Category Archives: Sport

What Should Your First Marathon Prepare?

Running is a great form of exercise, but others step it up by joining marathons. For some, it’s a personal challenge to test their limits. For others, it’s just for the love of running. Perhaps you want to try your first marathon because it’s for charity, your friends talked you into it, or you simply want to start a new challenge for yourself? If so, there are preparations you need to do. In fact, others would even opt for speed training in Vernon Hills just to prepare themselves.

 So whether you are preparing on your own or with a personal trainer, here are some things to keep in mind:

 Know Your Limits

Running marathons is a huge undertaking and comes with higher risk than your routine morning runs. Thus, it is important to consult your doctor first to know if you are really fit for it. Also, start gradually. Don’t overwork yourself a week before the marathon date. If you could start running a base mileage months before the run, do so. One of the leading causes of injuries is running too fast and abruptly.

 Make a Plan

Create a plan that takes into consideration your abilities and limitations. Also, keep in mind your schedule. If you are to join a marathon, you should be able to run for 30 minutes straight, without interruption during your training. Also, include in your plan the mileage you will be running, cross training, and recovery exercises.

 Training Building Blocks

Build a weekly base mileage. Three to five runs per week is sufficient and should be done at a relaxed pace. When increasing your mileage per week, do not go over 10% that of the previous week. Then build a weekly long run – extending your run for about a mile or two each week. This should be done at least every seven to 10 days.

 Another aspect of your training is speed work. As mentioned earlier, some athletes go for speed training in Vernon Hills. While this is optional, speed work can enhance your aerobic capacity. Two ways to do this is through intervals and tempo runs. Interval is running a set of short distance at a faster pace than usual. Tempo run is the same as an interval but doing it for longer distances.

 Rest and Recovery

An essential part of your training is a time to rest and recover, and this means no running for the day. Injury is the number one enemy of any athlete, and rest and recovery are a great protection against it. If during your rest days you find it difficult to not do anything, do cross training instead. This may include other exercises, swimming, walking, yoga and other activities that are not as intensive as running.

 Stay Healthy

Probably one of the most neglected advice but is actually one of the most important is, “Stay healthy!” No matter how hard you train when your body is not healthy, you will surely end up injuring yourself. Take in enough carbohydrates, proteins, minerals and vitamins. Also, do not forget to hydrate. Buy a hydration belt or pack and carry it with you during your training so that you will get used to it. Try out energy bars, energy gels or chews and certain fruits when fueling during a run to know which works best for you. Never try something new during the marathon day itself.

Some People Think That a Good Idea Is a Choice

You will always get to find that there can be lots of hobbies which people can have, hunting being amongst them, this will mean that, you have to know of the places in which you can go for hunting or even how it is that you can get to conduct hunting properly, this will get to ascertain that, you can know of the best means in which you will always get to maintain safety at all times and also all that would be needed of you.

For someone who might be hunting for the first time, you will find that it will always get to work better when you do know of all that you would need, which will ascertain that you will be able to know of all that would work best, this will also ascertain that you can know how it is that you will get to handle the rifle, meaning that, you will know of all that would end up working best at all times.

Whenever you will be going hunting, some of the things which you will have to do will be making certain that you can know of all that would work best, this will get to be a better means of which you can know of all that you would require, furthermore, you will find that you will have a better means in which you will get to be assuaged.

On the other hand, you will find that you also will need to know of how you should aim, meaning that, you will be able to become good at hunting and also that in the long run, you will be able to shoot something all by yourself, through being able to be keen and making certain that you will get to know of all that would be needed or even how it is that you will get to aim properly.

More so, you do find that it would be better getting to know the hunting laws within your area, this will determine whether you can know if it is legal thus getting to proceed, this should be something which you have to keep an eye on thus being able to ascertain that you will be on the right side of the law, furthermore, you will find that you will get to know of all that you would need.

