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

Advertisements

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 Handball Footwork

pan am handball          The referees keep their eyes on the handball players’ feet. They look for violations of the rules. For example, the ball must not touch below the player’s knee and certainly, kicking is not permitted. Players are restricted to three steps while holding the ball. If they exceed that limit, the referees card them. Handball players organize their movements to receive the ball on the left foot in front move. Then on their final of three steps, they have optimal take-off energy to pass or take a shot on goal. It is a “left, right, left” or “fake, drive, jump” pattern.

Watchful offside betters focus on the goalkeepers.   This is a high-scoring game, for example: 28 to 23, 38 to 33, and 35 to 32. With all the fast-moving offensive action, goalkeepers are on their toes for the entire game. They are busy but not bustling. Their moves are slow compared to their team mates.  But when the ball arrives it is a good bet that they spring into action.

Goalkeeper’s Footwork

Balance and instant reactions are important. Goalkeepers start and return to ready position with feet shoulder-width apart, weight on the balls of the feet and knees slightly bent. They move side to side in small even steps following the ball, reducing angles when an attacker advances. Feet spring with hands up and out to save high shots on goal, feet slide and go wide for low saves. Two informally-named footwork styles in response to low shots:

  1. The Yugoslavian style:

The goalkeeper takes a deep side step with his whole leg and same side hand movement. Body weight transfers to that leg and its foot is ‘open’; the inside of the foot is ready to stop the ball.

  1. The Scandinavian style

Sliding on the heel of the leg closest to the approaching shot on goal, the goalkeeper extends one or both hands towards the foot of that leg.

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

Resources: 

http://www.toronto2015.org/handball

http://mnteamhandball.blogspot.ca/2009/08/few-words-regarding-footwork.html

http://livesports-betting.com/are-you-a-handball-passionate/

http://www.wikihow.com/Play-Handball

http://teamhandball.ab.ca/clientuploads/goalkeeper-First+Step.pdf

http://www.videojug.com/film/how-to-handball-goalkeeping

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

Musical Stairs in Croatia

stairs musical Croatia

Zadar could easily coast on its history, its museum of ancient glass or its archaeological museum, but it doesn’t. A few years ago, wanting to improve its pier for cruise-ship passengers, a local architect had the brilliant idea of installing organ-style pipes under the concrete steps leading down to the water.

When waves hit the 35 pipes of varying sizes, air is pushed through, creating musical notes. The Sea Organ shared the European Prize for Urban Public Space in 2006. Since then, solar panels have been installed to even greater effect. At night, the installation – called Greeting to the Sun – lights up underfoot, synchronized to music from the Sea Organ.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/travel/destinations/explore-this-croatian-town-headline/article19674725/

“Mother Nature’s Stairmaster” in Vancouver, BC

Stairs Grouse Grind Vancouver

The Grouse Grind® is a 2.9-kilometre trail up the face of Grouse Mountain. Those who climb its 2,830 stairs start from 274 metres above sea level (900 feet) to 1,127 metres (3,700 feet) at its summit.

https://www.grousemountain.com/grousegrind

Footprints in the Snow: Art by Snowshoes

footprints in the snow art

Simon Beck takes playing in the snow to an extreme.  “It just seemed like a natural thing to do,” Beck says. “Right outside the building where I live in the winter, there’s a frozen lake about two-thirds the area of a soccer field. So you’ve got this great big area of completely untracked snow, which people don’t usually go on because of warnings about walking on the ice. I just thought, let’s draw something on it.” … With snowshoes.

Though Beck created the first designs in his head, as they got more complex, he started planning them out in detail on paper. He studies crop circles and other geometric patterns as inspiration. Out on the lake, he might count his steps or use string to measure angles, or, if a previous design is still peeking through the snow, he’ll use that as a template. The whole process usually takes about ten hours.

Beck likes to work on Lac Marlou, near his apartment in the French Alps, in part because a nearby mountain gives him a good place to take photos when he’s done. But the mountain also casts shadows on the snow, making it hard to get exactly the shot he wants. His next plan: Buy a drone, so he can fly a camera above a different lake. The local ski resort likes the snow art. “At first they thought I was a bit mad, but now they see it as good promotion.”

Check the link for additional pictures.

http://www.fastcoexist.com/3023512/these-giant-snow-painting-are-made-by-one-mans-footprints

Do Kids Walk to School in Canada?

walking to school stats in canada

Canadian parents, by and large, walked to school when they were kids.  Not so much for their own children. Fewer kids these days walk or bike to school. Active Healthy Kids Canada, in their recent ‘report card’, gives Canadian kids a D- on this physical activity.

While 58% of parents walked to school when they were children, only 28% of their own kids were doing the same today. “That’s a reduction of 50% in one generation,” said Dr. Mark Tremblay, chief scientific officer of Active Healthy Kids Canada.  “High numbers of kids are being ferried to destinations within walking or biking distance.”

How to reverse this trend?  Kelly Murumets of ParticipAction says parents need to get involved. Kids who are able to travel on foot or use pedal power can travel in groups with volunteer adults. “Kids are getting physical activity, they have social time, they’re with other kids, they’re safe because they’re supervised, (and) some of the parents who do work are able to make their way to the office,” Murumets said.

If kids walked for all trips less than one kilometer in distance, it would translate, on average, to 2,238 additional steps each day – or around 15 to 20 minutes of walking, Active Healthy Kids Canada noted.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/kids-get-d–on-physical-activity-report-card-as-fewer-walk-or-bike-to-school/article12049548/

Source of Chart:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/parenting/back-to-school/back-to-school-anxiety-what-do-parents-and-kids-worry-about/article20292673/#dashboard/follows/