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An Awesome 3-Minute Workout That Can Be Done 12 Different Ways

Rock a 360¡ã workout! Drag your cursor side to side to follow our 4 fitness pros as they lead you through Squat, Mountain Climber and Lunge variations. Then let us know what YOU think of this new video format!
You can watch and workout with one trainer at a time or click and drag side to side to see what each of the moves looks like as it’s being done in our first 360¡ã video circuit.

The Trinity Workout is LIVESTRONG.COM¡¯s first interactive, 360-degree video circuit experience. And it¡¯s the only workout you may need for a seriously butt-kicking core and lower-body fitness fix.
Ever checked out a 360-degree video? Here¡¯s how to use it: Use your cursor to move the camera around in order to explore four variations each of squats, mountain climbers and lunges as demonstrated by our four fitness experts.
Using the 360-degree view, you can easily compare each modification but also be able to work with one trainer at a time. Mix and match variations to create 12 different three-minute workouts. If you want to watch the video on YouTube, click here.
Check out the benefits and descriptions of each activity:
Lunges activate several muscles in your core and lower body. According to certified personal trainer Ashley Farley, it¡¯s a calisthenic activity and form of resistance training: ¡°Targeted muscles include the glutes in your hips and butt along with the hamstrings and quadriceps in your thighs,¡± she says. ¡°The calf muscles in your lower legs, your abdominal muscles and your back muscles act as stabilizers during this exercise. Lunges also help your body burn calories for weight loss.¡±
This variation emphasizes your hip flexors and inner thighs, but writer Kay Uzoma warns to make sure to avoid overextending your knees.
How to Do It: ¡°From standing, root your right foot into the ground and step your left foot out to the side. As you do this, bend your left knee, keeping it in line with your left foot. You can have your hands on your hips or hanging on either side of the bent leg. Push off your left leg and return to standing,¡± says Uzoma.
The forward lunge is your standard lunge. Health and fitness expert Maria Hoven explains how to properly do a forward lunge.
How to Do It: ¡°Stand straight with your feet together. Contract your abdominal muscles to stabilize your upper body. Lift your right leg off the floor and take a giant step forward. Slowly lower your torso by bending your left knee toward the floor. Lower until your right knee forms a 90-degree angle and your knee is aligned with your ankle. Push yourself upward and return to the starting position,¡± she writes.
Though the muscles implicated here are the same as those used in the forward lunge, the reverse lunge puts less stress on your knees, according to Hoven. Your balance is also easier to maintain while reverse lunging.
How to Do It: ¡°Stand straight and contract your core muscles. Lift your left foot off the floor and step backward. Bend your right knee to form a 90-degree angle between your thigh and calf while lowering your left knee toward the floor. Push yourself upward with your thigh muscles and return back to the starting position,¡± Hoven says.
Writer Jennifer Loucks advises to use smooth movements while doing this exercise and to avoid bouncing up and down or jerking your leg muscles quickly.
How to Do It: Perform the explosive jump lunge the same way you would a forward lunge, but instead of returning to your starting position, jump to alternate legs.
Squats train your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors and calves, according to professional fitness trainer Kevin Rail, making them a compound exercise. Practicing them properly will quickly increase the size and strength of your lower body.
The main difference between regular squats and sumo squats is the placement of your feet, according to Rail. Your feet are further apart for a wider stance, and your toes are pointed more outward and away from your body. The sumo squat emphasizes your inner-thigh adductors and glutes.
How to Do It: ¡°Stand with your feet significantly wider than hip-distance apart (about three to four feet), turn your toes out 45 degrees and hold your hands by your sides. Lower yourself down by bending your knees and hips while raising your hands to meet under your chin. Keep your abs tight and your back straight, and do not let your knees move past your toes when lowering. Once your thighs are parallel to the floor, root through your heels and rise back up steadily for one rep,¡± Rail writes.
Goblet squats are a fantastic way to learn how to squat with perfect technique, according to certified strength and conditioning specialist Tony Gentilcore. The trick is to imagine that the kettlebell you are holding is a full goblet and that you are trying to avoid spilling it.
