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Tees and Tots: How Kids Can Benefit From Playing Golf

kids golf

Golf is picking up in popularity with America’s youth these days, and it couldn’t come at a better time. With childhood obesity rates skyrocketing in recent years, there’s no time like the present to get kids out of the house and moving around. However, there are many advantages to the early adoption of golf, in addition to the physical benefits, that are valuable for our youths. Along with requiring children to adhere to proper etiquette and follow rules, golf provides many other social, physical, and emotional benefits as well.

Social Benefits

Golfing has always been a social sport, and that benefit is not reserved for the adults who enjoy the game. With a relatively low barrier to entry, individuals of any age can step onto a course and play, making it a sport well-suited to demographic diversity that can introduce children to a gamut of social interactions. Golf also offers a perfect venue for positive parent/child interactions. It can be a great way to encourage quality time and bonding between a parent and child, which can set the stage for a lasting relationship.

This sport also requires that children mind their manners and conduct themselves respectfully while on the course. In addition to etiquette, golf helps children learn to problem solve, use numbers, and be confident in their abilities while also improving on their weaknesses.

Physical Benefits

In a world of technology, it’s easy for children to stop playing outside and start spending more and more time indoors, in front of screens. This can make it challenging for parents who are trying to get their kids to participate in more physical activities. Golf can provide an alternate means of enjoyment outside of the realm of video games. And because it’s open to all skill levels, it has the benefit of being an easy choice for children that might otherwise shy away from sports. As a non-contact and low-impact sport, it doesn’t require a child to be the strongest, fastest, or biggest in order to be successful or enjoy themselves.

Emotional Benefits

Children require development of their emotional fitness just as much as those physical and social counterparts. Golf helps develop the youth’s emotional health by encouraging self-improvement and challenging them to persevere through frustrations. It requires players to self-analyze, practice, and accept encouragement and constructive critique from coaches and peers. With both achievements and disappointments on the horizon, little players must learn to sustain a positive outlook, learn from their mistakes, and “shake it off” when they fall short so that past faults do not affect current performance or future results.

Because golf is a game of self-improvement, it requires the player to focus on their performance, and it eliminates the opportunity to easily ascribe shortfalls to team members. This can help instill autonomy and responsibility, and nurture the self-confidence that is so vital to living a long and happy life.

Golf is a great way to encourage the home-bound child to get out and spend a day in nature having some good old-fashioned fun on the green, and it can offer many lessons to today’s youth. Several parallels can be drawn between this game and the challenges and successes inherent in society. Golf requires the child to practice emotional management, positivity, proper planning, clear focus, good social skills, and perseverance. It also helps them assess both the task at hand as well as the bigger picture. As children learn how to conduct themselves properly while they are on the course, they are also learning how to become happy, healthy, successful members of society.

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The Effects of Sports on Relationships


It may sound a little surprising to hear that participating in sports can be a great relationship-builder – after all, aren’t many sports created around the idea of fierce competition and rivalry? Yet studies have shown that people who grew up playing sports have more finely developed social skills than those who did not, in part due to the self-esteem boosts created by participation and feeling like part of a team. Whether you’re on the winning side or the side that’s just happy to be there, there are many positive benefits to playing sports – especially when it comes to developing lasting relationships with others.

Building Better Relationships Through Sport

Many of us had the experience of playing sports as children. Whether in a recreational league or something more professional, there’s a reason why sports are recommended for kids and teens: because they help one feel as though they’re a part of something. There’s a sense of belonging that comes with playing sports as part of a team, as well as a significant boost in self-esteem. It’s where many important social skills are learned, including acceptance of others, support of our peers, and the value of competition.

In a study of high school senior students involved in sports, a whitepaper by the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity found that shy students in particular were able to improve their social skills through sports, stating that:

“In terms of the effect of sport participation on shyness, a longitudinal study with measurement at baseline and one year later found that sport was positively associated with positive adjustment (e.g. social skills and self-esteem) and that sport played a uniquely protective role for shy children, with shy children who participated in sport over time reporting significant decreases in anxiety.”

Sports bringing shy children out of their shells may sound surprising, but being part of a team can help introverted people learn how to develop relationships in a beneficial environment.