Likewise, you will find that at times, it will be better getting to look at a shooting range, this will ascertain that you can familiarise yourself with the guns thus being able to ascertain that all of which you do get to do will work in your favour, furthermore, you will find that it would be better making certain that you will know how it is that you can move with your prey while still being able to target.

Top Down Golf Launches Brand New Golfing Resource

(Eugene, OR)— Top Down Golf recently announced the launch of their brand new online golfing resource. The new website is on a mission to help both golfing enthusiasts and competitors get ahead of their competition by making an investment in the right gear and learning how to properly use that gear. For those looking to make improvements to their game right away, the new Top Down Golf website is live at topdowngolf.com

“When it comes to the game of golf, there is no doubt that there’s a strong sense of community among those who love to play. No matter their skill level, every player knows that having the right gear and using it in the right way can make or break their game. Fortunately, we’ve built an online resource to help golfers ensure that they’re able to get their hands on the right stuff. We realize that golfing gear is an investment, and the reviews and advice we provide at Top Down Golf gives players the assurance that they’re spending their money in the wisest possible way,” said Benjamin, a spokesperson for Top Down Golf.

At www.topdowngolf.com, visitors will find a number of in-depth reviews and guides designed specifically to help them choose the best gear for their needs. These guides cover everything from bags to clubs to balls, grips, rangefinders, and even push carts. Each buying guide provides a bit of education and advice on how to best use that particular piece of equipment as well as recommendations on where players can find the item online for the best price.

Benjamin went on to say, “It has been said that golf is a science to be studied for a lifetime. We know that we’ll never exhaust every bit of knowledge about our beloved game, but we are excited for the opportunity to keep finding ways to improve. As we gain new knowledge and insights on the best products and techniques, we’ll be sharing them with those in our Top Down Golf community so that we can all get better together.”

About Top Down Golf:

Top Down Golf is the ultimate online resource to help golfing enthusiasts and competitors alike to zoom in on their game. The site provides a plethora of in-depth buying and playing guides on every golfing topic imaginable, from the top-rated golfing bags of the year to choosing the best ball for individual golfers. With their help and advice, those in the golfing community will have what they need to take their skills to the next level.

A Brief History Of Sport

Definitely, the end of EPL will be interesting. Events do not let become just any other season. The case is different this year and no surprises like last year’s Their performance in the Champions league were awesome; reaching the quarterfinals. Comparing with what other regulars did such as Arsenal and Manchester City failed to do, their performance was wonderful. Consistently, Chelsea- representing the blue side of London- has been at the top of the table for sometime now. The strength of the runners up to dislodge them is low.

Other big boys in the league will now battle it four the top four positions. The first four positions guarantee participation in the EUFA Champions League next season. The first and second positions are grabbed with Tottenham and Chelsea. It is a race among four teams to get the remaining two chances. The arrival of Antonio Conte revitalized the rugged Chelsea. Discipline, tactics and formations are new things brought by Conte to Stamford Bridge. Discipline at Chelsea deteriorated faster under the leadership of Mourinho. The performance has been consistent since they received a beating from Arsenal in October.

The rate of scoring goals, the pace at which they play their football and the number of points accumulated describes the performance of Tottenham this season. They have accumulated enough points to keep the second and Champions league football next season. Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal have t sharpen their tools to secure the two slots. The teams have equal chances of taking the two positions. Sixth and Europa football is gone with Everton.

Considerably, Liverpool has an easy path. Although it failed to get past Southampton in the last outing, odds in the last three games favor them. The only threat is that competitors have games in hand. Guardiola’s Manchester City is in the form of the season and with two more games in hand, they can leapfrog Liverpool to third. Wins in their remaining matches will assure them of the third spot.

Manchester United has the biggest hurdle to skip. The team finds itself in a dilemma. They have secured their spot in the Europa League Final. Winning the trophy assures them of automatic qualification into the Champions League next season. This is what Manchester United desires and wants. The shortest route to the competition is winning the Europa League. Chances are they use this option.

