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Advancements In Golf Technology = Better Scores

BY: SportsFan - 04/15/2014 | 01:18 PM

Twenty years ago, Davis Love III led the PGA Tour with an average driving distance of nearly 284 yards. Through February 9 of this year, Bubba Watson led the Tour with an average drive of 322 yards – an improvement of nearly 40 yards! To many, that speaks to significant improvements in technology. The same technology that is enabling pros to hit a driver well over 300 yards and a 7 iron 200 yards is making it easier and more enjoyable for the average person to enjoy a round of golf.
 
Hot Drivers
 
Peruse popular golf publications and you will quickly notice that every manufacturer promises a “hot” driver. How they achieve the results, which enable even amateurs to hit drives straight and long, differs by manufacturer.
 
Dunham’s shoppers may have noticed a similar design approach from other manufacturers to clubs other than the driver. The idea is to remove weight where it’s not needed and to enable the clubface to deflect at the moment of impact, creating said trampoline effect. TaylorMade has used this approach with its RocketBallz fairway and hybrids and is employing a different strategy with its latest drivers.
 
“In our driver and fairway woods, we’ve moved the center of gravity lower and forward. Golfers are realizing more ideal launch angles and lower spin conditions,” said Tom Kroll, TaylorMade golf.
 
Here’s a practical example of what lower spin conditions mean: a good friend and golf pro put the TaylorMade SLDR driver in his bag last fall and immediately gained 30 yards! This year, TaylorMade has introduced the JetSpeed driver.
 
“Compared to the SLDR, the JetSpeed is going to launch the ball higher and with more spin. The SLDR also has a sliding weight that can be adjusted to control the draw or fade bias,” Kroll added.
 
Get on the Green
 
Hitting a great drive is a great feeling. However, to truly score, you must hit the green with your approach. Today’s technology can help you here, as well.
 
“Owning the second shot is what Adams Golf is known for. Our heritage has been about fairway woods, hybrids and irons. We have the equipment to enable less-experienced golfers to get on the green with the second shot, to own that shot,” Wood explained.
 
Technological advancements have also found their way into irons.
 
“Five years ago we introduced our Cut Thru-Slot design, which enhances ball speed and ball flight. This design creates a very thin face that flexes when it connects with the ball. The result is a trampoline-like effect that really launches the ball. Even if you mishit the club, you’re still going to get good results,” said Jeff Wood of Adams Golf.
 
“If you’re playing irons that don’t have a speed pocket, you’re playing with old technology. The speed pocket gives golfers speed where they need it most, since the majority of amateurs contact the ball below the center of the clubface. This technology increases launch angle and distance,” Kroll said.
 
Have a Ball
 
Manufacturers have also spent a great deal of their R&D improving the ball we play. Many companies are promoting choosing a ball based on your individual swing speed, desired ball flight and the amount of feel you want around the green.
 
“TaylorMade is launching three balls this year,” Kroll said. “Our new Tour Preferred and Tour Preferred X are ideal for the better player. They feature a new Soft Tech cover for improved greenside spin and control.”
 
If you’re a scratch player, consider the Tour Preferred X model. An intriguing option for golfers of all levels is TaylorMade’s third new ball for 2014: the Project (a).
 
“Project (a) is designed for amateur golfers, though we saw a lot of single-digit golfers play this ball at Pebble Beach in February,” Kroll added. The company claims greater distance with all clubs, as well as significant and consistent spin with all irons. At under $32.00, I plan on checking it out.
 
For 2014, Nike is expanding its RZN line of golf balls.
 
“We’re launching RZN Black, Platinum, White, and Red this year, each explicitly designed for specific golfers,” said Chris Coffman of Nike.
 
The first two are designed for golfers of moderate to higher swing speeds. Those who want maximum distance should choose the RZN Black, while those who want more feel will prefer the RZN Platinum. Golfers with moderate to slower swing speeds will find the RZN Red and the RZN White more suited to their game. The RZN Red delivers more distance, while the RZN White delivers more feel.
 
There’s a lot to be said for technology. It has made our cars safer, phones smaller and the game of golf more enjoyable. With the right equipment and advice from our knowledgeable staff, next time someone asks you about your golf game, you can happily reply, “It’s par for the course.”
 
Nick Lico has dual passions: writing and golf. An avid player for 30 years, he has spent the last five years teaching golf at various after-school programs in Metro Detroit.
 
-Par Shooter
 
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Spring: A Season for Renewal

BY: SportsFan - 04/15/2014 | 11:30 AM

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
It’s been a long, hard winter but finally spring has arrived! Soon we’ll be shedding our heavy winter clothes and embracing the lush, green growth of trees and gardens , and the warming air that greets us each morning. Neighbors we haven’t seen all winter will be out working in their yards, walking or jogging, and soon fresh spring produce will arrive at the grocer’s. It’s a great time of year to renew your health resolutions or make a new commitment to a healthy life!
 
