Which Angles Are Better for Soccer Scoring?

When you get in close to goal, knowing the best angles for scoring is crucial. You need to make a quick decision as to whether your position is better for shooting or passing off. Although you always want to play the best angles, occasionally you can get away with what looks impossible. Many a World Cup player — such as Japan’s Karina Maruyama, Brazil¡¯s Roberto Carlos and Landon Donovan of the U.S. — have gotten away with scoring from a tough angle on the big stage of international competition.
The best angles for scoring are from straight in front of the goal or just very slightly to the side. Imagine dotted lines extending out onto the field from the goalposts and flaring enough to intersect with where the penalty circle intersects with the straight line at the top of the 18-yard box. In a diagram in his book ¡°Soccer: Steps to Success,¡± coach Joseph Luxbacher labels this sweet spot ¡°the most dangerous shooting zone.¡± This central area is where shots are most likely to find the back of the net.
Envision a second dotted line extending from the goalposts and intersecting with the corners of penalty box. Luxbacher observes that shots from this area can achieve moderate scoring success. Coach Alan Hargreaves adds in his book ¡°Skills and Strategies for Coaching Soccer¡± that the reason shots from narrower angles are less successful is that the goalkeeper standing in the way creates a much smaller target area of open net compared to shots from the midline of the pitch.
Subtracting the zones of good and moderate shooting success leaves an area that offers poor shooting angles. This zone forms a triangle bound by the touchline — as a soccer sideline is called — the end line, and an imagined diagonal line from the goalpost to the penalty box corner, extended out to the sideline. Shots taken from this flank area, with its narrow shooting angle ¡°will rarely beat a competent goalkeeper,¡± Luxbacher writes.
Present the facts about the best shooting angles to your players, Hargreaves recommends. Explain that the field in the attacking third contains a shooting zone and a passing zone. They can envision a shooting zone, in front of the goal and slightly to the side, and a passing zone, where they look to feed the ball to a more centrally-located teammate. German sportswriter Horst Wein in his book ¡°Developing Game Intelligence in Soccer¡± describes shot success rates from 14 to 38 percent in the shooting zone, diminishing to 2 percent in the far corners. You can even test these results yourself, systematically measuring successful shots on goal for your own curiosity or as a science fair project.

Good Carbs for Lunch

Carbohydrates are your body¡¯s chief energy source, and lunchtime is when you need energy to keep a midday slump from coming on. When choosing a good carbohydrate source, it¡¯s important to select complex carbohydrates, like whole grains, that your body breaks down more slowly than refined carbohydrates like candy or sugary foods. Complex sources also give you a way to incorporate healthful fiber, vitamins and minerals into your daily diet.
The staple of a lunchtime menu, sandwiches can be a way to incorporate lean proteins like deli chicken and turkey with low-fat cheese, veggies and carbohydrate sources. If you love the convenience of a sandwich for lunch, use either whole-wheat bread or try a sandwich wrap using a whole-wheat tortilla. In addition to lean protein sources, the old standby of peanut butter and jelly also is an option that incorporates whole grains and protein for lunch.
Vegetables are carbohydrates, too. While the carbohydrate levels are not as significant as whole-grain breads, you can incorporate vegetables like spinach, green lettuce, broccoli, carrots, bell peppers and grape tomatoes into a nutrient-packed salad. Creating a salad helps you to incorporate a number of vitamins into your daily diet. As an added bonus, the vegetables are low in fat and calories, meaning they won¡¯t add to your waistline.
If you love pasta, but are concerned about eating refined carbohydrates, try preparing a cup of whole-wheat pasta instead. The pasta gives you a serving size of whole grains and you can prepare it with olive oil and chopped vegetables like bell peppers for your lunch or top it with marinara sauce and a lean protein source. Brown rice is another complex carbohydrate choice. You can pair it with vegetables and lean protein like broccoli and a small chicken breast or mix it up as a stir-fry. Other grain sources high in protein and rich in B-vitamins include spelt, bulgur and quinoa, which can be side servings.
Fruits are a carbohydrate source you can incorporate into your lunch choices as well. Packing an apple, banana, grapes or strawberries with your lunch can serve as a dessert after a healthful lunch. If you don¡¯t enjoy fruit on its own, pack it with a yogurt fruit dip.

The Best Soccer Formation for an 11-Sided Game

When playing an 11-sided soccer game, your team has one goalkeeper and 10 players to distribute on the field in the best way possible. Putting players in positions keeps the team orderly and helps players spread out and cover their part of the field. Teams use several formations, depending on whether they want to focus on offensive or defensive strength.
The most common soccer formation used around the world today is known as the 4-4-2. This formation has four defenders, four midfielders and two forwards. It is easy for older youth players to learn because the positions are well-defined and straightforward, and many college and professional teams use it as well. In this formation, the four defenders can either be in a straight line or can line up with a stopper in the front center and a sweeper in the back center. Having a sweeper is helpful when playing against fast teams.
When an opposing team has a particularly strong offense, soccer teams often play an even more defensive formation by moving one of the forwards back. They can either play a 4-5-1 formation or a 3-6-1 formation. In the 4-5-1, instead of having a second forward, teams play a defensive midfielder. The midfielders on the wings and one or more of the center midfielders can join the forward on the front line on offensive drives. The 3-6-1 formation is popular with German teams and includes four center midfielders, two who play more offensively and two who play more defensively.
Teams that have a strong set of defenders or who are playing against a team with a weak offense might want to set up with a more offensive formation. Usually, a team will switch to a 4-3-3 formation, moving one of the center midfielders up to a center forward position. This makes it easier to get together a scoring drive because one more player can receive passes at the front. Another option is a 3-5-2 formation, which provides up to seven offensive players.
The best formation depends largely on the skills of the team members and the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing team. Coaches need to be flexible and willing to adjust their formation to face particular opponents or to compensate for a key player’s injury. Some coaches even change formations in the middle of the game in an effort to come out with a win. However, youth soccer coaches should use no more than two soccer formations to avoid confusing the players.

How to Eat Before Sports Tryouts

Sports tryouts are more strenuous than regular exercise or activity, as added adrenaline and the pressure for an excellent performance add extra stress, mentally and physically. Eating before your tryout will help ensure a steady supply of glucose circulating in your bloodstream, ensuring that you have enough energy to do your very best. Proper food choices, such as a carbohydrate-rich meal, will help optimize your available glycogen.
Consume a meal of between 65 and 125 grams of carbohydrates four to five hours before your event. The suggested calorie range is between 400 to 800 calories, composed primarily of complex carbohydrates and little to no fat or sugar. Also avoid consuming foods high in protein, although a small amount is good. Carbohydrates, unlike fat or protein, can only be stored for a short period of time, making them your body’s first go-to source for energy when engaging in strenuous exercise. Fats will also delay digestion, reducing the amount of energy you will have available for the tryout. Good suggestions for foods include brown rice, whole grains, legumes and vegetables.
Eat a calorie-rich meal or drink a calorie-rich replacement beverage containing more than 19 grams of carbohydrates two hours before the event. The drink should be between 250 to 350 calories and low in fat, with less than 25 percent of your daily recommended fat intake. The high quantity of carbohydrates is more important for available energy in the short term.
Drink a carbohydrate-rich beverage one hour before your tryout to help maintain glycogen stores during the tryout itself. Unlike the meal-replacement drink, a carbohydrate-rich drink choice will contain little to no fat or protein and be nonetheless high in calories. A good carbohydrate-rich drink will contain 19 grams or more of carbohydrates and be between 250 to 350 calories for every 8-ounce serving.
Drink a sports drink or another fluid-replacement drink a half hour before your tryout and during your tryout to replenish your body¡¯s water supply. Fluid-replacement drinks contain sodium to help your body hold onto water and to restore your electrolyte balance during strenuous exercise. Drink both before and during the event, especially if you are conducting more than 60 minutes of high-energy exercise. The ideal fluid-replacement drink will have between 30 and 50 milligrams of potassium, between 50 and 170 milligrams of sodium, and possibly 19 grams or more of carbohydrates per 8-ounce serving.

Why Does Stroke Volume Increase During Exercise?

