Cam Newton – NFA 7v7 Football National Championships: The Youth Athlete Contradiction

Cam Newton with QB Skill Challenge Champion
Cam Newton with QB Skill Challenge Champion

If you’re looking for the Gridiron/Battle in the Trenches style of football played upon the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field, you will NOT find it here my friends.  This is 7v7 football – a high speed, lightning intensity paced game where the focus falls upon the skill players.  If the vertical attack of the quarterback to his gravity-defying wide receivers virtually dicing the defense apart as a skilled butcher would take apart a side of beef sounds appealing to you, then this is your game!

On the weekend of June 21st, the Third Annual Cam Newton Skills Challenge kicked off the IMG7v7 National Championship weekend festivities, which took place at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.  This event attracts some of the nation’s most elite high school talent reaching from Delaware, Canada, Colorado, Florida and all points between.  Teams qualified through a series of events held all across the United States. This was one of the last opportunities to watch players by the names of Quincy Wilson(48 D1 offers), Richard Yeargin(40 D1 offers), Sam Bruce(Nephew of NFL great Isaac Bruce), Bo Scarborough(RB – Alabama commit), Jeff Holland(45 D1 offers), or Kevin Toliver II(CB – LSU commit) without paying top dollar for a ticket.

As an Official Sponsor of IMG, ALINE Systems was in attendance to evaluate and analyze all of the athlete’s functional lower body alignment.  The results were, in a word, shocking.  In this context shocking has dual meaning, as you will see.

The Skills Challenge kicked off the weekend’s competition.  After a motivating speech from Cam Newton himself, the battle was underway to crown the tournament’s top Quarterback and Wide Receiver.  The ALINE Team was placed just outside the End Zone ready to Evaluate Like Champions…(insert Notre Dame Fight Song)

As the day progressed two things became blatantly apparent.  1 – These young men were amazing physical specimens and individuals. 2 – Overuse Syndrome has become an epidemic! The amount and frequency of injuries along with severe mal-alignments were, as I mentioned earlier, quite shocking.  Running the gamut from chronic lateral ankle sprain to medial tibial stress syndrome through ACL/PCL complete tears.  Even at this youthful age, Lower Back Pain was a common complaint.  Historically an issue developed late in life from the punishment placed upon the body from years of movement, now seems to have translated to the youth athletic population.  The ALINE Team was in amazement at the contradiction of elite level athletic performance and severe injury frequency and history.

On the positive side, in most all cases the youth foot is flexible.  Still malleable and not rigid from decades of punishment, we were able to place these young men on the ALINE Foot Suspension Systems and correct most of their alignment maladies.  The severe pronation and correlated genu-valgum(knock-knees) knee patterns disappeared as the ALINEment advanced.  Instant comfort was felt and healthier tracking patterns seen.  The simplistic joy seen on the faces of these pigskin warriors when the Red Line bisected their well muscled legs and ALINE under foot was a constant pleasure.  Again the ALINE Advantage was able to identify lower extremity alignment issues and aid in the prevention of further injury or deformity allowing these young athletes to perform to their utmost potential!

The event weekend concluded on Sunday with Team Tampa being crowned the NFA 7v7 National Champions for the second year in a row! It was an intra-Floridian battle with Tampa overtaking Miami’s own South Florida Express Elite, 25-24.  Cam Newton was in attendance throughout the entire event.  If his physical presence and personality didn’t alert you to his NFL pedigree, you would think he another one of the kids.  As an outsider looking in, it’s always refreshing to see an athlete of his acclaim and success able to interact with young, aspiring student-athletes.  Also, at the conclusion of the Skills Challenge, Cam was there to hand out award packages including ALINE Performance Insoles!

The facts are clear about the importance of alignment and foot care.  The human body is not made up of separate parts.  “The knee bone’s connected to the shin bone…”as the song goes.  It is this kinetic chain that must be maintained and assessed over time.  The challenge is changing the knowledge base of youth, coaches and families so they all understand that their foundation directly affects their function.  This fact alone will have positive long term effects on not only their football careers, but their quality of life beyond the Gridiron.

  •  Written/Edited by: Jonna Pento

A Great Experience with The Wounded Warrior Project

ALINE with The Wounded Warrior Project

As ALINE System’s Brand Ambassador on IMG Academy, I had the privilege of spending time with the Wounded Warrior Project. From June 12th thru the 15th members of the Wounded Warrior Project trekked down to IMG Academy campus to train, sweat, and be mentally challenged and coached by the same coaches training our nation’s elite athlete population. During their stay, I spent my time presenting and ALINEing the group.

To foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history is the mission of the Wounded Warrior Project.  This project is a non-profit organization founded for the benefit of our military’s wounded in battle protecting the freedoms we sometimes take for granted.  One of the main directives of this project is to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of its injured service members.  One of these unique programs was the Ignite 360 Performance Certification offered by Ignite 360 at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

Wednesday night was the welcome dinner and introduction.  Service men and women from all branches were represented – ARMY, NAVY, MARINES, and AIR FORCE.  The night began with an informal dinner where everyone ate together and became more acquainted with one another.  After an introduction from Jason, Casey, and Johna (not me) – the Wounded Warrior group leaders – Jason Puckett from Ignite 360 and myself had a chance to introduce themselves and speak to the group about the next few days that lay ahead of them at IMG. Coincidentally enough, David Prince, a US Track Team member, Paralympian World Record holder and ALINE Athlete was having a dinner in the next room with his family who was in town to support him for the US Nationals Track Meet. David jumped at the chance to speak to the Warriors about his experience with injury, training thru adversity, and ultimately accomplishing his goals with the support of IMG Academy and their sponsors.  Being able to see an athlete of David’s caliber and disability left a lasting impression on the group.

Throughout the next two days I was able to provide all Wounded Warrior participants with a free lower body alignment analysis, educating them on how improving their biomechanics can enhance athletic performance.  In addition, a complimentary pair of ALINE Foot Suspension System’s were provided to each participant to help the athletes’ arches reshape and align for improved performance and decreased wear and tear on the body.

Sacrificing oneself for the greater good of another is one of the core values for any of our military elite.  Gratitude and thanks is just the beginning of how we should honor these real-life Warriors that walk among us.  At IMG Academy, ALINE Systems and Ignite 360 were able to give back and provide our soldiers with skills, training, and knowledge that will improve their lives and lives of others around them.  Now when these honored few walk among us, at least we know they will be walking in ALINEment with Power Straight Up!!

Written By Jonna Pento, Edited by Kathryn McGonagle

Flip-flops, loose shoes can be damaging

feet

Flip-flops, loose shoes can be damaging

We’re happy to share the bad news on Flip Flop and Bad Shoes. It was getting lonely telling people to reduce wearing flip-flops. While flip-flops can be great for summer, wearing them consistently can cause long-term damage in your feet. Extend this article’s great points up the kinetic chain to your hips and back. Stay ALINEd.

“Flip-flops are for beaches and showers, not for climbing towers.”

That was the rhyme devised by late Fort Gratiot lighthouse carekeeper Bob Hanford to explain why visitors couldn’t drag their summer foot wear up and down the 94 Civil War-era cast iron steps.

The lighthouse instituted the policy after sandals caused a young patron to slip on the spiral staircase, said Susan Bennett, executive director of the Port Huron Museum.

It turns out flip-flops can cause a lot more harm than many would think. As you head into the lazy summer days filled with sunshine, cutoffs and lemonade by the lake, be sure keep your feet happy too.

If you’re like Holland Woods eighth grader Kayleigh Johnston, of Port Huron, you probably wear flip-flops as soon as the weather permits.

“I like them because they are easy to put on and you don’t have to tie them. They are nice to wear on a hot day,” she said.

Flip-flop comfort comes with a price, however. Ask Johnston’s schoolmate, Karli Ross.

“If you wear them too much you can feel it in your feet, ”she said.

Ross’s opinion is shared by many foot experts.

“Flip-flops are awful,” said James P. Pitlosh, Port Huron podiatrist. “They are best reserved for occasional use in the shower or on the beach.”

Podiatrists have long recognized the negative affect spongy flip-flop soles can have on a foot. Because the soles allow the heel to drop down too far, heel spurs and plantar fasciitis can develop.

Pitlosh admits he’s as guilty as the next guy, and used to enjoy wearing deck shoes, which offer poor support. But because of the injuries they can produce, he cautions against picking a shoe strictly for ease of use.

He estimates an average foot injury can take up to four years to completely heal if properly treated.

“Once you injure your foot, it doesn’t easily heal because you still have to walk,” Pitlosh said.

Open-toed shoes, like flip-flops, not only deny your ankle the support it needs, they can leave your foot vulnerable to protruding thorns and sticks. Because of these natural obstacles, Pitlosh advises closed-toe shoes whenever possible.

But it’s not just flip- flops to watch out for this summer. Pitlosh also rails against the fad of loosely laced shoes.

Without tightly lacing the shoe, Pitlosh said, “you won’t get any support, because the shoe spreads out.” This can allow the foot to rotate, placing the body weight on the inner sole.