Assessing the case for Arsenal is rib cracking. The boss is the most experienced coach in EPL. The question stills lingers over his failure to command performances. For the first time in the history of football, Wenger beat Mourinho in a competitive match. Failure to finish in the top four will tent the good record enjoyed by Wenger for qualifying for Champions League Football since arriving at Highbury in 1996. The fight is big and worth for finishing among the top four in EPL.

The Benefits Of Unexpected Exercise

Many people hit the gym or pound the pavement to improve cardiovascular health, build muscle, and of course, get a rockin’ bod, but working out has above-the-neck benefits, too. For the past decade or so, scientists have pondered how exercising can boost brain function. Regardless of age or fitness level (yup, this includes everyone from mall-walkers to marathoners), studies show that making time for exercise provides some serious mental benefits.Get inspired to exercise by reading up on these unexpected ways that working out can benefit mental health, relationships, and lead to a healthier and happier life overall.

1. Reduce stress

Rough day at the office? Take a walk or head to the gym for a quick workout. One of the most common mental benefits of exercise is stress relief. Working up a sweat can help manage physical and mental stress. Exercise also increases concentrations of norepinephrine, a chemical that can moderate the brain’s response to stress. So go ahead and get sweaty — working out can reduce stress and boost the body’s ability to deal with existing mental tension. Win-win!

2. Boost happy chemicals

Slogging through a few miles on the ‘mill can be tough, but it’s worth the effort! Exercise releases endorphins, which create feelings of happiness and euphoria. Studies have shown that exercise can even alleviate symptoms among the clinically depressed . For this reason, docs recommend that people suffering from depression or anxiety (or those who are just feeling blue) pencil in plenty of gym time. In some cases, exercise can be just as effective as antidepressant pills in treating depression. Don’t worry if you’re not exactly the gym rat type — getting a happy buzz from working out for just 30 minutes a few times a week can instantly boost overall mood.

3. Improve self-confidence

Hop on the treadmill to look (and more importantly, feel) like a million bucks. On a very basic level, physical fitness can boost self-esteem and improve positive self-image. Regardless of weight, size, gender, or age, exercise can quickly elevate a person’s perception of his or her attractiveness, that is, self-worth  . How’s that for feeling the (self) love?

4. Enjoy the great outdoors

For an extra boost of self-love, take that workout outside. Exercising in the great outdoors can increase self-esteem even more . Find an outdoor workout that fits your style, whether it’s rock-climbing, hiking, renting a canoe, or just taking a jog in the park. Plus, all that Vitamin D acquired from soaking up the sun (while wearing sunscreen, of course!) can lessen the likelihood of experiencing depressive symptoms. Why book a spa day when a little fresh air and sunshine (and exercise) can work wonders for self-confidence and happiness?

5. Prevent cognitive decline

It’s unpleasant, but it’s true — as we get older, our brains get a little… hazy. As aging and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s kill off brain cells, the noggin actually shrinks, losing many important brain functions in the process. While exercise and a healthy diet can’t “cure” Alzheimer’s, they can help shore up the brain against cognitive decline that begins after age 45 . Working out, especially between age 25 and 45, boosts the chemicals in the brain that support and prevent degeneration of the hippocampus, an important part of the brain for memory and learning.

6. Alleviate anxiety

Quick Q&A: Which is better at relieving anxiety — a warm bubble bath or a 20-minute jog? You might be surprised at the answer. The warm and fuzzy chemicals that are released during and after exercise can help people with anxiety disorders calm down. Hopping on the track or treadmill for some moderate-to-high intensity aerobic exercise (intervals, anyone?) can reduce anxiety sensitivity  . And we thought intervals were just a good way to burn calories!

7. Boost brainpower

Those buff lab rats might be smarter than we think. Various studies on mice and men have shown that cardiovascular exercise can create new brain cells (aka neurogenesis) and improve overall brain performance  . Ready to apply for a Nobel Prize? Studies suggest that a tough workout increases levels of a brain-derived protein (known as BDNF) in the body, believed to help with decision making, higher thinking, and learning. Smarty (spandex) pants, indeed.