How to Do It: ¡°Start with your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing slightly outward while holding a kettlebell close to your chest. Squat by pushing your hips back, making sure to push your knees out (to the left and right, not forward) in line with your third toe. Keep your chest tall and arch your lumbar spine throughout, finishing the movement by squeezing your glutes together,¡± Gentilcore writes.
The body-weight squat is your typical squat. Don¡¯t underestimate it, though: Making sure to do this move properly will prevent injuries and provide optimal results, according to licensed physical fitness trainer Kimberly Caines. Follow her method below.
How to Do It: Position your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart and point your toes slightly outward. Let your arms hang down and activate your core. Transfer your weight onto your heels (you can wiggle your toes to make sure you¡¯re doing it right). Bend your knees over your feet and slowly lower your hips, getting them as close to parallel with the floor as you can. Keep your torso upright ¡ª reaching your arms in front of you can help you to maintain your balance. Push through your heels to straighten your knees and return to your starting position, squeezing your glutes on the way up.
According to certified personal trainer Duncan Forbes, the jump squat can help to improve your vertical jump, which can come in handy if you¡¯re a volleyball, football or basketball player. To prepare for this exercise, make sure you have a soft surface beneath you, such as grass, turf or a rubber mat, to spare your knee joints. Warm up by doing some cardio activities and other squat variations.
How to Do It: ¡°Start with your feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart. Put your hands behind your head with your fingers interlocked. The direction of your jump will be vertical. Start by standing tall, then coming down into a squatting position with your thighs slightly higher than your knees. Quickly explode into the air for maximum height. In midair your body should be as straight as a stick. Land in the squat position and pause for a moment,¡± Forbes writes.
From improving your balance, agility and coordination to increasing your strength, flexibility and blood circulation, mountain climbers challenge your body in all kinds of ways, according to yoga expert Tanya Siejhi Gershon. You will be utilizing your upper-arm, core and leg muscles to climb your way to the top.
Spiderman mountain climbers come with all the benefits of your standard mountain climber ¡ª emphasizing your core and upper-body muscles ¡ª while increasing flexibility, according to writer Cat North.
How to Do It: ¡°From a plank position, bend and lunge your right leg forward and place your foot right beside your right hand. Hold for a few seconds and return your right leg to its starting position. Switch to the left leg to perform the same action,¡± North wrote.
The plyometric is your basic mountain climber. This activity will push your cardiovascular endurance.
How to Do It: ¡°Start in a plank position with your shoulders over your wrists and your body in one straight line from your head to your feet. Raise your hips, bend your right knee and bring your foot up to your hip (but resting on the ground). Quickly switch legs so that the left foot is at your hip and the right one is back to where it started. Continue switching legs while maintaining proper form,¡± LIVESTRONG.COM editor Rachel Grice writes.
If you are new to mountain climbers, the slow and controlled technique can help you to focus on your form and proper muscle engagement, according to certified trainer Jamie Lebowitz.
How to Do It: Like the other mountain climbers, start in the plank position. Slowly bring your knee up to your chest without placing your foot on the ground and hold it there for a second. Slowly move your leg back into its original position, hold and then switch to the other leg.
According to a 2005 study00100-9/fulltext) published in the Journal of Pediatrics, cross-lateral exercises, or activities that require your arms or legs to cross from one side of your body to the other, have been linked to brain coordination and better academic performance. On the physical end, cross-body mountain climbers activate and strengthen your oblique muscles, according to Lebowitz.
How to Do It: Begin in the plank position. Bring your left heel up and over, aiming to reach your knee towards your right elbow, then return to your starting position. Repeat on the other side and continue alternating.
What do you think about the 360-degree video? Was it cool or weird? Did you try any of the variations? Should LIVESTRONG.COM do more of these? Tell us in the comments!

What Are the Most Popular Youth Sports?