When you exercise, your cardiovascular system works harder. It needs to deliver oxygen to muscles, transport heat to the skin, transport hormones to meet metabolic demands and deliver nutrients and fuel to tissues. The volume delivered by each beat of your heart — your stroke volume — increases when you exercise to increase the circulating blood in your system so your body responds appropriately to exercise.
Stroke volume is the amount of blood that is pumped out of the left ventricle to the body with each heartbeat. Stroke volume increases according to how you exercise because your body needs more oxygen and nourishment, which are both received from the blood. Stroke volume increases depending on the type of physical activity your are doing and your training level. For example, during an upright physical activity like jogging, stroke volume increases from about 50 mL at rest to 120 mL at maximal exercise intensity. In a trained Olympic runner, stroke volume can increase from 80 mL at rest to 200 mL during maximal exercise intensity as the heart pumps more efficiently.
Your stroke volume increases during exercise but reaches a plateau, as there is a limit to how much blood your body can pump during physical activity. At this point, stroke volume may remain steady up to the point of exhaustion, which causes you to stop exercising. It is also important to note that in supine — lying on your back with your face upward — physical activities like certain swimming positions, there may be a smaller increase in stroke volume. This is because a supine activity prevents blood from pooling in the lower extremities, which enhances venous return and decreases the need for increased stroke volume to meet the body’s needs.
One anatomical explanation for the increase in stroke volume during exercise is the Frank-Starling mechanism. Blood is pumped to the body from the left ventricle and when this ventricle fills more completely, it stretches further and produces a more forceful contraction. In other words, more blood entering the heart results in more blood being ejected. This mechanism results in a greater amount of blood being circulated through your body during exercise.
An increase in stroke volume is only seen during aerobic exercises like running, swimming or cycling. Many anaerobic exercises like weightlifting are of short duration and affect your heart differently.

When Should You Eat Before Playing Sports?

Timing and planning are everything when it comes to deciding when to eat prior to playing sports. Eating too much before a big game can leave you feeling tired or unmotivated. On the other hand, eating too little before playing sports can leave you feeling dizzy and weak. The decision of when to eat is largely based on your personal preferences.
Eating prior to playing sports can increase your energy and provide you with vital nutrients and energy. Eat foods that are easily digestible — including carbohydrates. However, eating too much right before sports may leave you feeling sick. If you are going to eat a big meal, allow four to six hours for your meal to be digested. Avoid foods that are difficult to digest — including foods that are packed with fats and proteins.
Sharon Howard of ESPN Training Room indicates you can eat a light snack prior to participating in sports. Snacks can take anywhere from half an hour to an hour to be fully digested. The digestion rate depends largely on the types of foods you consume. Howard recommends a snack packed with carbohydrates, which can provide you with energy without upsetting your stomach. The choice of whether or not to snack is going to be based largely on your own personal preferences. Some athletes enjoy a small snack, while others will avoid foods for hours prior to participation in a big game or meet.
The best way to decide when you should eat before a game is to experiment with your eating schedule and practices for your sports team. Avoid experimenting before big games. Try eating a snack high in carbohydrates and decide if you feel more energized. Opt for a liquid snack — such as a smoothie. Drinking liquids can help replenish your muscles, keep you hydrated and allow you to feel full before a game without having to eat a large meal. Consider the type of practice or game you will be participating in. For a light practice or workout, try eating a snack an hour beforehand. For an intense practice, workout or game, stop eating several hours before the event.
ESPN Training Room recommends snacks that contain between 40 to 100 g of carbohydrates. These snacks should also be low in fat. Consider eating yogurt, muffins, sports bars, fresh fruits such as bananas, vegetable soups, milk, sports drinks or pretzels prior to athletic participation. Avoid consuming sugary drinks or food before and during sports; sugar will not give you energy and may result in a stomachache. If you need a boost during a sports game, try consuming a sports drink or small snack — with 30 g of carbohydrates or less. Snacks and drinks should be spread out over 30-minute periods.

