Author Archives: John Xavier

All The Good in Sports

Sports personalities are so often revered for their physical accomplishments or else shunned for their moral faults. The world puts these people on a pedestal and expects them not to be human. Mike Sandrolini takes a closer look and finds something spectacular to cheer about in his offering, “All the Good in Sports: True Stories That go Beyond the Headlines.”

With twenty contemporary sports personalities, sportswriter Sandrolini goes behind the top scores and record breaking events to get personal with the special purpose of each of these stars. They are all quite human and reveal their humbling efforts to share their faith. Christian Hosoi, of skateboarding fame, shares his story of finding God in his jail cell. Mariano Rivera, Yankees’ 1999 World Series MVP, explains how he is grateful to God and how he enjoys gathering with young minor leaguers for Bible study. Mary Lou Retton, the famed gold medal winning gymnast, is now a motivational speaker and author and openly shares her dedication to being a Christian. Matt Hasselbeck, Ruth Riley, Payne Stewart, and Dave Downing, among others, also reveal their faith.

Clearly demonstrating that it’s not all about the multi millions, Wheaties boxes, and adoring fans, the athletes exhibited here are so much more. Author Mike Sandrolini presents a higher purpose than winning the game in his stories. Well presented and interesting to read, the collection is based on sports and faith. To any Christian sports enthusiast, this book is sure to be a huge inspiration.

Tips to Prevent Sports Injuries in Children

The start of the school year also is the start of the sports season for most school age children. Tuition costs and the cost for supplies, clothes, food, and gas may have parents short on cash when it comes to sports equipment for their child. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when thinking about how to get your child ready for the sports season.

First, discuss with your child what he or she really enjoys about sports and which sports he or she likes the best. In today’s economy, it might be necessary for children to decide on one sport instead of three or four. It is far better to be able to provide safe equipment for the one sport the child enjoys the most than to go the cheap route for equipment on 3 or 4 sports and have an injury occur. Medical costs can run into the thousands even for a severe sprain.

Equipment should be sport specific, properly fitting, and include proper safety gear for each sport. Mouth guards and jock cups should never be the piece of equipment left out for boys and girls in contact sports.

All children participating in sports should have a sports physical before enrolling into the sports program. It is important for the physician or nurse practitioner to listen to the heart and lungs of a child who will be participating in sports and to do a urinalysis to check the health of the kidneys. Some physicians also like to do a random blood sugar test on children before they are cleared to play the games.

Ensure that your child has adequate nutrition and fluids available when they are playing a sport. If your child has not had lunch, for instance and then is asked to practice hard after school, he or she may get faint, have palpitations, headache, or nausea during practice.

Adults should be present at all times during practice, training, and game times to enforce safety rules and to provide a safe playing environment. Adult supervision goes along way to preventing the school bully of having a chance to interfere with school activities.

Overview Of Value Sports Collectibles

The article describes the sports collectibles value and how to collect valuable sports collectibles and artifacts.

If you are a sports lover, you also probably enjoy collecting value sports collectibles from different sources. Now sports collectibles value is huge in the market and it is necessary to do proper investigation to know about different sports artifacts and their value.

The fact is that there are a number of sellers and distributors in the market who offer different branded sports memorabilia at various price ranges. You should be well acquainted with the real value sports collectibles. For instance, Derek Jeter autographed sports memorabilia or accessories are not only popular but also famous in the sports world. Sportsmen prefer and value sports collectibles which are autographed by Derek Jeter and other such great sports people. You can get signed baseballs, bats, gloves and caps at the cost effective price ranges.

Famous sports personalities sign autographs for distribution among sports enthusiasts. You will get information on all of these items on the Internet. You need to log on to online portals to collect pictures and images of baseballs signed by your favorite sports person along with short ranged reviews on sports artifacts value. However, you will have to choose authentic sites which offer genuine value sports collectibles at good prices. In this connection, you should do comprehensive comparison studies on the Internet to know about the quality and price of collectibles which have been autographed by sports personalities.

