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How to Train for a Marathon

It’s officially marathon season, as runners around the globe challenge themselves to compete in competitions of stamina and endurance. The Boston Marathon was held on April 17 and many more will be held throughout the spring, summer, and fall months. If you’re thinking of registering for one of these events, there are a few things you should know first. A full marathon is 26.2 miles, so obviously running a marathon is not for everyone. It’s a great thing to put on your bucket list and be able to say you’ve accomplished, but you won’t be able to go from three-mile runs to running a marathon overnight. Marathon runners are in prime physical shape, but they didn’t start out that way.  You need to work your way up to running a marathon.

Whether you’re training for a full marathon, a half, a quarter, or a shorter race like a 5K, the rules are still the same. Only you really can really know what physical extremes you’re capable of pushing yourself to. If you’re a casual runner who enjoys leisurely jogs around your neighborhood, then you probably want to start small with an event like a 5K. If you’re used to long distance, 20+ mile runs, then you just may be capable of a marathon. Regardless of the distance of the race, you’ll need to be prepared in order to finish the race and avoid injury. Here are the tips you should follow to train for a marathon, or a race of any length.

Get your gear in order

It may sound like a trivial detail, but having the proper running shoes is critical for how well you run. Too tight, too loose, not enough support or not enough traction, and you could injure yourself and impair your ability to compete in future races. Running shoes are one accessory you definitely don’t want to be cheap with!

Stretch before every run

The pre-run stretch is just as important, if not more important, than the run itself. If you don’t stretch your muscles to loosen them up before the run, you could be putting yourself in real physical danger by putting too much strain on under-worked muscles. It’s also important to cool down after running to allow your body to recover from the workout. Stretching before running is believed to reduce muscle tension and increase flexibility, improve muscular coordination, stimulate blood circulation and raise energy levels, and increase the range of movement in the joints. Consult for some stretches you can try out before your run.

Start training early

It’s vital, when training for a race, to allow yourself plenty of time to work up to a comfortable run, close to, but not quite as far as, the distance of the race. Marathon runners start training months in advance, sometimes even a whole year before the event. If you try to take on too much too fast, you could injure yourself. Instead, run consistently each week, gradually working your way up to longer runs. If you’re training for a full marathon, you could start with shorter races like 5Ks, 10Ks, or a half marathon. Eventually, you’ll want to be running about 20 miles each time on your weekly training runs; if you can make it that far, the last six miles you’ll need to complete the marathon should come naturally on race day due to the increased adrenaline and crowd support.

Don’t overdo it

Depending on your experience level, you may need to start with intervals of walking and jogging before working up to a consistent run. Also, be sure to keep a steady, consistent pace. If you exert yourself too much at the start of your run, you won’t have the energy to keep going. Take deep breaths and be conscious of how your body feels.

Stay hydrated

No matter how hot or cold the temperature is, it’s easy to become overheated and dehydrated from running. Therefore, drink plenty of water. Bring a water bottle with you while you’re training (try a hydration pack or belt if you don’t want to hold a bottle the whole time) and on race day, be sure to stop at the hydration stations along the way.


from Bryan Lockley and Sports

athletics, bryan lockley, fitness, florida, gym teacher, sports

How to Get Kids Interested in Sports

Summer is just around the corner, so it won’t be long until kids are out riding their bikes again, kicking balls through grassy fields, building tree forts, going on adventures, declaring themselves king or queen of the jungle gym, creating chalk masterpieces on their driveways…okay, this sounds more like the summer of a child growing up in the 1960s. I’m not saying these things don’t happen, just that it’s becoming increasingly rare to see kids out playing these days.

I live in Miami, so perhaps you could blame it on the sweltering summer heat. With so much technology at their disposal (Xbox, smartphones, Netflix, you name it), who can blame them for being tempted by the cool, air-conditioned confines of their homes instead of the great outdoors? However, I know it’s not just aroud me that kids are becoming less active, and inactivity in children is a real cause for concern. The rate of childhood obesity in the United States has tripled since the 1970s, with one in five school-aged children classifying as obese.

