Healthy Competitive Sports

There’s a lot of controversy about the value of encouraging children to play competitive amateur sports.

There’s a lot of controversy about the value of encouraging children to play competitive amateur sports. For some of us, that this is even a subject for debate is counter-intuitive and not a little bizarre. Sports build character. It’s axiomatic. But there is healthy competition, which enriches the lives and development of children, and unhealthy, win-at-all-costs competition. How do we encourage and support the former, while avoiding the unfortunate consequences of the latter?

This week, we’ll take a look at what to avoid and what to encourage in kids’ healthy competitive sports. The answer to competition’s dark side- the win-at-all-costs, hate your enemy extremes- is not to abandon competition altogether, but to find and support what’s best in the game.

Then, we’ll identify the key element of keeping sports clean and look into ways to leverage modern technology to encourage, rather than discourage, athletics and competition.

Having a healthy, physical outlet for our kids has never been more important. Stick around for a week of discussion and advice around the theme of encouraging healthy competitive sports for kids.

Floyd of Rosedale Trophy

While the victor at the French Open takes home a replica this year’s Grand Prix trophy is awarded, there is one unique, irreplaceable trophy of which only the replica remains

While the victor at the French Open takes home a replica this year’s Grand Prix trophy is awarded, there is one unique, irreplaceable trophy of which only the replica remains:  Floyd the pig.

Before there was a Floyd of Rosedale Trophy, given annually to the winner of the Iowa-Minnesota college football game, there was a live, snorting prize hog called Floyd of Rosedale, named for the governor of Minnesota and the Iowa farm where the animal once lived.

Floyd’s career as a living trophy was a short one. He was the price of a wager on the 1935 Hawkeyes/Gophers game between Governor Clyde Herring of Iowa and Minnesota Governor Floyd B. Olson, but died of cholera a year after the game.

Sports athletes are among the most competitive bunch of people – especially if they are fighting for one of the most coveted trophies of all time. In the case of Minnesota and Iowa football fans, this has to be the Floyd of Rosedale – a trophy that has been passed from one team to the other over the years. Find out more about the importance of this title to the players and their fans from Tyler Mason’s article.

Other strange trophies exist. Two football teams fight it out for a cannon. Yes, it’s true – the prize awarded to the winning team is a 545 pound gun with a fifty-five millimeter barrel. How in the world did that happen? ‘Fremont Cannon Among Many Odd Rivalry Trophies in College Football’ by Dave Toplikar explains the history behind the cannon and also writes about several other strange trophies.

The Musketeers Cup

La Coupe des Mousquetaires (“The Cup of the Musketeers”) is the trophy awarded to the men’s singles winner of the French Open.

The Musketeers Cup or La Coupe des Mousquetaires is the trophy awarded to the men’s singles winner of the French Open. No one will ever victory-dive into a pool with this beauty, however:  the winner is granted the singular honor of gently handling the trophy for a few moments before returning it to protective custody.

Once a year, on the day of the final, the original cup leaves the office of the President of the Federation for just few hours: the winner takes only a replica home with him. But it is a beauty of a replica!

Every year silversmiths devote over a hundred hours’ work to making the Musketeers Cup replica, which is slightly smaller than the original, transforming a simple sheet of solid silver into a work of art. The metal tamers take a month in the workshop to perform this task – a thing of beauty.

Pinewood Derby is More Than Victory

The Pinewood Derby gives many young men their first taste of public recognition for personal achievement.

The Pinewood Derby gives many young men their first taste of public recognition for personal achievement. It’s not just a race, however; as each Scout designs, builds, paints, and races their own car, there are dozens of opportunities for each contestant to distinguish themselves. Many former Scouts we know, despite having outgrown their little blue uniform decades past, still make room on their award shelf for those first boyhood pinewood derby trophies and awards. Consider this, from the BSA leadership training module on hosting a Pinewood Derby competition:

A key element of Cub Scouting is recognition of personal achievement rather than simple victory. We do this by providing a way of recognizing the achievement of each boy rather than simply celebrating the car that was fastest down the track.

