The 7 Most Important Baseball Pitches You Need To Know Today

13.96 Million: Number of people who play baseball in the United States – twice the population of Paraguay. Making it the 3rd most popular sport in America.

Before the Pitch

Every great pitch stems from a great wind-up technique. Perfect your wind up in order to improve your pitch.

The Perfect Wind-Up

wind up steps

Start by facing the batter with your feet on the rubber pointing towards the home plate.

To begin the pitch, take a step back with your left foot, turn 90 degrees with your left shoulder pointing toward home plate.

Lift your left leg as you turn, bending at the knee.

Pitch while making a long stride towards home plate with your left foot, keeping it in line with your right leg.

The 7 Pitches Every Pitcher Should Master

Remember, pitchers are usually the focal point of every baseball match. A good pitcher is the hero of the game.

The Four-Seam Fastball

The Four-Seam Fastball

four seam fastball

Facts:

1st pitch learnt -usually.

Fast and easy to place.

How to Grip:

Place your index and middle fingertips across the seams of the baseball. Place your thumb underneath the ball. Your thumb tip should rest on smooth leather, not on a seam. Don’t smother the ball, hold it with the fingertips.

How to Pitch:

Wind up and throw the ball as hard and fast as you can.

The Two-Seam Fastball

two seam fastball

Facts:

Also called the “sinker”.

Fast and easy to place.

How to Grip:

Place your index and middle fingers directly on top of the seams – narrowest point between seams is best. Place your thumb directly underneath the baseball. Make sure your thumb tip does not touch the seam. Use your ring finger to balance the ball.

How to Pitch:

Hold the ball tightly until the point of release. Wind up and pitch hard.

The Slider

the slider

Facts:

Also called a “yakker” or “snapper”.

How to Grip:

Same as two seam fastball, only this time, place your middle and index fingers next to the right seam. Place your ring finger on the side of the ball and the thumb underneath the ball. Squeeze the ball between your middle finger and thumb. Pull your wrist in on the thumb side.

How to Pitch:

Wind up and throw. Make sure to keep your wrist loose as you release the ball.

The Curve Ball

Curveball grip

Facts:

Uses optical illusion to confuse the batter.

How to Grip:

Place your middle finger along the bottom seam of the ball and your index finger next to your middle finger. The thumb should be placed on the back seam. This finger placement will give the ball a tight rotation so it can break.

How to Pitch:

Keep your elbow equal with your throwing shoulder – can be a bit higher but not lower. As you release the ball rotate your wrist out and down. The ball should rotate off your index finger as it leaves your hand.

The Circle Change-Up

The Curve Ball

circle change up

Facts:

A slow pitch often used to confuse the batter.

How to Grip:

Make a circle by touching the tips of your thumb and index fingers. Place the baseball in your palm and hold it with the other three fingers. The baseball should fit snugly against your circle. Windup and pitch, making sure to hide your pitch style.

The Knuckle Ball

knuckle ball

Facts:

One of the hardest pitches to throw.

Also one of the hardest pitches to hit.

How to Grip:

Position the ball in the same way as you would in the two-seam fastball without touching the seam. Instead of placing your fingers on the seam, dig your fingertips into the leather. Place your the under the ball.

How to Pitch:

Keep your wrist stiff and extend your fingers as you release the ball – as if you’re pushing the ball.

The Splitter Fastball

splitter fastball

Facts:

Despite being called a fastball, the splitter is often used as an off-speed pitch

How To Grip:

Place your index and middle fingers outside the seams – the seams should lie between your fingers.. Place your thumb directly underneath the baseball. Make sure your thumb tip does not touch the seam. Use your ring finger to balance the ball.

How to Pitch:

Pitch as you would a two seam fastball.

How To Pitch A Softball For Beginners

There are two types of softball games. There’s the classic weekend slow pitch beer league that you may participate in with friends or co-workers. Then there’s the fast pitch softball where the speed of the pitching will make your head spin. Both look very different and there is a time and place for each type of pitching style. However, there are a lot of similarities between fast and slow pitch. Just like learning to walk before you can run; it’s often helpful to learn how to slow pitch before you move onto fast pitch.

Slow Pitching a Softball

a girl wearing a softball gloves and preparing to throw the softball

If you have dreams of winning your beer league championship and you want to be your team’s MVP then you will want to learn how to pitch a softball like a true champion. Good slow pitch players can make the game look easy but throwing a strike on a consistent basis is much easier said than done. Standing on the mound and staring down the batter is enough to make many people nervous.

First, you should make sure you have a good understanding of your local rules. In most slow pitch leagues you are aiming to hit the home plate mat below the batter. In addition, there are typically rules that dictate how high you can throw the ball. Before you learn how to pitch a softball you need to make sure you know the rules you’re working with.

In slow pitch leagues you are not allowed to wind up before throwing. This means that you cannot generate the same kind of speed you see in fast pitch. In order to get the ball to the mat and earn a strike you must throw the ball in an arc.

The best way to make an accurate throw is to ensure your momentum is always moving forward. Holding the ball, bring your throwing hand back just above waist height. Now, as you begin to move your hand forward, be sure to step into the throw to generate momentum. Release the ball on the upswing of your pitching motion to get that nice arc shape.

When you begin, you will find you lack accuracy. There is no way to understand the power needed without practice time. The amount of power you need to put into your pitch will also change based on conditions like wind.

Fast Pitching a Softball

a woman about to throw the softball

Some of the basic motions from slow pitch apply to fast pitch but there are a lot of differences between the two styles. In fast pitch you are aiming for a strike much like in baseball. Instead of attempting to hit the mat like in slow pitch you want to send the ball over the home plate between the batter’s knees and shoulders. This is called the strike zone.

Generating the power to drive the ball through the strike zone while maintaining accuracy is a difficult task. Much like in slow pitch, you want to ensure that your momentum is moving forward. In addition, you need to have a strong grip on the ball so that you don’t release the ball too early before you have completed the motions.

