Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Review: Down Broadway

Over a month ago I was given the opportunity to review a DVD on baseball and softball tips for players. The timing seemed great at the time since my oldest had just started to play softball. But, like most parents new to some sports, I had no idea how much time I was about to spend driving to and from practices and games! So this review is a little late getting written up and posted.

Disclaimer: I was asked to review this product by a company I had done a previous review for. I was not compensated for this review and received 2 DVD's in the mail to watch and write about.

The DVD is Down Broadway: Pitching and Catching Techniques for the Modern Player. It is made by Bobby Woods Productions, Bobby Woods is a former professional baseball player who provides baseball and softball instructional programs. This DVD is the second in a series for parents and coaches.

I had my daughter watch it first. I probably should have watched it with her because her reviews included comments like 'it was okay', and not a lot of other detail. This disc is primarily for baseball players and after reviewing it a few times I can see her perspective. It is more geared for the coaches or the parent who is helping their child. This DVD covered how to do basic throws, pitching, and catching. The catching portion is not general catching; it is for the person catching at home plate, not for outfielders or base players.

What I liked:
  • Each position and action was broken down in each of its individual components. Like how to stand, move your feet and balance when throwing a pitch. Or where your non-glove hand should be positioned when catching.

  • Each position and action was demonstrated multiple times and included separate instruction for both right-handed and left-handed players.

  • Several different types of pitches were shown and really explained in detail. As a new parent to the sport this really helped me to understand why specific hand holds create the different types of pitches.

  • The DVD uses different aged players so kids and parents are seeing the positions played by their peers or players the same age as their kids.

  • What I wasn't as thrilled with:
  • I was hoping softball was included on this disc and it wasn't. I did receive a second DVD on hitting which I haven't watched yet, but I'm hoping includes softball players. (Stay tuned, that review will be later this week!)

  • This video is part 2 in a Series. Part 1 is Mom, can you teach me how to hit? and according to the Bobby Woods Productions website, Part 3 The Glove is currently in production. The picture on the website shows a softball player so I'm hoping the next DVD covers softball a little bit more.

    Interested in the DVD's? Each DVD has a preview clip on the Bobby Woods Productions website. You can rent the DVD for 5 days on the website or purchase it online. I'm guessing the rental is a link to watch it online. A neat feature I noticed is that if you want to buy the DVD after renting it your rental fee is discounted from the $19.99 purchase price.

    Thursday, June 10, 2010

    Selecting the right sunscreen

    Summer is finally here and you’re planning a great day outside enjoying it. It doesn’t matter if it is an afternoon lunch on the deck with friends, a family day at the beach or just chilling in your back yard. You need to protect your skin from the sun.

    Why do we need to use sunscreen? Prolonged exposure to the sun exposes our skin to UltraViolet (UV) rays or radiation. These can cause sunburn, premature skin aging, skin spots, melanoma and skin cancer. Sunscreen creates a barrier to prevent the UV rays from reaching and damaging our skin.

    But not all sunscreens are created equal, nor does the price or marvelous packaging equate to the quality of the product. Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for a sunscreen:

    * SPF – this is the Sun Protection Factor. The higher the number the longer the amount of time you can theoretically spend in the sun. However this length of time is approximate. So a sunscreen with an SPF of 20 means you could stay out in the sun 20 times longer without incurring sun damage (sunburn) than you could if you were outside without a sunscreen. However keep in mind that everyone’s skin is different. If you have fair skin that time frame may be shorter than someone who does not sunburn as quickly.
    * You must apply sunscreen at least 15-30 minutes BEFORE going out in the sun for it to work effectively
    * You need to reapply sunscreen frequently, every few hours. If you’re really active or in the water you’ll need to reapply more frequently.
    * How safe is the sunscreen for your skin? If you have allergies or sensitive skin you need to be more careful in your selection of the products you use.

    A good site to check for safe sunscreen products is the Environmental Working Group’s Sunscreen Guide. This site lists product ingredients you should look for and those to avoid.

    And if you do get a sunburn? Cool the burn with cool or cold, but not ice cold water for up to 30 minutes. Avoid putting lotions, salves, ointments or creams on the burn for at least a day to allow your skin to breathe and heal.