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Disclaimer: This message is the personal opinion of the writer only. It does not represent any other entity. The content is for informational and entertainment use only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. If you have legal or medical issues, contact the appropriate professional immediately.

 
Articles
"TRUE BLUE OUR ATHLETES KEEPING IT REAL" LIVING UP TO THEIR DREAMS
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QB Center - Techniques for throwing a better ball
Kids - Get Ready to Play Ball!
Home Remedies from the NFL
Characteristics Of A Wide Receiver
 
QB Center - Techniques for throwing a better ball
1. Be a Leader:

Leaders are players who make good decisions on and off the field. They motivate their fellow teammates to give their all. They are passionate. When two players have nearly equal skills, coaches will always give the opportunity to the player with stronger leadership. Aside from statistics, college and NFL scouts look for prospects with an incredible work ethic and good character.

2. Keep Your Throwing elbow Up:

One of the most common habits of untrained quarterbacks is to drop the elbow of the throwing arm. This causes the ball to be thrown "side arm". Throwing the ball side arm creates tremendous torque on the elbow joint and makes it more difficult to throw the ball with accuracy. Work to keep the elbow above the shoulder through the release.

3. Practice Accuracy:

Accuracy should be your number one goal with every throw. Regardless of whether you're warming up or throwing the long ball, always strive for a precise target. Practice drills which test and improve your accuracy for all types of throws.

4. Quick Feet:

Jumping rope, carioca, quick footwork and drills which improve foot speed are essential for quarterbacks. Footwork is the foundation of a solid drop.

5. Strengthen the Core:

The secret to a strong ball is not only a strong arm, but core strength. Activities which enhance the strength of the abs, obliques, hips and gluts will help put velocity on your ball. Quarterbacks can improve the explosive strength of these muscles by combining medicine or weighted balls with throws, rotations and ab work.

6. Good Attitude:

Respect your coaches and fellow teammates. While privately you may not agree with your coaches approach, never openly challenge his technique. Remain positive. Use body language that says you're a winner, alert and open to constructive criticism. Ask your coach what you can do to improve your game. A player with a good attitude and outstanding work ethic will always have a better opportunity to start.

7. Head Steady/Eyes Focused:

While you certainly don't want to broadcast to your defender where you plan to throw, once you've located your man, zero in on your target. Keep the head steady, eyes focused and make the pass.

8. Explode away from the Center:

On all drops, explode away from the center with speed and confidence and purpose. Practice various drops as often as you practice your pass - daily!

9. Warm-up Gradually:

The shoulder and the elbow joint are extremely susceptible to injury. Don't assume your arm is warm simply because the body is warm. Reduce your risk for injury by warming the shoulder with slow controlled movement including circumduction to promote the production of synovial fluid and improved range of motion for the rotator cuff.

10. Improve your grip:

Next to an interception, the worst thing a quarterback can do is fumble the ball causing an unnecessary turn-over. Quarterbacks with "sticky" hands practice releasing, gripping and grabbing the ball.

Kids - Get Ready to Play Ball!

Whether you’re wearing flags or full body armor, you can raise your game up a notch by training specifically for football. Never mind the usual advice for merely looking bigger, stronger, and faster. If you want to play better on the field, you need to train for it. So we fired off some questions.

1. Are you fast when it counts?

The game of football is predicated by stopping, starting, and moving. In other words, once you’re at full throttle, there’s little reason to work on maintaining that speed in your workouts. You’re better off switching gears. We suggest practicing drills that force you to change speed and direction so you’ll improve your ability to get in position to make plays.

2. Can you apply the brakes?

Speed kills, but if you can’t harness that speed, your performance will suffer. The game is so fast. You need to be able to decelerate, change direction, and control your body. When was the last time you went for a run and practiced stopping? To keep up with the speed of the game and help protect your body from injury, work on your ability to both stop and start.

3. Is your back as strong as your chest?

You block your opponent just like you push a bar off your chest, right? Not exactly. For starters, you’re standing, not lying on a bench, and you’re using your entire body for leverage and strength. Don't get so caught up in boosting your bench press, or singling out any muscle for that matter. For every pushing movement (bench press, be sure to include a pulling movement in your workout (pull-up, row). Same goes for your lower body. Always include some type of lunging or squatting movement in your routine. Not comfortable with your squat technique? Ask one of your Football MiniCamp Pros for some advice.

4. Are injuries on your radar?

You can’t just do the things you like in the weight room. You have to do all the things needed to create overall athletic development. That includes strengthening the smaller muscles that stabilize your joints and help protect your body from injury. Perform "prehab" movements for your ankles, knees, and hips to handle the force of rapid acceleration and deceleration on the field. And don't forget Ys and Ts to protect your throwing shoulder.

5. Have you mastered the basics yet?

If you want to be the fastest guy on the field, slow down. I wouldn’t do the same thing with high school athletes as I would with DeAngelo Hall. Don’t be afraid to dial back your training and work on the fundamentals. No one teaches us how to run. Isn’t it time you learned?