After long months spent indoors, it can be a big challenge to adopt a major fitness program, especially if you have a busy schedule. Ease into it!
 
• Choose an activity you will enjoy!
 
• If your schedule makes it difficult to set aside a 30 minute block of time, try three 10-minute workouts or walks.
 
• Walk or bike to work or to the local store.
Wear a pedometer to keep track of the number of steps you take and and set a goal to increase the amount you walk. A Harvard study found that taking six thousand steps a day is correlated with a lower death rate in men.
 
• Park your car a distance from your destination and walk.
 
• Use stairs instead of the elevator.
 
• Take a walk at lunch with coworkers.
 
• Join an office or community sports league.
 
If you’re hungry when you get home from your fitness outing, try a handful of nuts! A study from Loma Linda University found that participants eating a diet that has majority of fat coming from almonds resulted in significantly higher loss of body and abdominal fat in 24 weeks than participants who ate the same amount of calories with more carbs and less fat. Other nuts to add to your diet include Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts and walnuts.
 
You’ll probably be thirsty too! Drink plenty of water; researchers in Germany found that drinking two cups of cold water can boost metabolic rate by 30 percent! If you have a taste for something different try green tea, its primary ingredient – epigallocatechin gallate – reduces the effect of the enzyme that normally breaks down norepinephrine. That keeps the metabolic rate up, and you burn more calories throughout the day. Black tea also aids fat loss. A study conducted by University College in London found that drinking black tea regularly can reduce levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that encourages fat storage around the midsection.
 
Make physical activity a regular part of your day and you’ll begin to notice some positive changes, whether it’s weight loss, a smaller waist or a new, fuller sense of well-being.
 
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Beginner Golfers Can Play Like the Pros

BY: SportsFan - 04/08/2014 | 11:01 AM

With Today’s Game-Improvement Equipment
 
If you are old enough to remember when every golf iron was a blade and drivers were made of persimmon, then you know how difficult golf could be. And that was for seasoned golfers. For newcomers, it was easy to get frustrated enough to quit the game before they even had time to master the fundamentals. That’s not the case nowadays. Thanks to advancements in technology, new golfers can enjoy the sport from their first round. Like any new venture, you should seriously consider how much time you will truly devote to it before making a significant monetary investment. Fortunately, Dunham’s has you covered.
 
Choose the Right Clubs
 
Frankly, golf clubs have improved so much that it’s difficult to make a wrong choice. One issue I see frequently with new golfers is not getting fitted for the clubs. Often, they’ll buy clubs with shafts that are too stiff for their swing speed and can’t figure out why all their shots go to the right (for right-handed players). Many Dunham’s stores are Fairway Center stores, meaning they carry a full complement of golf equipment and are staffed with knowledgeable consultants. Some stores also have an indoor driving range where a golf professional can help you choose the right clubs based on your swing speed and predominant ball flight. This is a free service, so be sure to take full advantage of it.
 
Complete Sets
 
Many beginners find that a “boxed set” makes a great deal of sense, since it includes a full set of clubs and a golf bag. A popular brand for these is Adams Golf and its Speedline and Tight Lies models. Ideal for newer golfers, they include an oversized driver, oversized woods, irons, wedges, a putter and the aforementioned golf bag. They are available for men and women.
 
“We offer a range of clubs that are entry-level priced and easy to hit. They feature club heads that are a little larger than the ones the tour players play and a thicker sole (on the irons) to get you through the rough,” said Jeff Wood of Adams Golf. “These are very forgiving clubs and we’ve found that the easier it is to hit the club, the more likely you are to stay with the game.” Dunham’s also carries the Idea irons from Adams Golf.
 
“Our new Idea Hybrid irons are designed to make the game easier – golfers will notice their miss-hits aren’t as punishing with these. They feature our new Cut Thru-Slot design, which enhances ball speed and ball flight. Golfers of all levels will see more consistent gaps (distance) between the clubs,” Wood added.
 
For youngsters who want to emulate Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy or Michelle Wie, Dunham’s carries two Nike VR S Junior starter sets. Size one is a five-piece set that includes an oversized driver, a 7 iron, a sand wedge, a putter and a lightweight carry bag with kickstand. This is ideal for younger children. For older children, we recommend the size two set from Nike. It adds a 4 hybrid and a 9 iron to the size one set. The clubs are longer for taller children. The Nike VR S Junior size one set is available only for right-handed players, while size two is available for left-handers, as well. Dunham’s also carries Nike products for adult golfers.
 
