PAN AM Weightlifting Footwork

pan am weightlifting          As a weightlifter begins his hoist, it looks like he is going to jump. He puts his weight on the outside edges of his feet directly under his hips. Pushing aggressively and quickly against the ground with his feet, he lifts the weight by transferring force from the ground to the barbell through a hip extension.  Actually, his feet lift just enough to slide outwards.   After the lift, he lands in a squat.  Part of his training involves ‘taking off’ from and landing in the same place until it is muscle memory.

Balanced Lift

If a weightlifter doesn’t get his feet right, he won’t get his lift right.  He must position his grip on the barbell so that he is lifting over his ‘centre of balance’.  He can’t be too far forward or too far behind.  His trainer would have made references to the laws of physics that determine his body’s area of balance.  The area changes depending on the type of lift. (1)

In the ‘Snatch’, a single overhead lift movement, the bar is horizontal to his feet.  As he drives the bar upwards, it stays over the rear of his heel bone and the front of the balls of his feet.  That’s his area of balance.

The ‘Clean’ and the ‘Jerk’ are lifts with two sequential movements. In the variation called ‘Split Jerk’, there is initially a jump and then a lunge or ‘split’. In the jump, he centers his pressure on the balls of his feet and drives the barbell upwards.  Keeping the ‘jerk’ overhead in the ‘split’ requires appropriate foot action.  His rear foot strikes the floor first gaining traction, followed immediately by his front foot. His body moves forward and ends up directly under the bar. His area of balance goes from the balls of his feet on one leg to his toe of the other leg.

Go to – http://www.toronto2015.org/schedule

Resources: 

http://www.toronto2015.org/weightlifting

http://breakingmuscle.com/olympic-weightlifting/the-2-fundamental-roles-of-footwork-in-the-jerk

http://www.crossfitsouthbay.com/watch-your-step/

https://breakingmuscle.com/video/breaking-muscle-video-bob-takano-the-importance-of-the-jerk-balance-for-footwork

https://breakingmuscle.com/olympic-weightlifting/how-high-school-physics-can-help-us-with-our-weightlifting   (1)

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.   1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)

TRAINING – COMPETITION – PODIUM

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PAN AM Slalom Water Ski Footwork

pan am waterskiing          An elite slalom water skier doesn’t wobble on his single ski as he cuts inside and then back outside of the wake. He finds and keeps his balance with his feet secured in bindings, one in front and one behind.  The foot in the back binding steers the board, leaning in the direction he wants to go in, turning with slight movements.  That foot is his so-called ‘dominant foot’.

When this skier graduated from two skis to one, he would have taken a ‘test’ to discover which of his feet was dominant. ‘Footedness’ isn’t an automatic ‘pass’ decision.  Ninety percent of right-handers are also right-footers, but only about half of left-handers are left-footed. (1)  In the normal or regular stance on slalom skis, the left foot is in front and the right foot in back binding takes care of steering.  When the right foot leads, the skier is called ‘goofy footed’.

Advanced-level slalom skiers increase their athletic challenge by riding ‘switch-footed’ with their non-dominant foot steering. They aim is to have their performance appear as natural as possible. The names of any tricks or special moves they make would be prefaced by ‘switch’, such as ‘switch ollie’, so that the audience would understand the skill level being tested.

Who is goofy-footed?  Are you? Testing for ‘footedness’ happens on land; there are no ‘sink or swim’ prospects.

Three Tests to Determine Dominant Foot for Slalom Water Skiing:

  1. The Falling Test

Stand with your feet together and close your eyes. Ask someone to gently push you forward from behind. Better if it is done with surprise timing. Whichever foot goes forward first to catch your balance is the one you should try putting in the forward binding.

  1. The Pants Test

Whichever foot you use to put in a pair of pants first is the foot that should go in the front binding.

