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Healthy Snacks for Athletes

Healthy Snacks for Athletes

Athletes need to get the right amount of calories and nutrients. The nutrients they need will include protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. But where can the athletes get these nutrients? Athletes need a well-balanced diet, but they can also enjoy healthy snacks that promises all important nutrients so that they can get lots of energy. Healthy snacks are capable of providing additional calories and nutrients they need. Athletes eating a healthy snack before they exercise will give them plenty of energy and eating healthy snacks after an intense workout will prevent them from eating too much during mealtime.

What snacks that athletes should avoid?

Athletes should avoid eating snacks that are rich in fats and sugar. Donuts, potato chips, candy bars, cookies and sodas are some of the snacks that an athlete should really avoid because they don’t really  contain healthy nutrients. These snacks are not capable of giving the energy an athlete need to perform well during their exercises and in their sports competitions.

Snacks that an athlete should eat.

As an athlete your snacks should be easy and healthy to eat. You need to set the proper time ahead of time so that when you need to eat them, you can easily eat your snacks especially if you have a very tight training schedule.

Here are some good snacks that you want to it:

  • Yogurt mixed with fresh or canned fruits.
  • One apple or banana along with peanut butter.
  • Cheese and crackers made from whole grains.
  • Energy bars.
  • Celery sticks.
  • Whole-grain bread.
  • Carrots.
  • Bagel sandwich with either peanut butter, lean roast beef, tuna, or turkey inside.

More important tips about eating healthy snacks.

You need store your snacks in a refrigerator or a cooler with ice if you don’t want them to get spoiled. You also have to make sure that they don’t get to stay at a room temperature no longer than 2 hours. Bacteria will grow in these foods after two hours which can be bad and may cause you to become sick.  Milk and other dairy products should always be kept cold if you want don’t them to get spoiled. You can also keep your salads and sandwiches cold if you want to eat them later on.

You should eat your snacks before you feel too hungry especially if you are in weight control. This will prevent you from eating too much during mealtime. You can try asking your dietitian to see how many calories you need per day. You can also ask your dietitian what snacks should you eat to help you get the right amount of calories and nutrients you need every day.

Extreme Drills Part 6 – Endurance and Conditioning

Extreme Drills Part 6 - Endurance and Conditioning

Here are some extreme drills that will help you become a complete athlete. This is part 6 of the extreme drills series which talks specifically about improving the level of endurance and conditioning of an athlete.

Treadmill Fitness Test

This is an ideal conditioning test that will help you in measuring your current level of endurance. By taking this test at least once a month, you will be able to monitor your progress and determine whether the workouts you’ve been doing are effective or not. A conditioning test helps you measure your level of endurance. Every athlete should be able to finish this test in just 10 minutes for them to be considered as having an elite endurance.

  • Set the treadmill at 10 mph.
  • Run for as long as you can.
  • Just get off the treadmill when you are already tired or fatigued.
  • Try doing this once in every months.

Tempo Runs

Tempo runs are different from sprints. They are designed for conditioning an athlete’s body and are also good for measuring the level of endurance of an athlete.

  • Place two cones far apart each other, but make sure that you leave a space of at least 10 right after the second cone.
  • Now, try running from the first cone to second one by using 70-80% of your total speed.
  • Walk back to the first cone to start again.
  • Repeat this drill for 10 minutes.

Treadmill Tempo Runs

You can also do tempo run on a treadmill if you have one. You just have to set the incline of the treadmill at a 2-percent grade.

  • Set the incline of the treadmill at a 2-percent grade.
  • Try to sprint by using only 70-80% of your maximum speed.
  • Be sure to that you follow a smooth sprint motor pattern.
  • Set the speed at 8 miles mph at first and gradually improve it as your fitness and endurance also improves.
  • Increase the number of sets you do by 2 every week.

