5 Products to Help Little League Coaches

Practically any man or woman that volunteers to be a youth baseball coach is a borderline saint. When you’re coaching baseball at the grass roots level, you need to have a great deal of patience and determination, and you must be able to properly explain and teach concepts of a beautiful, but sometimes complicated game. It’s hard enough supervising a bunch kids, let alone coach and share your knowledge with them.

That said, if you’re committed to sharing your wisdom with your team and have a successful season, here are five products that can help you in your endeavor.

Storage Bag for Bats and Helmets

Bat Storage Bags

On top of managing duties, coaches are also often the person who brings equipment to and from games. Rather than have to make multiple trips to your trunk, you can simply bring the bats or helmets in one easy, convenient fellow swoop. What’s more, this product will make it easy for players to select a bat or helmet and will reduce cleanup time.

Baseball Coaching Book

Coaching Books

Unsure of what skills best teach baseball fundamentals? Or perhaps you or your players are sick of doing the same mundane drills at each practice and before each game. Either way, having a coaching book handy can provide you with an array of drills that you can incorporate into your team gatherings, regardless of what stage of the season you’re in.

Pitching Machine

Pitching Machine

Have you ever thrown batting practice for an extended period of time? By the time each child gets one or two turns to hit, your arm can begin to fatigue. That’s not the worst of it, though; wait until the next day when you wake up and your arm is super sore and feels like it’s a 100lbs piece of tire rubber. Rather than suffer through the agony, simply invest in a pitching machine, which will still allow your players to get the hacks they need to improve at the plate. Plus, who among us throws more accurate than a machine?

Batting Tee with a Screen

Batting Tee with a Screen

Whether you’re trying to compensate for a lack of practice space or you are trying to keep your players warm and active in-between games or innings, a batting tee with a screen could be the perfect tool for you. Batters can work on perfecting their proper swing mechanics, and you will not have to worry about where their balls are hit.

Glove Radar

Glove Radar

Unless you’re a professional baseball scout or a police officer, there really isn’t much of a reason to own a radar gun; they’re honky and hard to carry around. Luckily, JumpUSA has a much more convenient tool that will help you measure how hard your pitchers are throwing-the Glove Radar.

If you need help selecting the right products for your team, please contact us today.

The Many Health Benefits of Yoga

YogaWe might have just begun to embrace yoga here in the western world, but the practice has been around since ancient times. The earliest proof of yoga’s practice dates back more than 5,000 years to an ancient civilization in India. There, archeologists discovered soapstone carvings of common yoga poses.

Many years later the trend of yoga made it to North America, where it is now recognized for providing a myriad of physical and even mental health benefits. Why is yoga so popular? Perhaps it is because the benefits of yoga can reach far into other areas of our lives. Even for basketball players, football players, elderly, and young children, yoga has the potential to improve skills beyond what a normal workout can do.

Stress Relief

Yoga is an athletic exercise that actually encourages relaxation. Through controlled breathing exercises and precise muscle movements, your body relaxes while producing cortisol – a stress-relieving hormone. After one yoga session, participants had lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, improved digestion, and a more active immune system. Emotional symptoms were also noted to have improved. Those with anxiety, depression, or fatigue often report improvements after practicing yoga.

Flexibility, strength, and balance

Not only is yoga great for stretching and flexibility, but you’ll also notice improvements in balance. In yoga, you’ll go through a series of poses that test the limits of your flexibility and balance. You’ll use every muscle group while simultaneously training them to become more flexible and coordinated.

In aging adults and athletes, flexibility and balance are extremely important. It’s why we often see football teams and senior citizens participating in yoga and joining in on classes.

Through yoga, your entire muscular system will become stronger and more elastic, making you more resistant to injuries. No doubt it becomes a benefit on the field or even in everyday life.

Sculpt muscles

Yoga uses only your own body weight to build mass and strength. When you consider how many free-weights you might typically use at home or in the gym to bench press your own body weight, you can see how using your own body to perform exercises can certainly have its benefit. Many individuals who work with personal trainers at the gym note that yoga is an opportunity for them to exercise and tone hard-to-reach muscles that they can’t otherwise access. Because yoga is a complete body workout, you’ll walk away from each session feeling balanced.