When I was a kid, staying active was never a problem. I lived for sports and am lucky that I was able to make a career out of my passion. I may not be a parent, but, looking at my own upbringing, I know that it’s important to get kids interested in sports from an early age. I don’t know where I’d be without sports. If you’re a parent who wants to expose your child to the wonderful world of sports, now is the perfect time to start. Keep in mind that you can’t force your child into being an athlete, but it is important to keep them active so that they’re healthy. Here are some ways to introduce kids to sports.

Have a conversation with your child

The first thing you should do to introduce your kid to sports is to simply talk with them! Ask your child what they like doing and evaluate their interests. According to Huffington Post columnist John McCormick, his strategy is to first ask his sons if they’re interested in playing a particular sport and help them identify something they’ll enjoy. From there, he will go over the logistics with them, such as fitting it into their schedules and whether or not their friends are playing. Keep the conversation positive, and non-judgmental. You should encourage your child and give them the freedom to choose what sport they’d like to play- never let your own interests get int the way of your child’s.

Play with your kids at home

A great way to foster a budding interest in sports is to introduce them into your home. Toss a ball in the yard after dinner or take a family bike ride. If your child is already accustomed to being active at home, playing sports with their family and friends, they’ll be more inclined to take up a club or school sport.

Take your kid to sports games

Watching sports can be just as monumental to developing an interest in sports as playing them. Cheering with your kid on the sidelines encourages sportsmanship and friendly competition, and your child will also develop and understanding of the rules of the game and the spirit of teamwork and friendly competition.

Be flexible and accepting

The best thing you can do for your child, not just in encouraging a love of sports but in all aspects of their life, is to be supportive. Sports are meant to be fun and never so competitive and full of pressure that they make your child dread them. If your child wants to quit whatever sport they’re playing because they’re not enjoying it, let them. Find out why they don’t enjoy the sport and come up with something else your child can do together. Also, instill good sportsmanship in your child. Teach them that there are more important things than winning, and all that matters is that they do their best. According to Daniel Gould, Ph.D., director of the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports at Michigan State University in East Lansing, “If you put too much emphasis on winning or rankings, [your child] may get stressed out and fear letting you down.” Encourage your child to focus only on his own performance and not compare himself to anyone else.

from Bryan Lockley and Sports

athletics, bryan lockley, fitness, florida, gym teacher, sports

What it Takes to be a Great Coach

Bryan Lockley- Coaching Photo

When watching a sporting event, most of the focus revolves around the players and their abilities to score, shoot, dribble, and kick. One key component to a team’s success, usually refraining from the spotlight, is the person standing on the sideline, the coach. While many teams come with a great deal of talent, coaches are the brains and backbone behind showcasing and collaborating skills of players in the most efficient way. Being a coach comes with a great deal of responsibility and certain innate skills needed to maneuver the machine that is a team.


Those wanting to become a coach should not only possess certain personality traits but most organizations require obtaining certifications before hitting the field. As many other professions expect, gaining experience plays an important role in establishing a coach’s authority. Getting started in school, club, or even recreational levels of coaching opens the door for various other opportunities. As a coach continues to work with higher level athletes, their knowledge of the sport grows, and will likely result in a need for specific training or courses.

At high levels of sporting (collegiate, semi-pro, and professional), coaches are likely considered for a position based on qualifications, degrees, or certificates they have accomplished over the years. Those interested in pursuing a high-level, long-term career in coaching should initially look into obtaining a coaching-related degree. Major universities offer degrees in Sports Management, a path chosen most often by sports fans. This degree is a great foundation for those wanting to coach, but many graduates with the degree end up in sports agencies. More commonly found overseas, but offered at The United States Sports Academy, is a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Science, which encases a curriculum more suited for those seeking coaching positions. Having proper qualifications lays great authoritative groundwork for future coaches.

