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How horses help people overcome challenges and be their best selves | Inspired By Sport

I think horses help people… to be confident. Make more possibilities. Because horses
are prey animals, the horse will automatically
pick up our feelings. And it really works
on being in the moment, being present together, and that’s the beauty
of the relationship. I am Lucy Davis. I am a member
of the US Equestrian team… and in 2016
at the Rio Olympics, I helped the team bring home
a silver medal in show jumping. It’s her first Olympics
but she’s already ridden in three
World Cup finals, and was the world team
bronze medalist in 2014. …America. I’ve been riding
since I could walk. Horses are a huge part
of my family. My grandfather
worked in horse racing… so he introduced us to… Other than family,
horses have been pretty much the only consistent thing
in my life. Yeah, this is it. Today, we’re in Long Island,
New York, at Pal-O-Mine Equestrian center which is
a therapeutic riding barn. I’m gonna shadow
some of their lessons, learn a bit more
about their programs, and hopefully
watch their show tomorrow. First thing I’m gonna do
is meet Lisa Gatti, the founder of Pal-O-Mine, and she and some
of the students are gonna take me on a tour
of the property. -Here she comes.
-Hi, Lucy. -Hi, Lisa
-Hi. -How are you?
-Good. -Nice to see you.
-Nice to see you. Pleasure to meet you. -Nice to see everyone.
-Welcome to Pal-O-Mine. Thank you. We thought that we would
take you on a tour… -Perfect.
-…of the property… -Awesome.
-…and the barn. Pal-O-Mine Equestrian is a not-for-profit
organization. We are a multifaceted
equine center. This is our barn
where we have our lessons. We facilitate growth,
learning, and healing, teaching individuals
with disabilities, both cognitive,
physical impairments, emotional disabilities,
using a foundation of horses. So why don’t we take
Lucy in there? Okay. It’s a really cool place to be. That’s easy. That’s easy. Rainbow reins, and pony reins,
and bridle reins. These are the helmets. You come in, and you get
your helmet and reins, and you put your helmet on
for safety. So you guys only bring
the horses in for grooming… -Yes.
-…and feeding? Definitely.
We groom them every day. Great. Hey, Tim, why don’t we go in? This is the mini horses. They’re extremely cute. What programs are
the mini horses used for? So, the mini horses are used
for kids with severe trauma, and this is exactly what we do. -Is this the garden?
-Look! This is the–
this is the garden. -Can we go in?
-Let’s take a closer look. Okay, so, -Tim, is this your plot?
-Yup. That’s my broccoli,
my zucchini… eggplant, lettuce, peppers,
basil, tomatoes. Horses are really
a powerful force. Horses live in the moment
and are present. Our students develop automatically
that relationship… and it really becomes about the horse and the student
at that given moment. Let’s go find Shapa, Barret. Who’s Barret riding? Barret’s riding Shapa,
she’s a haflinger. Good boy. Okay, so we concentrate. Barret look at Shapa. There you go. Barret has been with Pal-O-Mine
since year 2000. He’s 26 years old now. He has cerebral palsy. All right, ready to go get on? His core strength
was very, very poor. He was only able
to sit on the horse with his back rider
for 15 minutes. All right, bud, you ready? All right,
so the lift comes down. Goes under his arms,
under his legs, and bring him over. Nice and easy, Barret. Because of
the horse’s movement, and the improvement in his
range of motion in his legs, his postural control
became stronger, little by little. All right, let’s go, Shapa. He was able to sit on the
horse independently, and now he rides twice a week
for 30 minutes. Okay, take a few more steps. The movement of the horse
will help rearrange the nervous system
going to the brain… and help create some balance… and as we move, it increases… and then, you know,
think of someone that’s nonambulatory as Barret. This gives him such
an opportunity to use his body
in a different way. Yeah. All righty. Let’s park. -All right, are we ready to go?
-Yeah. -Say, “Walk please.”
-Walk please. We’re doing hippotherapy today. My favorite horse is Ella because she is nice.
She’s pretty and fun. Emma, how long
have you been riding for? Four years. Four years? Wow. How old are you? -Six and a half.
-Nice. Emma is diagnosed with
spinal muscular atrophy. In hippotherapy, Emma is
in a treatment session, and they’re using
Ella’s movement to facilitate
Emma’s movement. Which ball would you like? The soccer ball. Dunk? -Nice shot.
-Let’s try it again. These kids, they’re often
inundated with therapy, in school, out of school, and they just come here. Emma is getting a treatment
session by a licensed OT, but Emma is just having fun. You’re gonna do it yourself?
Go ahead. -Pick up your leg.
-Thank you. -Here you go.
-Nice. -Yeah.
-Let’s go. Okay. If I can get it… before I ask. She has hearts on her bridle. She has hearts on her bridle?
Nice. Brian was diagnosed with
