Osprey Premium Child Carrier as Best Baby Hiking Backpack Review

Do you want to purchase a long time travel backpack? Then, you must look for a bigger capacity backpack for traveling. However, bigger backpack means more weight of the bag too. Things are different and you will need to select the right backpack for long time hiking and backpacking trip.
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Today, we are here for Osprey Premium Child Carrier as Best Baby Hiking Backpack that is regarded as a good option for long time travel. This is mainly a hiking backpack that provides enough space for containing bedding as well as other important things. This is an backpack that indicates you can carry heavy items in the backpack very easily.

Specifications

Before going for detailed review of the backpack, let’s have a quick view to the backpack’s specifications. It will give you an overall idea that helps you to understand either the bag is for you or not!

  • Measures 13 by 27 by 12 inches
  • The backpack offers top loading compartment for bedding items
  • It offers more than 40L packing capacity to the travelers
  • The shoulder straps, waist straps and torso are adjustable
  • It has mesh pockets for carrying the backpacks properly
  • Padded shoulder straps for comfortable and flexible feeling
  • Torso harness can be adjusted

Advantage

The backpack is a top quality product for any hikers, campers and travelers. This is a true friend that will always give you enough space for carrying things and enjoy your vacation. Surely, this will hard to believe in words. Therefore, we are highlighting the best advantages of the backpack that will help you to understand very easily.

First of all, this is a good quality backpack with durable internal frame. The frame is lightweight and helps to keep the real shape properly.

Secondly, this is an backpack that is very good option to purchase. Therefore, this is an ideal backpack for the hikers and campers. The top loading compartment has enough space for packing sleeping items. As a result, this is really a good choice to bring the bedding covers and other important things very easily.

Thirdly, the backpack features waterproof feature. As a result, this is a good way to deal with the water conditions.

Fourthly, the backpack is made of quality materials. The padded straps will give you super comfort level for carrying a heavy weighted backpack. On the other hand, the 32-inch waist belt is also padded to give you a good option too.

Fifthly, you will get two mesh pockets for water bottles as well as small compartment for small things. You may also need some important items for easy access in the hiking. Therefore, it also provides you a pocket with the belt so that you can keep your mobile or camera securely with you.

These are the best advantages of the backpack that you will get from the travel. In this case, this is a big option that is highly secure for your hiking camp.

Disadvantage

This is a quality backpack that can provide you long time experience. Most of the customers of the backpack are very happy because of its quality. However, some of them complained about the threading too.

According to the customers, the thread starts revealing after couple of months. However, this might be a problem only for the few backpacks because more than 90% users are happy without facing any trouble.
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Therefore, you might not need to be stressed because of the problem. This is not major concerning point for all of the backpackers.

FAQ

Question-1: What is the actual size of the waist padded belt?

Answer: Manufacturer has not mentioned about this thing. However, it provides adjustable option and you can easily adjust with your body.

Question-2: Does the backpack feature water proof?

Answer: Yes, the backpack is offering waterproof feature. However, this is not good idea to go in the heavy rain with the backpack.

Question-3: Does the backpack offer locker system in the zipper?

Answer: This is a top loading backpack. No zipper is used in the topper compartment. Therefore, this is not required!

Question-4: Is a 2-person tent can be stored in the backpack?

Answer: May be, you can load the tent. However, the material, structure of the tent will be a big factor in this case.

Conclusion

Osprey Premium Child Carrier as Best Baby Hiking is a good quality backpack with durability and high capacity. This will always improves your hiking experience. Therefore, hikers and mountaineers love to this kind of backpack.

You can use this for both hiking and long time traveling. Therefore, don’t think too much otherwise, you will loss the chance to get it! This is a backpack that offers enough space, quality fabric, durable zippers and comfortable straps for carrying. Do you want anything else from the best backpack? Go to http://abooktravel.com/

Review of Quest Longboard

Review of Quest Longboard

The Quest Super Cruiser Longboard through Quest longboards is actually a bit of equipment which life as much as its title a fantastic method to slip round the town. However, you like as well as course, whilst becoming eco-friendly as well as fast. This particular longboard offers functions making it significantly suited to each newbies as well as skilled skaters, because it’s very steady, however quite simple to move as well as manage. The look is actually clean, however stylish as well as definitely with no find associated with tackiness, something which numerous longboards styles come out missing.

longboard main image

Unique Deck:

The deck is the most significant options that come with each and every longboard. It is the actual way to providing success on the highway or even it may restrain the very best skaters in order to mediocrity. This can be a very helpful function, since it implies that the actual Quest Artisan may be used through a myriad of skaters, in spite of their own form, dimension or even encounter. This really is particularly essential for weightier skaters, who’re frequently nervous regarding investing in a longboard because not every tend to be steady sufficient.

Simple to move around:

  • In spite of becoming steady as well as convenient to carry close to, the actual board can also be made from high-quality multi-ply hard wood walnut. The truth that its hard wood is important, as numerous longboards are merely laminated, meaning they’re less powerful and don’t possess which lengthy of the shelf-life.
  • Needing to substitute the board following a simple month or two is actually, slightly place, really uncomfortable as well as, fortunately, it’s very easily prevented with this particular durable board. In addition, in spite of its pretty big dimension, the actual longboard has the Stop butt, meaning it’s quite simple to move close to city. Forget about trying to puzzle out how you can proceed quickly one of the pedestrian visitors as well as city obstacles!

