PAN AM Wrestling Footwork

pan am wrestling          Wrestling is a picture of how precarious life is in conflicts. Bouts for control begin ritually in the ‘neutral position’ with wrestlers standing on their feet.  The goal is to ‘take down’, to ‘par terre’ the competitor. This expression comes from French ‘tomber par terre’, meaning ‘to fall to the ground’. A wrestler tries to unseat the feet of his foe, to take him down to the mat.  The victor literally exposes his opponent’s back. In the ultimate posture of defeat, he is face down.

During the bout, wrestlers stay flexible and alert; balance is essential. Feet grip the mat as they circle each other, probing for indications of weakness or vulnerability.   Rubber-soled shoes mimic the traction of bare feet.    At times their prowling appears lockstep as they look for an opportunity to pounce.  Of the two Olympic wrestling styles, Freestyle is more dynamic and allows for aggressive use by and against legs. Greco-Roman wrestling involves brute strength, though legs cannot be forcefully active.

Points Measured by Feet

A ‘throw of grand amplitude’ is a takedown from the neutral position. One wrestler brings his rival off the mat, controlling him so that his feet go directly above his head.  This is a five point move.  When a wrestler escapes from underneath his dominant opponent and gets to his feet and faces him, he scores one point. If a wrestler continually flees and avoids contact, his competitor may be awarded one point. And if a wrestler put a foot off the mat onto the protection area, he is called for being out-of-bounds.  His opponent gets a point before the match resumes.

At the conclusion, the wrestlers ritually stand on their feet and shake hands. The referee announces who has accumulated the most points, though both would have put in the hard yards.

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

Resources: 

http://www.toronto2015.org/wrestling

http://artnetweb.com/iola/mrnetart/rules.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrestling_shoe

http://www.shortlist.com/entertainment/sport/olympics-guide-wrestling

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greco-Roman_wrestling

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 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

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 Volleyball Beach Footwork

pan am volleyball beach          The switch isn’t automatic. Even an experienced indoor player needs practice finding her ‘sand legs’ in beach volleyball.  Sinking and stumbling as she learns to jump and run barefoot on (possibly hot) sand is a humbling new beginning. Eventually, her muscles stabilize and she gets used to landing on both feet. Movement forwards, backwards and sideways on the sandy court becomes second nature.  By the time her focus is on entirely on strategy, her light footwork barely disrupts the level sand. The court surface isn’t the only difference. Indoor volleyball has six players per side; beach volleyball has two. The pair must pass, set up, spike, block and serve to their opponents.

“Peeling” – Fast Footwork on Defence

Mid-rally decisions are frequent. If a beach volleyball player can track an incoming attacking ball, she steps forward and blocks it back. If she decides a block isn’t possible, she quickly ‘peels’ into a back court position.

In a ‘Cross, Step, Hop’ combination movement,  the player starts from a ‘loaded position’ with knees bent, one foot in front of the other.  On the right side of the court, her right foot is in front and on the left side her left foot is in front. She

  • Pushes off front foot with open body to the court,
  • Crosses outer leg with inner leg,
  • Takes an aggressive step away from the net, and
  • Swings into a large hop to face attacker. (1)

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

Resources: 

http://www.toronto2015.org/beach-volleyball

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3772587/

http://www.volleyball.ca/sites/www.volleyball.ca/files/Coaching_Entraineurs/Resources/COACH-BasicBeachTechniques.pdf

http://www.volleyball.ca/sites/www.volleyball.ca/files/Coaching_Entraineurs/Resources/COACH-TheBasicsofPeeling.pdf

www.avca.org/…/Fundamentals-of-Sand-Volleyball-Part-3-Blocking.pdf  (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 Triathlon Footwork

pan am triathlon          Triathletes are overcomers!  Of the three sports – swimming, biking and running – most triathletes are stronger in two. Bikers and runners, for example, may have poor ankle flexibility and find it difficult to do the straight-footed swimming kick. With one finish line, the clock is a tyrant for triathletes. Training becomes a lifestyle. Many do interval workouts based on the comparative energy required in each sport. Using the rule of thumb that 100 yards of swimming = ¼ mile of running = 1 mile of biking, they build up training blocks to beat the clock. (1)

The big time wasters are the transitions from swimming to biking and from biking to running.  Triathletes move from wet to dry, from no shoes to shoes, from horizontal to semi-vertical to vertical, from using one set of muscles to another, to another. Frustration can plague transitions: getting a foot stuck in a wet suit, lacing up shoes quickly, and managing blistered, swollen feet. Their woes compel wise preparation for every ‘next race’.  Triathletes are organized!  They enter transitions with physical and mental preparedness.

Swim –Balanced Footwork

The triathlete runs into shallow water before she begins to ‘dolphin’ – a shallow dive or leap forward. First, gliding under water, she stands up and leaps further into the water until it is deep enough to swim. She minimizes her freestyle swim kicks to stay balanced and to conserve energy.  Toes pointed, of course. Near the end, she ‘changes gear’, increasing her swim kick to get her blood flowing in preparation for moving on land.

Transition 1

On terra firma, she sprints to the bike racks.  Carrying her bike upright, she heads to the mount line. Alternatively, her bike is ready with shoes attached by rubber bands to the pedals; she hops on and coasts with her feet on top. As she starts to cruise, she puts her feet into her shoes.

Bike – Rhythmic Footwork

Eyes on the road and not her feet, the triathlete concentrates on her pedaling stroke. Initially, she works at a rhythm to let her heart rate calm down and to get ‘her legs back’.  Soon enough, she increases her tempo, pushing straight down on the pedal at the three o’clock position. With several minutes remaining she starts thinking “RUN”. She changes into a slightly bigger gear and pedals standing up. While still on the bike, she stretches her running muscles (hamstrings and calves). She dismounts ‘on the fly’.

Transition 2

T2 is fast but tough.

Run – Paced Footwork

The run begins on legs that feel wobbly and heavy. The athlete’s body must redirect blood to her running muscles. Her brain needs time to override the “pedal in circles” message. She pushes through until she finds her pace. Soon enough, her cadence of 90 rpms on the bike, matches her previous stride rate of 90/min.  In various segments of the race, she may pace herself differently. Ideally, it is a continuous build. She focuses on good leg turnover.  Her lower limbs feel ‘normal’ again.  She sprints for a good distance to the finish line.

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

Resources: 

http://www.toronto2015.org/triathlon

https://docs.google.com/folderview?pli=1&docId=0Bya1shSQAxUDU0p2VVRUWDZyZjA&id=0Bya1shSQAxUDMGgtdFFUUDN6c28  (1)

http://www.trinewbies.com/tno_swim/tno_swimarticle_04.asp

http://www.camelbackcoaching.com/olympic-distance-race-strategy-and-pacing/

http://www.active.com/triathlon/articles/10-tips-for-faster-triathlon-transitions

http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2011/01/18/pedal-efficiently-cyclist

http://www.active.com/triathlon/Articles/Learn-to-Master-the-Bike-to-Run-Transition.htm

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