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Since arriving in Spain seven years ago, my search for Spanish ancientors (Francisco Bouligny – Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana under Bernardo de Galvez) has given me an awareness of just how little we Americans know about the vital importance of Spain's assistance in our War of Independence from English rule.

What follows great out of my own research and discussions with other interested American's both in Spain and the US. It started out as a desire to share this information with fellow Americans who stayed in my companies (www.rentalspain.com) short term furnished apartments for tourism and business stays in Madrid, and grown into membership in the SAR and involvement with the DAR.

My hopes are that the reader will also catch my desire to learn more, and spread the word in attempt to fill this gap in a very important part of our nation's history.

The Prelude:

At the end of The War of the Spanish Succession 1713-14
Britain was in possession of Gibraltar and Menorca. Over the next 50 years there were a number of European wars and constant struggle for domination which even involved Russia and Poland.

However the real starting point for this commentary was the Seven Years War of 1756 -1763. In the closing year Spain allied itself with France via the "Bourbon" Third Family Compact, and thenby shared in its defeat by Britain

At the Treaty of Paris in 1763 Spain lost Florida which then included the Gulf Coast up to the past Louisiana territory. To Portugal it lost Uruguay.

France lost all of Canada and India, and ceded to Britain all of its territory east of the Mississippi River. However, New Orleans and the vast Louisiana Territory Louis XV felt better given over to Bourbon Spain.

The size of this territory was huge! It included parts of Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

Subsequent to the treaty, Britain was too war-weary to hold onto many of these spoils and returned the islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique to France, and Cuba to Spain. It did however retain lumbering and trading rights and activities throughout the Caribbean.

Spain's King Carlos III was a far sighted and energetic Monarch and took this defeat to heart and commanded building up his naval and military forces toward that time when he and Britain would once again be at war.

Simultaneously he put in place economic and administrative reforms that initiated an economic regeneration both in Spain and its American holdings.

The Reason:

When the time was right for Spain, why did it ally itself with France, in support of the Colonies?

Spain wanted the return of Gibraltar and Menorca, the control of Florida, Jamaica and the Bahamas, and the control of navigation on the Mississippi River. It also wanted to eliminate British establishments on the east coast of Mexico and Honduras.

In order to achieve this, Carlos III and his Ministers decided upon a policy of Divide and Rule. That is, by helping the "rebelling English Colonies" fight for their independence, they could haverey tie up British money, fleets and troops in North America, while Spanish forces set about directly clearing the British out of the Caribbean.

As history has shown, Spain's Divide and Rule strategy has provided especially helpful to the "Rebelling English Colonists" in achieving victory and their own independence.

The Players:

In the writers opinion, the history of Spain's contribution is most interestingly told through insights to those whom Carlos III chose to accomplish his goals.

Jose Monnino y Redodo, Conde de Floridablanca: Minister of State – Probably the most important non-combatant, if not person, in all of this. The rebuilding of the naval and military forces Carlos III initiated required time. Unlike France which openly declared war on Britain in 1776 in support of the rebelling English Colonies, Floridablanca kept Spain from declaring war on Britain until 1779. Spain was prepared to do so.

He doggedly pursued the goal of getting Britain out of the Gulfs of Mexico and Caribbean right up to the signing of peace in 1783. Only in not regaining Gibraltar and capturing Jamaica did he fall short of his goal.

Pedro Pablo Abarca de Bolea, Conde de Aranda: Spain's minister to France. At the insistence of Floridablanca he was the only Spanish representative through which official business with the American Commission, chaired by Benjamin Franklin, could take place and that only in Paris. In fact, in 1777, one American Commissioner was refused entry through northern Spain in order to protect Spain's "neutrality" vis a vis the British.

Aranda's close dealings with the American Commission made him a convert to their cause and very pro-American. So much so that he pressured Madrid for Spain's declaration of war on Britain years before his superior, Conde de Floridablanca, judged Spain ready to do so.

Diego Maria de Garoqui Aniquibar: Basque – Head of the banking firm Gardoqui e Hijos in Bilbao. He spoke English and is one of the few non-governmental participants in this affair.

Through his bank, financial aid and supplies such as blankets, shoes and stockings, and medicines flowed to the Colonies via New Orleans. He secretly outfitted American privateers, like John Paul Jones, who would come into Bilbao and northern Spanish ports to sell the spoils of their captures from British merchant ships.

In 1785, he became Spain's first ambassador to the United States.

In a certain sense Spain's contribution to The American Revolution could be called "The Family of Macharavialla Affair"

These three members of the Galvez family were all born in that little Spanish hill town just inland of the southern Mediterranean Coast, not too far from Malaga.

Jose de Galvez – Minister over the Council of the Indies and patron of his older brother Matias and nephew, Bernardo de Galvez. Jose had overall responsibility for Spain's wartime activities in the Americas and through the Minister of State, Floridablanca convinces Carlos III that Spain's priority in the Americas should be that of defeating the British in Florida along the Gulf Coast and up the Mississippi River, before concentrating its efforts in the Caribbean campaign.