Absolutely no wheel bite:

Longboard trucks trucks tend to be usually something to think about very carefully these people attach the actual wheels towards the board and may possess a large impact on the entire encounter. The actual Quest longboard functions Tough 7-inch lightweight aluminum trucks big sufficient to prevent wheel bite, that is extremely essential, whilst leftover powerful as well as long lasting in spite of associated with climate conditions. The longboard additionally displays 70 mm PU wheels. PU means Polyurethane, the industry polymer bonded which has really strong characteristics with regards to warmth, and therefore exposure in order to warmth as well as sunlight won’t harm the actual wheels.

Finally, the Quest Longboard offers another crucial function that means it is a really distinguishable longboard, well-liked by skaters all over the world, and that’s its style. The actual Artisan Bamboo outdoor patio isn’t just spectacular, but additionally really stylish as well as stylish. In contrast to numerous longboards which function each and every color recognized to humanity just about all simultaneously, that one enables an elegant, sensible as well as memorable trip.

Regular Bike or Balance Bike What Kind Are You Buying For Children

Have you heard about the vehicle called “balance bike” for children yet? Normally, the phrase “children bike” seems to be mentioned more frequently than the balance bike. But anyone who has ever known the types of balance bike and their outstanding features surely would not hesitate to spend a relatively higher amount to buy a balance bike instead of a regular bike. If you are looking for a balance bike with suitable price for your child, let’s click here: toysadvisors.com/balance-bike-reviews. Currently, many parents have also bought the balance bike for their child. Why don’t we learn what the reason of this trend is?

Let your child bike to develop their height

Developing the child’s height is what parents always care. The height is influenced by many factors, including nutrition, genetic factors and athletes. The researchers have demonstrated that, allowing children to cycle early will be good for the health, and regularly cycling with a density of about 3-6 hours / week will help your child’s height increased significantly.

Why? That is because in the course of cycling, the baby’s legs must work continuously to get the bike operating so they become more firm. The legs have to stretch to reach the pedals or to put on the ground, therefore you can apply this way to make the child’s legs lengthen faster. The child who diligently exercises whole body through cycling would have a tidy and healthy body, the child’s bone system is also stimulated more in order to get taller and taller rapidly.

Your child has more exciting experiences due to the bike

Parents should let their children have more time for their bike. Because that will help your child study, explore and experience more new things. They can actively pass more places; go to the places farther, bike around the yard in front of the house or behind it, across the small street in the neighborhood or ride to the beach… without being fully dependent on adults. The bicycle also helps children learn and practice some skills when they must control the vehicle alone, such as: master the situation, master the balance, master the speed, control the bike and orient to move. It makes them more dynamic, independent, and confident when parents aren’t nearby.

Regular bike and balance bike

Regular bike is the bike having pedals and chain familiar with us. Today, many children have still studied how to ride a bike by this vehicle. So children can practice cycling on their own with a regular bike, we often have to attach the supporting wheels to the rear of bike. Those wheels will initially give us the peace of mind that the child can sit up and ride without fear of falling and easily move, but the fact that it is difficult to control, too heavy to bike, and easy to topple aside. Because the children were dependent too much for too long on supporting wheels, so they haven’t learn how to balance themselves – a vital skill in cycling, leading to many problems they must encounter when removing those wheels or changing to a different bike that has no supporting wheel.

Unlike regular bike, balance bike has no pedal or chain but keeps balance very well due to being designed low enough for touching the ground of the child’s foots. This bike also may move slowly until the child achieves the balance desired; help the child move the bike with ease, without fear of falling or scratch or any other danger. At first, the balance bike will take a little more time of children to be familiar with it and adapt to it than a regular bike with supporting wheels mounted. Therefore, you should let the child overview some videos about riding the balance bike of other kids, so that they could imitate and have right habit when practicing to control the bike.

We can say the balance bike is very popular and beloved by the parents as well as children in many developed countries such as The UK, Japan, USA, Germany … And you, you have also decided to buy your child a balance bike, right?

Two For The Money

Despite their contrasting styles, UCLA’s Patrick Cantlay and Georgia’s Russell Henley, the top amateurs at Congressional last week, share a common goal: winning

Sitting in a white Adirondack chair overlooking the practice green at Congressional CC, Patrick Cantlay took a few minutes Sunday night to soak in his first week of U.S. Open competition. The UCLA sophomore-to-be had just shot the second lowest score by an amateur since Jack Nicklaus in 1960, tying Phil Mickelson‘s mark of even par in 1990. He would soon head down to the 18th green to join Open champion Rory McIlroy and accept the championship’s gold medal. After that, it would be on to Cromwell, Conn., for the Travelers Championship.

Practice round Tuesday?” asked the Open’s co-low American, Kevin Chappell.

“Oh, yeah, what time?” said Cantlay.

Time is definitely on Cantlay’s side. At 19, he plans on graduating from UCLA in three years, and matching or surpassing the NCAA individual and team titles that Chappell won when he was at UCLA. Three years younger than McIlroy, one year older than Matteo Manassero, Cantlay doesn’t intend to turn pro early. “You can play 25 years on the PGA Tour,” he said. “There’s no need to rush. I like being a kid. I like being an amateur. I like having fun.”. And absolutely he love his golf watch like a kid love his toy. He was read  some of golf gps reviews, like garmin s4 review and garmin g6 review at golfgpscenter.net, and he love them so much.

What he experienced at Congressional was definitely fun. After completing four rounds on an Open venue in 284 shots, after hearing the deafening roars when he holed bunker shots, after seeing his ball flight compared to tour pros, Cantlay found himself with a new perspective about his talent and what he needs to close the gap on McIlroy, along with the other young stars of his generation.

So did Russell Henley, Cantlay’s Palmer Cup partner and teammate, who he battled throughout the weekend chasing Nicklaus’ amateur scoring record, set when he finished second to Arnold Palmer at Cherry Hills as a 20-year-old. Henley, 22, recently won the Nationwide Tour’s Stadion Classic at UGA and will turn pro after the Walker Cup in September. Having won (along with Scott Langley) the Open’s gold medal for low amateur at Pebble Beach last June, Henley came to Congressional thinking bigger thoughts.