Extreme Drills Part 5 – Partner Edition

partner bench press extreme drills

Here are just a few of the extreme, endurance and agility building drills that will help make you a better athlete. This is part 5 of the series with drills 13-15 this part is all about partnering up and doing extreme drills with a buddy! More to come soon!

partner deadlift extreme drillsExtreme Drills #13: Partner Deadlift

With your partner in the upright push up position,while facing the opposite direction as them stand between their legs. Now squat down with your chest up and your shoulders over your knees and grab their ankles and stand straight up keeping your arms locked.

Extreme Drills #14: Partner Front Squat

Start with your partner in the push up position again. Place your partner’s ankles on your shoulders and begin doing squats using their weight as resistance.

Extreme Drills #15: Partner Bench Press

Have your partner in the push up position again and lay down on your back so that your head is between their feet. Grab their ankles and lift them away from your chest until your arms are straightened out. Then lower your hands until they touch your shoulders.

Check out Part 4

Best Stretches Before Football Practice

best stretches to warm up football practice

Stretching gets the body ready for the workout you are about to start. Stretching is most important before starting football practice. Not stretching can lead to injury. Here are the best stretches to do 10 reps of before you start practicing!

  • Walking Knee Hugs: This will stretch your hips and glutes. Get on your toes for each hug to stretch your calf muscles and help improve your balance.
  • Dynamic Lunge with Rotation: This will stretch and open up your hips and increase t-spine mobility. This stretch will help increase mobility for better sprinting and reduces injuries. This will also keep your t-spine from locking up, when it locks up and cannot rotate correctly your lower back will rotate instead which could cause injury.
  • Inverted Hamstring: This stretch activates your glutes and warms up your hamstrings.
  • Hip Rotations: This stretch keeps your legs and hips stable.
  • Lateral Lunges: This stretch activates the gluteus medius or the “side butt.” Commonly overlooked, when this muscle is weak knee injury is more likely.
  • Backward Skips: Engages your glutes. Important for sprinting power and reduces the rick of a hamstring injury. You can also swing your arms back loosely to increase mobility in the shoulders.
  • Inchworms: Activates and stretches the core, abs, back and hips for sprinting. The key is to keep your back and hips straight, never let your hips sway. Not a fun drill but well worth it for sprinters. It will maintain a tight core that will keep a sprinter from losing energy while running.
  • A-Runs: To increase range of motion while sprinting. You can also do the Carioca for more lateral movements.
  • Backward Lunge Reach and Twist: Keeps the quads and the muscle in the front of the hip that goes to the abdomen stretched. This also increases hip, shoulder and T-spine mobility.
  • Backpedal: Helps engage the glutes and works athletic stance. Very important for linebackers and defensive backs.

No Helmets During Practice Equals No Concussions?

tackle Concussions helmets

Could football practice without helmets help prevent concussions?

A new study as found that practicing without helmets could actually lower the amount of concussions. It may sound counter intuitive but the idea behind it is actually so that during practice players will be much less likely to use their head as a weapon. Practice without a helmet can teach the players to be more cautious with their heads. With the technology of helmets getting more and more sophisticated, players could feel better about being risky with their head, because they feel protected. The study believes that players who practice without helmets will not feel protected under a helmet so they will learn to avoid getting their head injured and overtime will develop muscle memory that will reduce the amount of head impacts they get during a game. Currently, the study is limited though. The study is unable to provide data supporting that practice without helmets reduces the amount of head impacts throughout a season.

Gatorade is Recording Hydration in Real Time

gatorade tracking hydration

How Gatorade Plans To Reinvent Sports Drinks—Again

Gatorade has made a new product they call the “smart cap” which allows coaches to track their player’s hydration levels during practice and games! Every ‘smart cap” is digitally linked to a player. Using an app to see how much the player sweats during practice, how much sodium the player loses, and how much they need to drink to keep their body at optimal performance. Every “smart cap” is filled with a drink formula that matches a player’s specific sweat type. A chip and a small turbine in the spout measure how much he takes in a sip. There are LED lights on the cap that help the player pace their drinking, showing them if they need more or less to keep on target.

gatorade tracking hydration with new smart cap technology

  1. Customized top: Personalized cap with player name, number, team color, and logo.
  2. LED lights: Let’s the player know if they need to drink more or less to stay on target.
  3. Cap Chip: Shares real-time hydration data with digital platform and coach’s web app.
  4. Turbine: Measures all the liquid that is leaving the bottle to provide data to the chip cap.
  5. Fuel pod: Holds the specific concentrated Gatorade formula for the player.
  6. Fuel-pod engine: Cross-shaped top “breaks” fuel-pod cap, mixing contents with water.
  7. Bottle: 30 oz container, custom colors available.