A Rash on the Buttocks From Running

Any kind of itching or rash during running can be annoying and demoralizing. A rash on the buttocks could be caused by any of several dermatological irritants, environmental factors or underlying health problem. The benefits of regular exercise can outweigh the difficulties associated with a rash; talk to your doctor about preventative and treatment options for a running-induced rash.
Acne mechanica is a type of acne which most commonly occurs in a warm, moist environment ¡ª and particularly those areas experiencing forces of friction during exercise. Tight-fitting athletic apparel not made of breathable material can cause a flare-up of acne mechanica on a runner’s buttocks area. You can reduce your risk of acne mechanica on the buttocks by opting for running shorts made of loose-fitting, moisture-wicking fabrics. If these preventative measures fail, prescription medications for acne mechanica are available.
If you are running in a hot or humid environment, it is possible to develop heat rash on the buttocks. Heat rash commonly occurs in hot and humid weather, when sweat ducts get blocked and your perspiration cannot escape through your skin. Heat rash may manifest as blisters or a red, lumpy rash. Heat rash may feel prickly or itchy, and typically resolves once your skin becomes cooler and sweating decreases.
Contact dermatitis occurs when your skin comes into contact with an irritant or allergen. Laundry detergent is a common irritant for individuals suffering contact dermatitis. Common symptoms of contact dermatitis include an itchy rash ¡ª if your underwear is laundered in detergent which is an irritant or allergen for you, it is possible for a rash to develop on your buttocks during running. If you believe your rash is related to irritants or allergens in your laundry detergent, try switching to hypoallergenic detergent, or one intended for sensitive skin.
It is possible to develop an allergy to your own sweat; this is one possible cause of a buttocks rash while running. You sweat more during strenuous exercise than when at rest, and the increased presence of sweat during your runs could affect the skin on your buttocks. People with the skin condition cholinergic urticaria ¡ª one of a number of conditions categorized as “hives” ¡ª are typically allergic to their own sweat.

How to Cook a Ham: Removing the Skin

Ham comes from the hind legs of the pig. It is often served on holidays and other special occasions. Hams are generally available in whole or partial form, with the bone in or out and with a skin, or rind, on or off. If you have a ham with the outer skin intact, it is possible for you to remove it fairly easily by using a knife and your hands.
Cut through the skin of the ham in a zig-zag motion, all the way around the hock, near one end. Turn the ham as you go to make the process easier.
Slide your fingers and thumb under the skin that you’ve loosened and gently pull it away from the flesh. Peel the skin away a little at a time. Use your knife to help if you reach a spot that won’t come up with your hands.
Move the ham into different positions as you peel and cut, until the skin has been completely removed. Leave a thin layer of fat on the surface of the ham as you peel the skin away. This helps protect the meat from drying out when you cook it.
Cover any leftover ham in the fridge with the skin you cut off. This will help keep the ham moist.

How to Get Off of a Block in Football

Defensive players must be able to shed blocks in football. Offensive linemen try to block defensive linemen and linebackers so they can’t get to ball carriers or rush the quarterback. Similarly, defensive backs must be able to get off blocks to make tackles in the open field. The two-point punch is one highly effective way to shed blocks for all defensive positions.
Align your feet with the shoulders of the blocker. This is called the ¡°same-foot same-shoulder¡± principle, and will help you change direction while escaping a block.
Extend both arms fully when engaging a blocker. Using the hands effectively is one key to shedding blocks.
Strike the shoulders of the blocker with the hands. Your thumbs must be pointed up, and the strike is quick and powerful. The goal is to stop the momentum of the blocker and to not allow him to get his hands into your body. This is called ¡°locking out.¡±
Disengage the backside arm. For example, if the ball carrier is running to your left, disengage your right arm from the blocker.
Push the blocker across your body and out of the way using your still-engaged arm. For example, if the ball carrier is running to your left, push the would-be blocker to your right using your left arm. You also can drive your disengaged arm through the hip of the blocker and under the opposite arm of the blocker in an uppercut motion. This is called a rip move.
Focus your eyes on the blocker when he is coming in low.
Place your hands on the top of the helmet or shoulder pads of the oncoming blocker.
Thrust your feet, or hop backward. Keep your shoulders parallel to the line of scrimmage. This will give you leverage on the blocker.
Push, or ¡°stuff,¡± the blocker into the ground using your hands. Step 3 will give you extra momentum and leverage for doing so.
Disengage the blocker and flow to the ball.

When Is the Ball Out of Bounds In Soccer?

A soccer field is rectangular with white painted lines marking its boundaries. When a ball is played completely across one of the outside lines, the ball is out of bounds and play stops completely. There must be visible grass between the ball and the white line for the ball to be considered out of bounds; if the ball is touching the white line, it is still in play.
When the ball completely crosses the touch line, which runs the length of the field, the ball is out of play and play will restart with a throw-in by the team that didn’t play the ball out. The ball is also out of bounds if it completely crosses the goal line — the shorter boundary line — without entering the goal. If the defending team kicked or deflected it out, the attacking team starts play with a corner kick. If the attacking team sent it out, the defending team restarts play with a goal kick.