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Extreme Sports School Assemblies

skydiving-extreme-sports-11-14Extreme sports school assemblies are an effective way to teach an interested, large body of students. Just like anything else, assemblies can become stale over time. Adding an sports demonstration to your school assembly, such as a BMX group, will liven up any school in no time.

The popularity of high-action sports such as BMX is growing like wildfire among American youths. The high-flying and sometimes high-risk stunts have a contagious way of spreading the adrenaline needed to perform them. To get a group of kids excited and loud, nothing beats an extreme sports assembly.

Hockey Fitness Training

70807fc230cc3845a7cbbc57d0cb4e3c1e68Part of the enjoyment of hockey is being able to play with intensity at a fast pace. Time for hockey fitness training should be included into your weekly routine both during and off season. Your fitness commitment will of course depend on your level of play and your own desire. You can choose to work out twice a day or two to three times a week.

Following are five tips to hockey fitness training:

1. All of the essential skills in hockey require strong legs. Skating, shooting, passing, explosive starts and crunching checks all start with powerful legs. To increase your leg strength stand to the right of a 12″ square box and jump over it sideways and then jump back from the left side. Do 4 sets (eight jumps) in succession as fast as you can. Work your way up to 10 sets (20 jumps) alternating between side jumps and front and back jumps.

2. To prepare yourself for 45 seconds to over a minute of flat out action you need to build endurance. Start at the goal line and race to the near blue line and back again. Turn and race to the red line and back again, then to the far blue line and back and finally the full length of the ice to the opposite goal line. Rest for 2 minutes and then repeat. This whole drill is performed at top speed.

3. As part of your fitness routine it is important to build your strength. Including some weight training will help you get stronger and enable you to win those battles for the puck. More weight and fewer repetitions builds strength while more repetitions with less weight will improve endurance.

4. High intensity interval training (HIIT) is great for hockey. This can be done ice skating, in-line skating, running or biking. Begin with a 5 minute warm-up then do 6 sets of 40 second sprints with a 120 second rest.

5. To increase your core strength and balance, incorporate training with a medicine ball once or twice a week into your routine. Choose a ball that is not too heavy but still gives resistance. Stand with your legs shoulder wide and hold the ball in front of your belly. With both hands pull the ball over your head then throw it directly to the floor in front of you. Bend forward to catch it on the bounce. Repeat 8 – 10 times. Do six sets.

All of these training techniques can be alternated on different days. You can choose some for on-ice training and some for off-ice. There are no hard and fast rules except to keep it fun and enjoyable. The best weapon to playing at your best is your hockey fitness training.

For The Love Of Competition

equestrian-sports-1As a species human beings enjoy competition in all its forms whether it be a simple kick around in the park or taking part in a major event, either as part of a team or as an individual. Equestrian Sports fulfil this desire to compete ion every level, either as part of a team or as individual. You can represent yourself, your club or at the very highest level, your Country.

Riding demonstrate the harmony between Rider and Horse in a way that nothing else does. Men and women can both take part on level playing field which is rare in any sporting event. The speed and dexterity with which they and their mounts flash around the course can be quite astounding to a novice. This is the result of many months of training and developing the relationship between the pairing. Before this can be developed you first have to choose the horse you want to ride.

The size of the horse has to be one of the first criteria – what good is it to have a horse that can run like the wind and jump a mile if your feet dangle on the floor or you are too heavy for him. Next comes temperament, you need a horse that you can work with, they have personalities just like people and sometimes personalities clash. If you find that you rub each other up the wrong way it will show in the competition and you will always be fighting to control your mount. That can be disastrous in Dressage for example, where you need to work as one. The precise movements are almost a ballet and any disharmony would be like the orchestra playing out of tune.

In any Equestrian Sport the condition of the horse plays a major part, he needs to be healthy and happy, well fed, watered and groomed so that he is comfortable and ready for the excitement of the competition – after all you want to win a Rosette don’t you?

