Tagged: How to

How to prepare your cricket bat

At Sportsmart, we offer bat preparation for you:

New natural-faced cricket bats need to be oiled and knocked in before play. The deluxe cricket bat preparation will eliminate hours of manual preparation. Please allow 4-5 business days for this service to be completed.*

If you prefer to do your own bat prep, follow the steps below:

Cricket bats are made primarily from two different types of wood. English Willow or Kashmir Willow. Both are very soft types of wood, and require preparation before they can be used to hit a cricket ball.83154_500

There are four stages involved in preparing your cricket bat:

1. Pressing, 2. Oiling, 3. Knocking In, 4. Playing In.

Stage 1: Pressing

Pressing the bat is important for two reasons. 1) It strengthens the fibers in the bat, and 2) Saves hours off the knocking in process. Some brands already do this stage for you, i.e. Kookaburra (KPP), but it doesn’t hurt to do a little bit more yourself.

Most bat prepping is done using a machine. Or using a mallet to knock it in, however this takes twice as long.

Stage 2: Oiling

Oiling helps reduce the chance that your cricket bat will crack or split. Oiling your bat helps to maintain moisture levels within the bat.

How:

  • Using Linseed Oil, apply a light coat to the face, edge, toe and back of the blade – avoid the stickers and splice area. Allow to dry for 24 hours. Then, using a very fine sand paper (+180), give your cricket bat a light sanding. Reapply a light coat to the face.
  • 2-3 coats should be sufficient. Allow each coat to dry fully (it’s best to dry your cricket bat in a slightly elevated horizontal position).

Stage 3: Knocking In

Knocking-in is probably the most vital stage in the preparation process. This process compresses the fibers in the wood, protecting the bat against ball impact. If done correctly, this can increase a cricket bat’s performance and lifespan.

How:

  • Using a special bat mallet or an old quality cricket ball, carefully and repeatedly strike the bat (increasing the force gradually) in any area where one may hit the ball. The edges and toe should not be struck directly at right-angles to the blade as this can cause damage.
  • This stage should take a minimum of 6 hours (every bat varies).
  • Finally, using an old quality cricket ball, hit some short catches. If the seam, on the ball, leaves a mark, go back and continue knocking in. Allow at least another hour for this stage.

Stage 4: Playing In

This stage is important to determine if you have knocked-in the bat well enough.

How:

  • At this stage, the cricket bat can be used in nets with a soft ball. If the ball contact leaves a mark on the bat, go back and repeat the knocking in process for another hour until no marks are left on the bat.

*Our services should not be considered as full preparation – you still need to work your bat in against an old ball prior to use against new hard balls.

Shop our range of Cricket bats in store and online here.

Understanding Compression Wear

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What is the point of compression clothing?

Compression wear is the best to wear when engaging in demanding physical activity. It helps boost circulation – resulting in more oxygen being transported to the active muscles, helping to improve performance. Compression wear can also help to reduce muscle fatigue. Compression wear is lightweight, breathable and body firming, making it ideal for both low and high impact training, competition as well as recovery.

How does compression wear work?

Compression wear works through the use of strategically placed panels. These panels wrap and support the major muscles being used in physical activity. Compression wear helps to reduce vibration and fatigue in the muscles. It can also help to keep you feeling dry, as the material is designed to wick moisture away from the skin. Many high-end compression brands contain a 50+ UV protection, making it perfect to wear all year round.

How does compression wear fit?

Most compression brands determine size using the BMI index, weight and height. Compression wear should be quite tight to work effectively.

At Sportsmart we stock compression tights, tops, shorts and socks. We also offer both normal compression and thermal compression – perfect for winter.

Choose from our extensive range of Men’s, Women’s and Junior compression, from brands including 2XU, Skins, Champion Performax and Mitre.

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KID’S

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WOMEN’S

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MEN’S

How to choose a Basketball System

STEP 1: Choose a type that suits your needs

System Types

In Ground Portable Combos
In ground systems remain stationary  for maximum stability.

Best for: Premium performance usage in a permanent paved area. And best for competitive or professional players, casual but regular players, families and teens.

Shop here.

Portable systems can be moved for convenience or storage.

Best for: Anywhere where portability is important. Portable systems with an acrylic or polycarb  backboard are best for casual players, young kids and families. Portable systems with a glass backboard are ideal for competitive players.

Shop here.

Combo systems consist of a backboard and rim. They can be mounted to either an existing basketball system, to a pole, or roof via mounting hardware (sold separately).

Best for: Tight spaces or areas where there is no fixed place for a pole/bar. Casual but regular players, families, teens.

Shop here.

In-ground portable Combos

Height Adjustments

Infinite Adjust Preset Adjust
Infinite adjustment lifts can be set to any height between:

7.5 feet to 10 feet (2.3 to 3 meters).

Preset adjustment lifts can be set to predetermine heights in 4 or 6 inch (10 or 15cm increments).