If you are pitching with your right hand then your left leg will be your “kick” leg. Line up with your right foot on the front of the rubber and your left foot on the back. As you begin your motion you will pull your pitching hand back to waist height. Now, you use forward momentum to generate power. Bring your arm forward to waist height and kick your left foot forward along the ground while pushing off using your right foot.

Turn your body so that your hips are facing your target as you continue the throwing motion. Your arm will make a full circle through the air to generate as much pitching power as possible. Once your throwing hand reaches your hip you want to snap your wrist forward and stabilize your body. Be sure to follow through even after releasing the ball to help keep your throwing motion on target.

Much like with slow pitch, your first fast pitch attempt may not be a clean strike. Learning the motions and the power needed to hit the strike zone is an essential part of learning how to throw a softball.

Practice Makes Perfect

photo focused on the softball thrown

Learning how to pitch a softball is not an overnight task. There is a lot of practice required to learn the motions and the power needed to throw a strike every time you face down a batter. Want to get better? Get out there with a friend and start throwing!

Ultimate List Of Side Golf Games You Can Enjoy With Family And Friends

1457: The birth of modern golf.

Scotland: Birthplace of golf as we know it today.

25,950,000: The number of Americans who played golf in 2017

2 Million: Number of people employed by the American golf industry.

The popularity of golf is a sure indicator of the beauty and fun of the game. Here is a list of golf games you can play with family and friends – just for fun on the course, of course.

Acey Deucey

Aim:

Be the Ace, avoid being the deuce.

Rules:
  • Requires 4 players.

  • The ace or the player with the lowest score on a hole gets 2 points from each of the other 3 players.

  • The deuce or player with the highest score loses 1 point to the other 3.

  • Ties are carried over to the next hole.

  • The ultimate ace is the winner with the most points at the end of the round.

Bingo, Bango, Bongo!

Aim:

Be the first to get on the green, closest to pin, and first to hole.

Rules:
  • Hit the ball.

  • First on the green gets a point – bingo.

  • Once on the green, closest ball to the pin gets a point – bango.



Golf Course Side Games: 101 Fun Side Games to Play on the Golf Course

  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Asselin, Mike (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Wolf

Aim:

Be the player with most points.

You need four players for this particular game. All players play independently. The goal is to be the player with the most points at the end of the round.

Rules:
  • 4 players are required.

  • The last player to tee off is the wolf.

  • Order rotates every hole so that each player becomes the wolf.

  • Wolf can decide to pick a teammate from the other player’s or play as a “lone wolf”.

  • Only the best score of each team is used on every hole.

Scoring:
  • Wolf and partner get 2 points each if they win the hole.

  • If other players win the hole, they get 3 points each.

  • Lone wolf gets 4 points if he/she wins.

  • If lone wolf is beaten by any player, everyone else gets a point.

Round Robin

Aim:

Emerge as the winner despite having 3 different partners every 6 holes (and win a bet if you decide to spice things up).

Rules:
  • Requires 4 players.

  • Rotate partners every 6 holes.

  • Each 6 hole stretch is a separate bet.

Scoring:
  • Use any scoring format in 6’s.


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  • Learn the proper setup for putting and where you should contact the ball in your Stance.

Alternate Shot / Foursomes

Aim:

Can be played as a stroke or match play.

Rules:
  • Played by two teams of two.

  • One team tees off on odd numbered holes while the other tees off on even numbered holes.

  • Teams then alternate shots until the ball is in the hole.

Rabbit

Aim:

Capture the rabbit.

This is done by being the first player to have a low score on a hole.

Rules:
  • First person to have the lowest score on the hole captures the rabbit.

  • If another player gets the lowest score on the next hole, the rabbit is set free, otherwise original player keeps the rabbit.

  • There are no ties in rabbit.

Las Vegas

Aim:

Get the highest score and win the differential.

Rules:
  • Requires 2 teams of 2 players.

  • Team scores are paired at the end of each hole, lowest player’s score first and then other player’s score placed at the end. For example, a score of 4 and 5 makes 45.

  • At the end of the game, winning team can be paid the difference between the scores.


Golf Sense:Practical Tips on How To Play Golf in The Zone

  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Palmer, Roy (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Best Ball / Four Ball

Aim:

Have the lowest score at the end of a hole, and ultimately, the game.

Rules:
  • Requires 2 people per team.

  • Each team member plays their own ball.

  • Lowest score for the team is recorded, the higher score is discarded.

Skins

Aim:

Win the skin by having lowest point on the hole.

Rules:
  • Assign point value (or cash to spice things up) to each hole.

  • Lowest score on the hole wins the skin.

  • In case of a tie, the skin carries over to the next hole.

Nassau

Aim:

Have the lowest score on the 3 levels of the bets so you win the cash!

Rules:
  • Requires 4 players

  • Nassau is broken up into 3 bets – low front nine score, low back nine score, and total low score.

  • Player can win one or all bets.

Featured Image via Pixabay

Top 8 Hockey Skates List & Comparison

To be a good player on the ice and be at your best performance, having high-quality hockey skates is always the first step.

But finding the best hockey skates for you is quite daunting. Your foot width and size, weight, level of expertise, playing style, budget, and many more important variables come to play. Hockey skates also come in different designs and colors, and this can be really confusing.

Comparison Table

Best Hockey Skates to Buy

With so many factors to consider, you’ll need some guidance to get the best possible skates. Here are the best hockey skates to consider:

1. Bauer Vapor X400

These hockey skates bring with them performance and comfort that justify their high-end price tag. If you’re a professional skater, they’ll boost your maneuverability and speed. They also come with a TUUK Lightspeed Pro blade holder and Super Stainless steel runner for better acceleration and flexibility.

The Bauer Vaper X400s are durable skates with reliable performance.

2. CCM Super Tracks

These skates are stiff through the ankles and skate tops giving you lots of forwarding flex. They come with a mono-frame technology to prevent energy loss.

The CCM Super Tracks are very comfortable. They have an anatomical heel design that makes them asymmetrical and easy to fit any feet size. They also use a memory foam for extra comfort.

If you are looking for best hockey skates with explosive power, comfort, and fit, consider the CCM super Track. It will never let you down!