Participation in youth sports has grown for boys and girls. Sports provide benefits of exercise and companionship with teammates. Allowing children to compete in a safe and fun environment allows kids to develop skills of perseverance, training, work ethic, and at a young age body kinesthetics (ability to know how to move one¡¯s body).
According to ESPN, the most popular sport for girls is basketball with over 450,000 girls playing for a school-sponsored team. The sport has also risen between 2006 and 2012 to become the most popular among boys with over 550,000 boys playing for a school-sponsored team. This sport can be more competitive as far as selection as kids become older. At younger ages though there are many developmental leagues to teach basic skills without the pressure of competition.
Termed America¡¯s favorite pastime, baseball and its variations are popular sports among America¡¯s youth. At a young age, boys and girls begin by playing tee ball. As they age, they may enter a league where the balls will be pitched from a machine. Beyond that, the sport will split into baseball for boys and softball for girls. Both sports rank second among the top five organized sports for their gender among youths.
This is the third most popular sport among boys with more than 1 million interscholastic participants as of 2012. This excludes youth league participants. Football allows for kids of any shape and size (variation of positions) to compete in a team atmosphere. Parents tend to be concerned about this sport because of the contact. However, if taught properly, football can be one of the safest sports to play because of padding and helmets.
Perhaps one of the fastest growing sports in America among the youth is soccer. Soccer is the last sport to cross both gender groups top five for youth. It is an easy sport to begin learning and to play, which makes it exciting for youngsters almost immediately. Although it is simple at first, strategy and advanced skills develop over time making the game more competitive as they grow older.
Popular among female youths, volleyball also provides a team opportunity. Volleyball at a young age does not require skills that some other sports may require, making it easy for someone to begin playing. As with most sports though, as age progresses so does the skill level and competition. Volleyball ranks as a top five sports for girls.
This sport allows a youth to still participate individually and as a team at the same time. Track and field allows participation across a broad spectrum of athletic capabilities. Youths have a chance to compete in many events from sprinting to distance runs and throwing to jumping. Track and field can provide an opportunity for most any youth to get out and compete.

Myth Buster Activities for Kids

The team of Mythbusters on the Discovery Channel TV series uses scientific methods to test the feasibility of commonly assumed assumptions. It’s the team’s job to confirm the validity of a myth or declare it busted when the evidence just does not support the myth. While the show is entertaining for children and adults alike, it can also spark an interest in science for a child, and you can help to further the interest with myth-busting activities of your own at home.
Find out if you can you really prevent an egg from breaking when you drop it from different heights. Use items such as bubble wrap, paper towels, cotton balls and tape to try to protect the egg. Create an eye-popping geyser from a bottle of diet soda and chewy mints, but ensure that you try this experiment outdoors. Find out why frozen carbon dioxide is called dry ice. Place two dishes side by side and put a regular ice cube on one and a cube of dry ice on another. Predict what will happen and then take a look after 20 to 30 minutes. You should see a puddle of water in place of the regular ice cube and absolutely nothing on the other plate; the dry ice evaporated because it is actually frozen carbon dioxide, not water.
Jamie and Adam, part of the Mythbusters team, are always challenging each other to little science-related competitions. If you are entertaining two or more kids at a time, entertain them with some Mythbuster-like challenges while they compete for the title of Mythbuster champion. Find out who can build the tallest tower from gumdrops and toothpicks, or who can make the most folds in a single sheet of plain, white paper. Race toy cars across a miniature racetrack with water guns as the source of locomotion, and make paper or foam airplanes to see whose plane will travel the farthest.
For an instant Mythbusters activity without any preparation or mess, create your own trivia of true and false myths. Invest a little bit of time to research some interesting myths, such as will sitting too close to the TV really ruin a child’s vision, do ostriches bury their heads in the sand when they are scared, and will touching a frog really give you warts? Write out your trivia questions and then get ready to bust some myths. You can play one-on-one with your child, or divide a group of kids into teams for a trivia challenge. Read a myth aloud to one group and let them guess whether or not it is true, and then read another myth to the other team. The goal of the game is to correctly guess the correct answer ¨C true or false — for the highest number of myths.
If you have helped your kiddo with all the myth-buster activities you can think of, it might be time to call in reinforcements. You can pick up a variety of different Mythbusters science kits so your child can continue to explore, examine and investigate. You can choose from a variety of different kits, from learning about the facts and fiction behind automobile collisions to finding out just how their favorite baseball pitcher makes that signature curve ball curve. You can choose a single kit for your child to enjoy, or opt for the entire collection of Mythbuster activities that could keep your child busy for hours.