Test your limits

I once heard someone say that yoga is about learning to breathe through the pain. Once you’ve practiced, even just once, you realize the truth in that statement. Through yoga, you test your physical limits with stretches and positions that challenge each muscle group, all while controlling your inhales and exhales. Even your mental limits are tested as you consider releasing into a more relaxed pose. Each time, you have the opportunity to walk away with a sense of pride and accomplishment knowing that you have somehow improved yourself through yoga.

Versatility

Since its inception over 5,000 years ago, yoga has developed and branched out in many ways. You’ll find certain types of yoga to be more strenuous on muscles while other types of yoga focus on breathing and relaxation. Modifications can also be made to accommodate those who wish to focus more on toning, stretching, or healing injuries. Resistance bands are often used to promote flexibility and strength. Yoga can be practiced anywhere at any time: in your home gym, at the park, at a studio, even while watching TV. All you need is the basic equipment and a guide.

Check out the video below to learn how to get started with your own yoga practice:

Quick and Effective Workouts in Less Than Ten Minutes

It’s no secret that exercise is great for you. But for many people, the time and effort it takes can keep them from staying active. Recent research suggests, however, that it only takes seven minutes for a body to gain the full range of benefits of a good workout. Studies suggest that a high-intensity, quick workout can provide equal benefit as you might get with longer, less intense workout.

Many quick workout guides currently exist like the famous 8 Minute Abs

.

P90X also takes advantage of the 10 minute workout plan

.

For a seven-minute complete body workout, the New York Times has a scientifically designed workout program for you.

According to Chris Jordan, the director of exercise physiology at the Human Performance Institute, a short workout shouldn’t be easy. On a scale of one to ten, discomfort should be at about an 8 if you are looking to get the most from your time. For workouts under ten minutes, you shouldn’t be taking breaks or rest periods longer than ten seconds between exercises.

To amp up your quick workout, try adding weights in the form of kettlebells, weight belts, or resistance bands.

The Benefits of Resistance Bands

Resistance BandsFew things are better for your health than working out. It helps your flexibility, strength and stamina. JumpUSA.com provides all sorts of cool sports products, including resistance bands, which can help you do your workouts.

Made of a strong-but-thin rubber, with handles at the end, resistance bands work well for your strength training exercises. Rather than having to use heavy weights, needing a “spotter” for heavy weights so you don’t overdo it and injure yourself, or having to physically be in a gym, resistance bands allow you to do things like chest presses, rows, shoulder presses, bicep curls and tricep extensions in an efficient manner wherever you are. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel with simple resistance bands– you do familiar exercises/your normal routine and adjust the bands by giving them more of less slack as needed.

Resistance bands don’t cost an arm and a leg, they don’t take up much space, and they’re conveniently portable. At a hotel that doesn’t have a workout room? You can bring your own resistance bands with you on trips and still get a good workout done– right in your hotel room. The bands take up very little space in a suitcase.

For those who like to challenge their muscles to grow (using “muscle confusion”), don’t just stick to one thing. In other words, if you normally just use free weights, you might plateau and not notice any changes or gains. Therefore, try adding some variety to your workouts– resistance bands from JumpUSA.com can be used to achieve variety and force your muscles to adapt to your movements.

Sports Superstitions Take Players to the Next Level—Or Do They?

Superstitious Athletes  The best athletes are willing to do whatever it takes to win. At JumpUSA, that means equipping themselves with the very best sports products on the Internet, whether for training or competition. Of course, the gear we sell has been shown to work—it provides real benefits to athletes looking for that extra push. But the world of sports is full of other mysterious ways of getting ahead. When athletes are desperate to get ahead, they’re willing to believe just about anything.

Perhaps the most famous sport for superstitious activity is baseball. Some players refuse to wash certain clothes for entire seasons, which one might imagine could lead to a pretty disgusting locker room. There are elaborate routines players perform before stepping to the plate, as well as certain words or subjects that must never be mentioned under any circumstances. Pre-game meals are another favorite, with Wade Boggs being one of the most notorious cases. The former third baseman was known to eat copious amounts of chicken—and only chicken—before every single game.

