United States Sports Academy
America's Sports University®

The Sport Digest - ISSN: 1558-6448

volume 14 number 4

LET THEM PLAY: A Child's Need for Physical Education


Physical education is sometimes the only opportunity for children to engage in physical activity. Due to the obesity and overweight epidemic among children in our country, it is imperative that we consider the importance of physical education in our schools. If children are involved in successful physical and health education programs throughout their schooling years, they may continue a healthy and active lifestyle as adults.

COACH ALERT!! Use Terminology that Athletes Understand

Recently, while watching a team of eight-year-old Pop Warner football players practice, I heard one of the coaches (there were as many coaches as players!) yell, “play with finesse.” You can imagine the looks he received from the eight-year-old football players. What is finesse? What kind of play is a finesse play? The coach yelled “play with finesse” several more times. Do we really think an eight year old football player knows what it means to play with finesse?

Beating Steroids to the Punch

Headlines have catapulted anabolic steroid use into public awareness. A survey conducted by the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows how prevalent and available steroids are even at the high school level. One in twenty five high school students have used anabolic steroids without a doctor’s prescription.

Investigating Injuries in Martial Arts


More than two million people in the United States participate in the martial arts. There are many benefits to participating in the martial arts, such as the development of discipline, respect, strength, coordination, balance, and flexibility (Violán, Small, Zetaruk,.et al., 1997; Fetto, 1994). However, it is not clear from literature what risks are involved with regular training. Although some research has been carried out to determine the risks of injury in martial arts, most studies have focused on tournaments (Oler, Tomson,& Pepe, 1991; Stricevic, Patel, Okazaki, et al,1983; McLatchie & Morris, 1977), as this appears to be the setting that poses the greatest risk of injury (Jaffe & Minkoff, 1988). Many martial artists never participate in competitions, therefore the data obtained from such studies cannot be extrapolated to all participants.

Old School vs. New School Coaching Styles


A debate is raging in the coaching profession concerning the treatment of athletes. Coaching styles are at the forefront of the argument as administrators, coaches, psychologists, parents, and the athletes themselves try to agree on which style is best to practice. Expectations dictate that the athlete should be able to adjust to any coaching style and perform accordingly. Failure to do so is blamed on the athlete and is considered a form of weakness on the part of that individual. Often, the athlete will quit the activity to avoid confrontation with the coach, effectively defeating the purpose of coaching, which is to help the athlete grow as a player and as a person. This behavior is prevalent in all sports arenas and crosses all boundaries of age, ethnicity, and gender.

Are There Problems in American Sport?


As a student of sport management, one may have spent countless hours to learn, discuss, and even argue about the social, financial, and ethical problems surrounding sport. While examining how sport media portrayed the issues of Terrell Owens, Barry Bond, and the Duke Lacrosse team, it seemed that there are only two topics to address pertaining to sports, “who won?” and “who messed up?” Isn’t it ironic to see those athletes who dedicate their lives to the business of sports accused as those who destroy the American sports? The authors are not naïve enough to think that everything is perfect in the sports world. However, we certainly did not feel that sports are on the brink of self-destruction, either. In this brief essay, the authors will address four popular sports issues and provide our radical comments to alleviate the fear and concerns suggested by sports sociologists and experts.

ACL Injuries in Female Athletes

While nearly seventy thousand anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries happen during athletic activities reported annually in the United States, female athletes have significantly higher ACL injury rates when compared with the male sports (Arendt, 1995), with the difference varied between two to eight times depending on the sport (Huston, Greenfield, & Wojtys, 2000). On the collegiate level, the analysis of NCAA injury data estimates that one out of ten female athletes will have a serious knee injury (Huston et al., 2000). What are some of the reasons women are more prone to experience an ACL injury? While the recent research literature outlines a number of potential risk factors, the following risk factors are outlined in this article: (a) hormones, (b) muscle balance between quadriceps and hamstrings, and (c) effects of bracing.

Are Exercise Intervention Strategies Effective in Promoting Regular Exercise Among African American Women?

Empirical studies have indicated that African Americans are at risk for developing hypertension (Gillum and Hyattville, 1996; Albert et al, 2004). Equally, the past and current studies have also concluded that women in this population tend to exercise less. Most studies have provided very little information on why Black American women do not integrate regular exercise into their everyday lifestyle. Notwithstanding, several researches have attempted to summarise the existing knowledge about exercise intervention strategies to increase exercise among Black American women.

Responding to the Canadian Female Sport Consumer: A Historical Perspective

Mail order catalogues have long provided sport consumers with a range of clothing/sporting goods options. In the nineteenth century, mail order catalogues and trade journals also served as a direct means to communicate medical knowledge and new ideas about women and sports, particularly when it promoted the merchandise they were trying to sell. For example, an article by prominent physician Dr. W. H. Fenton on women and cycling was summarized in an 1896 issue of the Dry Goods Review. In it, Dr. Fenton strongly endorsed cycling and exercise for women, and encouraged women to wear high collars, tight-fitting sleeves, and warm absorbent undergarments to improve circulation and to remove “the aches and pains that tend to make her prematurely old.”

Building Arm Strength and Velocity with Weighted Baseball Programs

Baseball coaches have been looking for ways to increase throwing velocity while maintaining control. One technique that is often overlooked is training with weighted baseballs. In the past, many coaches and players have dismissed this type of training from fear of injury. However, when used correctly, weighted baseballs can increase velocity for pitchers and arm strength for position players.