Three Phases of Shooting a Soccer Ball

Shooting a soccer ball is essentially no different than passing it. You need to aim the ball between the goalposts and under the crossbar, and to a spot where the goalkeeper cannot snag it. If you think of the shot as more like a pass, you are more likely to put it ¡°on frame,¡± as soccer television announcers like to call it. The three phases of shooting a soccer ball are thus the same as the phases involved in kicking or passing the ball. The best shooters, such as Mia Hamm, the leading goal scorer in international play, demonstrate flawless technique throughout the shot.
In this phase, you work on the movements leading up to shooting the ball, explains Sam Snow, director of coaching education for US Youth Soccer. You focus on your feet first, as you must align your plant foot and your kicking leg in the direction you want the ball to travel. As you prepare to shoot, you distribute your body weight and adjust your posture. Your eyes are on the ball as you run up to it, ideally at a 45-degree angle of approach, notes the online site Sports Injury Bulletin. You plant your foot about 6 inches to the side of the ball and swing back the leg that strikes the ball for the shot.
In the contact phase, you whip your kicking leg forward and move your body weight forward as well to create a powerful impact with the ball. Your hip and shoulder positions, your plant leg position and your contact point with the ball must be addressed with solid technique, Snow writes. At the point of striking the ball, you lean back slightly if you want the ball to rise toward the goal, or you curl your body over the ball to keep the ball low or on the ground. After glancing up to see where the goalkeeper is, your eyes return to the ball. The actual foot contact with the ball lasts for six to 16 milliseconds, according to Sports Injury Bulletin.
This phase refers to the movement that occurs after contact with the ball, as your kicking leg continues to swing rapidly forward and slightly across the front of your body as the shot carries toward the goal. Good technique involves not halting your follow-through too soon and continuing to keep your eye on the ball.
The entire shot lasts for no more than five seconds, depending on the length of the approach, Sports Injury Bulletin reports. A child begins to learn the phases of shooting between ages 4 and 6, and by age 9, her pattern of shooting a ball matures. If you are coaching a young team, focus on the preparation phase, especially what Snow calls ¡°the position of readiness¡± just before contact with the ball. The player¡¯s body midline should be balanced over the ball, the arms out for balance, head bowed down to see the ball, knee of the plant leg gently bent and the lower leg of the kicking foot curled back to create power during the swing forward.

Motivation Techniques for Football

Football coaches need to craft winning game plans and strategies while still finding time to teach players the necessary skills needed for on-field success. While balancing the demands, coaches must also motivate their players. If players aren¡¯t mentally engaged and motivated, the best game plans in the world won¡¯t matter. Finding effective motivational techniques may be a football coach¡¯s greatest challenge.
Football coaches can use goals or statistical plateaus to motivate and provide players with incentive to achieve. For instance, a coach may challenge his running backs and offensive line to produce 2,000 rushing yards, or he can tell his quarterback to work on throwing fewer than 10 interceptions all season. Having a fixed goal in mind can help the players focus on the task at hand, resulting in improved commitment to team concepts.
In the past, the idea of a football coach conjured images of a screaming madman who berated his players for every little mistake. Although some players may actually respond to negative criticism, most athletes thrive in positive environments. Football coaches should keep this in mind when attempting to motivate players, using positive reinforcement and encouraging words to communicate the required message. Sandwiching the negative critique between two positive comments can help players better accept the coaching and learn from their original mistakes. Remembering to congratulate players for jobs well done can also motivate them to repeat the same performance.
Reward systems drive the world, with monetary payments behind every type of employment. Football coaches also can use tangible rewards to motivate their players. Youth football and college coaches often reward players with helmet stickers for good plays, sparking a friendly competition between players to see who can get the most stickers. Other rewards can include team social events or days off from practice. The coach might volunteer to do something fun or slightly embarrassing, such as taking part in workouts or shaving his head if the team wins.
Successful football coaches often find creative ways to motivate their players. Some coaches hang motivational quotes around the locker room and practice facilities, reminding their players what it takes to be successful. Other coaches show their players inspirational films prior to games to get the team motivated and in the right state of mind to compete. Playing music during practice can help make workouts fun and keep players relaxed and interested. Even varying practice routines can make a big difference, because tired, stale routines can sap a player¡¯s motivation.

