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Scott Huntington

How to Get Into Golf

By | Golf | No Comments

They call it golf because all the other four-letter words were taken. This ages-old sport is steeped in tradition, and despite being the target of a great many jokes by its own fanbase, it continues to find new players every day.

One aspect of the sport that can be a challenge to many new golfers is the steep learning curve. It can take years to become a proficient golfer, so it’s important to begin your journey on the right foot. Let’s take a look at a few suggestions for new players that can help keep them progressing and make it fun.

Don’t Obsess Over Equipment Just Yet

Golf can feel like a bit of a gear sport, and there are advantages to having the right equipment when you’ve got your technique figured out. When you’re new, though, you don’t know what that equipment will be because you haven’t established a basic swing. Instead of spending your money on the hottest new set of clubs, spend it on time on the course or lessons to help you find what works for you. Then, when you’re more comfortable, go out and find some clubs you like.

Lessons Are Important

Golfing with your pal who’s a scratch golfer might seem like a good idea. In reality, it could just be an exercise in frustration and a good way to ruin a perfectly good friendship. Spend the money to get some lessons. Private and group lessons are available, and when you work with a golf pro whose job is to help people learn, you’ll see why we say this.

There are so many things to keep in mind when developing your swing. You might work your way right out of one bad habit into a new one. By working with a pro, you’ll have an objective set of eyes to coach your game. You’ll be able to enjoy the time you spend golfing with friends that much more, because you won’t be relying on them to help you improve. You can tell them to just keep their advice to themselves.

Learn Golf Etiquette

Respecting the rules of the course is important in golf. Some golfers are more hard-nosed than others, but anyone should know the regulations and be able to play to the letter if they’re asked to. Certain basics, like how to dress appropriately for the course and the importance of being around for your tee time, hold true wherever you are. Rules about when to add a stroke may vary in their stringency depending on who you’re playing with.

Typically, higher-end, more exclusive courses demand that you adhere more closely to the rules of etiquette. When you’re a beginner, you may not have access to a country club or private course, so make sure you ask someone who invites you to play at their home course whether there are special requirements.

Golf can be a lot of fun once you’re up to speed. Begin things the right way so you can quickly move out of the frustrating early stages and begin enjoying the game.

How to Ride an E-Bike

By | Biking, Other Sports | No Comments

E-bikes, or electric bicycles, are growing in popularity in the United States and around the world. By 2023, the industry is expected to sell more than 40 million units globally. If you’re considering purchasing an e-bike, what do you need to know before you bring one home? Are there any tricks to caring for one? How long will a charge last? Here’s everything you need to know about going electric.

What Is an E-Bike?

E-bike is short for an electric bike. These models come equipped with a small motor and a rechargeable battery. Unlike other bicycle motors, these electric ones aren’t designed to turn your bike into a motorcycle. Instead, it offers a bit of a boost to help riders conquer hills or other challenging terrains.

Electric bicycles are becoming a popular choice for commuters in cities around the globe because you can ride your bike to work without putting a ton of effort into it. You’re still the primary power source for forwarding momentum, but you don’t have to exhaust yourself trying to get up hills.

How to Ride an E-Bike

If you know how to ride a bicycle, you might think you know how to ride an e-bike — but they’re not exactly the same thing. Instead of pedaling at full tilt to maintain your top speed, you only need to occasionally spin the pedals to keep yourself going. The max will depend on the specifications of your e-bike, but most models top out at around 15 mph. You may find models that offer between 20 and 28 mph, but the motor will stop engaging at that point.

They may also have a variety of settings — like low to save power when you’re pedaling down a flat highway or boost to help you get up a steep hill.

You will need to continue to pedal to keep the motor engaged, though. It won’t do all the work for you.

Keeping Your E-Bike Charged

The big difference between an e-bike and a regular bicycle is that you need to keep it charged. Most e-bikes come with a charger, and most will take between two and six hours to reach full power. If you don’t have that much time, an aftermarket charger can help. Some are capable of charging your e-bike battery up to 400% faster than the stock model that comes with your bike.

Choosing Electric for The Environment

If you’re looking for a way to reduce your carbon footprint while still commuting to and from work, an e-bike might be the best option. Not only does it help keep you fit because you’re the primary power source — the battery and motor only assist — but it also creates no emissions. They get even greener if you charge them with wind or solar energy.

