How To Ensure Safety On Ice Skating Rinks

Novice and professional figure skaters can choose to hone their skills or simply have fun on indoor or outdoor, natural ice rinks. Indoor ice skating rinks, of course, are man-made ones that can be found inside sports centers and malls. Outdoor ones are usually frozen ponds, lakes, or dams. Both can provide ample opportunities for ice skating fanatics and hours of endless fun as well.

Whether you prefer skating on an indoor ice rink or an outdoor one, it is imperative that you maintain safety on such premises. Aside from having fun, you have to make sure that you do not get injured by participating in this sport and that you don’t cause any harm to others as well.

Below are some tips that will help you ensure and maintain safety in both indoor and outdoor ice skating rinks:

• Before skating outdoors, test the ice first to make sure that it is strong and hard enough to skate on. One way of testing the strength of a frozen body of water is to find a very shallow area and place one foot onto the ice. Apply your body weight until you feel comfortable to place your other foot onto the ice surface as well. You can then drill a hole in the ice to check for ice thickness. You can also check other sections of the ice rink to make sure that it is safe to skate on by drilling some holes through the surface.

• Keep in mind that natural ice surfaces are always full of danger. They are not as safe as indoor ones that are always maintained and regularly inspected. If you prefer to skate outdoors, stay away from these hazardous areas:

– The shoreline

– Moving water

– Hot springs

– Sunny areas

– Frozen bodies of water that hold a large amount of debris

Do not skate near pockets of open water on a frozen lake as well since this means the ice is thin or you are near a cracked surface.

• Whether you are on an indoor or outdoor ice rink, always wear a helmet since the slick ice makes it easy for anyone to slip and fall.

• Lastly, always skate in the same direction as everyone else on the ice. If there are kids who are slower skaters, instruct them to stick to the sides of the rink so that they won’t get hurt by fast skaters. If you are indoors and there are young learners, you can ask them to hold on the railings so that they don’t slip or fall too often while they are learning to skate.

5 Famous Places Featuring Artificial Grass

Why synthetic grass solutions have become so popular these days? From residential, commercial to public works landscaping, artificial grass appeals to people because of its aesthetic value, economic aspect and convenience.

It is environment-friendly, easy to maintain, and looks realistic like natural grass. Perhaps that’s why high-quality synthetic grass are now being seen at a number of famous places across the world. Check out some of the famous places where artificial grass has been installed and being used for a long time now.

  1. Albertsons Stadium: Previously known as Bronco Stadium, is an outdoor athletic stadium in Boise, Idaho. It is best known for its distinctive blue playing surface. 16 seasons from 1970-1985 have been played on standard green artificial turf and then it was replaced with blue synthetic playing surface in 1986. From time to time, the blue turf has been replaced with the same and is still enhancing the look and playing performance at the Albertsons Stadium.
  1. Disney World: This famous place of magic and cartoon characters has recently installed artificial grass landscape at Magic Kingdom. Every year thousands of enchanting fans visit the Disney World to see the performances, sculpted gardens, fireworks and much more. Artificial grass has been chosen by this place as it will help in dealing with the high volume of traffic as well as bring beauty and uniqueness to its landscaping areas.
  1. Michigan Stadium: Opened in 1927, it is one of the true athletic landmarks in the sports world. Recently, the stadium administration has changed the previous artificial turf installed at the football facility with the latest-and-advanced version of field turf.
  1. Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden: Every year, the garden hosts the Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival. The Pixie Garden realized that artificial turf is the most beautiful, durable landscaping solution for withstanding the festival’s heavy foot traffic. The incredibly realistic synthetic grass gives the garden a gorgeous look and guests the freedom to walk roll, tumble, and play on it.
  1. Playboy Mansion: It is the home of Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner. It became famous in the 1970s due to its lavish parties. Its grotto mainly plays host to some of the legendary parties that you watch on TV. Artificial grass lawns surrounding the grotto make the area more attractive and easier to maintain. It looks serene, making it a perfect place to hold gatherings of high-profile celebrities and personalities.