“I want to win the whole thing, to be honest with you,” he said. “I don’t think, ‘This is the U.S. Open and tons of people are watching.’ I look at it as, ‘This is why I play.’ ”

Bird’s eye view

In a sporting gesture, Henley waited for Cantlay at the clubhouse after finishing four shots back at four-over 288. They were paired three groups apart but could find themselves in the same groupings this summer in the U.S. Amateur and as partners on the Walker Cup. It could be a friendship and rivalry that lasts for decades. “I know Patrick is going to be playing golf for a long time,” Henley said. “He’s good at the right things, and he’s got a good head on his shouldersbut I hope I’m beating him for a long time.”

Cantlay and Henley couldn’t be more opposite. Cantlay is the son of a four-time club champ at Wilshire CC in Los Angeles and Virginia CC in Long Beach. Henley’s dad retired as a doctor to run a medical clinic for the underprivileged in Macon, Ga., and doesn’t own golf clubs. Cantlay grew up around tour pros at Virginia CC. Henley was a two-time all-state high school basketball player who also played hockey and soccer.

“I’ve been on an odyssey with Russell since he was 10, from one sport to another, and now we’re down to one,” said his father, Chapin. “He’s basically just a jock.”

Henley’s swing is athletic, and he plays with intensity. He qualified for the Open by beating tour player Jason Dufner on the fourth hole of a sectional playoff in Atlanta. He was only the second player to win a Nationwide Tour event as an amateur. “I’ve always had that natural grind. I don’t know what it is or why,” Henley said as he cleaned out his locker. “Take me out and play two-on-two basketball, I’m going to do the best to wear you out. I’m going to get in your head. I’m going to scratch and clawand I’m going to win.”

Cantlay is competitive in a different way. In late 2008 he went out for a game with John Mallinger, who set the Virginia course record with a 59. Cantlay had a putt on the final green for the same score. “The big stage doesn’t scare him,” says Virginia member and former PGA Tour player John Cook. “We’ve talked about this a lot, when you’re hanging out and playing golf, whether it’s Virginia CC or somewhere else, it’s just golf. He was never intimidated playing with us.”

What intimidated Cantlay most at Congressional was his opening tee shot Thursday at the par-3 10th. “I was scared out of my mind,” he said. “I was shaking.” He hit it to five feet and made birdie. He also made 2 the second day, during a round of 67. On the weekend he shot 7072, closing with a dangerous, well-executed sand save at the 18th for one final roar.

“He’s an old-soul kid,” said Jamie Mulligan, the Virginia CC CEO and Cantlay’s caddie for the Open. “Among the guys he hangs out with [at Virginia], Pete Tomasulo is the closest in age to Patrick, and he’s a decade older.”

But, for how long?

Age doesn’t matter to Cantlay. “I know how to act around those guys, and I know how they act,” he said. “They treat me like a peer. They’re too nice to me.”

Cook points out that working with Cantlay reminds him of the days he soaked up all he could from Ken Venturi. “The thing about Patrick is he loves to ask questions,” said Cook. “He reminds me of me when I was young, just learning from listening.”

A growth spurt and a putting stroke Mulligan uses in clinics are the two elements that helped Cantlay not only at the Open, but in winning the Mickelson Award as the top college freshman and the Nicklaus Award as the top player overall. Cantley qualified for the Open against tour players a day after meeting Nicklaus at the Memorial and averaged 304.3 yards (20th overall) off the tee at Congressional. His spot in the field at the Travelers came on a sponsor’s exemption and likely will be the first of many. “It won’t be as big, but it’s a tour event,” he said.

Henley’s summer schedule isn’t as glamorous. He has the Dogwood Invitational, the Porter Cup and the Western Am coming up and is not looking at tour events until September after the Walker Cup at Royal Aberdeen. “It’s easier to get up for the U.S. Open than anything,” he said. “But I get up for all of them.”

Are Henley and Cantlay, along with U.S. Amateur champ Peter Uihlein (who missed the cut), the next generation of American tour players, the ones who will challenge McIlroy and the other young global stars? Or will they struggle to win the way Rickie Fowler has, or the way Chappell, 24, did before finding himself on the Nationwide Tour?

“What we’re learning in golf right now is people get it a lot younger, with Patrick, with Matteo, with Rory, people learn at their own rate,” Chappell said. “[Cantlay] took records I shot my senior year and kind of stomped on them this year, but I kept reminding him that there are two things he wants that I have [his NCAA team and individual titles]. It’s something I can hold over his head a little bit.”

But, for how long?

How You Can Keep Yourself Safe While Racing through Mountain?

It is difficult to perform race for long period of time. It has been noticed that the bikes that are made for mountains are not easy one and can also leave bad impact on your body and bike too. You must search for best mountain bike under 1000 that are designed for beginners and can help you to get more knowledge about how to ride through mountains. (It is also recommended to use Schwinn protocol 1.0)

This is the reason that the riders who go for a week race are the most difficult riders who cannot be compared. Many people who are the best racers told about the essential things that are important to be made during biking through the mountains.

You must early in the morning start your race on bike through mountains. You must also concern to those people who are the best racers and can guide you properly about the do and don’t that will be really helpful for you to ride any bike.

You must also take good care of your fitness that is essential to be seen when you go for riding bike through the mountains.

Other than fitness, you must also prepare your mind for any outcome that you may face during your period. Be prepared for all the results that can help you to make your trip easy. Ask other expert to teach you how and what should you do in order to avoid hazards.