3. Bauer Vapor 1X Skates

These skates guarantee you strength and reliability. They come with a suede sole to offer extra cushioning for smooth gliding on ice. Its authentic synthetic material makes them lightweight to offer greater flexibility.

They are durable and reliable, so you don’t have to worry about regular repairs, maintenance or replacement costs.

If you are a regular ice hockey player, consider getting yourself these affordable Bauer skates.

4. Bauer Supreme 1S


Botas – Largo 571 PRO – Men’s Ice Hockey Skates | Made in Europe…

  • Recommended use: for professional hockey skating and top class level
  • Upper: durable synthetics with waterproof finish
  • Lining: soft nylon fabric laminated lining combined with synthetic materials

These skates provide the ultimate comfort and impeccable fit. From its heel, four-part ankles, instep and forefoot soles, they have a unique design that will seamlessly fit your feet. They also offer plenty of support for your feet with their forefoot wrap.

Made of lightweight materials, they guarantee you a long, swift, and hard skating.

They are also incorporated with composite and titanium for durability and strength. Its outsole is made from a perforated composite material that is well-vented for efficient breathability and energy transmission.

Its blades and holder construction have extra 3mm height to give you a better offensive angle and tighter turns. They’re designed with memory foam ankle pads and thermo-formable speed plate footbed for better comfort, durability, control, and balance.

5. Ribcore Pump Skate

These are the lightest skates on the list. They incorporate a pointed design with a narrow forefoot that is suitable for acceleration and implausible motion.

They enhance agility and comfort with their modified quarter package. For stiffness and stability, they have firm carbon fittings on their malleable composite body. Their dual zone liners for great heel locking, moisture management, and durability.

Its pump tech ensures your heel and foot is safely secured in place.

6. American Athletic Ice Force


American Ice Force 2.0 Hockey Skate, 9, Black

  • Perfect skates for beginner skaters to intermediate skaters
  • Indoor and Outdoor skates, good for pond hockey
  • Light weight sidewall injection mold giving the skate a custom fit right out of the box

Affordable and simple in design, these skates are made for beginners. However, you can still pull some impressive skills with them.

With their wide base and narrow upper, they provide efficient stability so you don’t have to worry about skidding or falling. It comes with a Cambrelle interior padding making it moisture-resilient and guarantees you the much-needed comfort.

They come in all sizes.

7. Graf PeakSpeed 300


Zerust Hockey Skate Blade Covers Rust Protection and Rust Prevention…

  • Uses a soft absorbent material to keep moisture off of the blades, keeping them rust-free
  • Will also protect your blades from becoming dull and chipped
  • Protect from rust and corrosion for up to 5 years

The Graf PeakSpeed will offer you the ultimate comfort and fit. They are light weight and come with a stay-dry liner (anti-moisture) in their interiors. They are designed with a replaceable runner Graf Attack and have a symmetrical tongue for extra comfort, control, explosive speed, and acceleration.

They are a great bargain for reliability and performance.

8. American Athletic Senior Soft Boot Skates


Men’s Cougar Soft Boot Hockey Skate

  • Grey and Black camouflage pattern
  • Soft boot hockey skate for non-competitive ice hockey and recreation
  • Thick foam padding for warmth and comfort

If you are skating for fitness or working on getting back into shape for the next season, get yourself these American Athletic skates.

They have a multi-layered construction to support your ankles and Velcro straps to keep your feet in place. The thick padding construction helps to keep your feet warm and comfortable while on the ice and the steel runner blades provide the much-needed breakaway speed and acceleration for a top-notch performance.

Get a New Pair of Hockey Skates Today!

Whether you are an amateur or professional, these 8 choices are great picks to consider. Remember, your hockey skates will determine your gameplay.

Happy skating!

Featured Image via Pixabay

How to Shoot, Dribble, and Play Basketball the Right Way

Turn on your television and watch a basketball game for a few minutes. In that short amount of time, you will see a wide range of playing styles, techniques, and strategies on how to shoot a basketball. Want to focus on one single player and attempt to emulate their style? Even in that scenario, you may find yourself trying to keep up with the changes they make throughout the length of a season or even a single game.

There’s no single right way to play basketball. However, there is a basic set of tips that you can begin using in your own practice sessions to help you begin to master the game.

How to Shoot a Basketball:

A Beginner’s Guide

Since you can’t win a game without scoring points, knowing how to shoot a basketball is pretty important.

When taking a shot you need good form. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart. A slight bend in the knees is allowable to help give yourself some momentum and guide the ball to the basket. One hand will hold most of the weight of the ball while your other hand is placed on the side for stability. Your shooting hand is the one holding the ball. When lining up your shot, align your elbow directly below your wrist.

Square Up The Basket

Before you take your shot, try to square up with the basket. Your feet, hips, and shoulders should all be facing your target to help you line up your shot more easily. Finally, once you have your form set, release the ball. A lot of people talk about dipping their hand into the cookie jar. As you release the ball, you want your fingers to follow through the shot like you are sliding them into the top of a cookie jar.

Reading all of that may sound complicated. In reality, setting up for a shot is a very quick process and the movements will become natural as you put in more practice time.

The Layup

Layups often make for some of the best basketball highlight reels. This is the perfect shot when you are driving toward the basket and you simply want to bank the ball off the backboard and into the hoop. If you miss, there is a good chance that a defender may take a foul and give you the opportunity to earn points with free throws. A layup may look complicated as you watch the day’s highlights on television but the process is actually very simple. One mantra to keep in mind is, “outside, inside, up.”

Footwork

This describes the footwork as you drive the basket and into the air for your layup. “Outside” refers to your first step. If you are attacking the net from the right, then your outside foot is your right foot. “Inside” describes your second step using, of course, your inside foot. The “up” portion of the movement is when you use your outside leg to drive your body into the air and bank the ball off the backboard.

As you take off, use your inside hand to hold and release the ball while your outside hand protects the ball from being blocked or knocked away by defenders. At first, you may find yourself having trouble with the movements. It sometimes helps to say, “outside, inside, up” out loud while you practice your footwork. As you become more experienced, the movements will come naturally without a second thought.

