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A Pat on the Back Statistically Improves Free Throw Numbers in Basketball–Demonstrating the Power of Touch

in Sports 409 views

In difficult situations, physical touch like a hug or a pat on the back can reduce stress; so much so that researchers from the University of Basel have found it can statistically improve free throw points in collegiate basketball.

The research demonstrates just how sensitive humans are to physical touch, and how marriage and family therapist Virginia Satir’s famous quote “we need four hugs a day for survival, eight hugs a day for maintenance, twelve hugs a day for growth,” is spot on.

One of the most stressful situations during any basketball game is a free throw, which happens when a player is fouled while attempting to score. Unlike in soccer where anyone can take a penalty kick, in basketball, it is only the fouled player who gets the free throw.

They can win one point per successful shot, and typically get 2 per foul. Games are decided by free throws.

Of the 10 most successful NCAA teams (based on win percentage) since 2001, only one (Michigan State) shot fewer free throws than the median of 20.6 per game. Estimates of the number of games decided by free throws during a single season range from four to as many as one-half of all games according to published research.

Evidently then, whatever can improve free throw completion can only be a good thing for a team.

A team of researchers headed by Christiane Büttner at Basel’s Faculty of Psychology investigated this phenomenon, with their results appearing in the journal Psychology of Sport & Exercise.

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Paraplegic Veteran Uses Skydiving to Reclaim Lost Sensation in His Legs and Soul

in Sports 374 views

There was a lot that Army veteran Alex Dillman lost when he became a paraplegic after an IED blew up under his legs in Afghanistan, but now an unlikely activity has allowed him to take some of what he lost back.

Hurtling through the air at 120 mph, Dillman doesn’t need his wheelchair to skydive; he doesn’t really need his legs either. In that unique state of concentration and freedom, he says he’s “expected to perform,” a do-or-die state of mind that he says he hasn’t felt since his old life on deployment.

Profiled in Walter Allen‘s “Extraordinary Ordinary” segment on Fox 13 News, Tampa, the veteran needed years to develop a method of solo skydiving without the use of his legs.

“[In] some weird way… the universe has offered me this opportunity. I was capable of doing it on my own [sic] was all I needed, and it sent me on this wild trajectory,” Dillman told Allen and Fox 13.

Dillman originally saw adventure therapy as a way to combat depression and PTSD he suffered from in the wake of his lost abilities, but he never imagined it would help him get some of those abilities back.

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29-Year-old Becomes First American Woman to Race a Sailboat Solo Around the World

in People/Sports 401 views

A 29-year-old woman has become the first woman to race non-stop around the Earth when she arrived in A Coruna, Spain, on Thursday.

Captaining her 40-foot vessel First Light for months, Cole Brauer crossed three oceans and 30,000 miles to arrive at the finish line. She was the only woman who set forth on the Global Solo Challenge.

She is neither the first woman to sail around the world nor the first woman to sail non-stop around the world, but she is the first to do it as part of a competition, and ipso facto also set the world record for the fastest, solo, female, non-stop circumnavigation at 130 days.

Satellite communications allowed her to keep in touch with a logistics team, as well as a horde of over 400,000 followers on social media.

“Solo sailors, you have to be able to do everything,” Brauer told NBC News’ Today Thursday. “You need to be able to take care of yourself. You need to be able to get up, even when you’re so exhausted. And you have to be able to fix everything on the boat.”

Her route took her from Spain down the west coast of Africa where she hugged the Southern Ocean reaches from the Cape of Good Hope, to Australia, to Cape Horn, and up again to Spain across the Atlantic.

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Britain’s Oldest Soccer Senior at 90-years-old Is Still the ‘Ninja’ of Goals–Playing 3x a Week

in Sports 306 views

Britain’s oldest striker is still banging in the goals for his local soccer team three times a week—at the grand old age of 90.

Sprightly Mike Fisher—nicknamed ‘Ninja’ by teammates—averages three goals a game following an amateur footballing career that began 75 years ago in 1949.

The former RAF veteran turns out every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for two local walking soccer teams after he started playing for them at age 82.

Before that, the granddad-of-two played up until his 40s before taking a break from the beautiful game.

Falling back in love with the sport in his 80s, he now regularly appears for Old Corinthians, who play at non-league Rushall Olympic’s ground in Walsall.

The goal machine even celebrated his 90th birthday with teammates in late February by bagging five goals in a game against opponents 40 years younger than him.

“They all call me ‘Ninja,’” Mike admits, “because they say I’m gone in the blink of an eye, just like that. One minute you think you’ve collared me and the next minute I’m gone and the ball is in the back of the net.”

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Teen’s Family Struggled to Afford Size 23 Shoes–Shaq Sent a Dozen Pairs, Including Superman Slippers

in Entertainment/People/Sports 301 views

A 16-year-old from Independence Missouri wears shoes so big you could fit your arm in them—but they were too small.

That’s because young Jor’el Bolden wears a size 23, which essentially means he wears nothing because most companies don’t sell shoes that big.

The Independence community rallied around Bolden and his mother Tamika, raising $12,000 through a GoFundMe which attracted the attention of national news, and one very famous, very generous, and very large celebrity.

“Entertainment Tonight, they messaged me and she was like ‘someone special wants to talk to you’,” his mother, Tamika Neal, told KCTV 5 where the story originally aired.

