Products For Sports Injuries

By   January 22, 2015

Sport injuries are those which occur while playing sports or doing physical exercise. Some are the result of an accident, while others come from bad training practices or inappropriate use of training equipment. In some cases, these injuries are due to inadequate warming up or stretching before play or exercise.

The most common sports injuries are:
– Sprains or twisted ligaments and pulled muscles or torn tendons
– Knee injuries
– Muscle swelling
– Fractures
– Dislocations

What is the difference between acute and chronic injuries?
There are two types of sports injuries, acute and chronic. Acute injuries occur suddenly while you are playing sport or exercising. The most frequent acute injuries include sprained ankles, back distensions and fractures to hand and wrist.

The symptoms that accompany an acute injury include:
– Sudden severe pain
– Swelling
– Inability to rest weight on the affected leg, knee, ankle or foot
– Bad pains in the affected arm, elbow, wrist, hand or finger
– Inability to move a joint normally
– Extreme weakness in a leg or arm
– A bone or joint which is visibly out fo place

Chronic injuries occur after sporting activities or exercise and last a long time.
The symptoms associated with chronic injuries include:
– Pain whilst playing sport
– Pain whilst exercising
– Slight pain even while resting
– Swelling

What should I do if I suffer an injury?
Never try to “just put up with” the pain of a sports injury. Stop playing sport or exercising as soon as you notice the pain. Going on can only worsen the injury. some injuries must be examined immediately by a doctor. Others, you can treat yourself.

Call for a doctor when:
– The injury causes severe pain, swelling or loss of feeling
– You cannot support any weight on the injured area
– A previous injury gives you pain
– A previous injury swells up
– A joint is abnormal or unstable in any way

I you are not suffering from any of these symptoms, you can safely treat your injury at home. If the pain or other symptoms worse, you should call a doctor. use the ICER method (Ice, Compression, Elevation and Rest) to alleviate pain, reduces swelling and speed up the healing process. Follow those four steps as soon as the injury occurs and over the following 48 hours.

What is the usual treatment for sports injuries?

The ICER method is the most commonly employed treatment for sport injuries. non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications are also employed, as is immobilization. In some cases surgery may be required. After surgery there will be a period of rehabilitation.

Rehabilitation includes exercises that help the injured area to return step-by-step to a normal condition. Certain movements help the injured area recover. Rehabilitation should begin as soon as possible. Exercises start with a series of gentle movements of the injured area. this is followed by stretching. After a while, weights can be added to strengthen the injured area.

Freedom
Is based on glucosamine sulphate and chondroitin sulphate, two natural elements that have been proven to help maintain our joints working and moving healthily, and mixed them with our stabilized Aloe Gel. Vitamin C and MSM are then added, a primary source of bio-available sulphate that the body needs to keep its connective tissues healthy and help joints to function properly.

Heat Lotion
Aloe Liniment is a lotion with a high level of stabilized Aloe mixed with heat-generating agents. Specially designed for use in massages to muscles and stiff joints. It can also be applied before major physical efforts or exercise, such as sporting competitions. Can be combined with MSM.

MSM
Gel made with stabilized Aloe gel. Methyl Sulfonyl Methane, a natural source of organic sulphur, and herb extracts. This gel is the perfect way to relieve aches and stiff muscles and joints.

Calcium
Calcium citrate combined with Vitamin D and Magnesium. Keeps muscles and bones healthy, providing the correct dose of calcium. Ideal in the case of bone fractures.

Active HA
A unique way to provide low molecular weight hyaluronic acid together with Ginger and Curcuma oil. Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is a special protein produced by our bodies to lubricate and give support to our joints and muscles.

In any case, remember that any injury may be symptomatic of a serious health condition and if symptoms persist or worsen, you should consult your doctor.

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The Ocean Is Calling You – Get Quality Water Sports Equipment!

By   January 19, 2015

Water sports are not everybody’s cup of tea! You need the ravishing gush of adrenaline flowing through the blood inviting the wild side of you to unleash the limitless potential of adventure and urge to break the rules to set free. Well, surfing in an open sea adventure with a support of line; all alone with the drift with wind gushing into your lungs is not an ideal destination for those who fear a lot. But for those who dare, water sports is the most ideal arena to stay fit, young, and energetic.

Modestly speaking you need to be prepared with the appropriate tools and equipment before the beginning of the activity. Water sport equipment is specially designed to safeguard the user from accidents and mishaps during the high speed action. There are many types of sports to choose from. You can simply spend time under the blue sky with a fishing line in hand and wait for the fish to bite on your hook. All you need are a few supplies and a nice boat equipped with boat accessories.

When you have someone with a daring attitude, you can try towables for the complete cruise in the open sea. These are pretty safe compared to other water surfing modes. You can try them with a combination of 1, 2, or 4 friends together for extra and unlimited fun. These are available in various designs and styles and are an amazing masterpiece of water sport group adventure. For the best thrilling experience, you can rely on wakeboards for a mind boggling experience of extreme water sport. An amazing range of vivid designs is generally available in wakeboards and you can select the best that suits your personality and style. These boards are made up of different materials and their price depends on the material and design style.

Water skies are designed for those who dare further with immense pride and extreme confidence. Usually a good boat is necessary to pull the line and make you fly seamlessly on the rushing tides of water. It becomes a mean fight between a man and the burst of water waves. Water sports are ranked top in adventure sports. You should always consider taking adequate precautions and do not challenge the nature in a flippant style. Life is too precious to spend like pennies in the pocket. Take care while adventure sporting and enjoy life to its fullest.

Humans Have The Intelligence – Animals Have The Smarts

By   January 17, 2015

Humans have the highest IQ; but animals have vastly more commonsense. How so? Let’s consider various settings, starting with one we all share – time and space.

TIME & SPACE

Wake Up: Animals will wake up when their biological clocks tell them it’s time to wake up. Humans wake up when the alarm clock rings!

Going to Sleep: Animals go to sleep when their biological clocks tell them to go to sleep (including catnaps). Humans go to sleep after their favourite TV program finishes, like the late, late show! Humans push the boundaries and often refuse to rest even when their bodies tell them it’s desirable. An afternoon catnap ultimately increases productivity, but how many workplaces encourage napping (even briefly) on the job?

