Thursday, May 1, 2008

Trampoline Safety

Big Game Hunters offer you Safety Advice:

With the season fast approaching you might be thinking of getting your trampoline back out of the shed or garage.

Think safety first!

We at Big Game Hunters believe that safety has to come first.

A trampoline will last you if it has been properly looked after and stored through the winter months.

When you erect it again for the summer the trampoline should be treated exactly as it was when you first purchased it.

Once you have your trampoline erected, you will then be able to check over your equipment.

• Check the trampoline springs – no stretching or broken parts if you twist the spring there should no weakness

• Check the trampoline bed – no holes or snags, moths just love the beds. Make sure there is no sagging.

• Check the trampoline pads – no holes or warn parts

• Check the trampoline frame – no damage to the legs or main frame and that the legs are locked in place.

These are the basic requirements before you allow your pride and joy to bounce away.

At Big Game Hunters we supply spare trampoline parts as well as new trampolines.

If you didn't have a cover, ladder or enclosure last year these are available to fit your trampoline and can be purchased at any time.

Set the rules:

• My turn! One person at a time, at all times.

• No somersaults! Don't try risky stunts like somersaults and flips

• Always bounce in the middle of the trampoline

• Never jump off! You could hurt yourself by jumping off the trampoline onto the ground. To get off, stop bouncing and then climb down.

• Stand back! Keep away from the trampoline when someone else is jumping

• Watch out underneath! Never go under the trampoline when someone else is jumping.

• Out of bounds! Don't use the trampoline if you see a rip or split in the mat, or if the padding has come away from the metal springs.

Table Tennis Tips

10 Quick Tips to Better Table Tennis

1. Know what spin is on the ball.
The key to acquiring this important skill is to carefully watch the opponent's racket when it makes contact with the ball. If the opponent's racket is moving from low to high, the spin is topspin; from high to low, backspin; from his/her left to right, right sidespin; and from right to left, left sidespin
2. Compensate for the spin with your racket angle.
If topspin, angle your leading racket face down and contact the ball above its centre; if backspin, angle the leading racket face up and contact the ball below its centre; if right sidespin, angle the leading racket face to the right and contact the ball to the left of its mid-line; if left sidespin, angle the leading racket face to the left and contact the ball to the right of its mid-line. While holding the racket at the suggested angle, stroke gently forward. Only after you have developed a “feel” for the spin should you stroke the ball with more force.
3. Use your whole body when you stroke your forehand.
Make sure that you rotate your hips and shoulders backwards during the backswing and then forward into the ball as you stroke your forehand. This motion is coordinated with a transfer of your body weight from the back foot to the front foot. The harder you hit your forehand, the more forceful your weight transfer must be. A common forehand mistake is to use only your arm to hit the ball, which severely limits your power and consistency.
4. Maintain a good ready position.
A good ready position is balanced and prepares your body to move instantly in any direction. Use it when preparing to return serves and between strokes. The basic sequence of a rally is as follows: (A) put yourself in a good ready position, (B) move to the ball with your feet, staying balanced, (C) stroke the ball, (D) return to ready position, and (E) repeat B, C, and D until the rally ends.
5. Train your strokes until they are "automatic."
When you first learn a new skill, you use a lot of mental energy to formulate a clear mental picture of how the stroke looks and feels. Once this mental picture is relatively accurate, you should then practice that skill repeatedly until you no longer have to think about how to do it. This is your “automatic stage”. Your best performance will come when you operate on “automatic” and you do not analyze your skill. You just “let it happen.”
7. Develop sidespin serves. Few beginners use sidespin on their serves; whereas, top players use sidespin on almost every serve. Sidespin is almost always combined with either topspin or backspin; pure sidespin is extremely rare in table tennis. Particularly useful is a sidespin/backspin serve that is low to the net and bounces twice on the other side of the table. This type of serve will severely limit your opponent's serve return options.
8. Keep your returns low over the net.
In general, the lower over the net you place your shots, the less angle your opponent can use and the harder it is for him/her to hit it with power. The one exception to this rule is if you use lobs, you will want to place the ball very high over the net (and as close to the end of the table as possible).
9. Practice more than you compete.
By practicing, you developing your game by concentrating on some aspect you want to strengthen. The primary object during practice is to develop your game. On the other hand, when you compete, your main object should be to win, not to work on some part of your game. It is advisable to play practice games where the object is to blend in a new skill or tactic into a match-like situation before you compete. The emphasis for these practice games is still on development, not winning. And when you do compete, even though your main emphasis is on winning, you can still learn a lot about your game (development) if you analyze your matches after they are over.
10. Join a table tennis club.
To really make progress with your game, it's important to find others with similar desires and interact with these people. A table tennis club is the best place to do this. Most clubs have players of all different playing levels. Find someone of similar playing ability as yourself and make a commitment to each other to practice regularly. Periodically test your progress by competing with players of higher ability. Furthermore, most clubs have a coach who can help speed up your development.

