Hold Your Own
|Since my school system
chose not to cancel classes, I was on my way at the usual 6:00 with a
light snow falling. There were ten of us by 6:45, so the games were on.
I was placed on the dark team by Jason (not his real name), who acts as
team captain for whatever team he's on. He is the guy who picks the
teams for both sides as the guys arrive. He does an honest job of
matching up the guys pretty evenly, and he does a good job of mixing up
the first ten who play so we're not always playing with or against the
When your team goes to defense, you'll cover the person who covered you. I found James covering me. James is a friendly guy who has just about every scoring technique down. He has an arsenal of moves that make him very difficult to defend, but I just happened to be my job. James has a three-point shot that never seems to miss, even with a hand in his face. The guy can drive to the basket down the center and score in traffic, and he also likes to fight along the baseline and shoot with a left-handed hook off the glass. The offense was using a lob pass to connect with him at the low-post position, at which point he'd do a turn-around or a step-back and put the short jumper in. He knows how to bank it off the glass at a low angle and make it roll in.
Let's just say he scored overtop of me what felt like ten times though the series of games we played. Towards the end, Jason switched me over to cover a younger, faster high-schooler, who was also able to cut to the center and score, but not with the same frequency as James. I also need to call out screens set up by the offense quicker, so team members are able to stick with the man they are trying to cover. One of my team mates even said "George, you gotta call out those screens!" Trouble is, sometimes I don't even know they've happened until the ball is past me.
My team, "Dark," lost game one, but we came back to even the series. We won game three as well, but Dark lost three consecutive games after that. I even said I felt like I lost one of those games for the team because James scores repeatedly in spite of what felt like close defense.
On offense, it took a little while for me to warm up. I missed my
first few attempts, but during game two I hit two three-pointers. I love
to see the reaction of shock on the faces of both teammates and
opponents when I hit the shot from beyond the arc. I was also able to
sink two field goals from about ten feet from the side. I also had one
under the basket, which I put over the rim. All too often, those shots
bounce out. I could hear Jason saying "use the glass!" In this
case, I put the ball high enough so that it rattled its way in, but
using the glass effectively is still a major weakness for me on offense.
During the final game, which we lost, I was able to cut to the center on
a fast break, but all too often, I hit the glass with too broad an angle,
so the ball just bounces over the rim without even making contact. To
make matters worse, with "White" only one basket away from
claiming victory, I put up an airball from behind the three point arc
that went out of bounds. It was "White's" ball, and with their
better shooting, the game was over.
Let's see what the weather brings tomorrow.
The Seated Crunch
The Weighted Crunch
|Exercise #5 and
#6: The Seated Crunch and Weighted Crunch
The holy grail of fitness for both men and women is to
develop that six pack set of abdominal muscles. Given my own genetics,
my body type will probably never allow for a six-pack. The best I might
be able to hope for is a two-pack! Seriously, reducing abdominal fat has
been show to actually lengthen lives, especially among men, who carry
more visceral fat than women on the average. For every inch over 34
inches around the waist, men can subtract one year of life. Diabetes,
heart disease, and stroke are all consequences of obesity, which is
visible around the waist.
The fitness ball is a great tool to assist in the development of firmer abdominals. There are many exercises that you can do with it, but I am sharing the basic crunch here, but I follow a set of seated crunches with a set of weighted crunches. You'll feel the burn in your abs if you do these two moves in succession with as little rest as possible.
The seated crunch on the ball is better than on the floor because you can go past 180 degrees on the stretch section. The ball also helps isolate you upper abdominals as you come up, keeping chin out and hands behind your ears. I have worked up to 30 crunches in one set, and I use the set as a break for other muscles in a weightlifting circuit.
Then I go immediately to a pulley cable and place my hands on the bar, sitting in a facing out position. Then holding the bar as I crunch, I bend over, keeping the bar behind my head. Make sure you're not using your arms to pull the weight. They should just feel like they're attached to the handle without doing any of the work. All of the work should be centered in your core, which is the muscle set you're working here.
Here's the thing: you can do crunches
all day, but if you have body fat covering your rock-hard abs, you will
look and feel soft. The only way to reduce what you're carrying around
on your belly is to enter into a "calorie deficit." that's
where you burn calories more than you consume. 60 minutes of
"basketball game" yields 645.92 Calories burned.
(according to http://dftools.ivillage.com/healthtools/calc_cb.cfm)
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