United States Sports Academy
America's Sports University®

The Sport Digest - ISSN: 1558-6448

volume 12 number 1

The Healing Nature of Light


Light has been used for healing for many centuries, starting with the Greeks and Romans who recognized the positive effects of sunlight. Ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates even had patients recuperate in roofless buildings where they could soak up the rays of the Sun. Nils Finsen won the Nobel Prize in 1903 for “Physiology of Medicine” for his treatments of Lupus and Tuberculosis patients with ultraviolet light. And just recently modern-day scientists have come to understand more about the nature of light and its restorative capacity, and medical researchers have been able to develop techniques and devices that use light as an integral element of the healing process.

Being Unfit and Unhealthy Now an Epidemic

Unless you have been stranded on a deserted island for the last year surely you have heard all of the news lately released on CNN, newspapers, magazines and the radio about the state of our nation in regards to our health. Every week a new article on obesity, type II diabetes, coronary heart disease, children’s weight-related health problems, and other medical problems related to being sedentary comes out. Diabetes has recently been at the forefront with the blame being squarely placed on children and teenagers eating too much junk food and not getting enough exercise.

Effective Leadership and Successful Teamwork

The effectiveness of an individual as a leader and the creating of successful teamwork have been and still are the concerns of many organizations and educators alike. Vince Lombardi (O’Brien,1987) was so right when he stated that “the world needs more positive and inspirational leadership”. This holds true in every walk of life - business, government, and sports.

Mental Imagery in Basketball

Physical preparation for any sport is important. However, being mentally prepared and mentally tough is just as important, if not more important. In the sport of basketball, mental imagery plays an important role, and often separates the great players from the average players. With the “line” being so small as to whether an athlete makes it to the next level or not, mental abilities can be a major contributing factor for the few that do make the transition. Michael Jordan once said, “I visualized where I wanted to be, what kind of player I wanted to become. I knew exactly where I wanted to go, and I focused on getting there.” To read a perspective such as this from a legend like Michael Jordan is a testament to the importance of mental imagery for success in basketball or any sport.

Physiological Adaptations and Nutritional Concerns for Training and Exercising in the Cold


Exposure to extreme cold weather can produce significant physiological and psychological challenges. Cold is the primary environmental stressor concerning the implicit nature of various outdoor winter sports. This article briefly discusses the physiological challenges and provides practical exercise and nutritional guidelines for training in extreme cold environments (< 32ºF). Guidelines will be recommended to prevent such problems as dehydration, hypothermia, and insufficient calorie intake. These recommendations should be quite applicable in terms of training for alpine ski or cross-country events.