Time: All animals have a sense of time, a biological clock. However, unlike humans, one cannot suggest that animals are anywhere near as obsessed with time as are humans. Humans, like animals, regulate their activities by the ‘clock’, only with humans it tends to be not a vague time, like with animals – just sometime soon as long as the Sun’s up – but timed to not only the minute, but often the second. The factory whistle; the timing (start and stop) of a sports event; the start of your TV program, are all programmed down to the second. New Years Day isn’t New Years Day until precisely the tiniest split second post midnight. Scientific measurements are down to the nanosecond; that phone call is expected at exactly 9:15 a.m., etc. You’d be hard-pressed to imagine an animal needing to wear a wristwatch or operate a stopwatch!

Holidays & Anniversaries; Animals attach zero importance to holidays and anniversaries. Humans are obsessed with them, an obsession which often takes a financial, social, physical and mental toll.

Vacations & Weekends: Animals don’t need a break from their daily routine. Humans require (or at least think they do) annual (or more frequent) time off and away from the routine, not to mention the “thank god it’s Friday” syndrome. What does that really say about modern human society?

Territory: Animals will occupy and defend as much territory as is necessary for their survival and the continuation of their species. Humans however will often try to possess and rule over as much territory, property, as possible, sometimes for economic (investment) reasons; often for sheer power for the sake of power. Humans are rarely satisfied with what they control – they always want more and More and MORE. [See also: Domination]

MATTER & ENERGY

Possessions: Animals have no urge to acquire things, other than that required for survival (like building a nest or storing away food for the winter). Humans – well, what’s the expression, “keeping up with the Jones family” or “shop till you drop”!

FILL WHAT’S EMPTY

Eating #1: Wild animals, who don’t know when and where their next meal might come from, will make hay while the sun shines. Humans, even when they know where and when their next meal comes from, will still over indulge, especially on certain festive or special occasions. [See also: Obesity]

Eating #2: An animal, assuming food is available, will eat when it is hungry – a natural state of affairs. A human will eat according to a schedule, at fixed times, when the dining room is open, when the office clock and the boss says “go to lunch now”, regardless of need – an artificial (phoney) state of affairs.

Eating #3: A wild animal eats natural foods, as Mother Nature (natural selection & evolution) intended it should. Humans tend to eat processed foods, full of preservatives and other artificial chemicals (all to after-the-fact found to be harmful, maybe even carcinogenic), often laden with additional salts, sugars, fats, and other tasty bits that don’t usually give the human any additional nutritional benefits.

Obesity: A few companion animals are allowed to overeat and put on too much weight, because their owners, out of ‘kindness’ overfeed them. However, most cats and dogs, etc. are pretty good at self-regulating their intake and saying “enough” when it’s enough, even if presented with an unlimited food supply. In humans, the obesity epidemic in the developed world, like the USA, Australia and similar countries is totally out of control despite thousands of diet books, articles, DVDs, websites and fitness gyms seemingly on every street corner. Now I have a normal quota of male hormones, but a good third of all females between 15 and 35 don’t rate a first glance, far less a second because they are very unpleasingly plump (and that’s being kind).

EMPTY WHAT’S FULL

Bathroom/Toilet: Animals go potty when the need arises. Humans go after the meeting or during intermissions, whatever. Such restrictions are often unpleasant, but humans impose such restrictions on themselves. Animals have no sympathy for us.

Greenhouse Gases: My cats can certainly pass wind. Cows and methane are a well know duo. Humans are expected to refrain from emitting greenhouses in the presence of others other than exhaled carbon dioxide and water vapour.

SCRATCH WHERE IT ITCHES

Itches & Twitches: If an animal itches, it scratches and doesn’t give a damn if anything or anybody is observing. Humans, in the company of polite society at least, usually refrain from scratching, especially in certain places. They suffer the itchy/twitchy consequences!

PHYSICAL ACTIONS

Good vs. Evil: Animals are neither good nor evil – those are human inventions or concepts. There are no animal equivalents of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. There’s no point in saying “good doggie” or “bad pussy cat” since they have no concept of “good” or “bad”. They may have learned what is and is not acceptable behaviour (what does and does not piss you off) but they do not understand why. While not every human transforms from good to evil and back again, and again, every human, unlike an animal, is theoretically capable of having a dual good/evil personality. Individuals’ aside, when looking at any large sample of humans, the dual nature becomes obvious.

Revenge & Justice: No animal deliberately plots and executes revengeful actions or has hidden agendas. What you see is what you get. Animals don’t fly planes into skyscrapers. Animals couldn’t even conceive of such a scenario in their wildest dreams. Humans on the other hand – need I say more?

Law & Order: All animal societies have some sort of internal regulation system which almost seems to be ingrained or hardwired. Such regulation usually doesn’t go much beyond the parents keeping the cubs in line and ensuring they don’t put themselves in harms way. Humans on the other hand have formalized their regulation of themselves to such an extreme degree that comparing the regulation of human society to say self-regulation of massive ant, termite or bee colony societies (which does just fine without cops and lawyers), is comparing not so much apples and oranges as the simplicity of a single electron with the complexity of the global weather system. How is it that an animal society can regulate itself without the need for a massive judicial infrastructure and requirement for highly specialized legal eagles and law enforcers?

Killing #1: Animals kill only as necessary for their own survival, both in defence as well as obtaining food for themselves and perhaps offspring. Humans kill out of sheer sadistic pleasure, for so-called ‘sport’, often just because they can. My cats, if they wanted to, kill garden snails – the weight of one paw would do it. However, snails are not food and pose no threat to them, so it’s live and let live. That’s unlike many humans who if they see a snail, a snail doing no harm to them or anything else, just delight in stomping on them – an 80 kg human vs. an 8 gm snail is no contest. Now that’s if the snail is lucky. All too often the sadistic human will just step on the animal lightly enough to crack the shell, leaving the snail helpless to either dry out in the sun or be at the mercy of the ants. It’s a very sad state of affairs that such examples can be expanded on by many orders of magnitude over a very wide range of species.

Killing #2: If an animal wants to kill a human it has to get up close and personal. The reverse isn’t of necessity true. I wonder how brave our so-called ‘sportsmen’ hunters would be if the animals they hunted could shoot back. The concept of ‘sport’ is about equal contests and the same rules for all. Hunting animals therefore is not sport and it is high time the glorification of sport was divorced from hunting, which is anything but a glorious activity. The exception might be if the hunter is putting food on the table, but again, that’s not a ‘sport’.