epilepsy right from birth, and then a couple years in,
he had a stroke… Did I put this on right? …that has affected
his processing, and he had some challenges. Get all that hair
out of the way. Make her look pretty. Any more than
one step directions were difficult for him. I like Lucky, Ella, and Gigi. Being in the dressage arena
for a kid like Brian, the patterns,
the multistep directions, that plays a big part
for Brian to practice. And turn up your center line,
and tap, and trot. Trot, trot, trot! I lost it. Just walk a nice big circle,
okay? And then end back up at C. So how long have you and
Brian been working together? So we’ve been together
for almost four years. When he started out Ella,
it was just me and him, and I would lead him around, and now he is
completely independent. He’s come a very long way in the last few years
that he’s been with me. -You got to make her…
-Continue trotting. …continue trotting, right? In my lesson, I was training
for the show. I was riding through the cones.
I was working on steering Ella. Ella has taught me… to be confident, to be independent… and to be patient. So tomorrow, we’re really
just gonna pay attention to the ring that we’re in,
right? And I don’t even think
you need me to read it to you. -Right?
-I remember it. You remember it. I love seeing
the different lessons, and how everybody
was working on kind of
completely different missions. Being a horse person yourself, what do you think
of that SureHands lift, and how tolerant
the horses were? ‘Cause that always amazed me. I feel like people always… see horses and they think
they’re so big, and majestic, and powerful, which they are, but they’re also prey animals. So they’re very sensitive,
and intuitive, and I feel that
when I’m competing, too. Sometimes I’m sort of
calming my horse. Sometimes I feel my horse
kind of taking care of me, and you can see that dynamic. Felt that today with the kids. You look pretty under here. Got it. That’s all the water. Good job.
I’m very, very proud of you. -You did a great job today.
-Thank you. Are you excited about tomorrow? -Yup.
-Yeah? How do you guys run the shows
at Pal-O-Mine? We usually have
three shows a year. Tomorrow’s show is a bit unique because we’ll have two rings
running at the same time. An “eque” ring,
and a dressage ring. There’ll be 33 riders
that will go. And I’m definitely excited
for the show tomorrow. Go on, take it. You can do it. It’s show day here
in Pal-O-Mine, and we’re very excited to see
how all of the horses and riders from yesterday
do in their competition. -Are you excited?
-Yeah. -Are you nervous?
-Very excited. Very excited?
Is this your first show? No, the second one I did,
I got first, -and this is my third.
-This is your third? Got it, all right. -Thank you.
-Have fun. Ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor and pleasure
to introduce to you this Pal-O-Mine mounted trophy. It’s truly a labor of love
for the horses, and all else that they do here. These horses can do it all; from therapy to horse shows, these horses
are at their very best. 118, Brian. Riders who really desire
to become athletes, they set goals
just like anyone of us, and those goals
are measurable… Next! Move your horses up. …and then riding
becomes limitless, and that’s the power of sport. The first at the walk… we have Barret on Shapa. All right, Barret, good luck. -Woah, it’s hot!
-All right. How far has she come
since she started riding here? Oh, her core, her balance. Not only physically,
but emotionally, she’s gotten more confident. She just loves it.
It just makes her happy. Beautiful job, Emma. Emma, nice job. All hands in.
Ready, one, two, three. All right, you’re being
judged at the walk here. Nice and straight. Straight. That’s it.
Now, turn left. There you go. Megan was actually pretty
frightened in the beginning. She did not wanna get on the
horse first couple of times, but she pushed through, and she becomes very proud
of herself when she overcomes
some of those challenges. All right, get those leads. Everybody got their leads,
right? -Did a super job, buddy.
-Thank you. Yeah, you’ve come a long way,
I remember when -you started riding here.
-Yeah. You did a great job
maintaining an immobile hop, and I really liked
your use of corners. -You did a great job.
-Thank you. Good job, Barret. And in first place, number 102. Megan on Shapa. Yes! I see you, Megan. -Thank you.
-Great job. And great job
to all of you riders. I love you, Mom! Love you– love you squeeze! I love you too, Dad. Come on! Yeah, baby. Amazing. That’s big, baby! Yeah! Our sport is so unique
for many reasons, but most importantly because
you’re working with an animal. -Great job.
-Thank you. You’re working towards
a goal, and you’re competing, you sometimes lose sight
of the reasons why or the reason why you’re here, and that’s because we all
love the horses. -Yeah.
-Good ride, guys. Good ride. So the power of this sport
is them, and that’s what we saw
working here at Pal-O-Mine.

