Category: Sports & Recreation

May 25, 2021 Off

The best footballers in the world!

By Tammy Schneider

The best footballers in the world are… Ronaldo, David Beckham, Pele, and Diego Maradona.

But who are the rest?

And why have so many of them reached the highest levels in their sport?

It is a strange thing that so many great footballers in the world have come from smaller countries with small playing populations.

The average player on the international stage is now a world-class player.

This has been helped by the wider availability of quality coaching in the past few decades.

The advent of the so-called “markets” has also meant that players can now train with a high degree of professionalism and dedication.

All this has meant that football can now be enjoyed by people in other countries.

One man who changed the way that football was played in the world is Pele.

The Brazil legend won 11 World Cup trophies and remains the only top-drawer player to have won the trophy more than once.

It was Pele’s influence on younger players such as Beckham and Ronaldo that made him a legend.

The fact that he was from Brazil – where the majority of footballing stars originated – made him even more special.

To this day, he remains the only top-drawer player to have represented their country.

The next biggest star to have come from Portugal is Ronaldo.

His three goals against England in the semi-finals secured him a place in the Lampoon’s “Fifty Best” list.

Ronaldo broke the record for the most goals scored in a single tournament and still remains the leading goalscorer in the world.

Ronaldo is now regarded by football fans and media alike as the best footballer in the world.

There is no doubt that he is probably the best goalkeeper as well, although he has often struggled to keep the goal.

Another Portugal international, Lisbon defender Bruno Martins has also become an all-time favorite with football fans in the country.

He started out at right-back before being switched on to left-back in his early career years and has since developed into one of the finest defenders in Europe. compatriot and Portugal national team captain Portugal right-back Antonio Valencia is another stalwart at the heart of the defense.

His performances for Spain in the last two World Cups have lifted the national side’s confidence, and he is now widely regarded as one of the world’s best center-backs.

Many English players feel similarly elevated after watching the displays of Portugal’s defense this summer.

Argentina forward Argentine forward goalscorer Gonzalo Paco is a current British citizen and has become something of a British icon.

With the style of play that he brings to the field, not to mention his ability to score goals, he deserves his place in this countdown.

Defender, goalkeeper, and forward are also three of the crucial areas in which Great Britain needs to look towards when attempting to produce a world-class league.

Defenders due to the lack of top-flight teams around this country, and forward with a variety of international sides available to choose from, if we can develop some great footballing stars, then our nation will certainly start to produce world-class players, maybe even in our own competition!

There is no reason why English players cannot compete with players from across the globe, as the level of football they play should not be a stumbling block.

At the minute, Chelsea is arguably the world’s best-performing side, following up on last year’s title success with a string of superb signings and players, which have enabled them to challenge for the Premier League title.

Meanwhile, Manchester United is second best, has replaced Louis van Gaal with Jose Mourinho.

Chelsea has some excellent players in their team, which has helped them to achieve what they have done so far, but what do the Manchester United players themselves think of the current state of affairs?

According to David James: “It’s amazing that people still talk about trophies when we haven’t even won the top prize yet.

I think we’ve done enough now to show what we’re capable of.”

So who are the best footballers in the world – 피나클!

I believe the answer is obvious, I would say that Hazard is without a doubt the man, who deserves the top billing.

However, Hazard was unfortunate to lose his place to Robin van Persie at the start of the season, but this hasn’t stopped Hazard from causing trouble for teams all over Europe, scoring an outstanding goal against PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands and a brace in his final match against Barcelona.

All the boys at Chelsea hope that Hazard remains at Chelsea for many years to come, I’m sure there will be many more great goals to watch in the future.…

December 27, 2020 Off

Home-Schooled Students and High School Sports

By Tammy Schneider

Home-schooling is a way of life for some children. They wake up each weekday morning and go to school- at home. They do some chores around the house and are taught by their mom or dad. This practice allows the child to grow closer with their parents and allows the parents themselves to instill their values into a child while also providing him or her with a quality education. Parents can keep close eyes on their children and help them stay out of trouble. Children may be getting quality educations at home, but they are not doing enough things on their own if they are staying in the house eight or nine hours a day, especially in high school. There is no problem with a child being high-schooled up until ninth grade. After that, however, he or she needs to be in the public school system and experience it for lifelong benefits. If high school children want to compete in high school athletics, they should actually go to the school in question.