You must prepare your riding with great clothing. This is the best way to come up with proper and easy biking through the mountains. Hiking is often considered as the best outdoor sports that are played by many people in their leisure time.

Your clothing must include proper jackets, pants, helmets, and also shoes properly tied up. These all are among the most important tips that will help you to get the ride easily done. (Visit site and get more detailed information for the best bikes that can be used through mountains for the beginners and for the expert too.)

Other than this, stay fresh and motivated that will help you to get this done easily. Charge yourself every morning with drinks especially energy drinks that are useful for you early morning before going for mountain riding. Be confident and just don’t think that you can’t do it because everyone can easily do this with just little efforts required.

Try making and producing good results every day that will be helpful in developing your interest for the biking part through the mountains. You must also have a list of several things either that is related to mental or even physical that will be helpful for you during the period of mountain biking.

You must be prepared for everything to make it go right and done properly. Check for the bike that whether it is working properly or not. Also see other things that must be seen under observation when you are going for biking through mountains.

Other tip that is given by the experts includes that you must enjoy every moment that you are spending through the mountain as this is considered as the great and best experience that is very much beneficial for you and is good as well.

It is perfect even then also if you get minor injury or hurt during the time on the mountains. You must also stay focused that why are you doing this biking through the mountain. What is the actual purpose you are going through this. This is also among the important tip that you must check and think about.

Check out other articles that will guide you more that what essential tips you should have when following riding through the mountains.

You must also take directional maps along with you that will be helpful for you to check for the direction if you go in any wrong place or area. Map must be present every time you go for riding through the mountains. Map will help you to check the direction every time. Keep your bag maintained with all the necessary things that you want to keep with you so that it will be beneficial to check if anything required during the whole period of riding.

Riding bike through the mountains is easy if you follow all the tips and tricks properly that are guided by certain experts. This will help you to do all the biking easily. Especially those who are expert road bikers can ride easily through the mountains. Get more tips from other websites and go for this wonderful outdoor sports whenever you are free that will be very much useful for the long term races with your friends and family. Try going on mountains each year.

 

How to Pack your Bag for a Mountain Bike Ride

You may be planning on solo ride or with a group it is very important that you know what things you should bring with you. Things you should bring will be dependent on where you are planning to have your ride. You also need to anticipate the weather on your ride. If you come prepared you will be able to face any obstacle that you might face along the way. There are things that you need to take note of when you pack your bag you’ll be bringing on your ride. And make sure you have read and pick the best mountain bikes under 1000 dollars at http://www.recreationspace.com/best-mountain-bikes-under-1000/ .

Just pack light

It is very important that you know what things you will use because you don’t want to over pack your bag. If you just begin with mountain biking, the best entry level mountain bike will fit your need. Always pack light when you go out biking. The weight of your bag will be very significant once you get tired. Remember that you will be carrying it the whole time and it can add up to your own weight when you ride and will be the reason why you will feel exhausted easily. So just bring the essential, some of the riders only brings water and energy drink on their run because it is very important to make sure that you stay hydrated during your ride. Your water, energy drink and any source of sugar should be the only things that will get the most weight on your bag. And you just bring a few things that you can use for first aid and emergencies. Just like small pack sticker patches that you can use in case you get your holes in your tire.

Bring essentials

Here are the essential that should always be present in your bag during a bike ride in any terrain

  • Enough water
  • Energy drink
  • Energy bar or candies
  • Bike kit (only the essentials like folding mini-tool, etc.)
  • Cellphone
  • Cash

If you are planning on going on the rough terrain in the mountain or woods you need to add these items on your bag:

  • First aid kit
  • Zip ties and electrical tape
  • Bring ID and health insurance

These things will surely help you in case you face certain situation on your bike ride. Even the greatest rider still prepares for the worst case scenario in every ride they take. Because accidents always happens when you least expect it and it is best if you have prepared for it ahead. Many riders have survived some of the deadliest accidents all thanks to the things they packed insider their bag.

The food and water will keep you hydrated and full. This will keep you alert and active the whole run. It is very essential to bring important bike tool kits in case you face bike problems during your run. As for the first aid kit also your ID and health insurance are just in preparation in case you might experience accident during your ride.

Just think of all possible things that might happen while you are on the road and just think of an item that could help you in that situation. You also need to dress properly during you ride. Besides your bag you also need to bring your helmet and other protective gears that can help protect yourself.

How long you planning on riding?

If you are planning to take on a solo ride it is important that you leave a note to your family or love ones saying where you are and when you are planning to get back. These simple things are just often forgotten but when disaster comes these things are always the first thing that will help others to find you. There are some riders that plan out a day long ride to new terrain they want to conquer. It can be very exciting for a rider to be able to test the limits of their biking and survival skills. But you really need to make sure that you have brought more than enough things inside your bag to help you when trouble comes.

If you are planning on going in groups you need to make your team understand how important it is to only pack the right things. You need to guide them to pack smart and lightly. Remember that the whole team should be in the same page before you start your ride. It is important that you discussed the route you are planning to take with the team first to make sure everybody knows what they are getting into. How long your ride will take will depend on how well all your team members be able to keep up with the team.

Knowing how long your ride will last is very important because this will determine how much water you will need to bring and also the other sustenance that you will be putting inside your bag. You also need to insure that you take all necessary precaution for your own safety. You need to treat every ride as important as your last one. And as long as you enjoy doing it then just continue to work on it.