Personal Traits

While pieces of paper proving knowledge of sports and the sciences behind them are great resume boosters, personality and certain traits truly define a coach and how they will lead. One of the most important qualities a coach must have is patience. Unable to physically take action on the field and only having the ability to give verbal guidance poses frustrating in many cases. Especially with younger athletes, finding a way to communicate a vision in a dozen different ways requires deal of patience.

Though many characteristics define a successful coach (too many to list in one sitting), the ability to communicate properly and efficiently ranks highly. Going hand-in-hand with patience, knowing the athletes and their style of communicating is vital in productive coaching. Having the ability to communicate exactly what a player needs to know does not come easy to everyone, so having this skill enhances a coach’s likeability factor. Inspiring athletes is a major part of being a coach and doing so through words creates a crucial bond between coaches and players.

Commonly stereotyped as parents who were forced to volunteer, coaches play an extremely important role in every sport. When a player has a qualified, trained, and knowledgeable mentor to guide them through their passion for a game, their love for the sport continues growing. Someone not possessing certain attributes will likely struggle to maintain a healthy or positive relationship with their team players. Do you have what it takes to become an influential coach?

from Bryan Lockley and Sports

athletics, bryan lockley, fitness, florida, gym teacher, sports

The Mass Appeal of March Madness

March Madness is in full swing, as offices around the country rush to submit their brackets. Division 1 men’s college basketball is so popular in the United States that there’s a whole month devoted to it. However, while employees throughout the states will most definitely be glued to their phones or break room tvs, extending their lunch breaks to support their favorite teams, it’s not just the United States that gets swept up in the mayhem.

Basketball is a classic American sport. Okay, so it was founded by a Canadian, James Naismith, but it was established in the United State (Springfield, Massachusetts) in 1891 when Naismith developed the sport’s original 13 rules as part of class assignment at a Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) training school. He designed the sport as a game that could be played in gyms during the winter.

Just because basketball was established in the United States and is most popular among Americans does not mean that it does not have international appeal. In fact, many of the key players Americans have come to know and love were recruited globally. Now, according to International News, the sport that used to be “as all- American as apple pie and Chevrolet…has a distinct international flair to it.”

As sports writer Jim Caple explains for ESPN, the three-week NCAA basketball tournament is well-worth following and is becoming increasingly popular even among people who don’t live in the United States, for several reasons. First, it’s an exciting game that encourages people to play along. It’s a great activity to play with coworkers because it involves some friendly competition as fans predict which team will win in each of the main bracket’s 63 games through to the final and compare how they do, with money (typically $10 to $20 per bracket) at stake. The winners split the money among themselves. The competitive nature of the game is something people of all cultures can identify with.

Most of all, though, basketball has a become a diverse sport with players representing countries from all around the world. In this year’s tournament, there are 128 foreign-born players from 49 countries, according to ESPN Stats & Info. Besides the United States, there are several other countries with a large proportion of native players competing in the NCAA games, with 26 Canadian players, 21 from Australia, nine from Nigeria, and three  each from the Bahamas, New Zealand, England, France, and Senegal. Additionally, several of the top teams in this year’s tournament have non-native players, with Gonzaga (which has the best record in the nation) having five international players, all from different countries.

Whatever your reason for watching the NCAA games and participating in this annual frenzy we’ve dubbed March Madness, there is no doubt that it has mass, international appeal. So wherever in the world you are, hopefully you’re as excited as I am! Just don’t ask me my bracket picks. Only time will tell how I’ll make out with my selections.


from Bryan Lockley and Sports

athletics, bryan lockley, fitness, florida, gym teacher, sports

Sacramento Kings Will Need to Step Up Their Game After Loss to New York Knicks

It was a rough night for Kings fans on Sunday when the Sacramento Kings lost to the New York Knicks after fighting back from 21 down to end the game 106-98. Now, according to The Sacramento Bee, “The Kings are in a battle with themselves to change their fortunes.” They’ll have to come up with a strategy to start winning games so late into the season and make an epic return.