8. Sharpen memory

Get ready to win big at Go Fish. Regular physical activity boosts memory and ability to learn new things. Getting sweaty increases production of cells in hippocampus responsible for memory and learning . For this reason, research has linked children’s brain development with level of physical fitness (take that, recess haters!). But exercise-based brainpower isn’t just for kids. Even if it’s not as fun as a game of Red Rover, working out can boost memory among grown-ups, too. A study showed that running sprints improved vocabulary retention among healthy adults .

9. Help control addiction

The brain releases dopamine, the “reward chemical” in response to any form of pleasure, be that exercise, sex, drugs, alcohol, or food. Unfortunately, some people become addicted to dopamine and dependent on the substances that produce it, like drugs or alcohol (and more rarely, food and sex). On the bright side, exercise can help in addiction recovery . Short exercise sessions can also effectively distract drug or alcohol addicts, making them de-prioritize cravings (at least in the short term)  . Working out when on the wagon has other benefits, too. Alcohol abuse disrupts many body processes, including circadian rhythms. As a result, alcoholics find they can’t fall asleep (or stay asleep) without drinking. Exercise can help reboot the body clock, helping people hit the hay at the right time.

10. Increase relaxation

Ever hit the hay after a long run or weight session at the gym? For some, a moderate workout can be the equivalent of a sleeping pill, even for people with insomnia . Moving around five to six hours before bedtime raises the body’s core temperature. When the body temp drops back to normal a few hours later, it signals the body that it’s time to sleep .

11. Get more done

Feeling uninspired in the cubicle? The solution might be just a short walk or jog away. Research shows that workers who take time for exercise on a regular basis are more productive and have more energy than their more sedentary peers  . While busy schedules can make it tough to squeeze in a gym session in the middle of the day, some experts believe that midday is the ideal time for a workout due to the body’s circadian rhythms.

12. Tap into creativity

Most people end a tough workout with a hot shower, but maybe we should be breaking out the colored pencils instead. A heart-pumping gym session can boost creativity for up to two hours afterwards . Supercharge post-workout inspiration by exercising outdoors and interacting with nature (see benefit #4) . Next time you need a burst of creative thinking, hit the trails for a long walk or run to refresh the body and the brain at the same time.

13. Inspire others

Whether it’s a pick-up game of soccer, a group class at the gym, or just a run with a friend, exercise rarely happens in a bubble. And that’s good news for all of us. Studies show that most people perform better on aerobic tests when paired up with a workout buddy . Pin it to inspiration or good old-fashioned competition, nobody wants to let the other person down. In fact, being part of a team is so powerful that it can actually raise athletes’ tolerances for pain . Even fitness beginners can inspire each other to push harder during a sweat session, so find a workout buddy and get moving! 

Working out can have positive effects far beyond the gym (and beach season). Gaining self-confidence, getting out of a funk, and even thinking smarter are some of the motivations to take time for exercise on a regular basis.

Aerobic exercise for beginners

 Aerobic training strengthens the heart and lungs and improves muscle function. One goal of aerobic training is to enhance sports performance and to improve training response. The following is information from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) about aerobic training exercises.

What are aerobic training exercises?

Aerobic training exercises are any activities that raise heart rate and make breathing somewhat harder. The activity you are doing must be constant and continuous. Examples of aerobic activities are

  • Walking or hiking
  • Jogging or running
  • Biking
  • Swimming
  • Rowing
  • In-line skating
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Exercising on a stair-climber or elliptical machine

Other activities, when done in a constant and continuous way, can be aerobic, such as tennis, racquetball, squash, and the martial arts. Weight training, however, is not aerobic because it is done in short bursts of a few minutes at a time.

How does aerobic training improve endurance?

Aerobic training increases the rate at which oxygen inhaled is passed on from the lungs and heart to the bloodstream to be used by the muscles. Aerobically fit athletes can exercise longer and harder before feeling tired. During exercise they have a slower heart rate, slower breathing rate, less muscle fatigue, and more energy. After exercise, recovery happens more quickly. Aerobic fitness can be measured in a laboratory setting while exercising on a treadmill or bicycle. This is called maximal oxygen uptake or VO2 max.