Moving the Ball: Dribbling Basics

Before you can take your shot, you need to advance the ball from your end of the court to the opposite end. Passing with your teammates is one way to advance the ball but, at some point, you will have to dribble the ball. Dribbling is the act of bouncing the ball off the floor repeatedly with your hand. Sounds simple, right? Not so fast. There are a lot of rules concerning dribbling that you must keep in mind. First, you can only dribble with one hand at a time. You are allowed to alternate between hands, often known as a “v dribble.” However, dribbling with both hands at once will result in a turnover to the other team.

Push The Ball

When dribbling, you must “push” the ball straight back down. Use your hand on the top of the ball and push down to bounce the ball off the floor. You cannot hold the ball and then start dribbling after you were previously dribbling. Again, this will result in a turnover to the other team. If you stop dribbling, you must either shoot or pass to a teammate.

Also, you cannot move without dribbling. The only case where this does not apply is when driving the net for a layup. In that case, you can take three steps without dribbling as long as you release the ball for a shot.

Practice Makes Perfect

All of that probably seems a little bit complicated. Now you know how to shoot a basketball and some dribbling basics. Get out there and practice your new skills so they come naturally next time you hit the court. 

Featured Image via Pixabay

How to Play Disc Golf and Disc Golf Rules

Disc golf is a great game. It is something that you can play recreationally with friends or that, believe it or not, you can play seriously and competitively. No matter what your goals with the game may be, you will find that learning how to play disc golf is actually quite simple, especially if you know and understand the basic rules.

The Basic Rules of Disc Golf

The first thing to know, disc golf is a game of respect and courtesy. And you are asked to treat your fellow players, opponents or not, in a friendly manner.

For example, you cannot distract another player when he is throwing. Nor can you throw your disc without ensuring it will not cause a problem or distraction for another player.

Aside from general courtesies, each golf hole begins with a tee-off and then throwing until the players have all reached the basket, just as in golf. Scoring is also the same as golf. Every time you throw your disc that counts as a “stroke.” Penalties that you incur as you play also count as a stroke. At the end of the game, the player who took the fewest strokes or throws wins. It’s as simple as that, but so much more fun than you could ever imagine!

Make Your Final Shot Your Easiest Shot

As you learn how to play disc golf, you will quickly find that the desire to win is real.

Even though the sport isn’t always super competitive, winning is the kind of thing that players seem to get into. So, even if you are not playing for serious reasons, you’ll likely still find yourself wanting to win…big time.

Tips to Remember:

If that’s you, one key tip to follow is to remember not to get too hung up on distance. All too often, players, especially beginning players, want to throw their discs as far as they can from the first throw onward.

And, while throwing far is helpful, it’s not the important part of winning the game.

You’d be much better off by seeing the big picture and trying to make as few progressive throws as you can to get your disc into the net. You also want to make it so that your approach shot is easy and so that your final shot is your easiest one yet.

This is the point where you should be wrapping things up and getting that disc into the net. So don’t make it hard when you don’t have to.

Take the Proper Stance and Use Good Technique

Another thing that can help you to get better at disc golf is to remember that stance and technique matter. As such, always try to keep these things in mind when you play.

Always begin with a stationary throw. Once you have mastered that, you can do a run-up or at least work your way up to one

When throwing, reach back with a full extension of both the arm and the elbow. Then, when you’re ready, bring the arm forward by pushing the elbow and maintaining strength and power until you are ready to release the disc.

Remember while you throw to keep the rest of your body as still and firm as possible. This will help you to control your shot and will give you a better chance at landing your disc in the net.

Follow the Rules of Tee Off Order

While disc golf may be largely about fun, it’s also about following the rules. This is especially true when it comes to the rules of tee off order.

Always remember that the first tee is decided upon by flipping discs. If you’re not playing as serious of a game, though, you can simply decide who goes first.

If you are flipping discs, use the printed side of the disc as “heads.”

This flipping is only done on the first tee off. For all other holes, allow the player with the lowest score on the previous hole to go first.

Use Quality Equipment

In addition to following these tips and following the rules, make sure you are using quality equipment.

You don’t have to spend a fortune, and playing at a local park is just fine, but you should have quality discs and other materials to help improve your game.

As long as you can follow this tip and the others presented here, you should get great enjoyment from disc golf.

Featured Image via Pixabay

The Top 11 Most Amazing Mountain Ski Resorts in the World

Ski resorts are a tricky business. That is why, for one to make it into a list of the best, a lot of hard work, excellent management, and luck would have gone into it. Why do I say that? Because of one thing – snow. Yes, great ski resorts need to have great powder, but it goes beyond that. You see, snow can be very unpredictable. That is why I said luck is one of the key ingredients of a great ski resort. Too much snow and the resort becomes a hazardous place to be in, too little snow and it becomes mediocre.

So where can you find such great ski resorts? Ski resorts where everything works in harmony to give you the best vacation of your life? I’ll point my skis in 11 directions. You choose which you will follow. Here goes.

11 of the World’s Best Ski Resorts Revealed

Starting from position 11, here are the world’s most amazing mountain ski resorts. Each its own strong points but all will cater to your need for powder and the thrill it provides.

11. Niseko United, Japan

Officially Japan’s premier snow resort, Niseko United is located in Hokkaido, a 2 and a half hour drive from Chitose Airport. Renowned for its consistent 15m of quality powder every year, superb tree runs, and natural wide open bowls, it definitely deserves to make our top 11 list.

10. St Anton, Austria

St Anton, in the Arlberg region, is one of Austria’s best ski resorts. It has a history that dates as far back as 1901 and prides itself on being one of the major proponents of modern skiing. St Anton is also known for its very vibrant nightlife for those who enjoy a good party and dance after spending a day on its world-class slopes.

9. Castle Mountain, Alberta

Castle Mountain is run by adrenaline junkies for adrenaline junkies and it prides itself on 2 things – being a one of a kind co-operative-run ski resort, and its one of a kind cat skiing adventures. This activity-packed ski resort will leave you completely satisfied when it comes time to leave.