How to Overcome Fear on the Basketball Court

Fear can overcome any athlete. Some fear the game itself, but others fear the large crowds (enochlophobia) that often come to basketball games. Anxiety is often associated with these problems, as players worry about the game and possible failure. This can be a problem for basketball players at any level. As an athlete moves up in levels of play, the pressure may increase fear and anxiety.
Imagine the crowd is not there by creating in your mind an image that you are in a small gymnasium without a crowd. There is only you, your teammates and the opponents.
Take a deep breath. Deep breathing is a way to slow your heart rate. This will calm your nervous system.
Focus your attention on the game. The human mind is only able to concentrate on one thing at a time. By focusing on the game you can eliminate your thoughts about fear of crowds.
Take a step back and do more deep breathing when you are in a high-pressure situation such as shooting free throws. Take the extra second to gather yourself and calm yourself down.
Practice these steps repetitively. Fear and anxiety are not easy to overcome, so practicing these steps willl help you subdue your fear.
Ask yourself a series of questions about the source of your anxiety. What are you afraid of? Is it harmful? By answering those questions you will be able to attack your fear.
Step out onto the court. Once you are on the court, perform relaxation exercises.
Look at your teammates and competitors. Notice that they are enjoying the game and that it is safe and fun. You also may notice that you are not the only one who has fear or anxiety. It can be comforting to know you are not alone.
Talk with someone, preferably a coach, who can provide additional support to help you combat your fears. Talking to a teammate with the same or a similar problem may be comforting as well.

Dark Spot Under My Skin on Bottom of Foot

Dark spots under the skin on the bottom of your foot might appear harmless, but in some cases the spots are symptoms of internal bleeding and might require emergency treatment, according to MayoClinic.com. Recognize the likely cause of dark spots under your foot to ensure your well-being.
MedlinePlus reports that dark spots underneath the skin on the bottom of your foot can be signs of a blood-clotting disorder called purpura. Purpura spots, which can be red or purple, are commonly confused with birthmarks, although purpura are temporary and birthmarks are permanent. The condition makes you more prone to bleeding or bruises and affects both children and adults. Women are more prone to the condition than men, while adults older than age 60 also face a high risk for purpura.
Low levels of platelets, which are cells responsible for helping your blood clot, are the trigger of purpura, although the exact cause of the condition remains a mystery. Most people with purpura experience an immune system breakdown that results in an unhealthful reduction of platelets. While a normal adult or child may have up to 450,000 platelets, someone with purpura often has less than 20,000 and is vulnerable to internal bleeding, reports MayoClinic.com.
Dark spots are often the only symptom of purpura, although you may have the condition if you bruise or bleed easily. Petechiae, a type of purpura that does not resemble birthmarks, is identified by the appearance of a rash of small red or purple spots that can also appear under the skin on your lower legs or feet, reports the Cleveland Clinic.
Children recovering from a viral infection such as the mumps or flu face the highest risk for purpura and most experience a healthy recovery within a few weeks without the need for treatment, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Purpura is typically chronic when diagnosed in adults. Your doctor may suggest a treatment for purpura based on your platelet count and symptoms. Purpura without signs of bleeding that accompanies a regular platelet count may relieve without treatment, while medications or surgery are required for serious cases of the condition.
Purpura may cause bleeding in the brain in serious cases and can be fatal, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Most complications from purpura result from surgery and corticosteroids prescribed to remedy the condition. Your risk increases for cataracts, decreased muscle mass, osteoporosis and diabetes after long-term exposure to corticosteroids. Removal of your spleen often becomes necessary when corticosteroids fail to remedy purpura and makes you more vulnerable to infection.
Avoid drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen that can affect the function of your platelets if you have been diagnosed with purpura, according to MayoClinic.com. Reduce your risk for bleeding and other negative side effects of the condition by limiting your alcohol intake and be alert for any signs of infection and fever. Low-impact exercise like walking may be beneficial, although contact sports like football increase your risk for injury and bleeding.
Contact your doctor if you suffer abnormal bruising or bleeding or notice a rash of tiny purple or red spots underneath the skin on the bottom of your feet, as well as dark spots that resemble a birthmark. Women who experience a severe increase in menstrual bleeding may also have purpura and should seek a doctor’s care as soon as possible.

