Soccer Drills for 5-Year-Olds

Five-year-olds provide plenty of entertainment, some unintentional, for their coach. At times they get mixed up on which goal to run toward and forget that they cannot pick up the ball. Before the drills, have your players warm up so they start thinking about soccer and the practice to come. Have them toss the ball in the air or chase a ball thrown by you or a parent assistant. Drills for this age group need to be simple, fun and keep all the players involved, without waiting in lines.
You can work on the 5-year-olds¡¯ understanding of changing direction and feints with the Volcano Drill, suggested by Maryland-based youth coach Jim Garland. Mark a grid 20 by 20 yards with plastic cones and scatter plastic disks or ¡°volcanoes,¡± one per player, randomly within. Tell your players to run around the grid on your signal. As they approach a volcano, they must quickly change directions to avoid being burned by the lava. Demonstrate how they should flex one leg slightly to change directions quickly and push off the inside of that foot. Show your players how to exaggerate their change of direction and how to fake one way and then go another.
Even the pros sometimes use this drill, but it¡¯s simple enough for 5-year-olds, too. Follow the Leader helps your 5-year-olds develop their dribbling skills without defensive pressure, Garland notes. Divide your players into lines of four or five within the same 20-yard-square grid and give each player a ball. The first player in each line leads and moves throughout the grid. The rest of your players follow while dribbling their balls. On your whistle, the last player pushes the ball to a spot five yards in front of the leader, sprints to the spot and becomes the new leader. The new last person repeats the sprint, and so on. Review with your player ways to control the wall and ways for each line to appropriately use the given space.
The concept of defense as well as offense begins to appear in the Two Open Goals drills, recommended by Sam Snow, director of coaching education for U.S. Youth Soccer. Set up two teams of three players each in a grid measuring 15 yards square. Set up two goals, each two yards wide, 10 yards apart, fully within the larger grid. Have one team attack and try to score goals through either goal, in either direction, while the other team defends. Both goals are open to keep the game flowing. If this game seems a bit too challenging for your 5-year-olds, instead give each player a ball and let the players dribble and shoot in a freeform manner, Snow suggests.
Help your 5-year-olds grasp the importance of mobility with the Two-Ball Game, also suggested by Snow. Set up a grid measuring 8 by 10 yards and assign your players to two teams of three each. One team starts with both balls and must retain possession of the balls by passing and dribbling for one minute to gain a point. The other team tries to defend and steal the ball from the team in possession. After one minute, give the balls to the other team.

The Difference Between Asthma and Pneumonia

Asthma and pneumonia are both lung disorders that affect breathing, but they differ greatly in terms of cause, treatment and disease course. Asthma is a long-term condition caused by lung airway inflammation and narrowing. Pneumonia refers to a short-term lung infection that most people completely recover from after the illness runs its course. People with asthma are at increased risk of contracting pneumonia, especially those taking high-dose inhaled steroid medications. Lung infections can be severe in people with asthma, so it’s important to be aware of pneumonia symptoms if you have asthma.
The development of asthma involves complex interactions between certain genetic and environmental factors. A family history of asthma, certain childhood respiratory infections, smoking during pregnancy and exposure to common allergy triggers — such as dust mites, cockroaches and pet dander — increase the likelihood of developing asthma. Occupational exposures may also contribute to adult-onset asthma. Viruses and bacteria cause most pneumonia cases in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Children are more commonly affected by viral pneumonia. Among adults, Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most common cause of bacterial pneumonia. Many children and some adults carry this bacteria without getting sick, but may infect others.
Wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and coughing — especially at night or early in the morning — are common symptoms of asthma. Pneumonia also causes coughing, often with phlegm produced. Chest pain or tightness, shortness of breath, fever, chills and tiredness that develop over a day or two often signal pneumonia. Nausea, loss of appetite and body aches are also possible, depending on the underlying causes. Asthma symptoms can typically be controlled or prevented with appropriate medication, while the coughing and fatigue caused by pneumonia can last several weeks, even after treatment has started.
Asthma is typically diagnosed based on medical and family history, physical exam and lung function tests. These tests measure how well you are breathing, and include spirometry and peak airflow. As the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of American (AAFA) explains: Spirometry measures the amount of air inhaled and exhaled, and its flow rate. The peak airflow test determines the rate at which you can push air out of your lungs, a key factor with asthma. Pneumonia is diagnosed based on characteristic symptoms, the timing of their development and physical examination. The diagnosis is often confirmed with a chest X-ray. Blood and phlegm tests are often performed to help determine the underlying cause of the infection.
There is no cure for asthma, so the goal is to control and reduce the occurrence of symptoms with the appropriate medication, as recommended by the “Guidelines on Asthma” commissioned by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Most asthma medications are inhaled, allow delivery straight to the airways. Quick-relief medications control sudden asthma symptoms. Controller medications decrease the number and severity of asthma attacks but do not alleviate sudden symptoms. The type and dose of medication is dependent on asthma severity, and monitoring and followup are essential. Pneumonia treatment depends on the cause and severity of the infection. Bacterial pneumonia is treated with antibiotics, and antiviral medications may be prescribed for viral pneumonia. People with severe pneumonia often require inpatient hospital care, including oxygen therapy and possibly a breathing machine.
AAFA warns that the following signs and symptoms of an asthma attack require emergency medical attention: – fast breathing with inward movement of the skin between the ribs when inhaling; – pale face or lips, or the fingernails appear bluish; – ribs or stomach are moving in and out quickly and deeply; – chest is not deflating on exhalation; – children and infants do not respond or recognize their parents. Seek medical attention as soon as possible for symptoms of pneumonia, especially if you already have asthma. Go to the nearest emergency room if you have worsening shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, and dizziness or fainting. Medical advisor: Shilpi Agarwal, M.D.

