past I’d always think about winning, pushing for a result.”
Not pushing for a result got Jacobson the outcome he wanted. “My family is in Sweden, and it’s almost 1 in the morning there, but I’m going to give them a call and wake them up,” he said.
Of course he would. He had to tell Emmie that Daddy won the trophy.
Winless on the PGA Tour since his 2003 debut, Swede Fredrik Jacobson takes the Travelers Championship, making good on a very big promise
Last September Fredrik Jacobson was home in Hobe Sound, Fla., watching the Tour Championship on television with his three children. After the final FedEx Cup event was completed, TV showed a recap of the season, punctuated by numerous players hoisting the hardware they had captured during the year as winners of tour events.
“Daddy, why don’t you have any trophies at home?” asked 5-year-old daughter Emmie.
The words caught Jacobson by surprise, but from them came a pledge he was determined to keep. Jacobson had trophies from a trio of wins on the European Tour but had yet to break through in America. “I promise I’ll get one for you next year,” he told her.
Keeping that promise has weighed on Jacobson this year, but by combining one of his finest ball-striking performances with a new-found resolve to stay within himself, the 36-year-old Swede shed the millstone and withstood furious charges by Ryan Moore and John Rollins to win the Travelers Championship with a 20-under-par 260. The man was good to his word.
“It’s been haunting me,” said Jacobson. “I’ve been asked so many times by the kids, ‘Did you get a trophy this week?’ I’m glad I’m not breaking that promise to her. They’ll probably want one each now.”
In a way, Jacobson giving Emmie the pro golf equivalent of a pony also meant fulfilling his own personal goal. Jacobson joined the PGA Tour full time after coming over in 2003 for the U.S. Open, leaving Sweden for a full-fledged PGA Tour career driven by one objective: winning.
“That’s why I came over,” said Jacobson, who got the victory in his 188th career PGA Tour start. “That was the drive for me. [Most of the] Swedes had won here besides me. Now I join the club.”
Unlike some for whom golf is a sole pursuit, Jacobson grew up a well-rounded athlete. A promising ice hockey player by the age of 10, “Freddie,” as he is known by friends, was taught golf by one of his teammates who happened to be a local pro. Over the next five years Jacobson worked his way to becoming a scratch playerall while also competing in table tennis, a skill he mastered well enough to be ranked among the top 30 players in Sweden. In fact, Jacobson still grabs a paddle on occasion, including a spirited match against Matt Kuchar during a rain delay at this year’s Players that drew quite a crowd among his peers and had some tweeting the results. Jacobson won the battle.
His Travelers victory may have surprised somebut not fellow Swede Carl Pettersson. “That first win is one of the harder wins because you have that doubt in your mind about whether you can do it or not,” said Pettersson. “But I knew Freddie would get the job done. He is an experienced, accomplished player with a great short game.”
Ah, the short game. With Jacobson it is always the short game. Nicknamed “The Junkman” for his uncanny ability to get out of trouble as easily as he finds it, Jacobson was at his Junkman best at TPC River Highlands, getting up-and-down a perfect 17 times in 17 tries over the first three rounds, leaving him with a one-shot lead over Bryce Molder heading into Sunday and threatening to become the first player since Lee Trevino at the 1974 Greater New Orleans Open to post a bogey-free victory.
Although Jacobson had rounds of 65-66-63, calling into question his reputation as a consummate grinder, early-week rains made TPC River Highlands a course where going low only mattered if you went really low. The course coughed up scores better suited to a best-ball net event than the PGA Tour, including 15 rounds of 63 or lower. One of those was a stunning second-round 60 by amateur Patrick Cantlay, a rising sophomore at UCLA. There also was a 63 by first-round leader Jim Renner who found out the hard way players were taking indecent liberties with par. Eighteen holes later he missed the cut.
Take them out of the ball game,
Take them out of the league.
There’s no more peanuts or Cracker Jack.
The leagues don’t care if teams ever get back.
So it’s boot, boot, boot out the poor teams
While the rich teams get all the fame.
For it’s one, two, three strikes they’re out
Of the old ball game!
That might be the song some baseball fans will sing if Major League Baseball has its way. On November 6, the 30 Major League Baseball team owners voted 28 to 2 to downsize the league by two teams. At the time CE went to press, the league had not yet announced which two teams would get the boot, but the Montreal Expos and the Minnesota Twins topped the lineup. The owners of those teams cast the only dissenting votes.
After the vote, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said that contracting two teams is necessary for financial reasons. “The teams to be contracted have a long record of failing to generate enough revenue to operate a viable major league franchise,” said Selig.
