A Sports Filled Valentine’s Day

Four Tips To Avoid Dropping Your Bowling Ball

As a bowler, the last thing you want is a heavy bowling ball dropped on your foot. Similarly, you also don’t want to drop the ball during your approach to the lane, as it can mess up your shot. Want to reduce the chances of dropping your bowling ball? Keep these tips in mind:

1. Choose the correct weight for your ball.

If your ball is too heavy, its weight alone increases the chances you may drop it. You could easily drop a too heavy ball while carrying it around the bowling alley or while approaching the lane for your turn. To avoid that, choose the correct weight for your size and strength.

Generally, balls weigh between 6 and 16 pounds, and you want a ball that is roughly ten percent of your weight. If you weigh more than 160 pounds, try a 16 pound ball first. To test your strength, hold the ball with your arm extended downward along your side. If holding the ball in this position strains your arm, try a lighter ball.

2. Dry your hands and the ball.

To avoid dropping the ball at any time, your hands need to be dry. Luckily, bowling alleys have jets of air next to the ball return. Use these air streams to dry any sweat or moisture off your hands before picking up your ball. Also, have a ball towel on hand so you can dry any moisture that may have collected on your ball.

3. Tighten up your thumb hole.

The size of the thumb hole can also affect how likely you are to drop your ball. Essentially, if the hole is too big, you will be more likely to drop your ball during your approach to the lane. To remedy this situation, if you are using a ball provided by the bowling alley, try out several until you find one that is relatively tight on your thumb.

If you are buying your own bowling ball, on the other hand, take steps to semi-permanently tighten your hole. Ideally, start with a thumb hole that is just slightly bigger than your thumb. Then, tighten the thumb hole using tape — use masking tape or get special bowling ball tape from the pro shop at your bowling alley or a bowling equipment specialist.

Place a piece of tape around the inside perimeter of the thumb hole. Place your thumb in the hole, and try to hold the ball with just your thumb. If the ball drops off your thumb, add another layer of tape and try again. When you finally have enough tape so that the ball will hang off your thumb, you are almost at the right snugness level. Now, remove your last layer of tape — this is the smallest the hole can be without hanging off your thumb, and this width allows you to control your release rather than dropping the ball.

Keep in mind that if you get hot while playing, your thumb may swell, and as a result, you may need to remove additional layers of tape as you play. For more tips about choosing a proper size ball, contact a company like Bowler X.

4. Follow through.

Some people drop the ball in front of the foul line because they don’t have ample follow through. Their swing loses momentum, and the ball almost falls off their hand toward the ground. To avoid this, focus on follow through and momentum. Don’t get nervous and stop your swing midway through. Ideally, you should have a strong swing forward, and you should not release the ball until your hand is over the toe of the foot sliding forward.


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How To Use A Customized Canopy To Become A Silent Cheerleader

Are you the type of person who can’t seem to yell above a whisper? Or maybe you love to scream and holler for your favorite sports teams, but there are certain events where loud outbursts aren’t appreciated? Whether you’re passionate about the activities your children are involved in or you want to promote a cause near and dear to your heart, a customized canopy is one way to become a silent cheerleader.

What it Means to Be a Silent Cheerleader

A silent cheerleader is someone who supports and promotes a person, business, or team – nonverbally. You can find ways to cheer on family, friends, and causes without being considered “that obnoxious fan” or “the rude dude”. One of the best ways to be a silent cheerleader is to “advertise” your preferences through customization. You probably see someone wearing a hat or t-shirt with a logo when you attend events, but you can do even more than that with a customized canopy. There are 3 types of canopies to choose from, and each is more suitable for different kinds of events.

Use a Pop-Up Tent to Cheer on Your Kids

A pop-up tent is the least expensive option for customized canopies. It is lightweight and portable. It is the best option for the doting mom or dad who wants to cheer on their kids. Here are some ways you can use a customized pop-up canopy:

  • Outdoor Sports: Because pop-up tents are lightweight, they are intended for short-term use. That makes them perfect for cheering on your kids at outdoor sporting events such as soccer or baseball games. They can also be anchored when necessary, which is great on a windy game day.
  • Indoor Competitions: Pop-up canopies don’t require any tools or stakes for assembly, so they can also be used indoors. Go promote your kids (and their teams) at wrestling matches, gymnastic competitions, etc.
  • Fundraising: Whether outdoors or indoors, pop-up tents make good fundraising advertisers. The customized top lets people know who and what they are supporting before they even approach the table. You can use them to collect admissions to games, as well.

Use a Pole Tent to Promote a Cause

The next level up from a pop-up tent is called the pole tent. It is a little sturdier than the pop-up tent and uses stakes to create tension to keep the tent upright. It is good for cheering on a cause and can be used in a variety of ways, including:

  • Weekend-Long Events: Pole tents are sturdy enough to be left up overnight. They can withstand weather fairly well, due to their strong stakes. Whether it’s a weekend-long golf tournament or a family reunion at the beach, pole tents are the way to go.
  • Selling Campaigns: Getting your name out in the world can start under a pole tent by opening up a booth at the fair. You can set up tables of information about a cause or products for a business inside the pole tent. The only drawback with this option is that they have a central pole which supports the tent. You’ll have to plan your displays around this central pole and leave room for people to maneuver. But it offers great outdoor protection, and by customizing the front, you give people an idea of what they’ll find inside.