Don’t Overlook Last Year’s Models
 
Like the car companies, the golf industry introduces new models every year and discounts the previous-year’s models, making them ideal choices for golfers of all levels.
 
“The 2013 VRS Covert line of drivers, fairway woods and hybrids that some of the top players in the game have played are now a great option for all golfers (as shown at the top of the facing page). This was the first high-speed cavity-back driver in golf and promotes improved forgiveness. It has a hotter face for more distance. Since they’re last year’s model, they’re available at a significant discount,” said Chris Coffman of Nike.
 
“For beginner irons, I would recommend looking for either our RocketBallz set or RocketBladez since they are previous-year models. They are great irons and will be a much better price for someone just starting,” added TaylorMade’s Tom Kroll.
 
Also available at significant discounts are the RocketBallz driver, fairway woods and hybrids. These are some of the best clubs I have ever hit and it’s the clubs you will most frequently see on golf courses.
 
Have Fun
 
What we have yet to discuss in this article is perhaps one of the most important elements for beginner golfers – though it applies to experienced duffers, as well: have fun! This is a great sport that can be enjoyed your entire life. It’s also one of the very few sports where grandparents and grandkids can enjoy simultaneously.
 
“Don’t get tied up in your score,” advises Coffman. “Focus on hitting good shots and see a club professional for lessons. You would be surprised to discover how big a difference having the proper grip, aim, stance and posture will make to your game and your enjoyment of the sport.”
 
Nick Lico has dual passions: writing and golf. An avid player for 30 years, he has spent the last five years teaching golf at various after-school programs in Metro Detroit.
 
-Par Shooter
 
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Moving On Up

BY: SportsFan - 04/01/2014 | 12:44 PM

 
You’ve moved up through the ranks of amateur baseball and are looking for equipment that’s as good as your game. Dunham’s can help!
 
Remember your Tee Ball days? Everyone chose one of two or three bats that the coach provided – usually the one that looked the coolest – and a ball glove was just a ball glove. As you progressed into Little League, you became a bit more particular about the bat you swung and the glove you wielded. Now that you’re on your way to the higher levels of amateur baseball, those choices become more important every day. Without equipment that is well matched to your skill set and body type, you can’t reach your full potential.
 
In recent years high technology has reshaped the baseball bat and glove, while providing some excellent training aids. With new tight regulations dictating bat materials and dimensions, advanced design provides significant advantages. At the same time, as pro ballplayers have asked for changes in glove construction that can maximize their game, those designs have filtered down to the better amateur equipment. And simple training aids meant to simulate game conditions or improve coordination and concentration have proven a boon to players of every stripe. In the end, it’s all about optimizing your game, which will go a long way toward ensuring that as you move up through the ranks, baseball remains much more about fun than frustration.
 
Swing a Big Stick
 
It used to be simple to choose a bat. You stopped in at a store like Dunham’s, picked up a couple, and bought the one that you could swing with ease – the one that felt good in your hands. Today’s ballplayers have a lot more to consider when choosing a bat. For example, new rules prescribe certain materials and set limits on the velocity at which the ball can come off the bat. Your Dunham’s sales consultant can help you determine what type bats are legal for play in your league.
 
Little League and most other youth leagues specify bats of a certain dimension. Non-wood bats must have been tested to ensure that they don’t exceed a performance standard. Little League baseball allows only those composite bats that are on an approved list. Dunham’s sales consultants can help you choose a bat that’s legal for the league in which you play.
 
NCAA college baseball, high school baseball and most intermediate, junior and senior leagues allow only wood bats or aluminum alloy and composite bats that meet BBCOR standards. Again, bats for various levels must be sized according to strict specifications.
 
When bat standards were first introduced, they made shopping for a bat difficult. But now, several years after the regulations have became all but universal, every bat sold by Dunham’s is legal for its intended purpose. But while all Dunham’s bats meet prescribed standards, there are numerous things to consider when choosing a bat.
Ryan J. Weller, a strategic account manager for Easton, says, “Getting the right bat for each player goes a long way toward determining the amount of success that player will have and how much they will enjoy their season.”
 
The most important factors are length, barrel diameter and weight. In general, the stronger the ballplayer, the heavier the bat. The best way to determine if a bat is too light or too heavy is by swinging it. You shouldn’t have to struggle to move the bat rapidly through your strike zone, yet if it’s too light, it will feel as though you don’t have to exert much force to move it. In other words, swinging the bat should require effort but that effort shouldn’t be debilitating. Delivering maximum force is important, but you must be able to maintain good bat speed to hit a fastball.
 