Just remember to take the same effort in preparing for your ride just to be safe, even if you will go on a terrain that you are already familiar with. You don’t know what you might face on your run. Confidence in biking goes hand and hand but over confidence can be very dangerous. Always prepare your body properly when you are taking on a huge terrain ride. Make sure that you have the stamina to be able to finish your planned trail. Sometimes accident happens because you can no longer control your bike because you are exhausted. So training will help you have the strength to finish your ride safely. And always following the safety rules in biking will surely provide you with a good long career in mountain biking. There is really nothing impossible as long as you’re put your heart and mind into it. There’s a different kind of adrenaline rush that finishing a new trail brings to a rider. Especially if you have used all the tricks that you have learned while bike riding.

Going for the goal! (P2)

In soccer, as in any sport, injuries do occur. Because soccer depends largely on leg power and footwork, most injuries affect the lower body. In addition, during fast-paced games, players make sudden starts and stops. Often they shoot, pass, or receive the ball in awkward positions. These motions can cause the foot, knee, and ankle to move in unnatural–and painful–directions. Donald Kirkendall, a professor of orthopedics at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) spent four years surveying the injuries suffered by young players of the game. In a 2002 study, Kirkendall reported that two-thirds of all injuries suffered by soccer players ages 10 to 17 affect the ankle, lower leg, and foot.

Physical therapist Nancy Reichlin of Norwalk, Conn., frequently sees the results of those injuries. Reichlin says she treats one age-group more than any other for soccer injuries–young people between the ages of 11 and 15. “As kids enter puberty, their bodies grow rapidly,” she said. “The muscles can’t keep up with the growth of the large bones in the legs. The joints become looser.”

Reichlin has observed that most injuries in young soccer players result from damage to the connective tissue. “Muscles are connected to the bones by tendons–cords of tough tissue. Bones are held together at the joints by connective tissue called ligaments. Soccer stretches, pulls, and twists this tissue.”

This kind of injury happens frequently to the ankle. In fact, Reichlin says that she treats the largest number of young soccer players for sprained ankles–twisted or partially torn ligaments in the ankle. A bad ankle slowed Freddy at the beginning of his first MLS season. “I came into the season with DC United with an ankle injury,” Freddy said. “The first month of the season I was hobbling around.”

It’s important, Reichlin says, for players to strengthen the ankle with exercises and stretches to regain full motion. Freddy includes stretching in his workout, but he also points out another key to overall soccer fitness: working on the body’s “core”–the abdominal, or stomach, muscles. “I do a lot of core weight training,” Freddy told CH. “It helps my balance, my speed, the way I cut.” He advises young soccer players, “When you’re working out, keep your abs really tight, because everything comes from there.”

In addition to core training, Freddy works with weights in the off-season to strengthen his legs. Reichlin agrees that weight training is important. It’s also important for players to be aware of their body position in games, she adds. Ligaments are more likely to tear when a player stops or cuts in a stiff, “stand tall” posture, says Reichlin. That is especially true in females. Players should use a crouched, relaxed posture with the hips and knees flexed.

Attitude Counts

  • Few teenage soccer players can expect the success that Freddy has enjoyed. Nor could many young players handle the pressure that he’s handled as the youngest player in pro soccer.
  • Freddy keeps his cool by maintaining a positive attitude. Before games, he prepares mentally by listening to music and focusing on the challenges ahead. “I picture myself in the game scoring goals and doing the right things,” he said. Freddy also continues to set higher standards for himself. “I know I can get to a whole other level,” he said. “It’s just a matter of working at it.”
  • In the end, Freddy points out, it’s important to remember why soccer is so popular. At any level, it’s a fun game to play. His final words to young players are simple: “It doesn’t matter if you’re playing as a professional or playing on the streets of Ghana–it’s always the same game. Just go out there, play your game, have fun, and work hard.”

Girls and Injuries

The success of the U.S. Women’s Soccer team and stars such as Mia Hamm and Kristine Lilly has made soccer popular among girls. But there is a downside to the growing number of girls playing soccer–an increase in the incidence of knee injuries. A study by the National Athletic Training Association found that adolescent girls are five times as likely as adolescent boys to suffer a serious knee injury in soccer.

Why? As girls’ bodies mature, they develop a wider hip-to-knee ratio than boys. In a girl, the femur, or large bone in the thigh, connects with the knee at a slight angle rather than in a straight line, as it does in a boy. This makes it easier for the knee joint to slip when it is stressed.

In addition, the legs of adolescent females generally have a muscle imbalance that may cause problems when they play soccer. The muscles that control movements of the upper leg are the quadriceps in the front of the thigh and the hamstrings in the back of the thigh.

“To withstand the twists and turns of sports such as soccer, hamstring muscles should be 60 to 70 percent as strong as the quadriceps,” said Timothy Hewett, the director of research at the Cincinnati Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center. “In female athletes, the muscle is only 49 to 55 percent as strong, increasing risks for knee injuries.”

Dícuss

  • What is a sprained ankle?

Ans: twisted or partially torn ligaments in the ankle.

  • Who is more likely to suffer a serious knee injury while playing soccer–an adolescent girl or an adolescent boy?

Ans: An adolescent girl. Girls in that age-group have afire times greater chance of suffering from knee injuries than adolescent boys.

  • Why do most soccer injuries occur in the lower body?

Ans: Answers will vary but may include the following: The game depends largely on leg power and footwork; players make sudden starts and stops; the motions in soccer can cause the foot, knee, and ankle to move in unnatural, painful directions.

Going for the goal! (P1)

Freddy Adu remembers the cold Saturday afternoon when he proved to his teammates that he belonged. It was Nov. 6, 2004, and time had run out in a game between the New England Revolution and the DC United, the Washington, D.C., Major League Soccer (MLS) professional team for which Freddy plays. The score was 3-3 as players lined up for a shootout.

