You Don’t Need The Best Facilities to be the Best Athletes

The World Cup is over and I’m still blown away by what players at that level can do with a soccer ball. But what happens when you combine soccer with Capoeira, the acrobatic martial art from Brazil? Take a look (warning…don’t try this at home).

These young athletes aren’t practicing on groomed grass fields. They’re performing in an inner-city setting on dirt lots, paved streets, rooftops and courtyards. This video may help your students to realize that it doesn’t take the best facilities in the world to become the best athletes in the world. It takes work, dedication, constant practice and the obvious passion for one’s sport demonstrated by these athletes. Incidentally, Brazil is one of the best soccer countries on the globe.

dick_headshot_web8.jpg

Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

To check out the PE Update.com website, Click Here!
To subscribe to the free Fun Stuff for PE Newsletter, Click Here!

[tags]soccer, Capoeira,soccer skills,acrobatic soccer moves[/tags]

A New Sport? The 100m Hurdles in Swim Fins

HurdleFins_web

100 Hurdles in Swim Fins

There are a number of hybrid sports:  the biathlon combines nordic skiing and shooting; the heptathlon combines seven track and field events; the triathlon combines swimming, cycling and running. So why not another hybrid –  swim-fin-hurdling?

Sound crazy? Yup – but the World record is fast!  In fact, heptathlete Veronica Torr from New Zealand broke the old World mark of 22.35 seconds by flipper-hurdling over the 100m distance in 19.28 seconds. While the world’s non-flippered best run the event in just over 12 seconds and credible high school athletes run in 14, she’s not far off. Especially for a flipper-foot.

You can see the World record, as it was set, in the following video. You’ll notice that, unlike the Olympic hurdles races, that Ms. Torr is grinning ear-to-ear throughout the entire race.

And for those technical hurdle experts out there, you can see the entire race in slow-motion.

dick_headshot_web8.jpg

Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

To check out the PE Update.com website, Click Here!
To subscribe to the free Fun Stuff for PE Newsletter, Click Here!

[tags]swim fin hurdling,hurdling with swim fins, swim fin hurdles record[/tags]

Are Cheerleaders Tough? You Betcha!

Who says cheerleaders aren’t tough? (Not me, by the way).

In fact, the high-flying flips, tricks and acrobatics they perform gives cheerleading one of the highest catastrophic injury rates of any sport in North America.

And here’s another example of cheerleader-toughness. It’s a quick video clip of a cheerleader tackling a football player (who is in full pads) in order to protect his squad-mates who were in a vulnerable pyramid formation.

He didn’t try to take the player out at the ankles either…he hit him head-on and took him to the ground.

Bravo!

dick_headshot_web8.jpg

Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

To check out the PE Update.com website, Click Here!
To subscribe to the free Fun Stuff for PE Newsletter, Click Here!

[tags]cheerleaders,cheerleader tackles player,cheerleader toughness[/tags]

Is It “Diving” or Vuvuzela Pain?

Vuvuzela_webIf you’ve been watching the World Cup of soccer, you’ll have observed many occasions in which players, although seemingly untouched, have dropped to the ground and writhed in pain for many minutes.

They’re “diving,” you might say! Perhaps, but I have a more likely explanation. It’s the vuvuzelas!

Vuvuzelas, a fixture in South African soccer, are plastic horns based on the traditional kudu horns used to call distant South African villagers to meetings.

David Flax, a South African physical educator, warned us about the vuvuzela on the PE Update.com Message Board back in December. Well, he was certainly correct!

Every World Cup soccer venue has multitudes of vuvuzela-blowers and the stadiums sound like they’re filled with hornets on amphetamines. When I say the sound is deafening, you can take that literally. David has since sent me a South African occupational hygiene flyer that shows the noise produced by vuvuzelas can exceed 131 decibels.

How loud is that? Fifteen minutes at 100 decibels can cause hearing damage. A piledriver operates at 110 decibels. The pain threshold is reached at 130 decibels. Vuvuzelas can hit 131.

In other words, everyone sitting in a World Cup Stadium, including the players, might be in constant ear-drum pain from the beginning of the pre-game to the end. My theory is that those players writhing on the ground up may simply be more sensitive to noise than their teammates.

Personally I’ve gotten used to the vuvuzela noise and appreciate the fact that it’s a traditional South African signal to assemble for a meeting. And what greater meeting is there than the World Cup of soccer. South Africa, by the way, has done a wonderful job of putting together this quadrennial spectacle.

And as for the players left writhing on the ground? Perhaps future soccer equipment should include shin pads and earmuffs.

dick_headshot_web8.jpg

Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

To check out the PE Update.com website, Click Here!
To subscribe to the free Fun Stuff for PE Newsletter, Click Here!

[tags]vuvuzela,vuvuzelas,soccer,football,World Cup Soccer,[/tags]

NBA Coach is a Class Act…So Are You!

School is almost over!! Before you head off for your summer holidays,  I thought I’d leave you with a demonstration of character by an All-Star professional basketball player and coach.

Before a pro game between the Portland Trail Blazers and Dallas Mavericks in 2003, 13 year-old Natalie Gilbert began singing the American National Anthem, then, in what would certainly be a nightmare for all of us, forgot the words.

In her moment of horror, Portland coach Maurice Cheeks, a 15-year NBA veteran and four-time All-Star, comes to her aid, standing beside her, singing along and encouraging the crowd to join in.

As you’ll see, singing isn’t in Cheeks’ comfort zone, and he later said he wasn’t even sure whether he knew all the words, he only knew he didn’t want her to stand there helpless. She needed help, so he stepped forward

He’s a class act. But he’s only demonstrating the same ethics and motivations that drive most of our scholastic PE teachers and coaches.

Enjoy the video and have a great summer!

dick_headshot_web8.jpg

Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

To check out the PE Update.com website, Click Here!
To subscribe to the free Fun Stuff for PE Newsletter, Click Here!

[tags]Maurice Cheeks,national anthem,coaches with class,classy NBA player,summer vacation,physical education teacher, scholastic coach, school coach[/tags]

Hotel Room Prom

Graduation_webIn our February 8, 2010 blog, I discussed the problems that occur when high school administrators schedule prom and graduation ceremonies on the same day as championship sports events.

(See “High School Graduation & Sport Championship Conflicts. Can’t They Be Avoided?“).

This conflict forces student-athletes to decide between the culminating competition of their high school athletic career and the traditional coming-of-age event they’ve long dreamed of sharing with family and friends. It can be a difficult decision.

One of my track coaching friends encountered this situation several years ago. Four girls from his 4 x 100m relay team were provincial contenders and opted to attend the championship despite the fact that it required two members of the team to miss their prom and graduation ceremony.

So the coach concocted a surprise to acknowledge and compensate them for their sacrifice. He sent several teammates to a dollar store – they returned with decorations and did up a hotel room in a prom-on-the-road theme that included a disco ball, banners, flowers, corsages and even sashes for the two graduates.

The girls were ushered into the darkened room and the coach turned on music, focused a flashlight on the disco ball and voila – prom night!

It was a ceremony fit for two special student-athletes, created by a special, caring teacher and coach.

dick_headshot_web8.jpg

Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

To check out the PE Update.com website, Click Here!
To subscribe to the free Fun Stuff for PE Newsletter, Click Here!

[tags]high school track and field,prom,graduation ceremony,graduation versus championship competitions[/tags]