The whitepaper also makes a point towards physical fitness as being a building block for social skills and the ability to create strong relationships: “For example, there are relationships between physical fitness and mental state; and interpersonal relationships may satisfy needs for belongingness and, as such, influence psychological health. Another example is resilience, whereby psychological health may influence an individual’s capacity to engage in interpersonal relationships.” So not only are sports good for physical fitness, but they also increase a person’s emotional fitness when it comes to relating to others.

How to Make Sports More Social

Long after the developmental stage has passed, sports can continue to act as a positive outlet for people to bond with their peers through teamwork and friendly competition. Whether you know your teammates before you sign up or you use sports leagues to meet new people, even something as simple as a recreational league can have a big impact on your interpersonal relationship skills. For those who might be introverted or susceptible to depression, being a part of a sports team can help provide motivation for getting out of the house and being active, as well as giving a person a sense of self-worth – after all, other people are counting on them to be there.

Sports can also help build relationships with family, whether it’s encouraging your siblings to join a rec league with you, playing tennis with your spouse, or simply throwing a baseball with your child. Working together as a team can put new perspectives and value on familial relationships, plus it’s a good way to air out any potential grievances or simply talk things out while tossing around a football. Playing sports for fun – or for lighthearted bragging rights – ought to be a part of every family get-together, since they encourage the participation of everyone and make all members feel as though they have a part to play.

Lastly, since much of the world is focused on online relationships and social networks, why not incorporate this into your athletics? These days, technology is available to let you record and share your sports performance metrics and highlight reels across social platforms, which means that you can get instant feedback and encouragement from your friends online. Even if you’re working out alone, you’re still able to use sports to build relationships through social media – you can have a “virtual” team on your side.


Rather than promoting a “one versus all” mentality, sports can actually have a hugely beneficial effect on building and maintaining good interpersonal relationships. Whether it’s through meeting new people as rec league teammates, bringing family and friends together to play a pickup game, or using your athletic performance tracker to connect with an online community, sports can be a building block for healthy, long-lasting relationships.

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Evolution of Sport: Skateboarding


No longer the realm of slackers and young kids, skateboarding has evolved into an industry full of complicated tricks and techniques, high-profile tournaments, celebrity athletes, and a much-deserved spot as one of the most recognized and celebrated sports in the United States today. But where did it all begin, and how did it go from being a hobby of surfers to an extreme sport? Skateboarding has had a fascinating journey from underground counterculture sport to a billion-dollar industry – let’s take a look at the timeline that took skateboarding from then until now.


This was the earliest known advent of what we would recognize as traditional skateboarding, beginning in California, where surfers invented a plank on wheels to simulate surfing on land. According to Wikipedia, the first skateboards were originally manufactured for surfers to use when they weren’t in the water. Crafted out of square wooden boards with a set of skate wheels from roller skates, Wikipedia notes that “skateboarding was originally denoted ‘sidewalk surfing’ and early skaters emulated surfing style and maneuvers, and performed barefoot.”


Skateboarding began to take off in Southern California, with manufacturing companies popping up to specifically create skate decks and hold competitions. A timeline in Skateboarding Magazine pegs 1963 as the year that the sport’s popularity soared: “Companies such as Jack’s, Hobie, and Makaha started having real competitions consisting of Downhill Slalom and Freestyle where skaters like Torger Johnson, Woody Woodward and Danny Berer paved the way for future skaters.” Clay wheels were also introduced in this decade, but this invention may have actually contributed to skateboarding’s decline in the latter half of the 1960s – they weren’t particularly safe, and injuries increased.


It took a new type of wheel to bring skateboarding back into the spotlight. With the invention of polyurethane wheels, created by Frank Nasworthy, skateboarding once again became popular – not to mention a lot smoother thanks to the new wheels. In 1975, a massive skateboarding tournament – the Del Mar National Championships – was held, birthing the Santa Monica legends known as the Zephyr skate team, later dubbed the “Z-Boys.” These twelve skaters (notable names include Tony Alva, Jay Adams, and Stacy Peralta) would influence the style and techniques of skateboarders for years to come, and the Del Mar National Championships would bring about a new era of skateboarding tournaments with cash prizes.


