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Football As a Popular Sport

Football, or Soccer, as it is known in many parts of the world is a sport or game that is played between two teams, each containing eleven players. A rectangular field with goal posts at either end into which opposing teams must kick goals into forms the outline of the game. There are a set of rules governing the game, although much has changed in the way the game is played now.

It is easily the world’s most popular sport considering that over 300 million players from over 200 countries around the world are involved in the sport.

The origin or invention of modern-day football throws up interesting and sometimes controversial details. It was largely believed that Britain or England is where the game was first played in the medieval period and it gradually spread throughout Europe. A game involving a ‘party of boys playing a ball’ was first observed in the 19th century in England. However, the Chinese claim that the sport in England is largely drawn from a similar game played in China several centuries earlier. Unlike most other sports of that time, this was played on ‘foot’ and not on horseback, hence the name ‘football’. But there are vast dissimilarities between the two versions.

The rise and popularity of the game cannot be questioned and several hugely prestigious events and tournaments are held throughout the year in various countries. Professional football has seen the rise of several athletes playing the game at the highest levels with huge fan followings for the numerous teams. The English Premier League football season is a highly awaited even and has football lovers thronging stadiums to witness between their favorite teams manned by professional football players from many nations.

‘Soccer’ is the term associated with football in the US and it is claimed to have been coined from the English shortened slang for its formal name, Association Football or ‘assoc’.

Like many other sports and games where vast amounts of money and authority are involved, football has seen its share of infamy and scandals in recent years. The likes of former FIFA President Sepp Blatter and superstar Michel Platini have been accused of corruption and are facing suspensions and total bans. Several aspects like code of conduct, loyalty, conflict of interest and accepting gifts and commissions are part of the charges leveled against the highest ranked officials in the game.

Over the years, the dominance of South American players in the game has slowly been replaced by several European players but the game continues to be extremely popular even as a street sport as it does not require much equipment or infrastructure.

A Short History Of Baseball

Baseball is an international sport. It is played between two teams of nine players having nine innings. However it is mostly played in US and Canada. Baseball is similar to other bat and ball sports like cricket. One team is on the field with one player designated pitcher while the remainder fields. The other team rotates a player to bat. It has four bases and the hitter needs to negotiate until a home run is hit.

As the US dominates the game of Baseball, it is not an invention of North America. Its origin goes back to the medieval games from where cricket also developed. Bat and ball games of medieval times is most likely the father of modern baseball. Similar variants were played in the 14th century may have originated collectively earlier in history.

Bat and ball games played in England during the medieval times were dog and cat, rounders, Stoolball and perhaps cricket. Many historians suggest that stoolball was adopted by men in medieval villages which became an ancestor of cricket since by the 1500s. The game of Rounders which is played in Ireland today was also invented by England. It is very much similar to Stoolball and modern baseball.

A game called Town Ball played in US appeared to be brought by Irish and English immigrants. It was similar to Rounders. Town Ball was played in the 1740s and it was known as base, ball or round ball in some parts of the US. The name base ball was long considered to be coined in the US.

The early reference to baseball comes from 1791. The first recorded rules of Baseball came from 1845 when Alexander Cartwright, a New York firefighter.

Passion for baseball at club level and spectators was the cause of formation of several new clubs during the coming years. In 1858, 25 clubs came together and created the National Association of Base Ball Players. The NABPP and its successor the National Association were not very successful in encouraging growth in teams. This led to the formation of National League which continues till today.

The National League originally consisted of 12 teams but declining ticket sales in 1900 forced the league to downsize to 8 teams. This decision was exploited by the minor Western League and they expanded to other cities dropped by National League. The Western League later renamed itself to American League.

There is not too much difference between the two leagues as they both essentially operate the same rules with the exception of designated hitter rule adopted by American League in 1973.

From the birth of baseball, some great players inspired fans and players becoming celebrities from their humble beginnings. The integration of baseball started in 1945. Most of the club owners and major league executives were not in good principles regarding black players chance in the majors. A movement began in the late 1960s to have these players recognized by the Baseball Hall of Fame.

There have been successful changes to the structure of major league baseball. Club finances have been credited with several minor clubs in the MLB winning the World Series in recent years including the Chicago White Sox (2005) and) and Florida Marlins (2003).

The Fundamental Skills of Basketball

To get better skills in basketball players need to first understand and master the basics of the game.

In basketball, there are 6 different fundamental skill areas that players should concentrate on in training.

Dribbling the basketball is done to move the ball around only when a passing isn’t a better option and a lane isn’t available. Both new and experienced players make the mistake of dribbling the ball when it isn’t needed. Ask any collage or professional basketball coach – they will all tell you the same thing. Dribbling should be done when the player (you) have some purpose to forfill. Dribbling while looking for an offensive option is a good way to lose the ball. When you are looking for that option, take the ball in a firm grip and put your body between you and the defender. Regardless of how good you are at dribbling, the defense will always have a greater chance for a steal if you are dribbling the ball instead of gripping it in both hands.