Sixth Nerve Palsy Eye Exercise

In 1982, a paper in the Archives of Opthamology entitled Chronic Sixth Nerve Palsies indicated that eye doctors commonly encounter sixth nerve palsies. The condition is generally ¡°benign.¡± If your doctor diagnoses you with sixth nerve palsy, he will investigate for an underlying cause. Multiple treatment options exist, but eye exercises are not usually beneficial.
Three main cranial nerves, the third, fourth and sixth nerves, are responsible for eye movement. Your sixth cranial nerve, also called the abducens nerve, controls the lateral rectus muscle that turns your eye outward, away from your nose. According to the Merck Manuals Medical Online Library, when this nerve is palsied, or paralyzed, ¡°The affected eye cannot turn fully outward and may turn inward when people look straight ahead.¡±
Multiple events can cause sixth nerve palsy. Head trauma, stroke, aneurism, tumors, infections, blockage or lack of blood supply, childhood virus or multiple sclerosis are some conditions that may be responsible for the disorder. Occasionally the condition is congenital. Sometimes it can occur with no other symptoms, and in those cases, your doctor may not find the underlying cause. Often, you will recover from this condition within a few months if your doctor finds no other issues.
Sixth nerve palsy often presents as double vision, and your eye may turn inward involuntarily. Depending on the cause of this condition, you may experience other symptoms including headaches, swelling in the eye, numbness about the face, vision loss or impaired eye movement in directions other than outward. Your doctor will likely diagnose the problem by examining inside the eye with an ophthalmoscope. If that is fruitless, a CT scan, an MRI or a spinal tap may be used to test for tumors or other problems.
Generally, the treatment for abducens palsy targets the underlying cause of the problem, if the cause can be determined. Solutions might include an eye patch, prism eyeglasses, or surgery in some instances. The North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society notes that Botox injections have been tried to treat this condition, but since it is usually correctable ¡°over a relatively short time and the results of the injections are unpredictable these would seldom if ever be indicated.¡±
When asked about eye exercises for sixth nerve palsy, Dr. David Steinberg, M.D. of Precision Eye and Laser in Fishkill, New York explained that they are not recommended because, ¡°it is not a muscle weakness that can be exercised, but rather a nerve which is not sending the proper signal to the muscle; therefore, the exercise would not help.¡±

Can Parents Talk to College Coaches for Recruiting Purposes?