Synthetic turf is one of the fastest growing segments of the market, possibly due to its numerous benefits. From artificial turf for outdoor fields to synthetic turf used in landmarks, this growing trend is getting popular among sports facilities as well as appearing in some of the well-known venues worldwide. It’s up to you whether or not you follow this trend!

How to Survive As a Student Athlete: Time Management Tips and Strategies

Being a student athlete is a strenuous endeavor which requires allocating your time perfectly. As a former Division 1 student athlete this article is written from firsthand experience and what I personally found that made my life easier. After your athletic and academic obligations are met you are left with a very small amount of free time which must be utilized as effectively as possible to maintain your sanity and health.

Twenty to forty hours of your time every week is dedicated to athletic responsibilities. Regardless of what the NCAA mandates as an acceptable hours quota for athletic activities, coaches generally do not respect this rule often finagling and meandering their way around it. You must maintain a full load of classes (12 credit hours) to stay academically eligible but it is encouraged that you take 15 credit hours so you will graduate on time. Most sources recommend studying 2 hours per week, per credit hour which would equate to 24 hours of studying per week. To maintain a healthy lifestyle 7-9 hours of sleep is recommended every night.

A weekly breakdown looks like this:

24 hours/day x 7 days = 168 hours/week

Athletic activities 20 – 40 hours/week

Recommended sleep (8 hours) x 7 nights = 56 hours/week

Class (15 hours) + study time (30 hours) = 45 hours/week

168 hours in one week – Sleep (56 hours) – Athletic obligations (40 hours) – Class & Study time (45 hours) = 27 Hours of free time. Now that we have established the amount of free time a typical student athlete has per week we can use this number to create a strategy to effectively use this allotted time.

If you have a meal plan and eat on campus every meal, this section will not be applicable to you. If you are lucky enough to have an awesome meal plan, enjoy the extra free time and SLEEP. One of the biggest time savers in my experience as a student athlete was setting aside predetermined amount of time 1-2 days a week to cook meals for the next 3-4 days. By setting aside time on a slower day to grocery shop and prepare meals for the next few days you free up time in the upcoming days that would have otherwise been spent cooking/seeking out food. By preparing meals in mass quantity you also cut down the amount of money you spend per meal which is an added bonus. Setting aside 8-8.5 hours/week to grocery shop, cook, and actually eat was the sweet spot for me. 27 free hours – 8.5 of cooking/eating/grocery shopping = 18.5 hours left.

Cleaning your living space as well as doing laundry are imperative to maintaining your sanity. By setting aside 3.5 hours a week to cleaning and 3.5 hours a week to laundry you give yourself enough time to take care of one of your basic needs. One technique I liked to use was to take care of laundry while my meals were cooking so that my time was utilized to the maximum. 18.5 free hours -7 hours = 11.5 hours left.

With your remaining free time use it to maintain your sanity. The stress of college athletics while trying to keep your grades up and appease the people in power will take its toll on you. Meditate, read, take a walk and maybe call your family! Use this remaining free time to take a moment for yourself and maintain your peace of mind so that you can successfully navigate and endure your day to day responsibilities and commitments.

5 Beach Activities To Do This Summer

Summer is here and there’s nothing like going to the beach for some fun under the sun. Of course, you can do a lot of things besides swimming. Be adventurous! Be bold! That’s what summer is all about right? Try these following summer activities to add spice to your next beach getaway.

Skim boarding. You know when you want to go surfing, but not ready to take on a giant wave? Go skim boarding. Just kidding. Well, maybe there’s some truth in that for some. Skim boarding is like surfing but instead of swimming to meet a wave in the middle of the beach, you meet a ‘break wave’-the wave that hits the shore-and you ride it back. You can do skim boarding when the waves aren’t big enough to surf, as practice for future surfing or… if you feel like it. Word of caution though, since the water on the shore is shallow, there is a chance for you to get beat up a bit because you’re not going to land in a lot of water, mostly wet sand. But that’s cool, right? Live a little… but be careful.

