July 1, 2016 - Viva Italia!

Imagine you are a young, North American soccer player, age 11-18, and you live and die with "The Beautiful Game". You watch all of the European teams play and love to pretend you're Messi, or Marta. Now, imagine you could go to Italy for a soccer camp coached by professionals. Wouldn't that be a dream come true?

That's exactly what you can do, with the help of Soccerkix. They offer full-immersion camps which provide a unique Italian language-soccer experience that combines international travel, daily Italian language instruction, high-level professional soccer training, and cultural excursions. What a tremendous opportunity for youngsters.

Campers enjoy full room and board in a top-quality hotel in Umbria, Italy. A private, air-conditioned bus is theirs for all travels. They receive daily Italian language instruction from a native speaking, certified Italian teacher and chaperoned excursions to places of cultural interest in and around the Umbria region. Each day their game will improve as they benefit from  technical soccer training at SCUOLA CALCIO training facilities. They'll also receive a complete SCUOLA CALCIO practice training Kit which will make them the envy of all their teammates when they get back home. Students are supervised by an experienced and qualified bilingual Soccerkix Director and social and ultural activities are shared with Italian kids. 

Surprisingly, all of this is available at an affordable price. We don't know if our youngsters are going to ever be good enough to play on the international level. In fact, the odds are pretty heavily stacked against it. But, thanks to Soccerkix, at least for a week, you can make this dream come true.

Source: Soccerkix

Posted on Friday, July 1, 2016 at 08:05AM by Registered CommenterSports Product Review in , , , | CommentsPost a Comment | References3 References | EmailEmail

June 29, 2016 - Zipped Up Tights

When the folks from bZipt Clothing, Inc contacted us and asked if we'd like to try out their new, innovative zippered leggings, we instantly recognized a good idea.

My wife is an avid hiker who is always wearing leggings and my daughter is a soccer player who is going to play in college at a place that has dramatic temperature swings. Having leggings that can zip up the leg to give relief from the heat, or that allow easy removal to strip down to shorts is something that will definitely come in handy.

They are stylish and functional. The original concept was developed by a busy mom with active kids who struggled with getting conventional leggings on and off when in a hurry. She realized that by simply adding a zipper along the legs the tights became more like the warmups you've seen basketball players wear who get called into the game at a moment's notice. The product caught on and was expanded for teens and adults. These are perfect for quick changes before or after dance, gymnastics, ice-skating or other sport activities like soccer.

Like conventional leggings, they can add an extra layer of warmth under skirts or dresses. Anything you can do with ordinary leggings you can do with these, but much more. Taking them off over shoes or skates is no longer a tug-of-war.

The bZipt line is new and, one of those up-and-coming companies we love to spotlight. They may be small now but just like their product offerings, we know they'll by growing by zips and bounds.

Source: bZipt

June 22, 2016 - Tennis, (Elbow) Anyone?

While out of town on a trip, I inquired at the front desk about a fitness center. They did not have one in the hotel they told me but, even better, they provided passes to the local health club. I took them up on it. It was a vast center and the weight room was full of new (to me) machines and an abundance of free weights. 

I'm not a gym guy. I do mostly body-weight exercises at home to stay fit. So going into a gym is a treat and I enjoy trying new exercises. That's where I got into trouble. Because I picked up a dumbbell and, like a dumbbell, sort of invented a lift I thought I'd seen others do before which was laying stomach-down on a bench and lifting the weights up over my ear. 

Everything was fine for a week or so. Then, my left elbow began to ache. I didn't think anything of it for a few days but it wasn't getting better. Finally I connected it to the time in the gym. Still, I thought it would pass. It didn't. After more than a month of it aching nearly constantly every day, I finally went to see the doctor. She put her finger on a specifc spot on my arm, asked if that's where it hurt, (it was), and proclaimed I had tennis elbow. She prescribe physical therapy. 

