Every year since 1959, the United Nations has designated International years to draw attention to issues affecting mankind throughout the world and encouraging international cooperation and action to address issues of global importance. On 5 November 2004, The United Nations formally launched 2005 as the International Year of Sport and Physical Education. United Nations Secretary - General Kofi Annan referred to sport as the “universal language”. He stated, “At its best it can bring people together - no matter what their origin, background, religious beliefs or economic status. When young people participate in sports or have access to physical education, they can experience real exhilaration even as they learn the ideals of teamwork and tolerance.”(Yahoo New!,Nov. 16, 2004)
The steroid and other drug scandals that are so prevalent today would pale in comparison to what could happen if genetic engineering is ever allowed to escape the very strictest of regulation and control. This new technology could lead to the ultimate sporting nightmare as athletes and unethical scientists scramble to cash in on the latest advances in what can be conceivably good for mankind.
The quest for improved human performance has been a never-ending search that has driven athletes since the genesis of games and sport. It is rational to hypothesize that athletes have experimented with just about everything known that can be consumed to improve their athletic performance. As the financial rewards and prestige for elite athletic performance increase, the search for ergogenic aids that improve physical ability is likely to intensify. The cross-section of sports involved in the use of performance enhancement substances is rapidly increasing. This may be largely due to the easy accessibility to a diverse array of pharmacological substances, which has also broaden the range of physiological systems that can be manipulated for increased performance. Recombinant Human Growth Hormone (rhGH) is currently hailed as the fountain of youth and has been embraced by athletes for turning their bodies into younger, sleeker, and stronger performance machines. Growth hormone (GH) has been promoted in the athletic community as an ergogenic aid that can increase muscle hypertrophy and strength, increase local muscle endurance, reduce body fat, and has also been credited with the capacity to induce hyperplasia (the division of muscle cells).
As this war progresses, we must make sure that we have the very best weapons available. Research suggests that dietary calcium intake may prove to be an important nutritional weapon that is readily available for this purpose.
Recent research has demonstrated that when obese subjects are given a diet high in dietary calcium (1,200-1,300 mg/day), they lost 70% more body weight and 64% more body fat than those on low calcium diets! (Zemel, 2004) Over 800 subjects participated in a scientific investigation that concludes that a high intake of calcium is associated with lower weights. (Loos, 2003)
The most important successful factor of a coach is to help athletes to improve their athletic skill in a wide range of tasks from sequential development and mastery of basic skills for beginners, to the more specialized physical, technical, tactical and psychological preparation of elite athletes (Martens,1987; Bompa,1983). These functions are normally accomplished by the coach engaging in leadership behavior that effectively elicits appropriate actions from the athlete towards achieving set goals, in competitive or practice situations. The type of leadership behavior displayed by the coach can have a significant effect on the performance and psychological well being of the athlete (Horn, 1992). Consequently, effective coaching behavior varies across specific contexts as the characteristics of the athletes and the prescribed situation change (Chelladurai, 1978). The context of the sport situation and the characteristics of the coach and the athletes themselves dictate appropriate leadership behavior.
It was nearly thirty years ago that the author brought the ancient practice of Acupuncture and Shorinji Kempo (an ancient Zen Buddhist martial art) to Alabama from Japan. Several doctors had heard of acupuncture but few had actually seen it used and Stump was a doctor of Oriental Medicine working with the United States Sports Academy in Daphne, Alabama. He was to attend the 1986 Asian games in China and the 1988 Olympic games in Seoul, Korea as a team doctor.
If one word could be chosen to describe this work, it would have to be “Indispensable!” One of the truly great leaders in sport has combined the most essential ingredients for successful leadership into a concise and very practical volume.
As youth sports become increasingly popular, athletes and parents are looking for ways to gain a competitive edge. One topic that has been highly debated for the past few decades has been whether or not children and adolescents should participate in strength training programs. Despite the belief that strength training was dangerous or ineffective for children, the safety and effectiveness of such programs are now well documented.(1,2,3)
It has been mentioned in media that foods containing low glycemic sugars are beneficial to weight loss, but does the public understand what the glycemic index (GI) is and how it affects weight? This article will briefly explain how the glycemic index operates.
When I entered high school, people persuaded me to run cross-country during the fall. The cross-country coach convinced me of its ability to prepare me for basketball try- outs. During the season, I heard a myth that running cross-country actually made you slower in basketball. My coach said it was a myth and nothing but foolishness.