What Are the Fundamental Skills in Soccer?

Soccer is a sport unlike almost all others, as the feet are needed for technical skills more than the hands. A number of fundamental skills are needed to play soccer, with advanced players able to build on the fundamental skills for more complex and precise dribbling, passing and shooting. The skills of a soccer player also vary from one position to another, with a goalkeeper needing much different skills than a field player.
Passing is one of the most fundamental skills in soccer, as it is how you move the ball from yourself to another teammate. For a short basic pass, you will turn your foot 90 degrees to the outside and swing your leg so that the inside of your leg makes contact. If you want to send the ball farther, you will swing your leg with more power and aim for the lower half of the ball, to pop it into the air and use the inside of your toes.
Whether you are receiving a pass that is on the ground or traveling through the air, you will want to square your shoulders to the direction the ball is coming from. If it is on the ground, turn your foot toward the outside as if you were passing, and with your knees bent, cushion the ball so it stops right at your feet. For a ball traveling through the air, you will most likely want to receive the ball with your chest. Stand with your back arched slightly backwards so when the ball hits your chest, it will pop gently into the air and then land at your feet, rather than bounce off out of your control.
There are a number of unconventional ways to score a goal, but the fundamental way to try to score is by taking a shot. When shooting, your plant foot, follow through and where you contact the ball are all important. You will want to place your non-shooting foot just outside the ball, with your toe pointing at the direction you are aiming to shoot. Swing your leg through the ball, aiming higher on the ball if you want to keep it low or lower on the ball if you want to send it through the air. Follow through with your shooting leg, in a hopping motion that brings your plant foot off the ground, and land on the foot you shot with for the most power.
Outside of passing, dribbling is the primary method of moving the ball up the field. This works best when you have open field in front of you without pressing defenders. Most players find success using the top of their foot to push the ball along the ground when passing, and the more advanced you get the more parts of your foot you will be able to use when dribbling. The goal of dribbling is to move the ball quickly while keeping the ball close to your body, so that you can make a quick decision to pass, shoot or change direction whenever needed.
The goalkeeper is the last line of defense, in charge of doing whatever possible to keep the ball out of the net. As goalie, you can use your entire body, including your hands and arms, to stop the ball. The best way for a goalie to catch the ball is to form a “W” with your thumbs and index fingers, with your hands open and palms facing away from you. This will help you catch a ball traveling at a high speed without it going through your hands. The other fundamental skill for goalies is punting, which is how you distribute the ball upfield after making a save. Hold the ball over your dominant foot, and then drop the ball as you swing your foot, making contact and sending the ball through the air. Land on your “shooting” foot on your follow through like you are taking a shot.