Matias de Galvez, Brother to Jose and father of Bernardo de Galvez. Like others of his family he rose quickly up the military ranks and was appointed Captain General of Guatemala in 1779 where British timber cutting, illicit trade and smuggling had become a significant drain on Spain's Central American revenues.

He was quickly successful in defeating and stopping British activities through the Gulf of Mexico in Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. As importantly, he was a key player in Spain's "Divide and Rule" policy, with his activities preventing British strategists from concentrating their forces against either the Colonist Revolt or Caribbean campaign.

For his achievements he was named "Viceroy of Nueva Espana" and died in that office in Mexico. Later he would be followed by his son Bernardo, who also died in that office in 1786 at the age of 40.

Bernardo de Galvez After a very successful military career under his uncle Jose in Nueva Espana which included fighting Native American Indians and expelling Spanish Jesuit priest from the same western part of the North American continent. He was made Governor of Louisiana in 1776.

From 1776 to 1783 his diplomatic, financial and military exploits against the British in the Mississippi River valley, along the Gulf Coast of Florida and contribution to British defeat at Yorktown, all proved to be Spain's most direct and immensely important contribution to the American Revolution.

Already in 1775 Spain was stockpiling gun powder, bullets and clothing in New Orleans in anticipation of the Colonies declaration of independence. Transported up the inland water ways of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, some of these supplies would even eventually reach George Washington's troops on the East Coast.

Together with an Irish-American merchant and agent from Virginia, Oliver Pollock, Bernardo supplied the successful American campaigns lead by George Rogers Clark against the British in the trans-Allegany regions (Pennsylvania and Ohio of today). And thanks to Bernardo's wartime activities these were the only British attacks on the Colonists along their western borders.

By the end of the war Pollock had bankrupted himself and forfeited his territories buying supplies from Spain in support of his nescient United States. In the years after the war Bernardo came to his assistance in obtaining reimbursement from Congress.

The Battles:

Fought by Spanish Forces under the command of Bernardo de Galvez where not one American Colonialist was present.

Upon Spain's declaration of war in 1779, Bernardo immediately set out from New Orleans to defeat the British. Just 90 miles up the Mississippi river he defeated them first at Fort Bute at Manchac and thethen Baton Rouge
1780 – His troops took the British fort at what is now St Louis, Missouri.
1781- His Spanish led French militia operating from St. Francis. Louis won a winter victory at St. Louis Josephs on the shores of Lake Michigan !!

1780 – The Battle of Mobile. Was three months in the making from the time Galvez set sail from New Orleans to his victory.

The year before, a hurricane had drowned 400 of his men while enroute. Again he was weather delayed in arriving at the port, followed by the stranding of two of his ships in the mouth of the harbor. While he absolutely did receive reinforcements from Havana on the eve of his attack, it was not before his original troops had basically unloaded the stranded vessels and moved their supplies and cannons into position.

In the end he had assembled around 800 men against the 200 British defenders. However during the time he was preparing for his attack, a British force of 1100 from Pensacola had marched to within three leagues distance behind him, so one can not exactly say that he had the advantage!

The lieutenant governor of Louisiana under Galvez, Francisco Bouligny was an acquaintance of and met with the British Commander in an attempt to obtain an early surrender. However that gentleman replied that honor bound him not to surrender without a fight.

The battle and surrender took place in one day!

Fortunately for Galvez, upon hearing of the surrender, the Commander of the Pensacola forces simply marched back home.

For this success Carlos III cave Bernardo de Galvez the title of "Field Marshall for the Spanish Operation in the Americas".

1781 – The Battle of Pensacola – As much as Bernardo wanted to move directly from Mobile on this port, he was unable to do so for another year due to lack of support from Havana and another hurricane that frustrated traffic into position.

Unlike Mobile when he supported his troops with his own vessels at Pensacola Galvez also had the Spanish naval fleet from Havana. While he was the overall commanding officer, in the end he had to badger and insult the naval commanders to enter the harbor and engage the enemy. This was because their own Admiral's vessel ran around on the approach and he adamantly refused to enter the harbor.

Therefore it was Bernardo ALONE on his vessel The Galvezton that entered the harbor under fire from the British fort and set up a beach head. Having seen this, the smaller Navy vessels skulked into the harbor and the real business of preparing to attack the fort finally got underway. Similar to Mobile his soldiers had to man handle their cannons and supplies into position.

At this point he had 3500 men and with the arrival of a combined Spanish and French reinforcement fleet from Havana his total reached 7000 men.

On the second day of bombardment a Spanish howitzer stuck and destroyed the armory in the outer defenses, killing some 150 men. It is reported that Francisco Bouligny led one of the first charges through the destroyed battlements and dropped down the British Colors

For this success Bernardo de Galvez was given the title of "Conde de Galvez" and permission to place the silhouette of his ship The Galvezton and the words "Yo Solo" (I alone) on his Coat of Arms

A bit later in 1781-Bernardo put down a revolt in Natchez on the Mississippi River and conducted mopping up operations around Florida.