You can recognize craftsmanship, paint jobs, funny cars (cars built to look like bedsteads or forest animals), stock car racers, Indy cars, or even give the Cub Scouts a ballot and have them pick a Cub’s choice. When you consider first-, second-, and third-place winners in each category, you can see that it is easy to spread recognition as wide as you wish it to be. There are no limits to your creativity in creating recognition for the Cub Scout.

Achievement is more that coming in first, second, or third. It is a matter of distinguishing yourself by way of personal effort and ambition, in any category.

Jonathan Paget Wins Badminton Trophy

Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials have been won by Jonathan Paget, who managed to secure the trophy by a difference of .3 points

Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials have been won by Jonathan Paget, who managed to secure the badminton trophy by a difference of 0.3 points, right ahead of Michael Jung, an Olympian, World and European champion. Jayne Bennett talks all about Jonathan Paget, his story, and how he won the Badminton horse trials.

Source: http://www.wiltsglosstandard.co.uk/sport/10402281.Jonathan_Paget_wins_Badminton_2013_title/

Acknowledge Talent with Awards

The world of work has changed in recent years. Gone are the days when an individual would work at the same job or with the same company for years and years, retiring after decades of faithful service.

The world of work has changed in recent years. Gone are the days when an individual would work at the same job or with the same company for years and years, retiring after decades of faithful service. With a great deal of companies, both large and small going out of business, merging with others or otherwise changing in some form, that type of behavior is not as likely to be seen in these more modern times.

Technology’s Role

Even though the global economy seems to still be struggling, start up companies abound. Plenty of people have innovative ideas that are designed to harness the energy and advances of the technological era. These types of businesses continue to pop up in spite of all the economic changes. Businesses of this type also seem to attract the best and brightest of the talent that is in the workforce today.

Young Workers and the Changing Landscape of Employment

A great deal of this change is driven by the recent graduates who grew up comfortable with technology. They have the background needed to take  these start ups from zero to success in a record amount of time. The knowledge and energy of this fresh talent is what propels many of these startups to the front of the line in their respective industries.

Keeping the Talent

There is no doubt that there is a lot to be said about the importance of keeping happy the energetic talent that successfully starts up a business. Many companies find that once they start to become successful, other businesses try to woo their employees away. While non disclosure agreements can help protect a company’s secrets from being shared, they do not protect a company against losing the staff that spawned those great ideas to begin with to a competitor.

Loyalty Within the Company

Motivating such employees to stay loyal to a company these days can involve a variety of different options. Some ways to reward workers include paid days off, house cleaning, car detailing, meals out, catered meals in, and the like. Other methods include a focus on the simpler things in life.

Tooting an Employee’s Horn

There are few people who don’t like to be acknowledged for a job well done. When it comes being praised, most employees enjoy being thanked by their boss or called out on the crucial role they played on getting the big project completed in a satisfactory manner. Having a set schedule for handing out awards and trophies allows employees to engage in both teamwork and a little friendly competition.

Implement an Award Wall

By implementing an award wall along one area of a hallway or other centrally located space, top employees can enjoy having their custom corporate awards displayed there for all to see. Of course, this does not mean that the employee cannot have a copy of the award as well. After all, most employees will want a copy of that certificate for their own personal records. In addition, the individual might want to display it in a particular place within their home.

Niches in Extreme Mountain Biking

So you’ve been wanting to learn more about extreme mountain biking. You’ve watched some videos and seen some of the bikes involved and you think you might want to try this sport out.

So you’ve been wanting to learn more about extreme mountain biking. You’ve watched some videos and seen some of the bikes involved and you think you might want to try this sport out. After all, it’s the perfect choice if you love to ride bikes at high rates of speed along treacherous landscapes. There is more to the sport than that, though.