STEP 2: Choose a backboard type and size

Glass Acrylic
Glass backboards feature the best rebound  performance   and are ideal for highly competitive play.

Best for: heavy use; competition or professional players.

Acrylic backboards feature better rebound  performance and are ideal for competitive play.

Best for: casual-heavy use; families; teens and children.

glass acrylic
Polycarbonate Composite
Polycarbonate backboards feature good rebound performance and are ideal for recreational play.

Best for: casual use; children.

Composite backboards offer a recreational level of play and a larger variety of colour options.

Best for: young children playing for fun.

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Choosing a backboard size and type

Size considerations:

Sportsmart offers basketball backboards in 8 sizes: 24”, 32”, 42”, 44”, 48”, 50”, 52”, 54”, 60” and 72”. The main factors affecting the size you choose are the size of your playing area and the skill level of those who will be using it.

The 24” and 32” are junior basketball systems best for young kids from 3 years old.

The 42” and 44” backboards are most suited to young children playing casually.

Backboards sized 48”, 50” and 52” are best for a small playing area, and can often be a good option to suit budgets.

For a playing area the size of a 2-car driveway, a 54” or 60” backboard will suit.

For more professional players who want to best replicate actual playing conditions, and who have the space and budget to suit, a 72” backboard is ideal.

NEED MORE HELP?

Sportsmart has a wide range of basketball systems suited to all types of players. For more advice and information, view our range of basketball systems and backboards online, visit one of our Melbourne stores or phone our online team on (03) 9091 5024.

How to fit kids shoes correctly

Our Krazy Kids Shoe Sale is on this weekend, so we’ve put together a quick guide on how to make sure you get the best shoe for your child.

  1. Measure both feet and always fit shoes to the larger foot. When in a store, get the shoes professionally fitted. If you already know your child’s size, purchasing online should be a breeze.
  1. When the shoes are on your child’s feet, stand your child up, and check to ensure there is about half an inch (or a thumb width) of room between the end of the shoe and your child’s biggest toe. This is especially important in running shoes, as the foot expands when warm.
  1. Next, while your child has the shoe on and is sitting down, test the ankle fit by gently tugging at the back of the shoe. The shoe should not pop off.
  1. Make sure you feel all around the shoe to ensure there is no bulging or tightness. Snug is okay.
  1. Lastly, make your child walk around the store in the shoe and watch to make sure they are walking normally and there is no slipping or gaping.

Most importantly, a correctly fitted shoe should feel comfortable.

Remember, we offer free shipping on footwear orders over $50, and if you purchase the wrong size, Sportsmart will be happy to offer you an exchange or refund within 14 days.

Visit us in store to have one of our professional footwear staff fit your child’s shoes, or shop our range of kids shoes online NOW.

20 Minute Kettlebell Workout

 

After a long day at work we all suffer that internal debate… ‘should I go to the gym or just stay warm and curl up and watch Netflix?’

Bustamove’s Personal Trainer, Michael, has put together a 20 minute home workout. So, stay warm, watch Netflix and workout, all at once, within the comfort of your home!

20 Minute Kettlebell Workout

Perform both exercises in Circuit A for 45 seconds with a 15 second rest in between each exercise. Do 3 sets. Repeat for Circuit B and C.

Circuit A: (1) Kettlebell Squat and Press, (2) Plank

Circuit B: (1) Kettlebell Split Squat (lunge), (2) Crunches

Circuit C: (1) Kettlebell Sumo Squat + high pull, (2) Push ups

TIPS:

  1. Count how many repetitions of the first set you do in each circuit and try beat that for the second and third set!
  2. Increase kettlebell weight every time you do the workout!

All you need is a kettlebell, buy yours today at SPORTSMART

Good luck!

Michael Farnham

Bustamove Personal Trainer

HOW TO MAKE RUNNING MORE FUN

Want to be a runner but your enthusiasm for putting on your running shoes just isn’t there? Here is a list of ideas to help make the idea of running seem a lot more entertaining.

  1. Create a motivating playlist

Put together a playlist of all your favourite artists and zone out while listening to your favourite tunes.

  1. Introduce yourself to podcasts

Having only recently discovered just how great and amusing podcasts can be, I highly recommend this. Laughing along with Hamish & Andy helps you to forget how exhausted you might be.

  1. Motivate yourself by entering a fun run

I always wanted to be a runner but lacked motivation to get started. Entering my first fun run and raising money for a cause I was passionate about gave me the motivation to get off my couch.

  1. Mix up running routes

Even if you have an interesting and scenic running route, there are benefits to heading off your usual track, so grab a pair of running shoes with good traction and give it a go.

  1. Find yourself a running buddy

Having a friend to run with helps keep you honest and motivated; you don’t want to let them down.

  1. Invest in an activity tracker

Activity trackers are stylish and full of technology. Keeping track of your heart rate, how far you run, downloading workout plans (and much more) right onto your wrist has never been easier thanks to activity trackers like the Garmin Forerunners.