Auto Racing Safety

sebastian vettelEvery race fan loves to see photos posted on their favorite team’s profiles, from Danika Patrick to Sebastian Vettel.  Doctors and other medical professionals have a different reaction to this dangerous sport. While there is some truth to the adage that some fans go to the races in hopes of witnessing an accident, the vast majority admire racers ability to handle these state of the art vehicles while racing against tough competitors.  While there will likely always be accidents — and possibly even deaths — the race industry continues to take steps to make it safer for drivers to compete at higher and higher speeds.

HANS device

The development of the Head And Neck Support (HANS) device in the late 20th century was a major breakthrough for the sport.  By bracing the helmet and diverting the flow of energy to the driver’s torso and chest, the device provides additional protection for the head and neck during a crash.  It keeps the head from whipping forward during a crash without adding undue stress to the neck.  This greatly reduces neck injuries like whiplash.

Suits & Seats

Fire retardant racing suits, gloves and shoes that protect drivers during a fire seem like a no-brainer (and most racers also wear fire retardant underwear).  What most people don’t know is that the seats within the cars are designed for safety. Most racing seats actually wrap around the driver’s rib cage and even the shoulders.  These support the driver by spreading the g-forces of high speeds around more of the body, instead of concentrating it in small areas.  In addition, the carbon fiber construction absorbs far more impact energy in a crash than earlier seat designs.  Lastly, each seat includes an elaborate harness system of 5 or 6 points that secures the driver at the shoulders, waist, and legs.

Car Design

Race car design varies depending on the style of racing and type of car.  However, most race cars have window nets and roll cages to protect drivers during a crash.  They may also have roof flaps, special glass and additional steel support for the driver’s door. Future cars may have more head room to decrease head impact and smaller fuel cells to reduce the chance of fire.

Track Features

Many race tracks around the world have installed safety barriers to help reduce crashes.  The SAFER barrier was designed to replace concrete walls and they absorb the energy of a crash significantly better than their predecessors. Speedways also enforce strict pit stop safety precautions to protect both the drivers and the pit crew from accidents.

Safety will continue to be a priority for racers, leagues, and car designers as long as the sport exists.  New designs for suits and helmets are being developed with input from medical professionals as well as the drivers themselves.  Cutting edge race teams keep an eye on protecting their racers, not just thrilling their fans.

Hans device demo

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Straight-Arm Freestyle Swimming

This video for Straight-Arm Freestyle Swimming features an Olympic gold and silver medalist. In the video he reviews six points which are applicable for all levels of swimmers. These points help to develop this style of swimming. They are easy to learn and you can put them to immediate use. This video will help you to quickly and efficiently master straight arm, freestyle swimming.

The Science of Race Car Driver Fitness

race car driverIn the world of sports and athletes it’s a given that football, basketball, baseball, and hockey players need to be in top physical condition to compete at the top of their field without injury.  Race car drivers, however, are not often thought of as athletes requiring physical conditioning and training.  After all, how much does it take to drive a car around in circles for hours on end?

On the contrary, recent studies have shown that race car drivers are just as much athletes needing to be physically fit as those that play traditional sports.

To test the strain that racing puts on drivers, devices were used to monitor their heart rates.  The results showed that during the race their BPM was nearing 200, resting BPM is approximately 76.  For the average person that BPM would result in a heart attack; however a well-toned athlete is able to sustain this.

While many Americans drive cars every day they aren’t typically driving at speeds of over 200 mph for hours at a time.  The physical and mental stress that drivers experience requires them to be in both mental and physical shape.  Endurance and muscle training allows them to be in ideal physical shape to drive for hours on end.  Also as a result of the high speeds race car drivers experience as they take turns they experience more G-forces, the force of gravity that is felt as weight, than the average person and, like fighter pilots, they must train their bodies to be able to handle the additional pressure.

Physical training is vital; however so is mental.  Being able to handle the mental stress of driving a 3500 lbs automobile at speed greater than 200 mph for several hours as a solo driver would be challenging enough.  Most drivers are doing this surrounded by dozens of other drivers doing the same thing with sometimes no more than a few inches between the vehicles.  Maintaining control so as not to cause harm to themselves or the other drivers around them requires an inordinate amount of mental control and training.