Creativity & Technology #1: Some animals can be creative and ‘manufacture’ and use ‘technology’ like animals that pull off twigs and fashion them to stick into termite mounds in order to pull out a termite snack, or making use of materials to build a nest. But that ‘technology’ never backfires and bites them on the bum. Humans invent cars, but we have a road toll. We have electricity and accidents happen. We construct nuclear plants then have to worry about terrorism. We have created computers, and thus evolved the inevitable computer hacker and the computer virus. We manufacture all sorts of synthetic chemicals then wonder what to do with the toxic waste (actually we don’t wonder at all what to do with it – we dump it in the sea or the air since the solution to pollution is dilution).

Creativity & Technology #2: Animals get along quite nicely thank you very much without Facebook, Twitter, iPads, email, mobile phones, Internet message boards, text-messaging, etc. Any human being, especially under the age of 40, and really, really especially under the age of 20, deprived of such technology becomes a basket case in nanoseconds! Attention to all those who feel the need to SMS 24/7: freedom is not being tied to your mobile phone; in contact with the rest of the world 24/7! Once upon a time, not all that long ago, human civilization (including teenagers therein) survived and thrived via communications that depended on smoke signals, semaphore flags and the pony express. If you really needed fast, there was the overland telegraph!

Domination: Humans Rule, OK? Left to itself, Mother Nature finds its own non-static, ever changing balance, in good times and bad times. Animals clearly affect that balance and in turn are affected by it. However, no animal species seeks to call the shots and exert ultimate control over that balance – no species except one of course, and no prizes for guessing what that species is. Humans decide, via some sort of divine right the fate and makeup of Earth’s ecosystems; what lives, what dies, in what ratios, what the landscape will be like, ever manipulating to find that balance that best suits us, which is going to be as far removed from a natural balance as it is possible to get. Take any human dominated environmental landscape. Remove the human element. Will that environmental landscape or ecosystem remain as is, as humans made it, or undergo a radical shift back to Mother Nature’s balance? Look no further than the typical backyard ecosystem/garden. It wouldn’t take long before natural change would render it unrecognizable if neglected by the garden’s occupants. If humans went poof, Earth would soon (in relatively minor geological time frames) become equally as unrecognizable as that household garden, or rather as recognizable as it was before humans came along with delusions of grandeur.

MENTAL CONCEPTS

Birth, Death & Deities: Animals have no concept of their own death, hence an afterlife. They have no remembrance of their conception and probably their birth and of the concept of creation. Animals therefore have no need of religion and deities. Animals therefore have to carry around a lot less philosophical baggage. Humans however are obsessed with these concepts, really all unnecessary philosophical baggage IMHO.

Economics & Finance: No animal jumped out of windows at the start of the Great Depression. They lose no shuteye over the tax man, and bills are something on ducks.

Lifestyle: Animals don’t need to go to the ‘beauty’ parlour for a quick pick-me-up. The whole idea of a social scene – the right venue, the in-crowd, being seen with the ‘right’ people – is totally foreign to them. What to wear is a non-issue. The current must have fashions (doomed to be out of date within months if not less) is just so much ho-hum. There’s no need or desire for tattoos and body piercing. The latest celebrity scandal in the tabloids is a non-event. Collectables aren’t. A snazzy sports car or any other boy toy is boring. Animals don’t suffer from information overload. Because animals don’t purchase any products, they can’t be held responsible for any litter that arises (of which there is plenty). Humans however engage in this ever ongoing, never ending, pursuit in quest of the ‘good life’ and are usually never satisfied. Animals just enjoy life as best they can one day at a time – they live for the moment.

Drugs: Animals do not wilfully harm themselves with substances foreign to their day-to-day survival. Humans – well there’s caffeine, smoking, drinking alcohol, all sorts of recreational drugs with varying degrees of mental addiction and artificial ‘stimulation’. Need one say more!

Harmful Habits: Animals do not engage in habits harmful to their wellbeing other than what’s required for basic survival, like say a predator taking on prey way larger than itself, defending your offspring from attack, or herds crossing a raging river on an annual migration. Then there are head-butting type contests over mating rights, but they usually result in a back-down, not death or extreme injury. Of course animals are still hardwired for the natural environment. Their eons ago development and evolution hasn’t caught up with our modern civilization yet, and so dogs may chase cars, and the road kill is additional evidence of how humans put animals in harms way – they don’t do it because they are suicidal. Humans, well from tattoos to body piercing to baking in the sun for an unnecessary suntan to extreme sports, humans like to take on risk without any possible actual additional benefit. Habits aside, humans, usually young macho males with way too much testosterone, like to put themselves in harms way – demonstrate the ‘right’ stuff. Pity more of them didn’t end up with a Darwin Award and remove themselves from the gene pool! I’ll drink to that since such self-destruct events wouldn’t bother me one iota.

Mental Health: Animals, left to their own devices, are in no need of a shrink. It’s only when humans try to force a (square) companion animal into their requirement of a (round) behavioural hole that problems arise. Companion animals under the influence of their human associations have ‘need’ of pet psychologists, or at least some of them apparently do according to the human, and really it’s ultimately the human’s fault. Do you think any wild animals have any such need of a shrink? No? I didn’t think so. Humans of course are often on the couch for counselling and therapy of one sort or another; the list way to long to detail in a short essay.

Isms: Animals do not discriminate on the grounds of gender or appearance. A ginger male cat will accept or reject a black male cat on grounds that have nothing to do with fur colour. A white female cat might pick and choose between lots of male cats and reject them all – that doesn’t mean she’s sexist or prefers female cats. Humans on the other hand, accept or reject other humans on just such distinctions, plus a whole host of other ‘isms’ that animals have no conception of in the first place.

Opinions: Animals ask no questions; tell no lies; mind their own business; take everything at face value. Humans – can you say the same about you and the rest of the human race? Let’s face it; humans do anything but mind their own business. They happily pass judgements on any other lifestyle (especially one involving sex in any shape manner or form) that doesn’t conform to their own moral standards.

HUMAN-ANIMAL INTERACTIONS I’D LIKE TO SEE

What about jockeys carrying the horses around on their backs as they run around the race track! Now that would be worth watching!

How about a human three-ring circus with an animal audience!

In fact, just about any human-animal role reversal would be interesting.