Use a Frame Tent When You’re Hosting

The last customizable canopy is a frame tent. These are much larger and more expensive than the other two options, but they are very durable. They are designed for multiple uses over the years, and you can use them when hosting:

  • Family Parties: Don’t make your family go to the wrong pavilion at a big campground. Instead, consider customizing a frame tent and make sure they know which family is the right one (you can even ask family members to pitch in since it’s going to be used by everyone at each big event).
  • Outdoor Events: Talent competitions, dance performances, and even musical concerts can all be held under a frame tent. Just pick a size that is large enough for you to assemble a portable stage inside it and you’ve got yourself a party!

Being a silent cheerleader is a lot easier when you give people a visual – such as a customized canopy. Consider the 3 types of canopies and how they will be used before settling on one. And then get out there and cheer on your favorite things!

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Biking With Arthritis: How To Reduce Joint Injuries

Around 350 million people across the world suffer from arthritis and if you are one of these people, then you are familiar with the stiffness and joint pain.  Your rheumatologist may ask you to partake in exercise several times a week to help reduce some of your arthritis symptoms.  Exercise helps to increase muscle strength around weak joints and it also reduces your weight to keep stress off the joints.  The activity can also boost your energy since arthritis can make you feel tired.  Biking is a great form of exercise that you should consider; however, there are some things that you should do to make sure your joints are not injured in the process.

Purchase the Right Bicycle

If you want to make sure that your joints do not hurt after a bicycle ride, then you need to locate a bicycle that has the right features.  There are several different types of bikes that you can find that provide advantages to arthritic riders.

  • Cruiser bikes – These bicycles are made for leisurely riding, and they are built for comfort.  They feature a low seat and high handlebars.  Cruisers are also stable and easy to control if your hands are not as strong as they used to be.
  • Mountain bikes – Mountain bikes have wide tires with deep treads and knobs that help you grip the road and absorb shocks.  They also have suspension systems that provide a comfortable ride over bumpy or uneven terrain.
  • Recumbent Bikes – These bicycles feature reclined seats and high pedals that sit above your hips.  Recumbent bikes are considered quite comfortable and the seat offers back support and good weight distribution.  They are ideal if your arthritis causes significant back, hip, and neck pain.

Make sure to test out the bicycle you like before you decide to buy it.  If you want a cruiser or mountain bike, consider looking for a model that has y-shaped handlebars.  These bars tend to sit higher on the bicycle, and this allows you to sit with a straight back as you ride.  This helps to reduce the shoulder, neck, and upper back stress that is common when you lean over when riding.  A seat with a thick cushion is a good idea as well to reduce lower back stress, and a bike with a step-through frame is a good choice too.  These bicycles have an angled bar on top of the frame that makes it easier to get on the bicycle.

Prevent Falls

Another great way to make sure that you do not hurt your joints when riding a bicycle is to make sure that you prevent falls.  To keep your hands from slipping off the handlebars from sweat and becoming weak and painful from vibrations, wear a pair of bicycle gloves.  Find a pair that closes with velcro if your arthritic hands are not strong enough to use snaps, and look for products with gel or cushions across the palms of the hands.  This will help with vibration absorption.

To avoid vision issues and accidents, find some athletic sunglasses to wear.  The best sunglasses completely cover the eyes and offer both UVA and UVB protection.  Glasses with lenses that are green, brown, and gray are a good choice too, because other colors may keep you from seeing traffic lights properly. Mirrors added to your bike’s handlebars are a good idea as well, so you can watch out for traffic without straining your neck.  Attach the mirror firmly to the left handlebar so you can see behind you when you ride with traffic.  If you are uncomfortable with the handlebar mirror, then think about buying a helmet or sunglasses mounted device instead.

Now that you know what features to look for in a bike, head over to a bike shop like Sarasota Cyclery Inc.

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5 Ways To Go Green On The Golf Course For St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is not only a celebration of everything green and Irish, but it also represents an unofficial start to spring. With the warmer weather arriving, St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect time to hit the green at your local golf course. Along with enjoying some lush green fairways, you can enhance your St. Patrick’s Day outing with some appropriate golf apparel.

The following five ideas are great for the holiday and can even be extended to other eventful days on the course.

Irish Flat Caps

The Irish flat cap is a great tradition that also looks good on a golf course. A traditional Irish flat cap looks like a standard golfing hat except it is usually printed in a plaid design with a small poof on the top. These are easy to find in green. You can also get them with additional small emblems like a shamrock.

Along with plaid designs, golf apparel shops may offer modern designs on the hat including a striped green, or argyle hat with a mix of colors.