E-Bikes Are the Right Choice

E-bikes are becoming more popular, and with good reason. They allow you to stay fit and exercise on your commute without exhausting yourself trying to get up any hills that might lay in your path. They’re better for the environment, help reduce traffic congestion and just look cool.

There is a bit of a learning curve if you’re transitioning from a traditional bicycle to an e-bike. Just remember that the motor isn’t doing all the work for you, and you need to keep pedaling to maintain your speed. While you’ll never be as fast as a motorcycle, it’s still faster than riding a human-powered bicycle. Don’t forget to keep it charged, and your e-bike will serve you well — and save you from traffic jams — for years to come.

How to Go Whitewater Rafting

By | Other Sports | No Comments

Navigating a challenging set of rapids is the kind of rewarding, soul-stirring adventure that helps remind you you’re alive. What if you’ve never done it before, though? Is it wise just to hop in a raft and charge on down the river? Anyone with a sense of self-preservation would say no.

Whitewater is a more accessible sport than you might think. Guided tours of most popular rafting spots are simple to book, and because permits are required in many areas, we recommend working through a guide until you understand the logistics of setting up a trip. Here’s how you can get started.

Choose A Beginner-Level Rapid

California, Colorado and Oregon are just a few states that offer excellent rafting opportunities for beginners. Many guides don’t require helmets for class 1 and 2 rapids, which makes this an easy way to get familiar with being in the raft, maneuvering and just the experience. It also makes taking the whole family along less stressful. Rafting is a nice happy medium for those who want to get extreme, but can’t imagine something like skydiving.

If the sport appeals to you, you can easily book a trip for a more challenging rapid that will test your rafting skills. If you discover it’s your sport, there are many opportunities to get out and see beautiful country you might otherwise miss. It’s even been connected to feelings of accomplishment, relaxation and nature appreciation, for obvious reasons. Maybe you’d like to plan a multiday rafting expedition down a longer stretch of river, for example. It’s possible with a little practice.

Be Ready to Get Wet and Wild

Water is right there in the name, and it’s a big part of the rafting experience. You can expect to come away from your expedition tired and wet, but that doesn’t mean you’ll feel bad. Rafting is fun with the right equipment.

You should dress in synthetic fabrics that won’t pull heat away and will dry quickly when you get out of the raft. As for footwear, trade your flip-flops for a grippy pair of sandals or water shoes. Many rafting injuries occur outside the raft while navigating slippery rocks. Wear plenty of sunscreen, and be sure to apply it everywhere — not just the places you think will see the sun. Failing to do so can lead to nasty burns on a multihour rafting trip. Don’t bring anything you aren’t completely OK with getting soaked.

Leave the electronics, wallets and cherished family heirlooms out of the raft. As you ramp up your difficulty level, be prepared to get dunked entirely. Some rides just come with the expectation that you’ll be ejected. Be sure to bring your game face. You can burn just as many calories in a good day of rafting as you would in the gym, so buff up those arms and legs/ You’ll need them to stabilize yourself and steer the raft through challenging bumps.

The Right Whitewater Experience

As an extreme sport nearly anyone can get out and try, rafting is really an underappreciated pastime. You might be amazed at how easy it is to get hooked, so sign up for a whitewater adventure today and try it out for yourself. You might get a little wet, but you’ll feel a whole lot better afterward.

How to Train for a Triathlon

By | Biking, Other Sports, Running, Swimming | No Comments

Triathlon races are mentally and physically challenging, but with the drive to properly train, your body can be sufficiently prepped to perform well in a matter of weeks.

To compete in a triathlon, you’ve got to be in peak condition for cycling, running and swimming.

If your exercise has been inconsistent, it’s best to give yourself roughly 12 weeks to get in shape for the race. During this time, the focus of your workouts should be to improve your endurance, integrating combination workouts to prepare for the race’s mixture of physical activities.

It’s important to remember that triathletes need to conserve their energy for subsequent legs of the race, so their workouts shouldn’t be the same as athletes exclusively conditioning for cycling, running or swimming.

While you shouldn’t allow yourself to get bogged down doing the same workouts as you train, you can take advantage of developing strengths beneficial to multiple parts of the race.