Mr. Weller says that composite materials enable a lot of manufacturing design options, resulting in bats that can enhance the game of ballplayers at the highest levels of NCAA collegiate baseball as well as high school and intermediate league players. The new Easton Mako, for example, which is available at Dunham’s, utilizes a new composite technology, which allows for longer barrels and even lighter swing weights than previous Easton offerings.
 
Dunham’s also stocks Easton’s S2, an aluminum-alloy bat with a composite handle that’s joined to the barrel using Easton’s ConneXion technology. The alloy barrel expands the sweet spot and provides increased durability.
 
In addition to the Easton offerings, Dunham’s carries a wide range of Hillerich and Bradsby Louisville slugger wooden bats and DeMarini aluminum-alloy and composite bats.
 
Flashing Leather
 
While there are various things to consider when choosing a bat, selecting a ball glove requires just as much care. A glove that doesn’t fit correctly or is wrong for the player’s position is a huge disadvantage and can lead to the development of bad habits in the field. Dunham’s sales consultants have expert knowledge of baseball equipment and can help you select a glove. A number of factors are considered in arriving at an optimum choice, including level of competition, throwing hand and position played.
 
Youth league players who have advanced beyond the basic levels might choose a Wilson Softfit A800 model. These gloves are reasonably priced and engineered to not require break in. They come in various lengths and are tailored to the position played. For example, the Softfit A800 pitcher glove is available in 11.75-inch and 12-inch versions.
 
Players in advanced youth leagues or high school baseball will probably find that an A1K series glove is a good choice. Dave White, national accounts manager for Wilson says, “The A1K glove is built using the same patterns and construction techniques employed in making pro gloves but sizes them down just a bit for a more snug fit on fingers and wrists.” That fit enables better control in the field than would an overly large glove that flops around. The A1K gloves are offered as infielder, outfielder, catcher and pitcher models in a variety of lengths.
 
Taking it to the Top
 
While Dunham’s can provide the equipment you need to play at the top of your game, they also carry a variety of training aids from SKLZ, a leading manufacturer of baseball training equipment. Among them is the Quickster 5-foot sports net. With a strike-zone target outlined in the center, the Quickster provides a way for pitchers to practice their delivery almost anywhere. When a thrown pitch strikes the Quickster dead center, the net springs back and returns the ball. The Quickster is engineered for ballplayers on the go. It can be assembled in as little as 90 seconds while its TenstionTite poles provide a sturdy frame. When it’s time to move on, it can be packed into its carrying case.
 
SKLZ’s most popular product, the Hit-A-Way® is another great training aid. The concept is simple: a baseball is attached to cords that wrap around a pole. When the ball is batted, it winds its way around the pole and returns, providing another opportunity for the batter to practice his swing.
 
The Lightning Bolt Pro is an affordable pitching machine that allows hitters to perfect their game almost anywhere. The machine tosses small, lightweight balls that are difficult to hit and can make a regulation baseball look like a beach ball in comparison. The machine is particularly effective when used with the Quick Stick™ training bat. The narrow lightweight bat allows plenty of swings without fatiguing the batter, and its small diameter means full concentration is required to hit the small balls.
 
Bad bounces have led to many unearned runs and lost games. Now fielders can be ready for them by practicing with the SKLZ Reaction Ball™. Guaranteed to bounce every which way, this training ball improves reaction time and makes those impossible plays seem quite possible. How much fun is that?
 
The sun is shining, spring is in the air, and it’s time to play ball. Stop by your Dunham’s store today and get in the game.
 
-Home Run Hitter
 
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Play Ball

BY: SportsFan - 03/25/2014 | 12:00 PM

Prepare your youngster to get in the game with the right training and equipment.
 
Almost every kid wants to answer the call to play ball, and moms and dads can do much to help them develop the skills that make baseball an enjoyable and healthy activity. From providing the right equipment to providing a bit of training in the backyard, that first encounter with the game will go a long way toward determining whether baseball proves fun or frustrating.
 
Training aids can give youngsters a great start on the way to skill development. Dunham’s stocks a wide range of SKLZ training tools that can make practice more productive and more fun. For example, the Hit-A-Way swing trainer attaches to any pole or tree and simulates real pitches. Your young slugger can get up to 500 swings per hour without ever having to chase a ball. The 5-Position Brush Tee is another great training aid. Rather than just a simple tee, it allows the ball to be positioned high, low, inside, outside or down the middle, and the brush top promotes a realistic ball flight when your little slugger makes contact. SKLZ Softhands is a practice mitt without a pocket that teaches young infielders to get in front of the ball and use two hands. It also reinforces correct transfer of the ball to the throwing hand.
 