Firstbeat Sports Monitor

March 30, 2020 | Articles, Blog | No Comments

Firstbeat Sports Monitor

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individual players -Improved Real Time Interface And of course the most exciting new feature
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system on the market that is able to identify the percentage of aerobic vs. anaerobic activity
during the session, in real time. Visit the link below for more information
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How Professional Footballers Recover After Games | Train Like Duggan

Hi, I’m Alice Liveing
and I’m in Madrid with Toni Duggan talking about her training and fitness. What does a typical
training session look like? As someone obsessed with weight training,
are there any weights? -Yeah
-Good! But I’m going to say being in Madrid,
a lot less than in England. That’s interesting. It’s a massive culture change. In England the game’s a lot more physical,
a lot more fast and a lot more based
around weight training and… being super fit. In Spain it’s a lot more technical,
tactical, being fluent with your movements. Do you see a difference in how you play? Not performance-wise but I do feel
a difference in myself and my body. Before I came here,
my hamstrings were really strong. I have quite a powerful shot as well. If you’re not replicating those exercises or doing a lot of shooting
or weight-based stuff, naturally you’ll not be
as strong in those areas. We do tests in England
in the national team all the time, and recently my problem’s been
my hamstrings aren’t strong enough. That’s because
I’ve been over in Spain for 2.5 years, but I don’t know whether that means
my performance dipped or not. I don’t feel like it has.
Maybe it could have something to with it. You always need to be strong
and to be pushing yourself in all areas to be the best player you possibly can. So these little bands are really popular
in the dressing room before games. Before training as well. So as footballers we know that
we need to get our glutes firing, our hamstrings firing, so this would usually be
one of our exercises. Again, there’s different
difficulty levels. Some people have two bands on. One on their ankles also. Just to get your glutes firing, you just try and stay in the same line
with your legs not over your toes. And then just… Oh yeah, I know this one. So there’s different exercises
you can obviously do with these bands, and in the colours, you’ll have used them,
there’s different strengths. Resistance, yeah. If you’re new to it,
start with baby bands. Maybe it’s a yellow colour
and it’s less… So that’s one of them.
This is another one. -The monster walks.
-Yeah. -Booty burners.
-You feel it in your bum! The girls do this in the changing room. Again, it’s individual
and people’s preferences, what exercises they do. You can take it down to your ankles. Obviously do more stability as well,
but also firing on your glutes. There’s a range of things
you can do with them. Versatile. They’re good for if you want to do
stuff from home, if you want something
you can do home workouts with. Yeah, really good. Really good to invest in. There’s also one to strengthen your glutes Yeah, clams! That’s the name.
You’re the professional, so… So just doing maybe 20 to 30
reps of these, maybe three sets of it. You feel the burn the next day. -Perfect.
-So there’s some. Some good ideas there. When it comes to game days, you’ve talked about a warmup
and how those are really specific. What about the recovery
afterwards and in between? There are so many forms of recovery
and I think you should use them all. An ice bath, that might be 1%. Refuelling your body is another 1%. Getting protein in as soon as possible.
That’s when your recovery starts. I really like ice baths.
They’re important. People have different theories. I’ve never heard anyone say,
“I like ice baths.” I don’t like ice baths
but I feel the benefits of ice baths! -Yeah, I hate them.
-Dive into it! I hate them, I absolutely hate them. -How long do you do in there?
-7 to 10 minutes. It depends, yeah. When I was younger I’d always run away, but now I’m getting a bit older
I kind of need it. It’s also in your head as well. Even on the pitch in football, I know that if I’ve done everything right
Monday to Friday, come Saturday or Sunday when the game is, in my head I feel good,
I feel so good if I’ve done that ice bath. If I don’t do that ice bath on the Friday,
it’s: “You haven’t recovered properly.” When you get tired, you start
sending yourself negative messages. So it’s all linked to your mind,
to how you feel. I know you’re probably familiar with this,
but it is really good for recovery and it’s something I love doing before
and after training to improve recovery. Foam rolling is something I think people
are often mystified by. They don’t know what it does or
how to do it, so I’m going to show you. It’s good for increasing blood flow
to the muscles, and getting yourself ready