CONCLUSIONS

So what does this analysis tell us about the differences between humans and ‘mere’ animals? We’ve seen there are many fundamental differences between way overrated humans (overrated by our own human opinions of ourselves of course) and way underrated animals (again, underrated according to the relatively biased opinions of humans). If the human-animal differences are due to natural selection, then there is a puzzlement in why did the rest of the animal kingdom take the ‘smart’ and commonsense road while humans took the intelligence road? While I’m sure there is an evolutionary connection between animals and the human animal, I also think there is some hidden variable(s) that caused the human branch to head off into uncharted territory (and go off the rails). If these differences (the hidden variables) are due to God, what does that tell you about what God is like? Nothing good, that’s for sure! If it’s artificial selection, but not due to anything supernatural, then things get interesting.

The celebrated astrophysicist/cosmologist Stephen Hawking, among many others, is a strong advocate of humans boldly going and colonizing space as the only viable way of ensuring our long term survival. The Big Question however in my mind is should humanity infect the wider cosmic scene? Isn’t it enough one ‘pale blue dot’ has to suffer our lot? So, ET, if you are out there; be afraid, be very afraid!

Sport Psychology: The Schedule for Emotions

By   January 16, 2015

Recreational players of individual sports can surely learn a great deal from touring professionals, but many lessons are difficult to see, some are even hidden BETWEEN points. Whether you play tennis, table tennis, racquetball, squash, or badminton, handling and preparing for points methodically is a big advantage. For the pros, between point rituals have evolved toward one MOST productive routine. This article will detail what is usually going on inside a professionals mind in these silent moments the author refers to as the “Schedule for Emotions”.

As described in a previous article in this series, “Sport Psychology: The Zen of the Business Like Approach”, recreational players rarely handle the emotional swings of competition as well as the pros. Much of that difference is due to their amateur approach to preparation before a match and between points. Before match preparations are dominated by physical homework. Between point preparation is dominated by mental homework.

Tournament competitors of all levels are limited to 30 seconds between points, give or take a few seconds. This time can be divided into three, roughly distinct 10 second phases. This author calls these three phases the “Schedule for Emotions”. Once you know what to look for, they are easier to notice in the great players.

Phase One: This first 5-10 second portion involves coping with the emotions generated from the previous point. If the previous point was a significant “Battle Won”, a pro rarely shows positive emotions (or uses all of the 10 seconds), with one exception. The exception is a change of momentum that should have an impact on the result of the whole contest. In this case, demonstrating positive emotions SHOULD help maintain a high enough level of performance to carry all the way through match point.

Among racket sports, tennis has a unique scoring system in that games and points have very different weights, or degrees of importance, which is unlike a linear scoring system. In this case, a very heavily weighted point (eg break point, or set point) may create enough strategic advantage to form a “Downhill” toward the conclusion.

Because of its shorter, module size games and wide variety of tactics, tennis is more chess like in that offensive and defensive weapons are deployed at key moments in the contest. Other racket sports with linear scoring more resemble a long distance race or a series of shorter sprints to the finish line.

So, most “Battles Won” are greeted with an even, sober countenance because of the knowledge that about an equal number of defeats are coming. IMPORTANT NOTE: statistically, the victor in a competitive match only wins a TINY number of additional points (one or two percent) than the loser. Experts advise competitors not to allow emotions to go too high or too low as this requires extra energy during an already physically taxing contest. The best examples of this are Pete Sampras and Roger Federer. You will rarely see ANY wasted effort or emotions between points from these iconic champions.

Great actors learn to compartmentalize emotions which, makes it possible to access them on cue. For example, if they must cry instantly the “compartment” filled with the loss of a loved one is recalled. Great athletes also learn to compartmentalize emotions in order to use them productively and under time constraints. Keep in mind that negative emotions can not be stopped, but they can and should be confined/compartmentalized due to the time constraints. Now, let’s look at how pros handle “Battles Lost” during Phase One.

When mistakes occur, professional athletes are well adjusted to this compartment principle. They PRACTICE handling it on the spot better than recreational players. Sport psychologists have observed that tennis touring pros take 5 or 10 seconds to SILENTLY indulge in purely normal disappointment WITHOUT showing significant negative body language. Again, this reflects the expected statistical balance with “Battles Won”.

One critical example is the disappointment a player feels when missing a first serve on a very important point. The player knows that the odds of winning the point swing toward their opponent as the weaker second serve can put them on the defensive, or worse.

Coaches know that the most common reason for double faults is rushing to begin the second serve. Experts believe that it takes at least 5 seconds to finish with, compartmentalize, or extinguish this natural disappointment, PLUS extra time for Phase Two and Phase Three. Without this time, that disappointment is likely to effect future performance, in this case the second serve. If you watch for clues in others, you can almost sense a double fault approaching. Tennis commentators often will give the audience a cue when they sense this.

Phase Two: Mistakes are strategic (wrong tactic) and/or executional (bad stroke). The next 5-10 second interval must be used to physically/mentally rehearse the proper motion/execution or mentally rehearse the proper strategic decision for the next time the situation arises. Every player in sports needs to practice this simple technique that helps prepare the response to the next similar situation.

Just after a mistake, a professional might take a perfect practice swing to imitate the proper motion or recall some key words from their coach. With a missed first serve, this translates into mentally or physically rehearsing the ideal first serve swing that should have been performed. One example is tennis “Hall of Famer” Martina Navratilova, who has repeatedly visualized her serving mantra of “hit up” perhaps a million times during her career.

For the recreational player, often visualizing a better toss for the serve is key. Whatever is needed in terms of review, get in the habit of allocating a few seconds. MAJOR TIP: the rehearsal itself, acting like a coach to your body instead of the emotional victim of some random catastrophe, helps close, reduce, and compartmentalize the emotions of Phase One. Practice training yourself to become non-judgmental, more even tempered, and play the role of “instant coach” for your body’s inevitable errors. The key is to act like the operator of the human machine and get away from the role of victim.

Phase Three: The last 5-10 second interval addresses the future–the NEW situation partly created by missing/losing the last point or stroke. The best tactic certainly may have changed since losing the last point so for tactical reasons, a new plan is often necessary. A second serve is usually a different stroke than a first serve plus, a point is now more at stake. This phase creates a new mental/physical plan to execute at the start of the upcoming point.