A variety of other training aids are available as well. Ask your Dunham’s sales consultant to help you find the equipment that’s right for you and your aspiring ballplayer.
 
Of course, on-field equipment is important as well, and having a properly fitting glove and a correctly sized bat can help your ballplayer achieve the kind of success that breeds confidence. Dunham’s carries baseball gloves for players at all levels. Among those recommended for the littlest guys and gals are the Rawlings 10″ or 10.5″ Tee Ball Gloves. These are durable gloves that can help a player get off to a good start. As skills mature, your youngster can move up to the lightweight Wilson A 500 glove or the affordable Wilson A 450. Both are available in 10-inch size and larger. Also, check out Dunham’s assortment of youth baseball and fast pitch softball gloves for girls.
 
At the plate, little sluggers need a bat designed for beginners. Dunham’s stocks a number of choices from the top suppliers, including Easton and DeMarini. Ryan J. Weller, Easton’s strategic account manager, says, “We offer two bats for Tee Ball: the XL and the Mako. The XL has a -10 length to weight ratio, while the Mako is -13. Because the Mako is lighter it can be swung faster, which often improves control. Both bats are one-piece aluminum.” For the bigger and stronger Youth Player, Dunham’s also carries a wide assortment of Youth Baseball Bats from Easton, DeMarini and Rawlings.
 
As young ballplayers graduate to little league and higher, Dunham’s can supply equipment that will keep pace, and our knowledgeable sales consultants can make sure that it’s a perfect fit.
 
-Home Run Hitter
 
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Brain Power

BY: SportsFan - 03/18/2014 | 01:04 PM

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
We know that exercise makes us feel better and ‘clears the mind’ and recent studies have pointed out the benefits of exercise on mental stresses and work. Now, new research shows not only does obesity harm the brain, exercise may actually reverse those negative effects!
 
Extensive research has indicated that sedentary, obese animals have lower memory and learning skills when compared to active, normal-weight animals. Recently, scientists have been trying to find out how excess weight affects the brain. Until recently, we thought that the brain was protected from excess weight … after all, it contains no fat cells. But the research shows that obesity actually weakens the protection of the brain, allowing substances manufactured by fat cells to enter the brain.
 
Additional research published in The Journal of Neuroscience found that as lab mice gained excess weight, larger doses interleukin 1, a substance know to cause inflammation, was found in their brains. Additionally, the mice had very low levels of a biochemical that helps support healthy synapse function. Researchers felt the results strongly indicated that fat cells were the main cause of the mice’s cognitive decline in the study. The good news from new research is that simply introducing exercise into the mice’s regimen gives substantial protection the bad effects of a sedentary lifestyle on the brain!
 
This research adds on to what we already know:
 
• Those extra pounds may weaken the brain’s sensitivity to the pleasure we get from sugary and fatty foods, leading people to eat more for the same amount of pleasure. Research on animals found that eating foods with high fat and sugar content reduced responses to dopamine, known as the pleasure-inducing neurotransmitter.
 
• The orbitofrontal cortex, the part of the brain tasked with impulse control, appears shrunken in obese children compared to those of children with normal weight. More research needs to be done, but some researchers believe this may be a response to changes in the immune system caused by obesity.
 
• A study published in the Annals of Neurology found that the belly fat that shows up as you enter middle age is actually associated with a decrease in total brain volume! Researchers believe that belly fat, or visceral fat may contribute to a reduction of brain size.
 
• A study published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society found that may impair memory. The study included 8,745 women ages 65 to 79 and found that each 1 point increase in an woman’s body mass index (BMI) was corresponded to a 1 point decrease on a 100 point memory test.
 
Strong findings that should spur us all to get off the couch.. get started now! Why wait for spring to be a lean, mean, thinking machine!
 
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More News on Memory and Exercise

BY: SportsFan - 03/11/2014 | 12:00 PM

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Numerous studies have been conducted in the past 10 years focusing on exercise and memory, creating a consensus about the positive effect of exercise on brain functions. Still, details have been missing, and many questions remain. When is the best time to exercise? Is a more strenuous workout more beneficial? How long do the gains last? Three studies in particular demonstrate the benefits of exercise to learning and retaining that ability throughout your life.
 
The latest study, published this week by PLOS One, included eighty-one healthy, German-speaking women, who were randomly divided into three groups. Members of all groups listened to lists of German words with their Polish equivalents through headphones for 30 minutes, with instructions to memorize the Polish word. One group listened after sitting for 30 minutes, the second group rode a stationary bicycle at a mild rate for 30 minutes before sitting down to listen to the German/Polish words, while the third group also rode a bicycle at a low intensity for 30 minutes, but listened to the word lists while riding the bike.
 