Now that the standard skate deck was established – with the additional option of larger, softer polyurethane wheels – focus was shifted to the types of ramps available, and the various tricks that could be performed on them. The construction of vertical ramps or “vert ramps” led to Alan Gelfand’s creation of the no-hands aerial – better known as the ollie – followed by the grabbed aerial, invented by George Orton and Tony Alva. “While this wave of skateboarding was sparked by commercialized vert ramp skating, a majority of people who skateboarded during this period didn’t ride vert ramps,” says the Wikipedia entry. Skateboarding Magazine chalks this up to the fact that many skaters couldn’t afford the lumber to create ramps, but “they saw the whole world as [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][their] skatepark and took to the streets. During this time many new board shapes took form allowing for skaters to overcome obstacles otherwise impossible.”


Street skateboarding rose to prominence in the 90s, causing yet another shift in wheel technology – this time back to smaller, harder polyurethane wheels. “The wheel sizes are relatively small so that the boards are lighter, and the wheels’ inertia is overcome quicker, thus making tricks more manageable,” explains Wikipedia. This was also the time that skateboarding began to intertwine with punk music and culture, and in 1995, ESPN held the inaugural – and extremely successful – X-Games. Skateboarding’s evolution into an extreme sport had begun. (Not coincidentally, it was in 1999 that Tony Hawk landed the “900,” a trick involving completing two-and-a-half mid-air revolutions).

2000s-Present Day

Due to the mainstream success of skateboarding as an extreme sport, more and more people of all ages have begun to take up skateboarding as a hobby and an athletic pursuit. Skateboarding Magazine credits this to the fact that “pros make real money. Wining events can bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars. Kids are realizing that you don’t have to become a doctor or lawyer to make a buck.” Now that skateparks have begun to be incorporated into city landscapes, there are more places than ever to practice. Plus, digital technology is making it easier than ever to record skateboarding tricks. Products like Blast Action Replay make it easy for skaters to play back recorded highlight reels of their tricks with overlaid metrics. This gives them the opportunity to analyze their movements and discover technical improvements they can make, as well as share their footage via social media through the Blast app.


It may have taken a half-century, but skateboarding has proven that it’s more than just a passing fad. As one of America’s favorite extreme sports, the tricks have become more impressive, the famous names have become well-known, and the championship prizes have become even bigger. It’s no wonder that skateboarding remains both a popular pastime and a potential athletic career choice.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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What’s in Store for the 50th Anniversary of Football’s Biggest Weekend


It’s the event that football fans wait for all year: the final game of the season, and one of the most extravagant sports matches you’ll ever see. In between the epic halftime show, the tailgating, and the expensive commercials throughout the television broadcast, there’s actually a football game that takes place, and it’s for one of the most hyped trophies in sports. But even if you know nothing about the rules of American football, there’s still plenty to enjoy about this storied weekend.

This year is an extra special occurrence: It’s the 50th anniversary of football’s biggest Sunday, and neither athletes nor advertisers are going to let the golden anniversary slide by without making an occasion out of it. Let’s take a look at some of the current plans for events and celebration:

Who’s Playing the Game

The Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos are going head to head this weekend to see who will take home the championship. (If you’re looking to dabble in putting some money down on a favorite team, you won’t be alone – this is the biggest event for sports betting, bar none. There are even prop bets on the anthem singer forgetting words!) It’s a guarantee that fans on both sides will be out in full force to support their teams in hopes that their pick will be lifting the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Who’s Performing the Halftime Show

Rumors had been swirling across the Internet for months about who would be named to headline – generally considered a rather prestigious honor. “In late November, 2015, reports surfaced stating that “multiple acts” would perform during the halftime show,” says Wikipedia. “On December 3, the league confirmed that the show would be headlined by the British rock group Coldplay.” Later, it was also confirmed that previous halftime acts Beyoncé and Bruno Mars would be making return appearances to perform. Even though some hardcore sports fans may use halftime to go refill their bowls of snacks, there’s still a large contingent of people who tune in simply to watch their favorite bands on one of television’s biggest stages.