How often and how long should athletes train?

To achieve a training response, athletes should exercise 3 to 5 times per week for at least 20 to 60 minutes. Fitness level can be improved with as little as 10 minutes of exercise if done 2 to 3 times per day. If the goal is also to lose body fat, athletes should exercise for at least 30 to 60 minutes. Athletes who are not fit will need to start with lesser amounts of exercise. They can slowly add more time as their endurance improves. Increasing the level of exercise at about 10% per week is a good goal to prevent overuse injury.

Cross-training can help reduce the risk of overuse injuries. This is done by alternating different kinds of activities. To avoid putting too much stress on the body and help prevent injuries, it is wise to alternate high-impact activities, like running, with low-impact exercises, like walking, cycling, and swimming.

How hard should athletes train?

Training at low to moderate intensity levels is enough to improve endurance. In general, this level of intensity is more enjoyable and less likely to lead to injuries than high-intensity training.

However, aerobic training programs should be designed to match each athlete’s fitness level. There are 3 ways to measure aerobic training intensity.

1. The “talk test.” During a workout, athletes should be able to say a few words comfortably, catch their breath, and resume talking. If it is difficult to say a few words, then athletes should probably slow down. If athletes can talk easily without getting out of breath, then they are probably not training hard enough.

2. Heart rate. Aerobic training occurs when heart rate during exercise is between 60% to 90% of maximal heart rate. Athletes can figure out their maximal heart rate by subtracting their age from 220.

3. Level of difficulty. Athletes can determine how hard the exercise feels on a scale of 1 to 10 using the Borg Scale of perceived exertion. The ideal range for aerobic training is between 2 to 7.

Other factors affecting aerobic training response

  • Baseline fitness level. The more unfit athletes are, the greater the training response. However, as athletes become more fit, it will take higher levels of training to improve further.
  • Genetics. Genetics play a large role in an athlete’s natural fitness level as well as how much he will improve as a result of training.
  • Growth. As children grow, they are able to respond more to aerobic training. However, before puberty, the aerobic training response is much less than during and after puberty. This is why aerobic training is of limited value for improving endurance in young children. Activities should focus more on other goals, such as skill development and fun.

Largest and Best Football Stadium in the world

Football, which was first played by the peasants and poor of England, now attracts million dollar sponsorship from businesses across the world. The game, which initially did not find any existence among the riches, has now become the game of the masses. People from different places across the world are not only interested in watching the game, but also are keen to participate in it. As a large number of people have taken interest in this sport, you can find multiple football clubs across the globe today. With the increasing popularity of the sports, many national teams have taken to this game. This, in turn, has fueled the need for proper grounds and infrastructure to practice the game. And that is the reason, you can find hundreds of football arenas in different parts of the world. If you are a football fan, and want to gather more knowledge about this sport, you can check out the list of top ten football stadiums. Selecting the top ten football stadiums is tricky as every arena has some specialty of its own.

1. Soccer City, Johannesburg, South Africa

FNB stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, popularly known as the Soccer City, was selected as the venue for the FIFA World Cup, opening ceremony. The largest stadium of the country and the continent has the holding capacity of about 94,700 people. Though football fans will remember this stadium for the World Cup matches, it has a deeper history. During Nelson Mandela’s first visit to Johannesburg after his release from jail, this ground was selected for his speech.

2. Estadio do Maracana, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Estadio de Maracana stadium in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil hosted the final match of FIFA World Cup 1950. The stadium, inaugurated for the 1950 World Cup, did not prove to be lucky for the home team, and they lost the final match against Uruguay. The stadium will be renovated for the 2014 FIFA World Cup matches, and is expected to host a crowd nearing 75,000.

3. International Stadium Yokohama, Japan

The International Stadium in Yokohama, Japan hosted 2002 FIFA World Cup’s matches for the first three rounds. This stadium is expected to be popular among the Brazilian fans as their team won 2002 World Cup in this stadium. With 72,327 seats, this stadium boasts of providing more seating capacity than any other stadium in Japan.