Sunday night’s game at Madison Square Garden marks the Kings’ third loss in a row; they are currently 1-3 on their trip that ends tomorrow night (Wednesday) in Dallas. Each of these losses has been a close score, with the Kings pushing the game into overtime only to come out on the losing side. Luckily, the Kings are optimistic. The Kings’ point guard, Darren Collison, said, “I think we’ll be fine. We’ve got to figure out how to compete at a higher level. Not from a physical side, but from a mental side, and try to limit our mistakes mentally.”

For more information on Sunday night’s game, read up here.


Go Sacramento Kings!!


from Bryan Lockley and Sports

athletics, bryan lockley, fitness, florida, gym teacher, sports

NBA Finals Preview

The stage is set for a NBA Finals rematch between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. Many people believe on paper this will be the best thing the Finals has offered since the Lakers-Celtics battles in 1980’s. You had the two best players in the game in Magic Johnson and Larry Bird facing off against one another with the NBA’s biggest prize on the line. Now, fast forward to present day. You have the King who has dominated the NBA for years going against the two-time MVP, Stephen Curry who looks to take his throne. Curry has been nothing short but greatness over the last two seasons and has made his case for being considered the best in the league. The outcome of the Finals will sure give one of them a leg up in that debate.

There is so much at state both teams.  Cleveland has not won sports championship dates since 1964 when the Browns last were NFL champions, the country’s longest such span of 146 major-sports seasons, according to ESPN. After reaching the Finals last season with a depleted roster due multiple injuries you can be sure the Cavaliers are hungry to bring a title back to Cleveland.

For the Warriors, they have earned a chance to repeat as champions and put the finishing touch on a record breaking 73 win season. If they win it all it would give this talented Warriors team a legitimate claim as the greatest single-season in NBA history. Stephen Curry has been remarkable this season and winning a second straight title would add another achievement to his legacy.

As for Lebron James, winning title for Cleveland would be his greatest triumph, ever.  When he returned to Cleveland after spending four seasons in Miami,  where he won two NBA titles, his goal was to bring a title back his city. In his coming home letter, he said “ What’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio”. The King has a chance to take down probably one of the greatest teams ever assembled. A feat that would no doubt cement him in history as one of the greatest players ever.  Is it Thursday yet? Because I can’t wait for this series to start.  Get your popcorn ready everyone, this should be a hell of a series!

Lebron James: //


Stephen Curry:



from Bryan Lockley and Sports

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No Curry, No Problem

Warrior Nation had a major scare during last Sunday’s game four victory over the Houston Rockets. Their star player, Stephen Curry slid awkwardly on a wet spot on the court while attempting to guard Houston’s Trevor Ariza shortly before halftime. Curry grabbed his knee in pain and limped off the court. On Monday he was taken for an MRI and it revealed Curry will miss at least the next two weeks with a sprained right MCL.

“From our perspective, relatively good news,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers said Monday.

image of steph curry

The Warriors are doing surprisingly well without their front man.

Many people were unaware on how the Warriors would respond after hearing the news that their best player will be out for a few weeks at the least. Well, let’s just say last night the Warriors made a statement to the whole NBA that they are not just a one man team.  Curry’s backcourt partner Klay Thompson got things rolling early on. He started things of with a quick three pointer to get the sell-out crowd at Oracle Arena going. Thompson finished with seven three pointers and 27 points to help lead the Warriors into the second round of the playoffs without their injured superstar. Thompson became the first player in NBA history to make at least seven 3s in consecutive playoff games.

Draymond Green also had a great game. He finished with 15 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists. The Warriors will take on the winner of the Los Angeles Clippers vs Portland Trail Blazers series.  After the game, Green said “Everybody, they think Steph goes down and the entire series changes. But we thought otherwise”. This was a big victory for the Warriors organization as they look to repeat as NBA champions come June.

From the moment Curry went down, the Warriors took their game up a notch with a spectacular second half in Game 4, finishing the 121-94 victory with a playoff-record 21 3-pointers and 38 assists on 46 field goals.

It won’t be easy for the Warriors to get back to NBA Finals without Steph Curry, but they have proved that they can ride the ship until he returns.


Bryan Lockley

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