  1. The Kick Test

Have someone hold a life jacket or something else you can kick in front of you. Kick it without thinking. The foot you kick with is the foot you should put forward. (2)

Go to – http://www.toronto2015.org/schedule

Resources: 

http://www.toronto2015.org/water-ski

http://www.wikihow.com/Slalom-Ski-(Water-Ski-on-One-Ski)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Footedness (1)

http://waterski.about.com/od/tipsslalombegin/a/forward_foot.htm  (2)

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.   1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)

TRAINING – COMPETITION – PODIUM

PAN AM Wakeboard Footwork

pan am wakeboarding          Recipe for High Water Tricks on a Wakeboard

Ingredients and Directions

Start with an initial base of waterskiing, convert that to slalom, and add a good measure of skateboarding. Blend in five ounces of snowboarding and a cup full of surfing. Switch feet and stir again. Let it set until confidence starts to rise.  THEN, add acrobatics to further leaven the mixture.  Stir again, 180 and then 360.  Whip it until it pops.  Spritz it with ‘rad’ lingo.  Ride the butter!

A Smorgasbord of Images: “Tricks on a Wakeboard” 

1.  A lanky wake boarder on a short, sturdy board towed across water, stands in boot bindings with his feet ducked out for stability when he lands board on the water after doing a ‘heelside backroll’ in the foamy air.  [Caption “This Blender Goes Twice the Speed of Boat”.]

2.  The goofy-footed rider’s heels are along one edge of the board and his toes are along the other. He has pressed down with his heels, digging the edge of the board into the water. The board moves in the direction of the edge.  [Caption: “Carving with Heels”]

3.  The windblown rider has just bounced twice to break the tension on the water. Looking for his pop, he pushes down on his board with his back foot and scoops his front foot up, jumping over an imaginary fish dinner.  [Caption: “Unwrapping His Ollie Pop”]

4.  Three Wakeboard Riders doing High Water Tricks:

  • Fruit Loop (A toeside front flip with a backside 180),
  • Slim Chance (A heelside front flip with a frontside 360),
  • Special K (A toeside backroll to blind, approached with both hands behind the back.)
  • [Caption: “Breakfast of Champions”]

A Feast of Footwork Feats!

Go to – http://www.toronto2015.org/schedule

Resources: 

http://www.toronto2015.org/wakeboard

http://www.usawaterski.org/BasicSkills/LearnToWakeboard.pdf

http://coolerlifestyle.com/features/beginners-guide-to-wakeboarding.html#cSLhFMLiCWaKQc8F.97

http://www.wakeboardingmag.com/how-to/higher-learning-wakeboarding/2010/09/06/how-to-find-the-right-wakeboard-stance/

http://ridebutter.com/blog/wakeboard-trick-list/

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.   1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)

        TRAINING – COMPETITION – PODIUM

PAN AM Tennis Footwork

pan am tennis         The slow-dance choreography of a tennis warm-up is a wordless, polite exercise of ground strokes, lobs, volleys, and serves.  It gets the players’ blood flowing and they get to check out the competition. In slow motion, players purposely move their feet in familiar patterns, exaggerate their hips opening to absorb power shots, hold their balance in the follow-through a bit longer, and reduce their speed in any foot take-offs and landings.  Muscle memories are re-kindled and sparks start to fire for the explosive shots to come.  But, don’t be fooled by the pace of the warm-up. It changes on the very first point.  “Love – Love” doesn’t last long.

Game on… the tennis player’s feet are constantly in motion – before, during, and after each stroke. He sets up shots to control the game and will never be caught flatfooted. He has his footwork cut out for him; it will be 5K of chasing down balls in a match. Whether sprinting for a cross court shot, sideways galloping to recover position or hopping for an overhead, a tennis player’s moves are foundational to his strokes.

One of the most aggressive tactics in tennis has a very demure name – ‘The Approach Shot’.  It is exciting to watch and to play because it is a potential game-changer.

Footwork of the Approach Shot

The player takes a powerful step forward to get off the baseline and then small, balanced steps bring her to the service line. With shoulders and torso rotated, she is sideways or perpendicular to the net. This helps her transfer weight forward as she hits the approach shot.  She takes the short ball high on the bounce or out of the air.