The Bright Side of Sports

Benefits of Martial Arts When you are raising a child you want to do everything you can to set them up for success. Most people think that the best way to give your child a good start in their life is to make sure they get a great education. But, if you want your child to grow into a happy and successful adult, education is not the only thing they are going to need. You want to make sure that your child not only has a good amount of discipline, but they are healthy and are able to socialize with others. A great way to do this is to get your child involved with some kind of sport. Not every child is going to enjoy team sports like baseball or football. If you are looking for a great physical activity for your child to get involved with, you are going to want to consider martial arts. When you enroll your child into martial arts, there are a wide range of benefits they are going to get. When your child is practicing martial arts they are going to be doing a physically intensive activity that is great for their health. Plus, a key element to the martial arts they will learn is discipline. Developing this discipline early on will help them to work harder when they grow up. Plus, if your child knows martial arts they are going to be better able to defend themselves in an emergency. If you want to enroll your child into a martial arts class, there are many kinds they are going to be able to practice. You are going to want to talk to them and see which type they are going to enjoy doing the most. And with many martial arts classes your child is going to be given the chance to take a trial class to see if they enjoy it.
The Key Elements of Great Defense
You are going to be able to find many options in your area if you want to get your child involved with a martial arts class. When you go online you are going to be able to find a lot of information about the studios near you. Plus, you will be able to compare prices for the classes so you can be sure to find one that you can afford.
Why People Think Classes Are A Good Idea
You are going to want to do whatever you can to give your child the best start in their life. There are many benefits that come with getting your child enrolled into martial arts classes. When you go online, you are going to be able to find a lot of information about studios in your area.

World’s Largest Tennis Stadium

Tennis is a wonderful sport, no doubt about it, and since it enjoys great popularity in numerous countries around the world, it makes sense that its stadiums would be quite large as well in order to accommodate huge crowds of fans. The largest tennis stadiums in the world can be found in the USA, China, Great Britain and France, but The Netherlands, Canada and even Thailand flaunt with giant establishments dedicated solely for this incredible sport. Below you will find a list containing 7 of the world’s largest tennis stadiums by capacity.

7. Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena – Shanghai, China

Widely known as the Qi Zhong stadium, the Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena can be found in Shanghai, China, within the massive city’s Minhang District to be precise. The arena was built in 2003 and flaunts a seating capacity of 15,000 for tennis fans. What makes this establishment incredible apart from its massive size is the fact that it features a remarkable steel roof, which resembles a blooming magnolia – Shanghai’s official city flower. As with many other stadiums on our list, this one was created to serve a specific purpose, and that purpose was hosting the ATP World Tour Finals between 2005 and 2008.

6. National Tennis Stadium – Beijing, China

Equally impressive is the National Tennis Stadium, which can be found in the city of Beijing in China. As with the Qi Zhong stadium, the National Tennis Stadium also features a capacity of 15,000. Opened in 2007, the stadium was the subject of an expansion process in 2011, and it is famous for hosting the incredible China Open tournament.

5. Wimbledon Centre Court – London, United Kingdom

The Centre Court in Wimbledon, London is the official home of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club and boasts a seating capacity of 15,000. Opened in 1922, this court is one of the oldest on our list and definitely one of the most impressive whether we’re talking about its sheer size or amazing design. In 2009, the court received a much-needed retractable roof that allowed it to host tennis events regardless of weather conditions.

4. Ahoy Rotterdam – Rotterdam, Netherlands

The Ahoy Rotterdam convention center was opened in 1950 but received numerous renovations in 1971, 1980, 1988, 1998 and 2011. Highly versatile, the arena was used for numerous important events throughout the years, including concerts or famous tournaments such as the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament. As the fourth largest tennis court by seating capacity, Ahoy Rotterdam boasts 15,818 seats.

