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 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 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