“You must excuse me, but when I’m with the boys I make all the fun I can.” -Joseph Smith (see Truman G Madsen Joseph Smith lectures)
Many look upon sport team involvement as highlights to their school days. Sports can be an environment to channel energy in positive ways. Be careful to not be too trapped in the ultra-competitive school and community sports, where parents overly harp on children for performance. If the element of fun is present, the student will excel naturally and with minimal coaching. Naturally there is a time and place for hardcore coaching, hell weeks, running drills, technique drills, etc., but the sport is to be foremost a delight. If teams are too competitive to even let you play without selling your soul to be good enough, look to your siblings neighbors and others to have fantastic sporting experiences.
Which sports are better than others? Other than avoiding brain damage or other frequent and serious bodily damage, I don’t suppose some sports are much better than others. The skater is an athlete just as much as the footballer. The tennis player and footbag player win a strong bill of health just like the soccer player (not Hercules perhaps, but most of us don’t need to be Hercules).
As for peer pressure, it’s found in any sport, football, skating, dancing (see my dancing materials in a book of their own), has peer pressure. The dancer is tempted to dress less modestly than she needs to at both practice and while going through day to day life, and is tempted to judge her worth on her appearance. The skater is offered drugs and alcohol. The footballer is offered chewing tobacco alcohol and one-night stands. The wrestler is tempted to become anorexic to an unhealthy degree.
Those of any sport can be tempted to carry their passion to an extreme, which then gets in the way of religious and familial duties. The soccer mom can not have time for self or quiet time with the children because she runs around so much. The student can not have time to learn mathematics science reading literature drama music and other intellectual skills when the sport devours all attention.
Flexibility and strength helps athletes and intellectual students alike to avoid burn out as they’ll enjoy more comfort throughout the day, having gained this level of control over their bodies, which are central to any activity, or in other words, cannot be eliminated from any equation entirely. For most people, the happy way to exercise is through sports. A brilliant workout is one that you’ll actually be excited to do, and therefore, do. Buying a soccer ball may be much more effective than buying a treadmill. Workout equipment will appeal to athletes, but sporting equipment can appeal to almost everyone, even the “uncoordinated”.
Some claim that ‘sports build character’. This is true on some levels, but not entirely, or we would see without fail that the professional athletes were the towers of moral integrity in society. Someone has said that perhaps rather than sports building character, they reveal character. It has been said of Abraham that the reason he was commanded to do a hard thing was not for growth, but to learn how strong he was. Abraham needed to learn something about Abraham. Often sports can help young people to learn that when they apply the character traits they have learned (hard work, sharing, integrity, consistency/diligence, thoroughness, study, etc.), they can excel at things, and enjoy their lives. Can uncharactered people become good at sports? Yes, just as much as the traits to become a good bank robber also involve hard work, intelligence, team work, etc. So learning a sport or other trade doesn’t really build character (good character anyways), but it reveals character. Will Johnny stop to help the one who got hurt? Will he offer to teach a team mate who isn’t getting it? Will be practice at home when no one is looking? Will he refrain from cheating when no one would notice? Will he be truthful to his peers and leaders even when not doing so appears to promise short- or long-term gains? Will he resist the invariable harlots that will flirt with him as he becomes an excellent athlete (and chose the virtuous woman instead)?
-the prophetic ‘Family Proclamation to the World’ (1995) teaches that wholesome recreation is one of the key elements to successful family life.
-Elder Neal A Maxwell played tennis even into his late years.
-President Thomas S. Monson taught old folks in rest homes about how a football game works, so they can understand what is going on the television and enjoy it. He speaks about current ball games. He says fishing is good and spiritual. He says having animals and going to fairs is joyful. He says road shows and dance festivals are uplifting. He knows about what is going on in the local barber shop. Henry the 8th was his favorite Shakespeare play. Among his favorite theatrical works is the Phantom of the Opera. He enjoyed raising pigeons. (see book To The Rescue by Heidi Swinton)
-President Russel M Nelson skied even into his 90’s.
-President Monson was a regular swimmer.
-“Just as honest toil gives rest its sweetness, wholesome recreation is the friend and steadying companion of work… Music, literature, art, dance, drama, athletics—all can provide entertainment to enrich one’s life and further consecrate it…” ” (Elder Christofferson in “Today’s Family: Chose Wholesome Recreation” at https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/prophets-and-apostles/unto-all-the-world/choose-wholesome-recreation?lang=eng)
-Make your entertainment high quality culture: “Too often we use many hours for fun and pleasure, clothed in the euphemism ‘I’m recharging my batteries.’ Those hours could be spent reading and studying to gain knowledge, skills, and culture.” (President Henry B Eyring in “Today’s Family: Chose Wholesome Recreation” at https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/prophets-and-apostles/unto-all-the-world/choose-wholesome-recreation?lang=eng)
-Don’t make entertainment your top priority: “In a materialistic age, when recreation and convenience are the suggested priorities of our society, we might all well ask ourselves, ‘How well are we providing for the spiritual well-being and strengthening of our families? …Are we clothing family members with ‘garments of salvation’ as anxiously as we provide clothing for their wardrobe? Is our diet of entertainment and recreation balanced with the food offered by Him who said, ‘Come unto me and ye shall partake of the fruit of the tree of life; yea, ye shall eat and drink of the bread and the waters of life freely’ (Alma 5:34).” (Elder Ballard in “Today’s Family: Chose Wholesome Recreation” at https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/prophets-and-apostles/unto-all-the-world/choose-wholesome-recreation?lang=eng)
-“Parents should act to preserve time for family prayer, family scripture study, family home evening, and the other precious togetherness and individual one-on-one time that binds a family together and fixes children’s values on things of eternal worth…Parents should teach gospel priorities through what they do with their children.” (Elder Oaks in “Today’s Family: Chose Wholesome Recreation” at https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/prophets-and-apostles/unto-all-the-world/choose-wholesome-recreation?lang=eng)
-Joseph Smith told one man who had done much work for the building up of God’s kingdom, that this brother needed to rest a while, to enjoy himself. The man responded, “I cannot”. Joseph said, “then you will die.” The man indeed later died a premature death, and Joseph spoke at his funeral. (see Truman G Madsen Joseph Smith lectures)
-When others chastised Joseph for playing sports, thinking that a prophet shouldn’t do such things, Joseph taught them that if you don’t unstring the bow from time to time, it loses its spring. This meant that to be effective he had to relax sometimes.