3. Indian Wells Tennis Garden – Indian Wells, California

Located in the in the Coachella Valley of Indian Wells, California, the Indian Wells Tennis Garden was opened in 2000 but is scheduled to be expanded in 2014. As the home of the Indian Wells Masters tournament, this arena is perfectly capable of hosting 16,100 spectators, all thanks to an ingenious design signed by Rossetti Architects. Massive in size, this arena is currently the 3rd largest of its kind in the world by seating capacity.

2. O2 Arena – London, United Kingdom

This large multi-purpose indoor arena can be found in the middle of The O2 entertainment complex of London, UK. With a seating capacity of 20,000, the O2 Arena is the host of the ATP World Tour Finals between 2009 and 2015. The arena was opened officially in 2007 and was used for many incredible concerts and basketball events that were attended by numerous fans from all over the world.

1. Arthur Ashe Stadium – New York, USA

Finally, the world’s largest tennis stadium by capacity is the Arthur Ashe Stadium, which can be found within the exceptional city of New York, USA. With a capacity of 23,200, this stadium is a part of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and represents the primary stadium for the US Open tournament. The arena was named as a tribute to Arthur Ashe, who won the very first US Open event in 1968.

Sports Physiology

Refining and perfecting motor skills, developing visual precision, and improving mental sharpness are just a few of the many achievements happening in the young, growing body that contribute significantly to your youngster’s enjoyable and successful reality sports experience. Think about shaking up a soft drink can and not opening the top—there is so much rapid change just waiting to happen in these kids. Sometimes they can sense that they are close to gaining a new skill and they just about burst trying.

Suddenly it happens, and they cheer not only with excitement, but relief. Hopefully you can see that each stage of development varies in the length of time it takes to gain accomplishment with a certain skill and also in the completeness of skills actually developed. Some youth will acquire a skill fairly quickly, while others take longer. Some youth will develop a certain skill very well, while others struggle. That’s why certain kids gravitate toward certain activities—the beauty of the variability of human beings.

Think back to your childhood for a moment. Did you excel at catching and hitting baseballs, or were you hand-eye challenged and avoided that type of activity altogether? Did you throw well, or did you hate dodgeball in PE class when you had to display your lack of ability in front of the whole class? Ah, now you remember. You may see that mirror image in your child, or you may be wondering how on earth he inherited abilities you do not have.

Even with this variability among children of skills for exercise and sports, it is important to allow each child to individually maximize each skill level in his own time before moving on to the next. Each child is unique and should not be pushed faster than the time required to refine a skill needed to acquire a future skill.  Remember not to become impatient and rob your young one of the chance to gain a particular skill that he has been working on so diligently. Sure, your child can occasionally be trying more advanced parts of a sport, but he should not be rushed to get there before the current skills are mastered.

When we were kids in school, next year’s classes were usually built on knowledge from the previous year. Taking calculus before algebra and geometry would not have made as much sense (although for a non–math wizard like me, I am not sure if calculus would have made sense at any time). It is the same with acquiring the different advancing levels of sports techniques, movements, strategies, and training. One step at a time. One throw at a time. One serve at a time. One jump at a time. One kick at a time.

Motor, visual, and mental skills, along with physical growth, only make up part of the overall picture. They are each contributing parts that all fit together. Have you ever searched for that missing piece that allows you to start to assemble the next large chunk of a complicated puzzle? Advancing maturation of the body and brain allow your child to benefit from advancing physical growth.

Sure, these physical changes of growth are obvious. No one is blind to the fact that when friends get your holiday picture this year, Johnny is 6 inches taller than last year’s picture (which is still on their refrigerator). They usually double-check to make sure you did not skip a year. Girls change shape and start looking at boys; boys start to shave, get more muscles, and look at girls.

These physical changes certainly have an effect on their abilities to perform against their opponents as they become stronger, faster, and more skilled. Just growing, however, is not the only answer in the game of sports Jeopardy. Another crucial factor that goes through a process of development is the more invisible chemical realm—physiology, in fancy medical terms.