October 1781 – The battle of Yorktown, Virginia. Although no Spanish forces were there, it was Bernardo's strategist Captain Francisco de Saavedra who had planned and financed the French Fleet and Armies presence and aid to George Washington's troops. At Yorktown the British army under the command of Lord Cornwallis surrendered to this combined French and American force.

It might be said that the unsung hero of this part of the Revolutionary War is this same:
Captain Francisco de Saavedra de Sangronis. Born in Sevilla. Like Jose de Galvez he was trained in theology for a monastic life, but then turned to the military and was invited into the court of Carlos III.

In 1776 he was serving in Spain's Embassy in Portugal.

After Spain's declaration of war on England, Saavedra was sent to Havana in 1780 as "Royal Commissioner from the Court of Madrid" and was imprisoned on Spain's governing body for the Americas, under Jose de Galvez, "The Council of the Indies".

Saavedra's orders from Madrid were to convince the "General Committee of War" in Havana to support Bernardo de Galvez's attacks on the western Florida gulf coast. Having convinced them of that, he then supervised preparation of the expedition of 3500 troops that included a French contingent of 4 frigates and 750 men, to reinvigorate Bernardo de Galvez's attack on Pensacola.

Subsequent to Pensacola, Saavedra became Bernardo's major strategist and principal liaison to the French Forces. In fact the French requested his transfer to the staff of their naval Commander, Comte Francois-Joseph-Paul de Grasse. He was instrumental in forming the French strategies in the Caribbean. He obtained Bernardo de Galvez's permission to release the French fleet from the Caribbean campaign and sail it north to Virginia. Plus, he raised funds in Santo Domingo and Havana to pay for that French fleet and army's participation in the climatic battle for US independence at Yorktown.

After Yorktown, Saavedra served the "Viceroy of Nueva Espana", Matias de Galvez, as his strategist, in defeating the British through the Caribbean. His plan for an amphibious attack on British held Jamaica was relatively equivalent in size to some of the major amphibious invasions of WWII.

Years later he became one of Spain's National heroes when he organized and led the resistance against Napoleon's forces during their occupation of Spain.

Spain signed a Peace Agreement with Britain on the 20th of January 1783,

What might have been:

Had Britain returned Gibraltar in 1777 Spain might have withheld its support of France when it declared war on the side of the Colonies in 1776. However, at the time, King George III said "No" to the negotiations.

Two years later in 1779, Gibraltar was once again on the negotiation table but this time King Carlos III felt that protecting Spain's Gulf and Caribbean interests by driving the British out carried a greater importance than peace with Britain and Gibraltar's return.

Spain's Financial Contribution:

In addition to the guns, powder, bullets, clothing, and blankets sent by Carlos III to the Colonies, Spain provided a stunning amount of money and credit.

In May of 1776 Spain and France jointly set up the dummy company of Roderique Hortalez et Cie. in Paris. Each country provided an initial investment of one million livres ($ 750,000) of munitions and supplies. Next they opened a line of credit for 7,730,000 livres ($ 5,797,500). Later still they provided an additional three million livres ($ 2.25 million) to be repaid by the Colonies with tobacco, indigo, potash and rice.

The Bilbao Bankers Gardoqui e Hijos, Bilbao, alone sent some 70,000 pesos ($ 2 million).

As mentioned earlier the strategist Saavedra funded the French fleet and 5000 troops at Yorktown, first by raising 100,000 pesos ($ 3 million) in Spanish Puerto Rico and Santo Domingo. He then sailed to Havana where he found a shipment of one million pesos from Mexico's silver mines he was expecting was late. Consequently, in two days time, he was locally raised and dispatched 500,000 pesos ($ 15 Million) to catch up with the French fleet which was already enroute to Virginia! Five days later the original one million pesos ($ 30 Million) arrived and he dispatched this as well! Authorization for much of this was done simply on the word of Saavedra and Jose de Galvez's signature!

From the territories of Nueva España was contributed $ 126,480 from New Mexico and another $ 672,600 from Sonora Mexico.

Toldeo Spain: Contributed 500,000 reales ($ 1,875,000). And the little town of Malaga 200,000 copper reales ($ 37,500).

The monetary impact of Spain's Contribution:

It is no surprise that this volume of Spanish currency flowing into the colonies affected the new American currency – and its appearance. For centuries Spain has used the Pillars of Hercules to symbolize its control of the Straits of Gibraltar. The Greek like pillars typically flank the royal shield and are loosely wrapped with a ribbon. The Colonists came to denote Spanish currency as an S having two vertical lines through it, which evolved into the US Dollar sign of today.

The word "Dollar" itself came from the German line of the Spanish Hapsburg's "Thaler" and became the English word for the Spanish peso used through out Spain and the Spanish Colonies. The Colonists became accustomed to the word and made it the name for their new currency despite spelled and pronounced Dollar.

In 1775, a year before the Declaration of Independence, the first issue of Continental paper money provided that the notes would be payable in "Spanish Milled Dollars or the value there in gold or silver".