According to the Extreme Mountain Biking website, there are a number of different niches you can choose to ride in. Of course, choosing one niche doesn’t make the other niches off limits to you. In fact, there is a great deal of crossover in the field of extreme mountain biking.

Downhill racing, for example, is noted for its start times that are staggered in order to reduce collisions among bicyclists. Many downhill races, though, take place on bike trails which offer all the obstacles and unstable surfaces that give the sport its extreme edge. The Extreme Mountain Biking website separates the two styles of extreme mountain biking into different types though there is plenty of overlap between the two.

Cross country biking is another arena of extreme mountain biking that often uses bikes trails of some sort to both guide bicyclists and do add additional obstacles. Use this article to give you a broad overview so you can narrow down your areas of interest.

Kev Hedges shares a video taken from the head cam fastened firmly to the helmet of a Peruvian bicyclist named Alejandro Paz. This video included by Kev shows just how close this extreme bicyclist is to the edge as he zooms along this narrow trail.  You can experience the thrills of this extreme sport from the safety of your couch and decide if you want to pursue the sport yourself.

Source: http://digitaljournal.com/article/321468

This article, from the Extreme Mountain Biking website, gives you an extensive breakdown of the various kinds of extreme mountain biking that are available. If you have found that your interest in this extreme sport has been pique, you should explore further and find which aspect you like the best. For all you know, you could find several that really capture your interests.

Making a Case for Glass Awards

Awards and trophies are a pretty well established routine in many companies. Employers of all shapes and sizes from industries of all sorts have learned that rewarding their employees with tokens of their appreciation has many positive results.

Awards and trophies are a pretty well established routine in many companies. Employers of all shapes and sizes from industries of all sorts have learned that rewarding their employees with tokens of their appreciation has many positive results. Such acknowledgements often result in more of the desired behavior as well as boosting the morale of the employees. In addition, these types of rewards can often foster a bit of friendly competition among employees as they try to top one another’s achievements.

Choosing Glass Awards

CRY003M.smallThere are a number of different types of trophies and awards that can be chosen. Plaques can be hung up on a wall. Pens have a useful purpose as well. But crystal and glass awards bring a bit of a classy look to an event. Due to the vibrancy of crystal, it can provide a welcome addition to any room of the employee’s home. Since glass tends to capture the light in the room where it is located, such an award often draws the attention of the people in the room. This built in conversation piece allows the employee to share in their recognition with family and friends outside of their place of employment and with those people who are not members of their immediate family.

This article, from Lincoln Davis at selfgrowth.com, the online self improvement community, points out the many reasons why an employee might want to receive glass achievement awards instead of some other types of awards. One of the top reasons is that these types of awards can give the employee a tangible reminder of the appreciation that is felt by their employer.

Bike to Win

Biking has gotten bigger in the past few years as more people are getting into the sport and becoming more aware about health and fitness.

Biking has gotten bigger in the past few years as more people are getting into the sport and becoming more aware about health and fitness. Many do it as a form of keeping their body fit, as a hobby by upgrading their exercise routines and professionally by getting into tournaments and other competitions. May is National Bike Month so thousands of bikers from all over the United States and the world flock to many famous biking spots to commemorate famous rides with family and friends. There are several activities and events planned which will surely deliver fun, prizes and excitement for everyone. But no matter your intent, you can bike to win.

About National Bike Month

Washington D.C. as well as nearby Alexandria and Arlington are full of bikers during National Bike Month. These places are known for their challenging and beautiful trails for beginners, intermediate and advanced riders. Regardless of your current level, you will find these areas very conducive to having fun and exercising. Even people who are learning how to ride a bike or do not own one can still enjoy National Bike Month through the Capital Bikeshare program. Two hundred stations are set up all over Washington D.C., Alexandria and Arlington where people can borrow and share bicycles. Through Capital Bikeshare, individuals can borrow from a list of almost 2,000 bicycles any time of the day.