For a student-athlete, choosing the right school can be a life-changing decision. Of course, many parents are heavily involved in this decision-making process, as they want their child to choose the path that will lead to success. Parents, however, are bound by the same restrictions that student-athletes are in regards to communication with coaches, the NCAA Eligibility Center reports. Therefore, parents must be keenly aware of certain rules to help prevent potential recruiting violations.
Contact can begin between parents and coaches during the student-athlete’s sophomore year, but the parent must initiate every communication. This rule applies to every NCAA sport. A coach is not permitted to call parents or student-athletes during this time, but the parents can call a coach as long as he, the parent, pays for the expenses of the call, according to the NCAA Eligibility Center. Parents can also accompany their child on an unofficial visit to a university. While the parents or student-athlete must pay the expenses of this visit, the school can provide the family with three free tickets to an athletic event.
The junior year during high school is the first time that a coach can make contact with a parent or student-athlete. In men’s basketball, a coach can make one phone call per month to the family from June 15 before junior year to July 31 after junior year. In women’s basketball, a coach can call once each in April and May, once between June 1 and June 20, once between June 21 and June 30, and three times in July after the completion of junior year. Football coaches are only permitted one phone call between April 15 and May 31 of the student-athlete’s junior year, the NCAA Eligibility Center reports. During this time, parents and student-athletes can still make unlimited unofficial visits during the year.
Coaches can make much more contact with parents and student-athletes during the senior year. In men’s and women’s basketball, the coach can call twice per week starting on Aug. 1. In football, the coach can make one phone call per week starting on Sept. 1. The coach can also begin making off-campus contact on Sept. 9 for men’s basketball, Sept. 16 for women’s basketball and on the Sunday following the final Saturday in November for football, according to NCAA Eligibility Center. This off-campus contact can include face-to-face meetings with parents or visiting the student-athlete’s high school, the NCAA reports. Once the student-athlete begins her senior year, a coach can invite the parents and their child to make an official visit to the school. This is an all-expenses paid trip for up to three family members.
In NCAA Division II, a coach can contact the student-athlete or his parents once per week starting on the June 15 between the junior and senior years. A coach can also make three off-campus visits starting on this date and can invite the family for an official visit at any time. In NCAA Division III, there is no limit to the number of calls that a coach can make, although recruiting at this level is rare because of financial constraints.

Jogging After Ankle Fusion

When an ankle joint becomes worn out as the result of injury, arthritis or another medical condition, an ankle fusion is a possible option to reduce pain and allow patients to return to their normal activity levels, including jogging. Ankle fusion is especially suitable for young, active patients. While an ankle fusion limits the motion of your ankle joint, a fusion can help reduce pain and get you back to enjoying your favorite activities.
An ankle fusion removes the surfaces of the ankle joint and allows the rear foot and the tibia — lower leg bone — to fuse together. Often, the use of screws is necessary to help these bones grow together. An ankle fusion keeps the ankle joint from moving during walking, jogging, running and other activities. Provided the ankle is not injured or re-injured, an ankle fusion can last a lifetime.
Following surgery, your ankle will be placed in a padded cast, either plaster or a soft bandage. You should keep your leg elevated as much as possible to avoid swelling and throbbing. After two weeks, your stitches will be removed and you will be placed in a short-leg fiberglass cast, which will run from below your knee to your toes. During this time, you will not be permitted to bear weight on the ankle; you will need two to three months until the bones are completely fused. Following these instructions carefully will allow for a smooth recovery and a better chance of being able to jog again sooner.
After about three months — it varies from patient to patient — your doctor will place you into an ankle brace and you will begin physical therapy. The brace will be small, lightweight and fit inside of athletic shoes. A physical therapist will help you to learn to walk smoothly and without a limp and also work with you to help rebuild strength following your surgery. Shoe inserts — including heel cushions — can allow you to walk and move more normally. A shoe with a rocker sole — rounded — will also allow your foot to roll as you step, making your motion more natural.
Following ankle fusion surgery, your walking gait should return to normal. You will be able to return to a fast majority of activities pain free provided any neighboring joints are not arthritic. You can return to work, walk long distances, exercise and use ladders. Many patients are able to go on short jogs pain free. But because of the reduced motion in your ankle and rear foot, the ability to run following ankle fusion surgery is highly unusual, though not completely unheard of.