Under MLS rules, each team has five chances to kick the ball into the goal from 35 yards away, with only the goalkeeper to stop the ball. The Revolution scored three times in five shots. DC United scored two. The team needed one more goal to stay alive.

Freddy knew what he had to do. Planting his left foot solidly, he blasted the ball past the leaping goalie with his powerful right leg. Moments later, a shot by another DC United player won the game. Freddy’s shootout goal proved that he was a professional player. Because he was just 15 years old, many people doubted he was good enough. Freddy told Current Health that he felt a great deal of pressure playing with older pros because “defenders don’t want to get beat by a little 15-year-old kid, you know?”

Starting Early

Not many kids can do what Freddy has done, but a growing number of young people in the United States are playing soccer. According to a 2002 survey by the Sporting Goods Manufacturers of America, soccer is second only to basketball among U.S. children ages 6 to 17. Of the millions of kids who play soccer, 57 percent are boys, and 43 percent are girls.

  • Freddy has seen the sport’s popularity grow in the United States. He said, “Give it five or 10 years and soccer will be one of the biggest sports here. It’s only a matter of time…. It’s already the biggest sport everywhere else.”
  • That’s certainly true in Freddy’s birthplace, the African nation of Ghana. “Everyone there plays the sport. You pretty much grow up in that environment. I loved it from day one.” And he’s not exaggerating. “I was 2 when I first kicked a soccer ball,” he explained. “Even before that, when my mom used to carry me around, I started crying every time I saw a soccer ball, because I wanted it. She’d grab one for me, and I would shut up. So I guess it was from birth.”
  • Freddy’s talent was noticeable right from the start. “I could do certain things with a soccer ball that no 5- or 6-year-old kid was able to do,” he said. “Most of the older guys told my mom that I was going to go places when I got older.” In fact, when he was 8, Freddy and his family moved to the United States. Today, his skills are even more impressive. His signature move is his double stepover. “I get the defender off balance, then, boom, go to the other side.”

Preventing Injuries

Most kids who play soccer would probably agree with Freddy that it demands a lot from a young athlete. Players must develop the conditioning to run for an hour or more. They also need to be quick enough to run past an opposing player or to catch an opponent. Freddy is only 5 feet 7 inches tall, so speed is one of the keys to his success. “Some guys are 6-foot-4. That’s a huge advantage [if the ball is] in the air. But if the ball’s on the ground, I’m quicker and use it to my advantage,” he said.

Speed also helps Freddy avoid injuries. “If you [try to] dribble by everyone you see, defenders start getting a little frustrated and kicking the heck out of you,” he told CH. “But if you get the ball off your feet quicker, you’re not going to get hurt as often.”

Nothing This Kid Does Surprises Me (P2)

Let’s Go Rory! In the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, when McIlroy said he’d be quite happy to play Woods, given the current state of the then World No. 1’s game, it raised hackles. The next day his European mates, caddies and players, turned up in black, bushy Rory wigs. It was a joke and a statement. Everybody loves Rory. Saturday at Congressional, when Padraig Harrington suggested it’s McIlroy who may be the player to break Jack’s record of 18 majors, Rory shook his head. “Paddy, Paddy, Paddy,” he said. “I just want to win my first.” At Augusta, McDowell sent him a text message: “I love you.” McIlroy joked it might be the drink talking. Sunday, G-Mac left a note in Rory’s Congressional locker. The words were different but the meaning the same. During the third round McIlroy was met at virtually every green on the back nine with chanting. “Let’s Go, Rory! Let’s Go, Rory!” It started with a small group of supporters but, by the end of the day, it was entire grandstands. “They love him,” said Gerry in his finest Father’s Day smile, adding the customary Irish modifier, “which is nice.” The McIlroys, father and son, wear their joy the way most of us wear socks.

The Bounce and the Twirl. There have been some idiosyncratic walks in golf. Payne Stewart had a pair of friends who were identical twins. These fans walked on their toes and Stewart called them Tiptoe I and Tiptoe II. McIlroy walks as if he’s on one of those rubber-matted people movers, late for a plane in a strange airport. He has the spring of a newborn pup and when he is satisfied with a shot, his clubhead twirls like a thrill ride at the county fair. All of this is well known. Rory’s as easy and fun to read as Dr. Seuss.

McIlroy, who has held at least a portion of the lead at some point in all of the last four major championships, went into U.S. Open Sunday a staggering eight shots clear of second. Disaster was not his bedfellow this time. “Once he started we were all playing for second,” said Lee Westwood of McIlroy’s two-under beginning through four. “Well done to him.” It was 23-year-old Aussie Jason Day who ultimately won the B flight, adding an Open to his T-2 in the Masters. “There might be people capable of winning a major, but there’s not too many people capable of dominating and running away from a field in a major,” said Harrington, who has won three.

As McIlroy was walking to the 18th tee with an eight-shot lead Sunday evening, Westwood was leaving it. As they got closer to one another, Westwood broke into a broad grin. McIlroy looked down, smiling too, deeply proud but deferential to a friend he knew wanted to win every bit as badly as he did, maybe more. They exchanged a light fist bump as they passed. Two steps further on, Westwood gave McIlroy’s caddie, J.P. Fitzgerald, a whacking high five.

Conclusion

At Augusta National the final walk on the 18th is dramatically uphill. In April, when he got to the top, instead of claiming a green jacket, McIlroy wrapped himself in grace and dignity in defeat. At Congressional his walk at the last was dramatically downhill to his first major victory, what many believed to be his destiny. In a Jim Craig, Olympic hockey moment, he scanned the crowd looking for his father.

“I knew he was going to be somewhere close after I hit my second shot and was walking down the 18th fairway. I was looking for him over on the left side somewhere,” says McIlroy. “I just spotted him before I hit my first putt. And then when I put it up to whatever it was, a foot or whatever, I looked to him and gave him a little smile, a little grin.”