Realize that running this perfect mental movie, this visualization, or rehearsal of a motor program to help activate the muscles properly takes time, sometime many seconds. An extreme example is an Olympic downhill skier sitting quietly, eyes closed leaning their head back and forth for a minute while they picture themselves going down the course. For the racket sports player, AT LEAST a few seconds is absolutely necessary!

Many coaches refer to the whole interval between points as preparation rituals. The most famous and predictable being those of Maria Sharapova (see “Sharapova Rituals & Serve” on YouTube). The author sees her time between points in the above phases. Look at these moments and see if you agree.

Her rituals begin with a walk away from the court during which she allows any negative emotions to pass (Phase One). While adjusting her strings, she considers what should have been done during the last point if needed (Phase Two). After that, she walks back to the baseline while planning the next point by reminder herself to move her feet, plus other ritualized mannerisms, if serving (Phase Three).

Marion Bartoli has employed these psychological principles to the extreme and has realized enormous success for a professional not considered to be a top tier physical athlete. Whether your famous or not, the details of how to recover from the last point, and mentally prepare for the next, are critical to any athlete’s success.

You only have about 30 seconds to indulge silently and “get your act together” for the next point. Recreational players often verbalize, slump their shoulders, or take too long “indulging” in disappointment to recover properly. A smart opponent picks up on these “Poker Tells” and suspects their opponent is about to mentally fold and lose several points, if they just get the ball back. This makes their task very easy. Remember, stopping your “Tells” requires psychological skills, which like motor skills, require practice!

Making or missing a shot are two sides of the same coin that fascinates us all with sports. It is inevitable that you will have moments of elation as well as moments of disappointment. The best players demonstrate the above competitive psychological skills as often as forehands or backhands. If you do not practice your mental skills as much as your physical skills, you will risk acting like a “Mental Midget” at critical moments in a match.

Improving Sporting Performance Easily With Effective Psychological Coaching

By   January 15, 2015

NLP achieving elite performance

Every outstanding performer has a performance coach whether their sport is extremely physical, tactical, a team sport, or individual. No elite performer is successful in the current world without tapping utilising the immense advantages that coaching techniques give. Psychological Coaching is the primary manner in which sports men and women achieve their successes.

The concept of the ‘inner game’ has grown in acceptance over the past few decades but is still something which if frequently downplayed in many sporting arenas, and is certainly something skirted around by the media and specialist publications alike. Why this is a quandary. Specialist magazines contain pages of advice on physical preparation, diet and nutrition, equipment, techniques, but there is a complete lack of any real understanding of the psychological aspects of improving performance.

What is more of concern, perhaps is that the NLP and Coaching Community is so apologetic about what it can offer individuals wanting to improve their performance. NLP is based on the study of excellence in human performance and how to replicate this in others. IT was based on the study of outstanding therapists but rapidly went on to focus not on mending broken people but to look at excellence in outstanding individuals. Martin Seligmann (Chair of the American Psychological Association no less!) has stated that we should be now move from focussing on broken people and how they are broken to focus on developing a psychology of excellence and learn how to apply what successful fully function individuals in the same circumstances to do achieve totally opposite outcomes.

It is true that many of the leading actors on the NLP stage have worked with elite performers in all types of sport and achieved outstanding results but the orthodoxy of limiting beliefs and controllability have undermined performance gains which have been found or modelled.

Sporting performance the world over has improved in every respect in every sport. Even with the drive against the use of performance enhancing drugs we have seen a year on year increase in human performance levels. Some of this is down to physiology and selection as more young performers are focussed into areas where they can naturally excel. More and more of performance at an elite level is achieved through technical and psychological coaching approaches. With the drive to lift national levels of performance, with immense amounts of money paying off with countries such as the UK achieving unprecedented levels of success compared to its population. There are distinct advantages to psychological coaching which are paying off. However, this success is only on the back of huge efforts with massive beurocracies. Where do individuals wanting to improve their own performance as they approach elite level turn to to access this type of support? Well the answer is a combination of physical coaching, technique coaching, but also in accessing the benefits which a Psychological Performance coach can offer using coaching techniques from the field of Neuro Linguistic Programming.

Internal representations of performance and learning

Each of us has a preferred manner of representing our experience to ourselves. Conventional thinking categorises this as visual, auditory, Kinaesthetic, Olfactory and Gustatory representations. Add to this the vestibular system (Balance and three dimensional location and orientation) and you have basis of an understanding of how an athlete represents their performance to themselves. Each performance will consist of a combination of these known as a strategy. Understanding that each person has their own combination of representational systems and individual strategies for every aspect of their performance gives the coach and athlete a constructive framework in which to work. The Majority of performers will not have recognised their own processing and representational systems until it is pointed out to them. It is important to test for these representational systems as each person has their own way of representing their own performance. I worked wit an elite dancer, I assumed, wrongly, that she would represent her performance would be kinaesthetic and possibly visual. When I modelled her I learned that this was not the case. She had no kinaesthetic, visual, or auditory dialogue representations of her performance at all. Puzzled, I challenged this and she nervously confessed that each move had an internal abstract noise which she could play back to reproduce movement. I would now suspect that there was a vestibular representation as well although I was not able to elicit this at the time. Understand your own representational systems and you can take control of them and adjust them to suit your own performance.

All representations are subject to variation I terms of sub-modalities:- colour to black and white for example. Adjusting personal representations has a direct impact on performance, as well as beliefs about performance.

State management

State is crucial to learning and performance. State is the relationship between behaviour, performance, breathing, feelings, and thoughts. They are all linked, change one and the others change with them. Awareness of state gives you choice over your performance.

New behaviour Generator

This is something which I would assume athletes do naturally but I have learned not to assume. Tapping into a persons representational systems, gives access to learning new performances internally. You might call this creative visualisation but NLP teaches us that visualisation alone will be less effective tan utilising a persons own representational systems, association and dissociation in a variety of flexible patterns tailored to the athlete. In this way internal rehearsal can be much, much more effective than visualisation alone. Once installed this pattern, enables athletes to rehearse and create new performance in any context in preparation for competitive performance.