In addition, there are different price rates set according to value sports artifacts. You can get a baseball which has been signed by Jeter just paying $500. Is it a fixed rate? The price of sports antiques and memorabilia fluctuates depending on the sports collectibles value which depends on the authenticity and the quality of the product. If you face any online scam or fake dealing, you will get sports artifacts of no or very less value.

Before finalizing the deal, check the performance track records of dealers. There are certain authorized sports memorabilia also available at good prices in the market. You can read reviews and feedback to know how to shop on the Internet to get good quality value sports collectibles at good prices.

Experts and eminent sports stars have confessed that when a person buys a brand new baseball which has been signed by your favorite baseball player or even a basketball or football signed by your favorite sports star, he or she will get a flawless ball without a single scratch or stain. On the other hand, if you like to purchase reconditioned or used products that were used in a game, you can’t expect smudge free sports memorabilia. Therefore, it is up to you to decide what you want and you should know that value of sports artifacts will depend on this decision of yours.

More Philosophy On Leadership

As a former business owner with operations in many states, I’d say I have a decent handle on the definition of leadership; what it is and what is supposed to do. Yet, I am often reminded that “Leadership” has become a catch-all term, which is too bad, we are all too quick to label things leadership or proclaim the need for leadership. Some describe what they call “leadership” and when you look closely it looks more like; how to con humans into doing things you want them to do, akin to that famous saying: “Diplomacy is the Art of Letting Others Get Your Way.”

Not long ago, I talked with a Floridian Author of multiple books on leadership. I must say; I am impressed with his sincerity, ethical base, stick-to-it-ness, character and truth seeking – that’s pretty rare. Every once in a while someone comes along, and you just think to yourself – wow, good job.

There is a good book titled; “Outliers” perhaps you’ve read it, one thing I’ve found is that just because someone is good at something, doesn’t mean they will make a good coach, instructor, mentor, or leader. Some would say true leaders are a lot like coaches, yes, there is some of that in leadership, others say it is how you project yourself that gives people confidence in themselves when you tell them; “You Can Do This” which is also a component of leadership (Read About: General Patton and leadership), some say leadership is all about communicating a vision or mission statement – true, that too, getting someone to seize on an idea or brand, to stand for something larger than themselves, to give 110% and expect to win, play on a team and persevere.

And, with that said there are all types of leaders – you have the fearless leader, and you have introverted leaders, you have people who’ve been thrust into leadership positions merely for leading by example. There are administrative leaders, and so many variations on each type. Sometimes the style of leadership matters, just as the corporate culture matters, or the mindset of a sports team or perhaps the micro-teams in business units (Read: The World On Time by Fred Smith FedEx Founder).

Knowing your limits is also a key to good leadership, however, if we want those who follow to believe that there are no limits – then we need to be careful both how we see our own limits by quantifying them; and, how we communicate such a mental limit to them.

Regarding leadership as a whole, one thing they teach in the Military (West Point, Annapolis for instance) is that to be a good leader you must first be a good follower. Thus, we should be giving more emphasis to followership right? Another interesting point is one of respect. A leader who is not respected makes a lousy leader, and can actually be dangerous to the cause whatever that cause may be.

Some say that “Leadership comes from a barrel of a gun” Mao said that, and perhaps a Machiavellian Prince might also; aka: “It’s best to be loved and respected, but if you can’t do that, the second best is to be feared and respected.” The challenge with being loved and respected is that the leader falls into a trap of promises to all, at the cost of the mission or goals – socialist populist leadership for instance, keep promising everyone everything to be loved, until one day it becomes obvious that “you’ve run out of other people’s money to spend” (Margaret Thatcher said that). Glad to make you think today.