8. Vail, Colorado, USA

Offering more than 5 000 acres of developed ski terrain and a Swiss-style village, all set among one of the greatest mountain ranges in the world, Vail is one of the top hotspots when it comes to ski resorts. Easily America’s biggest ski resort, Vail has a lot of activities for everyone who visits.

7. Verbier, Switzerland

Nothing is as beautiful as snow on a sunny day. That’s what Verbier is known for – sun, snow, and gorgeous scenery. Oh, and the very lively apres-ski. Just like a Swiss, watch, this resort runs like clockwork – efficiency is its strong point, especially when it comes to the lift system. And like Swiss chocolate, you will always come back for more once you taste its sweet powder and slopes.

6. Courchevel, France

This multiple Michelin Star award winner is a ski resort that oozes of class. With slopes to suit all levels, exquisite lodgings, and excellent food, this is one ski resort that can easily clinch the “best family ski resort” title.

5. Lech, Austria

Despite it being a difficult place to get to, Lech am Arlberg is known for its magnetic power to attract society’s topmost figures – like the late Princess Diana, the Jordanian king, and countless other prominent figures. Once you make it to this resort though, you’ll discover just how much it’s worth all the trouble. With pristine accommodation and superb gourmet restaurants, this is as close to heaven as you can get on this earth.

4. Gstaad, Switzerland

The ski resort of Gstaad is so prominent it is home to 10 ski schools, and is a regular roost for royalty and celebrities. The near perfect powder and, definitely perfect, dining in this place make it a top contender for the “most amazing ski mountain resorts around the world” title. You will definitely enjoy your stay in this beautiful winter wonderland.

3. Revelstoke, British Columbia

Revelstoke is a beautiful yet rugged mountain that offers some of the best skiing experiences in the world – like heli-skiing if you’re up to it. A bit difficult to access, the extra effort is well worth it as this amazing mountain resort promises fun and unmatched adventure – and it certainly delivers.

2. Chamonix, France

The host of the 1924 winter Olympics, Chamonix is a spectacular ski resort that has slopes for every level of skier, though its best parts are for the more advanced ones. What you can definitely look forward to on your visit to Chamonix, though, is a lot of fun in the snow – Chamonix has some of the best snow on earth.

1. Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia

Is Whistler the most amazing ski mountain resorts around the world? Most of the world thinks so, but then again, that is subjective. If beautiful surroundings, superb ski trails, excellent service, and a whole heap of fun make a ski resort worthy to be called the most amazing, then Whistler definitely is it.

How to Choose a Ski Resort

When looking into the perfect ski resort for your needs, it’s important to take some things into consideration. First off, you’ll want to see the skill level that they cater to. This could be beginners, intermediates, or experts.

You should also keep in mind what you want out of the ski resort, whether that be a big ski area, terrain parks, or powder.

Aren’t All Ski Resorts the Same

Nope! That’s far from the truth. They greatly vary between each other.

Obviously, they all offer skiing. However, the terrain plays a huge role. 

For example, some resorts have small mountains and easy slopes. Others offer enormous mountains and very difficult slopes.

Additionally, nearly every ski resort offers some type of skiing and snowboarding class. However, these will vary in teaching style and the range of classes available.

Finally, each resort offers different amenities. While they all offer skiing, many are known for their non-skiing activities, some having nothing to do with snow. These include sledding, spa treatments, shopping, and sleigh rides. 

What to Ask When Choosing a Ski Resort

When you’re deciding on a ski resort, there are some questions that you should ask yourself. These include: 

  • What level skier are you? What about the others in your group? If you’re mostly experts, you’ll want to choose a resort that offers difficult mountains. If you’re mostly beginners, then you’ll go with something that offers easy slopes and well-reviewed classes. If there’s a mix of you, then go for something that offers a wide range of slopes.

  • How are you going to travel there? If you’re traveling far, you’ll have to keep flight arrangements in mind. If you can’t afford a flight, then you’ll want to choose a resort close by that you can drive to.

  • What amenities will you want to have to enjoy your trip? Maybe you enjoy shopping when you go on vacation. Or, maybe you’re big on nightlife. If you’re looking for a relaxing experience, then you’ll want to choose a ski resort that offers spa treatments.

  • Are you traveling with kids? Are they learning how to ski or snowboard? If they are, you’ll want to look for good classes. If they’re too young or just not interested, then you’ll want a resort that offers childcare.

  • Do you want to stay on a mountain? Or further away from the slopes?

What Should I Avoid?

Just because the name of the ski resort is well-known, doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for you. Do not choose a resort based solely on name recognition. It may not be a good fit for your skiing level or experience. Do your research first!

Can You Enjoy a Ski Resort on a Budget?

Definitely! If you want the best deals, you should go either early in the season or late in the season. But, this doesn’t mean the quality of your trip will be sacrificed!

Check the website of the ski resort for package deals that they may offer. At times, you could feel like you have the entire mountain to yourself and you didn’t have to spend a fortune to get it!


The top 11 most amazing mountain ski resorts in the world revealed. Time to hit the powder on one them!


Featured Image via Pixabay

6 Best Basketball Backboards for Kids

Whether you want your little champ to be the next King Lebron James or just want them to have something to keep them busy. Buying your child a basketball hoop is always a good move. But basketball backboard comes in various size and dimensions. The best hoop for your kid will depend on his/her age and the space available in your home. Some other important factors to consider include:

Best Basketball Backboards for Kids: Comparison Table

Here are Our Full Reviews of the Best 6 Basketball Backboards for Kids

Lifetime 1221 Pro


Lifetime 90040 Height Adjustable Portable Basketball System, 44 Inch…

  • 44″ Impact backboard is constructed of High Density Polyethylene for superior strength and durability
  • 3 pc. Round pole attaches to heavy duty portable base; easy to fill with water or sand
  • Classic rim with an all-weather nylon net; for indoor and outdoor use

For budget-conscious parents, the Lifetime 1221 hoop is a great bargain. Even though it doesn’t have a transparent backboard like high-end hoops, it offers the same quality build and a 5-year warranty.

It also has a 27-gallon base capacity that you can fill with sand or water for stability and a powder-coated steel pole for durability. It’s adjustable up to 10 feet.