There are many competitions in the world of Equestrian Sports but there are some that stand head and shoulders above the rest – the Burleigh Horse Trials in the UK where the best three day eventers compete. The National Horse Show in America covers many fields of equestrian endeavour and is held in Palm Beach under the auspices of the National Show Horse Association of America who focus the competitions on good horsemanship.

One of the most popular events in the calendar is the Horse of the Year Show at Olympia, London, which is held in December each year. A huge party atmosphere prevails throughout the show which specializes in Show Jumping but with lots of other competitions thrown in as well. I have many happy memories of competing there, it was like the beginning of Christmas. The ultimate competition is of course, the Olympic Games where Equestrian Sports are one of the oldest categories.

Equestrian Sports

ar121692329353917As nearly all equestrians know, horses mimic in their bodies what takes place in the rider’s body. So, if a rider is not physically fit, they cannot expect their mount to perform at his highest potential. Stiffness and rigidity in the rider’s body can translate to stiffness in the horse’s body. So, the rider may think that their mount is being stubborn or disobedient, when in actuality, the horse is being held back by the rider’s own inadequacies.

That may be a hard pill to swallow for those who are not in good physical condition. It was a hard realization that I had just recently. I read a book by Betsy Steiner which has a fitness program: “Equilates.” And I attended a clinic on rider biomechanics. These two events opened my eyes significantly. I’ve always felt that I was in good physical condition. After reading the book and attending the clinic, I became aware of how un-fit I am. And it has been mirrored in my horse for months or more, but I perceived it as disobedience on his part.

How often do equestrians “supple” their horse’s body through different patterns and/or drills? Shoulder-in. Counter canter. Circles. Serpentines. The list can go on and on. We move their bodies through these patterns and over time they may begin to loosen up. But they can only do so much. They cannot make up for lack of fitness in the rider’s body. They can be soft and supple but if their rider is stiff and rigid, they will not be able to perform at their best.

So, what can happen when a rider IS fit for equestrian sports.

Have you ever watched an accomplished rider? A rider at the upper-most level of performance? Say the Olympics? These riders are in top physical condition. They don’t sit on the couch all day eating chips or ice cream and ride every other weekend. You can bet that they hit the gym regularly. Working on strength training as well as flexibility training to supple their bodies. They ride nearly every day and they ride “hard.” What do I mean by hard? They WORK! They are not a passive passenger in the equation.

I imagine that if you were to ask any of the top equestrians, they would tell you that they workout regularly. They don’t oversleep and miss their workout. They don’t blow off their trainer. They don’t say, “I don’t really ‘feel’ like riding today.” They get up, hit the gym, ride their horse and prepare for the task at hand.

Notice how the word ride has a certain amount of “action” in it. It’s not intended to be a spectator sport. Riding is an action. Can we be in activity if we are just a passenger on the back of an animal? My point of view: No! To be a rider requires action on the part of the person. Engaging the horse in the activity and allowing the momentum of the action of the two beings to result in the beauty of the poetry in motion that is equestrian sports.

How can a rider become physically fit?

So, what does it take to be fit for equestrian sports? I’ve started a new fitness program to increase my overall strength and flexibility. I’ve incorporated yoga and pilates for now and will add weight training when I can easily handle the yoga and pilates routines. The yoga class is a fitness yoga class so it helps to stretch and supple the muscles but it’s fast paced and we move through poses quickly and smoothly to help build some strength as well. Between the yoga and pilates, I expect in the next 60 days to have increased my riding fitness significantly. Then I can incorporate other exercises to really ramp up my fitness.

**Anyone seeking to begin a fitness program should check with their physician to make sure that they are healthy enough to begin a program. And once approved by a physician, they should find a qualified professional to help tailor a program that suits their fitness needs and lifestyle.**

Rider fitness and the horse.

Once you’ve started a program with the help of a qualified professional and your overall fitness is increasing, you should begin to notice a difference in your performance and skill on horseback. Your cues to your horse will be more effortless and he will likely respond more effortlessly as well. Your overall balance will begin to improve. And as you continue to use supplying and balancing exercises in your riding routine and continue your own fitness program, you and your horse will become the poetry in motion that you desire.