Buying Tips for Soccer Cleats

If you love soccer, what you need to keep in mind is that your soccer cleats should be of high quality. While playing, it’s your feet that play the most important part. Therefore, we suggest that you buy quality footwear. As a matter of fact, what you wear can make it easy or difficult for you to move here and there on the playing field. If you have been looking for a way to get your hands on the best pair, we have a few tips for you to achieve the same purpose. Read on.

Go Light

Make sure you purchase a cleat that is the lightest. Lighter ones let you run faster. Moreover, they don’t make you feel as tired as heavier versions. So, if you happen to be a forward and you are going to do most of the attacking, we suggest that you go for a light shoe. On the other hand, if you are a defender, we suggest that you go for a pair that is a little heavier. The reason is that heavier soccer cleats offer more protection.

Make Sure It Fits You

You should make certain that your soccer cleats fit you well. Also, you should try them on and ask the manager for permission to kick a ball for a bit so you can have a feel for them. Ideally, the maximum space between the shoe end and your big toe should be half an inch at most. If it is more than that, you may get blisters. And you may not want to end up in bed for a week because of the blisters. So, it’s a must that you buy a pair that fit you well. You can’t compromise on this at any cost.

Playing Field

If you play most of the games on a wet field, we suggest that you buy those with synthetic uppers. What does this mean? This means that the upper part of the soccer cleats should be made of artificial fibers. Actually, synthetic uppers tend to absorb less water compared to the leather ones. Aside from this, you can get those that are designed for ground, indoor fields and turf. However, if you can’t afford more than one pair, make sure you go for ground soccer cleats.

They Don’t Make the Best Player

Keep in mind that a costly pair of soccer cleats with high-end features can’t make you the best player. It all boils down to your natural talent, hard work and practice. As a matter of fact, some of the best players from Chile or Brazil kicked off playing in the streets or on the beach. With a quality pair of soccer cleats, you can have an edge over your opponents but it’s your hard work, smartness and talent that will beat them.

So, if you have been looking for a great pair of soccer cleats, we suggest that you keep these tips in mind. Hopefully, you will be able to get your hands on the best pair.

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Choosing the Right Soccer Shoes For the Game

Soccer shoes come in a wide variety of designs, colours and purposes. The most expensive shoes do not guarantee that it is appropriate for the sport. Wearing the right shoes in playing soccer is vital in performing well in the field and also avoids injuries.

Soccer shoes are designed with cleat patterns. The cleat pattern is specifically designed with a purpose in different field conditions. These cleats may come with screw-ins which have blade. There are designs for indoor and outdoor use. The indoor shoes look similar to the tennis shoes. Cleats are categorized as soft ground (SG) or hard ground (HD) styles.

When choosing the shoes, make sure that it fits your feet exactly and you feel comfortable wearing it. Make sure that you bring with you your shin guards when buying your shoes so that you can check if it fits your new shoes. It is also important that you purchase your shoes with excellent traction. This prevents accidents caused by slipping or sudden stops.

Here are some important tips when buying your shoes. The best time in buying your shoes is in the afternoon because your feet are definitely swollen because of the day’s activity. Tighten the shoe lace as you normally do when you are in the field. Try to walk around with your new shoes to have a feel of its interior.

So the next time you buy your new shoes for soccer, make sure to take not of the tips given or you will end up losing your winning goal because of bad shoes or you might get yourself and injury.

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8 Ways to Take Care of Your Soccer Cleats

If you have been playing soccer since your childhood, you probably know that you would bang your shoes against the brick wall to dislodge mud. While this was your way of keeping your cleats free of mud, there are some other better ways of achieving the same purpose. Let’s know more.

A Common Myth

Don’t use hot water to wash your cleats as it may ruin them. Some people think that this trick will loosen or expand the leather. As a result, the shoes will fit you better. This is just a myth. So, soaking your shoes in hot water is not a good idea. There are many other safer ways of washing your shoes.

Polish Them

To keep your leather cleats from drying out, you can use cream to polish them. However, don’t use this method unless your shoes are made from pure leather. Once you have cleaned the shoes, don’t forget to apply the cream each time. This will prevent cracks and increase the lifespan of your boots.