Matching Golf Gear

Go all out for your day on a course by matching all of your apparel to the golf gear that you bring. Along with wearing a green polo, there is plenty of equipment that has the festive St. Partick’s Day touch.

  • Golf Bag: Purchase a dark green golf bag to carry all of your clubs. The bag will be easy to spot and find among other bags.
  • Golf Club Head Covers: Add the Irish touch with a variety of head covers. Designs include green shamrocks, Notre Dame’s fighting Irish, or a general Leprechaun.
  • Golf Towels: Purchase white towels with green symbols or go all out with a completely green golf towel. You may be able to find towels with “Happy St. Patrick’s Day” embroidered right onto the fabric.

Irish Kilt

Give up your golfing shorts for a traditional Irish kilt. Kilts are typically associated with Scotland, but they are very popular with Irish tradition too. The kilts come in a variety of colors including multiple greens and patterns like plaid. Before wearing your kilt on the course, it’s a good idea to take practice swings at home. You will want to get used to the flow and movement underneath the material.

The Irish kilts are a fun way for a group of golfers to dress up together and hit the course on St. Patrick’s Day.

Cleat Spikes

Add a small touch of green to your golf game with a set of replacement cleat spikes. Green spikes can easily be installed into your golf cleats. The nice accented color can match nicely with a polo shirt or green hat.

If your cleats do not have the ability to change spikes, then you can shop for cleats that are mainly green in color. Instead of a distracting neon green, look for deeper and rich greens that will also cover grass stains up well.

St. Patrick’s Day Golfing Socks

Complete your outfit with a pair of long golf socks worn to represent the Irish theme. A number of designs can be chosen.

  • Solid Green: Go simple with solid green socks. Match the tone of the green to the shirt you are wearing on the course.
  • Patterns: Select from a variety of patterns like shamrocks, green argyle, or leprechauns. Patterned socks are a great way to add some character to your golfing outfit.
  • Snake Socks: St. Patrick famously drove snakes out of Ireland. You can represent this amazing feat by wearing a pair of socks with snake patterns on it. The socks can feature multiple snakes coiled around the sock or a snake skin pattern.

Shop at your golf store or go to websites for golf apparel in early February and March to see what new green items are in stock for the holiday. There is often a lot to find!

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Beginning Gear For Women’s Lacrosse: What Kind Of Stick Should I Buy?

Because lacrosse is still a club sport in many school districts outside of the east coast, it’s a perfect sport for beginners of all ages. Unlike men’s lacrosse, women’s lacrosse requires minimal gear since it’s non-contact sport (although stick-checking is allowed). To get started, you’ll need to purchase a stick, mouthguard, protective eye-wear, cleats, and ball.

The stick is the most important piece of equipment you’ll need to pick up. Since you never touch the ball with your hands, the stick will be an extension of your body. You’ll want to understand the different stick materials, parts, and variations so that you can find one that feels most comfortable and works for your position on the field.

The Shaft

Even if you decide to click here for more info or buy your stick online, you’ll want to go into the store so that you can find which material and width feels most comfortable in your hands. Length doesn’t matter as much because you can always cut down a stick to your desired height.

A lighter-weight shaft is great if you are a center or midfield player and need to run constantly up and down the field. If you play defense or other heavy-stick checking positions, you may want a heavier weight that can take the abuse.

Common materials for shafts include aluminum, composite, and titanium. While they aren’t the strongest material, aluminum shafts are great for beginners because of their affordability. As you advance, you may want to invest in a composite or titanium shaft.

To get a good feel for a stick, try cradling it in the store. While one stick may be considered more suitable for a beginner or easier to handle, you really should channel the “wand chooses the wizard” feeling and go with one that feels right in your hands.

The Head

The good news is that most heads can be unscrewed and changed out, so you can mix and match heads and sticks to find an ideal fit. If you find an inexpensive, beginner stick, and love the head, you can move the head over to an advanced stick later on.

The lacrosse head actually comes into contact with the ball and can make differences in your shooting accuracy, velocity, and checking. The head is also made of different parts like the sidewalls, pocket, and scoop.

For beginners, you’ll want to go with a head that has fairly flexible, lightweight sidewalls. As you run to pick up the ball, these heads will be kinder with their give. And since beginner lacrosse has more ground balls than passes in the air, you’ll need all the help you can get to pick up grounders quickly. But if your coach wants you to play on low defense, you may want to opt for a less flexible head so that you can make strong checks.

Unfortunately, unlike men’s lacrosse, the pockets (meshed rope on the head) on women’s lacrosse sticks are much more shallow. This can be especially frustrating for beginner’s since the ball will have a tendency to fall out. Advanced players may want to string their own pockets, but the stick you buy should already have a pre-strung pocket. Go for a pocket that’s wider. While shooting may not be as accurate with a wide pocket, they make catching much easier.

Like the pocket, the scoop (top portion of the head) should be wide. Make sure the scoop is flat or less-curved so that you can pick up ground balls more easily. As you advance, you may want a scoop with more curve so you have more power in your shots.

If you keep these different components in mind, you’re sure to find the perfect beginner’s stick.

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