The Best Sport in the World – Football

The Best Sport in the World – Football

Jun 11

Now, before you get ready to fire off a nasty email on account of mine thinking Football (soccer) is the best sport in the world, take a breath of calm. Nobody is making you read this and you’re free to roll your mouse cursor to the northeast corner of your screen and just close this window out now if you’re just going to complain about what’s written here. I hear lots of people go on about how their favorite sport is the best game in the world. Those are matters of opinion, and this is just my own opinion, along with a few good facts to back up the claim that Football is the best sport in the world.

Like most articles about a person’s favorite sport, mine is going to begin with a recount of my first game. I was young; a lot younger than I am now, let me tell you. The world was my oyster, so to speak, and I thought I could do anything if I had the will for it. Maybe it had more to do with me being in the prime of my life than Football itself, but I loved the game.

It didn’t matter that I haven’t scored on my first real game – some of the best players in the world go through an entire match without a goal to their credit. However, I did set up a couple other players to score, entrenching in my mind the idea that teamwork can make or break a sports team. That’s truer in Football than in any other game, I’d say.

At present, there are five solid reasons I can come up with, each of which supports my claim that Football really is the best sport in the world. You may disagree with my ultimate synopsis, but it would be difficult even for die-hard fans of other sports to argue with the following points:

The Skills Required Are Not Commonplace

For instance, and this is an immediately apparent point even to those watching their first soccer game; Football requires a ridiculous amount of coordination and a high level of physical fitness for players who want to be successful. Anyone can grab a ball and run around while holding it, or even toss it to another person, but Football isn’t like that (except for the keepers who can use their hands, of course). Have you ever even tried dribbling a soccer ball? It’s hard enough to do while stationary, but major and minor league Football players all need to be able to move their bodies while moving the ball.

I have to say, that was one of the hardest things for me to get right. It’s also a point with which many of my younger players struggle, especially if they’re just getting into the game of Football and don’t have previous experience playing outside of our team. While American Football focuses on individuals passing, kicking or carrying a ball, soccer demands that every player be proficient in all of these actions, so the skill required to play the game well is higher, hands down.

The Whole World Knows Football

Speaking of American Football, that’s pretty popular in the States, Canada and a couple other places. However, it doesn’t have the worldwide appeal of which traditional Football is possessed. My favorite sport in the world is actually played throughout the world, which is a big help in maintaining its humongous fan base. Just look at the World Cup and all the buzz surrounding it this year – the Superbowl can’t come close to comparing, and I’m not even mentioning other end of seasons sports events like the World Series of baseball, the Stanley Cup of hockey or other “big” games.

Players and Fans Are Passionate

There’s another word for the buzz surrounding Football: Passion. I know I’m passionate about the game. I know other people get really into it too – just look at all the protests in Brazil about the games held in the country and you’ll quickly see that tempers can flare up into full-blown fires with very little help. This is just the passion of viewers, mind you. The players take Football even more seriously.

For us, it’s something to watch after work or during off time, but for the players? Football is their livelihood. While I’m out coaching young people on how to play the game properly, those who play Football at a professional level are literally risking their lives and limbs out on that field.

Memorable Athletes

That passion which goes into each player’s game makes for some truly memorable moments. Now I know, I know, there are scoring plays in every sport that get fans talking and make for some nice conversation with friends and family after the game. However, how often is it that a scoring drive is remembered – and talked about – decades after the game it happened in has been decided?

Famous players like Pele, Messi and others still get fans talking today, which is more than can be said for bygone athletes from other sports. If you don’t believe it, go ahead and ask a grandparent about their favorite Football player. You’ll probably be surprised at the answer you get.

The Scoring

Naturally, one of the most exciting parts of Football is the scoring of goals, just like scoring plays in pretty much every sport. There’s just such an amazing feeling that comes with scoring a goal and bringing your team that much closer to beating your opponents; it’s hard for me to describe. One thing that’s easy to describe, though, is the most exciting goal a person has ever seen.