The American rhyme teaching children the value of money "Two bits, Four bits Six bits, a Dollar" takes its origins from the Spanish "Piece of Eight" – a coin that could be physically broken apart into 8 equal parts or bits. Two bits from the 8 equals the American "Quarter", or 25 cent piece.

In recapitulation:

For its alliance with France in support of the rebelling English Colonies Spain wanted Gibraltar, Menorca, Florida, Jamaica, and the Bahamas and control of the mouth of the Mississippi River. Furthermore, British establishments on the east coast of Mexico and Honduras were to be eliminated.

In the end the Colonies won their independence and Spain achieved all its goals except capturing Jamaica and regaining Gibraltar.

In recognition:

In October of 2006 the Daughters of the American Revolution placed a plaque in the garden of the Casa de Americas in Madrid in recognition of Spain's contribution to the American Independence. Two nights later the Madrid Council of the US Navy League (www.nlmadrid.org) presented the Supreme Commanding Officer of all Spanish Military Forces, its highest award, The Admiral Farragut Statue, in thanks and recognition for Spain's contribution to American Independence.

The Commanding Officer was gracious in accepting the award, and responded by observing that when Spain was large and the Colonies in need, Spain had its support, and that today when those roles have reversed, that Amistad still exists.

Shoes or not shoes… it’s totally up to you. I would suggest that you start wearing shoes if you plan to do performances in the future. Would be kind of funny if you got a performance in a stadium and performed bare feet=) It is a bit different to juggle bare feet and with shoes.

What kind of shoes are best then? The easiest guideline I would give is that the shoe should be sort of flat and at the front(where your toes are) it should not be hard at all, no sole attaching there etc… totally soft. You want to feel the ball! Also if it’s hard and edgy in the front the bounce can be kind of odd sometimes.

The next thing to think about it the sole… if you move on to more advanced tricks you want to have a sole that allows you to juggle with your soles(soccer boots sucks when it comes to sole tricks). Personally I prefer turf shoes because one you freestyle on concrete you will wear the sole out, and a turf sole lasts longer. You might find it a bit harder to do sole juggles with turf shoes… but it’s all about practice. Also after a couple of weeks of practicing there is almost nothing left of the studs.

A lot of people prefer indoor shoes though. They are great but as I mentioned above, they doesn’t last for as long and they are as expensive as turf shoes. So I would go with turf. Futsal shoes is starting to get very popular but since a lot of them have a rather thin sole they last even shorter. But they are really great, they are very light and you can really feel the football when you’re juggling. I would like to recommend “Nike First Touch” if you would like to go for a turf shoe. They do the job for me and I really like them. At one point I bought 4 pairs so I knew I had new ones when it was time to change.

You might also wonder how long a shoe lasts for… well, if you only freestyle indoors they last for a long time. If you freestyle on concrete you will wear them out. How long they will last depends how much you freestyle. But to give you some guidelines, if you freestyle for around 2h a day they will last for around 3 month.

I hope you know a bit more about shoes for football freestyle now!

Irrespective of whether you are a professional soccer player or one who is just a newbie in the game, it is important to choose the right pair of soccer cleats. These cleats are very important for you to play your natural game on the field without having to worry about problems like pain in your leg, blisters, soreness, ill-fitting shoes, lack of grip and more. These problems are downright silly to mention; however, they can create a huge negative impact on your game and speed. Therefore, you need to spend enough time to choose the right pair of cheap football boots, especially if you have a tight budget. There are huge brands that cost a bomb but look closely, and you will be able to find some good deals on your favorite brands. Here are some points that you need to remember while choosing your sports shoes.

1. Playing position

The common mistake that most soccer players make is not choosing their shoes according to their playing positions. Linemen require shoes with tall tops; quarterbacks require shoes with a medium cut; skill players require shoes with a low cut and so on. When you have a budget in mind, you can narrow your choices further by choosing the shoes according to your playing position and then choose the ones that give you a good deal.

2. Ground changing frequency

As a soccer player are you required to travel to various cities and play on different grounds or do you play regularly in the same type of ground every day? This is one of the most important questions that you must ask yourself before choosing your soccer shoes. If you are required to play in different kinds of fields, you need to buy shoes that have removable rubber cleats. This gives you the flexibility to choose the cleats that suit various grounds. You can use a cleat wrench to add cleats and customize them according to your standards. On the other hand, if you play on the same ground, choose shoes that have embedded or molded cleats.

3. Synthetic or leather?

When you go to buy football shoes, one important question might prefer in your mind. Should you buy leather or synthetic shoes? You are not alone if this question crosses your mind more than once in your shopping expedition. Leather shoes are costlier than synthetic shoes. Having said this, you have to note that material of leather is not suitable for playing on wet grounds. If you are choosing cheap football boots like the synthetic ones, you should brace yourself for a slight level of discomfort because synthetic does not provide you with the same breathability levels as leather.