Swish Pattern

Many athletes have patterns of problematic performance that are linked to internal representations of performance. A golfer, for example may have a repeated experience of playing a particular shot badly at a particular hole. What the Swish Pattern enables the golfer to do is to replace the negative representation with a positive one. As they represent the poor performance to themselves they use this as a trigger to elicit a representation of a positive performance instead. Once installed this pattern becomes automatic very quickly – with the original trigger for poor performance now the trigger for a representation and now an expectation of excellent performance. In the same way which specific aspects of performance can be switched from positive to negative – other contexts locations or even competitors can be easily reprogrammed to be triggers for excellence.

Values elicitation

Every sports man or woman has a set of values and beliefs which operate at an unconscious level driving choices, actions and motivation. NLP Coaches are able to elicit a persons values hierarchy and enable them to reconsider both values and sporting performance in the light of sporting goals and aspirations. One value that can be surprisingly absent is that of practice! Bring this to the attention of the client and the coach is able to lead them to a new understanding of their relationship with their sport.

New Code Change Pattern

New Code Change Pattern using New code games, high performance states are the ideal way of working directly with the unconscious of the athlete to access new resources, unconscious learning and state choice during performance. This can be utilised in preparation and training or, prior to performance. This is particularly useful and effective as the athlete can utilise aspect of this work individually to access high performance state at will.

Circle of excellence

Anchoring positive resources, whether created or recalled into a spatial anchor can be immensely useful. Using the spaces or equipment used in the sport is a natural thing which all sports men and women do – teaching how to use this in a more structured and useful way has a direct positive impact on performance. Imagine using the golf grip as a powerful anchor or the doorway or smell of the squash court and the circle of excellence trigger. I use the brake lever hood of my cycle – it always has to be in just the right position on the bar but it always works.

Timeline emotional release

We all carry programming through emotional triggers in our early development which continue to impact on us throughout adulthood These are the underlying automatic reactions which we can assume are part of our personality. Things like not feeling good enough, being angry in certain situations, anxiety under pressure are all link back to the imprint period in our early development or to specific points in our history. Timeline emotional release allows the athlete to let go of unhelpful emotional issues which continue to impinge on their performance whether they are conscious of it or not. This is an interesting position for the coach to find themselves as they will calibrate that the intervention would have a big impact on training and performance but the athlete may perceive this as a natural part of their make up. As such this pattern would usually be most effective once a coaching relationship is established and coach and athlete have good rapport.

Failure into Feedback (Reframing)

Teaching this pattern may not be needed with some athletes who use negative feedback as a key motivator but if failure is an issue during performance or training and preparation the skill of reframing failure in to feedback or even feed-forward is extremely useful in giving the athlete freedom to learn quickly from their performance.

Motivation strategies Meta Programmes

Every one f us has what are called meta-programmes operating at an unconscious level. One of the key ones for most people not just athletes is their motivation strategy. Motivation is either towards a goal, away from a negative or somewhere in between. If the strategy in a context is away-from then as the athlete moves away from then the level of motivation decreases. This is something which coaches and athletes alike need tobe aware of.

Internal dialogue

John Grinder, co-creator of NLP has called Internal Dialogue one of the biggest obstacles to personal change and development. Using the Techniques of Frank Farrally is most useful in this area. If someone has a very supportive internal dialogue then the coach and athlete can utilise it to support performance further. If it is negative then it needs dealing with so that if not supportive it is at least quieter, less shrill – less demanding. Using sub-modalities one can change the direction of ID change its tone and volume, even change the persona of the ID. If it is particularly difficult then a re-negotiation of its role may be in order. Imagine in stead of having a nagging critic in you right ear you had a personal trainer and coach supporting you at all times? Sounds too good to be true? This is what a NLP trained coach can do for you.

Sub-modality Belief Change

Every belief about sporting performance is represented internally. As such every negative belief has a particular way of being represented to the athlete. Using Sub-modality Map Across or Sub-modality belief Change pattern allows the athlete to have choice about their own beliefs of their performance. Taking a less then helpful belief which is in the way of personal success and reducing the impact it has on him or her or even better taking a weak belief about success and making it compelling to the point of being undeniable. This can be applied to equally to preparation, learning and specific and general performances.

Unconscious tasking

Developing a healthy relationship with ones unconscious is one of the most important aspects to personal development and achieving success. This is something which some have a naturally good relationship with their unconscious minds for others this is something which they have to establish and develop. An NLP coach will do this with the client and work with them to develop a better relationship with the unconscious mind. Once this is established then using the awareness developed in strategy elicitation the unconscious mind can be tasked with preparation, developing and producing desired states and performances over time. This process can be used to re-direct automatic responses for example from anger to energy – from vulnerability to curiosity. This approach has huge potential to harness the potential of the unconscious mind in the service of specific tasks and objectives. For anyone doubting the role of the unconscious mind in sporting performance should consider that tennis players start reacting to a bal before they are consciously aware of its trajectory, moving, assessing speed and direction and preparing a return in real time before the conscious mind can react.

Peripheral Vision

The development of peripheral vision goes hand in hand with developing a better relationship with the unconscious mind. Elite athletes have exceptional peripheral vision which allows them to take in huge amounts of information direct to the unconscious mind. This gives athletes a huge advantage in performance, taking in much more relevant information at any one time. This is easy to develop and becomes a natural state very quickly. It also has the benefit of immediately changing state to a calmer more resourceful one at any time one chooses. For another demonstration of the importance and power of peripheral vision watch the video of Mark Cavendish winning sprints – he is able to sense riders behind him reacting and respond to them and win races. He has not eyes in the back of his head – this is a demonstration of how important peripheral vision is.

Future pace & Compelling future

Goal setting is one thing but NLP teaches us that the mind is much more likely to achieve goals if they are created in a highly compelling way. The Compelling Future pattern is an excellent way of focussing the attention of the unconscious mind on achieving important goals. Including achievable goals on the way to more ambitious goals demonstrates to the unconscious mind that the achievable goal, part of the ambitious goal is easy so the ambitious one will be achievable.

Modelling

NLP is borne of modelling and all this means is the development of models of excellent human behaviour. All of us learn in this way as young children and will have experience of adopting the state, physiology, values and beliefs of people whose performance we wish to emulate. Learning how to do this through micro muscle mirroring, breathing, posture and physiology enables new performance to be modelled from others. This is a higher order skill which athletes already have to a large extent but is frequently at the unconscious competence level. The coach’s job is to bring this back to the conscious incompetence level for the sake of developing and applying the skills of modelling the excellence of others. Combine this with strategy elicitation and a whole new powerful set of tools emerges which can create unprecedented levels of performance.