How to Play Right Midfield in Soccer

If you are asked to play right midfield in soccer, your team is playing a 4-4-2 formation with four defenders, four midfielders and two attackers. You are playing on the right side of the four attackers. You need good stamina, positional discipline and the ability to pass as well as tackle. You will be required to help the right back in defense duties, but also push forward, support the central attackers, supply crosses into the box, play through balls to forwards and contribute with your fair share of goals.
Stay on the right-hand side of the pitch. You must be tactically astute. At times you may be required to move into a central position to break down an opposition attack or to support your team’s offensive players, but for the majority of the game you must hug the right touchline. Your teammates count on you to offer width to the team.
Find space to offer your teammates an outlet. When somebody on your team is in possession of the ball and looks up to play a pass, you should always be free.
Communicate with your teammates. Shout for the ball when your team is in possession. If your team is losing, boost morale by encouraging teammates.
Run with the ball at defenders when possible. Defenders generally do not like somebody dribbling at them quickly, as they are susceptible to panicking and giving away free kicks, or to letting the attacker past.
Look for through balls. For much of the game, you will be forced to pass sideways or even backward, but the key passes you will play will be to forwards running past the opposition defenders. Try to pass the ball between or over opposition defenders, anticipating the run your teammate has made off the ball.
Cross the ball into the box when possible. You must provide the team with width, and you will often be in possession of the ball in an advanced position on the right-hand side of the pitch. Aim for the head or feet of teammates in the box, generally getting as much pace on the ball as possible.
Shoot if you get a clear sight at goal and none of your teammates is in a better position. When cutting in from the right-hand side, try to shoot across the goalkeeper into the far post area, as goalkeepers cut off the angle and are rarely beaten at their near post areas. Aim for the bottom or top corner of the goal, and shoot as hard as you can because you may cause the goalkeeper to spill the ball, allowing a teammate to score on the rebound.

Fun Sports Games for Children

Fun sports games keep your children physically active as well as entertained. While many sports games such as baseball, soccer and golf can be played at high levels of competition, many other fun sports games emphasize fun and socializing over winning.
This variation on traditional bowling will improve your child’s accuracy and coordination. Grab items that can be used as bowling pins. They can range from milk cartons to empty cans, as long as they can stand up on their own. Place 10 selected items in a triangle formation on a flat surface. From here, walk several feet away and draw a starting line. Volleyballs, basketballs and any other athletic ball can be used as a substitute for a real bowling ball. Allow the children to bowl from the start line and do their best to knock all the pins down.
This traditional basketball game is a simplification of the shooting game H.O.R.S.E. Grab a few friends and move to one-half of the basketball court. Choose one child to shoot first. If he makes his shot, the second player in line must shoot the identical shot. If the first player misses, the second player is allowed to shoot from anywhere on the court. If player one makes his shot and player two misses, player two gets the letter “P.” The game continues in this pattern until one player is left without all three letters.
This sports game is designed to get your child to think fast as well as improve her coordination. Get a group of children into a large circle and give one of them a ball. Have the child select a category such as “TV shows.” On your mark, have the child bounce the ball to another child in the circle. That child must catch the ball and name out any TV show that comes to mind. If the child drops the ball, fails to name a TV show or names a show that has already been named, she is eliminated from the game.
This game will improve your child’s accuracy with a football. Grab an old tire and hang it from a tree using a piece of rope. You can also construct a wood frame to support the tire if you do not have a tree to use. From here, draw a line on the ground to indicate where the children will throw from. Give each child three tries to get the ball through the hole. If a child throws it through the tire two out of three times or more, give him a prize.

What Are Positive Things About Football?

Physical pain is just part of the game of football. However, as of 2013, the scariest issue was how all of those collisions impacted a player’s post-game life. The National Collegiate Athletic Association claimed there were 2.5 concussions for 1,000 contacts during college football games in 2011. Concussion talk alone led President Obama to say he wasn’t sure he’d allow a child of his to play football. Despite that talk, the game’s popularity endured because it still offered significant benefits to its participants, both on and off the field.
A good high school football player can turn that skill into a free college education. That’s an option in other sports of course, but none have as many opportunities as football. As of 2013, all Division 1 schools had 85 scholarships for football, and all of them had to be “full rides.” According to the NCAA, only 1.7 percent of college players ultimately go pro. However, the players who take advantage of those paid scholarships can set themselves up for some other career.
Although few football players ever make the pros, just being a football hero can still raise a player’s social status. In small towns, football can become the center of social life according to “Contemporary Issues in Sociology of Sport.” A 2008 study it published followed four African-American college football players. It found that participation in the sport significantly raised their social status and encouraged others to listen to them and respect their opinions.
In football, it’s routine that all 22 players have something to do on every snap. If one fails, chances are the whole play fails. That means football players have to learn how to actively strategize and communicate, a skill that can carry over to other parts of life. The simple act of a quarterback calling signals nurtures an environment where players must learn to listen to one another, according to “Football and Philosophy.”
Like other sports, football provides plenty of opportunities for exercise. Unlike some, it encourages both cardiovascular exercise such as running and jumping and strength training. Strength training is a critical component even at the high school level. The book “Survival Guide for Coaching Youth Football” also notes that the constant motion required in football means extra exercise for the players.
Even the strongest and fastest player won’t succeed if he can’t follow a team’s strategy, which can involve learning a huge number of plays and signals. He’ll also have to learn why those plays should work and how to apply them under pressure. A 2011 study published in “Social and Behavioral Sciences” specifically mentions that football can help improve spatial reasoning skills. These skills can benefit players off the field. For example, a 2010 article in “Scientific American” emphasizes the important role spatial reasoning plays in math and science achievement.