Podiatrists refer to this as pronating or a flattening of the foot.

Pronation creates more movement in the bones, and is a condition that can lead to foot arch collapse, premature arthritis, bunions, and heel spurs, said Dr. Steve Bremer of Mercy Health Center North in Fort Gratiot.

Pronation also applies more stress to the inside of the knee, can lead to an early deterioration of hip cartilage as well as increasing the curvature of the spine.

In short, flip-flops increase stress throughout the lower extremities and clearly accelerate the process leading to knee and hip replacement, Bremer said.

Podiatrists also recognize an increase in foot skin cancer during the summer, Bremer said, so he advises a steady application of sun screen of at least SPF 30 or higher.

“Repetitive sunburn is certainly not healthy to your skin, and as you get older there is a higher incidence of skin cancer.”

Due to an increase in foot moisture, summer also means an increase in athlete’s foot and bacterial infections.

A regular application of drying agents such as corn starch or baking powder can reduce foot moisture and the risk of athlete’s foot infection, Bremer said.

He also advised daily sock changes to reduce athlete’s foot. Insoles or orthopedic supports should be removed from the shoe every day to reduce the risk of fungal infection.

To reduce foot moisture, Pitlosh advocates barefootin’ it.

“Kick off your shoes,” he said. “Go barefoot; it’s good for your feet and it’s good exercise.”

When it’s time to pick out new foot wear, Bremer said there “is a correlation between money you pay and the length of time the shoes hold up.” You’ll know it’s time to replace a shoe when it begins to warp or distort, he said.

Getting a new pair of shoes means your older ones get a new function. Instead of wearing flip-flops to the beach, an older pair of shoes can give you the support you need and still let you get your feet wet.

Taking care of your feet is a worthwhile venture, one that doesn’t require to much “solesearching.”

So give those flip-flops the boot and start off your Blue Water summer adventure on the right foot.

Written By Lance Farrell, Times Herald

Kenya’s Olympic 4×400 Squad and ALINE Make a “Splash” at IMG Academy

Jonna and Kenyan 4x400 TeamKenya’s Olympic 4×400 Squad and ALINE Make a “Splash” at IMG Academy

Strolling across the nation’s most prestigious athletic training facility, IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., you are bound to see some of today’s most recognizable and exciting athletes preparing, training, and sweating through one of IMG Academy’s many renowned and grueling training programs. As upcoming professional combines and drafts; Olympic events; and other serious career endeavors grow closer, so does preparation intensity and concentration at IMG Academy. Yet, one particular group of athletes stood out and made a “splash” with their program on campus this summer.  After meeting with and fitting the visiting Kenyan National 4×400 Sprint Team with their first pair of ALINEs, brand rep Jonna Pento had only this to say about the visiting Olympians, “I am in awe.”

Initially recruited to IMG Academy by Coach Loren Seagrave, arguably one of the most decorated speed coaches on the planet, Alphas Kishoyian, Newton Rottich, Boniface Mweresa, and Vincent Koskei have been learning and training alongside some of the US’ top sprinters and trainers during their time on campus. Their burning speed on the track and incredible natural ability has attracted plenty of attention, yet the inseparable crew became known for something slightly different.  At midday, you won’t find the team sweating on the track, in the weight room, nor receiving treatment from one of the many elite sports physicians.  No, midday at IMG Academy alongside the country’s athletic elite, the Kenyan National 4×400 Sprint Team was found making a splash in one of the academy’s premier pools, simply enjoying the impressive facilities and life down at IMG Academy.

Alphas, Newton, Boniface, and Vincent, four of the fastest built humans on the planet, quickly established themselves at IMG Academy, becoming equally famous for their lighthearted, easygoing, and approachable personalities as their track talents. When Jonna Pento, ALINE Brand Manager stationed at IMG Academy, met with the team for their official ALINE fitting, he found that the Kenyans continued to prove what ALINE has found time and time again while working with elite athletes; the most proficient and successful have the greatest natural ALINEment!   Alphas, the fastest of the group, had impressive natural posture, while the largest, Newton, was plagued by collapsed arches and medial drifts.  After ALINE insoles were applied, all four teammates were measured to have near-perfect alignment. We are incredibly excited to have worked with these world class athletes and gentleman, and look forward to watching their improvement with their new ALINEment technology.

“To put it simply, that’s why we are here. We aim to level the playing field, not just for the elite but for everyone,” stated Jonna, reflecting on ALINE as a whole. “This product is being used with success by the best, and we are here to provide it for the masses. We have the technology and ability to bring nearly EVERYONE into ALINEment!” he added passionately.