Those major scoring plays really stick with a person. Most soccer fans will be able to come up with the time, the place, the players and other facts surrounding a goal, in addition to the scoring play itself. They might even go back to an old game and watch that play over and over, memorizing it like a film fan memorizes their favorite scene from a movie. While this isn’t exclusive to Football, I’m positive there are more memories like this dedicated to Football, simply due to the great number of Football fans in the world.

Top 10 Reasons for Active Lifestyle

Top 10 Reasons for Active Lifestyle

Jun 19

There are really too many reasons to list them all here, but getting physically fit and embracing an active lifestyle has always been good for people. I tell that my students and players all the time, but finding a fitness regimen and sticking to it isn’t just good for improving your performance in the football matches – it’s absolutely vital to maintaining positive health and being comfortable with your own body. So I’ve decided to list out top 10 reasons on how living active lifestyle can benefit your everyday life:

Increased Energy

This is kind of a no-brainer for me, but I’ve got plenty of athletic training experience and kind of have an edge when it comes to physical fitness. For everyone else, it’s important to know that increased physical activity actually leads to more energy, not less.

Faster Metabolism

I mentioned it above, but an increased metabolic rate is a kind of double benefit to getting active. While it will help your body’s cells to get more oxygen, heightened metabolism helps to break down sugars, fats and proteins faster, getting all that extra energy into your blood at a quicker rate than if you were just sitting around.

Improved Appearance

Men and women everywhere are looking for attractive and healthy mates. Giving your body a bit of muscle tone could do more than just improve your perception of yourself – it could also improve the way others perceive you. Naturally, there’s no beating genetics, so if you’re from a family of short and stocky people, don’t expect to change that.

Handling Stress Better

When some people get stressed out, they reach for calorie-rich foods that are typically high in fat, cholesterol and other things which aren’t necessarily good for the eater. If only those people would reach for some free weights instead! There is paramount research that physical activity helps to reduce stress levels and improve the moods of people.

Strengthened Immune System

An active lifestyle won’t just make you physically stronger – it will also make your immune system stronger. This, in turn, will lead to an increased ability to fight off infections and get over illnesses quickly.

Faster Physical Recovery

From small scrapes and cuts to serious physical injuries, recovery times can be cut considerably by getting active. Although it might be more difficult following an invasive surgery or other event, staying active will maintain muscle tissue and boost white blood cell counts.

Improved Focus

There’s a certain sharpening of the senses that goes along with increased physical activity. That is thanks to improved circulation and increased oxygen levels in the brain. If you want to increase your focus, increase your level of physical activity.

Increased Endurance

This benefit is easy to spot, even for amateurs. The more you do, the more you will be able to do.

Greater Flexibility

This particular benefit could be garnered just by stretching every day, but there’s no denying how helpful increased flexibility can be. Avoiding injuries that plague stiffer people is a great perk to exercise.

Greater Lean Body Mass

No, I don’t mean a greater weight, not necessarily. Did you know that 5 kg of fat takes up about 5 times as much space as 5 kg of muscle? Converting the former to the latter will help to improve your overall health, since muscle tissue burns through calories faster than fat tissue.

So here you go! Are you ready now to go outside and take a nice run? Or maybe do some squats? All in all it’s up to you to choose on how you want to feel now and years late. As for me, my everyday training routine is football – the best game in the world – it gives me strength and power to live a better and fulfilling life. Stay healthy!

photo credit: Zach Dischner

Practical Steps into Becoming the Peaceful Warrior

Practical Steps into Becoming the Peaceful Warrior

Jun 19

Anger is generally a destructive force. While it could be used toward some good by building something up rather than breaking something down, anger often comes on too suddenly and hormones are rushing through a person’s brain when the time to make a decision comes. That state of mind can make it difficult even for level-headed people to make the right choice – it’s effectively like acting under duress.

Because of this, I recommend trying to keep calm throughout the day, rather than succumbing to those small, annoying things which can so quickly pile up at work, at home and elsewhere. It isn’t necessarily an easy thing to do, but learning how to better deal with those small annoyances will help a lot later on, when something more serious happens. Think of it as a kind of training for the mind rather than the body.

There is no panacea for anger or a short temper. Like improving yourself in many other ways, getting a better handle on your anger is going to take some time and practice. If you follow these practical steps when you feel rage building, you can help abate it and not get so worked up.