Race car driving is not just an afternoon driving in circles in an advertisement decorated car, it’s a testament the immense physical and mental training that drivers go through to be able to complete such a strenuous task safely.

Sports Psychology

Sports fans love to argue with fans from other teams. They debate the performance and talent of individual players as well as the merits of the team as a whole. They may even spend hours debating which mascot is better or at least more popular. When it comes to the latter, there is actually a survey that can be used to settle the score.

sportsThe 2011 survey looked at mascots in terms of four attributes: appeal, entertainment value, team identification and awareness of the mascot itself. The survey considered mascots from professional sports teams across the country to determine which is the most popular in America (and to give rental companies an idea as to which Mascot Costumes to stock up on before Halloween).

The winner this year is the Phillie Phanatic, representing the Philadelphia Phillies. He is followed closely by last year’s winner, the San Diego Chicken (who is now freelance after years of association with the San Diego Padres). The Racing Sausages of the Milwaukee Brewer’s and Mr Met of the New York Mets are next on the list. The sole non-baseball mascot, the Gorilla from the Phoenix Suns, rounds out the top five.

The rest of the top ten: 6 – Racing Presidents (Washington Nationals), 7 – Benny the Bull (Chicago Bulls), 8 – Wally the Green Monster (Boston Red Sox), 9 – Rocky (Denver Nuggets), and 10 – Billy the Marlin (Florida Marlins).

Fro more on this racing fitness see

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Keeping Up with Tennis Online

The internet has revolutionized the way that people watch sports. Fans can follow the exploits of their favorite athletes on official player sites and 24 hour news sites. They can also meet up with other fans on social media, blogs, and forums to discuss and debate everything from basketball to hockey, from tennis to soccer, from auto racing to boxing. Tennis fans in particular can rejoice in the fact that there are hundreds of sites catering to their need for information, scores, and breaking tennis news.

In addition to the wide range of sites covering tennis topics, fans can take advantage of live coverage of major events being broadcast on the internet. International competitions are no longer subject to tape delays until the major networks can air a match. In addition to official sites offering french open streaming , there are countless amateur videos being posted on blogs on video sites of other tournament matches or catching favorite players away from the court. The widespread use of mobile technology means that fans can now see a given tennis match from countless angles in the stands as well as the official vantage points of broadcast networks.

Once the match or tournament is over, fans no longer have to worry about finding like-minded individuals to share in the afterglow. They can log on to their favorite forum or social media site and hash and rehash every stroke from the french open 2011 with a multitude of fellow fans. They will find post-match interviews with players and coaches as well as analysis from tennis experts on blogs and video snippets.


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US Open Tennis is the Best Bet

Betting for tennis fans these last few months has had a great amount of action for them to sink their teeth into. However, the US Open Tennis Championship has always proven to be the most popular tournament. The 2010 US Open is only a few weeks away, starting Monday, August 30th and ending Sunday, September 12th with the Men’s Singles Final and there will be plenty of players all vying to be this year’s champion making betting tennis fans take a deeper look at all the players statistics.

In 2009, the US Open was a thrilling event as defending champion Roger Federer doing battle against Juan Martin del Potro lasted for 4 hours. Even though Federer lost in 2009, this year he plans to regain his title, which has made him the 11/4 joint favorite alongside Rafael Nadal. British hopeful Andy Murray is 3rd favorite at 7/2, while other contenders are at 8/1 or bigger.

The 2009 Women’s Singles Final between Kim Clijsters and Caroline Wozniacki was easily won by Clijsters, making her male counterparts appear less intense in comparison. Experts have her as 4/1 and 2nd favorite to defend her title. The favorite is Serena Williams at 7/4 odds. Maris Sherapova is 6/1 making her the 3rd favorite and Venus Williams is at 10/1, with 14/1 or higher for all the other female tennis contenders.

These pricings for the US Open Tennis 2010 will be updated and August 30th approaches. Keep checking online betting odds at any of the sports betting sites and if you find a few prices to your liking, consider taking them before they get any shorter.

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