Defensive End Vs. Linebacker

Defensive ends and linebackers play vital positions in football. While players at both positions make tackles in the running game and rush the passer, there are key differences in the two spots. Defensive ends can set the tone in a football game with their ability to pressure opposing quarterbacks, while linebackers usually are defensive leaders because they can make plays all over the field.
The defensive end and the linebacker have significant differences in their responsibilities against the run. The defensive end faces the offensive tackle as the ball is snapped. The defensive end cannot allow the running back to get outside of him on a running play. He must control the offensive tackle and can’t allow the offensive tackle to push him inside on a running play that goes toward the sidelines. He must try to shed the blocker and make the tackle. A linebacker has to flow toward the football after it is snapped. Since he is set back from the line of scrimmage, he must get to the ball carrier as quickly as possible and make the tackle. He usually will have to fight off blocks in the process, but he must stop the running back and drive him to the ground with his tackle.
The defensive end has the responsibility of rushing the passer and trying to sack him on nearly every pass play. When the quarterback drops back to pass, the defensive end will try to use an array of moves to get by the offensive tackle and close on the quarterback. The defensive end will use his speed, strength and ingenuity to get to the quarterback. The linebacker occasionally will try to get to the quarterback by charging at him through a crease in the offensive line. This play is called a blitz and is designed to allow a linebacker to run full speed at the quarterback without having an offensive lineman block him. This play is supposed to take the offense by surprise.
On rare occasions, the defensive end will drop back five to 10 yards from his position on the defensive line and get involved in pass coverage by attempting to shut down the short passing game. The defensive end will try to get in the passing lanes to knock down a short- or intermediate-range pass. The linebacker is regularly involved in pass coverage. He will be asked to cover opposing running backs or the tight end in pass coverage. He might be able to deflect the pass, intercept the pass or tackle the opponent after the reception is made.
The linebacker usually takes more of a leadership role in the team’s defense. Because the linebacker has more duties and makes plays all over the field, he often calls the plays in the defensive huddle and gives players specific assignments before the ball is snapped. Linebackers regularly serve as defensive captains on the field; defensive ends rarely have that responsibility.
Reggie White, Bruce Smith, Deacon Jones and Richard Dent are all hall of famers who were among the best defensive ends in pro football history. Dick Butkus, Ray Lewis, Lawrence Taylor, Ray Nitschke and Chuck Bednarik are hall of famers who were among the best linebackers in pro football history. All of these players were noted for their athletic ability, strength and toughness.

Tips on Soccer Training Alone

All great soccer players spent much of their lives training alone, in addition to practicing with a team, even before they ever joined one. To improve at the game of soccer, not only do you need to practice with a team, you also need to focus on developing skills on your own in your backyard or on an empty pitch. A few inexpensive items, a patch of grass and a little discipline will help you get the most out of solo soccer training.
A few soccer balls, a dozen pylons and some kind of real or makeshift goal with a net is all you need to practice foot skills when training by yourself. Because you have no one to retrieve balls for you, having a few balls with you will allow you to take several shots on net without too much disruption to your training. Set up your pylons in a row first and dribble around them and then increase the difficulty of the exercise by arranging them erratically or diagonally.
Replace a passing partner with a brick wall. Kicking a soccer ball against a wall is the only way to practice receiving and trapping passes when training alone. You can also practice one-timing, volleying, heading and saving the ball with a wall. Aim the ball at various spots on the wall with varying control and power to give yourself ricocheting passes and shots at different angles and speeds.
Jogging around the block does not simulate the physical demands of a soccer game. Soccer involves sprinting various lengths, stopping and starting quickly, turning and jumping. To practice all these movements and maneuvers, build a fitness routine for yourself that encompasses everything from long distance running to sprinting to jumping squats. Try completing the regimen before working on your foot skills to accustom your feet and legs to controlling the ball while exhausted, which is how you would likely feel during an actual 90-minute game.
Take advantage of not having to follow the scheduled drills and exercises of a formal practice and focus on the areas where your skills and fitness need improvement. Practice shooting and trapping the ball with your weaker foot. Perform skills you do poorly over and over again until you start to see progress. For example, shoot at corners of the net where you have difficulty scoring on or practice heading the ball. Also, build up your leg strength if you need to or spend more time on wind sprints if you find yourself feeling winded in games.


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