Athletes in other sports get in on the action as well. Hockey players grow beards for the duration of a playoff run, leaving fresh-faced rookies with some pretty embarrassing displays of manliness. NFL players are scared to death of gracing the cover of the popular Madden video game series because it seems to have predicted doom for past honorees. Soccer players have been known to relieve themselves on specific parts of the field to reverse a curse.

Even coaches get in on the weird rituals. LSU’s Les Miles is known to grab turf off the field and eat it at crucial moments because he believes it puts the game in perspective for him and reminds him that he’s just one small part of the team. Fans are eager to get weird as well, especially in hockey. Attendees at Detroit Red Wings games have gotten into the habit of throwing octopus carcasses on the ice after it seemed to win them the Stanley Cup back in 1952, while Florida Panthers fans opt instead for the more sanitary—but equally strange—choice of plastic rats.

Superstitions have even led to widespread changes in sports, as was the case with the greatest basketball player of all time. Michael Jordan always wore his old UNC basketball shorts below the Bulls ones, which sometimes required a slightly longer pair of shorts. This played a part in the rising popularity of longer shorts for basketball players, a trend that has reached its way around the globe, much like Air Jordan’s own brand.

If you haven’t picked up a sports superstition of your own, maybe it’s time to start paying attention to what seems to work. After all, it seems to have helped all those legendary pros. You know what else the pros use to get better every day? The best sports equipment in the business, available right here at JumpUSA.

Tips for Building an Awesome Game Room

Pool TablesGame rooms are fun. It doesn’t take much time or money to convert a room in your home into a game room. Here are some tips for building an awesome game room.

First, plan how you’d like to use the space in the room so you don’t feel cramped. If you plan to have a pool table, ping pong table, and/or foosball table (all of which are available from JumpUSA.com), make sure you’ll have enough space around the table(s) in order to properly play games. Typical game tables need about 3 to 5 feet of additional space around them to be comfortable.

Next, consider lighting. You’ll want to emphasize certain areas using lights. For instance, you can have a light above your pool table so you can easily see what you’re doing during a game. Other parts of the room, however, may not need much light. Lighting helps set the mood for the room, and you can always add a TV on the wall which will help give ambient light if needed.

As for furniture, you should utilize items like ottomans and stools which can be easily moved around to wherever the action is at any given moment. A couple folding chairs are good for when friends come over.
Since a game room can get pretty loud, you might want to add insulation, sound panels, or other items so as not to disturb others elsewhere in the house.

Finally, since it’s a game room, and you’ll probably want to keep score, consider using chalkboard paint on one wall. That way you and your friends and/or family can scribble scores and other things on the wall and not have to worry about getting in trouble for writing on the wall.

In Search of the Highest Jumper in the World

When it comes to sports, every great athlete strives to be the very best in the world. Unfortunately, the biggest obstacle to this goal often lies in the genetics we’re born with. While we’d all love to be 7 feet tall, the fact is that the average height in the United States is right around 5’9”, meaning the vast majority of us will find ourselves quite a bit shorter that we might have dreamed as a child.

Fortunately, there’s plenty we can do about that. Pushing our bodies we’re born with to the limit is what we’re all about here at JumpUSA. A quick Internet search for the highest jumpers on the planet returns some encouraging results. You might be surprised at the heights some people can reach no matter how tall they are when standing with two feet on the ground.

One of the first results that pops up is a Youtube video featuring a basketball player named Haneef Munir. The video shows Haneef jumping high enough to give the rim a kiss with ease. The most impressive part about all this is that he is just 5’10”.

But if Haneef Munir thinks he’s the highest jumper in the world, there’s another basketball player of the same height who has something to say about that. That’s Houston’s own Isaac White, who believes himself to hold the highest-jumper crown, and plans to test the Guinness World Record.

For now, that prized Guinness World Record, according to their own website, belongs to Justin Bethel, who made it 1.52 meters, or 5 feet, off of the ground. However, that record is for the highest standing jump, setting Bethel apart from the basketball players who get the benefit of a running start. So long as we’re allowing a running start, we also need to consider Javier Sotomayor, a Cuban athlete who set the Track and Field world record by reaching a height of 2.45 meters, or a little over 8 feet.

So when we’re searching for the highest jumper in the world, the answer isn’t exactly clear. Take a trip to your local basketball courts and you’ll probably find a few guys who claim the title themselves. Either way, one thing is clear: with the right training and the right equipment, even a relatively short guy can reach inhuman heights never thought possible.