Keep Your Shoes Away From Intense Heat

Don’t put your soccer cleats near an intense source of heat, such as fire. This is more important when you have just cleaned your shoes. The intense heat from the sun or dryer, for instance, may dry out the cleat leather.

Take off Your Shoes After Each Play

After each play, make sure you remove your cleats and put them in the right place. Your cleats are not designed for casual walk. Your leather shoes may get damaged quickly if used on hard surfaces over a long period of time.

Clean Your Cleats thoroughly

Most of time, you don’t clean your cleats thoroughly due to lack of time or some other reason. You may miss some places, such as some tiny dents or cracks where dirt can get trapped in. If your cleats have dirt on them, they may appear a bit dingy. Therefore, you should scrub your shoes properly so that they look clean from all sides.

Use a Newspaper

After each wash, you can use newspaper to soak up the extra moisture from your cleats. Aside from soaking up the moisture, stuffing the paper inside the hollow section of the shoes will maintain the shape of the cleats.

Be Gentle

Usually, cleaning your cleats with lukewarm is a good idea. All you need is a piece of rag and warm water. However, make sure you don’t use soap or other cleaning agents. These things may damage the structure of the shoes.

Consult an expert

Lastly, if you have no idea as to how to take care of your soccer cleats, we suggest that you consult an expert, such as your trainer. They may give you some really useful practical tips that will help you perform the upkeep of your shoes. It’s better to consult a good professional instead of going the DIY route and end up damaging your expensive cleats.

Hopefully, these tips will help you take care of your soccer cleats.

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Fast Bowling Claims First Fatality in Cricket

The recent death of Phillip Hughes after he was hit by a short-pitched delivery in a local Sheffield Shield game in Sydney, Australia signifies the dangers of the modern game of cricket and the need for some changes to reduce the risks of injuries.

Hughes was hit on the back of the head in an area unprotected by his helmet. His death was an accident and the bowler Sean Abbott was in no way to blame.

Cricket is traditionally known as the gentleman's game and is supposedly to embody all that is fair and just in sport. However the commercialization of the game in the 1970's replaced sportsmanship with the principle of 'win at all costs'. This precipitated greater reliance on fast bowling as this was the most effective way of satisfying the desire to win which in turn increased the dangers to batsmen.

BODYLINE

The first major incident of dangerous short-pitched bowling was the 1932/33 Ashes tour of Australia (known as the Bodyline series). English fast bowlers Larwood and Voce, in order to counter the extraordinary skill of the great Australian batsman Don Bradman, deployed a tactical of bowling at his body on the leg side in order to get a deflection and have him taken by several fielders placed behind square leg.

This tactic proved effective but was contrary to the gentlemanly traditions of the game and over the next two decades the tactic was outlawed by the laws of cricket.

Although it was banned, Bodyline left an ugly legacy. Since then there have been numerous instances of injuries resulting from short-pitched bowling. For example, in 1962 Indian captain Nari Contractor's international career was ended after being hit by a rising ball from Charlie Griffith in Barbados. English batsman Andy Lloyd never played again after being hit by a short-pitched ball from Malcolm Marshall in 1984 at Edgbaston and England's Alex Tudor was hired by a Brett Lee delivery in Perth 2002 which also ended his career.

THE UGLY SIDE OF CRICKET

With the influx of big money into cricket in the 1970's winning became of paramount importance and teams increasingly made use of fast intimatory bowling as this was very effective in overcoming opponents. This tactic was also exciting and was seen as good for the game since it made cricket (especially one day cricket) more attractive. Teams with the most firepower always won and drew the biggest crowds.

A cricket ball consist of cork covered by leather and is hard and solid. As we saw in the case of Phillip Hughes' death it is capable of inflating serious injury if it hits a batsman in an unprotected area.

Fast bowlers bowl at speeds of 90 to 100 mph. They are strong cricketers and what they bowl amongst other unpleasant things is a delivery called the 'bouncer'. They produce this by banging the ball into the middle of the pitch with all the strength they can muster so that it rears up to chest or head height as it reaches the batsman. The purpose of it is to drive fear into the mind of the batsman so that he is convinced that, all things considered, he is better off in seeking the safety of the pavilion. You do not bowl at the jumps but aim at scalps.