The Kenyan National Team made a lasting impact on IMG Academy and the ALINE staff, and we are both looking forward to seeing the impact ALINE might have on them…whether it be through world records, or simply the 2,000,000 steps per year they will now take in perfect ALINEment.

by Greg Rothman and Kathryn McGonagle

BIG ALINE News folks: Barcelona XGAMEs Finals

ALINE took the XGAMES by storm in Barcelona. Our athletes landed 2/3’s of XGAME gold’s as well as 19 out of 36 medals! 8 out of 12 possible Gold’s were won by ALINEd athletes! Way to go!

Gary Young, our top 3 ALINE fan & good friend took home the Gold in the BMX Park. Gary has been on ALINE for 7 years, awesome! Another avid ALINE user, Perfo Barros, has been on ALINE for 5 years. Perfo took home the Gold at the Skate Park!

ALINEs favorite event for the podium: BIG AIR BMX GOLD! Congrats to Zack Warden for sleighing in the Gold!

And last but not least, our long time athlete Ronnie Renner back on MOTO Top literally with Gold step up Moto!!

Jamie Crane-Mauzy “JCray” Wraps Up East Coast Ski Season With Much Love For ALINE!

Image
JCray at Winter X! #freezeframe

It may not be the best image around, but it’s an image you need to remember. Underneath that logo’d helmet and goggles is one of the most impressive female athletes we have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Jamie Crane-Mauzy, who prefers to just be called “JCray” is an up and coming badass who is about to put her skiing talents on the map!

This shot was taken this year at the Winter X Games right after she became the first female skier to EVER double back flip in competition! Her accomplishments didn’t end there though, Jamie had a full year of competition earning silver, gold, even platinum level podiums – and it has only made her hungry for more! ALINE is lucky to be affiliated with such a motivated and talented athlete who will continue to work hard and help the progression of her sport. We have been a part of her training and a solution for her performance for a few years now and are really looking forward to watching and helping her rise to the top. Judging by her comments, we think she likes us too 🙂

JCray sent us this nice message wrapping up her east coast season, and quite simply, it made us happy, so we thought we should share it. Keep doing what you’re doing, Jamie!

My goal for this year skiing was to establish myself on the tour, land solid results, push the level of girls skiing, and continue to improve rapidly on my own ski skills. 

I think I accomplished all those goals and beyond and am so happy with the friends and community I got to become a part of!

My goal off the hill was to become someone people recognized and looked up to in the ski community.  Whether it was local PC kids coming up to me in line, or about 50 guys at a SLC party telling my they turned on girls X-Games for the first time and were stoked. It became obvious I accomplished huge first steps in making that impact I am looking to make.

I couldn’t have accomplished what I did this year without your belief in me, and product support.  I was proud to represent ALINE around the world.

Thank you so much for supplying me with product this year! Looking forward to many more adventures coming up right around the corner! THANKS AGAIN!

❤ JCray

ALINEd Athletes Earn Top Podium Spots At XGAMES BRAZIL

The XGAMES is still rolling full steam on their world tour! That gives well ALINEd athletes more opportunities to show their stuff, develop new tricks, and keep bending the laws of physics on a global stage. ALINE has managed to grab quite a few top spots over the years, but this year we have really been killin’ it. Check these results from the games that just ended a day ago – and don’t forget to take a look at the incredible history making moves by ALINEd Skateboarder, Jake Brown who CRUSHED the competition by landing the first ever Ollie720 in Big Skate Air

(Jake Brown w ALINE Co-Founder Gordon Hay)
(Jake Brown w ALINE Co-Founder Gordon Hay)

So once again, a huge congratulations to all of the competitors! This list of amazing accomplishments continues to prove that when you perform in proper ALINEment, you can achieve your competitive goals – worldwide.

BMX Park
Pat Casey – Silver
Dennis Enarson – Bronze 
Bmx Dirt
Brandon Dosch – Silver
Ryan Nyquist – Bronze
 