When and Where It’s Taking Place

This year’s event is happening on Sunday February 7th, marking the end of the 2015-16 football season. As always, the championship game takes place on neutral ground – that is, a football stadium that isn’t home turf for either team, just to remove any notion of home crowd favoritism. For 2016, the event is being held at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California – the first time the big game has been played in California since 1985, according to Wikipedia. But even before kickoff, there are numerous events taking place in and around Santa Clara and San Francisco to celebrate the sport. “More than 1 million people are expected to attend the festivities in San Francisco,” says Wikipedia, and “in addition, there are $2 million worth of other ancillary events, including a week-long event at the Santa Clara Convention Center, a beer, wine and food festival at Bellomy Field at Santa Clara University, and a pep rally.” No matter where it takes place, football’s prime matchup is always big business, bringing in tons of revenue for its host city’s establishments.

Why It’s the Biggest Event in Advertising

It goes without saying that football is the sport that brings in the most advertising revenue in the United States. Many other television programs that go up against football programs find that their ratings on that night drop instantly, simply because everybody in America is tuned in to the game. And there’s no Sunday in the year quite like the one where the big game falls – advertisers are more than willing to drop big bucks for 30-second ads to air during the event.

Noting the approximated 114.4 million viewers who tuned in to last year’s showdown, an article at Fortune states that although last year’s base price for ads was $4.5 million, this year it’s gone up 11% to $5 million. “Between 2005 and 2014, the price of a 30-spot has increased 75%, generating a total of $2.19 billion in sales,” the article reports. Combine these legendary big-budget ads (many of which are exclusive to the American broadcast) with the colorful halftime show, and the actual football game itself is almost eclipsed by comparison.


Whether you’re getting ready to paint your face with your team’s colors or you’re excited to witness the new commercials the moment they air, there’s no doubt that this event will be huge for sports fans and pop culture aficionados alike. Just be sure to stock up on guacamole, and maybe grab a football so you can have a quick game of catch in between plays.

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Benefits of Recreational Sports on Adults

As children and teenagers, many of us had the experience of participating in recreational sports leagues including baseball, softball and basketball. Not only were they a good place to bond with our friends (and make new ones), they also got us moving and helped foster a competitive – and cooperative – spirit. Yet as adults, a lot of people don’t tend to consider sports as a feasible hobby; between work hours and family activities, there just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day. However, recreational sports have multiple benefits for adults, just as they do for kids and teens – in fact, adults are likely much more in need of the physical and psychological boosts that playing rec league sports can provide.


Not convinced? Then let’s examine some of the rewards that come with playing recreational sports as an adult – you’ll be signing up at your local community center and investing in an athletic performance enhancer in no time.

The physical benefits

Adults are told by everyone from the media to doctors to family members that being active is important, and they’re correct. Making sure you get in at least half an hour of exercise every day can help you feel more energized, lower your blood pressure, and strengthen your bones and muscles, according to the Heart Foundation of Australia. Not only that, but getting in some physical exercise can go a long way towards stress management, which is vital in this day and age. So what better place to reap all these benefits than in a recreational sports league?

Rec leagues are the perfect solution for anyone who loves the competitive nature and team environment of sports. You’ll get in your regular exercise, plus you’ll be able to have fun doing it – as well as getting out and being social with a bunch of likeminded peers. It can be the perfect stress buster at the end of a long work day, as well as good motivation to get out and get moving – even if you don’t want to. You won’t want to let your team down, right?

The psychological bonuses

As mentioned briefly above, it’s not just the physical aspect of recreational sports that can benefit adults – it also comes on the mental and psychological sides. Aside from being a stress reliever, playing a sport as part of a team – whether just for fun or on a competitive level – can do wonders for one’s mental health and self-esteem. An article from the Bennington Banner notes that “though research shows that fitness results vary by individual, there are valid socio-emotional health benefits to participating in group or team athletics, in either a competitive or recreational setting.” The article goes on to discuss how important goal-setting is for adults, as well as the motivation that comes when you feel obligated to show up and be part of a team. Having a scheduled practice, it says, is also good for simply getting people out of the house and being social, which can be a struggle if a person is susceptible to depression, isolating behavior, or loneliness. Being a part of a rec league can potentially give that person the motivation and drive to get out and be around other people, as well as a boost in self-esteem and confidence.