These are only the most basic points that you should remember before buying your soccer cleats. Have a clear plan in mind and make sure that you try different models so that you can buy the one that is most comfortable for you. Materials like leather will stretch with time; therefore, do not be too worried if they are very tight when you try them on while purchasing.

Soccer cleats may not have the ability to make you a better player, but they definitely bring out the best in you because you are able to make use of your skills appropriately. There are so many cleats available in the market today and you should make the right choice in terms of fit, comfort, materials and even the features to enjoy a rewarding session in the field. But it is one thing to buy the perfect pair and quite another if you do not take care of your soccer boots. Keeping your cleats in top shape enhances durability and quality and it is not that hard to keep them in top shape.

1. Avoid the myth of hot water technique to loosen the soccer boots because it ruins the shoe even though it does loosen and expand them to give you a good fit. Instead, choosing other better breaking in techniques such as jogging in them during warm ups or prior to the game. The more activities you engage while wearing the boots, the more they loosen and the better the fit when you finally go to play.

2. If you want to soften your leather soccer cleats, then choose a high quality leather food. You can apply it to the boots after cleaning suitably one day before your game. The softer the boots the more comfortable the fit will be and the easier the movement on the pitch.

3. For natural leather cleats, polishing with creams is enough in ensuring that they do not dry out. They need this kind of conditioning to maintain softness and you can rub the cream after cleaning and drying the shoes. When they remain soft, cracking and hardening is eliminated.

4. Air dries the cleats after every game and avoid situations where you leave them in your bag till it is next practice day. You can stuff some newspaper into the soccer boats to soak up dampness inside and to hold them in shape as they dry. It is also important that you do not expose them to direct sunlight when drying or areas that are too hot because it can end up cracking them.

5. Remove the cleats out immediately after the game; the only place to wear them should be on the field. Hard surfaces such as concrete and asphalt can wear the spikes down, making them less functional in offering you grip during play.

6. Clean the soccer boots as soon as possible after the game so you are able to avoid grime and dirt settling into the leather causing damage in the process. When cleaning, you need to also ensure that you clean out every inch of the boot including dented areas as a result of stitching.

7. Use gentle cleaning products that will not damage the shoe and affect the breathability. The cleaning method and the cleaning products should be as gentle as possible to keep your shoe in top shape for longer.

All sorts of players, whether they are experienced ones, the young ones, the adult ones or the pro everyone needs a hand while picking up the perfect cleats for playing soccer. This article is dedicated towards making the right choice and selecting the cleats which are perfect for your feet. Let us start.

Cleats are Cleats!

This point becomes the first guide to buying cleats to illustrate that it is only the technique of the player which matters. The cleats can only accentuate the game. And hence no player should think that purchasing high quality ones would mean a drastic change in the game as it is going to be the endless practice which will make all the difference.

Get to know your style

Whether you are a goalkeeper, or a forward, defender, midfielder or winger, all this is going to impact on the type that you are going to buy. This is because all these styles are different and require a different set of grip on the ground. After identifying the style, go on for choosing the one which fits you best.

What is the type of your pitch?

The sort of playground you will be playing upon also makes a lot of difference in choosing your soccer cleats. If the land on which you are going to play is muddy and wet then you should go for HG ones. If you need one for a year, then turf should be your choice. Go for firm ground (FG) in case of grassy ground. Soft ground (SG) is apt for surfaces which are soft enough to allow the studs to penetrate the ground. If the surface is solid as a rock, then Indoor ones should be your choice.

The material used matters!

There are a number of materials which are used in making them. It can be K-Leather, Natural leather, synthetic leather, synthetic, mesh or knit. The K leather quality allows your feet to get molded properly and it also provides durability. Made up of the skin of a calf or goat, these are very good at the balls. Some companies are working in the direction of using synthetic leather that gives the same effect as that of natural leather. Mesh is a trendy and lightweight upper covering which sometimes allows moisture to reach the skin of the player. Companies are working on the waterproofing technology of mesh.

Weight

The weight also matters a lot. On an average cleats with the weight of 8oz is considered to be perfect as it keeps the things balanced and the player does not feel the heaviness. However, there are some extra light weight which also weigh between 5oz to 6oz.

Budget your cleat

The most important aspect of purchasing is the budget. How much can you spend on it? Usually $150 or above is the elite level where you can purchase the top companies cleats. But to see a minimum of budget, it should be $10 at least which you are willing to spend on.

Coaching Youth Football, the Team Audit

Many youth football coaches squander their off-season time in areas that in the end will not do their teams a whole lot of good. Often times coaches will put their time into an area they personally like and not where the team needs the most help. If you really want your youth team to improve in the off-season, the best thing you can do is to improve the coaching in the areas that need the most improvement. Sounds simple right? Well many youth football coaches scatter-gun their approach and end up with the same problems every year.