for a training session. So I like to focus on glutes first. And I’ll do one side just rolling… Swap to the other side… I go through the same motions every time,
depending on where I’m sore. If I’ve got sore glutes or hamstrings,
I’ll do that with a bit more focus. Then my piriformis. I cross my ankle over my knee
and then go towards the knee that’s up. Just foam roll one side… It doesn’t have to be for long. I see people that are foam rolling
for like 20 minutes. It needs to be like 20 seconds
each muscle. Then swap to the next one. Just as long as whatever feels good
for you… Other side… My worst part with this
is definitely there. That’s the worst. Although for me, calves are worse. -Really?
-Yeah. Hamstrings are never too bad for me. My hamstrings are quite loose,
but I get really tight carves. I do a lot of walking everywhere,
so my carlves get particularly tight, so whenever I get on a foam roller… I don’t know if you did this,
but cross one leg over the other. Yeah, puts more pressure on it. That is so painful! -You’re not enjoying this!
-No! Who signed me up for this? Have you seen you can get
the same foam roller, but a vibrating one? -Really cool.
-I have. -And the ones you can manually…
-Do yourself. Loads of options. This is the most widely available one.
You see them in most gyms now. People look a bit scared
to know how to use them. It doesn’t have to be complicated. If you’ve got areas
that are particularly tight… The main areas I would focus on
are glutes, piriformis, hamstrings, calves, quads, upper back. Your T-spine is definitely somewhere
where people are particularly tight. I usually say bra strap and up.
I’m going to hold my hair up. Make sure that you’re rolling
from there all the way up. And then coming back down
to that mid-back. And for people that sit
at a desk all day… That’s not yourself, but for people
like my clients for example, it’s a really good one, because they get a stiff upper back, and that limits things
like your overhead mobility and just how you’re able to move
from your T-spine. I usually go forwards and backwards first
then to one side… Then to the other… And that generally feels really nice. And from there I’m going to flip over
and do my quads. So… Then the same on the other leg. And somewhere that is often forgotten
is your lats. It’s really good for that. I tend to do one side
with the arm outstretched. If you’ve been doing pull-ups and
you’re feeling quite tight in your lats, it’s a good one. I see the goalkeepers
doing that one. Yeah, a lot. That is it. So that would be I would say maybe… between 5 minutes to 10 minutes max,
depending on how sore I’m feeling. It’s really good to increase blood flow
and get you feeling nice and mobile. -Before and after the session.
-Yeah, definitely. What would be your favourite exercise
that you love when you go to the gym? That’s a tough one.
I don’t know. I like core a lot.
I think core is underrated. Core exercises,
especially as a footballer, because it’s not just to do with having
a nice stomach and nice muscles, but more because
when you’re walking and running, you need good core muscles. If someone’s barging into you, or… All movement stems from there and
particularly with my clients in the gym, when I get a new client,
we start with breathing drills, so they can feel what it feels like
to have their core muscles activated. And then go from there into core drills so they can start to feel
what it feels like to use them. A lot of people mistake
those semi crunches in the gym for true deep core work. But as you can appreciate,
I don’t know if you do a power press, or things where you’re working
on rotational work that’s something
you’re going to need a lot of. Anti-rotation as well, working on different ways
to move your core, rather than just sitting and crunching. Plank as well, because it does
a lot muscles, not just your core. Glutes, hamstrings… A lot of people really struggle
with the plank and making sure their form is really good. I see people’s chins sticking out,
their bums dropping down. I thought we could talk through
the perfect plank and get you to demo it for me. If you don’t mind! No problem. First, it’s really important to get
the elbow right underneath your shoulder. You know what you’re doing. From there, really think about drawing your shoulder blades
down towards your rib cage. Perfect. I’m going to tuck your head
so you’re really nice and long. Keep that nice and straight. Bring your feet together and
squeeze your inner thighs together, as if you had a piece of paper
between them. Bring your knees up. Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. Then slightly tuck your pelvis under. Can you feel your abs
engaging even more? You know when it happens
because you shake. Now focus on big exhales,
so that you’re creating as much tension in the body as possible. Really make sure there’s tension in here,
but also tension in your thighs, in your glutes,
drawing down through your back. Keep the neck nice and long