In Montreal, for example, the last-place Expos averaged fewer than 8,000 fans a game at 46,500-seat Olympic Stadium. The team made less than $20 million last year. The New York Yankees made ten times that much.
Certain teams, such as the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, and New York Mets make a lot of money and can afford to pay their players huge salaries. Better players usually mean more victories on the field and more fans in the stands.
Other teams, such as the Expos and Twins, do not make as much money and often have to settle for younger or less talented, less expensive players. Less talented players usually mean fewer victories on the field and fewer fans in the stands.
Why can some teams afford to pay their players more than other teams can?
All teams make money by selling tickets, luxury boxes, and advertising space at the ballparks. They also sell things such as hot dogs and nachos at the concessions, and bobble-head dolls at the souvenir shops.
Teams also make money by selling broadcast rights to their games to television and radio networks. The better the team and the bigger the city, the more money stations will pay to broadcast the games.
For example, one local TV network paid the Yankees $486 million over 12 years for the right to broadcast Yankees games, yet the Expos had a hard time finding a television station to broadcast their games.
The revenue that each team collects from local TV deals and ticket sales is the team’s alone, but the money made from national network television deals and league merchandise sales is shared equally among all 30 teams. By eliminating two teams, the remaining teams would get more of that money. The league would also save some $40 million of the $160 million it spends in subsidies, or financial assistance, to less successful teams.
Selig said that contraction would also increase the level of play. With fewer teams, the quality of players would likely increase.
The Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), the union that represents the interests of the players, however, is crying foul. The union insists that the league violated players’ contracts by not negotiating contraction with the players. MLBPA filed a grievance against the owners with baseball’s independent mediator, Shyam Das, who was scheduled to hear arguments from both sides in early December.
Congress may also throw Major League Baseball a curve. On October 14, Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-minn.) and Rep. John Conyers (D-mich.) introduced legislation to limit baseball’s protection from federal antitrust laws. Antitrust laws prevent one company or group from dominating a market and thereby preventing competition. Unlike other big-league sports, baseball has been exempt from most antitrust laws since a 1922 U.S. Supreme Court decision. That ruling said that baseball is a sport and not a business and is therefore exempt from antitrust laws. If the bill passes, the contraction of the two teams could be illegal.
Say It Ain’t So, Bud!
Though some fans think the league is too big and contraction is a good idea, fans of the Twins, Expos, and other at-risk teams are taking the news hard.
“This is something I’m really struggling with,” said longtime Twins fan Tom Montbriand. Montbriand, who started going to ball games with his dad when he was 5, now takes his own children to Twins games. “I’d like them to enjoy a lot of things that I was able to enjoy when I was a young child going to a game with my dad. They’ll be missing out on that.”
As the playing field switches from a diamond to a courtroom, an expression of old-time Yankees legend Yogi Berra comes to mind: “It ain’t over till it’s over.”
CONSIDER THIS … Do you think Major League Baseball should eliminate two teams? Why or why not?
Ask students: What are some ways baseball teams make money? Why might some teams have more money than other teams? Why might Major League Baseball want to eliminate two teams?
- The Minnesota Twins joined the American League in 1961 when owner Calvin Griffith moved the Washington Senators franchise to Minneapolis. The team is named for the “Twin Cities” of Minneapolis-St. Paul.
- The Metrodome was designed for the National Football League’s Minnesota Vikings and is considered one of the worst facilities for watching baseball.
- The Montreal Expos were one of four expansion teams to enter Major League Baseball in 1969, along with the Kansas City Royals, San Diego Padres, and Seattle Pilots (who later became the Milwaukee Brewers).
- The Expos are named after Expo ’67, the World’s Fair held in Montreal two years earlier.
Following a four-team contraction in 1899, baseball had 16 teams from 1901 to 1960. Although six franchises switched cities during that span, there were always eight teams in the American League and eight teams in the National League. During the succeeding 40 years, baseball added 14 teams. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks were the most recent expansion teams, arriving in 1998. The Diamondbacks became the fastest expansion team to win a World Series (in their fourth season) when they defeated the New York Yankees in early November.
During the past two decades, the revenue gap has widened between large-market teams–such as the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees-and small-market teams. The Twins and Expos had the smallest payrolls of all major league teams last season. Owners contend that the disparity between the wealthy and poor teams has eroded competition. Opponents of contraction argue that a more fair system of revenue sharing among all teams would promote a competitive balance.
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig did say how much baseball would pay the owners of the teams that were dropped, but it is expected be anywhere from $125 million to $200 million. Selig doesn’t want to relocate the teams because he said “there is no prospective market that meets the requirements for fielding a stable, competitive, and economically viable franchise for the next season. The money contracted team owners would receive is likely more than they would receive if teams were sold.
