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 Squash Footwork

pan am squash          Squash players maintain a continuous physical, mental and emotional connection with the ball.  This parlays into skillfully executed footwork and winning shots in a graceful game of active deception. At the highest skill level, players try to outwit each other – anticipating not just the bounce of the ball but ‘reading’ their opponents’ moves, adjusting their counter-moves, and trying to make their own next move even more ‘unreadable’.  Good judgment lies behind good predictions which can then lead to good reactions. A player must get to the ball before his opponent even hits it.

Anticipating the Moves

What are the keys to early anticipation?  A squash player uses the ball’s travel time to read his opponent’s body language in his set up and stroke. He checks all the visual cues, weighing them against his familiarity with the player. He assesses footwork relative to the ball’s position, weight transfer, length and height of back swing, racquet grip, and angle of wrist.  He knows what to do…unless, the opponent ‘pulls a fast one’ and strategically pauses, leaving his shot option to the last microsecond.

Making the Moves

Anticipation doesn’t take place in isolation.  The squash player uses the ball’s travel time to position himself to retrieve all possible shots. In between shots, he generally moves back to the ‘T’ at centre court and gets ready. He does a fast hop and quarter squat, a ‘split step’, landing on feet shoulder width apart to regain balance.  The split step stretches all the muscles that will propel the player instantly and powerfully to the ball.

Squash players do not ‘run’ through the ball in the way that tennis players are trained to.  By the time they get within striking distance of the ball, squash players have already stopped their centre of gravity, transferring weight into the shot and then moving back to the ‘T’.  Lunges are the move of choice with the many directional demands on the body, especially if the ball is low.  A reaching lunge can be elegant; the non-racquet arm counterbalances the outstretched racquet arm. The ball gets a good whack, hopefully as the opponent was blinking.

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

Resources: 

http://www.toronto2015.org/squash

http://www.bettermovement.org/2011/movement-of-week-squash/

http://www.squashgame.info/squashlibrary/9/19

http://squashmagazine.ussquash.com/2014/05/movement-and-shot-mechanics-full-court-press/

http://www.colorado.edu/StudentGroups/squash/movement.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