Alternatives To Reality, Every Day

The reality of becoming famous is not something most people would enjoy. When I was younger, I shared a flat in the city of Bristol and above us, on the next floor, were the pop band known as ‘Stackridge’. They were one of a new wave of creative groups in the 1970s and had toured all over England, enjoying a growing following and signing a record deal with a famous label in London. Unfortunately, the money was slow to arrive, and even though they topped the bill and wowed audiences up and down the land, they still couldn’t afford hotel bills. Imagine it: you’ve just left the stage, to wild applause, you’re hot and sweaty but the adrenalin is pumping. You stagger to the bar, down a few drinks, and know this: what you’ve got to look forward to is sleeping in the van with six other people. On mattresses. No lights, no windows, no toilets, no minibar. England in that era didn’t have any chains of cheap hotels like it has now. There were no motels, like there are in America. It was all about sleeping in the van and eating foul food in motorway service areas. The ‘good life’? It was awful. Of course, you may say, that’s just a stage, right? When the fame develops and the money starts to flow in, then you can eat well, dress well, book yourself into a hotel and savour a comfortable night’s sleep. The reality is, for hundreds of erstwhile pop stars, that they never get to that stage. It just never happens.

For sports people, it’s even worse. About the same time as Stackridge were breaking through, I remember reading about one of Britain’s most successful athletes, the swimming star, Sharon Davies. She was still young, but for years had been following the same routine. She woke around 5 and went to the nearest swimming pool for two hours of demanding training. Then she got herself ready and went to school. At the end of the school day, she was back at the swimming pool for another three hours, then it was home and doing her schoolwork, in bed for 9, to get some proper sleep. That’s five hours swimming a day, six days a week. It helped her improve and she eventually went to the Olympics and won a medal for her country. Because Britain has never had world beaters in the sport, it was only a bronze medal, but it was one of the finest achievements our country has ever seen. It was made possible by thirty hours practice a week, year after year, after slogging year. Well, there are plenty of aspiring sports stars in Britain now, but how many of them can face that reality? They look at Wimbledon on the telly and imagine themselves as the person who collects the shield and wins the prize, but are they out there on the tennis court, 30 hours a week? Oh, and one final humiliation. Sharon Davies never had any support from the authorities. Her trainer was her father and the swimming pool she used was the local Public Baths. Not very glamourous. A bit too ‘real’ to be the stuff of fantasy, eh?

But this is reality. The person on the podium collecting the medal has been working towards that day for years, but hard work doesn’t seem to feature in a lot of young people’s daydreams these days. A young cohort of teenagers was recently asked by a British newspaper what career they had in mind. One unworldly young man said he hadn’t decided yet, he couldn’t choose between being a famous footballer or a pop star. As far as football went, he had to admit he wasn’t on any teams and hardly ever played the game. As far as music was concerned, he then confessed that he didn’t play a single musical instrument and had never been complimented on his voice. He had no plans to practice and had never sung in public, not even karaoke. So, we all wonder, what chance does he have of fulfilling the vision?

No, there is only one reality, and that is this; if you’re doing something today that could lead to your ultimate destination, then there is at least a chance, even if only a slim chance, that you will reach your goal. If you are in the swimming pool for five hours a day, then you probably will get a shot of being on the Olympic Squad. If you practice your football skills by kicking a ball round in the street, and then chase a place on your school team and then your local amateur club, then it’s much more likely that a football career could be yours. If you persuade your parents to buy you a guitar, take some books out of the library and start to learn the skills, then there’s every chance your music will develop. If you’re prepared to sleep in a van and eat bad food, then there’s a chance you could be on your way. That’s the basics. If you are doing things today to move you along, then it’s possible that tomorrow you will be where you want to go. In my own case, there’s no question. If you followed me around for 24 hours, there is one thing you would see for sure. No matter where I am and what I’m doing, at some point I always sit down and write for an hour. Usually it’s a bit of a chapter, a small piece towards finishing a new novel. At the end of a year, there’s a new book to be loaded up onto my print-on-demand publisher, Lulu dot com. Am I a famous author? Not at all. But I’m a writer, and every day I prove it. Every day.

And there’s one more thing. Anyone who has ever taken piano lessons knows this: practice can be hell. Repetition and rote is boring and mind-numbing. It’s necessary, but painful. So, if there’s any way of making learning and practising fun, then take it. Whatever it is, sport or creativity, you need to be doing it every day, hour after hour. Well, find a way to enjoy the process. That way, at least the necessity will become bearable. If you want the dream, then you might have to skin your heels, or get blisters on your fingers, or wear out your typewriter. If you can’t enjoy that, then why do it? After all, there’s always someone else, someone coming along behind you, who will be happy to take your place, your future, your dream.

