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

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 Indoor Volleyball Footwork

pan am volleyball indoor          Volleyball is always, always about ball control. Footwork shifts players into positions to accomplish this. Even before the ball is set in motion, all the feet are set in place.  Six players per side form front and back rows placing their feet on the court floor according to strict rules. These stipulations ensure that the whole court is covered.

The players’ begin in their staggered stance with feet apart, knees bent, hips lowered, and body weight shifted onto the balls of their feet. When the ball is served, they break formation and ‘run’ combination plays. The setter calls the plays. Each hitter knows how to approach the ‘set’ with forward momentum or how to adjust her footwork if she is not called to take that ball. Volleyball players endeavor to be in the right position (to dig, pass, set, hit / spike, or block) without getting in anyone else’s way.  That takes teamwork and flexible, agile footwork.

Footwork Patterns for Setting:

As the opposing team serves the ball, the right-handed setter watches the ball in flight and predicts her teammates’ responses.  She anticipates a pass before setting the ball for a spike. She stays mobile so she can deliver the set facing the hitter with her right foot forward. The ball, her forehead and hips will align vertically. In the meantime, she reads and responds to the pass:

  • If the ball is passed in front of her, she takes a big step forward with her left foot, followed by a right step as she sets.
  • If the ball is passed off the net, she takes a big left step sideways away from the net and then squares up to the outside antennae. She sets the ball as she shifts weight onto her right foot.
  • If the ball is passed behind her, she steps back with her left foot, squares up to the target and set, shifting her weight onto her right foot. (1)

Footwork Patterns for Spiking:

The right-handed hitter approaches the set with hips open to centre court so she can create more power. She sprints her last three steps …‘Left – Right – Left’.  These are biomechanically-efficient moves to transition onto a ‘planted’ foot position and then a jump. Facing, but a little behind the setter who has timed the ball’s set, the hitter starts low and jumps straight up “punching her feet through the floor and pole-vaulting off her legs”. (2) She hammers the ball over the net and lands quietly on her feet.

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

Resources: 

http://www.toronto2015.org/volleyball

http://www.strength-and-power-for-volleyball.com/volleyball-footwork.html    (1)

http://www.volleyball.org/playing/keywords.pdf

http://www.livestrong.com/article/100917-volleyball-rules-using-feet/

http://www.capitalcityvbc.com/volleyball_articles/volleyball_hitting/volleyball_footwork.php  (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 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 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