PROS

  • 27-gallon base capacity

  • Powder-coated steel pole

  • Adjustable up to 10 feet

CONS

  • Doesn’t have a transparent backboard

Little Tikes Easy-Score


Little Tikes TotSports Easy Score Basketball Set

  • Pink toddler-sized basketball hoop adjusts to six heights, from 2 to 4 feet
  • Includes an oversized rim and junior size basketball
  • Develops social, motor skills and coordination

This backboard focuses on fun, safety, and durability. It’s specially designed for kids between the ages of one and five. With its attractive design, this is the hoop that will get them hooked to the game in their early stages of life.

It comes with three balls and a plastic base that is filled with sand for stability. The whole backboard is made of soft plastic which can not cause any sort of damage whatsoever. It is also adjustable up to four feet to give your child the much-needed competition.

PROS

  • Specially designed for kids

  • Up to 4 feet adjustable

  • Attractive design

  • Focuses on fun, safety, and durability

CONS

  • Made of soft plastic

Jump Slammer Trampoline Hoop


JumpKing Trampoline Basketball Hoop with Attachment and Inflatable…

  • Bring the basketball court to your trampoline with this trampoline basketball hoop attachment
  • Universal design means hoop fits most standard trampoline enclosure poles
  • Solid back panel will stand up to even the toughest basketball activity

To make the beautiful game of basketball even more interesting, you can go for the Jump Slammer Trampoline hoop. This super cool hoop can be fixed on one of the trampoline’s enclosure poles using bracket mounts. It can perfectly fit all standard poles including arch-type and curved poles.

Its frames are made from powder-coated steels for extra durability and come with a foam ball.

PROS

  • Frames are made from powder-coated steels

  •  Comes with a foam ball

CONS

  • Fixed on one of the trampoline enclosure poles

Lifetime 90022 Youth Height Basketball System


Lifetime 90022 32″ Youth Portable Basketball Hoop, Red/Black

  • 32″ Youth Impact backboard with 15-Inch folding rim constructed of 0.5-Inch steel and an all weather nylon net
  • Telescoping height adjustment mechanism easily adjusts from 5.5′ to 7.5′ in 6″ increments
  • Base dimensions: 31.6 inch x 23 inch x 6.1 inch. Rust and weather-resistant; Designed to withstand the harshest elements

For older kids, this complete basketball system will offer the perfect challenge. The hoop comes with a 15-inch foldable steel rim and an all-weather nylon net. It has a fully adjustable height stand to efficiently serve your child as he/she grow.

It also has a 10-gallon capacity base that can be filled with sand or water for extra stability.

PROS

  • 15-inch foldable steel rim

  • All weather nylon net

  • Height stand adjustable

  • 10-gallon capacity base

CONS

  • Not a full-sized backboard

Fisher-Price “I Can Play Basketball”


Little Tikes Easy Score Basketball Set, Blue, 3 Balls – Amazon…

  • Indoor and outdoor basketball hoop adjusts to six heights from 2.5 to 4 feet
  • Includes an oversized rim and 3 Junior size basketballs
  • Develops social, motor skills and coordination

This backboard is designed to grow with your child. It is fully adjustable from 3 feet to 6 feet and has a base that’s weighted down using sand or water. It also has a return ball scoop, so that your kid won’t have to chase after the ball when he/she scores a basket.

PROS

  • 3 feet to 6 feet adjustable

  • Base is weighted down using sand or water

  • Also has a return ball scoop

CONS

  • Difficult to assemble

Slam Jam Over-the-Door Mini Backboard


Spalding NBA Slam Jam Over-The-Door Mini Basketball Hoop

  • MOUNTS ON DOOR: for indoor play
  • BASKETBALL INCLUDED: 5 inch rubber mini ball and assembly tool included
  • PADDED: padded polycarbonate board

This backboard is perfect for indoor shooting practice. It is designed with the same dimensions as that of the official NBA backboards just at a smaller scale. It comes fully pre-assembled, making it easy to mount on the door or wall.

This hoop is appropriate for children of all ages.

PROS

  • Perfect for indoor shooting practice

  • Pre-assembled fully

  • Appropriate for children of all ages

CONS

  • Heavy

Important Things to Consider When Buying a Basketball Backboard

Durability

It’s no secret that kids grow up in the  blink of an eye. This is important to consider when investing in a basketball hoop for them. Moreover, they may quickly improve their shooting skills and may need something more challenging. You definitely don’t want a garage full of unused basketball backboards, do you?

For example, you can start out with the young-age hoop when they’re very young, but you can skip the larger plastic hoop for toddlers. How? You can get a door-mount hoop that will get them through until they’re old enough for the full-sized backboard.

If you plan correctly, you can probably avoid having to buy a new backboard every few years. 

Safety

The first concern with a basketball backboard for kids is safety. There are several things to consider here – materials, stability, and breakaway rims.

Metal and fiberglass backboards tend to do more damage than plastic. It is recommended to graduate your child from plastic to fiberglass and metal at the right age as you slowly introduce them to fundamental basketball skills.

Stability is also a big safety concern for basketball backboards. Small plastic backboards are not much of a worry, but you may want to delay buying a movable outdoor backboard until your little ball player is old enough to handle that.

No matter the skill level, your child can easily get hurt on rigid rims. That’s why breakaway rims are always preferred for kids. It’s advisable to avoid hoops that don’t move and bend when dunked on. This will help to prevent face bops and jammed fingers.

Fun

What’s more fun than shooting baskets? The may point of buying your little one a basketball backboard was to have fun. So this is a crucial factor that you should always consider.

For the ultimate fun, it is recommended to get your kid a hoop that’s easy on the eyes and easy to make shots. The hoops can be more challenging as your little champ grows.

Adjustable backboards offer great flexibility for your child. They can set it on the lowest rung for easy and fun shots and move the rim up slowly as their skills progresses. This will keep them engaged while having fun.

Adjustablity

A great feature to consider is whether or not the hoop/backboard is adjustable. It may be good to purchase one with an adjustable pole to grow with your child. This will save you the need to purchase a new one every single year.