Read more



The Origin of Pro Football

the origin of football

On November 12, 1892 the origin of professional football began. It was the day that the Allegheny Athletic Association football team defeated the Pittsburgh Athletic Club. No one knew at the time that the this game would have such a big impact on football. The game itself was not a big event it was that one of the players, William (Pudge) Heffelfinger, was openly paid $500 to play the game. This marked the first professional football player in history. This means professional football began over 100 years ago with no indication of the popularity the sport would have in the future.

At the time the Pittsburgh Athletic Club believed that something illegal was afoot but had no evidence that the Allegheny Athletic Association had abandoned the standard practices by actually paying players to play. Verification of this didn’t become public for another 80 years when the Pro Football Hall of Fame got a document of expenses from the Allegheny Athletic Association that had clearly listed “game performance bonus to W. Heffelfinger for playing (cash) $500.” While it was possible for other players to have been paid before 1892, the AAA expense sheet provides the first irrefutable evidence of an out-and-out cash payment. This expense sheet is commonly referred to as the birth certificate of professional football.

Magnets in Helmets?

football helmets magnet technology

Magnets in Helmets Might Make Football Safer

A new football helmet design with a radical idea could possibly prevent concussions during helmet to helmet impacts by using magnets. The idea behind it is that each helmet would be equipped with a magnet. During a head to the head collision they would repel from each other and slow the impact force before contact. Tests are being conducted with rare-earth element neodymium magnets from China, which are the most powerful commercially available magnet. These can repel up to 100lbs of force when repelling from the opposite pole and weigh a third of a pound (compared to the 3.5 to 5 pound helmets). While these safety feature would add to existing ones it also would add $50 to $100 in price. If the magnets make it through field tests, they could theoretically reduce the relative risk of concussions by up to 80 percent without changing the appearance or intensity of the game. See the full story here.

Extreme Drills Part 4

weighted squats drills

Here are just a few of the extreme, endurance and agility building drills that will help make you a better athlete. This is part 4 of the series with drills 10-12. More to come soon!

Extreme Drills #10: Weighted Squat

Weighted squats will workout your quadriceps and hamstrings much harder than just regular squats. Place weight on a dip belt around your waist. Step up onto boxes or benches spaced apart; one foot on each one. Arms can be extended forward for balance throughout the exercise. Squat down until your thighs are just past parallel to the floor. Extend your knees and hips until legs are straight. Return and repeat.

Extreme Drills #11: Vertical Jump

The vertical jump is all about lower-body explosion and power. The athlete stands flat-footed and they measure his reach. It is important to accurately measure the reach, because the differential between the reach and the flag the athlete touches is his vertical jump measurement.

russian twists drills

Extreme Drills #12: Russian Twists

Sit on the ground with your knees bent and your heels just off the floor. Holding a med ball at chest level, rotate left and touch the ball to the floor. Rotate right and touch the ball to the floor. Repeat in a controlled manner for specified reps. A strong core is key for increasing throwing velocity of QBs and also helps you better absorb bone-crunching hits from tackles.

Check out Part 3

NCAA Concussion Study


Concussions Get More Attention

The NCAA and the Department of Defense released an info-graphic which summarizes their newest study on concussions. After the release of the new film Concussion with Will Smith playing as the concussion researcher Dr.Bennet Omalu there has been a renewed interest in degenerative brain damage caused by repeated concussions.  The new study found that football isn’t the sport with the most concussions! The following list are incidents per 10,000 events, practices, games, etc.

  • Wrestling: 10.9
  • Men’s ice hockey: 7.9
  • Women’s ice hockey: 7.5
  • Football: 6.7
  • Women’s soccer: 6.3

ncaa concussion study