Football training: Focusing on stamina

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It’s easy to dismiss soccer as a lazy sport since many times, soccer players can be seen lightly jogging around the pitch.  But this is a misconception.  Soccer players only take it easy if the ball is far from them.  In close proximity, however, players sprint for and after the ball like there’s no tomorrow.  And even when the ball is far, players have to run to make sure they are in position when the ball is passed to their area.

For all you soccer players out there, here are a few drills to help you with your stamina.

Drill #1:  Run as fast as you can while dribbling the ball.  Start first with 20 yards, then gradually increase the sprint.  Leave the ball at the end point, sprint back to where you started, then run back to the ball.  Rest for around 20-25 seconds before repeating in the opposite direction.

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Drill #2:  This is similar to the first drill, except that you have a partner.  Dribble the ball up 20-30 yards and leave it to your partner.  Sprint back to your starting position as your partner dribbles up to you before he sprints back to his starting position.  Modify this drill by increasing the distance between you and your partner.

Drill #3:   Another drill that requires a partner, set up points around the pitch that are more or less 20 yards apart.  Take turns passing to each point.  The one being passed to should sprint to the point where the ball is headed.  Modify this by changing the power of the passes.

Hello, I’m John Eilermann, a huge fan of the beautiful game, football.  I’m also a World War 2 enthusiast.  Learn more about me and the stuff I love by following me on Twitter.


Why context is important in studying literature

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Many students reading the course objectives on their own or with their professors during the first day of literature classes tend to dismiss the overarching importance of context.  It is a key aspect of learning literature, apart from studying craft and style and making elaborate guesses on that elusive meaning or insight.

It’s often a clear understanding of context that allows great literature to truly open up to us, as well as be both effective and affective.  As we accept that a writer’s socio-political, economic, and even simple geographical situations play a huge part in the power and impact of a literary piece, the richer our experience of the work becomes.

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It all boils down to interdisciplinarity.  No literary work exists without being driven by the writer’s context.  And context is informed by such factors as history, setting, and political climate.  For example, the Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda is not merely a writer of love sonnets, but a former senator and exiled writer.  His works display a huge shift from the romantic notions of his childhood years to deeply human musings on poverty, displacement, and the plight of the maltreated, which manifest in latter collections like Canto General.

All in all, if literature is to be best understood, students must go beyond a pure analysis of craft and content.  While these are universal concerns, it’s equally important to know where one work is literally and figuratively coming from, as context ultimately makes any critique of the piece more generous and complete.

Hello, I’m John Eilermann, a St. Louis, Missouri-based student currently pursuing a degree in Comparative Literature.  The cross-disciplinary approach of the program enables students to take courses in philosophy, politics, and culture, while intersecting literature with history.  More of my writings here.