Archive for Soccer
Youth soccer season is in full swing across the nation! US Goalkeeper Tony Meola has teamed up with Allstate Insurance. As the official insurance sponsor of U.S. Soccer, Allstate has teamed up with Meola to help ensure that our nation’s youth soccer players are taking the proper precautions to protect themselves as they play this great game as well as to provide education and inspiration to youth soccer players this fall.
Tony’s Tips for Youth Soccer Players
- Avoid injuries by wearing shoes that fit. Not much equipment is required for soccer, but cleats that are too small or too big can irritate your feet. Also, don’t worry about those flashy cleats your friend is wearing. Wear what works for you. Still learning the game? Go with molded cleats over the more dangerous metal spikes. An all purpose cleat will serve you well until you get a better feel for soccer cleats.
- At halftime or in between games, get off your feet. To conserve energy in your legs, find a shady spot near the field, have a seat and rest up for the next half or game. If you can elevate your feet for a couple of minutes, that would help.
- For all goalkeepers out there, learn how to dive properly. The better your technique, the less inclined your are to get injured. Also, wear the padded pants to protect your legs. Taking proper training to be a goalkeeper will be well worth it.
- Cross-training by participating in multiple sports is a great way to train as well as avoid injuries, especially for field players. For example, the constant cutting, different speeds and short bursts in basketball translate very well to soccer. Being involved in other sports also helps.
- Don’t be a hero. Some soccer injuries can be caused by consistent overuse or playing through pain. If you sustain an injury, take the time to heal up so you can get back on the field! And remember – injuries need to be managed long term, not just in the short term.
- Stay hydrated to stay in the game! Whether you’re playing in a game or practicing, fluid replenishment is vitally important to battle fatigue and avoid dehydration, especially in the summer months. And remember – small sips or else you might find yourself right back on the sideline!
- Whether you win or lose, join your team for a brief cool down jog after the game. Icing after games is also a great way to begin the recovery process.
And one tip from me – HAVE FUN! Soccer is a game everyone can enjoy – whether you play in a league or in your backyard scrimmaging against your friends – soccer is great exercise.
Something tells me that when the USA vs Brazil Women’s Soccer game kicked off earlier this week, no one imagined how HUGE the game would prove to be. And with the kickoff of the semi-final game against France just moments away, I can’t help but think that this amazing team of women has done more for women’s soccer in one week than has been accomplished since Mia Hamm retired her cleats. Mia and women’s soccer have been synonymous for years, but names like Hope (Solo) and Abby (Wambach) are bringing the passion, excitement, athleticism, and determination to a new generation of girls and for that we thank them! Not just Hope and Abby, but the entire US Women’s Team and their coaches.
In case you missed it, here are highlights from the epic comeback of the US Team against Brazil.
If you have not been consumed by this US Women’s Soccer Fever yet, I dare you not to watch the coverage of the game – it is as exciting as any Superbowl, any Stanley Cup Game or Olympic Swimming Relay – seriously! Go tune in now at ESPN or ESPN3.com and catch the soccer bug!
And if you haven’t already, get your 2011 USA Women’s World Cup Gear Today!
I have to say I am really loving this series of profiles on athletes’ Moms on the Gatorade Moms site. A glimpse into the journey, challenges and proud moments the Moms of some of today’s most successful athletes is very inspiring! In the case of Stephanie Hamm, the Mom to soccer star Mia Hamm, she was sure Mia would be a ballerina and when Mia fell in love with soccer, Stephanie had lots to learn. Stephanie’s background was in dance – a big difference from the outdoor intensity of soccer. Watch Stephanie Hamm on raising Mia Hamm on YouTube or click below to watch.
Mia Hamm is retired from soccer and is now raising two daughters of her own. Additionally, Mia has a foundation for raising funds and awareness for families needing marrow or cord blood transplants and continuing the growth in opportunities for young women in sports.