In the mid 1970's the most famous pair of practitioners of fast bowling violence were Australians Jeff Thomson and Dennis Lillee. In two consecutive winters they humiliated England and the West Indies and propelled Australia to the pinnacle of world cricket. At home they bowled on wickets specifically prepared for them, in front of crowds that yelled "kill, kill, kill" and were aided by native umpires that wave visiting batsmen little protection.

After their 5-1 thrashing to Australia in 1975/76 the West Indies quickly learned the lesson that it was fast bowlers that won matches. They learned their lesson well. They tweaked the tactic and sinceforth deployed an all pace bowling attack working in tandem with each other with the idea that incessant pace would wear down batsmen and make it more difficult to protect not only their wickets but also their personal safety. This new tactic led to the West Indies' domination of cricket for nearly two decades.

CHANGES NEEDED

Bowling that thratens the body has become an accepted part of the struggle between bat and ball in modern cricket.

It is unfortunate that Phillip Hughes paid the ultimate price for playing the game he loved. To avoid a repetition of this tragedy new changes have to be made to provide more safety for batsmen:

First, young players need to learn how to evade or play short-pitched bowling. Because of the prevalence of one day cricket there is too much front-foot play and no knowledge of how to play faster bowlers off the back-foot or how to duck or sway to avoid a ball (ABConline – Phillip Hughes injury: Attacking focus and lack of evasive techniques putting youngger cricketers at risk of injury; by Rene Ferdinands, November 26, 2014).

Second, cricket helmets are not foolproof and their design needs to be altered to provide more protection for unprotected areas such as the back of the head so as to avoid a repetition of the Hughes tragedy.

Third, umpires need to make more use of their powers and enforce the laws of the game more strictly especially in stopping the overuse of bouncers.

Contrary to what some people suggest there is no need to change the rules and outlaw short-pitched bowling. Some amount of fear needs to be maintained as a part of the game but hopefully the price to keep it will not be too high.

Victor A. Dixon
December 2, 2014

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – On the Sunny Side of the Street

Never in Manchester United history was so much owed by so many to so few as when substitutes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Teddy Sheringham in tandem together wrote soccer poetry with their feet in the Champions League final versus Bayern Munich in 1999. Indeed, the match against the German club was to become the pinnacle of Solskjaer’s long and illustrious footballing career.

Born in the small town of Kristiansund on February 26th 1973, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer began his playing career with local club Clausenengen. Even though the Manchester United faithful hardly raised an eyebrow when he arrived in Manchester in 1996, it did not take long for the supporters to realise the club had unearthed a real find. A no-nonsense performer with a powerful work ethic, his drive and determination inspired his Old Trafford team-mates and put fear into opponents. Scoring several crucial goals for Manchester United during the 1996/97 campaign, Solskjaer finished as the club’s top scorer with 18 League goals in his very first season at The Theatre of Dreams.

Although the Norwegian striker had his soccer career cut short by injuries in 2007, he stayed with the Old Trafford club and eventually took over the reigns of the Manchester United Reserves the following year. As for the international stage, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made his first appearance for Norway in a friendly against Jamaica in Kingston on 26 November 1995, and went on to collect a total of 67 senior caps for his native country. In honour of the loyal Manchester United stalwart, a fully deserved testimonial game was staged against Espanyol in front of an incredible 68,000 crowd at Old Trafford in August 2008.

After finding the back of the net on his Manchester United debut at home to Blackburn Rovers in August 1996, the Norway international proceeded to make a total of 366 outings for the Manchester Reds, scoring 126 goals. Indisputably, the highlight of Solskjaer’s footballing life came in the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final when he netted the winning goal against Bayern Munich in the last minute of the match, winning the coveted Treble for Manchester United.

In retrospect, the prodigious Norseman was no doubt one of the most significant footballing servants ever to pull on the famous red shirt in Manchester United history. Sir Alex Ferguson has without doubt had some notable success in the transfer market in the past, and the £1.5 million he paid Norwegian outfit Molde to sign Solskjaer seems like a complete bargain by today’s prices.

«We had to score some goals after the pressure we had. It’s unbelievable and it’s very difficult to describe how I feel just now. But if people still wonder why I stay at Manchester United they can see why. The team spirit, it is unbelievable.» – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer quote.

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