Just for the record, McIlroy’s 72-hole total of 268 is the lowest ever, by four shots. His 16-under-par total broke the previous mark versus par, set by Woods at Pebble Beach, by four. He’s the youngest U.S. Open champion since Bobby Jones in 1923. He hit more greens in regulation than anyone in a U.S. Open, for as long as they’ve been keeping track of such things. His 11 under par on the par 4s broke that previous mark by a mere seven shots. He had the lowest 54-hole score in Open history. He became the only player to reach 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 under par in an Open. He had the lowest 36-hole total ever and is thought to be the youngest 36-hole leader since Walter Hagen in 1914. And, unofficially, he’s the longest, straightest driver of the golf ball since Greg Norman.

Of course, the famously absent were famously absent, which meant Woods was probably out on the Atlantic Ocean somewhere with his inflatable boot. A couple of years ago he would have been lounging on his 155-foot yacht Privacy. Then, one thing led to another, and he downsized to Solitude. If all the dire predictions of his future were to be believed, you’d half expect to find him adrift in a Boston Whaler called Screwed.

The famously absent remained famously absent until He Who Was Once Without Peer was invited to the party by McIlroy’s singular brilliance. The U.S. Open field was comprised of 156 players and the towering statistical figure of Woods, whose ghost the young Irish lad played against for four days like an EA Sports video game. The defining moment of Woods’ defining week at Pebble Beach was ripping a 7-iron out of the rough on the sixth hole in Friday’s second round. Roger Maltbie summed it up that day by saying it wasn’t a fair fight. McIlroy’s defining moment also came Friday but instead of grimacing power it was endearing grace. He hit his wedge to the rear of the eighth green, allowing the ball to funnel back down the slope and into the cup. When it went in, he threw his head back, his arms open and beamed at the heavens in delight. This was a fair fight, it just wasn’t going to be a close one.

The records mounted as the week wore on. McIlroy was the fastest to double digits under par in the history of the U.S. Open. He got there at a younger age than Gil Morgan, Ricky Barnes, Jim Furyk or Woods. McIlroy hit 17 of 18 greens in Thursday’s 65 and 15 more in Friday’s 66, tying Woods for the largest 36-hole lead in the 111 years of the championship, even though he double-bogeyed the final hole, making his only real mental error of the week by bringing the water into play after driving into the rough on the 18th.

He killed Saturday morning watching Batman, then went all Dark Knight on ’em Saturday afternoon. His near-flawless 68, built on a foundation of two crucial early par-saves, was probably the most important of the week. “I think yesterday was a big day for me,” he said after Sunday’s clinching two-under 69. “To get over that, playing in the last group, going out with the lead, to play such solid golf, that gave me a lot of confidence.”

Jones was Jones. Hogan was Hogan. Nicklaus was Nicklaus. Woods was Woods. Once upon a time and a very good time it was, a chuffed Irish lad got to spend a week in their company. The rest might be history.

Nothing This Kid Does Surprises Me (P1)

Benefiting from the lessons of his Masters meltdown, Rory McIlroy lives up to countryman Graeme McDowell’s high praise and dominates the 111th U.S. Open

In the time it takes to change spring to summer, forged in the smithy of Augusta National misery, Muppet-haired 22-year-old Rory McIlroy matured into the portrait of the champion as a young artist, winning the 111th U.S. Open in a walkover and, in the process, dropping records behind him like bread crumbs just so everyone could find their way to the future.

Y.E. Yang, the first player to take the measure of Tiger Woods in a major championship, got to play with McIlroy all weekend at Congressional CC. Apparently, the Korean words for “Are you freaking kidding me?” translate into, “Let the best second-place win.” He finished 10 behind, tied for third. Phil Mickelson, who is 05 in steel-cage matches with the U.S. Open, had box seats for McIlroy’s eye-popping opening rounds. “Impressive,” said Phil, from the cheap seats 23 shots back. But the most apt quote wasn’t sung in the chorus of praise. It came from the missing Woods and it was delivered 15 years ago: “Hello, world.”

When McIlroy nearly holed his 6-iron Sunday on the par-3 10th, the amphitheater encompassing the lake and the 10th and 18th greens, towered over by the massive Congressional CC clubhouse, erupted like Windsor Park, Belfast’s football stadium, in the loudest sustained roar a golf course has heard since Jack Nicklaus made a 2 on the 16th at Augusta National 25 years ago.

Unpretentiously gifted, confidently humble, swaggeringly modest, the lad from Northern Ireland with the awshucks grin bounced across the fairways of Congressional CC with a virtuosity unparalleled since Woods ruled the Monterey Peninsula in his steely youth. Where Tiger took Pebble Beach by the throat and choked the life out of it in 2000, McIlroy caressed Congressional with the confidence of a baby-faced assassin lovingly consumed by the nitty-gritty of his deadly work.

Graeme McDowell, McIlroy’s good friend, fellow Irishman and the defending champion, called it, “an accident waiting to happen.” This was no accident. It was a contract killing. “Nothing this kid does surprises me,” said G-Mac after it was over. “This guy is the best I’ve ever seen, simple as that. He’s great for golf. He’s a breath of fresh air for the game. Perhaps we’re ready for golf’s next superstar, and maybe Rory is it.”

Certainly he was at Congressional. His stars didn’t align so much as they snapped to attention like an honor guard:

Another factors

The Jack Factor. Nicklaus has tutored the last two major champions, McIlroy and Masters winner Charl Schwartzel. He took the 26-year-old South African through Augusta National hole by hole. He slogged through the swamp of the Irishman’s final-round 80 at Augusta, heart-to-heart. “Once you understand what you did wrong and what you need to do right, and you start to do those things and see the reaction and things start to happen, you get confirmation and you get confident,” said the 71-year-old Nicklaus. As the greatest player of all time shrinks to the size of Yoda, he’s become one.