Budget

This is one of the most important aspects to consider when choosing a hoop. You need to choose one that works well in your budget. Of course, you need to consider quality and safety in conjunction with this.

Base

One thing that people fail to consider is the base. It needs to be heavy enough that it won’t fall over, potentially harming your child.

The Earlier, The Better

Getting the basics of basketball down at an early age is not only fun for kids but also allows them to learn more about coordination, dexterity, and flexibility. As early as one year old, you can start introducing your child to basketball. Nonetheless, always use the best and safest basketball backboards. The above picks are suitable and safe for your kids.

Featured Image via Pixabay

Top 8 Best Basketball Backpacks

Each sport has unique aspects, demands, and gear. For basketball, one of the most vital sports gear is the backpack. As a professional or amateur basketball player, you need enough storage capacity to keep all your sports items.

The best basketball backpacks should not only hold your valuables. Should also keep them organized so that you don’t waste time digging around for the item you need.

Here are the best basketball backpacks you should consider to buy:

8 Best Basketball Backpacks Comparison Table

Here Are Our Full Reviews of the 8 Best Basketball Backpacks

K-Cliffs Basketball Backpack


K-Cliffs Reflective Sling Backpack/Body Bag Messenger/Bag…

  • With 2 safety reflective stripes to make you/your kids safely walking at night
  • Comfortable padded shoulder strap with phone pocket fits most smart phones Samsung s5 & iPhone 6 plus
  • Zippered front pockets with reflective stripe and large zippered side pocket

This bag comes with a large zippered compartment where you keep your basketball. K-Cliffs Basketball Backpack has several pockets you can use to store other playing gear, personal items, water bottles, and essential documents.

Comes with a movable cell phone holder that securely holds your phone while you are on the move. And has padded shoulder straps for a comfortable feel when carrying bulky items.

PROS

  • Comes with a large zippered compartment

  • Can store on several pockets

  • Comes with a movable cellphone holder

  • It has padded shoulder straps

CONS

  • Only for basketball use

Nike Hoops Elite Max Team 2.0


Nike Hoops Elite Max Air Team 2.0 Backpack

  • Water-resistant bottom creates a durable exterior.
  • Nike Quad Zip System offers easy access to your gear from all angles.
  • Multiple pockets offer diverse storage, while Max Air units in the shoulder straps let you carry valuables comfortably.

Accessing your basketball gear and personal items will be much easier with this sporty bag. It has a Nike Zip System that organizes your items making them easily accessible. The wet and dry compartment features are instinctively designed to enable you to separate your clean and dry gear from the dirty and wet ones. Nike Hoops Elite Max is available in several beautiful colors.

PROS

  • Easier sporty bag

  • It has a Nike Zip System that organizes your items

  • It features to designed separate clean and dry gear

CONS

  • Only for basketball use

Hard Work Sports


Hard Work Sports Basketball Backpack with Ball Compartment

  • Secured front mesh ball holder
  • Stylish look and outlasts rough athletic uses
  • Large main compartment for your shoes, essentials

It offers ample space for both your ball and other accessories. Its lightweight design ensures that you get a comfortable carry every day. The backpack is stylish and can handle any game gear that you throw its way. It has a meshed ball holder partition made of rubber for ventilation and breathability. You can depend on it for everyday use.

PROS

  • It has space for other accessories

  •  It has lightweight design

  • Stylish and can handle any game gear

CONS

  • For everyday use

Diadora Squadra


Diadora Squadra Backpack (Gold/Black)

  • 420 denier nylon with PVC backing
  • Front vented ball pocket
  • Padded anatomically shaped shoulder pads

This is a sports backpack with a large zippered ball compartment at the back. This bag’s made of durable nylon fabric with PVC backing. The bag has a simple yet beautiful design and is available in a wide variety of colors. Also has padded shoulder pads and lightweight construction to ensure you are comfortable when using it.

PROS

  • Sports backpack

  • Durable bag

  • Available in different colors

CONS

  • Only for basketball use

Wilson Evolution


Wilson Evolution Backpack, Navy

  • Large main compartment with draw String closure holds shoes and ball
  • Padded computer sleeve
  • Embroidery ready top cover

With an affordable price tag, the Wilson Evolution offers an excellent build and a beautiful design. The main compartment is big enough to hold both your ball and your shoes. It also comes with a padded pocket to keep your laptop or tablet just in case you feel like shooting some hoops after work or school. Its dual zippered side pockets will comfortably hold a standard water bottle and some other personal items. Also has a special compartment on the bottom side where you can keep your wet gear.

PROS

  • Affordable

  • Excellent build and beautiful design

  • Big enough to hold things

CONS

  • For everyday use

Vizari Solano


Vizari Sport Solano Backpack, Pink

  • Large main compartment back pack
  • Breathable side cargo pockets
  • Rubber mesh front ball pocket fits a size 5 ball

Vizaro Solano backpack is made from 600D polyester blended with Jacquard. This explains why it is one of the most durable backpacks on the list. It comes with a sizeable main partition and several side pockets with breathable mesh. Also has inner pockets where you can keep your sports shoes and other valuables. The zippered design helps you to secure your items and keep them organized. The gear has adjustable straps for a comfortable carry.

PROS

  • It is made of 600D polyester blended with Jacquard

  • Durable bag

  • It comes with different pockets

CONS

  • For everyday use

RitzKitz Ultimate Sports Bag

The Ritzkitz Ultimate Sports Bag is not fashionable but has many mesh partitions with straps, clips, and smoothly operating zippers. It also has a large front mesh pouch to keep your ball, shoes, towel and other personal items. The bag is fitted with headphones exit ports and cell phones pockets along the shoulder strap.

