The Elegance of Ice Skating

Ice Skating SportsSkating is an elegant sport. It is a sport which can charm and enthrall you and brings magic and enchantment in the air. When you see the performers glide on the skating ring effortlessly and perform stupendous antics, you are bound to feel awed by their talent.

The swirl, the jumps, the glide, the spins, and the twirls may look effortless on the surface but they take eons of perseverance and practice to reach to that perfectionist level. The attire of the skater is also very elegant and eye-catching yet suitable for the purpose of skating, such as leggings, or short skirts, or tight-fitting flexible pants.

There are various types of skating sports, such as roller skating, ice skating, skateboarding, and snow skating. Each one of the sport is fun and interesting in their own way.

However, amongst them, figure ice skating tends to be the favorite sport of many. Such a sport, performed on frozen ice, is not an easy task especially when it comes to jumping and landing with perfect ease and yet being careful not to put too much pressure on the ice.

Figure skating can be performed individually, in couples, or in teams. There have been several competitions in figure skating such as World Championships, Winter Olympic Games, and European Figure Skating Championships.

Such championship events are a pleasure to watch because you come across all kinds of talents and performance at different levels. It is like watching a piece of art. Unlike other sports, which involve cheering, shouting, this is a sport, which imbues an air of sophistication and silent appreciation.

Junior Sports Education Program Facilities

Junior Sports Education Program FacilitiesThe western world is experiencing growing levels of obesity in children contributed to by computers and computer games. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of fun to be had just by turning on a button.

Ensuring your child is participating in a fun and active pastime is one way to help combat unnecessary, and unwanted, weight gain which can lead to future health issues. It may also educating and encouraging about teamwork, friendships, communication skills and a lot of enjoyment.

But how do you know the activity is enjoyable and good for their growing bodies?

Some things to look out when entering your children to junior sports program facilities:

The sporting facilities are safe and up to standard. Are the goals well attached to the ground? Is the playing surface free of rubbish, debris and potholes?

The coaches and assistants (parents, teachers, youth workers and officials) are qualified to coach juniors in your child’s chosen sports. Most states have accredited courses they can undertake.

The sports deliverers are well versed in what makes the sports fun and productive. They encourage fair play, teamwork, equal playing time to all participants whilst making the competition a challenge. They ensure the format of the competition is appropriate.

All competition options for kids need to be addressed and the best option selected. These include body size or age groupings, mixed or single gender, range of capabilities, variations in readiness, type of challenge and the extent of modification required.

Very young children should be playing “modified sports”. These “modified” sports games are mini versions of adult sports, designed to encourage participation, fun and safety. Teaching of skills is the main priority of junior and modified sports. Once the skill is fully developed, competition can stimulate performance.

Junior sports must be played in a non-threatening environment and encourage skill development. Smaller grounds, smaller teams and smaller or lighter equipment mean smaller players have many opportunities to touch the ball and contribute to the game.

The Illegal Use of Steroids in Youth Sports

Steroids in Youth SportsSteroids are hormone drugs that make athletes stronger and more muscular. This is an obvious advantage on the sports field.

Kids realize that their high school sports years are when college recruiters are going to make offers to the best players to play on a college team. Being recruited by a major college means that the player will get not only a free ride scholarship to the college, but also will play on a great team and then maybe get a job on a pro team.

This is true for high school baseball, soccer, and hockey team players too. Kids are sometimes introduced to steroids as young as junior high school and sometimes the pressure to be the best makes the steroids too hard to resist. Also, some kids are given silent permission to use steroids by their coaches and parents because these adults may recognize the signs that a teen is using steroids but not do anything about it.

The side effects

Steroid use can cause some pretty complicated side effects. Young men who use steroids can become larger and more muscular very quickly. They can also have bad acne breakouts, they can be shaky, have bad body odor, mood swings, and become aggressive and hard to get along with.

For girls, using steroids can make them moody, and give them facial hair and a deeper voice. Unfortunately, many of these things are present during the teen years anyway. Some of the more scary side effects are heart damage, liver damage, and shrinking of the testicles.