Home Remedies from the NFL

You twist an ankle rounding third

Once you've finished swearing, grab some ice out of the beer cooler, wrap it in a towel, and put it on your ankle immediately-your recovery time is determined in the first crucial minutes after the injury. If you wait until after the game--or, worse, after the beers after the game--you can double the time you spend on the disabled list. When you're back home, elevate and wrap the joint. If you don't have an elastic bandage to keep it firmly in place. Keep the ice on for no more than 20 minutes at a time, and wait for the cold feeling to subside before reapplying it.

Best defense: Taping your own ankle is more difficult than upside-down origami, and at $4 a roll, athletic tape is expensive. Instead, protect your gimpy ankle with a lace-up ankle brace. It'll do as good a job as tape, says Kevin Bastin, a 10-year assistant to Tyer.

You wrench your lower back doing dead lifts

Strains happen frequently to guys who lift weights or play sports in which twisting is involved, such as softball. The key to treating one, Tyer says, is moist heat. The Redskins use heat packs called Hydroculators--compresses that stay warm for up to 15 minutes. You can buy them at drugstores, or you can get the same effect by running a folded towel under warm water and placing it on the affected area. Reheat as needed. Best defense: Some lower back pain is caused by an imbalance between strong back muscles and weak abdominal muscles. To fix the problem, work on your gut. Sets of 20 crunches are a good start, says Price.

Your body aches after a tough workout

If you played sports in high school, you remember the soothing relief of BenGay on sore muscles (and the burning when that locker-room funnyman applied it to your jockstrap). The Redskins use two similar products, Flexall and Tiger Balm, to help, loosen stiff muscles and balky joints. Squeeze a dab into your hand and massage it into the muscle with your fingers. It can heat up the area and make it more comfortable, says Tyer. And the massage increases bloodflow. That helps muscles heal more quickly. Makes you smell like an athlete, too.

Best defense: Don't take tomorrow off. NFL teams play on Sundays, but their day off is Tuesday. The reason is that waste products, such as lactic acid, build up in muscles after intense work. If left to sit, they harden, making you even more sore 2 days after your game. By doing a light workout the day after a tough one, you can move the junk out of your muscles earlier and recover faster.

You get the wind knocked out of you

Try to relax as you wait to regain your breath--panicking can lead to hyperventilation when your lungs finally start working again. When you're able, clamber to your knees and breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.

You jam your finger catching a pass

Ice it immediately to prevent swelling. If the pain and stiffness persist for more than a few hours, have an x-ray. Unless there's a break or severe ligament damage, your biggest problem will be scar tissue, which can lead to gnarled knuckles, says Tyer. To hinder scar tissue formation, don't splint the finger, and keep it moving as much as possible. Best defense: If you have a digit that is frequently jammed, try buddy-taping it to a neighboring finger, suggests Tyer. Two fingers are stronger than one, and less likely to bend at an odd angle.

You wake up with a crick in your neck

Take ibuprofen for the pain and swelling, then hop into a warm shower and angle the spray to hit the sore area. After a few minutes, gently roll your neck back and forth like a boxer to loosen up the muscles. You can try to exercise, but don't do anything that makes the pain worse. If it doesn't feel better in a day or so, see your doctor.

You're kicked in the balls

Sit down and put your head between your legs. This will help stop that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, says Price. Next, reach into your shorts and count your little buddies. If there's only one, his partner may have been knocked up into your abdomen. You'll need to see your doctor to coax it back down. You'll also need to see a doc if there's swelling, bruising, or prolonged pain. Ice the injured gonad on your way to the physician. The cold will be intense, so apply it over your underwear.

You fall off your bike and skin your elbow

Injuries like this aren't deep, but the large surface area makes them more likely than regular gashes to become infected. Be extra-vigilant if you receive your wound by falling or diving on artificial turf--fake grass harbors a lot of bacteria, says Al Bellamy, an assistant trainer with the Redskins. Wash the abrasion thoroughly and keep it covered.

That 240-pound power forward elbows you in the face

Pinch your schnozz to stanch the flow of blood, and lean your head back. Put a bag of ice on the bridge of your nose. The cold will help stop the bleeding even faster. Don't return to the game right away; ask one of the cheerleaders for a tampon, cut off a piece, and use it to plug your nostril. They are extra- absorbent, says Price. And you'll feel extra-fresh.

You pull a hamstring legging out

Fill a paper cup with water and stick it in your freezer. Next time you abuse a muscle, tear off the top half of the cup, put a paper towel over the ice, and rub it over the damaged tissue. This will push swelling out, speeding recovery. Applying the ice while gently stretching the muscle seems to help even more, Tyer says. Best defense: To loosen up, jog or hit the exercise bike for 10 minutes before practice or a competition. If you play softball or another sport in which you cool off between bursts of activity, continue to stretch and jog even when out of the action.

Your opponent bites you

In the heat of competition, just about anything can happen. (Conrad Dobler, the former St. Louis Cardinals lineman, is said to have toothed a number of defensive tackles.) If some idiot decides to take a chunk out of your leg at the bottom of a serum, go to your doctor immediately. Human bites are deadly serious because of the high risk of infection and disease, Price says. No matter how superficial a bite is, you need to see a professional.