In preparation for your triathlon, develop specific conditioning and increase your performance in each of the areas of a triathlon.

Conditioning for Cycling

With cycling, work on developing a cadence to your pedaling during your workouts. Once you get more comfortable in a rhythm that works for you, your cycling movements will develop instinctively, propelling you toward greater success.

Practice in varying terrains with different gears to acclimate your body to numerous conditions. During your rides, be sure to also rehearse shifting gears, starting, stopping, turning and even drinking from your water bottle in the midst of cycling.

Develop a consistent cycling workout strategy, planning for two to three sessions on your bike each week while gradually building up your endurance so you can comfortably ride between 15 and 20 miles at once.

Conditioning for Running

One of the most difficult sections of a triathlon to tackle is the transition from cycling to running.

To account for this and prepare yourself, introduce combination workouts — also known as brick workouts — into your training. These sessions force you to complete your cycling and running workouts back-to-back.

Similar to cycling, for your running workouts, establish a stride cadence to settle into a relaxed, steady rhythm. Lean slightly forward and ease your hands, allowing your arms to comfortably swing.

Plan to run two to three times per week while training, with one of those runs following your longest bike ride as part of your brick workout. You can train to build on your speed with sprints, but only do so once you can complete at least three miles.

Conditioning for Swimming

Even if you consider yourself a good swimmer, you’ll likely have to adjust your techniques to more adequately suit swimming in a triathlon, as the skills necessary for excellence differ from those you’d use in a regular pool.

For triathletes, swimming outside in a generally uncontrolled environment poses a more considerable challenge, as they could encounter choppy waters and currents. In these conditions, triathletes tend to rely on the freestyle stroke to propel them through open waters.

Experienced swimmers who trained in pools are probably used to breathing close to the surface, but in a triathlon, this would give you a mouthful of water. Instead, triathletes need to develop a high-profile style of breathing where they don’t come up for air too close to the surface.

As for kicking, bearing in mind the cycling and running portions ahead, triathletes should conserve their stamina and aim to kick less frequently than swimmers would in a pool. Balancing and body position likewise play a huge role in sustaining energy, since your body needs to exert more effort to correct itself whenever it’s off balance.

Exercise Properly and Work on Crossover Benefits

Every stage in a triathlon requires a shared skillset. Whether you’re conditioning for cycling, running or swimming, you’re improving your aptitude to handle other legs of the race through transferable training. If there are particular areas you may be weaker in, strengthen your ability to manage them by making the most out of crossover benefits during your workouts.

With proper discipline and thorough training, it won’t take long for you to become a successful triathlete and thrive while competing.

5 Water Sports You Should Try This Summer

By | Other Sports | No Comments

Summer is the perfect time for trying new things. The days are longer, the sun is brighter and the warm weather creates a number of new opportunities, particularly for sports enthusiasts. The summer heat opens the door to a number of different water sports, most of which are simple enough to try on your own.

Water sports are a great opportunity for summer fun, for both families and individuals alike. It’s not an issue if you don’t own any of the necessary equipment — most water sport equipment is readily available and easy to rent. There are dozens of different water sport activities that you can attempt, but here are the five you should try this year.

1. PaddleBoarding

Paddleboarding is an exciting way to get out on the water and explore. Not to mention, it can be a great workout! Paddleboarding is different from other water sports because the user stands on the board and pushes themselves forward with a long paddle. While paddle boarding can certainly be a relaxing way to experience the ocean or your local lake, it’s also an opportunity to tone your muscles. This can be a workout for your arms, core and legs!

2. Kayaking

Kayaking is a great way to exercise on virtually any body of water. These small, dynamic crafts are perfect for your local lake or river, but can also provide an enjoyable day in a bay or off the coast. There are a number of different styles of kayaks, and you should ensure you have the right type for your outing. For example, whitewater kayaking is a thrilling experience that is a perfect summertime activity, but you want to ensure your kayak is built for these conditions.

3. Jet Skiing

One truly intense water sport that deserves your attention this season is jet skiing. These crafts can fly across the water, and using them is certainly an adrenaline-filled experience. Jet skis are perfect for a weekend trip to the lake and are very straightforward to operate and use. Safety is important because of how fast these machines can go, but they can provide for a fun-filled day of competition.