At the heart of it, recreational sports are really about creating a social atmosphere in a friendly, physical environment. If you’re looking to take your recreational sport league team to the next level, you can consider team-building bonuses like group jerseys or t-shirts, special equipment, or even athletic performance trackers to monitor each individual’s progress and identify their metrics. Being able to see your progress via data as you improve at a sport can be an extra motivator to help you stick with it, plus it’s always rewarding to see how well you performed – and you can even set a higher goal for next time.


Although playing recreational sports may have fallen by the wayside as we’ve grown up, it’s just as rewarding – maybe even more so – to play them as adults. Given that they grant everything from our recommended daily exercise, to a chance to socialize, to a renewed sense of goal-setting and competition, rec leagues ought to be seriously considered by all adults looking for a place to blow off some steam and have fun.

Do you play in a recreational league? Tell us about it in the comments.

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Redefining the “Active Mind”: The Effects of Sport on Mental Health

Playing sports and exercising provides improvement in mental, social, and physical health. The physical aspects — lower levels of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and so on — have all been known for some time.  What more and more researchers are realizing is that sports and fitness activities also improve people’s social connections, self-esteem, and mental outlook. By creating an exercise plan and adhering to it, people can see improvements in mood and social relationships. To fully appreciate how exercise can improve mental health, it is important to look at the social and personal aspects, the actual body changes, and the ways you can measure progress.

basketball hoop

The Mental and Physical Effects of Exercise

Exercising is one way to enhance social connections. Playing team sports provides an outlet to meet others and gain a network of supportive individuals. Positive social relationships allow for mutual support and encouragement, a sense of identity, and information to help with overcoming obstacles. In some cases, sports can be used to create social bonds that allow for reintegration into society, such as with veterans returning from combat or people who have survived disasters and epidemics. Strong social connections are also established via friendly competition, shared accomplishments, and more through the use of wearable tech and motion sensors that offer exact metrics and easy sharing abilities.

Physical activity also allows for a greater sense of ability and capability in everyday life. By practicing a skill and gaining instant feedback, or improving on pinpointed aspects of a game, such as running faster or having more stamina, people feel a sense of mastery and accomplishment. This sense of accomplishment as the result of work allows for a greater sense of self-esteem and self-regard. There has also been evidence of exercise creating better overall moods. Research suggests that physical activity allows for a more relaxed state of mind, higher levels of concentration, and better organization of tasks.  Much of the science behind these findings focuses on the hormones and endorphins that are released during physical activity.

Speaking of Endorphins, What Are They and How Do They Work?

Throughout the day, your body releases chemicals and hormones. These chemicals impact how your body operates by finding their specific place in the body to send a message. To illustrate this, think of putting a plug into a socket to turn on a lamp. There is a lot left to learn about these chemicals, what they are and how they work, but researchers have found there are two main body chemicals that play into exercise and mood simultaneously: cortisol and endorphins.

Cortisol is a chemical your body produces during stressful times. This chemical activates the “fight or flight” response in the face of emotional or physical dangers. During this process, the body also dampens the activity of certain systems, such as the reproductive and digestive systems, to concentrate energy on preparing to either fight or escape danger. It is important to remember that our bodies need cortisol — it’s what helps us stay alert throughout the day — but too much cortisol can cause health issues such as weight gain, high blood pressure, and fatigue.

Endorphins are chemicals that interact with your body’s neurons and impact how the neurons relay messages to the other cells in your body. One of the main functions of endorphins is to block pain receptors. Instead of feeling as much of the pain, your body floods the system with endorphins to ease pain. This happens with several activities in addition to exercise, such as eating spicy food or giving a big presentation. Endorphins released by physical activity also use up excess cortisol, which prevents many of the negative side effects.

Tracking Performance to Improve Mental Health

Tracking physical performance is a great tool to use while embarking on an athletics and fitness course. There are a few ways in which this happens. Fitness, motion, and performance data allows for a more real sense of accomplishment and a measure of how well fitness and exercise are working together. With instant feedback on areas for improvement when working on skill development, our sense of defeat is short-lived, as we have actionable insights to make the appropriate changes.