  • If she hits it with top spin, she stays low in a semi-open stance and rises up into and through the ball as it slams down the line.
  • If she comes into net with a slice, a ‘Carioca Step’ – her back foot goes behind her front leg – propels her forward. As she slices the ball with a smooth cutting motion, her stance is closed with knees bent.  The ball plops over the net out of the opponent’s reach.

She split steps to center her gravity, and gets ready to explode at whatever height and direction the next ball dictates.  Will she do a put-away volley on a low ball?  Or, will she pedal backwards and hit an overhead on a mid-court high ball?  Then again, maybe she already got the point with her approach shot.

Go to – http://www.toronto2015.org/schedule

Resources: 

http://www.toronto2015.org/tennis

http://www.optimumtennis.net/tennis-footwork.htm

http://www.runnersworld.com/fun/distance-run-per-game-in-various-sports

http://www.tennisserver.com/tennis-warrior/warrior_03_11.html

http://elitetennistraining.com/free-online-tennis-lessons/the-approach-shot/

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.   1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)

TRAINING – COMPETITION – PODIUM

PAN AM Taekwondo Footwork

pan am taekwondo          In Taekwondo, kicking is the most important technique. They are prolific in variety and can defeat an opponent in a single strike.  Kicks to the head score the most points.  After the ritual bow, the combatant moves into his initial stance. From that position, he launches into an arsenal of forceful footwork. This martial artist can rapidly shift his weight, alternating legs performing in quick succession: a Spin Kick, a Straight Kick, a Jump Kick, a Jump Spin Kick, Double and Triple Kicks.  Apparently, there are even fake kicks.

The foot is at its height of combative power in these knock-out moves.  Depending on which kick he executes, the fighter uses various parts of his foot.

The Heel is used in the penetrating Side Kick. Its relative toughness is also suited to landing a punishing KO on the opponent’s head with the Axe Kick or the Hook Kick.

The Ball of the Foot, the area directly underneath the toes, is exposed when they are pulled back. This area is engaged in Frontal, Snapping Kicks and aimed at the opponent’s solar plexus, stomach or chin. The toes must be pulled back in Front Snapping Kicks or they could be broken on impact.

The Instep, at the top of the foot, is exposed when the toes are pointed forward.  It is a useful surface for kicking the side of an opponent’s body or head. Turning Kicks or Roundhouses engage the instep.

The Edge of the foot is prepared for striking by turning the foot down so the sole lies horizontal to the leg. The outside edge can then be used as a striking surface in Side Kicks much like the heel. Due to the small surface area of the edge of the foot, a more painful kick can be inflicted with this slightly more advanced technique. The edge of the foot is often used to snap boards in displays of Taekwondo breaking.

The Sole of the foot provides a big surface area and is mostly used in Taekwondo to force the opponent backwards. In this way, Pushing Kicks are more of a defensive maneuver. Nevertheless, a well-timed pushing kick can knock the wind out of an attacker.

The Knee is banned for use in Taekwondo competitions for good reason. The knee is a formidable weapon and can knock an opponent out in a single, low-risk strike. Knee techniques may be taught in Taekwondo as part of self-defense. (1)

Go to – http://www.toronto2015.org/schedule

Resources: 

http://www.toronto2015.org/taekwondo

http://www.taekwondoanimals.com/taekwondo-kicks

http://www.ir.isas.jaxa.jp/~cpp/TKD/technique/stances-e.html

http://www.talktaekwondo.co.uk/guides/taekwondo_standing_kicks.html (1)

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.   1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)

TRAINING – COMPETITION – PODIUM

PAN AM Table Tennis Footwork

pan am table tennis          ‘Quick Feet’ is a vast underestimation of a table tennis player’s footwork as he reacts to the speeding, probably spinning, light-weight ball.  An advanced-level player shifts from his ready position, moves up to five feet, and does a full body swing to return the shot, all in less than half a second. (1)  Indeed, competitive players resort to physics to calculate how they can improve their acceleration time and distance between strokes from their stationary ready position. The crouching, never slouching, always coordinated, sometimes explosive body movements typify table tennis moves.