Parasailing. A little danger, lots of fun. Seriously, it looks more dangerous than it really is. Parasailing involves strapping on a parachute while a long harness connected to a speed boat revs across the water. What happens is you get lifted from the water and into the air as the parachute inflates. You’ll get a bird’s eye view of the whole beach, and give a few high fives to passing seagulls.

Kayaking. A lot of people think kayaking can only be done on rapids, but you can do it on the beach as well. It may not be as animated, but it’s still fun and can give your arms a really great workout. Kayaking involves getting in a small boat and rowing. You can kayak alone or with a partner. You can also race or just have a relaxing time as the sun sets.

Jet skiing. Satisfy your need for speed in the water by hopping on a jet ski. You won’t need much training to operate the machine. This water sport provides an exhilarating experience once you start. Speed around obstacles or just slice around the waters, you’ll barely notice the time fly as you have fun.

Wakeboarding. What’s the difference between waterskiing and wakeboarding? In wakeboarding, you’ll be standing only on one ski. It’s more challenging, thus, more fun. The concept is basically the same-you hold on to a harness strapped to a motorboat or a really strong jet ski and you slice your way across the waters. Add more spice by going through a time trial or some water obstacles. Still not challenging enough for you? Why not do some stunts?

As you plan to try out these beach activities, remember to organize what you’ll wear as well. The right slippers, aqua shoes and sportswear will not only help you perform better, but protect your from both the elements and injury. If you’re not familiar with good beach gear, you can’t go wrong with Speedo. The brand is well known for its quality and design. You can browse for Speedo products at your favorite online shop. Look for sunglasses, to protect your eyes, as well. Wearing a life vest is also a prerequisite in these activities

Fitness Tips For Netball Players

Athletes are some of the healthiest and fittest persons in the world. After all, they need to be in excellent form and condition physically, mentally, and emotionally if they want to excel in their sport. In addition, if they are not physically fit and healthy, they will simply be plagued by various injuries and aches during and after they play a game.

Netball players need to be perfectly fit as well. If they want to avoid injuries and excel in this sport, they need to be in tip-top form and condition all the time.

Below are some fitness tips netball players would do well to follow:

Work on your speed. Speed is one of the key skills netball players need to have. You need to have great speed to sprint into position quickly, change direction suddenly, and to jump up when you need to intercept a ball. You can work on this skill by including plyometrics in your training. These include jumping up the stairs, leaping sideways, and jumping over low hurdles. Fartlek training is also highly recommended for netball players. This type of training focuses on explosively sprinting over short distances. Keep in mind that to be quicker, you have to improve your power and your leg strength.

Improve your endurance. If you want to maintain your pace for one whole game of netball, endurance is crucial. To work on this, train by building up to running continuously for up to 20 minutes. Slow down only when you need to then speed up for a sprint.

Boost your core stability and balance. Stability and balance helps greatly with almost every aspect of attack and defense. Whether you are a defender leaning in to guard the ball, the shooter standing on one leg, or you simply want to be able to jump and change positions quickly, having balance and core stability will help improve your game and aid you greatly with avoiding injuries. You can strengthen your balance and stability by doing strength exercises for the arms, chest, and shoulder while standing on the opposite leg. Twisting lunges while holding a medicine ball or dumbbell should also be part of your workout regimen. Performing exercises on a Swiss ball or by standing on a wobble board (or on one leg for one minute, building up to doing it with your eyes closed) are also great ways for improving balance and stability. Just make sure you include holding the plank position for up to one minute at a time in your strength regime.

3 Tips To Remember When Buying Championship Rings

Championship rings are not only precious units to have they are also a sign of your allegiance to your team. When buying the rings you should consider these tips:

There is no guarantee that the value will rise

While many people collect the rings and keep them as treasures, there are others that buy them so that they can later resell them at a higher price. If you are the type of person that is interested in making money from making resells, it’s important to note that there is no guarantee that the value of the rings will rise. Buying the units with the hope of them going up in value is synonymous to buying stocks or investing in real estate. The only thing that you can do is hope that the market goes your way and the value climbs up.