Congressional CC. Stunted by the oppressive heat in the weeks leading up to the championship and softened by the rain the week of it, the U.S. Open venue struggled to hold its head up. The greens were soft, the fairways soaked. McIlroy’s high ball flight was a demonstrable benefit. The players deemed the course fair, but the four-letter f-word more commonly applied to an Open is fear. The 20 subpar 72-hole totals were the second most ever. Ken Venturi, the winner of the dramatic 1964 Open at Congressional, was on hand for the prize-giving, but there were so many red numbers you half expected to look around and see Bob Hope too.

Haiti. In the days immediately following Nicklaus’ Memorial Tournament, before he came to Congressional to prepare, McIlroy flew to Haiti for UNICEF. The words “earthquake ravaged” precede “Haiti” the way the waggle comes before the takeaway. McIlroy chose to ally himself with an organization founded in 1946, not one with a space for his name. He kept the images of Port-au-Prince on his cell. A young man who possesses all the toys of great wealth, born to a working-class home, saw how relative privilege can be.

Mum and Dad and Holywood. In April, Rory and his Belfast buddies relaxed tossing a football around in the streets of Augusta. But majors aren’t about feeling comfortable, they’re about performing when you’re not. Taking a page from McDowell’s win at Pebble Beach, McIlroy was in D.C. with just his father, Gerry. Ulster TV has a video clip of 9-year-old Rory pitching plastic balls into the Hoover washing machine in the house where he grew up. Dad cleaned the Ladies and Gents rooms at a rugby club and pulled pints for pounds in two different bars. Rosie, Rory’s mum, worked the night shift at the 3M factory. All to underwrite a boy’s ambition. A child can’t be more privileged than that.

New World Order: World Soccer is Now Finally a Global Game (P2)

FIFA must now consider bringing its showcase event to areas that have never staged the World Cup. Africa is almost certain to get the 2010 Cup, and FIFA president Sepp Blatter admitted it could be split between two countries that year.

And the United States wants to stage the 2014 event. Don’t bet against it. “Africa definitely has the background to organize the World Cup,” says Blatter, who mentioned Egypt, Ivory Coast, South Africa, and Morocco as African nations expressing interest in the 2010 tourney. “In Africa, political circles value me for my campaign to bring the World Cup 2006 to the continent. Although that bid wasn’t a successful one, it’s almost certain that the 2010 tournament will take place in Africa.”

Unquestionably, that will be good for soccer. As the world’s most popular sport, it must spread its charms everywhere and the best way to do that is through the World Cup.

Still, for all the shake-ups in the 2002 tournament, Brazil stood on the podium and took home the trophy–it now has won in five of its seven finals appearances, while Germany has a 3-4 record in World Cup championship matches. “A lot of unpredictable things happened in the 2002 World Cup,” said Pele, who led Brazil to three of those crowns. “And that’s very good for soccer because some of the so-called second-level teams–Senegal and South Korea, Turkey and the United States–are playing on a the same level as the traditionally strong countries. This World cup was not a matter of the powerful countries playing below their normal levels. The others played expectations and improved their play. It’s a very welcome thing for the World Cup and for the sport.”

So why not a Turkey-United States final in Germany in four years? Or a South Korea-Senegal title game? “We’ve earned a little bit more respect, but not enough,” says Arena. “That’s fine. We have to keep moving forward and try to get better. The one way you shut everyone up is to win games. You have to step on the field and just beat them. That’s the bottom line.”

Hwang Sun-hong, who played in his fourth World Cup for South Korea, believes his nation set the proper example for future international events. “We proved to ourselves and to the world that our soccer has a bright future,” he said. “I hope that young players will pick up the spirit and don’t forget what happened and what we can do.”

He could have been speaking for any of the upstarts.

Five things

THE WORLD CUP WASN’T JUST A FESTIVAL for emerging nations, it was a coming-out party for a new crop of individual stars, as well. Here are five to keep an eye on:

  1. El-Hadji Diouf, Senegal. The reigning African player of the year didn’t find the net at the World Cup, but he was a dangerous, creative presence all over the field. At 21, he could become the best player in his continent’s history–particularly now that he is headed for Liverpool in the Premiership.
  2. Landon Donovan, United States. Whether Donovan is allowed to stay with his MLS club, the San Jose Earthquakes, or is forced to return to Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga, he will emerge a star. The hottest of America’s rising young stars, still only 20, he has a terrific finishing touch, but also the versatility to be a playmaker.
  3. Ahn Jung-hwan, South Korea. After scoring a golden goal to beat Italy, the owner of Ahn’s Perugia club originally said he would not retain the player’s services, but later reneged after coming under criticism from his team’s supporters and others. Few players outside of Brazil’s “Three Rs” had more scoring chances from close range.
  4. Marcos, Brazil. Few Brazilian goal-keepers make their mark at the World Cup. Marcos, 28 was an exception. A controversial choice over veteran Dida, the 6’4″ Marcos was a revelation, particularly late in the tournament. His remarkable touch save off the goalpost on Oliver Neuville’s free kick was the turning point of the Cup finals.
  5. Alpay, Turkey. He wasn’t the most heralded defender in the tournament–Brazil’s Roberto Carlos or England’s Sol Campbell would deserve that distinction–but Alpay was the steadiest. The Turks were as staunch as anyone defensively, yielding only two goals in the run of play in two games to Brazil, and Alpay was the key.