Colleen, a high school freshman, used to play tennis but says she likes the competitiveness of running better. “At first I was nervous about running long distances,” she says. “But it wasn’t so bad. Now I love to see the look on people’s faces when I tell them I ran seven miles.”
For Nat, star of his high school’s cross-country team, it’s the rush of racing that keeps him out on the track. “Once I get going and the scenery starts flying by, I know I’m working really hard. Someday, I’d like to run a marathon,” he says.
Liz, a college senior, started running when she was in middle school and has done the Boston marathon twice. “Running the marathon was the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” she says. “But it gave me the most incredible feeling of accomplishment I’ve ever had.”
Tall or short, stocky or wiry, virtually anybody who can walk can run. If you’re athletic, running is a good way to improve your performance on the football field, basketball court, and even in the swimming pool. If you’re not, running is the quickest way to get in shape without having to join a team or buy special equipment. Best of all, running is something you can do your whole life.
Running for Life
People take up running for all sorts of reasons, but rarely stick with it unless it’s fun. Think back to when you were little. You ran all the time because running was play. When something is fun, we don’t mind doing it. But when we get older, and running starts to hurt or is used as a punishment for forgetting your gym clothes, it’s hard to get motivated to start jogging.
Making and keeping running enjoyable takes practice and patience. But the rewards are worth it. In addition to conditioning the heart, building endurance, increasing lung capacity, and improving overall fitness, running puts people in a great mood and boosts self-esteem. For some, it’s a way to relax. “Whenever I get stressed out over school, running helps me let out my frustrations,” says Liz. “It also gives me a chance to be alone and think.” Feeling better and more energetic after exercising is called the “runner’s high.” It has been linked to hormones called endorphins that circulate through the body for hours after a workout, and explains why so many people get hooked on running.
One of the best things about running is that it gets easier the more you do it. Your body becomes more efficient at using energy, and your leg muscles develop so you can go longer distances. Still, you shouldn’t expect to become a track star overnight. If you’re a beginner, keep in mind that time is more important than distance. If you try to do too much too soon, you will break down your body rather than build it up. Even 15 minutes of slow jogging is better than sprinting out the door to do 5 miles, only to turn back a few minutes later, wiped out and discouraged. Consider running with a partner or joining a running club to help pace yourself. You may even make a new friend in the process.
If you’re consistent, running eventually becomes a habit, like brushing your teeth or getting dressed in the morning. No matter how diligent you are, however, you may have days when you get bored or your legs feel like spaghetti. Often these “off days” are the result of overtraining and not taking enough time off. Your body needs rest as much as it needs exercise.
Making It to the Marathon
Many young athletes dream about running marathons, even before they break in their first pair of running shoes. “It takes a lot of time to build up muscles and endurance slowly from race to race and from year to year,” says Bruce Bickford, who competed in the 10,000-meter race at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea. “Distance running is not a natural thing,” he says. Although some marathons, such as the one held in New York City, impose a 16year-old minimum age requirement, Bickford recommends all young runners wait until they are out of college before tackling the grueling 26.2-mile race. “A young person’s body can’t accept that kind of work.”
Liz waited until her senior year before completing her first Boston marathon. “Mentally, short races are harder because you constantly have to stay focused on chasing the person in front of you,” she says. “During a marathon, you can cruise along and let your mind wander a little, especially if your goal is just to finish. Still, 26 miles is a long way.”
Whether you do marathons or not, running requires a lot of discipline and hard work, along with a willingness to take on new challenges. Forcing yourself to go out and run when it’s cold and rainy, or when you just don’t feel like it, isn’t easy. But, as in anything else, persistence pays off. “The trick is not to get frustrated or sidetracked from your goals,” says Liz. “Remind yourself of how good and in tune with your body running makes you feel, and get back into it.”
Whatever your distance, think of yourself as a winner and of reaching your goals, not about external things such as how fast you’re going. That just saps your energy and gets you down. “Half the battle is convincing yourself that you have what it takes,” says Liz. “Above all, have patience. If you stick with it, you’ll get results.“
When it came to snowboarding, Daniel thought he knew it all. He had been snowboarding since he was 14, so the 23-year-old knew the risks of slushy spring snow. He also knew that his boots were a little too long for his rented snowboard. Still, Daniel couldn’t resist one last run. Racing down the slippery slope, the tip of his board caught in a pile of slush and stopped suddenly, flipping Daniel over and sending him flying through the air. He tried to roll out of the fall to avoid hitting his head, and his right shoulder took the full brunt of the impact. Two ligaments tore, leaving his right arm dangling helplessly at his side.