The participants were tested two days after hearing the lists. While all women could recall some words, the women who had ridden bicycles while listening to the German/Polish words performed best while the women who exercised before the tasks did slightly better than the women who had not exercised at all before listening to the list.
 
Another study asked 11 female students to read difficult chapters from a textbook on different days. One day while sitting quietly and, on the other day, during strenuous workout on an elliptical machine for 30 minutes. The students were tested on the material they’d just read immediately after reading it, and retested the next day.
 
These test scores were actually worse on the memory tests taken right after reading during a high-intensity workout than the test scores taken after they’d been sitting quietly and studying. Interestingly, when retested the following day, there were no differences in their scores, whether they exercised or sat quietly when reading the chapter.
 
Researchers concluded that exercising during learning was significantly more effective than exercising beforehand or not at all. However, that beneficial impact seems to depend on the intensity of the workout with light-intensity exercise leading to significant benefits. It’s believed that higher-intensity exercise may use more of the brain’s resources during the workout, leaving fewer resources to recall functions, which could explain lower testing immediately after strenuous exercise.
 
In a third study, a group of people 50 to 85 years old with and without memory deficits viewed pleasant images followed by a six-minute workout at 70% of their maximum capacity on a stationary bicycle. Another group viewed the pictures but did not ride the bike afterwards. One hour later, all participants were given a recall test on the images they viewed. Results showed a striking enhancement of memory in the group that exercised compared with subjects who did not ride the bike.
 
Much more research is being done on this important subject, but one thing is sure … an active body supports an active brain!
 
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Greg Kelser’s 32 Tips to Improved Basketball

BY: SportsFan - 03/06/2014 | 02:37 PM

[Written by Greg Kelser].

 

The following are Greg Kelser’s 32 tips to improved basketball:

 

1. First and foremost, you must decide that you want to improve and then commit yourself to doing all that is required. You must realize that this is a process and results are not immediate.

 

2. Since the game of basketball involves many different facets, decide which areas require your most immediate attention. These are the areas you will want to devote most of your concentration in the beginning.

 

3. Determine the progress you hope to achieve and set your goals to meet those expectations. Remember to be realistic but challenge yourself.

 

4. Roadwork should be part of your basketball regimen. On days that you are not playing on the court you should run on a track or treadmill. Doing it at a brisk pace helps build stamina and endurance which is essential on the basketball court.

 

5. A customized weight training program should also be implemented to increase strength and help limit the potential for certain nagging injuries.

 

6. Stretching is a key element that should proceed your workout program. Stretching will increase your flexibility and also decreases the risk of pulled muscles and other muscle strains.

 

7. Get used to playing the game of basketball from a flexed knee or bent knee position. Everything you do in the game of basketball begins from this position. Whether you are dribbling, rebounding, shooting, passing, or defending, all will be accomplished from this stance.

 

8. Become a better ballhandler. Do this by understanding the importance of keeping the ball on the finger tips of your hands and not in the palms of your hands. Start with the basketball in your right hand and dribble 25 times with your head up and ball on your finger tips times. Switch to left hand and do the same. Repeat 4 times with each hand.

 

9. Once you’re comfortable with the above steps, alternate the basketball from one hand to the other (crossover style) remembering to keep it on the fingertips. Keep your head and eyes up as this will allow you to become comfortable with the basketball when its time to dribble on the move. Do 4 reps of 25 dribbles.

 

10. Now you’re ready to advance to the two ball drill which now places a basketball in each hand. Once again with your head up and your knees flexed, dribble the ball 25 times simultaneously remembering to keep it on your fingertips and out of your palms. Dribble as deliberately as necessary to maintain control.

 

11. When you become comfortable and efficient with the aforementioned exercises, now it’s time to do each on the move. Same amount of dribbles, same amount of reps but start each with a slow walk. Increase your speed as you become more adjusted understanding that it is more important to move slowly and control the ball as opposed to going fast and mishandling the basketball.

 

Much of success for rebounding involves desire, determination, & a consistent effort to go to the glass. After that, leverage, blocking out, and quickness to the basketball are all key elements.

 

12. Basic rebounding should always be done by using two hands. The use of two hands ensures control of the basketball even with your opponents slapping at the ball in the attempt to strip it away. To become comfortable with two handed rebounding simply take a basketball and toss it against the backboard. As it carroms off the glass jump from your flexed knee position and grab the ball with two hands. Do this on either side of the basket 20 times each then repeat. While this will encourage two-handed rebounding it will also increase stamina and strength in your legs.