-Joseph Smith was known to be easily drawn to laughter, and frequently played with children and his brethren, playing sports and joking with them. He said we shouldn’t be too involved in the fantastic, but that a good sense of humor is of God. (see Truman G Madsen Joseph Smith lectures)
-Many saw Hyrum Smith as more prophet-like than Joseph, as Hyrum was less jovial and playful, but we know that these traits of Joseph helped him cope with his many trials, and uplift his fellows. (see Truman G Madsen Joseph Smith lectures)
-Joseph was hired as a farm hand not only because he was a hard worker, but because he could get the others to work too. (see Truman G Madsen Joseph Smith lectures)
Naturally you’ll gain strength in any sport, some more than others, but independent strength training in addition to your sport will help you excel in your sport to a most satisfying degree.
Strength training isn’t to be emphasized for small children, as their training is focused on finding joy in the sport itself, and later with more maturity will they recognize a need for independent strength training if their passion for sports flowers.
A BYU cross country running coach once said something to this effect: give me the strongest runner, and though he may not currently be the fastest, I will train him in flexibility, then he will be the fastest.
-Watch this 8 minute video on posture, foot placement, etc. for running:
Principles of Natural Running with Dr. Mark Cucuzzella
-Running Shoe Companies:
Running Warehouse’ “Discount Warehouse” https://www.runningwarehouse.com/salecatpage.html?ccode=SALEMS&fbclid=IwAR0R0kv50RnBRzTTiZ6GGcAf2JTyIx63z32vXytnYO5jEMD4_ADIjk2w4cQ
If you’re into marathon class shoes and want a “fit like a glove” special shoe, go to Salt Lake Running, but you’ll not get out without spending about $100. (https://saltlakerunning.com/services-2/biomechanical-analysis/?fbclid=IwAR0R0kv50RnBRzTTiZ6GGcAf2JTyIx63z32vXytnYO5jEMD4_ADIjk2w4cQ)
Good short intro:
Bit longer good intro video:
.Text on basic 3 versions:
(includes longsword, and various other weapons (sometimes padded) shields and armor)
-HEMA training tip YouTube playlist series (from scholagladiatoria) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTEUz9lXExI&list=PLMUtS78ZxryOMRve8RkM0vcrIKPH3hGvW
-Also try PVC pipe or broomsticks with pool noodle foam. Duct tape makes for good handles.
-MMA with Medieval Armor and Blunt Weapons https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkDDBL7jNew
-Wiki history of sword https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sword
-Renaissance Fair wiki page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renaissance_fair
-Spears are better than swords (longer version) (“Fight Camp” does rounds of 1:1 and groups in sword vs spear, etc.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afqhBODc_8U
-Great martial art plastic practice equipment readily available online (Amazon etc.)
-Stick fighting is a sport of it’s own, but could fit in this category.
-History of martial arts https://saw.fandom.com/wiki/Martial_arts
-weapons based martial arts styles https://blackbeltwiki.com/weapon-based-martial-arts-styles
-The World: Intonga – Stick Fighting in South Africa
-Wiki stickfighting types https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stick-fighting
-Part 10: Shields: Why Are Shields Different Shapes and Sizes? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEsjPQeWmd8
-YouTube channel scholagladiatoria
-While broadswords pikes etc. are carried in battle, rapier is built for duels, not for mele or cutting: Which sword is best in a one-on-one duel?….. Historical fencing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qJBGlChcXU
-Kendo wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kendo
-Amazon’s Set of 2 47″ Kendo Shinai Bamboo Practice Sword Katana Set of 2 47″ Kendo Shinai Bamboo Practice Sword Katana by Etrading
–Best of Kendo ~ Awesome ~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHNPoSBJvn8&app=desktop
-The Rules of Kendo – EXPLAINED! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cb13DKpDd_k
Greatest Hacki Sack Performance Video
Honza Weber 2019 champ of freestyle futbol and footbag
Andy Linder https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAN5eqtfGZs
-3 steps: 1. pop 2. Jump 3. “ninja kick” (slide/fold back foot in to bring board up higher)
-bring knees high as can, up to chest
-practice jumping over stuff as seen in the pictures above
-everyday is leg day: working our legs all the time
-wear a weighted belt or vest while skating
-back foot ball of toe on edge of tail, front foot just behind front bolts
-front foot slides all the way to the nose
-back foot is lifted into air, and push feet outward/forward
-practice olling all the time, build the muscle memory
-practice while holding onto something
-feet go in teeter totter motion
END OF ‘STEPS TO OLLIE HIGHER’.
-Tricks over the hip with Omar Hassan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jW5Akjk8GLI
-Joseph Smith was quite fond of wrestling. Joseph had a clerk to whom he said ‘you know if you were bigger I could have some fun with you’ he responded ‘well don’t let that stop you Joseph’ then Joseph wrestled him and broke his leg. Joseph carried him home and the clerk said ‘when Jacob wrestled an angel he got a blessing. I want a blessing.’ Joseph gave him a blessing, and he was miraculously healed. (see Truman G Madsen Joseph Smith lectures)