Even over the counter steroids have side effects. Protein drinks and steroid powders are available in health food stores and kids have easy access to these products. Since teen steroid users are not done growing the damage that steroids do can mean much more to them than to adults. Even over the counter steroids can cause kidney damage and heart damage.

Steroid prevention

As many as thirty million kids play a sport in this country and up to 11 percent of those kids have at least tried steroids. Steroids are a drug and using them is illegal. Sometimes kids are introduced to steroids by their coach. There have been some cases about coaches who gave their players steroids or who suggested that the player give steroids a try to become a better player.

Because steroid use has become such a problem for teenagers, parents, coaches and other adults are taking steps to stop the use of steroids. Some students learn about using steroids in health class. Some schools require that their students who play sports attend a lecture about steroid use in sports. And some other schools pass out a flyer or a pamphlet about steroid use to sports team members.

Even the National Football League has become involved in teaching kids not to use steroids to enhance their sports performance. These organizations have developed an approach of education to keep kids from trying steroids or to get them off steroids once they have started. Kids know that if they are caught using steroids, they can get kicked off of their sports team. But they also know that if they take steroids, they can be bigger, stronger and play better than some other players and that they have a better chance of winning.

Unfortunately some education will work for some kids, but it obviously doesn’t work well enough. The only way to get the majority of kids off of steroids is to perform random drug testing for high school sports team members. Since steroids are still an issue even after years of education and millions of dollars spent of getting the word out, it’s obvious that kids need a stricter sports environment.

Random drug testing

If random drug testing for teen sports players is done along with a program of education, we are bound to catch the majority of steroid users soon after they start. Maybe in areas where steroid use is really a problem, mandatory testing can be done on a regular basis.

Once kids see that high school sports programs are serious about keeping steroid use out of high school sports, the use will probably decrease even more than with education alone. There will probably always be some kids who will try to get away with using steroids and a system has to be put together to handle those kids also.

Once an athlete has tested positive for steroids, a policy of zero tolerance can evict him from sports for a period of the rest of the school year. He can be welcome to try out again for the team the following year. The policy should include a “three strikes and you’re out” policy too.

Once a player has tested positive three times, he won’t be allowed to play school sports again. Professional sports should be even tougher. Any player caught using steroids should be banned from the game forever. By educating, enforcing and treating the use of steroids, high school sports should become steroid free.

Getting Familiar with Ice Hockey

Ice HockeyHockey is great sport first of all, for a variety of reasons. It’s truly exciting to watch. Because of the ice surface it’s played on, very few sports can match the speed at which the players move about the field of play. It is a precise game of individual skill and team strategy that is one of the most fast-paced games on the planet.

If you know nothing about hockey, here are some basic rules and things to watch for: Each team is allowed 6 players, including the goaltender. The game is played in three twenty-minute periods, and the object is to put the puck in your opponent’s net as many times as possible. That pretty much sums up the gist of the game.

As far as some of the finer points – if the referee blows his whistle, chances are there is one of four reasons: the goaltender has covered the puck, there is a penalty, there is an icing call, or someone is off-sides. The goaltender covering the puck is self-explanatory, and penalties are generally pretty intuitive (no using your stick to haul someone down, no elbowing people to the head, etc.)

Icing occurs when a team shoots the puck from their side of the ice (behind the center red-line) to behind the opposing team’s goal line (the little red lines across either end). Off-sides occurs when an attacking player goes into their opponent’s defensive zone (past the blue line) before the puck. Now that you know the basic rules, you can concentrate on what makes hockey so exciting: the action.

Other than the fighting, the thing that people know about hockey is the prevalence of bone crushing body checks. The whole stadium will gasp (and then cheer wildly) as two 240 lb. behemoths collide on the boards with a deafening shudder.

Many people are surprised that such occurrences are completely legal by the rules of the game; the fact of the matter is that, when done legally, even the most impressive body checks have very little chance of resulting in injury, and when combined with the amazing speed of the game, the physicality makes it very exciting.

It should be noted that to fully enjoy an ice-hockey game, you should take some friends in tow and get some decent seats, as you would with any sporting event.