I went to physical therapy and was told, basically that it might never fully go away. She gave me some stretches to do, which seemed to help. I was also given a ProCare Brace to wear above the elbow during the day and while sleeping. I was pretty skeptical that it would help, but figured I'd give it a try. 

The brace, while neither attractive or particularly comfortable, was effective. When it was on the elbow pain substantially diminished. When it was off, the discomfort was strong. I don't know what exactly it did to help, but help it did.

After a month or so I weaned myself off of it and haven't had to put it on again since. It's now been a year and, while I can still tell there's something there, it rarely bothers me and weeks go by without me thinking about the elbow. I can't be sure I can fully attribute the improvement to the brace, but it sure didn't hurt. But I guess that's the point of it, isn't it?

Source: ProCare

Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 at 03:48PM by Registered CommenterSports Product Review in , , | CommentsPost a Comment | References3 References | EmailEmail

June 11, 2016 - A Lasting Legacy

Want to hear about the biggest win-win-win we've ever found for you at SPR. It's the Upstart Sports Bleacher Seat program. This is a way for high schools and colleges to raise money while honoring current and former players and improving the quality and comfort of their facilities at the same time.

All a school has to do is send out an email, provided by Upstart Sports, to all current players and alumni as far back as they'd like, asking if the player (or player's parents) would like to purchase a beautiful stadium seat for the school's bleachers. The seats are made of a comfortable polypropylene material that will install on any surface easily. They are especially perfect as an upgrade to the typical aluminum bleachers you see at most high school and small college fields.

On each seat will be embossed the current or former player's name, years they played, and uniform number. A super cool tribute and way to honor a legacy for years to come. The best news of all? Through Upstart Sports' online platform this can all be done without anyone at the school having to collect money and keep track of sales. Orders come in and the seats go out, they come in school colors, are installed in a matter of minutes and turn an ordinary facility into a real stadium. Fans love the comfort they bring to the game-watching experience. Schools actually raise money as they profit from each seat sold, meaning the stadium upgrade is not only free...its a fundraiser. And opposing teams immediately know they're playing at a place where they take their athletics seriously, lending a terrific home field advantage.

We can't figure out why any school wouldn't take advantage of this opportunity, it's such a no-brainer. In fact, with as many benefits Upstart Sports Bleacher Seat program brings, its a win-win-win-win-win.

Source: Upstart Sports

June 3, 2016 - Glove at First Sight

If you read through our nine years of reviews you'll find two common themes that we embrace. First, we love training aids. Specifically, we love training aids that can be used solo. We love the idea of youth players in the garage, on the street, at the park or in the backyard working on their game on their own time with no coaches or parents present.

The second thing we love is when we find that magical mix of great quality but tremendous value. Usually this has been a case of an up-and-coming company that either doesn't know how good their product is or is willingly under-charging so as to try to gain market share. In either, since we're kind of tightwads here, top-of-the-line products at a bargain price make us very happy.

Well, we're very happy about this product and since you can see that it is not a training aid, you can guess which category it fits into. The new Upstart Sports Batting Gloves are a fantastic glove that players from Little League to the Pros will love, at a price that parents tired of overpaying for their kids baseball and softball gear will appreciate.

They sent us a few pairs to try out. One of my sons who plays in college got them in the mail the other day and described them as "sweet!" He was going to head down to the field the minute he put them on to go and take batting practice. I wonder if he drove with them on. And if you need more convincing, let me explain this kid: He asked for a photo of them first before he'd let me ship them because the way they look is very important to him. And if something doesn't feel just right, he won't wear it because his career is too important to him. So for him to give them a rousing endorsement means there's a better than 99% chance your player will (g)love them too. And the price? Just go to the site and prepare to be pleasantly surprised.

Upstart Sports plans to release more branded items soon. We can't wait to bring them to you. In the meantime, get their first offering before they wise up and realize they could sell them for twice the price.

Source: Upstart Sports