Proper Rain Gear for Football

There are very few weather stoppages in football. Through rain, sleet, snow and ice, football players take to the field and play the game no matter what the conditions. So do football fans, who have no escape from the elements if they want to see their team play. They must stay out there and face brutal rain and wind. Fans need the proper rain gear to make the experience less miserable.
The idea is to stay as dry as possible despite the rain and the best way to do it whether you are sitting in the stands or playing the game ¡ª while standing on the sidelines ¡ª is with the rain poncho. Lighter and more pliable than a rain coat, a rain poncho will move with your body and that will allow you to cover more of your body when moving around or sitting in the stands. The poncho will cover you from the top of your head to midway down your calves, and that will go a long way toward keeping you from getting soaked.
Rain pants and waterproof shoes are essential if you are a fan sitting in the stands. Rain pants protect you from getting soaked while seated and as you move around, waterproof shoes will keep your feet from getting soaked. Wet feet at a sporting event can turn any game into a miserable performance.
Don’t even think about taking an umbrella into the game with you. Under most circumstances it will be taken away from you. Unless you are sitting in the last row, there will be other fans sitting behind you and nobody wants to look at the back of your umbrella for a full 60-minute contest. You will likely be the object of ridicule for bringing an umbrella into the stadium with you.
A football game at the college or professional level will usually take about three hours. So in order to prepare for a day in the rain, you have to have the proper mindset for the experience. Your day of watching football will be wet, but it doesn’t have to be miserable. Once you get used to sitting in the rain, you are going through a shared experience with the other fans and players in the rain. As your body makes the adjustment, it becomes fun, enjoyable and memorable to watch the game in the rain.
It’s not just a matter of going to the game and sitting in the stands and watching the game. It’s the entire experience. Those who go to games regularly don’t cut back on their experience just because it’s raining. They tailgate even though it may be pouring outside. Take a tent with you when you go to the game so you can make the best of your pre- and post-game experience. You can have your beverages and meals in the tent and enjoy the experience despite the rain.

The Best Push Up for Broad Shoulders

The pushup is one of the most effective exercises for building strength, muscular definition, getting in top shape and burning calories. Pushups can be performed from a variety of angles to build a variety of effects on your body. One of the goals of pushups is to build broad shoulders and a strong upper body.
You can always build size and strength in all upper-body muscle groups with standard pushups. Lie down on your front and place your hands directly underneath your shoulders. Your palms should be flat on the ground and your fingers should be pointing straight ahead. Lift your body weight by pressing your palms on the ground and then straighten your elbows. Hold this position fora count of two and then return tothe starting position. Do this 15 times, take a 30-second break and then repeat the set.
The best pushup for building size, strength and definition in the shoulders, do wide-arm pushups. Take your position for doing standard pushups. Now place your hands to the outside of your frame. As you push your body up, you will feel more pressure on your biceps and shoulders. This will help you build more mass in the shoulder area.
As you get more advanced in your ability to do pushups and get stronger, you can attempt to do one-armed pushups. One-armed pushups can be performed when you get strong enough to hold your body weight on one arm. Place your other arm on your back. As you lower yourself, lean your body weight toward the arm that is doing the pushup. This will keep you balanced and allow you to continue the exercise.
This is a pushup to do when you are already in top shape and you have excellent strength and balance. Place two sets of mats near the wall of the gym. Place your head in the gap between the two sets of mats. Place your hands on the mats. Press your body up until your arms are straight. Hold this for a count of two. Do 15 handstand pushups, take a one-minute break and repeat the handstand pushups.