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

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PAN AM Sailing Footwork

pan am sailing

On Board

The windsurfer races on a board,

On water in the wind.

His feet ride and steer in the chop and the swell;

Windsurfing, by nature, is elemental.

The rider watches the wind, its direction and speed.

Two feet planted so his hips can turn.

Facing upwind, the cold starts to burn.

Hands steer the boom, arms straight out.

He stands, bends, and leans as need be.

He takes the weight off both feet, switching them up.

The wind blows high; he curtsies low in the curve.

Weight forward to his toes, his sail foot hits his back leg.

Watch the luff! Take control! He brings his weight inboard,

Slips the new front foot forward; he knows where to go.

Done slogging, now hydroplaning, the fun begins!

It’s like low-level flying up on this board.

Front foot forward, lean in, back foot across.

Shoulders squared up to his knees and hips,

Can’t look down or he will get tossed.

He feels with his toes and maintains his grip,

Pivot at the ankles! Press on the toes!

Twist the front foot forward, up to the nose.

Point the toes! Get the weight off the board!

Get the speed up, flatten the board, ride it on the edge!

Heading upwind, finally on flat water and in control.

He lifts his front heel, forcing its arch in the strap,

He sees all his toes. OK good.

Weight riding fine on the ball of his foot,

He feels with his feet, the water’s not choppy.

His body moves left as the rig moves right,

His back foot’s flat, not carving the turn yet.

Ready to jibe; feet to the tack.

The wind picks up, his pulse instep.

Foot straps on, plane sailing ahead.

[Apologies to true windsurfers.]

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

Resources: 

http://www.toronto2015.org/sailing

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

http://pritchardwindsurfing.com/how-to-get-planing-on-your-windsurfer/

http://howtowindsurf101.com/how-to-windsurf-in-the-footstraps/

http://www.windsurfing.org/train05.htm

http://www.magma.ca/~slaby/wind/learn.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 Roller Sports Speed Skating Footwork

pan am roller sports speed skating         Even though roller speed skaters are the antithesis of ‘arm chair athletes’, it may still be a helpful image or a play-on-words to remember them by.  Their stance – the way they hold themselves when they skate – is more of a ‘sit’ than a ‘stand’.  The skaters move at great speeds, lean forward with hips low and knees bent to 90°.  This ‘nose, knees, toes’ aerodynamic body position adds stability as they stride on ball-bearing wheels on the straightaways and even more so, as they do cross-over moves on the corners.

Their arms are rarely at rest; (oops, another word play). Swinging wide, arms pump for speed in the sprints, especially at the finish line.  Some skaters use a single arm pump, to conserve energy or when taking corners.  They also skate tandem in ‘pacelines’ drafting behind other skaters; one arm is slightly extended with fingers resting on the forward skater’s lower back. They watch the shoulders of the people in front and match their rhythm to keep their feet in step.

“D” – Push to Stride

In the shape of a “D”, one skate pushes through heels to the side and then lifts, hips close and toe points inwards towards heel of support skate, looping leg behind body.  At one point, the lifted foot is directly behind the support leg. Weight transfers to new support skate.

“T” – Stop without Brakes

In the shape of a “T”, one skate is behind the other, nearly perpendicular to direction of travel. Weight is mainly on front foot. Both knees bend a little, adding braking pressure with heel to drag wheels. This stop uses the wheels as a source of friction.

“V” – Stop without Brakes

Toes meet in a “V”.  Legs are spread beyond shoulder-width, using leg strength to press inner edges of wheels against the ground.

(Arm chairs and D  T V…. !)

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

Resources: 

http://www.toronto2015.org/roller-sports-speed-skating

http://www.inlineplanet.com/10/04/tuning-technique.html

http://www.inlineplanet.com/11/05b/skating-in-a-paceline.html

http://inlineskating.about.com/od/speedmarathonskating/a/spd_strategy.htm

http://www.skatelog.com/speed/speed-skating-basics.htm

http://www.skatefaq.com/skate.2.1.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 Trampoline Footwork

pan am gymnastics trampoline          Energy-wise, airborne gymnasts produce enough force through bouncing on a trampoline for 20 seconds to compare to a 200-metre sprint. Beginning and ending the short routine upright on two steady feet, they perform ten moves including somersaults and twists.  They achieve incredible velocity or speed in those rotations. Perfection is the standard.

Getting the Bounce

For the first bounce, the gymnasts’ feet begin flat; pressure is in the mid foot. Pressure moves to the forefoot, then the toes and ultimately to the big (great) toes for the upward push off. With each successive bounce, the gymnasts’ bodies feel gravitational force (Newton’s 3rd Law).  When a gymnast bounces down back to the trampoline, the surface of the trampoline reacts by pushing the same force upwards onto his feet. Olympic gymnasts can soar as high as a two-story building from their trampolines and land with between 15 g and 18 g of force. (1)  When a gymnast’s feet hit the trampoline, they deform the bounce mat.  But as his feet return to the air, the mat returns to its original shape.  Each take-off has a consistent base.

Scrutinizing the Bounce

Aiming for perfection, gymnasts and their coaches try to recapture and improve every move. They even film the bottom of the feet from under the bed/bounce mat of the trampoline. They check the timing, power and angles of footwork. Every aspect of footwork makes a difference in the velocity they can achieve in the air as they perform their somersaults or twists.