Be cautious of the auction house

The auction house is one of the places where you can buy the championship rings. The cool thing with the house is that you don’t need to struggle in order to get your favorite ring. All you need to do is show up in the house and be the highest bidder. The cool thing with the auction is that you can buy a ring for a minute amount especially if there are no people interested in it.

The auction house is a great place to buy the rings as a collector but it’s highly discouraged that you go into it if you are looking to resell the rings. As mentioned, there is no guarantee that the prices will rise. When you buy from the auction house, you have to pay a 20% commission to the house. If the ring’s price doesn’t go up you will have made a loss.

Do research before parting with your money

Before you buy anything it’s highly encouraged that you first do your research. The same thing applies when you are buying championship rings. It’s good to note that there are no two rings that are the same. Rings from a popular season or popular player are usually more valuable than those from a less popular season and player. To ensure that you don’t buy the wrong units, consult experts. Best people to get advice from are sports memorabilia experts.


These are the tips that you need to consider when buying championship rings. As mentioned, never invest in the rings without first doing your research.

Parallels in Leadership and Sports

I’m an avid sports fan. I like all kinds of sports. I like the individual intensity at track meets, the determination of tennis, and the ferocity of boxing. I enjoy team sports such as baseball, softball and volleyball as well. But, I am especially fond of two team sports: American football and basketball.

While living a life filled with leadership responsibilities, I often use sports analogies to paint a picture of opportunities for work leadership. These painted pictures help bring an understanding in ways that aren’t always obvious on the surface.

The usage of some of our favorite past-times, as visuals, can help drive a point home. As a former collegiate athlete and professional coach, athletic lessons frequently come to mind in everyday leadership scenarios at work, in the community, in ministry and at home.

Leadership, many times, requires a change process. This process can happen for you, yourself, as a leader; or you can influence others to change. In athletics, change is inevitable in order to reach the ultimate goal of a championship. At work, many organizations are striving towards their own version of a championship.

Football, to me, is the greatest team sport. I’ve found that many team sports can be dominated by the play of a great individual. You might be able to think of examples of this in your favorite team sport. But in football, one must rely heavily on teammates to achieve the goals that were set previously.

In organizations, while there may be several standout individuals who are able to carry a lot of the workload, top-notch teamwork is a beautiful thing to witness. Like football, everyone at your job should have a designated role. One person’s role is to do “X” the other’s is to do “Y” and when everyone does what they’re supposed to do, results are achieved.

If roles are not clearly defined, and if you do not place people where they’re strong, you may be in for a disaster. Imagine if a football team was composed of the same types players (quarterbacks, linemen, wide receivers, kickers, line backers and the secondary), but you had a wide receiver playing on the offensive line. That doesn’t make sense, because the receiver’s strength is their speed and catching ability. Conversely, an offensive lineman’s strength is their ability to block and their girth. Having these players out-of-place will not make the team thrive. In fact, in that scenario there are bound to be injuries a plenty!

Examine your employee’s strengths, are they were they should be? Are they performing a job they should be performing? If not, think about how you can enhance the team so that everyone is being fulfilled and operating to the best of their ability. Once their operating, it’s time to think about how to evaluate these individuals.

Evaluating employees is a lot like coaching players in a live basketball game. Many evaluations in the workplace happen on a yearly basis, which is not a very effective way to create consistent change in your employees. Evaluating your employees throughout “the game” is a great way to keep everyone on track.

What coach have you ever seen, in a game, wait until the final buzzer to address their players? I don’t ever recall seeing that. Coaches give constant and consistent feedback throughout the game.

Prior to the start of the game, a coach will explain the game plan. This is the equivalent of setting expectations at work. The game then begins; work is being performed. Time outs are specifically used to discuss recent performance. In these time outs, there is usually information about the best plan of action moving forward.