A year end team "audit" can help you identify where you need to be investing your off-season time. One simple way to do a pretty quick and accurate audit is to rate your team against the teams you played during your season and rank aspects of your play against their. You rank your teams performance against the aggregate performance of your opponents. On scale of 1-10 with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest, how did your team compare to its competition in X aspect of the game? A score of 10 would mean your team was in the 91-100 percentiles. A score of 8 would mean you were in the 71-80 percentiles. A score of 1 would mean you were in the 0-10 percentiles. You get the idea.

You can get input if you like from your assistant coaches using a free tool like Surveymonkey. Asking coaches some input has some ownership value, but be careful, some coaches have agendas and prejudices. One very successful local High School coach told me, "the most important opinion is your own." Obviously you can do a more accurate job if you are brutally honest with yourself and take another look at your games on film.

These are the areas you may consider evaluating:

Blocking
Tackling
Ball Security

Offensive
Running Game
Passing Game
Offensive Line Play
Offensive Back Play
Quarterback Play
Receiver Play

Defense
Run Defense
Pass Defense
Creating Turnovers
Defensive Recognition / Alignment
Interior Defensive Line Play
Defensive End Play
Linebacker Play
Defensive Back Play

Special Teams
Kickoff Team
Kick Return Team
Punt Team
Punt Return Team
PAT Team

Team Chemistry / Cohesion
Mental Toughness
Aggressiveness
Discipline
Sportsmanship
Subbing
Athleticism
Conditioning

Once you have compiled your data, rank them from lowest number to highest number to determine your weak and strong points. Now rank those same aspects from 1 to 33 in their order of importance. So a 1 would be the most important aspect to you meeting your goals and 33 the least important. Then multiply the score by the ranking, total them up and list them high to low. For example if you rated yourself a 4 on ball security and you ranked it # 1 for importance, the score for ball security would be 4. If you rated yourself a 9 on PAT team and you ranked PAT # 11, your score would be 99 for PAT. In this example you would probably be investing quite a bit of time with improving your ball security and little on the PAT team. This process should be a good starting point to help you understand where your teams and youth football coaching skills need to improve.

The off-season and especially January- March offer a lot of opportunities to attend coaching clinics. If that does not work out in your schedule, then books and DVDs are always available. Just make sure the topics are where you should be prioritizing your time and that the instruction is proven and youth friendly.

1. Most folks know that Americans celebrate a Thanksgiving Day, but they aren’t alone. What event is celebrated in The Virgin Islands on Oct. 25?

A. A Thanksgiving Day to rejoice in the end of the hurricane season

B. A Thanksgiving Day to celebrate the end of the harvest season

C. A Thanksgiving Day to mark the beginning of the harvest season

D. There is no such event except in The QuizQueen’s imagination.

A. A Thanksgiving Day to rejoice in the end of the hurricane season

QQ: The Virgin Islands observe a Thanksgiving Day on Oct. 25 to rejoice in the end of the hurricane season. That is certainly something to celebrate alright!

2. Where did turkeys come from?

A. Turkey

B. Europe

C. South America

D. Antarctica

C. South America

QQ: Turkeys weren’t introduced into Europe from the Spanish colonies in South America until 1523. However, by 1524, turkeys, imported from South America, were eaten at the court of King Henry VIII of England.

3. Thanksgiving is also a legal holiday in Canada. When does it fall?

A. Second Monday in October

B. Second Thursday in October

C. Second Monday in November

D. Second Thursday in November

A. Second Monday in October

QQ: Because Canada is north of the United States, its harvest comes earlier in the year. Accordingly, the Thanksgiving holiday falls earlier in Canada than in the United States. The Canadian Parliament set aside Nov. 6 for annual Thanksgiving observances in 1879. In 1957 the date was shifted to an even earlier day, to the second Monday in October.

4. Who originally domesticated the turkey?

A. The Turks

B. The Mexicans

C. The Chinese

D. The Vulcans

B. The Mexicans

QQ: The turkey was originally domesticated in Mexico. The ocellated turkey is native to the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico and adjacent Guatemala and Belize.

5. What month is National Turkey Lovers’ Month?

A. May

B. June

C. November

D. December

B. June

QQ: Hah, bet lots of people got that one wrong! June is National Turkey Lovers’ Month, after all, June is the month for lovers, isn’t it?

6. Benjamin Franklin, who proposed the turkey as the official United States’ bird, was dismayed when the bald eagle was chosen over the turkey. Why?

A. He loved to eat turkey and wanted everyone to love it, too

B. He thought the turkey much more respectable

C. He said the bald eagle had a bad moral character

D. The turkey was a true native of America

E. All are true

F. None are true

G. A, B, and C are true

H. B, C, and D are true

H. B, C, and D are true

QQ: He may have loved to eat turkey, but after the selection was made, Franklin wrote to his daughter, referring to the eagle’s “bad moral character,” saying, “I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen as the representative of our country! The turkey is a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America.”

7. What Thanksgiving Day image can be traced back to ancient harvest festivals?

A. Candle

B. Cornucopia

C. Pilgrim hat

D. Turkey

B. Cornucopia

QQ: The cornucopia (a horn-shaped basket overflowing with fruits and vegetables) is a typical emblem of Thanksgiving abundance that dates to ancient harvest festivals. Many of the images commonly associated with Thanksgiving are derived from much older traditions of celebrating the autumn harvest.