Ping pong – the original, onomatopoeic name – is a sport of long rallies and sharp-angled shots.  The ‘footwork field’ is far smaller than other racquet sports, only 20 feet by 40 feet; the table width is only 5 feet of the 20. Ping pong players must move around on their own side of the net and make calculated offensive or game-changing defensive shots from different heights and distances. Table tennis footwork requires precision. Mastery of basic footwork patterns is the key to success at advanced levels of competition. Small steps get players in perfect position for spectacular shots.

(Slow Motion) Footwork

Ready Position – The right-handed player returns to a left-of-centre angle on possible shots. Crouching forward with feet shoulder-width apart, he balances on the balls of his feet, heels lightly touching the ground.  His left foot and left shoulder are slightly forward. The tip of his paddle can barely touch the table’s edge.

One-step to the side – To cover a wide backhand, he shifts weight to his right leg and pushes his left foot further to the left.

Two-steps to the side – To take a wide forehand, he leans on his right leg, pulls his left foot towards his right foot. Then he quickly shifts his right foot to the right. This is a side-skipping move.

Three-steps to the side – An incoming shot lands deep to the forehand corner, angling off the wide forehand sideline. Or, the player needs to step out wide on his backhand side to hit a forehand. This is two-step but with a preliminary small step. Moving right, he takes a small step with right foot and shifts weight to his right leg.  Then, he performs a two-step movement.

Go to – http://www.toronto2015.org/schedule

Resources: 

http://www.toronto2015.org/table-tennis

http://www.killerspin.com/spin-info-general/ (1)

http://tabletennis.about.com/od/trainin1/a/increase_speed.htm

https://www.megaspin.net/info/basic.asp

http://www.newgy.com/TTCommunity/Archive/lesson54.html

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.   1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)

TRAINING – COMPETITION – PODIUM

PAN AM Softball Footwork

pan am softball       Softball bears a striking resemblance its first cousin baseball but for a few distinguishing features. Its ball is bigger, its field is smaller and its game is shorter.  Softball has a wild card trait.  The pitch is thrown underhanded. As it moves through the air, the ball can loop up, curve or drop down. Pity the waiting, watchful batter. The catcher is well aware of what the pitcher is delivering.  Having weighed the innings and outs of the game, the catcher selected the right pitch for the moment and covertly instructed the pitcher. This is the same trusting rapport that their cousin pitchers and catchers enjoy; they collaborate in besting the batter before she knows what hit will come of it.

Softball’s groundwork begins with the players preparing their routine footwork before the ball is even thrown.

Catcher Sets Up

She crouches: feet shoulder-width apart, knees bent with weight distributed through the inside balls of her feet. She doesn’t sit back on her heels nor do her knees go beyond her toes. Her back is straight and she is balanced in this low squat.

Catcher Signals

Before moving into the receiving stance, the catcher has a slightly different set up while signaling. She is slightly forward on her toes, dropping her glove to block the signal from the wrong eyes but ensuring it is visible to the pitcher.  She moves into receiving stance.

Pitcher Sets Up

Ball in hand, before stepping onto the 24-inch rubber on top of the pitcher’s mound; she stands square to home plate with hands apart.  Within ten seconds, she brings her hands together then separates them, takes a backward step with her non-pivot foot, still on the rubber, as she begins the one arm wind up for the pitch.

Go to – http://www.toronto2015.org/schedule

Resources:

http://www.toronto2015.org/softball

http://softball.isport.com/softball-guides/softball-catchers-guide-how-to-get-into-a-stance

http://healthyliving.azcentral.com/asa-fastpitch-softball-pitching-rules-1842.html

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.   1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)

TRAINING – COMPETITION – PODIUM