4. Whitewater Rafting

Another intense water sport that demands a place in the spotlight is whitewater rafting. This water sport is a true adventure where a small group works to navigate rafts down a rapid-moving turbulent river. This is definitely a summer activity that should be done with a group under the eye of an experienced guide. Outfitters across the country regularly take groups out on the water for this adrenaline-pumping experience!

5. Kitesurfing

Another water sport that should make its way into your itinerary for the summer season is kitesurfing. If you find yourself at the shore looking for an intense and exciting experience, look no further than kitesurfing. This sport combines the traditional surfboard and waves with a large kite that completely changes the dynamic and makes kitesurfing a unique sport of its own. Kitesurfing can be somewhat difficult to master initially, but once you do, you can gain some serious speed and maneuverability on the water by capturing air with the kite.

Which Water Sport Will You Try First?

There are dozens of different water sports you can try this summer. This list can help you get started, but the possibilities are endless. Water sports are perfect for people of all ages!

Why you should get golf lessons

By | Golf, Major Sports | No Comments

People enjoy the game of golf for many different reasons. Some like the thrill of the competition and tournaments while others enjoy the comradery it can bring on warm weekend mornings/afternoons. It tests patience, understanding and strategy. Other great benefits of the game include golf’s health and stress-relief benefits along with its ease of learning. If you are 16 or 56, picking up a golf club and practicing your swing does not take that much energy and time.

Why should you learn the game? Here are the top three benefits learning to golf can have on your life.

1. Improve Your Social Life

Golf is not a game that lasts only an hour. There is no one there to rush you and no time clock ticking down to signal the end of a quarter or half. This is a perfect and therefore popular setting among friends with this common interest. It promotes strategy, friendly competition and an avenue to meet new people. Plus, spending time outside and the social aspect of golf correlates directly with your emotional health.

Some areas host tournaments for those interested in taking their skills to the next level. No matter your skill level, there is always something to learn to make you a better player.

2. Challenge Yourself Personally

Sometimes you don’t even need to venture out to a course to get some practice swings in. Some facilities offer rows of spots where people can go up, purchase golf balls and start practicing. These are popular for those interested in perfecting their swing in the long run. It offers a safe area to swing as hard/fast/strong as you want without having to worry about hitting anyone else around you. The serene setting is also a great spot to unwind from long hours of daily stress.

It’s the ideal way to perfect your game regularly.

3. Focus on the Professional Aspect

Believe it or not, golf can be professional as well. Many business leaders — including Presidents of the United States — use golf as an informal setting for business meetings. This could be one of the reasons why many see golf as largely a male sport. If you are someone interested in climbing the corporate ladder, see if your boss likes to play, then seek an invite to the next golf outing. This experience could put you on your boss’ radar and provide the opportunity to learn new things about them you wouldn’t otherwise know.

Even if you don’t talk much, an invitation is a great step that not many people get to experience.

Where Lessons Come In

From amateurs to pro-level, taking a golf lesson will only increase your strength on the course. If you’re hesitant to dive in, start by taking a lesson or sign up for a series of lessons at your local golf course. You can receive training from professionals in a comfortable setting.

If you have kids interested in the sport, this is the perfect opportunity for them to learn the foundations of a sport that will challenge and teach them. Golf can provide an avenue for families to pursue a shared activity together.

Time to Hit the Course

There are so many benefits that golf can bring to your life. Whether it is professionally or you need a space for yourself to unwind, there is nothing quite like a golf course to help make your life even better.

How to Work out Safely in the Cold

By | Fitness | No Comments

If you have an exercise routine which takes you outside, you’re not going to pause it for three to four months out of the year. You have to find ways to acclimate to the cold. Of course, this isn’t as simple as it sounds, and it’s far more involved than wearing a heavy coat, hat and gloves and hoping for the best.

Depending on your regimen, you’ll have to take a strategic approach to wintertime fitness. Otherwise, you could place yourself at risk of injury or illness. With this in mind, what should you do to ensure you’re safe while exercising in the cold, and how can you preempt problems associated with winter weather?

We’ll walk you through five tips to keep you warm and comfortable in any conditions. Just follow the suggestions below.

1. Keep the Wind at Your Back

It isn’t always possible, but you should try to complete the second half of your workout with the wind at your back. You’ll have worked up a sweat by the time you enter the last stretch of your routine, and you’ll avoid a chill if you manage to keep the wind behind you. It’s a small, but no less important, detail.