When players are substituted in a basketball game, they are generally greeted by a coach who communicates what they’ve done well or need to improve upon. This is a consistent practice in the game of basketball and should be a consistent practice in your workplace as well. By the time the end of the game comes, the coach will generally celebrate the bright spots and reflect on what needs to be improved upon. This should be a standard business practice. Celebrating the things that have gone well while consistently holding employees accountable to get better.

Evaluation and feedback are constant processes. Take advantage of the time you have with your employees.

Lastly, as a leader you’ll be able to offer opportunities for others. In order to obtain these opportunities, your employees will have to be in the right place to receive them.

I like thinking about the game of football as a game of potential opportunity. When playing backyard football or playing video games I would play a receiver. The position of wide receiver can be one of the most rewarding positions in the field. To play this position it takes patience. Not every play is run for this receiver, and quite frankly, most times, they don’t know when they’re going to get the ball. Coincidentally, in life, your employees may not know when they’re going to get “the ball” also known as opportunity.

Additionally, when you look at how plays are drawn up for receivers, they are to go to a spot at a certain time. The only thing they know is that they’re supposed to run their route. Maybe they’ll be rewarded for doing so, maybe not. You, as a quarterbacking leader may have the opportunity to gift your receivers with fantastic opportunities.

Quarterbacks, like leaders, can be gift givers for those willing to receive them. The funny thing about these gifts are that they’re not handed to your employees, like running backs. They’re thrown at a spot that they’re expected to be at. If they are not there to receive their gift of opportunity, then they may miss out.

How many opportunities are you throwing to your receivers? Are they aware of the routes that they’re supposed to be running? Remember, when leaders give opportunities to their talent, everyone scores.

Leadership and sports have many parallels that can be used to enhance teams and organizations. I’m blessed to have been a part of some great teams, with great teammates and great organizations with great “teammates.” It’s my hope that you can advance your organization by thinking like an athlete.

Lifelong Lessons From Summer Camp

Amid the days and nights of swimming lessons, woodland hikes, campfires and giggles after lights-out, kids at summer camp also absorb a lot of lessons about life that will last long after the last song echoes over the lake. Along with lifelong friends and treasured memories, kids learn the value of independence, embracing diversity and taking that all-important step outside their comfort zone. There’s a lot to learn along with all that lively lakeside fun.

Independence Rocks

Kids learn how to be independent at camp and it’s a great feeling. Without mom and dad hovering full of good intentions and advice, kids have the chance to make some decisions on their own as well as how to cope if these decisions don’t turn out as well as expected. All through life, kids have to deal with the ups and downs that come from the challenges of school, work and relationships. And it helps to have developed the resilience to field whatever curve balls life pitches at you. Camp is a safe and nurturing place to try out some little freedoms like choosing which elective activity to take, whether to go on the overnight camping trip or if you’re ready to try out for a solo in the camp talent show.

Sense of Community

The new friends and fun kids have at camp is even more than that. They are learning to make their own community… a family of friends separate from their “real” family. This is a truly valuable life lesson. One that will be used to develop social networks with confidence throughout the school years and into the workplace. Learning how to build lasting friendships teaches respect for others, encourages acceptance and helps kids refine their own identity.

Truly a Team

In camp, kids truly learn the importance of team work, appreciating how each member contributes to the group in his or her own way. From organized activities on the ropes courses to tent camping trips, rock climbing and campfire skits, camp is full of group activities in which each member of the group has his or her own function and all are there to cheer each other on and celebrate success or commiserate on failure together. Camp is also full of leadership opportunities. But a leader needs a group of followers that are able to work cohesively together.

Venturing Outside the Comfort Zone

Camp is full of chances to try new skills and to face new experiences. Camp gives kids the opportunity to do this in a safe and supportive atmosphere. While also honing the ability to step outside their comfort zone and take (hopefully) wise chances in the real world. From trying to muster the courage to dive into the deep end of the pool to confronting wildlife for the first time, kids at camp take lots of leaps both large and small, preparing them for new challenges on their future travels through life.