Home education is an option many families choose. It is widely utilized throughout the country. There are currently around two million home-schooled children in the United States ("Tim Tebow Bill"). Parents choose to teach their children at home for a variety of reasons, including: perceived better education at home, poor learning environment in the public schools, religious concerns, to develop character in their children, or for specific family values in general. Parents feel that they can provide a better education in the home because discipline problems are nonexistent, which means the teacher is not having to take away from valuable class time in order to discipline a particular student. Home-schooled children can be successful, and numbers continue to rise. In 1994, there were 345,000 students, with that number rising to 850,000 by 1999 ("Home School Statistics"). The two million students who go to school at home in the present day make up about 3% of all kindergarten through twelfth grade students in the country. Studies show that home-schooled children also do better on standardized tests ("Home School Statistics").

It is true that parents can provide a quality education for their children at home and create a good learning environment for them. But what about the stresses that this teaching role takes on them as parents? They must have a vast understanding of the subjects they are teaching their children, which requires a large amount of studying in most cases. Parents do not have time to themselves and are unable to work, which may create relationship strains at home. Home education may create a good environment with less disciplinary problems, but what if the parent and child get into a disagreement away from the school setting? What if it becomes a situation where the child or parent does not want to talk to the other one for a certain period of time? Aside from that, everyone periodically needs freedom and alone time. It creates healthy relationships, especially among parents and children who are already around each other so much anyway.

A home education does provide a good environment for children, but not the one that they need during their later life experiences. It simply pales in comparison to the public school and all the activities it provides (Romanowski 4). There are numerous activities besides sports, such as band and other student-run clubs and organizations. Children cannot participate in activities of this kind if they are going to school in their kitchens. Children also need to be exposed to different kinds of people during the high school years. This allows a child to know what kind of crowd they want to hang out with, and also allows them to experience a vast array of social situations. If they are sheltered throughout their high school years, they could be headed for serious trouble. Parents can teach their children right from wrong all they want, but they have to make certain decisions on their own. Children need to understand conflicts between others and be involved in different social situations. These things simply do not happen if they are going to school at home.

Taking all these things into consideration, home-schooled children should not be allowed to participate in high school athletics. Currently, only sixteen states in the country allow home-schooled students to play in their area high schools, and this number should continue to stay down. Florida is one of states that has passed law which allows the students to participate ("Tim Tebow Bill"). Tim Tebow, freshman phenomenon on the University of Florida football team, was one of these home-schooled students who played for his local high school. Playing in high school allowed him to garner enough attention to eventually play for the Florida Gators, but he is most likely experiencing a huge culture shock in college at this point.

Home-schooled children who play at a local high school cannot comprehend the pride and tradition in a school if they do not attend that particular institution. They do not go to class with their teammates or experience social situations with them on a regular basis. While other team members are in school experiencing different things and interacting with others, home-schooled children are sitting in their living rooms being taught algebra by their mothers. The parents of these children also serve as their sole authority figures, so how are they going to be able to deal with upset coaches when they miss a blocking assignment or fumble the football? It is simply not possible. Children need to be in the public school system to prepare them for life after high school, whether it is college or the workforce. With respect to athletics, if one wants to play for the high school team, they should attend the high school. Home-schooled children should not be allowed to play because they really are not a part of the particular institution in the first place.…

November 16, 2020 Off

How to Be a Successful Hockey Player

By Tammy Schneider

In order to be a successful hockey player, there will be a few things you need to consider.

First, you need to be tough. Opponents will not think to much about what will happen to you when going in for a check.Also, you need to be focused, hockey is a game of strategy and intelligence. You need to know where to be on the ice, and when to be there. You also need to know where everyone else on the ice is. One of the very important things you need to have is heart. If you don't enjoy or want to play the game, you won't win or have any fun. You need to have desire and a love for the game. Lastly, your going to need to be dedicated. Hard work and determination is also very important. Practicing almost everyday, lifting weights, running, staying in shape in general, should all be scheduled into your daily routines. It takes more than putting on the equipment and getting on the ice, to actually play the game.

As the equipment goes, here's a list of the equipment you'll need and why:

1.Helmet – to protect your head from both the puck and the ice.
2.Neck guard – to protect your neck from being cut by a skate
3.Shoulder pads/chest protector – To protect shoulders, chest and spine
4.Elbow pads – to protect your elbows
5.Gloves – to protect your hands from skates and/or the puck
6.Mouth guard – to protect your teeth and to prevent concussions
7.Breezers/hockey pants – to protects hips, pelvis, and thighs from skates, pucks, or the ice
8.Jock with nut cup – to protect the pelvic area and to hold up the hockey socks
9. Shin pads – to protect the shins from the puck
10.Hockey socks – to cover the leg
11.Skates – to skate across the ice
12.Hockey stick – to hit/move the puck
13.Team jersey – to tell you and your team apart from the opposing team

You can find most of this equipment at your local sporting goods stores such as Dick's Sporting Goods, Sports Giant, Absolute Sports Inc.