After registering for the program, participants will get a Bikeshare key in their mail to activate. The closest bike station can be accessed through a smartphone application or online map. There are several membership types available depending on the kind of bike you want and the trail and location you prefer.

The Activities

National Bike Month introduces commuter convoys that will make your trips more interesting and fun. There are 20 convoys with expert bicycle commuters leading the team. Look for the schedules which meet your needs.  You can join the envoy teams from the starting point or en route.

1. Bike to School Day

The second annual National Bike to School Day commences on May 8th, with the support of the National Center for Safe Routes to School. Every Wednesday up until May 8th, there will be a winner from registered schools who will receive a Saris Stadium Rack. The activity will be included in Global Youth Traffic Safety Month. The date also falls during National Bike Month. The people who came up with the concept shared that the program aims to empower and encourage young people from different parts of the world to create and improve youth peer to peer projects on education.  It also supports and promotes the creation and enforcement of traffic laws so that kids and young adults will stay safe on roads.

2. Bike to Work Day

Bike to Work Day is celebrated on May 17th. The activity is arranged by the Washington Area Bicyclist Association together with Commuter Connections. The event is free for those who wish to join and features 70 pit stops located in D.C., Virginia and Maryland. Winners will also enjoy raffles, prizes, food, refreshments and trophies.

3. Bike to Work Week

This event starts from May 27 and ends on June 2.  The date and location will vary depending on the country or city in which it is being held. The idea is to encourage people to take their bikes to work as a great form of exercise and an alternative to regular commuting. During this period, companies and bosses encourage their employees to bicycle to work. They may combine it with other related objectives or even side quests depending on the house rules. Winners can receive ribbons or  trophies. Employees who finish particularly strong can receive bigger prizes.

4. Tour de Madison

The 26th Tour de Madison will be held in Syria, Virginia on May 18, which boasts spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley. Participants can choose from three different routes, specifically chosen for their current skill and experience. Advanced bikers can go for the Metric Century which features a lot of hills. Intermediate riders can try the 41-mile distance while beginners can go for the Family Ride which includes a lot of flat trails. Meals and drinks will also be sold at various points.

Challenging Family and Friends

In addition to the activities during National Bike Month, you can challenge family, friends and colleagues to a fun and challenging bike ride anytime. Think of a great activity that involves getting them to ride their bikes to school, the office or other special locations. Come up with specific objectives and challenges. Provide rewards, tokens or ribbons for minor accomplishments then prepare a special trophy for the first place finisher or those who finish with the best time.

1. Biking to school or around the neighborhood.

Children and teenagers should be accompanied by adults when biking to school. Create a pack with the leaders at the front and back to keep them safe. Begin by stating the rules and how to observe traffic laws to avoid accidents. Include fun challenges such as asking them to wear costumes while riding their bikes, putting decorations and other attractive items on their bikes or going for a night ride around the neighborhood. Give ribbons to the rider with the best costume. Award the first place finisher with a huge trophy. Make sure that there are pit stops at different points on the route, where riders can get snacks and drinks.

2. Biking to work.

Bosses and supervisors can go for a challenging bike ride with their employees. They can give ribbons and other small gifts to any individuals who finish faster than them. Another great idea would be to ask them to wear shirts of the same color or get neon or glow-in-the-dark face paint and clothes that will immediately grab attention during night rides. Provide special challenges with corresponding rewards such as asking them to find a unique flower in the park, giving a free cup of coffee to the first person who reaches a café pit stop or asking them to perform specific tasks upon reaching certain points. Give a trophy to the first place finisher.

The Advantages of Biking

Many people are getting hooked on biking because of the many benefits that it provides. Some people start with a borrowed or cheap bike then upgrade over time as they get fitter.

