Entries in General (136)

May 20, 2014 - Low Maintenance, High Performance

So the news came recently that the most storied college football program in history, The University of Notre Dame, was switching its playing surface from natural grass to synthetic turf. Purists were and are outraged at the seeming loss of tradition. But times change. And listening to Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick explain the reasoning, it makes some sense:

“The reality is that in two of the last three seasons since we moved Commencement to the Stadium, we have been unable to produce an acceptable playing surface," Swarbrick said. “That, combined with the likely impacts of future construction at the Stadium, led me to conclude that we would continue to struggle to maintain a grass field that meets the expectations of our student-athletes and fans as it relates to appearance, performance and safety.

"Synthetic turf will assist our game preparation because our team will be able to play and practice on the same surface. We will also be able to utilize the Notre Dame Stadium field for practices on home football Fridays and other occasions, whereas that is currently unrealistic.”

We don't know who will be putting this new turf in, but the folks at On Deck Sports seem to have it wired. The offer Carpet-Like Colored Turf (did you know Boise State has a trademark on the color blue?), grass-like colored turf, strength and conditioning grass-like turf, agility training turf, soccer turf, and turf for baseball, golf, indoor facilities, Park & Rec/Phys Ed departments, softball and more. But they don't stop there, also providing full indoor facility design including rubber flooring, sports netting as well as goals, barrier nets, training aids, cages.

On Deck Sports works with organizations at all levels from professional teams to youth leagues. When you decide to put away the mower, fertilizer and sprinklers they'll be ready for you, once you've weeded everybody else out.

Source: On Deck Sports

April 11, 2014 - Tale of the Tape

The coolest thing about doing the reviews we do is learning about new products and their unique qualities. Often, something that might not seem to have much significance at first glance turns out to have tremendous value and usefulness. Our latest such experience comes courtesy of Dynamic Tape.

 

We've seen athletes wearing it and, frankly thought it was probably more of a gimmick than anything with true medical benefit. We didn't see how putting a strip of tape vertically down a thigh or across a shoulder could provide any type of benefit other than one that was psychological. Now we understand.

 

Dynamic Tape is designed to be like a spring, acting as an external muscle. The tape creates a bungee effect, helping muscles spring back from exertion to reduce stress on tendons. Using dynamic tape can not only ease the pain of existing injuries, it can prevent them as well.

 

Conventional tape gives support, but restricts movement. Therefore, for instance, if one were to apply a strip of ordinary athletic tape from the back of the shoulder, down over the elbow, and to the wrist, the arm would not be able to bend. Thus, someone with tennis elbow who wanted support would be unable to swing a racquet. But Dynamic Tape flexes with movement, stretches as needed, thus creating support, not inhibition. Oh, and did we mention, its cool-looking?

 

My soccer daughter sometimes experiences ankle pain after long tournaments. All of my baseball-playing sons have had tendonitis in their throwing arms at various times in their careers. We understand that the best cure is rest, but that isn't always possible. Now I know that there is something out there to give them the support they need when shutting it down isn't an option. Maybe playing through pain isn't the only choice. In fact, perhaps with a little preventative taping, they won't need to feel the pain in the first place.

 

Source: Dynamic Tape

Posted on Friday, April 11, 2014 at 12:58PM by Registered CommenterSports Product Review in , | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail

March 25, 2014 - Elite Feet

Their slogan is “What Hard Work Looks Like.” Well if you are going to do hard work on the playing field or anywhere else, your feet will enjoy it more in a pair of true athelite Highlight Elite socks.

 

Comfortable, stylish and with a super-snug fit, these socks are designed to provide UV protection, odor reduction and sweat wicking. They sent us a pair and we really love them. It's been a long time since we were excited about socks, but these give us happy feet.

 

There are a ton of other products to choose from on the true athelite site, and we hope to bring you reviews of more of them as time goes by. In the meantime slide into a pair of their fresh socks. Your feet will be saying “thank-you” all game long.

