Our team is so proud that the world's best coaches, academies, national programs, and even olympians rely on CoachNow each and every day.
In fact, our community has grown rapidly in recent years, and we're currently represented in 60+ sports across 140 countries.
Pause and think about that for a moment.
Can you even name SIXTY sports off the top of your head?
Of course you can list off the usual suspects: Golf, Basketball, Football etc. But that only represents a small fraction of all the sports people play around the world.
While historically we have used this blog as a way to focus on the importance of work/life balance, ConnectedCoaching, and other more philosophical/ business-related topics, this week we want to focus on some of the most unique sports we have seen grace the platform.
The goal here is to simply have some fun and maybe even teach you some fun facts about sports you have never heard of!
We hope you enjoy. Let's get to it.
You've likely heard of BobSledding (or at least seen the movie "Cool Runnings"), but have you ever heard of Skeleton?
While the two have a lot in common, Skeleton differs in many ways, including the fact that it is an individual sport, rather than a team sport.
Each Skeleton run begins with a 50m sprint, after which the athlete balances their weight on a small sled and zooms down an ice track at speeds of between 70-90 mph.
Even more crazy: the athletes aren't strapped in at all. They simply fly down the track, balancing on the sled with their face mere inches from the harsh, cold ice.
That's right, unlike luge or bobsled, Skeleton riders zoom down the track face first.
While these sleds are designed to allow the rider precise control of their direction, they are also not equipped with any method of braking or steering. The athletes have to rely solely on controlling their body weight to maneuver around the track.
And, as you can imagine, this requires a ton of strength and athleticism. And even then riders often win competitions by a hundredth of a second, meaning every tiny move they make on the track makes a huge difference to their ranking.
Once we saw this sport in action in CoachNow, we simply had to tell all of you about it.
While certainly more widely-known, often people are surprised to hear that there are several shooting sports represented in the CoachNow platform.
Most common among them is skeet shooting, a competitive activity wherein athletes use shotguns to shoot down "clay pigeons" mechanically flung into the air.
In addition to Skeet Shooting, several archery athletes and coaches use CoachNow.
Did you know that there are actually two primary types of competitive archery in the modern rendition of the sport?
"Target Archery" involves using a bow to shoot arrows at a target from a set distance. Targets are marked with 10 evenly spaced rings, which have score values from 1 through 10 assigned to them. The closer to the center the archers hit, the higher their scores.
In contrast, "Field Archery" has athletes shooting at targets in a more traditional hunting environment, like a forest. For some competitions, that involves hiding more traditional targets at varying distances from the shooter; for other competitions, it involves placing life-sized 3D models of animals behind bushes and between trees.
Athletes in these marksmanship sports must be very disciplined in matters of precision, focus, and control. It's awesome to see them using CoachNow to improve their game.
Perhaps one of the most obscure and impressive sports we have seen in CoachNow is the Caber Toss.
This sport is most famously seen at the Highland Games, a tradition wherein athletes and fans gather to celebrate Celtic culture and watch a variety of heavy-weight competitions, such as shot put, stone throw, and tug of war.
In the caber toss (pictured above), athletes pick up a long, skinny log, run a short distance with it balanced vertically on their hands, then attempt to flip it verticallyso it falls directly away from them. There is no required distance that it needs to be thrown; instead the tossers are judged based on how close the log lands to the "12 o'clock" position directly in front of them.
This sport requires incredibly impressive strength and endurance. Just lifting a 175 pound caber is difficult enough… Imagine how much full body strength it takes to carry and throw it with precision.
Even more impressive is the fact that the entire sport is played in traditional celtic gear – kilt and all!
Netball is an English game that shares a "common ancestor" with basketball.
You can think of it as a mix of basketball and handball (and maybe a touch of ultimate frisbee).
Like basketball, netball involves small teams of athletes attempting to pass a ball through their opponents goal. The game consists of four 15 minute quarters, and the team with the most points at the end of the time limit wins.
But unlike basketball, the ball is not dribbled and players are required to pass the ball within 3 seconds. To add more challenge, players aren't even allowed to take more than 1.5 steps when holding the ball.
Such restrictions require teams to utilize every player's strengths – it's a lot more difficult to rely on one "MVP" that makes the majority of the points.
All this adds up to make netball an intensely tactical and strategic team sport.
Keep an eye out! You might be hearing more about this unique sport in the near future. Since gaining a professional status in 2008, netball has grown exponentially and is currently played by more than 20 million people worldwide.
While you might still think of surfing as a leisure activity ("surf's up bro!"), professional surfing has quickly risen to become a $7 billion+ industry and a powerhouse of athleticism.
But how does surfing work in a competitive and/or professional format?
Surf competitions (such as the World Surf League) have a scoring system that is far less objective and quantitative than other familiar sports like golf, tennis, or baseball.
Instead, the athlete's scores are decided by a panel of judges on a 1-10 scale across 5 subjective criteria: (1) Commitment and degree of difficulty; (2) Innovative and progressive maneuvers; (3) Combination of major maneuvers; (4) Variety of maneuvers; and (5) Speed, power, and flow.
During each round (or "heat"), surfers are in the ocean for around 30 minutes, catching as many waves as they can. At the end of the heat, the surfer's top two wave scores are combined (the rest are not considered in the final score). Since 10 is a perfect score for each wave, the total score of the heat is given a point value between 1-20.
Surfing has exploded in popularity in recent years. In fact, it made its olympic debut at the 2020 Tokyo Games, officially cementing it as a sport as legitimate as any other.
Here's a final fun fact: surfing may actually be the world's oldest sport. That's right, researchers have uncovered prehistoric stone carvings of surfers – some dating to over 5,000 years ago.
Have you played any of the sports on this list? Did we describe the rules of your favorite sport accurately? (we are learning too!) Do you play a unique sport that isn't on this list?
Let us know by reaching out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
No matter where you are from or how you play, we all share a common love of sports.
Because sports are so much more than just a silly ritual of throwing balls into goals, or seeing who can run fastest in a circle.
More than any other medium, sports showcase the peaks of athleticism and the profound human ability to work as a team.
Athletes are superstars, overcoming obstacles both physical and mental to become the best versions of themselves.
And, whether you express your athleticism through sliding face first down an ice track, throwing a massive telephone pole, or catching the stroke of one of nature's most awesome forces, we are here to support you on your journey.
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