On the subject of wind and inclement weather, you should pay attention to the forecast. If the wind chill is too much or the forecast is calling for freezing rain, you might want to reschedule your session. Alternatively, you could move your workout indoors where you won’t have to consider the cold.

2. Protect Vulnerable Areas

Most of your blood flow concentrates in your core as you exercise, which makes your hands, feet and ears susceptible to the cold. Make sure to protect these vulnerable areas with thin gloves and hats — nothing bulky, but enough to keep you comfortable as you move through your regimen.

If you have a little extra money to spare, you might also want to invest in a pair of shoes that are a size too big. It’ll enable you to wear thicker socks. As for the rest of your outfit, dress in layers, but prepare to take them off and put them back on, depending on how much you exert yourself.

3. Choose Clear Running Paths

When you run on sidewalks with packed snow and ice, you’re risking an accident. The foot and ankle areas are under high stress in the wintertime, which often results in stress fractures. They’re a highly common foot injury during this particular season, and you have to take special care as you jog.

You’ll avoid these winter injuries if you familiarize yourself with safe running paths. When you search for frequented and cleared trails other people traverse regularly, you can trust they’re free of any obstacles or obstructions which could cause issues. Set aside time to do a little research.

4. Know the Signs of Frostbite

Frostbite is most common on your ears, nose and cheeks, but it can also harm your hands and feet. The early signs of frostbite include a loss of feeling, numbness and a stinging sensation. If you notice any of these signs during your workout, move indoors as soon as possible.

Once you’re out of the cold, warm the affected the areas, but don’t rub them, as it could cause additional damage. You should go to the emergency room if the numbness doesn’t go away, but that’s a worst-case scenario. As long as you follow standard advice for winter safety, you’ll prevent any problems.

5. Remember Basic Protocol

It’s all too easy to forget the basics when you’re exercising in an environment you’re not accustomed to. The same rules still apply, and you have to hydrate before, during and after your workout. Drinking water is critical, as it’s more difficult to notice the effects of dehydration in colder weather.

Sunscreen is also essential, and you should choose a product which blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Lip balm with protective properties is also a smart idea. Though you’re working out in low temperatures with snow and ice, it’s best to take the same precautions as you would in spring or summer.

Start Your Regimen With Confidence

The next time you step outside to start your exercise routine, make sure you’re safe and secure. Wear the right clothing, choose clear paths others have used and keep the wind at your back during the second half of your workout. Remember basic protocol and remain aware of the signs of frostbite.

When you follow the five suggestions above, you can feel confident throughout your wintertime regimen.

The History of Little League Baseball

By | Baseball, Major Sports | No Comments

Few feelings come close to the satisfaction of hitting a home run. With the weighty crack of the bat and the cheer of excited parents and fans, it’s easy to understand why baseball is “America’s Pastime” for adults and children alike. It earned that title in the 1800s, around the same time that Little League was getting its start.

Late 1800s

In the 1880s, pre-teen children in New York began to form their own baseball leagues, swept up in the popularity of the sport. These smaller, ragtag groups were far from the Little League organizations we’re familiar with today, but they had the same spirit, enthusiasm and passion for the game.

Unfortunately, these leagues never flourished, weakened from an affiliation with adult “club” teams. Children chose to play “pickup” baseball in streets or sandlots instead, using substandard equipment like taped and re-taped bats and balls, unable to find anything in their size.

Early 1900s

The American Legion developed a baseball program for teenage boys in the 1920s, which is a program which still exists today. As this was happening, schools started to form their own baseball programs, but there were still no options for pre-teen boys who wanted to participate in organized games.

This changed in 1938 when Carl Stotz decided to organize a baseball league for boys in his hometown of Williamsport, Pa. Though he had no sons of his own, he wanted to create a program for his nephews, Jimmy and Major Gehron, whom he played baseball with often.

Mid-1900s

The first season in 1939 was a success, but World War II soon entered the picture. Many fathers in the United States joined the military, and priorities shifted away from Little League Baseball. By 1946, only 12 leagues organized around Stotz’s original model existed.