Passing is the number 1 option for moving the ball around the court on offense. Passing is quicker than dribbling and so it is a deadly offensive tool for reaching that open man so they can have the shot. Good passes are the hallmark of good teams because most offensive plays are set up by good passes.

Shooting is probably the most practiced skill for new and experienced players. Yet so many people still practice it wrong. In practice all drills should be done at game speed and done as you would under pressure. Players are usually too lazy to do this and instead of practicing the sweet jump shot that they are constantly doing in the game they lazy-it-down to a hop-shot. Instead of jumping to give power they use their arms for the power and the legs give the rest. Practicing the wrong way to shoot is something that players do all the time yet they do not understand why they miss all their jump shots during the game…

Rebounding can come in two forms – offensive and defensive. Lots of newer player look at rebounding and immediately think that it is a big mans area. Yet this is not so. Rebounding is more than just being big. It even surpasses just jumping ability. To be good at rebounding you need skill and dedication. Skill is mainly the ability to position yourself and read the shots – something that comes quickly with practice. Dedication is probably the most important factor in rebounding. The person who gets the ball is the one with the most hunger for the ball and who is willing to do whatever it takes to get it.

Offense is a fundamental which encompasses all aspects of the offensive court. Shooting has already been covered (and is covered more in the basketball website listed below). Yet moving off the ball to give offensive options to the player with the ball is another thing that is essential for good offense. Supporting your team mates with screens and being able to locate the best offensive option and get the ball to them are also essential things on offense. These skills are often overlooked.

The best defensive teams in the NBA are often the ones that make it into the playoffs. This is seen year after year so a simple conclusion can be made here – defense is key to victory. Defense is not only about getting the steal or block but also about intimidation of the opponents.

Speed Training For Football Game

Speed Training For Soccer Football Game

So you want more speed in your soccer (football) game to out run your opponents and are at odds at how to go about it. Well, to develop speed to play soccer well is very much different from developing speed say, for a track and field race. Why is this so? That is because you have to develop various types of speed instead of just sprinting speed.

The types of speed you need to develop are:-

•Thinking speed – You must think fast on your feet (pun not intended) and adapt to the furious pace of the game. You are running and thinking at the same time. How to feign a movement, how to create space, which position to run into, who to pass the ball to, to shoot or to dribble or executing strategies from your coach…..etc. The flow of thoughts are endless and are coming fast and furious until the final whistle is blown.

Thinking speed can be developed with a good football coach and by playing competitive soccer game often.

•Acceleration speed – Acceleration speed is crucial. You need to suddenly pick up speed very quickly when your opponents are closing in on you. This sudden burst of speed will catch your opponents unaware or caught them flat footed if your acceleration includes a sudden change of direction.

You can develop acceleration speed by developing strength in your entire lower body. All your leg muscles including your glutes (butt muscles) are recruited when you accelerate. Weight training with squats, lunges, stiff legged dead lift and calf raises are crucial to develop power in your lower body. When your lower body muscles are strong, you can also jump higher when you are going for a heading.

High Interval Intensity training also helps you to develop acceleration speed as well as building up your endurance and power.

• Turning Speed – When you dribble, turn and feign fast, you need to have great body stability and strength. You can only turn fast and powerfully if you have strong and stable core muscles.

To develop powerful core muscles, do crunches, reverse crunches, bridge, plank, side crunches etc. These exercises are to be done slow and deliberate compacting the core every time you breathe out.

When you have physically developed these muscles well, coupled with good skill training and stamina, you will be one hell of a speed demon on the football field.

Complete History of Cricket

With an ethnicity in most of the sports, cricket has established a wide record. Over 300 years ago it was first played by English men, and now it has being played world wide across the globe. Earlier cricket was described as “a club striking a ball like the ancient games of club-ball, stool-ball, trap-ball, stob-ball”. Adult’s participation was only after 17th century. In 18th century it became popular across the globe and it faced its first real crisis this was due to disinvestment and shortage of players. Cricket is a team of “bat -ball” and was firstly documented in southern England. By the end of 19th century it became a national sport of England. It can be said with a fair grade that its beginning was in 1550 in south east England in the region known as weald. The foremost match was played on the grounds of St George’s Club in New York. The first international cricket match was played between USA and CANADA in 1844. It remains the most important world sports in terms of participants, viewers and media interest.



A number of possible sources are thought to consider for the term “cricket”. Which would mean either a bat or wicket? Krick means a stick, in Flemish and, cricc or cryce means a crutch or staff in old English. The word criquet meant a kind of club which perhaps gave its name to croquet. Earlier it was believed that the word cricket and croquet had a common origin. The first alternative of the name cricket appeared in 1598 with a game played at English school named as krekett with reference to a court case.