You get beamed in the head

If a shot to the melon makes you dizzy or nauseated, stop what you're doing immediately and have someone take you to see a doctor. Being disoriented or having blurred vision are also signs you need medical attention,'' Price says. Be wary of symptoms even hours after the blow, and avoid taking aspirin or ibuprofen for pain; they can encourage hemorrhaging. Take Tylenol instead.

You tear a rotator cuff

Trying to gun a guy out at the plate after a winter of channel surfing is a great way to injure your rotator cuff, which can take months to heal. A tear usually shows up as vague pain in the shoulder area, and it may result in a catching sensation when the arm is rotated. See your doctor if a day or two of reduced activity doesn't help. The initial treatment is rest and anti-inflammatories. But as soon as pain levels permit, start physical therapy to regain motion.

Best defense: Do lateral and front raises with 5-pound dumbbells to strengthen the smaller muscles in your shoulder. Also, Price says, you should stretch your shoulder joint frequently by draping a towel over your shoulder, grasping it with the opposite hand and pulling it up and down, as if you were drying your back. Do 10 repititions on each shoulder. If you play softball, warm up between innings to keep loose.

You dislocate a shoulder

If one of your shoulders pops out of joint, you'll be able to tell by its appearance and your blood curdling screams. If this is a repeat dislocation, you may be able to gently coax it back into the joint yourself. Don't try to do a Mel Gibson and force it back; you might do even more damage to the ligaments. A separated shoulder is essentially a sprain, and should be treated with ice and anti-inflammatories and a trip to the doctor.

Tip: Because of your shoulder's shape, it can be difficult to make a bag of ice cubes stay in contact with the joint. Instead of cubes, try crushed or flaked ice. With a little pressure it will form to your shoulder, providing even, constant cold.

You're smacked in the eye

Any injury to your eyes warrants careful evaluation by a doctor, says Price. Be especially concerned if your vision is distorted. If you take a blow to the eye, you can put an ice pack over your eye socket, but it's smart to keep it off your eyelid. If a foreign object enters your eye, wash it away immediately by flushing the eye with eyewash (or water, in a pinch). Even a speck of dirt can cause infection or a scratch on your cornea. If it lodges under a contact lens, it can cause an ulceration. Always stop what you're doing and rinse away anything that gets in your eye, Price says.

You take an elbow to the ribs

Your ribs are involved in every activity you enjoy, especially breathing. Use a cold compress for mild discomfort. If serious pain persists for more than a day, or gets worse, you should see your doctor, Price says. But expect even mild rib-cartilage damage to take a month or so to clear up.

Characteristics Of A Wide Receiver

There are many athletes who have the ability to run fast in a straight line, but to be a top wide receiver, the athlete must have the one quality that cannot be coached: quickness. He also must be able to change direction without losing any speed, run at full speed the minute he comes off the line of scrimmage, and continue to run flat-out throughout his entire pass pattern. You can almost always pick out a receiver who has great speed by his average yards-per-catch figure for the season.

However, if a player has a desire to be a wide receiver and he does not have tremendous speed, he should not automatically give up on his dream. With a great deal of hard work and dedication, there can be an opportunity for him to make the team at the receiver position. Even though all coaches would like to have receivers with great speed and quickness, there is a place for the receiver who, lacking speed, makes up for it with precise pattern execution, complete focus on the ball when it is thrown his way, and the ability to get away from defensive players or to find the hole between zone coverages.

Along with a thorough grasp of offenses and defenses, another important trait found in any successful wide receiver is concentration. First, he must concentrate on getting off the ball on the snap count. As he releases off the line of scrimmage, the receiver must concentrate to recognize the defense that is being used. While still running at full speed, he must concentrate on running the pattern called in the offensive huddle, running it in the exact manner that will allow him to be in the best position to defeat the coverage being executed by the defense. Finally, as he moves into the final phase of his pass pattern, the wide receiver must be able to shut everything out of his mind, focusing his eyes and all of his attention on the ball as it moves toward him. He must be consumed with total and complete concentration on making the catch.

This ability to focus on the catch and the understanding of the importance of the catch are demonstrated by great wide receivers every time they walk on the field to practice or play football. They know that if they practice with intensity and dedication, attempting to catch any pass that they can touch, their performance in a game will become automatic.

Conditioning, the ability to run on play after play without slowing down, is also a vital characteristic of any great receiver. All football players should be ready to run when practice begins, but the very nature of the job of a wide receiver requires that they come to the practice field in the very best physical condition. Fatigue and a lack of conditioning will turn a good receiver into an average pass catcher faster than anything else that might happen to him during practice or a game.

Playing as a wide receiver on a football team can be exciting for any young player, but he must understand that it is not an easy position to play. He will be required to run continuously during the entire practice session or game when he is on the field. Prospective wide receivers also must realize that while they may not be required to block like an offensive lineman or even a tight end, they will be involved in contact. They should be prepared for this, and especially to "take a hit" after a catch, accepting this inevitable collision as a part of playing the game as a wide receiver.