Sports performance in an area where people can excel in so many ways. Not only can NLP approaches bring about dramatic changes in sporting performance, but the processes used immediately give individuals much more choice and flexibility in every part of their lives with a set of skills insights and understanding which are highly relevant to every other aspect of their lives. Anyone wishing to really improve their sporting performance whether this is for leisure, competition or career should be working with an NLP certified coach who has at least Mater Practitioner Certification. Any Coach operating at this level should seriously consider the benefits of helping others develop greater choice and flexibility in their lives through the medium of sports coaching. NLP is not just about helping to achieve therapeutic outcomes, demonstrating the path to excellence and personal growth should always be a central aim.

Water, Rejuvenate With the Liquid of Life

By   January 14, 2015

Water

The ultimate survival system for all life, the gift of life, the fountain of youth, that which links all the living; We are made of water and our bodies were made to consume water in its natural form for optimal functioning. Unfortunately these days everything is surrounded by controversy, even water. Everyone adheres to a different school of thought due to culture, tradition, training, education and levels of awareness. One has to do what feels right to them. We were given a body, mind, spirit and free will to choose how we will take care of all of these wonders we were given. We can believe nothing or believe anything we read but we should at least try something before we disregard it.

Proper Hydration

We want the best for our children, families and selves, so let us not forget about heath. Our bodies were created a seemingly miracle of the systems that work together to create homeostasis, so let’s educate ourselves on how to best respect and take care of this body when it comes to proper hydration.

Vital metabolic processes

Water is the basis for each cell in the body to function normally:

• vitamin absorption
• blood volume
• oxygen delivery to muscles
• oxygen and blood delivery to organs
• restores glycogen levels
• lubricates joints, ligaments and keeps the cartilage spongy
• proper lymphatic functioning
• digestion
• waste expulsion, expels toxins
• each cell depends on water to function normally
• regulates body temperature
• regulates metabolism
• improves chemical and hormone function
• aids in strong muscle and bone mass
• disease prevention
• many more

Optimal trumps Essential

It is common knowledge that the body is composed of mostly water, 65-75% depending on which research is being read. The brain alone contains 85% water and our bodies use 6-8 grams of water for essential functioning, that is our body weight in ounces. This is where the age old tale of 8 glasses a day came from, also during a time when average body weight was significantly lower. Why settle for the essential amount when we could have the optimal amount for adequate nutrient availability for all of the cells in the body. See below for optimal amounts.

Liquid Intake vs Water Intake

Although we do get a percentage of water when eating a clean diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, we also live in a fast-paced world that demands convenience and no human is without some form of processed indulgence. Thus the high sodium content and additives in foods, juices and other processed drinks actually increase your hydration needs.

Factors that increase water needs

Activity level, occupation, lifestyle, diet, weight, health status, climate and so many more. Here a few things to become conscious about that increase our hydration needs:

• Processed/pre-packaged foods – chemicals, dies, preservatives, sugars, dairy, pasta, breads, sodium
• Caffeine, alcohol, carbonation – dehydrate
• Tobacco usage- toxins build up and need to be flushed, dries out the mouth
• Excess visceral fat-hinders toxin expulsion
• Normal bodily functions expel water: sweat, eliminations, crying, breathing, sleeping
• Stress-environmental / physical/ emotional
• Common allegories and sicknesses dehydrate and cause electrolyte imbalance
• Medications cause “dry mouth” side effects (among other things) posing risks to oral health

Hints you should gradually increase water intake:

• apple belly, weight gain
• dry, blemished skin, hair and nails
• excessive hunger, cravings, dry-mouth
• body odor, swelling, water retention
• headaches, brain fog, fatigued
• irregular body eliminations, odor, bloating
• dry mucus membranes
• dry mouth, receding gums
• not having 1.5 liters of clear bladder expulsion daily, burning, strong odor
• drop in blood pressure
• sluggish metabolism

Sorry, sports drinks do not count

Electrolytes need replacement during heavy exercise and most illnesses. Read labels. Sodium is essential for electrolytes, fructose is supposed to sustain you during long periods of endurance activities when you cannot eat and of course vitamins are a perk. The non-essential ingredients to avoid include high fructose corn syrup, food coloring dyes, preservatives and chemicals. This is why they do not count for your water intake. Plain electrolyte infused water (this counts) may be purchased just as easily.

Natural sports drink

•3.5 cups water
•1 pinch sea salt
•1 teas. Raw Honey
•1 squeezed citrus fruit

Hyponatremia

When water intake comes up in conversation, the go to phrase when one becomes uncomfortable is, “you can drink too much water you know,” and is most often spoken by the person who does not care to drink the minimal 8 daily cups. What this person is most likely referring to is hyponatremia, when the kidneys are unable to excrete excess liquid, causing a drop in electrolytes. Yes, this can happen, most commonly only a risk factor in extreme endurance sports. Examples include sports drink consumption in marathon running, excessive water consumption during military training and unfortunately drinking contests.

Digestion

For optimal digestion it is best to consume the bulk of your water in the morning upon rising, in between meals, and in the evening. Morning water is very important to replenish the body’s fluids to balance and to cleanse as your stomach is empty. Do not consume water 30 minutes prior to meals or 30 minutes after meals. While eating sip water only when needed as not to dilute the gastric juices.

Making water Green

Invest in a purifying pitcher or faucet filter. Reuse jugs to keep cold water on hand in the fridge and for traveling. Save those glass mason and pickle jars. These are optimal sizes, the wide opening helps bring the water temperature down quicker, thick glass is hard to break and the kids can decorate their jar cups which is fun and makes the water more enticing.

Family time fun

In the rise of childhood obesity, studies have shown teaching the benefits of water in school proved effective in reducing the risk of children becoming overweight. However, this may not be done in every school so health and education has to start at home. Craft a family poster including the individualized daily water requirements (add in fruits and greens too!) at the end of the week, whomever has the most checks wins (stickers, trinkets, bragging rights). Remember, sippy cups hold water too!

Daily Requirements

Health and lifestyle choices are as individual as is the water intake requirements that contributes to it. Below are some minimum daily requirements to give a general idea about where one is on the scale and if they should think about incorporating more water into their lifestyle. Again, there is no cookie cut answer considering we are highly individualized people regarding age, gender, body weight, overall health, health goals, diet, activity levels, environment, heat exposure and living conditions.