As stated above, developing a sense of accomplishment is one of the best ways to enhance self-esteem. By measuring performance and progress, you can compare recent results to previous results to see how much you have learned and gained from the experience. Many people are intimidated by fitness programs, especially after being sedentary for a long period of time. Using fitness tracking and motion sensors allows for tangible progress measurement — increasing motivation. Additionally, programs such as the Couch to 5K break up people’s fitness goals into smaller pieces, making the process seem less daunting.

By tracking health data, people can track other factors in their fitness program as well. Food diaries are important for many people, especially as some foods cause certain mood changes that others do not. Additionally, tracking mood allows people to measure how their moods are changing as a result of exercise. By tracking food intake, exercise progress, and mood changes, people are able to achieve a whole picture of how they are learning and growing as a person.


Joining sports teams and forming relationships through fitness and athletics is a great way to address mental health concerns, as is working out alone and tracking your progress. The benefits of sport and exercise touch almost every area of our lives, and our mind is no exception.

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Active-ly Avoid Sports Injuries E-Book

Even if you’re an experienced athlete, you are not immune to sports injuries. While you may feel as though you’re invincible when you’re hitting a big slam dunk or scoring a hole-in-one, everyone can be vulnerable to immediate or long-term damage to muscles, tendons, and joints.

The human body is capable of fantastic feats of athleticism, but over time it wears down, causing numerous issues for active individuals and athletes. Muscle tears, sprains, and strains are unfortunately common, and if you push yourself beyond your limits, you could cause irreparable harm to vital limbs. You wouldn’t want to forsake your athletic prowess because of an easily avoided injury. The key is to know how to identify where things could go wrong, and correct improper movements before it’s too late.

In this e-book, we examine four popular sports to see where the root of their most common athletic injuries lie, how to treat them, and what can be done to help prevent them.

Click the image below to view the e-book.actively ebook

Download the e-book by clicking on the image above.

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Sculpting the Spike: How to Improve Your Volleyball Performance

Ready, set, spike. You have the basics down, but when you’re passionate about your game, a basic understanding of the fundamentals isn’t going to cut it. You want to be quick. You want to be strong. And with the right practice techniques, your team can improve their serves and master their spikes. Get started with these tips for improving your volleyball game.

volleyball performance

Hit the Weight Room

Most volleyball teams do a lot of running, and they diligently practice their techniques, but few make it to the weight room. While practicing your serves and your spikes will definitely help you improve your technique, it’s also vital that you build up your strength to get more power. Many of the moves in volleyball involve the arms and shoulders, so don’t ignore the importance of a strong and flexible upper body.

Need a workout plan? shares a regimen that will get your body in shape for better serves.

Engage in Team Building Exercises

Your team members may be some of the strongest, quickest volleyball players around, but if they don’t work effectively as a whole, your performance on the court is going to suffer. Where many teams focus on the physical aspects of the game, you can improve your overall team performance by spending a bit of time on the mental elements. Not only should team members feel comfortable around each other, but they should know each other well enough to work as one during the game.

You can start with team-building and communication games, but there are other, sometimes better ways to build a cohesive team. Some suggestions include:

  1. Switch up the players’ positions during practice. Not only will teammates get more experience in different roles, but they will learn to develop better communication skills, having played the game from a new point of view.
  2. Meet up outside of practice in a non-competitive environment, such as a get-together at a teammate’s house.
  3. Take time to encourage team members to share their feelings when the team experiences conflict and negativity.

Turn to Technology

When you and your team are in shape and devoted to practice, yet still missing something in your technique, turn to technology. Use your iPhone camera to videotape your practices and games to help you see where you and your teammates can improve on form, placement, speed etc. Team up your iPhone camera with a quality application like Blast Athletic Performance to automatically create video highlight reels – no editing required – that can also be seen in slow motion with captured performance metrics right on the video. Using wearable tech can give you individual analytics that will help guide your training and improve your performance.

Don’t Stop When the Season is Over

Volleyball season doesn’t last long, but for many volleyball players, the season is all they have until next year. Afterward, they’ll take a break, which means that next year, they’ll have to work harder to get back up to where they were at the end of the last season.