Combined Martial Disciplines Training Goods

Apply makes ideal and also the only way you can do that’s to train constantly. Although the weapon in combined martial arts is your body, the one way to apply your technique properly is by utilizing the correct coaching products that can be found out there.

During apply and in the ring, you should use a primetime level glove that is sanctioned for use in amateur occasions. This is available in both open and closed palm styles which offers the correct amount of safety to your arms and at the same time does not limit you capability to seize your opponent.

The large bag is an additional factor you require for coaching. It is heavy and weights about 100 pounds and is really a complete 6 ft in height. This may allow you to do a complete range of strikes which is an extremely great cardio workout.

To apply your punches and agility, you will require a curved focus mitt. This is put on by your coach and also you get to punch it while at occasions, you have to dodge when your coach decides to hit you.

Combined martial disciplines fighters put on shorts or pants throughout practice and within the ring. You simply have to make sure that this is authorized to be used before you use it.

You could lose greater than a tooth when you are punched in the face. You could get a concussion and even a damaged jaw which is why you also need to place on a mouth guard at all times. Research have shown that this will also make you less vulnerable of getting a knockout but despite that, this nonetheless occurs whenever you don?t have any power left within the ring.

Stop Youth From Dying In Sports

Recently the news media seems to be filled with one tragic story after another of youngsters dying from sports and/or other physically demanding activities. What in the world is going on with our youths’ health?

Let me make this perfectly clear before continuing, I am not pointing fingers, assigning blame or declaring it’s the work of the Lord for the rash of tragedies befallen our young athletes. I am simply sickened by the mishaps and want to call attention to them so perhaps someone smarter than I can arrive at an answer which will stop this appalling trend.

Although all of these deaths are awful, some can be contributed to being the result of a purely weird accident. A baseball player warming up before a game is struck by a thrown pitch and dies, I see no reason to go into the details of the event as the family has suffered enough, but it was a rare quirk of events resulting in the tragic accident.

This type of accident can not be avoided. I read a sudden gush of advice from self-appointed sports gurus about how and where to warm up, preventing players from being struck by bats and etc. The type of advice every baseball coach I’ve ever known automatically implements, because a whole lot of it is common sense.

Other events were of natural causes, heart failures, which were caused by unknown birth defects, which manifested when physically challenged with awful results. Again, there was no indication of a health issue, some medical professionals have declared it was inevitable and there was no way to alter the ending.

These passing’s, although gut wrenching, are a fact of life where the “Good Die Young,” and we are left to question the reasoning. I guess you could say if all the tragedies fell into these two categories, we could sadly go on our way and attempt to shrug off the depression with the knowledge there was nothing we could had done to prevent it.

However, the question I am wrestling with is “Is This Actually True?”

I originated long before the generation X, Y or Z, when a transistor radio was the newest of technological advance and it wouldn’t be replaced by a newer version the following week. I suppose you could say we lived in a primitive time, but it was a time when full physical exertion of kids, from after school till nightfall, was the norm, not the rarity.

The only way you stayed inside on a sunny day was if you were sick, or as often was the case in my particular situation, grounded for being mischievous. The idea of playing games inside, toy soldiers or Barbie dolls, never crossed our minds when the sun shown.

Today too many of our kids shield themselves inside their rooms, behind closed curtains which shut out the sunlight, in order to play video games. I’m not smashing video games, well maybe, but I’ve never known of a pair of strong thumbs doing pushups or running the 100 yard dash. We have raised a generation of the most coordinated and quickly reflexed thumbs and fingers known to mankind, but the rest of the body is jell-o.

I’m sure it happened when I was a kid, but I don’t ever remember a sports player dying at such a young age. Did the fact that we played baseball, football, soccer or basketball continuously from the age of 5 or 6 until our teens immune our bodies to a “Sudden Exertion Syndrome” which led to severe consequences. It only makes sense if your body is accustomed to being pushed from an early age, it would react better to stress at an older age.