PROS

  • Fashionable

  • Durable bag

  • Waterproof

CONS

  • For everyday use

Under Armour


Under Armour Unisex Hustle 4.0 Backpack, White (100)/Pitch Gray, One…

  • WATER-RESISTANT & DURABLE: UA Storm technology delivers an element-battling, highly water-resistant finish to keep your…
  • COMFORTABLE: Adjustable HeatGear shoulder straps for extra comfort and support.
  • TONS OF STORAGE: Large, gusseted front laundry/shoe pocket placed at bottom of bag. Two water-repellent front valuables…

And what is a best basketball backpack list without an Under Armour backpack? Under Armour UA Striker backpack has a high-quality bag that’s designed to carry a variety of basketball gear including your ball. The neoprene rubber ball holder will not only work for basketball balls but also volleyballs and soccer balls.

The main compartment and side pocket are spacious enough to hold your shin guards, cleats, and shoes. The Under Armour UA Strike has a waterproof and rip-resistant 600D polyester fabric. And the bottom panel is resistant to abrasion. The main compartment is zippered to secure your items.

PROS

  • Best Backpack

  •  Resistant to abrasion

  • Main compartment is zippered

CONS

  • For other sports use

Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Basketball Backpacks

There are various factors to consider when picking out a basketball backpack.

What Will You Be Using it For?

If  you’ll just be using it for basketball, then that’s all you need to take into consideration. But maybe you’ll also be using it for school. In that case, you may want to look for a bag that has multiple compartments. 

This way, you’ll be able to keep everything separate. You can separate your dirty clothes from your school work. 

This can also save you money, as you’ll only need to buy one bag, rather than a school bag and a basketball bag.

Quality and durability

If you’ll be using the bag often, you need to make sure the quality is good and that it’s durable.

One factor to look into is to find a bag that has water-resistant materials, such as polyester, nylon, or high-density canvas.

It’s also important to look at the quality of the zippers and stitching. Without these, your backpack will fall apart. You need to make sure that your zippers aren’t going to stop working and that the stitching isn’t going to suddenly come off.

Comfort

This is essential, especially if you’re going to be using the bag everyday. The backpack needs to be comfortable and fit properly, otherwise it could cause back issues. Be sure that there’s a good amount of padding and that the weight is evenly distributed throughout the bag. A sternum strap can also help with the weight distribution.

Design

Everything you wear reflects your personal style, so why should your basketball bag be any different? There are a lot of different designs out there, so find one that you love. Besides, you’re going to be looking at it everyday. Why not have something that you enjoy looking at?

Price

This is pretty obvious, but make sure you set a realistic budget for yourself. If you’re willing to spend a little bit more money to invest into a high-quality backpack, that’s great! Your backpack will probably last for years.

If you’d rather save money, that’s great too. Just make sure that you aren’t sacrificing quality. There are plenty of backpacks out there that are affordable but great quality!

Questions to Ask Yourself

Before you set out on your search for the perfect basketball backpack, and during the search, just ask yourself a few questions.

  • How often will I use it?

  • What is my budget?

  • Will I only be using it for basketball?

  • What size do I want it to be?

  • Is this bag durable enough?

  • Do I like the design?

  • What are the reviews like from people who already own it?

Final Thoughts:

What Backpack Works Best for a Basketball Player?

For both amateur and professional players, a good basketball backpack is a necessity. You should, therefore, consider specific important factors before purchasing your bag. These may include storage space, durability, and design. Compartments should also organize for easy accessibility.

These 8 backpacks are ideal choices to consider.

Featured Image via Flickr

Table Tennis or Ping Pong Rules: How to Play Ping Pong

Ping pong is a lot of fun. Unfortunately, it is also not something that a lot of people play, at least not really. Most people have “messed around” with a ping pong table a time or two, but in terms of playing the game by its actual rules, that’s not something you see a lot. It’s unfortunate too since ping pong is a really fun and enjoyable sport, and ping pong rules are actually pretty simple.

If you want to play the game, just follow these simple tips.

Learn the Importance of

Proper Grip

When people inquire about learning ping pong rules, they often want to play the game.

However, before you should play, there are some basic things you need. One of the important things is the grip. Without the right grip, your game is going to be flawed.

While there are all kinds of grips that you can practice the easiest to master is the pen hold grip.

You hold your bat between the thumb and the index finger, similar to the way you probably hold a pencil. While this grip might feel a little funny at first, it’s an excellent way to master the art of spin.

This grip is an option that will help build hand strength and gain better control over the ball for beginners.

Practice with Someone Who Knows Ping Pong Rules

Once you learn basic skills like how to grip the paddle, a lot of practice is necessary to truly get good at table tennis.

One of the best ways to practice is with someone who really knows the sport. Have this person “feed” you the ball in the right way so that you’ll get familiar with hitting it. Also, learn different positions and controlling the ball.

The more you do this and the more angles your helper as you try, the better you’ll get. Aim to practice thirty minutes or more each day if you are dedicated to mastering the game.

Understand How Scoring of the Game Works

In addition to getting the basics down and practicing regularly, you also have to really understand how scoring works.

The game starts a match consists of five games, and the winner is the person who wins in three games. Of course, games can sometimes run the winner taking four out of seven games or five out of nine games.

A game won when the first player reaches 11 points and has at least two points over the other player. Points scored every time a ball is into play. And remember that the sides of the table do not count as part of the legal playing area.

Once you understand and can follow scoring, you will find it much easier to play the game correctly.

Try Out Different Serves as

You Play

Different kinds of serves can be used in table tennis. No rule says one type of serve is “better” than the other, so keep that in mind as you play.

Also, try your best to vary your serves to throw your opponent off. And keep him guessing as to which move you are going to use next.

Some good serves to try include medium long serves, short serves, and pure spin serves, to name a few. You will find that if you can master and then mix up your serves, your opponent will have to keep guessing. About how best to match your ball, and you’ll probably have a much better chance at winning.

Switch Up Servers According to the Rules

One final thing to keep in mind as you play is when to switch up your servers.

The basic rule to remember is that each player gets to serve two points consecutively before switching. Keep in mind, though, that if the players ever get tied at ten points, the game will switch to each player serving one point. Then turn again.

Also, players should switch table sides after every game except during the final match. When players switch for each turn after one player has five points.

Following these ping pong rules, as well as the other tips presented here, will help keep your game “legal.” And will ensure that everyone gets a fair shot at winning this great game.

Featured Image via Pixabay