and focus on that breath. You’ll find you probably can’t
hold it for that long. People who say
they can hold it for two minutes… I don’t think I could! …aren’t doing it properly! Good, keep tucking. Keep squeezing. Inner thighs. Good. -There we have it
-Is that two minutes? You wish. -Reckon I could do it.
-I’ll keep counting. Stay there. As a footballer you need
so many different elements of strength: speed, power,
to be strong physically. So I guess it’s trying to manage all those
different aspects of your training within however many sessions
you get a week. In a typical training session warm-up, do you have a focus on mobility,
as well as the main training body? Yes, in the past few years the biggest fashion in football
in terms of the gym is what you do
before you go out onto the pitch. So it’s not so much the big squats
and the big weights. It’s more body weight and more mobility and preparing yourself
for injury prevention. -Interesting.
-Super important. Every team I’ve been a part of is in the
gym 30 mins before going onto the pitch. -What would be a typical exercise?
-A lot of it is individual. Sometimes they can be collective,
like a team one. But it’s just all body weight. It can be core exercises,
getting yourself ready, balance, mobility. Maybe upper body. Or areas where say you’ve had an injury,
so for me, example: I tore my calf before Christmas so now in the 30/45 minutes,
whatever it may be, I do a lot of calf exercises, because it’s so important my calf muscles
are firing before I go to the pitch. Something good for calf muscles
is loading them. Getting loads of load,
so they’re really strengthened. It’s a muscle that nobody
really thinks to train, but they’re super important. I thought I’d talk you through
one of the mobility drills I do. It’s a really good one
for opening up hip mobility. I have particularly tight hips and
sometimes when you’re sat down all day, not something you do… -I do have tight hips though.
-Perfect, I’ll roll out this mat. It’s good for footballers because we use a lot of hip movement
with kicking the ball. And changing direction,
you’re always moving from side to side. It’s really good. It’s really simple.
Just sit nice and tall. Hands are going to go behind your bum. Soles of feet planted, then drop
your knees down from side to side. Try to keep tall through the torso.
Sternum facing as forward as possible. Rotate through each hip,
dropping each leg down to either side. External rotation
then coming into internal rotation. Just moving through those. Lots of people struggle with hip mobility,
particularly if you sit at a desk. So it’s really good at home to do this. It’s really simple. You just move through nice and slowly
so you’re not rushing it. And just get as much movement
as you can from each one. You can see I’m looser on one side. Tighter on one side. Do you have tight hips? Yeah, we usually do that exercise as well. There’s others,
but we do that as well. Hands out in front?
To progress it… You’re more advanced, I’d be like this! We can see you’re a dancer
and I’m a footballer! Love that difference. To progress you, I would take
the hands away from behind you then you’re trying to keep
the torso nice and tall. Then just dropping the legs
down to either side. Just moving as slow as you can,
keeping tall through the torso. As you rotate. I’m definitely at level one.
After my career I might give it a go! Thank you, it’s been great
being with you here in Madrid, learning how you train,
how you eat and how you recover. I’ve learnt loads, so thank you! It’s been a pleasure. Same for you. I’ve learnt so many great
tips I’m sure I’ll use in the future. I’ll keep following you
on Instagram for more.

An Introduction to Metro Blind Sport

March 16, 2020 | Articles, Blog | No Comments

An Introduction to Metro Blind Sport

[Music] Metro Blind Sport is a registered charity creating fun, sporting opportunities for individuals with
visual impairments. Metro Blind Sport offer opportunities to get involved in a wide variety of sports Primarily located within Greater London. Many members have worked voluntarily to support increased participation and we have been at the forefront of promoting blind and partially sighted sport, since we began over 40 years ago! Metro Blind Sport supports and welcomes all ages and abilities. For most members the joy of simply being able to participate in sport is life-changing! The charity engages qualified coaches that enable blind and partially sighted individuals To enjoy meaningful participation and reap the many social, mental and physical benefits, that sport and physical activity delivers. Visual impairment does not have to prevent people from playing sports Or prevent people from being
physically active! Simply Metro Blind Sport changes lives! so if you want to get involved, get active and have fun please get in touch by emailing [email protected] or by visiting our website www.metroblindsport.org Together we can make a difference to people lives!