Some of the skills you should work on could be your balance, coordination, stick handling, and speed. These can be improved both on and off the ice.
1. Running, doing lunges, plyometrics, and building your leg muscles will help to improve your speed and endurance.
2. On skates, by doing inside and outside edges, and getting stronger on one skate at a time, will make it easier to skate by improving your balance and coordination. Getting stronger on your skates will help make you less prone to falling.
3. Simply taking a tennis ball and a hockey stick outside in your driveway for 15 minutes and stick handling back and fourth will help your hand coordination and stick handling skills. On ice, just stick handling during drills or stationary will also improve your stick handling skills.

In time and with practice, you too can play hockey.


October 4, 2020 Off

One of My Favorite Sports Moments

By Tammy Schneider

One of my favorite teams is the Washington Redskins, and during one game around Halloween something great happened. While watching the team play this year has been great. The arm of Robert Griffin III is awesome. He can run, throw on the run, and pass. It great!!. Its a great time to be a Redskins fan. The running back has began to progress more. I originally thought this season was going to be a disaster. Roy Helu was hurt, Ryan Torrain released. We had one some games and the team as a whole has been trying to maintain. We have suffered some disappointing losses, and have looked out of sorts but we still have managed to win some. The game against Atlanta Falcons Seemed to be an easy on going into the game. We were looking great before that, and winning. This game reminded me that RG3 was human. He was capable of being hurt just like anyone else, and in this game it should he was knocked unconscious. We wen on to lose this game. He is a very important part of our team and that could've been the end of our season there. It appeared to be because we went on to lose four straight games. All but one in the month of October of 2012. At this point not to many people or fans believed that the Redskins Season wasn't in jeopardy. The coach even wanted to start to look toward next season, the redskins was supposed to be done for 2012 – 2013 season. Despite this appearing to be the case the Redskins went on to win all of the remaining regular season games. A Redskins fan, myself I realized that this may just be our year. They may have had running back problems, our quarterback, and defense may have stalled. They may have even loss some games, and were counted out but just because your down you may not be out.…

December 9, 2019 Off

Four Tips for Hockey Defensemen to Improve Their Skills

By Tammy Schneider

Playing the position of hockey defenseman is a challenging task, but when you're good and solid, you'll always be an integral part of any team's success. Additionally, hockey defensemen are especially known, when they're good, for being captains of their teams and respected among all their fellow players. So how do you play the position effectively? What separates flimsy defense from solid defense? Simply put, the first and fundamental rule dictating the play of a hockey defenseman should always be, of course, don't allow goals.

Your number one role, it goes without saying, is to defend. So keep your head up, awareness is the hockey defenseman's most important attribute. Always watch the puck and what's happening in play.

Listen to your goalie. Your goalie will often see things you don't, and your goalie knows what he needs to succeed and knows what's not quite working. If your goalie thinks the opposing team is rushing a certain way, hear him out, and plug that hole.

Going hand in hand with listening to your goalie, another thing you have to do is protect your goalie. As a hockey defenseman, if the opposing team is crashing your goalie or getting in his face, it's your job to crash them, and get in their face. Be mindful of penalties obviously, you never want to be sent to the box when you're this crucial a part of your team, but protecting your goalie is vital. Get in the opposing team's forward's faces, always hassle them with stick checking and muscle them away from the net with your hips, keep your goalie's vision clear exactly this way.

Practice your passing. Oftentimes you'll gain possession of the puck after the opposing team takes a shot and your goalie deflects it. Your forwards will, then, be racing forward. If you can make the perfect touch pass in between opposing players and to your blitzing forward, it many times will result in a goal for your side. Learn to pass effectively, and when you're on a power play, or otherwise pressing into the other teams zone, and you've crept up past the other team's blue line, learn to pass effectively and you'll be the man always finding his forwards with the perfect one-timer right next to the opponent's goal.


USA Hockey
Ice Hockey Helmet


April 16, 2019 Off

Summer Sports Activities to Keep the Children Busy

By Tammy Schneider

As the close of another school year is fast approaching, we find ourselves frantically hunting for things to keep our children active this summer. When the children run out of things to do, they usually just watch television or complain to us that they are bored. The best way to keep our children active is with sports.

One of the best activities that I have found to keep the kids going in the long summer break is the soccer program. They get plenty of exercise and they get to spend time with their friends. The program will teach the children all the basics of the game as well as working on their personal strengths and weaknesses. It shows them the importance of team work. They get practices daily and weekly games. The best part is that the coaches are local parents so there is also a good chance for the grown ups to have social time also.