 

13. Now that you’re comfortable snaring your rebounds with 2 hands, let’s work on offensive rebounding. You will do the same drill of tossing the ball against the backboard and jumping from your flex position to rebound it. This time however, you will take the ball back up immediately and score the basket. Do this exercise 10 times on each side of the basket. If you have a partner working with you feel free to have him stand next to you as you’re rebounding to bump you as you’re attempting your put back. This will allow you to get used to the contact thats common under the rim.

 

14. The best rebounders are not necessarily the highest jumpers. As I stated earlier, determination and desire often wins this battle but staying active on the glass is very important. The ability to be able to do multiple jumps as if you were on a pogo stick will help increase your rebound total. Jumping rope will improve your multiple jumping capacity. So get out your jump rope in give me 50. Once done, drop the rope and continuing jumping with both arms extended above your head. Four sets of 10 should do the job nicely in terms of increasing your multiple jumping ability.

 

Repetition is a very important factor in becoming a good shooter. Knowing your range and where you can be most effective in the offensive area is the key to becoming a high percentage shooter. You will want to be able to achieve success has both a spot up shooter and and off the dribble shooter.

 

15.The George Mikan drill is almost as old is the game itself but it is a perfect tool for beginning your shooting practice. It will also help build confidence in shooting with your off-hand. Simply start by shooting the ball with your strong hand from underneath the basket and as it comes out of the net swing to the opposite side of the basket and use your other hand. Continue this back and forth routine until you have completed 15 shots per hand. Try not to let the basketball hit the floor. Repeat this exercise and once completed you are now ready to move into other shooting areas.

 

16. As a spot up shooter you choose 5 spots around the basket, usually 15 to 18 feet away. Shoot and advance to the next spot but only after making two in a row at each position. If you have a partner, he can rebound and feed the ball to you from each spot but you must catch and shoot without the dribble. Chart your progress to see how many shots it takes before making a total of 10 consecutive baskets, 2 from each spot.

 

17. Now you will do the exact same thing but this time you’ll shoot from each spot coming off the dribble. For this exercise, stand far enough away from your spot so that you can apply 2 hard dribbles to your spot where you will now elevate and shoot a jump shot. This exercise will help you to become comfortable freeing your own self for a shot. You will work up a good sweat with this drill on your way to making 10 consecutive baskets but it also builds leg strength and increases stamina.

 

18.To become a complete offensive threat shooting the basketball you also need to be able to move without the basketball and work of screens. You can use chairs or cones placing them at various spots in the offensive area. Now with your practice partner , imagine coming off of those objects as if they were screens ready to shoot the basketball. Remember, your movement is for the purpose of getting open to receive the basketball . Therefore make your cuts with precision and energy. First to 20 made shots wins this phase of the exercise.

 

19. Now you will look to make your same moves without the basketball, coming around your screens to catch and drive. Remember your flexed knee position. This is how you will receive the basketball. This will put you in an immediate “triple threat position” whereby on the catch you are now able to either drive, pass, or shoot the basketball. Practice catching and driving hard to the hoop finishing with your right hand. Make 10 layups and repeat making 10 drives to the basket for10 left handed layups.

 

20. Don’t forget your series of post moves. This will be where you position yourself on the low box on both sides of the lane and work from me back to the basket position. From this low position you will practice the turnaround jumper, baby hook shot and drop step. With your hook shot, practice using both hands. It is very important especially close to the basket to be able to use your off-hand to convert baskets and possibly get to the free throw line if fouled.

 

21. Now comes the part of shooting the basketball that is the most fun. This is where you get to engage your practice partner in games of one on one. I used to play a lot of one on one because I felt it really increased my ability to create my own shots. Playing one on one teaches you the ability to counter the defensive strategy being played on you almost subconsciously. It forces you to react instinctively and on the move. If you have enough stamina left, play 5 baskets in a best of 7 series

 

22. Before you’re done shooting for the day you must spend time at the free throw line. Making free throws is one of the forgotten fundamentals at all levels of basketball. Challenge yourself to shoot at least 100 free throws before you conclude your shooting program. Your overall goal is to increase your shooting percentage.

 

Catching and passing the basketball are critical fundamentals to offensive basketball. Many of the shooting drills that involves two people will provide many opportunities to work on both passing and catching.

 

23. Regardless of one”s experience in the game of basketball it is always important to see the ball into your hands and catch it securely. Practice this with a partner or toss the basketball off the backboard . As it is coming back to you make sure to see it onto your fingertips and secure the ball safely. Just as 2 baseball players warm up their arms by simply tossing the ball back and forth to each other, this is a valuable exercise in basketball because it conditions the hand eye coordination helpful in preventing bobbled passes.