The following year, the original Little League board of directors organized a tournament for all known Little League programs. They called it the National Little League Tournament. Eventually, the tournament was renamed Little League Baseball World Series, as it’s called today.

Little League soon grew to encompass 94 leagues, then grew to 307 leagues in 1949. A feature about Little League Baseball in the Saturday Evening Post spread the story to more than 14 million people, and communities across the country jumped at the opportunity to start their own programs.

Over the next several years, interest in Little League only continued to grow. The first leagues outside the U.S. formed at both ends of the Panama Canal, with the first permanent league organizing in British Columbia. This momentum — and the public spotlight — made Little League a recognizable name.

Today

Countries around the world, from Japan to Uganda, have organized their own Little League programs. What started as a kind gesture on the part of Carl Stotz has transformed into an international sensation, televised on ESPN with incredible viewership.

Though Little League has come a long way since its humble beginnings in the streets and sandlots of New York, that same spirit, enthusiasm and passion still remain. Those ragtag groups of kids who played with second-rate bats and balls would feel proud to see their dream realized.

Today, people who are interested in forming a program in their community have plenty of resources to get started. As long as they approach the task with a commitment to seeing it through, they’ll provide an opportunity for children in their area to enjoy the magic of baseball and everything the sport has to offer.

The Future

Running the bases after smacking a home run while fans roar with excitement is an event that will continue to thrill pre-teens for decades to come. With the support of professional baseball players, interest in Little League is experiencing even more growth, and the sport will no doubt endure to uplift and inspire new generations of young players and adult volunteer organizers alike.

The 5 Best Sports for Kids

By | Major Sports | No Comments

Parenting is one of the most difficult jobs on earth. There are so many tough questions to ask and choices to make. Today’s parents are finding it more difficult to encourage their kids to be active, a problem nobody would have conceived 40 years ago.

It’s sad but true. Video games and other popular technologies have stolen the spotlight from more physical activities that kids need to be healthy. Think about what your child’s interests are and whether they might be attracted to one of the sports on this list. It’s vital for a child to be invested, since 70 percent of kids abandon team sports by the time they turn 13. The psychological lessons that come from working as part of a team and learning to cooperate with others will stay with kids for a lifetime.

These are all great ways to get kids active, encourage social interaction and maybe even learn a few life lessons.

1. Soccer

The sport that the rest of the world knows as football is a great children’s game that teaches coordination, encourages athleticism and strengthen’s teamwork skills. Soccer is played all around the world, and people begin learning the game as early as age 4. In the past, soccer was less popular in the United States. However, the game has seen a resurgence, with team USA becoming competitive in World Cup competition and Major Leauge Soccer seeing top stars from Europe come to the U.S. to play. That means kids have more heroes to look up to than ever before.

2. Baseball

Baseball is a great way to teach coordination in a more detail-oriented environment. Kids can start their baseball career early playing tee-ball and advance through a well-developed system of Little League, as well as more competitive organizations like American Legion Baseball. Baseball has been called America’s pastime and is a sport steeped in history and tradition. Watching the ball and learning to catch and throw will help develop important hand-eye coordination skills.

3. Basketball

Basketball is an excellent way for kids to learn body control and quick decision-making. It’s a team game that involves a lot of substitution. This can pose a challenge at first, but it’s a great tool for kids to learn the importance of sharing time on the court with their teammates.

4. Cycling

You might be surprised to see something that’s not considered a team sport on this list. Although there are teams in competitive cycling, what’s more important for children is to learn balance, coordination and a mode of transport. For many kids, riding a bike is the best way to get from point A to point B long before driving is allowed. The cycling community is huge and allows children to develop their interest in a number of different directions, including road cycling, mountain biking and BMX. Plus, they’ll quit bothering you for rides all the time.

5. Martial Arts

Some parents might balk at the idea of their child doing a combat sport. However, if you find the right dojo or gym, there are a multitude of benefits. A good karate or other martial arts school teaches children how important it is to never use what they learn out of malice. Rather than encourage conflict, this sport can teach children how to avoid it, along with the important values of confidence, self-discipline, respect and mental toughness. If there ever is cause for them to defend themselves, they can put what they learned into action. That’s actually something parents can take comfort in.