You can put yourself ahead of the competition by staying in the game year-round. Not only will it keep you strong and agile, but with more practice, you’ll have more time devoted to improving your skills. Chances are you can find a summer league in your area, which will help you hone your skills before the season starts. During the winter and spring, consider meeting up with friends or team members once a week or so for a scrimmage.

Like any sport, you can improve your volleyball game through more practice. However, practice should be about more than just staying in shape, it should be about targeting specific areas for improvement and making the right adjustments. Talk with your team about where you can improve as a whole, and outline goals for each team member so you can hone in on individual performance that will lead to success for the entire team.

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Tees Through the Times: The Evolution of Golf

From the Scottish Moors to the US Open, golf has experienced quite a few changes during its journey through time. Once restricted to the elite, golf has found its way into the television sets and hearts of enthusiasts across the globe. It hails from humble roots as a small feather ball and wooden club, and has since been modernized by the latest in laser technology and hybrid materials. Needless to say, there is a long-documented history of love for the game of golf.

The Early Evolution of Golf

Golf originated on the eastern coast of Scotland during the 15th century. Beginning as simple pebbles knocked around sand dunes, golf has come a long way since its early days.

  • In 1457, the sport was banned because of an increased devotion to the games of golf and soccer, and a decreased interest for sports such as archery, that lended themselves more aptly towards military training.
  • In 1502, the ban was lifted by James IV, who was himself a fan of the sport. As golf increased in popularity, King Charles I picked up the game in England, and Mary Queen of Scots broke ground as the first known female golfer. She brought the sport along to France where she coined the term ‘caddie’ in reference to her French military cadets who assisted her as she played.
  • In 1744, the first golf club was formed: the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. This club officiated the 13 rules of play.
  • In 1786 the first golf club was formed outside of the UK, the South Carolina Golf Club in Charleston, United States.
  • In 1860 the first tournaments began in Prestwick, Scotland.
  • Fast forward to 1953, and the first golf tournament hit television screens, followed in 1990 by the Golf Channel, which brought the game into living rooms across the nation. By the early 20th century, golf began to look very much as it does today.

The Evolution of Golf Equipment

The first golf balls were made of hardwood, and were later replaced with leather pouches stuffed with feathers called “featherie” balls. These balls came with some issues; namely that they warped after being exposed to the elements or whacked around for a while. Since that time, the traditional golf ball has changed dramatically. In the mid-1800s, the gutta-percha ball, or “guttie” was created. Made from dry sap, it was heated and shaped, and was much cheaper to manufacture than feather balls. From then, golf balls have changed into the form we see today. Dimples in the ball were found to help with consistent flight, and a standard solid golf ball was eventually created in lieu of previous models with layered internal components. Now the market holds many types of balls, with varying numbers of pieces.

A dramatic evolution can also be seen in golf clubs over the years. Woods and metals were experimented with, along with varying centers of gravity. Players initially carved their own clubs (or more likely, had them carved) from wood such as beech, holly, pear, and apple. As the cost of creating clubs was steep, the game was initially limited to the elite. In the 1800s, a handful of Scottish club makers began exporting their crafted clubs around the world. By 1900, the slow adoption of steel-shafted clubs had begun, but they were not technically legal in the game until 1928. Because there were a wide number of clubs available, a 14 club rule was adopted in 1938 by the United States Golf Association. Since then, clubs have evolved through all matter of synthetic materials. In modern times, there are countless models of golf clubs on the market to serve just about any style of player.

The Evolution of Golf Attire

There’s more to the game of golf than simply the swing. Golf attire has been an important attribute of the golfing culture and can be traced back to the stylish outfits of Bobby Jones in the early 20th century. Back in those days, players dressed formally in dress shirts and ties. This formal dress relaxed over time, specifically during a heat wave in 1933 that encouraged players to ditch the wool and lighten their load with breezier fabrics such as flannel. Polos hit the scene in the 1950, and are credited to the golfer Ben Hogan. In the 1960s Doug Sanders flamboyantly marched across courses in rich colors and intricately patterned shirts and pants. Loud and proud polyester and plaid came aboard in the 1970s until Payne Steward revived traditional formal wear in the 1980s, when classic looks retook the greens. Later in 2010, Ryan Moore introduced updates to the traditional golf attire by adding cardigan sweaters, vests, and ties into the mix. Undoubtedly we will see the evolution continue as golf style remains a strong component of the sport.