Prove it to yourself by getting started with some gear from JumpUSA today.

Reasons to Work Out with a Weighted Vest

Weighted Vests
JumpUSA.com offers the world’s coolest sports products, including weight vests. Typical weight vests can add 10-80 pounds to your chest and back. With adjustable shoulder and lateral straps, you put the vest on when you want to increase the intensity of your workouts. Use a weight vest when you exercise in order to build muscle, strength, stamina and endurance.

You want to be stronger but you don’t want to be fatter. So, you can use a weight vest to add temporary weight to your torso. This causes your body to work a bit harder than normal, which can then burn more calories than normal and help you reach your overall fitness goals.

Weight vests generally allow for you to add or subtract weight easily, so you can start off with, say, 10 pounds, and, over time, work up to more weight such as 40 pounds. They’re versatile.

As you literally carry extra weight, your body uses more energy and requires more strength and oxygen. Your body will adapt to the extra weight, thinking you’ve actually added the weight in real life. By tricking your brain and body into thinking this, you will gain significant speed and quickness and strength when it comes to aerobic activities and more. Meanwhile, your muscles and bones adapt to support the heavier weight.

Wear weight vests for running, lateral drills and vertical jumps. You can also use them in the gym while doing squats, lunges, dips, pull-ups, push-ups, etc. A weight vest from JumpUSA.com can help you increase strength and speed, accelerate weight loss, improve respiration, and build muscle. Get one today.

Tips for Staying in Shape This Summer

Staying FitEating healthy and exercising regularly are the two main ways to ensure that you stay at your maximum health. Making sure you intake foods from each food group is essential to staying healthy, as well as staying active regularly.

Eating Healthy

» Cut down and out unhealthy fats and empty calories (ex: butter, cheese, cookies, pizza)– this will help your body to stay lean

» Eat more protein (ex: chicken, turkey, peanuts) – this will help to increase your energy and help to build your muscles

» Portion your meals correctly – Using smaller plates and bowls actually does help individuals to eat less but still obtain a feeling of being full.

» Drink water – this will help your body in many different ways. One main way this helps with staying in shape is that it lowers your hunger level and it helps you to stay full longer.

Staying Active
» Mix it up – If the weather is nice outside, take a walk, run, or bike ride outside instead of using the treadmill or bike in the gym.

» Have fun – play a sport with friends or family, go for a walk on the beach, or hike a mountain, exercising doesn’t always have to take place in a gym

» Get cool accessories – From basketball hoops to tackling dummies to trampolines to flippers, these are all different types of exercising accessories that could make your workout more enticing.

JumpUSA is a company that sells sports gear and accessories of all different types. Offering equipment for an assortment of sports and work out routines, this website has all of your basic “staying active” needs. The products that they offer will optimize your exercise routine by offering alternate ways to stay active. With their helpful accessories, you won’t even feel like you’re doing work!

How to Avoid a Sprained Ankle

Ankle SprainsHave you ever landed awkwardly on your foot after jumping? Or you walked on uneven pavement and unexpectedly, regrettably twisted your ankle? A sprained ankle hurts! It’s an all-too-common sports injury, too. Basketball players, as well as those who play tennis, football, and soccer, can easily sprain their ankle while rolling or twisting their feet on uneven surfaces.

When a sprain occurs, it’s because the bands of tissue (known as ligaments) holding your ankle together get stretched and/or torn. Forced beyond their normal range of motion, these ligaments may then swell or bruise up and cause pain, especially when weight is placed on the affected foot.

Ankle sprains may require an X-ray, MRI or CT scan by a doctor to see the details of what occurred underneath the skin. A doctor looks for soft tissue damage and/or broken bones. Treatment may include taking pain relievers like Ibuprofen, physical therapy, and/or using devices like crutches or splints.

It’s generally a good idea to rest your foot if you think you’ve sprained your ankle. Put an ice pack on it for 15 minutes at a time. You can also compress the ankle with an elastic bandage until swelling subsides.

JumpUSA.com has several products that may help you deal with ankle sprains, including the McDavid hinged plastic ankle brace and the ultra-light ankle support sleeve. And to build super stable ankles, check out Jumpsoles Proprioceptors.