 

Source: true athelite

Posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 11:19AM by Registered CommenterSports Product Review in , | CommentsPost a Comment | References17 References | EmailEmail

March 17, 2014 - Less (Heat) Stress

Preventing exertional heat stress in athletics has become an important responsibility of many athletic trainers, coaches and other sports-related health-care providers who rely on Kestrel Weather & Environmental Meters. At every athletic endeavor, from Little League to professional sports, lives depend on the accurate measurement of environmental conditions such as temperature, relative humidity, heat stress index, wet bulb temperature, wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT ) and several other environmental parameters.

 

To prevent athletes from suffering exertional heat stress, athletic trainers, coaches and sports medicine professionals can look to a Kestrel Meter for real-time and accurate weather data. Monitoring and recording these outdoor conditions are crucial steps when ensuring heat safety for athletes practicing or playing outdoors. Using a Kestrel 4400 Heat Stress Tracker, athletic trainers and coaches can record data during practices and games throughout the season. With 2300 storage points, users can wirelessly transfer the information captured to their PC or android phone for future reference via the bluetooth wireless data option in the Kestrel series.

With its tripod mountable set-up, the Kestrel Meter provides an easy and accurate hands-free option for gathering crucial weather data. Weighing just 4.5 ounces, the Kestrel 4400 is extremely portable and can also be carried around in a user’s pocket or hand.

 Unlike other WBGT-monitoring instruments, there is no time-consuming setup required. Users get accurate readings within minutes of exposure to the environment. The Kestrel 4400 has the ability to store 2300 data points in its memory allowing athletic trainers and coaches to record information throughout several practices and games to refer back to later. In addition, the data can be transferred at any time via the bluetooth wireless data transfer model option. The Kestrel 4400 automatically stores measurements even when the display is turned off.

 

In many parts of the country it still may seem like the dog days of summer are miles away, but we all know they'll get here eventually. Make sure your organization is ready so that those grueling practices under the baking sun can be run with lots of water and peace of mind.

Posted on Monday, March 17, 2014 at 04:57PM by Registered CommenterSports Product Review in , | CommentsPost a Comment | References7 References | EmailEmail

January 29, 2014 - That's a Real Stretch

I can hear gym teachers everywhere: “All right. Sit down, legs out. Grab your toes. Legs straight! Don't bend those knees! You're cheating!” When's the last time you tried the old 'grab the toes and pull back' to stretch your calves. Unless you're under eighteen years-old, a competitive athlete or a compulsive stretcher – in other words like most of us – you'll find it isn't so easy. Plus we all know that bending that way can also be tough on the back.

 

There's a product called the Hatfield Strap that is as revolutionary as it is simple. It was originally designed to treat Plantar Fascitis. This discomfort of the foot can only be alleviated by stretching. But traditional calf stretches weren't effective. With the Hatfield Strap, simply sit on the strap, place the foot on it, and pull back on the handled. You are instantly stretching the foot and calf, all the way down to the arch.

 

They sent us one to try and it is remarkable. You won't believe how you can stretch those parts of the leg like you used to long ago, without any discomfort. And its not just limited to below the knee. Lay back and pull the leg over your head and now you're getting the best hamstring stretch of your life, without the need of a partner. And, the best thing about all of these stretches is you control how far, how long and how deep you go.

 

Those of you who read our reviews know I have four children playing sports. The youngest, a soccer girl, plays every second of every game for her high school team. By the 70th and 80th minutes, it can be grueling even for someone as fit as she is. Three games ago, with only about ten minutes to go in the second half, she went down with severe calf cramps. It was the first time she'd ever had to come out of a game. She now uses the strap before and after games to keep those calves loose and pain-free. My oldest, a baseball player, is big, 6' 2”, 210 lbs, and he needs to keep that large frame limber. But he doesn't always stretch as much as he should. Why? The same reason most of us don't: It isn't enjoyable. It hurts. He now loves the Hatfield Strap because it allows him to get in great lower-body stretching with a minimum of effort.

 

If you suffer from Plantar Fascitis, The Hatfield Strap is a must-have. If you're an athlete looking to keep your leg muscles at their explosive peak, it is a necessity. And even if you're like me, a guy who didn't realize how stiff he was until he tried to touch his toes, you should try it. Spend a couple minutes a day getting that old (or is it young?) flexibility back. You, your back, calves, hamstrings and feet will be glad you did.

 

Source: Hatfield Strap