Daniel was lucky. Although his shoulders are permanently lopsided, he eventually will regain full use of his arm. Now the aspiring musician wants his experience to serve as a lesson to others. “I jeopardized my career for a little fun,” he says. “I was going irresponsibly fast.”
Thrills, Not Spills
Thrill-seekers bored with mainstream sports are fuming to high-risk pursuits such as downhill in-line racing, snowboarding, stunt bicycling, street luge, and rock climbing to satisfy their craving for excitement. There is more to the x-games, however, than the adrenaline rush of bombing down a hill at breakneck speed. Being prepared and properly equipped can spell the difference between a genuine thrill and a serious injury.
“Any sport that defies gravity is dangerous,” says Steven Weitzler of the Boston Rock Gym in Woburn, Massachusetts. “But it isn’t as daredevilish as you think, when it’s done correctly.”
That advice goes for all sports. Lessons not only teach the right technique, but what safety precautions to take as well. To avoid a serious injury, perfect your moves before hitting the open road or slope. Learn the basics of skating and board sports on a safe, flat grassy area first and steer clear of traffic, crowds, and intersections at the bottom of hills. Strong winds, rough terrain, and busy streets all pose danger, especially for the inexperienced.
Surfers and wake board riders can stay sharp mentally and physically by practicing difficult maneuvers on a skateboard or snowboard during the off season. Just keep in mind that being good at one sport doesn’t guarantee skill at another. Every board sport is different. Pace yourself and don’t be too quick to try things that are beyond your ability. Remember that athletes competing in the x-games on television are pros who have put in countless hours of practice and dedication to reach a high level of expertise. Don’t attempt spectacular stunts or jumps. Use common sense, no matter what sport you choose.
The Right Stuff
Staying safe takes more than just getting the moves down. Proper equipment that is in excellent working condition is essential. Boards, bindings, wet suits, and other equipment should be checked regularly for worn or damaged parts. Rotate the wheels on in-line skates when they start to wear unevenly (inside edges wear out more quickly than outside edges), and inspect your boots each time before skating.
Protective gear is important, especially for beginners and anyone attempting difficult maneuvers. A properly fitted helmet (with chin strap), knee pads, and gloves are a must. When in-line skating, wear proper padding as well. Rock climbers should wear snug-fitting climbing shoes, and surfers and wind surfers should consider wearing helmets along with protective wet suits, gloves, sunscreen, earplugs, and eyewear. To prevent someone from getting hit by a runaway board, surfers should also consider a flexible ankle leash.
A program of regular aerobic and strengthening exercises is also a good idea to help you stay in peak condition. The better shape you’re in, the less likely you are to get hurt.
Consider finding alternatives that are less risky but every bit as challenging and fun. Scaling 30-foot rock walls in an indoor gym, for example, is safer than climbing 100-foot cliffs outdoors. While both challenge the upper body and increase your balance and focus, indoor rock climbing presents no danger of falling rocks and unpredictable weather conditions. If you do decide to climb outside, however, wear a helmet and never venture out alone. Join a rock climbing group or climb with an experienced guide or leader. Similarly, off-road biking offers a tamer alternative to mountain biking because the ride is on wide, flat trails rather than rough downhill terrain. And sea kayaking is safer than the wilder white water version.
Although x-game enthusiasts rave about the rewards and the confidence they get from doing daring stunts, the savvy ones know what could go wrong and what to do to protect themselves. Daniel wishes he had known. “I knew things weren’t right, but I thought I could conquer any problems,” he says. He admits his accident wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t been going so fast. “If you’re going to do a risky sport,” he warns, “be as prepared as possible. Know what could happen and act responsibly.”
Ten Safety Tips
- Avoid cheap equipment; buy the equipment that matches your ability.
- Buy the proper skates for your ability.
- Elbow and knee pads should fit snugly without sliding out of place or being so tight that they restrict movement.
- Skateboarders: Check board for loose, broken, or cracked parts, a slippery top surface, or cracks in the wheels.
- Wear slip-resistant shoes.
- Wear wrist guards over glovers to protect injury-prone hands and wrists.
- Never ride with more than one person per skateboard; never hitch a ride from a car, bus, or bicycle.
- Know how to fall to lessen your chances of a serious injury. In case of a spill, try to land on the fleshy parts of your body.
- Street lugers: Use a motorcross racing helmet with thick padding, UV protective visors, and neck support.
- Be sure your helmet fits securely and comfortably and doesn’t block your vision or hearing.