“Whatever happens in the air is determined by what happens in the bed.” (1)

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

Resources:

http://www.toronto2015.org/trampoline

https://ojs.ub.uni-konstanz.de/cpa/article/viewFile/2873/2718

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/olympics/flying-through-the-air-under-intense-scrutiny/article4282552/ (1)

http://www.fig-gymnastics.com/publicdir/rules/files/tra/TRA-CoP%202013-2016%20%28English%29.pdf

http://www.introduction-to-physics.com/what-is-elasticity.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 Rhythmic Gymnastics Footwork

pan am gymnastics rhythmic        Three panels of judges scrutinize every move in Rhythmic Gymnastics.  They assess:

  • the technical difficulty of jumps/leaps, pivots, balances or ways the gymnast demonstrates flexibility,
  • the artistic value of the music and apparatus in relation to continuous movement, and
  • how clear and precise the execution of movement is while holding or catching her hoop, ball, clubs and ribbons.

Needless to say, all eyes are on the gymnasts’ feet. Judges deduct points for incomplete moves, heavy landings, wobbly balances, non-defined shapes of the body, or lack of amplitude and/or elevation in a jump, or loss of rhythm with the music. The body must be aligned, with toes pointed and knees straight. (1)

The Importance of Footwork

A research team has proven that ‘feet performance quality’ is significant among the skills in Rhythmic Gymnastics and that it has influence on gymnasts’ success in competitions.

The key-points of the female gymnasts’ feet performance quality are:

  • the height of rising to half toe position;
  • the capacity to perform for a long time on one foot and maintain its turnout and the height of half toe position;
  • the capacity to balance for a long time in high turnout half toe position;
  • the degree of toe pointing;
  • the turnout of feet. (2)

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

Resources: 

http://www.toronto2015.org/gymnastics-rhythmic

http://www.rgalberta.com/bulletins/How%20Rhythmic%20Gymnastics%20is%20Judged.pdf (1)

www.fsp.uni-lj.si/mma_bin.php?id=2013102813085 (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 Artistic Gymnastics Footwork

gymnastics artistic      Even in its familiarity, the balance beam is still a daunting piece of athletic equipment.  Long and narrow, it is raised about 4 feet (1.2 m) above the floor.  Walking on the balance beam is where beginners start. Elite-level gymnasts jump, turn, run, kick, flip, do cartwheels, pirouettes, mount and dismount with seemingly effortless precision.  The riveting repertoires in this sport demonstrate creativity and control like no other.

Advice for First-timer’s Feet on a Balance Beam:

Stand at one end face the beam’s length.  With chest high and abdominal muscles contracted, place left foot in front of right. Turn feet out slightly and distribute weight evenly on balls of feet. Keep toes on top of the beam to prevent ankles from rolling. Align kneecaps with feet. Point arms up above head toward ceiling or extend arms like airplane wings. Looking straight ahead, step forward with right foot. Point toes and place the heel of right foot securely on beam. Continue forward, alternating feet until reaching the end of the beam.

Feat Footwork’ – Olympic Gold-Medal Balance Beam Routines:

2012…..split leap mount, front tuck, two flip-flops to a layout,  swing down, split leap, switch ring leap, front walkover, swing down, side aerial, sheep jump, back tuck, wolf jump, split leap, full turn, two flip-flops to a double pike dismount.

2008…..two flip-flops to a two-foot layout, front pike, standing full, switch leap, layout step-out, two-foot layout, switch leap, split jump, pike jump, back tuck, full turn, cartwheel to sit, round-off, full-in dismount.

2004….. ‘Onodi’ which is a jump backward, then a half twist into a front handspring, then a flip-flop, one-armed flip-flop, layout step-out, split leap,  ‘Kotchetkova’ which is full-twisting back handspring, then a front walkover, flip-flop, back pike, full turn, ‘Omelianchik’ which is a back dive with ¼ (or ¾) twist to land in a handstand, then a round-off, full-in dismount. (1)

[Please check source for winners’ names and countries.]

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

Resources: 

http://www.toronto2015.org/gymnastics-artistic

http://livehealthy.chron.com/walk-beams-3645.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/148109-balance-beam-activities/

http://fulltwist.net/olympic-difficulty-part-3-balance-beam/ (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 Archery Footwork

pan am archery    How much footwork could there be in a sport that values stillness?  Step onto the range and into the archer’s shoes for a moment. The shooting line is parallel to the target line. The archer stands with one foot on either side of the shooting line. The hand holding the bow points towards the target. The centre of the target is directly in line with the archer’s big toes. The setup of his feet ensures greater accuracy.

The ‘Square Stance’:

Stable posture is key. Feet are approximately shoulder width apart. If they were closer or further apart, the archer could sway and thus affect his aim.  His body weight is distributed evenly. His feet are ‘at the root’ of the feeling of ‘being firmly planted’. You would be able to draw a straight line from the top of his head, through his navel to the shooting line between his feet.

Archers using a right hand bow, place their left foot ahead of the shooting line and vice versa. He rotates his feet into the ‘square stance’ with feet parallel to the shooting line. With ‘straight as an arrow’ posture, the archer’s hips and shoulders are ‘in line’ with the direction of aim, perpendicular to the target face.

Once the shooting begins, the feet don’t move.

Go to PAN AM Schedule -http://www.toronto2015.org/schedule

Resources: 

http://www.toronto2015.org/archery

http://www.learn-archery.com/archery-stance.html

https://losangelesarchery.wordpress.com/2012/03/19/eye-dominance-and-the-modern-archery-technique/

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