8. Can turkeys fly?

A. Only the domestic ones

B. Only the wild ones

C. All turkeys can fly

D. No turkeys can fly

B. Only the wild ones

QQ: Domesticated turkeys cannot fly. Wild turkeys can fly for short distances up to 55 miles per hour and can run 20 miles per hour.

9. Although the U.S. is tops when it comes to turkey consumption (who knows if it is Thanksgiving that puts us over the top), what country is a close second?

A. France

B. Italy

C. Germany

D. UK

A. France

QQ: This was a tough question, because according to the USDA the French, the Italians, the Germans, and the British all follow US consumption of turkey (in that order).

10. Although often linked to Christmas, Kwanzaa is actually more closely tied with which holiday?

A. St. Patrick’s Day

B. Halloween

C. Thanksgiving

D. Valentine’s Day

C. Thanksgiving

QQ: Come on, even if you didn’t know that Kwanzaa was Swahili for “first fruits” this is a Thanksgiving-theme quiz! Kwanzaa has its roots in the ancient African first-fruit harvest celebrations from which it takes its name. However, its modern history begins in 1966 when it was developed by African American scholar and activist Maulana Karenga.

11. When Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin sat down to eat their first meal on the moon, their foil food packets contained what?

A. Roasted turkey and all of the trimmings

B. Spaghetti and meatballs

C. Hot dogs and beans

D. Peanut butter and jelly

A. Roasted turkey and all of the trimmings

QQ: If you got this wrong, refer to the title of the quiz!

12. What Jewish holiday could be associated with Thanksgiving?

A. Shabuoth

B. Passover

C. Hanukah

D. Yom Kippur

A. Shabuoth

QQ: Shabuoth or Shavuoth, also Feast of Weeks or Pentecost, is celebrated in the late spring during the Hebrew month of Sivan, seven weeks after Passover. In biblical times the festival was a thanksgiving for the grain harvest. Later tradition associates the holiday with the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai.

13. Who gobbles in the turkey family?

A. Everyone

B. Only adult turkeys, not chicks

C. Only tom turkeys

D. Only hen turkeys

C. Only tom turkeys

QQ: Only tom turkeys gobble. Hen turkeys make a clicking noise. Click. Click.

14. The custom of watching football games on Thanksgiving Day also evolved during the early decades of the 20th century. Many Americans digest their holiday meal while watching football games on television. Traditionally, which two National Football League (NFL) teams host games on Thanksgiving Day?

A. Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys

B. Carolina Panthers and Miami Dolphins

C. Jacksonville Jaguars and Cincinnati Bengals

D. Houston Oilers and Cleveland Browns

A. Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys

QQ: High viewership of these holiday games has made football an American Thanksgiving tradition. Yet another retail strike against America! And for your football trivia, The Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Houston Oilers could not be part of any long-standing tradition as the Panthers and Jaguars were part of the 1995 expansion of the NFL and the Oilers moved to Tennessee in 1997 to become the Titans.

15. What is the turkey trot?

A. A ragtime dance

B. The gait of a horse

C. A card game

D. The way a turkey runs

A. A ragtime dance

QQ: The turkey trot ragtime dance is characterized by a springy walk with the feet well apart and a swinging up-and-down movement of the shoulders.

Life cycle ordained phases of life broadly categorized as gestation period, blooming period and decaying stage before the demise. In adherence to the principle of universal law of life cycle, the origin of nation states, their consummation to glory and powers and the related downfall provides the distribution trend of powers geographically in each global era. The West and East has had their share of glory. In terms of universal principle of equity, the part of the world left aside for so long should be getting its share of glory now. The place having the largest unexploited and undiscovered resources has the potential of becoming key player in global sustainability development and dependence of others on the provider for sustenance.

The civilization of Mesopotamia, Yangtze Kiang and Indus rocked the ancient world. In the early middle ages, the Greeks and Roman Civilisation drew their might from religious sanctity for territorial conquest. In the colonial era, Britiain’s supremacy was drawn from its adeptness in diplomatic warfare which crashed against the alliance of world powers in World Wars. The sucessors of the wars who became the new imperilaists marked the era of cold wars. The fight for supremacy between two super powers, Russia and America ended after the Russian disintegration. USA remained the unchallenged super power. The current global catastrophe has crashed the developed world and the recovery is not predictable. The speculation about the next super power is now on Brazil, India, China based on the criteria of economic and military might. The speculation could not lead to a logical conclusion. Brazil’s economic growth may not reach a superpower level of growth, China’s half baked democracy hinders the basic human freedom that curbs the growth of human potential and India’s overwhelmingly poor populace is bound to pull back the speed in the race. The stark reality now questions the applicability of the super power criteria. Achim Steiner, Under Secretary General of UN indeed has rightly mentioned that the 20th century has been an industrial age – the 21st century is becoming increasingly a biological one. This observation redefines the criteria for the next super power. The super power is the one that can optimise the maximum benefit to the world. Herein lies the relevance of sustainability concept as against the concept of conquest by might.