 

24. Now go through the series of passes back and forth with your partner. Start with the chest pass, followed by the bounce pass. Make sure that your passes are easy to handle. Usually passes are better and easily handled if they are between the numbers on the uniform and the waist area. Now increase the distance between you and your passing partner for the last two series of passes. First, the overhead pass whereby you will extend the basketball over your head and pass it from that position to your partner. This is key in making outlet passes after rebounds or cross-court passes in a half court offensive set. Finally, you will practice the baseball pass. This past is executed the same way you would toss a baseball. This pass is useful in making long passes up to court during the fast break.

 

26. Let’s now get on the move again. With your partner stand on one baseline separated by 15 to 20 feet. Now sprint to the other in of the court using the chest past back and forth and finish with the layup. Since you are using the chest pass, the ball should not touch the floor. Now come back in the opposite direction with the same spacing and use the bounce pass. Finish with the layup . Do this until you have made a total of 10 lay layups without a single mishandling of the basketball.

 

27. Time now to take your overhead and baseball passes the length of the court. Execute this part of the program by standing on the baseline while your partner is at midcourt. First, past the basketball to him using the overhead pass. Now sprint to the far end of the court while he returns an overhead pass to you for the layup. Now do the exact same thing utilizing the baseball pass. Switch up and continue this exercise until 10 layups have been completed without a single mishandling of the basketball.

 

Becoming a solid defensive player takes tremendous effort and discipline. Is one of the hardest phases of the game because it is done as a reaction to some other cause. Good defense can also be difficult to measure. Imagine holding your opponent to 30 points. You may not consider that to be a very good defensive job but if that player is Michael Jordan, your effort gets applauded.

 

28. To work on your defensive footwork and speed, begin by getting into your flexed knee position with your feet spaced just outside of your hips. While standing in place begin to shuffle your feet. Be sure to keep your hands active by waving them around as if flicking at the ball in your opponent’s hands. Do this in five 30 second intervals. It builds stamina and endurance along with increased foot speed.

 

29. Once you have collected your breath, return to your defensive stance with your flexed knees. It’s time now to get on the move again. Starting on one side of the key , move laterally from side to side across the lane using your defensive shuffle . Continue this procedure for five 30 seconds intervals.

 

30. Now with your practice partner on offense you will play defense . The offensive player will begin on one baseline and dribble in a diagonal pattern to the other baseline crossing over every 4 to 5 dribbles. Your job as the defender is to use your defensive shuffles to stay on the ball side. You’re not trying to steal the ball but your hands will remain active. While you are defending, your partner is working on his ball handling skills therefore a dual-purpose is being accomplished. Switch and continue this drill until each of you have completed 10 reps as a defender. This exercise will help to increase your effectiveness as an on the ball defender.

 

31. You may end your practice with another game of one on one to 11 baskets. In this game try to incorporate all the fundamentals that you have worked on previously including ball handling, shooting, rebounding, and defending. When the chance comes to play in a game with 10 players on the floor , you will want to remember that everything you’re doing on the court is for the purpose of improving your fundamentals. It is crucial that you play hard, play with energy, and play with purpose.

 

32. If you are truly going to be serious in maintaining your practice regimen, you will need substantial nutrition and rest. Make sure both are part of your everyday routine. Try to eat well and avoid unhealthy fast foods as much as possible. Getting your proper amount of sleep will help assure the stamina and energy necessary to accomplish your routine each and every time. Becoming a better basketball player does not happen by chance or accident. No matter how talented, hard work is often the difference between average and very good players. You control how determined you are, how hard you work, and the amount of sacrifice you’re willing to endure in the pursuit of your goals.

 

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Snow Shoveling Reminder

BY: SportsFan - 03/05/2014 | 05:32 PM

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
We’re entering the end of the winter season, but there is the possibility for more snow. Remember these important pointers from the American Heart Association for snow shoveling safety!
 
• Take breaks. Frequent rest breaks during shoveling will help avoid overstressing your heart. Pay attention to how your feel.
 
• Don’t eat a heavy meal before or soon after shoveling. Eating a large meal can put an extra load on your heart.
 
• Use a smaller shovel. Lifting heavy snow can cause sharp rises in blood pressure, instead, lift smaller amounts more times and push the snow when possible.
 
• Pay attention to heart attack warning signs. Minutes matter! Fast action saves lives!
 
• Don’t drink alcoholic beverages before or immediately after shoveling. Alcohol increases a person’s sensation feeling of warmth and can lead you to underestimate the extra strain their your body is under.
 
• Avoid hypothermia. Heart failure is the primary cause of death from hypothermia. Dress in layers of warm clothing, that will trap air between the layers and form a protective insulation. Wear a hat!
 
The most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort, but women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms. If you experience shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain, seek medical help immediately!
 
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