1. Biking is good for the muscles.

Many sports and exercises do involve the lower body to the extent that biking does. Riding for 30 to 60 minutes each day will work out the biggest muscles in your body – your legs. The cycling motion will train your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, abs and hips. People can have a very balanced and symmetrical appearance by biking regularly. Building and toning your muscles will further aid in burning fat effectively even when you’re at rest.

2. Biking is good for the heart.

As a cardiovascular exercise, biking will circulate blood effectively throughout the body. All vital organs and extremities will receive blood and get oxygenated, thereby improving function and getting rid of harmful toxins and cholesterol. The heart pumps blood as you bicycle, which will also benefit the liver, lungs, kidneys and brain. You will find that biking improves brain function and concentration and prevents cardiovascular problems, lung and respiratory problems, liver toxicity and stroke.

3. Biking is good for the mind.

Exercising is an excellent way to relieve stress. When you ride a bicycle for several minutes a few times each week, you will find time to think, reflect and recover from daily stresses and challenges. People who ride their bikes regularly find themselves more mentally active, have better memory function and focus on tasks more easily. Riding to work actually improves performance by as much as 100% according to many studies.

4. Biking is good for the environment.

National Biking Month is a great opportunity for cities and countries to have lower emissions coming from motorized vehicles. A bicycle is environmentally friendly because it does not use gasoline or fuel and does not emit harmful gases or smoke. Taking your bike to work or school is a good alternative to driving. The air is fresher and heat is significantly reduced. There is also less traffic congestion when people ride their bikes.

5. Biking for more friends.

There are so many clubs, associations and groups revolved around biking. You can opt for groups that prefer mountain and off-road trails, teams that also try other sports like swimming and running or groups that like to ride in packs on concrete highways. There are organizations that support different types of bikers. These are also organizations to approach if you wish to gain new friends who share the same passion. Start looking for nearby clubs online.

Biking for Life

Biking is an activity that you can enjoy for the long term. You will find bikers of different ages. There are even those who join tours and competitions at the age of 75 years old and above. Bicycling regularly will keep you fit and healthy, adding more years to your life and keeping you free from disease.

National Biking Month should encourage more people to take on a healthy lifestyle. Start with small challenges and fun biking activities for your family or people in your workplace, then increase your involvement and expand your group of bikers later. Joining competitions and tournaments can also result in beautiful trophies and medals that you can display proudly at home and in the office.

Employee Appreciation Award Program

Nearly every business knows they need to reward positive behaviors in their employees.

Nearly every business knows they need to reward positive behaviors in their employees. But if you don’t have an employee appreciation program, how do you start one? One of the first steps, is to narrow down the behaviors that management wants to see rewarded. The second step is to determine which types of appreciation trophies and awards will be handed out and in what sort of time frame to do so. See more at entrepreneur.com.

Source: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/75340

In this Forbes article by Kevin Kruse, you can learn a variety of ways to show appreciation to those employees who go above and beyond the call of duty. Not only does this type of proactive behavior help your business out, these appreciation trophies and awards can also serve as a motivator for other employees as well.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2013/03/01/25-low-cost-ways-to-reward-employees/

appreciation awardIn this article, Susan M. Heathfield writes about achievement awards and trophies. Using them to acknowledge the efforts employees are making can do a great deal to encourage loyalty and goodwill. As she points out in her article, these awards don’t have to be elaborate or expensive either.

Source: http://humanresources.about.com/od/employeebenefits/g/service-award.htm

The ‘No-Sugar Coach’ first tells you the difference between intrinsic motivation  and extrinsic motivation. Then, he gives you lots of different ideas on things, such as stickers, days off, trophies and awards, and more, that you can use to show your appreciation for your employees.

Employers might wonder if appreciation trophies and awards are really worth the time, effort and expense to hand out to employees. In this article on the Vanadium Mining website, a worthy case is made in favor of not only starting up some type of program recognizing employees but making sure that it doesn’t fizzle out after just a few months.