Nike’s new ad for Serena Williams will set you dreaming


Nike’s new advertisement reveals home-video of a nine-year-old Serena Williams practicing tennis with her father.

If you don’t dare to try and chase your dreams, you’ll rob yourself the joy of doing it. Don’t just dream it. Serena Williams

One day we’ll be able to turn our dreams into movies we can watch when we wake up.

PS. The man in the background is her Dad celebrating at the US Open.

How to bowl a strike 🎳


Pro tip: No need to be a muscle man. Use the lighter ball to get down those extra pins.

By itself, bowling a strike isn’t all that hard. Most amateur bowlers end up doing it by accident at least once a game. What makes a great bowler is the ability to bowl a strike consistently, which comes from hours of practice, great technique, and a few insider tips to get you started.

First, don’t go for the heaviest ball imaginable. It’s uncomfortable and less effective. Heavy balls hit pins up and out of the way while lighter balls spend more of their time banging around, causing the type of havoc that results in a strike.

(via Art of Manliness)

‘Most runners run because they want to live life to the fullest’


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Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest. If you’re going to while away the years, it’s far better to live them with clear goals and fully alive than in a fog, and I believe running helps you do that. Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that’s the essence of running, and a metaphor for life—and for me, for writing as well. I believe many runners would agree.

Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running: A Memoir

Designing the official World Cup ball


Every four years Adidas redesigns the official ball for the World Cup. This year’s ball is called The Telstar 18, a perfect sphere that designed to reduce wobbling.

The Telstar 18, the design for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, is as close to a perfect sphere as you can get. It has subtle pimples and six thermally bonded panels designed to avoid knuckling, which is the characteristic bobbing and weaving movement when a ball is kicked without spin. All 32 teams have been able to play with it since November in preparation for the tournament, which runs from June 14 to July 15. But despite its similarities to the old ball, players have grumbled about the Telstar 18. Compared to the last few World Cup balls, the Telstar 18 is very similar to the ball used for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. It won’t fly quite as far down the pitch, and will wobble in the air a little differently, but aerodynamic testing suggests it will be more stable in the air overall.

Adidas tested the balls using wind tunnels, trying to mimic the unpredictable nature of a Ronaldo or Messi kick. Some say past designs weren’t so sturdy and may have given some teams an advantage. The 2010 South Africa World Cup ball, known as the Jabulani, fit the short-passing style of the World Cup winners Spain.

Despite the ball’s aerodynamic optimization, one thing is certain: the goalies always hate it.

I kind of feel sympathy for the players and especially the goalkeepers that have to get used to a new ball,” Goff says. So far the Telstar 18 has received criticism from a few goalkeepers that played with it starting in November, unhappy with how it moves in the air and the way the surface feels. Goalkeepers, unlike every other player on the pitch, have to predict where the ball will go in order to block it, while also not having the freedom to run around the field to adjust as the ball flies. That means goalies often have the most complaints about a new design. “Every time there’s a World Cup and a new ball the goalkeepers complain, because they’ve been given a new ball,” says Goff.

Read How the new World Cup ball was designed to not influence the games

The British Museum adds Mo Salah’s boots to its collection


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Image via the British Museum

In preparation for the Champions League final this Saturday, the British Museum has decided to include the football boots of Mo Salah in the Egyptian collection.

The Egyptian star scored the most goals in a Premier League season with 32. The museum’s curator said the boots were “a modern Egyptian icon, performing in the UK, with a truly global impact.” However, others like Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass finds the opportunism inappropriate, saying “If the British Museum wanted to honor Salah, it should have built a museum for him or put the shoe in a special room.”

You be the judge.

Below are some of Salah’s top goals from the 2017 – 2018 season.

Why great athletes enjoy suffering pain


Author Malcolm Gladwell sits down with Alex Hutchison, author of the new book [easyazon_link identifier=”0062499866″ locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance[/easyazon_link] to discuss how great athletes come to enjoy suffering pain.

Says Hutchison, “Great athletes don’t necessarily feel pain differently. They reframe pain differently.” Hutchison calls the suffering a type of benign masochism.

“Some day we’ll be able to identify that some people are wired to enjoy pain.”Click To Tweet

Being uncomfortable is a ‘psychological coping mechanism’

The best performers also suffer more in training, says Hutchison. This reminded me of Michael Jordan who once said that he practiced so hard that the games were often easier. As the Marines like to say: ‘pain is weakness leaving the body.’

How much are you willing to suffer to be the greatest?

#sports #boxing #ali #muhammadali
via giphy

An Olympian’s guide to managing stress


When you aim for the donut hole, you’ll certainly miss it. The obsession with victory backfires. Says Olympic biathlete Clare Egan on hitting the last of five targets:

“‘If I hit this, I’ll win the gold medal’ — as soon as you have that thought, you’re definitely going to miss it. That extra push or desire to win is not only not helpful, it’s counterproductive. You have to eliminate that from your mind and focus on the task.”

When you compete against others, you also impede your ability to get the job done. Says Egan:

“I think such a big part of this is focusing on what you are doing. You have to let go of how everyone else is doing, and focus on your own work.”

The lizard brain wants you to compete out of fear. The monkey mind wants to you to assay your inner monologue. Ambition trips you up.

The mental game is just as important as the physical one. Focusing on process rather than pursuit may give you a better chance at achieving victory.

Read How to Manage Stress Like an Olympic Biathlete

The view from the street


I ventured into DC this weekend which I often do to whet my appetite for street photography. Little did I know, two events were happening: the Juggalo March and a Latino Festival which ran down Constitution Avenue.