Breathe Deeply

You’ve probably heard something about taking deep breaths to settle down before, but it’s still a step many angry people ignore or fail to recall when they get mad. More oxygen in your blood means more oxygen in your brain, which is what’s behind your decision making process. That one sharp breath could give you the little bit of clarity you need to prevent yourself from overreacting to a tense situation.

Consider Perspective

Getting angry isn’t an excuse to go crazy and do something violent or obscene. You have to consider your perspective before you let anger get the better of your higher thought processes. You’re not someone who has no control, and you know the difference between right and wrong. Don’t forget about that just because you get mad at something – or somebody.

Remember Some Anger is Justified

While actions people perform in anger may be hard to condone, the act of getting angry itself is nothing to be ashamed about. It’s a perfectly natural response to being slighted, hurt, lied to or otherwise cheated in some way. Attaching a stigma to getting angry can cause some conflicting feelings when it does happen, which might make it harder to do the right thing when upset. You may not be able to control getting angry, but you do have control over how you act out those negative feelings.

Should You Be Angry?

If you’re facing a situation and you aren’t sure if you should be mad or not, the odds are very good you shouldn’t be. Every little thing that happens shouldn’t get a reaction out of you as if it were something serious or major. Not only does this go over poorly with others, but it can lead to many sharp spikes in your blood pressure and pulse throughout the day.

photo credit: Andy Zeigert

Virtual Sports vs Real Sports

Virtual Sports vs Real Sports

Jul 02

Nowadays, without any doubt, virtual sport is becoming more than ever popular due to progressively more advanced technology. However, I believe that virtual sports might bring us joy but it can never replace the real sport.

First and foremost, in real sport there is more interaction between the people which lacks in virtual sports. In games like football or tennis, you can look at the actions and expressions of the other players in real time. The main fun of real sports is responding to the opponent’s moves by finding their weaknesses through their expressions. That is what makes sports so entertaining. Whereas, in virtual sports, the opponents are usually computer-generated characters, whose actions are imitated on the screen by a virtual figure. This results in detachment among people, taking the human factor out of sports.

Moreover, the feeling of interaction with the environment in real sports has no comparison with virtual sports. The beauty and touch of nature can be felt while playing a real sport. You can feel the scorching sun or the winds or hear the chirping of birds. But when you are playing a virtual game, all you do is sit in your house and wave a plastic remote while staring at the screen.

I have lots of friends all around the world, which I contact time to time. Recently, my good friend send my an email, showing off his son’s skills and progress in competitive virtual sport. My friend is a good lad and a tech trendy person - having a job as a project manager at Citrus Solutions defines your inner character and way of thinking. But, nevertheless the technological advancement and it’s influence on our daily life, I still think, that virtuality won’t be able to replace the adrenaline rush – at least any time soon - while playing REAL sport.

The main cliché in virtual sport is that it only has adverse effects on people. Addiction to virtual games is one of the adverse effects. Virtual games can be played by sitting on a couch in your room but that is exactly what keeps the children at home and keep them away from physical activities. It causes health problems like obesity and becoming antisocial.

The exercise concerned regarding the virtual sports is not as much of that in real sports. For example, in virtual sports, a short sprint to reach a tennis ball means a slight leaning of body just due to the space limitations. Hence, the physical movement involved in virtual sports is little and so are the health benefits – on the contrary of active lifestyle – playing real sports.

Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that there are few benefits of virtual gaming. Rather than nothing at all, the virtual alternative is beneficial for the people who can truly not participate in real sports. It is better than sitting on a couch as at least the person would be moving physically. Besides this, virtual sports are easy to set up and can be an origin of entertainment. There are some sports like skiing or rock climbing which you might not be able to practice in real life but can have the joy and fun by the means of virtual sports available.

Therefore, I consider that virtual sport has it’s cons and advantages. Although they cannot be replaced by real sports in terms of interaction with human and environment, touch with nature and the amount of exercise, at times it can surely be entertaining. At very least, rather than staying at home; we should make an effort to play real sports to be benefitted from its natural gifts once in a while!