How much is Optimal

Minimal requirements/ plus *additions per 15 lbs. over weight/ plus *additions per 45 minutes of vigorous activity:

Men 3 liters or 13 cups/ *+ 1 cup/ + 1- 1.5 cups
Woman 2.2 liters or 10 cups/ *+ 1 cup /+ 1 cup
Pregnant 2.3 liters or 11 cups/ Consult OBGYN/ Consult OBGYN
Breast feeding 3.1 liters or 13 cups/ +.5 cup/ Consult OBGYN
Children (1-6) body weight in oz./ +.5 cup /+.5 cup
Children (7-12) body weight in oz./ *+ 1 cup/ +.5-1 cup

Simple Healthy Transformations

We can only do what feels right with us, so just try increasing your water for one month and compare any differences that you make experience. Remember, you should never feel thirsty, that means your body has already started the dehydration process.

How-to remember:

1. Bedside table cup- drink down before you start your morning routine

2. Keep water in your bag

3. Make water apart of your bathroom regimen

4. Keep water on your desk (send the kids to school with water too)

5. Set an internet prompt

6. During a high stress moment; take pause and take water

7. Yard work, Home Repair, Cleaning, Exercising-keep a jug within 5 feet

8. Replace afternoon caffeinated beverage with crisp cool fresh water with lemon for a perk up

9. Set the example, bring the water to social/sport functions
10. Drink while cooking or when food cravings strike

It takes 22 days to form a new behavior, pick a few of these to start. Happy drinking!

“Water is the only drink for a wise man.” –Henry David Thoreau

Disclaimer

This is not a substitution for medical advice, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Consult physician regarding sudden or extreme lifestyle changes.

7 Reasons Why Bungy Jumping Is The Best Adventure Sport

By   January 13, 2015

The thrill of outdoor adventure sports. Most of them death defying and bares an absolute image of risk in which people show much animosity. Despite the animosity, extreme adventure sports have been gaining much popularity all over the world. More and more people find themselves in these activities because of a most natural human trait – curiosity. Finding out why others can do it and you can’t. Zoning in on the fears that you may have which prevent you from finding out what it is like to engage in such activities. What’s good about adventure sports is that there is always a platform to start from and this start-off point is bungy jumping. The following 7 reasons make bungy jumping the best adventure sport for budding adrenaline junkies and absolute enthusiasts.

1. It’s a great beginner sport for extreme aficionados. Very little training and know how is required. Neophytes to the sport need not purchase their own equipment, plus suitable locations are spread throughout the globe which makes it so easy to find.

2. It’s safer than it looks. Jumping off a platform that is over 100 feet high with only an elastic cord attached to your ankles is not exactly a day to day routine and would certainly look very dangerous. Once you get to know the sport, you will realize the intense maintenance that bungy jumping equipment goes through. The training that the facilitators have and the extensive accreditation that has to be obtained before they can even talk about bungy. A bungy jump is mostly seen as a carefree act of liberating one’s soul from deep seated fears, chronic stress or simply a crazy man’s notion of fun. The nitty gritty procedure of ensuring a jumper’s safety is often hidden behind people oscillating, jumper’s screaming and rejoicing one jump after the other. If security of this activity is the question of the day, just come to think that bungy jumping has come a long, long way and all throughout its journey, safety has always been the priority.

3. One bungy so many ways. Bungy jumping has been on the market for such a long time that improvisations on the jump have been created to provide more chill and more thrill. To date variations range from the traditional ankle bungy jump to bungy trampolin and bungy rocket where the participant is catapulted up from the ground, and the twin towers.

4. A bungy for all occasions. This is a great adventure sport because you can urge your friends to share the experience with you. Desperate to have your best friend join you? Then you can give them an adventure similar to yours as a gift! Something that they cannot refuse and will be thanking you for, for the longest time.

5. Standalone or combine with other extreme sports, bungy jumping is sure to give you a fired up extreme atmosphere that will keep you buzzed for weeks!

6. The view to a thrill. Bungy jumping involves great heights which bring about two things, fear and a spectacular view of the surrounding area. One compliments another as some people use the spectacular sights as a means to pacify the fear of the drop.

7. A Repeat Performance. Unlike most of the extreme sports on the market, bungy jumping allows you to do one jump after the other. Some outfitters even have the option to hype up your game by upgrading a simple jump to a more complex and extreme one.

Fun Sports – Fun Sports For Extreme Athletes

By   January 11, 2015

Fun sports are out there for just about every extreme athlete looking to take it to the next level. With so many intense challenges available to us these days, it is no wonder that the world of fun sports is becoming so popular. The advent of the X Games and major television coverage of other fun sports has certainly contributed to the mainstream acceptance of this field of sport, but it goes way back past all that. People have been climbing mountains, surfing monster waves, and paragliding for many years. The field of fun sport is simply expanding as technology catches up with our desire to push the physical and mental limits of our bodies and this world.

Even if you have never tried anything like it before, there are a lot of fun sports that may really enjoy. If you live somewhere with a lot of snow, something like snowboarding or freeskiing would be the perfect choice for you. Imagine the thrill of soaring down the slope of a snow-covered mountain while performing tricks and stunts. We have seen the acrobatics and sheer speed of athletes on the television, and you can get in on the fun too. Try contacting your local ski resort to find out about gear, lessons, and snow conditions if you are interested in this field of sport.

Of course, you might not live in a snowy place. On the contrary, maybe you live in a sunny area near the beach. A whole other host of fun sports are at your fingertips here as well. Surfing and paragliding are both really intense sports that challenge athletes to step up their game. Unlike traditional sports, you are not necessarily competing against another person. Instead, it is you against nature. This is the ultimate thrill for many people. Think about the adrenaline rush that you get when you descend a massive wave on a windy day surfing at the beach. If you love the prospect of defying gravity, then paragliding or skydiving might be just what you are looking for. Imagine falling free through the air before being swept up and hovering through empty space as you slowly descend towards earth. It is no wonder so many people find these extreme activities so addictive.

As with any fun sport, you need to be aware of the safety precautions. Some of these extreme activities are really dangerous and require a lot of special gear or training. You can often find professionals who can help you prepare and even walk you through some of the basics. Look for more information on your favorite fun sports.