United States Sports Academy
America's Sports University®

The Sport Digest - ISSN: 1558-6448

volume 15 number 3

Agenda for Sport for Development in Developing Countries


Sport for Development is a new concept that has evolved out of the “growing evidence that strengthening the right of children to play enhances their healthy development and builds stronger communities.” Sport has been projected as an effective medium for promoting international peace and understanding for a long time. There has been an upsurge in interest by the United Nations, which wants to have sport play a more conspicuous role in the pursuit of development and peace. Experts in the fields of development, education, health, sport, economics, and conflict resolution are now actively using sport as a medium by which to enhance human development. Some of the areas where sport can play an effective role in changing the life conditions of people, especially in developing countries, include:

Getting Results for Your Clients by Utilizing a Baseline Assessment

There are confident trainers and fitness professionals who can, without a doubt, say that they get positive results with every single client. The only way to do this is by implementing an element that ensures evidence that success has actually occurred - by utilizing a base-line assessment. This is one of the most overlooked parts of personal training. A personal trainer who fails to assess his or her clients is setting the clients up for failure.

The New Relationship between Sunlight and Cancer

Recently, several theories on cancer have been challenged. Common knowledge endorses the idea that sunlight is bad for you. While it is true that overexposure to UV rays can be harmful, as in cases of over-tanning, a new study is suggesting that sunlight, in reasonable quantities, may actually be beneficial.

Synthol: The New Vice of Bodybuilding

A new substance has found its way into the ranks of bodybuilding. It is not a growth hormone, nor an anabolic steroid, nor any other type of performance-enhancing drug. It is Synthol. The effects of Synthol have yet to be determined, but one thing is for sure - it is giving bodybuilders freakish, almost cartoon-like figures. Bodybuilders are looking less like current Mr. Olympia Champion Jay Cutler and former Mr. Olympia Champion Arnold Schwarzenegger, and more like Popeye and the Incredible Hulk. Where the previous standard for bicep size in bodybuilding may have been 18 to 22 inches in girth (flexed), now even novice bodybuilders are displaying biceps of immense proportions, measuring up to 27 inches and beyond - mostly through the use of Synthol. And it is not limited to arms; Synthol is being used to increase the size of calves, thighs, pecs, and wherever else bodybuilders may feel the need/pressure to enhance.

The Importance of Perceived Competence in Fitness/Exercise Programming

A physically active child will have a better chance of being a physically active adult. There are three major motives should be considered when then the motivation of children is concerned (Weis, 2000). These motives are developing and demonstrating physical competence, gaining social acceptance and support, and fun. Weis has suggested that intervention (exercise programs) designed around these motives will be more successful in leading children to healthy habits.

All Athletes Can Benefit from Performance Flexibility

During the creation of this article, I observed a local high school baseball team, the pitchers in particular. My findings were right on target; these boys only spend 15 minutes during a warm up session before starting to throw the ball around. This is only one of thousands of programs around the country that take a lackadaisical approach to stretching. Coaches must take the necessary time to coach their players into better flexibility programs. The old saying of “go and get loose” must stop! Flexibility must be addressed as if it were another workout within the training session. A good flexibility program will help prevent injuries and increase performance. Many coaches put their players through a quick process because most of them must deal with time restrictions while utilizing facilities.

The High Salaries of Professional Athletes

With the recent signing of Daisuke Matsuzaka (Dice K) by the Boston Red Sox for $103 million, it appears that salaries of professional athletes will continue to climb. There’s no telling how high they will go. An historical review of literature shows that in 1947, Hank Greenberg was the first professional baseball player to make $100,000. In today’s dollars, that is worth about $800,000. Certainly, pro salaries have escalated greatly since that time and have escalated disproportionately. In 2005, the average salary of a worker in the U.S. was just over $40,000 but the average salary of a Major League Baseball player was approximately $2,400,000. It’s hard to believe that the baseball cards that I collected as a youth had cartoons on the back and sometimes the cartoon said things such as, “(Name inserted here) sells shoes for Sears and Roebuck in the off-season.” How times have changed!