If your child is not into soccer, then there is also the basketball camp. Usually, this is for the children who know the basics of the game. Like soccer, the children will have social time with friends and the opportunity to work on both their strengths and their weaknesses. The don't have weekly games as the camp will usually only run for a week, but they will work hard and be tired after each day. With this camp, they will spend the day working on different passing drills and practice their shooting ability.

The last sporting adventure for children that I found was the baseball camp. They will learn the rules of the game, and hone their ability to hit the ball. Again, this is a great way for them to learn the importance of team work. The children will be doing a lot of running and they will also be very tired after they participate in this activity. They will make life long friendships and they will thank you for the experience.

These opportunities should keep your youngster active for weeks and allow you the comfort of knowing that they are busy and having fun.…

February 20, 2019 Off

Learning About Life Through Sports: Why All Students Should Participate in High School Athletics

By Tammy Schneider

When a teenager is attempting to complete his or her high school years, it seems as though there is just not enough time in the day to accomplish many of the goals he or she desires. Some students struggle through remedial classes, barely getting by, while at the same time other students may have a full load of honors or advanced placement courses. Whether your child is the first type of student, the last type of student, or any other type in between, he or she is feeling the same amount of stress as the other. The idea of creating a schedule to complete all of the tasks received throughout the day seems nearly impossible to the average student. How is one supposed to balance homework in every class (of which each individual teacher feels is the most important class of the day), a social life, driving lessons, eating, and of course, that insignificant activity known as sleep? Then, there is sports. The activity that every guidance counselor attempts to get each one of his or her counselees interested in. With everything else for high school students to worry about, how does anybody expect them to find time for two to three more hours of practice or games per day? It seems like a lot to ask, however, as a high school teacher, I have seen sports have a bigger impact of some students than any other part of their high school careers. While the competition is fun and rewarding for many, it is the life lessons that come from sports that truly make high school athletics such an integral part in the physical and mental growth of our youth.

Responsibility, Structure, and Good Grades:

High school student athletes learn how to use their time wisely more than students who do not participate in sports. There is a structure that is embedded in the student athlete that is not normally seen in the average student. While there is less time in the day to complete all of the required tasks, many people have seen the students pick their grades up during the sports season. One reason for a grade increase for some is that, in most cases, there is a minimum grade point average requirement in order to even be eligible to play. This rule forces the students to concentrate more in class and actually be responsible for maintaining their grades in order to play the sport(s) they love. I always received better grades when I was in season, and I attribute this to my schedule being set for me. There was no downtime to get lost in doing nothing, and then realizing that it was time to go to bed, forgetting about the homework that was due the next day. My schedule during sports season was structured: Wake up, go to school, go to practice or game, eat dinner, do homework, talk on the phone with my friends (if there was time), go to bed. That may seem a bit extreme, but I loved it. Baseball season was the most exciting time of the year for me, and I always knew that on weekends I could hang out with friends.

Friends with the Same Motives:

One of the biggest advantages about being a member of a high school sports team is the relationships built with teammates. High school is usually a time when even the most well-behaved children experiment, and at some point, they get themselves in trouble. Almost every kid goes through a period of rebellion when he hangs out with the "wrong crowd", eventually causing him to challenge authority and make a few mistakes. A parent's hope is that the mistakes are kept to a minimum and that they do not break any laws. By playing sports, each athlete can rely on his teammates to keep each other out of trouble. They all have the same motives: stay eligible and do not anger the coach by getting in trouble for doing something stupid. I am still friends with some of the people I played baseball with in high school, and that is because there is a bond formed that is not easily broken. For over two months, you literally spend every single day together and that leaves you no choice but to befriend one another. You end up looking out for each other, making sure your teammates are getting good grades, staying out of trouble, and if there is a situation that could lead to trouble, you know your teammates have your back. I currently coach baseball and basketball at the high school in which I teach, and one of the first things I say to each team at the beginning of the season is "for the next couple months, you are family. Make sure you look out for each other." Because of that bond, it is extremely rare for a student athlete to get in trouble.

Life Lessons:

What may be the most important reason for a student to play a sport in high school is that it may teach the student more about life than any course he or she can take during the school day. These lessons go beyond addition, subtraction, Shakespeare, the Civil War or the Periodic Table of Elements. They will not help them with their homework or give them scores to get in to college. However, they will teach them how to handle situations that will inevitably pop up in the years to come. The first lesson is that it teaches the students to work as a group for the common good of the team. It is human nature to be selfish, but when you look at a successful high school sports program, each member is working together to accomplish the team's goals. If the team fails, then the team takes the blame, not an individual. These are important lessons for the students to learn. Many high school students, and people in general, will make excuses for failure, oftentimes blaming it on somebody else; however, a sports team does not allow that to happen.