New Technologies and Their Impact

New technologies are drastically changing the face of golf. Aerodynamics, club weights, and a wide variety of different materials have all contributed to the evolution of the game.

  • Golf balls today have split from their standard one-piece construction. Although such a ball flies straighter, two- to five-piece balls can aid a player in increasing their distance, and are often adopted by more advanced players.
  • Hybrid golf clubs have been introduced to help golfers launch their balls with better results – allowing new players to experience a club that is more forgiving to those with an imperfect swing.
  • The putter face has also received a makeover in recent years to become more balanced and targeted.
  • Golf shoes have become expertly crafted to include additional padding, support, and water proofing.
  • Rangefinders help golfers decide just which club to use by providing laser technology that determines how far the golfer is away from a hole, and gauges slope and wind.
  • Wearable tech enables golfers to improve on performance by analyzing swing speed, displaying slow-motion videos, and offering complex, real-time metrics.

Golf is a sport with deep origins, and is a common pastime for both the serious player and the after-work enthusiast. We will no doubt continue to see the game of golf evolve as we move into a future full of technological advances and a sustained passion to play a round or two on one of the countless courses across the world.  

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Improve Your Golf Swing

Whether you’re just becoming familiar with the golf course or it’s been your place of solace for years, there are always small improvements you can make to boost your game. Are you frustrated with your accuracy? Do you want to beat your best score? Whatever your goals, it all starts with improving your golf swing. Take these tips with you the next time you visit the driving range.

golf swing

Analyze Your Form

First and foremost, you have to understand what you’re doing wrong. Like with most sports, there’s a formula golf pros stick to that helps boost ball speeds and improve accuracy.

When setting up your swing, stand with the ball of your foot, your knee cap, and the back of your shoulder lined up vertically. Position yourself with the ball in line with the left side of your face and the club face pointed toward the target. Have a friend photograph or video tape your setup posture so you can see for yourself how to adjust your body until you’re in this ideal position.

Once you have your setup posture down, focus on your swing. The proper form for each swing will vary depending on where you’re taking your shot from, so you’ll want to practice at various distances. To get started, check out Todd Anderson’s guide to golf swings at

Track Your Progress

Now that you have a better idea of where you’re going wrong, it’s time to take your game to the next level by tracking your swings so you can continue to get it right. You can always develop your own way of tracking your progress, such as recording your scores, having a friend videotape your swings, or keeping a journal with you on the course to record any tweaks you made and the outcomes.

Using Blast Motion is one of the easiest ways to keep track of your progress. The motion sensor attaches to your club and records your metrics. The sensor automatically captures video, creates and curates video highlights, and overlays your metrics onto the video to create a visual record of your improvement. You’ll be able to review metrics of both your putt and full swings including downswing time, swing speed, efficiency, loft, lie and more.

Forget About Your Arms for a Moment

If you’ve been playing golf for a long time, then you know that your body does much of the work when swinging. However, this concept does not come so easily to new golfers, and it can be tough to change for those who have been focusing on their arms—and only their arms—for the majority of their career.

The real key to power in your golf swing is to use your body for momentum by rotating your shoulders and hips when you swing.

Golf Tips Mag shares a great exercise to help you get the feel of using your body and not just your arms. Begin in a dead-stop position, and place your club behind the ball. Without taking a backswing, attempt to drag the ball into the air. This task is difficult if you swing only with your arms and hands, but once you start putting your body into the swing, it becomes easier to get the ball into the air.


Golf is supposed to be a fun, relaxing sport, and to many, it is. Unfortunately for others, it can get frustrating to achieve that perfect swing. The secret is to relax your body and not let that frustration get to you. When relaxed, you’ll feel more confidence in your stance, and your body will move more naturally through the swing as you pivot your shoulders and hips.

Like with any sport, practicing your swing will help you become a better golfer, so keep at it and aim for consistency. What exercises do you do when practicing to help improve your swing?