NBA legend and renowned good-guy Shaquille O’Neal, who’s heard his fair share of bigfoot jokes, got abreast of KCTV 5’s story and organized to have a Zoom call with Jor’el.

In the call, Shaq told him to expect some goodies in the mail, and within three days there were several large boxes full of Shaq-sized, Jor’el-sized clothes, and 20 pairs of size 23 shoes.

“It’s better than Christmas morning. Santa didn’t send this, Shaq did,” Neal told KCTV 5.

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NFL Scores Touchdown for Renewables: Superbowl 58 Was 100% Solar Powered

in Place/Sports 355 views

The biggest sporting event in America went green this year thanks to its position out in the desert. 621,000 solar panels channeled the electricity needed to power the Allegiant Stadium, home of both Superbowl VXIII, and the Las Vegas Raiders.

According to CBS News, the stadium entered into a 25-year agreement with NV Energy to buy power from the solar farm, which can power 60,000 homes outside of game day.

Las Vegas sees 300 days of sun a year, so the initiative makes perfect sense, and it’s not the only sustainability initiative found in and around the Allegiant. They recycle all the rubber pellets from the turf, run food scrap collection from the on-site restaurants and divert them from the waste stream to feed livestock, and compost all the grass clippings from the field.

They also have a super-efficient roof which reduces the need for air-con, and multiple efficiency systems like low-energy lighting, lighting control systems, and air handling units.

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Watertown City School District launches ski club at Dry Hill

in Uncategorized 133 views

North country students like Miles Lewis are now getting the chance to learn to ski or snowboard with a discounted price through their school district.

Watertown City School District, in conjunction with Dry Hill Ski Area, is offering students the opportunity to use an asset that is in its own backyard.

A ski club has been started for students who are between the ages of 7 and 18.

Miles’s father, Jim, said it’s a great chance for him to get back on the snowboard too, for the first time in 25 years. He said it’s “frustrating, but it’s all right” getting back to it.

His son has been wanting to try snowboarding for some time, but the weather hasn’t cooperated.

“I’m happy for him. Hopefully he doesn’t get too frustrated,” Jim said. “Hopefully it’s something he can get into because Dry Hill’s close and right in our backyard.”

He said “it’s fantastic” to snowboard with his son and it was something he used to do with his family.

“I grew up skiing here since I was his age, and if I can get him to come out a little bit more, it’d be great,” he said.

Sally Newell-Parker, who helped organize the club for the school district, said it all started with a parent reaching out to the district.

Newell-Parker said they haven’t been able to make it into a sport quite yet, but that is the hope.

She said there are around 20 students who go to Dry Hill on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

“They’re hoping it will grow even more, but this is our first year for a trial,” she said.

Parents are required to fill out permission slips and sign in to ParentSquare.

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Paris Olympics Gets 11,000 Stadium Seats Made of Recycled City Plastic

in Enviroment/Sports 290 views

Spectators of the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris will be watching the aquatic events from seats made of plastic collected in recycling bins from around the area.

In fact, 80% of the 100 metric tons of plastic needed to make the seats came from a single neighborhood—which is also where it’s being processed into new material by a firm called Le Pavé.

“It’s collected in Seine-Saint-Denis, shredded in Seine-Saint-Denis, processed in Seine-Saint-Denis, all for a swimming pool that’s still in the area,” Augustin Jaclin, co-founder of Lemon Tri, the company which collects the recycling, told Euro News. 

Numerous tests have been carried out on the chairs, which include UV resistance, fire resistance, and toxicity, but also mechanical resistance tests to see how well they remain anchored to the floor under persistent attempts to rip them off of it—perhaps by a drunken angry spectator.

Marius Hamelot, co-founder of Le Pavé, said that in the lead-up to the Olympics, manufacturers have been encountering problems getting a hold of new plastics, so they switched to using waste streams. One rich vein in particular was soda bottle tops, of which 5 million were shredded by various companies looking to produce infrastructure like seating for the games.

“It’s a huge communication tool,” says Augustin. “When we tell children to come and put your bottles in the bins, tomorrow they’ll be in the seats of the Olympic swimming pool, it raises awareness [of waste recycling].”

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Genesee County Spartans head to Watertown for non-league game Saturday

in Sports 224 views

The Genesee County Spartans football club travels north this Saturday for a non-league game against the host Watertown Red and Black.

“Watertown is a powerhouse in the Gridiron Developmental Football League and an awesome organization, but if we play Spartans football – hard-nosed and disciplined – I feel we can play with any team in the country,” said Head Coach Harry Rascoe.

That’s a strong statement considering that Rascoe and his coaching staff have had only a couple months to recruit players and conduct practices in preparation for their inaugural season in the Northern Football Alliance.

Rascoe said that the team’s quarterbacks – Joe Canzoneri and Alex Rood – will each play two quarters against Watertown as the competition for the starting job continues.

“This weekend will allow us to get a look at both QBs and see some players at different positions in a real game. We are excited to play finally after weeks of practice,” he said.

Canzoneri is a 2010 graduate of Batavia High School and a three-year starter at QB for the Blue Devils. He attended GCC for two years. Today, he owns his own barber shop on Ellicott Street.

“I joined the team because I wanted to see if I still have it or not,” he said, noting that he held a couple passing records at BHS.

Rood graduated from BHS in 2020, went on to play quarterback at Geneva College and now competes in track and field at Brockport State College.

“This is a great opportunity to continue playing at the semi-pro level,” he said.

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