Another life lesson that can be learned is how to win and lose in a humble manner. In life, there will be times when unexpected failures occur. This could be in school, at work, or even at a party with friends. Being able to accept these failures and find a way to fix them is a way to make the student athlete a better person. Bosses do not expect their employees to be perfect, but they do expect them to admit and rectify any errors they make. This is the same in sports. A coach does not expect his players to be perfect, but he does expect them to practice in the areas where they are deficient. This work ethic, instilled by the coaches, will go a long way in making the student athlete a hot commodity when he or she enters the business world. While accepting losses is important, the way one handles himself after a win is mutually important. High school sports teaches the athlete to be gracious and humble after a win. This involves shaking hands with the other team, while wishing them luck in the future. The ability to swallow your pride and accept defeat, while wishing the winning team luck may seem insignificant, but it forces the student athlete to learn how to handle a loss. In this case, it may be an athletic event, but in the future that skill will help if the student receives a poor grade in college, or maybe he gets passed over for a promotion later on in life. These skills of accepting defeat, congratulating the opponent, then working harder and going back to the drawing board to come up with a more successful plan for the future are all invaluable in the growth of the student athlete as a human being.

Despite the stress involved in undertaking a sport, the benefits far outweigh the negatives. High school Athletic Director/guidance counselor Wayne Mones believes that "having a passion in anything positive enhances a student's ability to grow as a person." Being both the Athletic Director and a guidance counselor, Mr. Mones is able to see firsthand the positive effect sports has on his students. He tries to convince every one of his students to participate in a sport. He says that sports also opens up more opportunities for the students when they are trying to take the next step in their education. Colleges look for extracurricular activities when deciding who to select to attend their establishment, and participation in sports proves to the college that the applicant has learned many important skills like building relationships, making commitments, working as a team, and balancing a hectic schedule. These are all qualities that contribute to a person becoming a successful adult. So, if you are a parent of a high school student, talk to your child about participating in athletics. Do not take sports away as a punishment, as it may have the opposite effect on your child. For many athletes, their high school coaches act as their mentors well into their adult lives. If you persuade your child to play a sport, you will find that he or she will develop into a respectful, committed, and humble adult.…

February 13, 2019 Off

The Field House: Another Crappy Sports Joint for Bradley University

By Tammy Schneider

The Field House has recently engulfed what was once Gorman's Pub. Located on 1200 West Main Street in Peoria, Illinois, this tavern used to be a delight of sorts. It had a great atmosphere, tall drinks with every order, the occasional band that I'm sure it still has, free Pizza night, and great seating arrangements.

What has transcended over the establishment is now nothing more than the ten-billionth sports bar in America. Really cool, huh? Especially with thirty-trillion flat screen televisions they have mounted so that you can watch the game you can't hear over the reverberating music that's pumped high enough to give your ears blisters.

The seating arrangements have been gutted of any nice booths while the tables are those elevated things that have you stand more than it has you sit. I suppose the benches in the backroom are nice, but they ain't what I came in the bar for. Really the new design is set up to herd cattle rather than service drinks. And as for the drinks, while the mixers are poured generously, they no longer automatically serve the tall glasses. That was a former charm of the building.

All of the framed memorabilia is gone. The lightening is gone. The homey feeling is gone. All that remains is a clone of everything that is wrong with America.…

May 25, 2018 Off

Sport Wrist Watches

By Tammy Schneider

Love of a sport can take many forms, some more socially acceptable than others. Painting your face the colors of your favorite team may be frowned upon in some workplace situations. Sharp sport wrist watches, however, are always in fashion and fit in great at the office.

There are sport wrist watches available for fans of almost every sport, from baseball to basketball to stock car racing and beyond. Each of these is a high-quality durable timepiece, attractive enough that you might buy them even without the sports tie-in. But the fact that they are adorned with the logo of your favorite team adds an additional layer of value to them.

It's Always Game Time

Sport wrist watches allow one to be reminded of one's private life and passions in the middle of the dreariest of work days. Stuck in traffic or an endless meeting, one peek at the wrist and it's a weekend morning, minutes before kickoff.

Available for both professional and collegiate teams, these watches make great gifts as well. They show spirit and enthusiasm in a tasteful manner that is appropriate for every situation. Consider sport wrist watches when searching for the perfect gift for the sports fan in your life.…