You Never Really Say Goodbye

Everyone who has experienced camp knows what happens on the last day. Campers, reluctant to leave, climb into cars with mom and dad for the long drive home. You will have promised to stay in touch with all your camp friends, but those great intentions will fade as school activities take over time and attention. However, the amazing truth is that when next summer rolls around and you see everybody again, it’ll be just like you never left! We never really say goodbye to the people and places we love; they’re tucked away forever in a special part of our hearts. Old friends are the best! Which is why former campers flock to reunions to reconnect once again with the people who share these special memories.

The Principles of A Parachute

How parachutes work is identical to that of the Galileo’s Leaning Tower of Pisa experiment. Galileo climbed the Leaning Tower of Pisa and dropped two balls of different masses, but similar shape and density at the same time; they both hit the ground at the same time. Parachutes were developed centuries later from the same principle that was in an experiment involving both a feather and a rock. Both the feather and rock were dropped at the same time, but the rock hit the ground much sooner than the feather. They are both accelerating at -9.8 m/s (g), yet the rock hit the ground first. This conclusion is a result of air resistance. There is a greater deal of friction acting upon the feather because it has a larger surface area and has a density similar to that of the air particles. However, in the vacuum of space or an area where friction is not present, a feather would fall just as fast as any other object. When humans fall from a high point, they are like the rock in the example above, but when they are given a parachute and use it, they resemble the feather. Parachutes increase one’s air resistance as they continue to fall. Terminal velocity is the highest velocity attainable by an object as it falls through air. It occurs once the sum of the drag force (Fd) and buoyancy equals the downward force of gravity (FG) acting on the object. In other words, an object/thing can not exceed a certain speed falling downwards, assuming that only gravity is affecting it, because there will be enough air resistance present to balance the acceleration, giving it a constant speed, which is your Terminal Velocity. Parachutes are designed to reduce Terminal Velocity by a whopping 90 percent!

Parachutes are actually three chutes in one packed into a container. It consists of the main parachute, the reserve parachute (a backup parachute), and the pilot chute (helps the main parachute open).The pilot chute is triggered by pulling the ripcord. The suspension lines, ropes that connect the main chute to your harness, then open behind you. Thankfully, the main parachute is designed to open in a delayed fashion that prevents your body from breaking by being jerked too hard and suddenly. When you are falling at fast speeds, and there is an immediate 90 percent drop in that speed, one’s body will break. So the parachute is slowly funneled out of one’s container to initiate drag. This keeps our body safe from a whiplash, jerk or jolt (someone or something) suddenly, typically so as to cause injury, like incident. The Terminal Velocity that humans reach when they skydive is about 55m/s, and will drop to 4.5m/s when their parachutes are opened.

Snowmobiling Safety Tips

There is nothing that can ruin a potentially fun snowmobile trip more than a unexpected emergency or accident. Taking the appropriate steps and precautions to be safe will make your trip memorable for all the right reasons. Here are some great safety tips to keep in mind.

    • Stay away from alcohol while on the trail. Alcohol will slow your reaction times down and will impair your judgement. Not something you want when going 50+ miles per hour down a narrow trail with trees all around you.


    • Slow down. Speed is one of the biggest contributors to accidents on the trail. It is very easy on today’s powerful machines to get up to speeds that there is no way you could stop if something unexpected happens. Stick to posted speed limits and you should have nothing to worry about.


    • Dress appropriately. Under dressing will make your day miserable and the riders you are with miserable, as you have to keep making stops to warm up. If you dress right for the days temps you should have no problem staying out for hours at a time. Dress in layers so it is easy to shed clothing if you do get too hot.


    • Bring a good first aid kit. Buy your self a quality, well stocked supply kit. In addition to the usual first aid supplies your kit should include compass, knife, flashlight, map and waterproof matches. If you use anything out on the trail, be sure and replace the items as soon as possible.


  • Stay on marked trails. It is always tempting to wander off the trails system and explore, but if you are unfamiliar with the area, you could get yourself in trouble real fast. Snow does a good job of hiding holes, drop offs and open water, so use your maps and stick to the groomed trail.