Make Time for Sports

Being present in your child’s development is something every parent wants, and sports create great opportunities for that. Imagine how good your child will feel putting the skills you’ve helped them learn into action with you watching on the sidelines. Sports are a good metaphor for life in that regard. Kids who integrate sports into their lives have a richer social experience and develop essential life skills. They’re also more likely to be healthy because of the benefits of the physical activity.

Help your child choose a sport they enjoy playing, and encourage them every step of the way. They will reap the benefits for a lifetime.

How to Get Into Professional Bowling

By | Bowling, Other Sports | No Comments

Bowling strike after strike, weekend after weekend, you might start thinking to yourself, “I’m pretty good at this. Maybe I should go pro.” And, while it’s tough to become a professional in any sport, you might have what it takes to pursue a bowling career. Here’s how to get started.

Check That You Qualify

Different countries and regions have their own professional bowling leagues — for instance, there is an Asian Bowling Federation, as well as the European Bowling Tour of the European Tenpin Bowling Federation. In the United States, professional bowlers and those who aspire to join their ranks answer to the Professional Bowlers Association, also known as the PBA.

To become a member of the PBA, you must ensure you meet one of the following requirements:

Although the first two requirements read quite clearly, the third option might need a bit of explaining. The PBA holds its professional tour events around the country, but it also organizes regional tournaments on a much smaller scale. You can sign up for one of the PBA’s non-professional events and, if you place near the top of the leaderboard, then you can parlay your success into PBA membership.

Of course, membership is just the beginning of your journey — even if you qualify, there’s still a ways to go to becoming a professional bowler.

Sign up for the Qualifiers

Once you’ve earned your spot in the PBA, you’re ready to sign up for your first Tour Qualifying Round (TQR). At any PBA tournament, the exempt — read: top — bowlers can choose whether or not to participate. They sign up for spots at will, and any remaining spots go to the winners of the TQR.

So, to make it to the big tournament, you first have to win the qualifying round. This means you’ll be bowling quite a bit, and it can be tiring to reach the finals, let alone win or play well in them. That’s why the goal of many pro bowlers is to earn an exemption. Here’s how you can make it happen:

  • Top all non-exempt members – those who bowl in TQRs – on the World Point Ranking list
  • Win a standard PBA tour title
  • Earn a spot on the World Point Ranking list, although only 42 qualify this way
  • Place 7th or higher in the previous year’s PBA Regional Players Invitational
  • Pick up an exemption that you deferred or paused due to medical needs or hardship
  • Earn the Golden Parachute, an exemption awarded to a single non-exempt player by the PBA’s leadership team
  • Win a major championship, such as the U.S. Open or the Tournament of Champions. This one comes with a multi-year exemption, so aim high!

Some of these avenues are more far-fetched than others — there’s only one Golden Parachute per year, after all. In most cases, you have the best shot to earn an exemption by entering as many TQRs as possible to either have enough points to qualify or win the tournament.

Take Care of Your Equipment

As a professional bowler, you’ll want bespoke equipment and gear — no more renting shoes and borrowing balls from the alley. Before you invest in anything, though, check out the PBA’s list of requirements. When it comes to shoes, for example, bowlers can only don footwear from Dexter, 3G, Storm, Hammer or Brunswick at PBA League competitions.

Bowling balls will also be under scrutiny — so be sure you have one that’s approved. Older models manufactured before 1982 are also legal to use, so long as the ball’s manufacturer still has approval in the appropriate category.

Once you invest in the shoes, ball, gloves and other equipment you need, it’s up to you to take expert care of your supplies. This especially applies to your ball, the tool with which you’ll knock down pins and, hopefully, earn enough points to go pro.

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Perhaps the most vital step in the maintenance process is routinely resurfacing your ball. This restores the pores of the ball, which create the hook and grip you need to hit the pins just right. A good rule of thumb is to resurface your ball after every 60 games you play. In between resurfacing, you should re-polish every 10 games and wash your ball with degreasing liquid soap every 30 games. With that, your ball will always be at its best, making you even more likely to win.

Become a PBA Exempt Bowler

Once you’ve followed all of the above steps and earned your exempted spot in the PBA, the journey has just begun. You’ll have to battle each year to retain your status unless, of course, you win a major tournament that comes with a multi-year exemption.

Clearly, it’s not simple to become a professional bowler, but the good news is that it’s possible. All that’s left to do is get started!