Africa is an almost forgotten world in the progress of human civilization and modern development. The whirlwind of changes seems to predict that the continent have been preserved for the future of mankind. Evaluating the natural assets of Africa, the economic value of wetlands of the Zambezi River Basin in terms of crops and agriculture is close to USD 50 million a year. The wetlands economic importance in terms of fisheries is nearly USD 80 million a year and in terms of maintenance of grasslands for livestock production, over USD 70 million annually. Wetland-dependent ecotourism is valued at more than USD 800,000 annually and natural products and medicines associated with wetlands on the Zambezi are worth over USD 2.5 million a year. It is estimated that tourism linked with gorilla watching now brings in around USD 20 million a year. South Africa’s coastal waters and unique wildlife are generating roughly USD 30 billion a year in economic and tourist-based activities. In Madagascar, nature-based tourism is the second largest foreign exchange earner.

The truth is that Africa’s ecosystems are not just serving the region, but the whole world. Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel prize-winning economist, estimates that the carbon sequestration or “carbon-soaking” value of tropical forests – such as those in the Congo River Basin – probably equals or exceeds the current level of international aid being provided to developing countries. The continent is almost an unforgotten land in the progress of mankind and global modern development. The continent was exploited, left idle and unwanted. The undiscovered huge natural assets is awaiting exploration. The universal principle of equity and justice may ensure Africa to have its share of glory one day, the universal life cycle may generate the continent to life, and the current concept of sustainability concept may place Africa as a giver of life to the rest of the world.

The World Cup for soccer held in Africa was historical indeed and the singer rightly belted out the words ‘this time for Africa”.

Nowadays, the most two popular sports are boxing and soccer, but if we think of sport betting, the first that come to our mind must be soccer. Soccer is a very popular sport in most country, especially in United Kingdom. Most people have their favorite teams, they always watch and cheer their teams on TV, but match result and the exciting of the whole match play does not make them fun enough. Then they try to make it more by betting.

Soccer betting is one of the few forms of gambling that involves more knowledge and skill than luck. To be successful in soccer betting, you must be knowledgeable of soccer and should create your own soccer betting odds. The most important thing to consider when betting on soccer is consistency and attention to detail. For examples, what’s the position they are, how many times they lose or win to the rival clubs, what’s score they lose or win. When you plot soccer betting odds and pay attention to the soccer world, you will find yourself winning more than lose. The more you strategically bet on soccer, the more opportunity you win the cash.

However, if you are not a fan of soccer and do not know the teams very well, or you are an amateur for soccer betting, online soccer betting website has the soccer betting odds posted by maker odds. This could help you to bet on soccer as a professional. Whether you have been following soccer for a long time or just starting to look into this exciting sport, there are many sources of soccer betting odds you can access right on the Internet. You can find the betting system that is simple but efficient in our website.

The best aspect of soccer betting is that luck has a little to do with winning. By diligently tracking soccer betting odds, you can often turn a profitable second income during soccer season. Though the soccer betting can give you a profit quickly, you should realize that if things come quick, they also go quick. Do not be too greedy; be disciplined if you want to last long in this industry.

We often say that sports are for boys and girls should play with their dolls or do tea parties. However, research shows that playing sports has grown in popularity and many women engage actively in sports. Although some think that sports can be hard for girls, this is not so. On the contrary, playing sports activities not only helps women in terms of the body, it also helps develop their minds and spirits. Playing sports, especially team sports such as football or soccer, not only help individuals learn to be accountable, it also teaches them to persevere and helps them develop their leadership skills.

Team Sports

For parents who are looking at what sports type to enrol their kids, they might want to look at team sports such as football or soccer. Team sports help girls to do better not only with their physical activities but also it helps them to do better at academics. As most sports teach repetitive moves, it helps improve their memory and enhance their learning skills. As constant drills are put into place, kids learn to discipline themselves and develop character.

Another benefit when it comes to team sports is that it prepares the player to accept obstacles in life. As game play would usually involve physical contact such as tackling or being fouled out of the game, the kid learns that success comes with conflict and each success comes with cooperation from the whole team. This also helps kids to develop their goal setting skills which will help them to achieve success later on in life.

Young girls who have problems with their physical appearance or have low self-esteem can develop their confidence on the field. As sports participation helps young ladies get into shape, it helps them with their weight and also helps them meet new people and develop new friendships.

Physical Benefit

Girls who are engaged early on in sports activities also tend to lead a healthier lifestyle and this can prevent them from becoming obese. Sports also help in reducing the chances of contracting health problems such as osteoporosis or cancer and many other health concerns later on in life.

Football can be a great way for young ladies as it has a set of proper drills and techniques to follow. Although there are some safety concerns with regards to sprains and other football related injuries, wearing appropriate football equipment such as gloves, padding, helmets and other equipment can minimize the risks and parents are ensured that their girls can play safely.