While I snapped many pictures of those folks, what struck me most was this skateboarder flying down 15th street with the entire street to himself. Since the streets were closed off, he had the freedom to ride wherever he wanted. You can also see the newly opened African American museum layered in the backdrop.

gif and photos by Wells Baum

I only skateboarded a few times growing up, but the sport comes with valuable life lessons if you can keep up with it. As Jerry Seinfeld put it:

To learn to do a skateboard trick, how many times do you get something wrong until you get something right? If you learn to do that trick, now you’ve got a life lesson. Whenever I see those skateboard kids, I think those kids will be alright.

Skateboarding is a life’s sport. The skateboard culture ushered in by Tony Hawk and brands like Vans introduced an element of coolness and creativity forever.

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How to build up and sustain intrinsic motivation


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The thing about cliches is that sometimes they’re true. Take this one for instance: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Competition is the quickest way to demotivate yourself.

You may enjoy excelling, but you will realize the game is really within yourself to achieve greater personal growth. According to career analyst Dan Pink, there are two types of motivation: extrinsic and intrinsic.

Extrinsic motivation is rewards-based where things like fame or money drive your effort. Intrinsic motivation seeks a deeper purpose – it drives people to do what matters to them than what impacts the bottom line. Naturally, people that are intrinsically motivated play the long-game.

Purpose is what gets you out of bed in the morning and into work without groaning and grumbling — something that you just can’t fake.

A Gallup study shows making $75k a year does not make people happier; in fact, they are more likely to fall into the trap of jealousy and bitter competition. Dissatisfied people always want what they don’t have.

They say that having a backup plan can demotivate you as well. As Mark Manson wrote, “Action isn’t just the effect of motivation, but also the cause of it.” The doing mindset creates momentum. If you want to be consistent you have to “put your ass where your heart needs to be,” says author Steven Pressfield.

When it comes to motivation, consider focusing on why what you do matters rather than quitting just because someone else does it better. A ‘trying’ attitude put Jamaican Bobsleigh into the 1988 Winter Olympics–“being there” was like winning a gold medal.

When trying to stay motivated, try to keep perspective by practicing “objective optimism”:

“don’t replace “She’s better than me” with “I’m the best,” but, with something quantifiable, like “This presentation I made really looks great.””

The only way to hack motivation and avoid burn out is to enjoy what you do with purpose even if progress is slow. A thousand drips can fill a bucket.

Studying woodpeckers is helping prevent brain trauma


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Bang ya head

“When you’re hit on the football field, parts of your brain may fizz like a just-opened can of soda.”

The brain released humans from the prison of biology.
So why do we do anything that damages our ability to think? Because of sports like football that entertain.

However, a new technology designed to mimic a woodpecker’s shock-absorbing beak may prevent football players from brain injury.

“It likely clinched its jugular vein with its long omohyoid muscle, protecting against brain slosh by filling its brain with blood.”

Scientists first theorized that increasing blood to the brain would help safeguard the head against collisions. Existing data revealed that playing football at higher altitudes generated fewer concussions. However, scientist Joseph Fisher thought he could still protect players’ brains without suffocating their oxygen. He went back to study the physiology of the woodpecker’s distinctive “omohyoid solution” for battling head trauma.

“forget CO2, Fisher thought. All you needed was to press lightly on the neck. Fisher bought a pair of headphones at an electronics store, bent the metal band a little, and placed them around his neck with the pads against his jugular veins.”

Naturally, scientists tested the hypothesis on rats by putting a neckband on them and forcing collisions. The neck-protected rats saw an “83 percent reduction in brain damage compared to rats that didn’t.” Scientists got approval to test a neck collar on high school football players.

“The kids who had worn the collar, on the other hand, saw significantly fewer changes. Their brains hadn’t suffered the same way. The findings were also replicated in hockey players. What worked for woodpeckers seemed to work for humans. A little extra blood in the skull swaddled the brain enough to reduce damage.”

In other words, squeezing the jugular sends just enough blood to the head to prevent brain injury and in the long-run, dementia caused by CTE. Astonishing, right? It makes you think why the NFL does not have an R&D department. The worst case scenario? Figure out how to play American football using bubbles.

Is Escape to Victory the best football movie of all-time?


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Before he released Rocky III, Sylvester Stallone played goalie for the Allied Prisoners of War in the 1981 soccer (football) movie Escape to Victory along with fellow Hollywood star Michael Kaine and football legends Pele, Bobby Moore, and Ossie Ardeles. It’s considered by some to be “the greatest football movie ever made.

Pairing world-class athletes with movie stars on the same team had its challenges. Pele told Michael Caine:

“Give me the ball and try to kick me to make it as realistic as possible.”

Pele made Cain look better than he was, so Caine returned the favor. He made acting sound easy, even for Pele, who couldn’t speak fluent English.

“Once I’d said to them, ‘Come on, don’t worry about it, just say the lines,’ everything went like clockwork.

The most bizarre thing about the movie though is why a rising celebrity like Stallone would participate in a film about soccer, still a niche sport in the United States to this day. At least his position on the field was realistic — America does produce exceptional goalies!

Perhaps Stallone just wanted to be celebrated in another hero’s journey. Maybe he cared about US World Cup qualification – the USMNT qualified for the 1990 World Cup after a 40-year absence. Theories aside, just look at Stallone’s incredible save to defeat the Nazis!