View a full range of Table Tennis Tables at Big Game Hunters:

Fighting Childhood Obesity

Fighting Childhood Obesity:

Childhood obesity has become one of the most pressing health issues in England. The prevalence of overweight children is on the rise, and with the extra weight, increased risk of heart disease, bone and joint problems, diabetes, sleep apnea, social and psychological problems such as stigmatisation and even poor self-esteem. Experts agree that exercise is a key factor in reducing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Everywhere you look you hear of Jamie Oliver school dinners, fat camps for kids, get your kids fit, even the big supermarkets have joined in to help schools support exercise with the “sports for school” and “active kids” vouchers.Your child coming home from school crying at being called fat is one of a parent's worst nightmares.

You can't just tell a child to diet and lose weight but you can help. We at Big Game Hunters have noticed an increase in the sales of trampolines and climbing frames throughout the last few years. Research has shown that parents worried about their child's health are one of the main reasons behind the current trampoline boom.With the longer warmer days around the corner sales are starting to pick up once again for trampolines, over the last 5 years we have seen an increase in the sales and this year looks set to be the same. Getting children to "exercise" though can be difficult. But you won't need to convince them to have fun jumping on a trampoline! Children love to have fun and a trampoline to bounce on doesn't feel like the children are being told to exercise, it's fun and something that the whole family can join in, who can do the biggest star jump, turn around and still land on your feet, or just fall over and laugh. Children are naturally full of energy and need a means by which to release it. Outdoors toys are perfect for children to not only expend their seemingly endless energy, but to also develop important interactive and coordination skills. Using outdoor toys improves muscular ability and promotes critical thinking in children

Studies have shown that human beings respond positively to being outside and that we inherently crave the outdoors and fresh air. Some medical experts have also said that children begin to develop autonomy and independence from their parents while exploring outdoor environments. They discover that they are able to do things they didn't know they could do, which gives them a great sense of self-esteem and desire to learn and do more as an individual. Climbing frames are another fantastic and fun outdoor toy for children. These can include slides, ladders, monkey bars, climbing walls, swings, poles, swinging rings, bridges, and even a small playhouse. It doesn't require much coaxing for children to take action and play hard on a climbing frame. They'll use their imaginations all day long creating scenarios with pirates, cops and robbers, knights and princesses, and lots of other characters, all while climbing, sliding, swinging, and using every muscle in their growing and developing bodies.

Kids love board games and they will always be classic way for children to learn simple skills like math, colour balance and coordination. These toys are available in giant versions which you can take outside, giving more space, fresh air and getting the children out of the house. Garden Games are perfect for playing outside and thinking “outside the box”. With things like the giant tower which takes a table top game outside onto the grass. Help your child to fight the current issues and get them active and outdoors with a whole range fun. Big Game Hunters has a world of ideas to your kids outside and having fun and taking the worry away from the parent.

Big Game Hunters are one of the largest specialist retailers of trampolines and outdoor toys in the UK. For further information or images call: 01865 392439 or visit: