Sepak Takraw

sepaktakraw Sepak Takraw

Sepak Takraw

Sepak Takraw is the national game of several countries in South-East Asia. Both Thailand and Malaysia lay claim to having invented the sport and it is mentioned in Fifteen Century documents from both countries.

The name Sepak Takraw is a compromise between the two countries on the Thai-Malaysian Peninsular: ‘sepak’ being Malaysian for ‘to kick’ and ‘takraw’ Thai for a ‘rattan ball’.

The modern game is played on a ring-court with a net and the object is to keep the rattan takraw ball in the air.

There are several versions of the game and many suggestions as to its origin, but the modern game is governed by the ‘International Sepak Takraw Federation’ or ISTAF, which holds several international competitions every year including the King’s Cup in Thailand.

It is similar to volleyball, but the ball is smaller and lighter and may not be touched by the arms. It also only has three players per team. In some countries, like Burma, it is considered an art form and may be considered as a demonstration sport for one person alone.

It can also be seen as a type of warm-up exercise, but in the countries where it is played Sepak Takraw is taken very seriously – as seriously as any football match. The modern name of Sepak Takraw was adopted in the 1940′s as the game’s popularity took another upswing and spread outside SE Asia.

The big competitions like the ISTAF Super Series, Malaysia ISTAF World Cup and Thailand Kings Cup World Championships are held every year. Furthermore, Sepak Takraw is now a regular sport event in the Asian Games and the Southeast Asian Games.

Sepak Takraw is now played all over the world and is very popular in the West especially in Canada, the USA and the UK.

The next important Sepak Takraw event is the King’s Cup in Thailand which will be held in Udon Thani in September 2013 between the 16th and 22nd. This event is always widely supported by players and spectators from all around the world.

All-In-One Sports Nutrition

All-In-One Sports Nutrition

Sport is almost certainly the number one or number two leisure in the world creating thousands of billions of dollars worth of spin-off sales such as clothing and sports nutrition foodstuffs. People are fascinated by sport, but why is it so fascinating? Is it envy? Do we wish that we could run that fast, play that well of generate that much money? Or do we empathize with the athletes? Do we comprehend how much they suffered, worked and gave up to get to the top of their chosen field of conflict?

Whatever the reason, it appears that in these days of physical excellence, you cannot be a top athlete and hold down a ordinary career at the same time. In the Seventies, the small country of Wales had the best rugby team in the world for about a decade, but half of the players were only regular guys with regular jobs.
Training as an athlete was minimal compared with today. These days a world-beating team like that would be unimaginable under those circumstances. However, it is still possible to be an accomplished athlete with good nutrition even if you might not become world champion.

Is there an all-in-one sports nutrition supplement? A silver bullet that can make you fit and healthy? Almost certainly not, although there are helpful one-stop products that will give your body all the nutrition it requires under normal circumstances.

This is helpful for the busy person, because it takes the thinking, studying and shopping out of the equation saving you time. If you go searching for an all-in-one sports nutrition take your time and buy one that is suitable for what you do or would like to do.

For example a marathon runner would probably require a different mix than a weight lifter, although the basic nutrients are almost certainly the same. A weight lifter requires instant muscle power, whereas a marathon runner needs stamina but less body weight. So make certain you buy the correct one. A sportsman may have different requirements to a sportswoman.

If you are just doing a bit or jogging, walking a few miles or playing a game of football a week, the runner’s mix is probably better for you than the power lifter’s mix. Which brings me on to the next point.
These mixes often have a great deal of calories in them, so remember to burn those calories off with extra exercise or reduce your consumption of other foods to compensate or you will add body fat!

Some people find that several servings of dairy products provide all the extra calories, calcium supplements and protein intake that they need to perform some extra exercise without suffering excessive weight loss.

One thing is for certain, a good all-in-one sport nutrient will not be cheap. If it is cheap, check the sell-by date and definitely check the contents. How are the calories made up? Is it predominantly from carbohydrates? Carbohydrates are cheap or most are anyway and they are rapidly converted to energy which will cause sugar spikes in your blood. Is that what you want from an energy bar or energy drink? Are you a power lifter?

More expensive mixes will contain more protein which has a slower burn permitting your blood to deal with the blood/sugar levels more easily. Another thing to check is whether the sports nutrition mix contains the full recommended daily amount (RDA) of all the vitamins and minerals that you need. And check the fibre content because calories without fibre is not healthy either.

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Tennis Strokes

Tennis Strokes

A chop stroke in tennis is a shot where the angle made by the line of flight of the ball, and the racquet travelling down across it, is greater than 45 degrees and may be 90 degrees. The racquet strings pass down the side of the ball, chopping it, as someone might chop wood or put spin on a snooker ball. This technique gives a back spin and is made with a stiff wrist.

The slice shot merely reduces the angle mentioned from 45 degrees to a very slight one. The racquet face passes either inside or outside the ball, according to the direction desired, while the stroke is mainly a wrist twist or slap. This slap imparts a decided skidding break to the ball, while a chop “drags” the ball off the ground without break.

The rules of footwork for both these tennis strokes should be the same as the drive, but because both are made with a short swing and more wrist play, without the need of weight, the rules of footwork may be more safely discarded and the position of the body not so carefully considered.

Hitting the ball in these ways are essentially defensive, and are labour-saving devices for when the opposing tennis player is on the baseline. Chop or slice tennis strokes are very hard to drive, and will break up any driving game.

It is not a shot to use against a volley, as it is too slow to pass and too high to cause any worry. It should be used to drop short, soft shots at the feet of the net man as he comes in. Do not strive to pass a net man with a chop or slice, except through a big opening.

The drop-shot is a very soft, sharply-angled chop stroke, played wholly with the wrist and very little power, but lots of control. It should drop within 3 to 5 feet of the net to be of any use. The racquet face passes around the outside of the ball and under it with a distinct “wrist turn.”.

Do not swing the racquet from the shoulder when hitting a drop shot. The drop shot has no relation to a stop-volley. The drop shot is all wrist. The stop-volley has no wrist at all.

Hit the ball using all your wrist shots, chop, slice, and drop, merely as an auxiliary to your orthodox game. They are intended to upset your opponent’s game through the varied spin on the ball and so improve your tennis.

The half volley requires more perfect timing, eyesight, and racquet work than any other, since its margin of safety is smallest and the chance of mistakes numberless.

It is a pick-up. The ball meets the ground and racquet face at nearly the same moment, as the ball bounces off the ground, on the strings. This shot is a stiff-wrist, short swing, like a volley with no follow through.

The racquet face travels along the ground with a slight tilt over the ball and towards the net, thus holding the ball low; the shot, like all others in tennis, should travel across the racquet face, along the short strings. The racquet face should always be slightly outside the ball.

The half volley is essentially a defensive stroke, since it should only be made as a last resort, when caught out of position by your opponent’s serve or shot. It is a desperate attempt to extricate yourself from a dangerous position without retreating. Never deliberately plan to use a half volley.

This article is taken from Playing Tennis with kind permission.

Olympic Events 2012 And Their History

Olympic Events 2012 And Their History

The Olympic Games take place twice a year, in the summer and in the winter. These are sport competitions that involve 200+ nations and are organized by the Olympic governing body. The games alternate every two years and are considered the world’s top competitions in the sports field. Thousands of athletes from all over the world take part in the many different Olympic events that are available.

Olympic Events 2012 And Their History

The Olympic events originally started in Olympia, Greece back in 776 B.C.E. At that time, the games were devoted to the Olympian gods. These Olympic events were said to be founded by Heracles, the son of Zeus.

Some of the first games played in Olympia were javelin, running, and shot put, among others. There were ten games in all and the Olympics were held every four years and continued for around 1200 years. They were always played at the same venue and during the summer months only.

There was a span of around 1500 years when there were no Olympic games taking place. Pierre de Coubertin, a young Frenchman, attempted to start them up again in 1892. It wasn’t until 1894 that Pierre was able to get nine other countries to work with him, thus the Olympics started up again.

Over the years the Olympic events have changed and many new games are taking place. The Olympics are now held in a different country most times and the rules have changed drastically, although the Olympic Games still take place every four years.

One big change over the years is that women are allowed to compete and have been able to since 1900. At first they were only able to take part in croquet, golf and tennis. Now women are allowed to compete in almost every sport or discipline.

The traditional summer Olympics consist of such games as boxing, archery, athletics, fencing, gymnastics, judo, sailing, swimming, shooting, tennis, and wrestling, among many others. There will be a total of twenty seven different Olympic events held at the Olympic events 2012 in London.

The site of the London 2012 Olympic Park is right in the heart of London, so visitors will get a real feeling of the national history and culture of the United Kingdom – the country and its people – although the venues and infrastructure are mostly brand new or refurbished to take extra capacity.

The first winter Olympic Games began in 1924 in Chamonix, France. The sport competitions at that time were skiing, figure skating, ice hockey, ski jumping, and speed skating. New games have been added since then like, short track speed skating, freestyle skiing, and luge. There have been games played such as bandy, and speed skiing that never made it as a permanent sport in the Winter Olympics.

There have been a couple of other changes made also with the Olympics. A torch is lit in Greece several months ahead of when the Olympics are to begin and athletes, celebrities and ordinary folk take part in the torch relay to the designated area where the Olympic events will be held.

Usually there are runners, called a torch relay system, who carry the torch to its destination. The torch stays lit at the games from the opening ceremony until the last day of the closing ceremony of the Olympics events.

The other change is the way the Winter and Summer Olympics are held. Years ago they were both held in the same year. That ended in 1992 when they started being held alternately. This started in 1994 when the first stand-alone Olympics winter sports were held.

Another recent addition is the Paralympic Games which are held directly after the summer Olympic events. Every four years, the country holding the games tries to make them the most spectacular ever, so the Olympic Events 2012 could be the best yet.

One huge change is that now, the winners receive trophies and medals compared to being given an olive branch and being considered celebrities in ancient Greece.