BMX Vert
Coco Zurita – Silver
Steve McCann – Bronze
 
BMX Big Air
Zack Warden – Gold
Morgan Wade – Bronze
 
Sk8 Big Air
Bob Burnquist – Gold
Elliot Sloan – Silver
Jake Brown – Bronze
 
Mens Sk8 Park 
Pedro Barros – Gold
Rune Giberg – Silver
Ben Hatchell – Bronze
 
Mens Sk8 Vert
Bucky Lasek – Gold
Sandro Dias – Silver
Marcelo Bastos – Bronze
 
Womans Street
Leticia Bufani – Gold
Lacey Baker – Silver
 
Mens Enduro Cross
Cody Web – Silver
David Knight – Bronze
 
Womens Enduro
Tarah Geiger – Bronze
 
Moto X Speed & Style
Mat Rebeaud – Bronze
 
Moto Step Up
Ronnie Renner – Silver
 
Moto Freestyle
Taka Higashiro – Gold
Wes Agee – Bronze

ALINE Still On Top at Tignes X-Games 2013!

logo

winter-x-games-tignes

Years ago, when Co-Founder and extreme sport enthusiast Gordon Hay, was designing some of the first ALINE prototypes (using scrap plastic and bar napkins) he had one goal in mind: for extreme athletes to be able to “Go hard and land soft.” Athletes want to perform better to become the best at what they do, and after years of experience and product development, we are proud to have mastered a high-tech product that so many have found essential to their training and performance. It means so much to us when we hear our professional athletes gloating about how ALINE has helped them train harder, train longer, and achieve their professional goals…but what is more rewarding than a compliment…?

…That’s easy: the hardware.

ALINE would like to congratulate all of the X Games Tignes competitors, and give a special shout to those competing in perfect ALINEment. ALINEd athletes took 5 out of 8 Gold Medals and a total of 13 out of 24 podium spots overall! See below for the full list of ALINE X Games Royalty…

Men’s Ski Superpipe:

    • Gold – Torrin Yater-Wallace (USA)
    • Silver – David Wise (USA)
    • Bronze – Kevin Rolland (FRA)

Men’s Ski Slopestyle:

    • Silver – Jossi Wells (NZL)

Men’s SNB Superpipe:

    • Gold – Louis Vito (USA)

Men’s SNB Slopestyle:

    • Gold – Sebastian Toutant (CAN)

Women’s Ski Superpipe:

    • Bronze – Maddie Bowman (USA)

Women’s Ski Slopestyle:

    • Gold – Kaya Turski (CAN)

Women’s SNB Superpipe:

    • Silver – Elena Hight (USA)
    • Bronze – Arielle Gold (USA)

Women’s SNB Slopestyle:

    • Gold – Silje Norendal (NOR)
    • Silver – Jamie Anderson (USA)
    • Bronze – Kjersti Oestgaard Buaas (NOR)

Hopefully our winter success will carry over to the Summer X Games in just a few months! If you want access to the same products as the pro’s, check out http://www.aline.com to find a dealer near you.

by  Crosby Press

In his horrific, inverted crash in the 2013 X Games Snowmobile Freestyle event, Daniel Bodin‘s most crucial piece of gear was his helmet — a visor fragment even snapped off when the track of his sled came crashing violently down on his head.

But whatever went wrong to send Bodin sprawling to the 100-foot jump’s packed-snow run-out, we’re pretty sure it wasn’t that his ankles were bugging him. And we’re pretty sure that’s due to ALINE.

A humble company that operates from an old sailing loft in Marblehead, Massachusetts, ALINE makes a custom-fitted insole that many of the world’s top athletes look to for additional support & lower-body health. It’s an unglamorous niche product whose performance benefits have drawn the likes of Tony HawkTravis Pastrana, and a ton of snow athletes at this year’s X Games — including the now-bruised Bodin.

“Alines are amazing”, crooned the Swedish sledder. “My left ankle was really messed up, and once I got a pair I can walk further without pain and I can go out to the mountain and it doesn’t hurt. I’ve been on [the insoles] for three years now.”

“The typical insole that comes inside a ski or snowboard boot is just a quarter inch of foam”, explained Derek Carroll, the brand’s president in phone call before the 2013 X Games, at which Aline is one of the few private brands welcomed into the official athlete tent.

“The foot slides around inside… and all the great technology invested in these boots is lost, because companies don’t want to invest in something the company doesn’t see.” But with the insole — the entry- level stock version of which can be had for around 80 bucks — the boot sits on proprietary ribs that run across the arch.

“The Aline lets [the foot] move, because otherwise it can’t generate power”, said Carroll. Effectively, the Aline technology positions the user’s foot operate efficiently, reducing threat of injury and fatigue.

Though it’s operated by a mere seven employees, the brand holds six foot-tech-related patents, which inform products found in Bodin’s boots, plus those of 10 Winter X Games athletes (that we know of). Those clients are medalists, by the way — Bodin, Jamie Anderson, Dave Wise, and Sammy Carlson each earned at least one gold in the past three years’ Winter X Games.

Hit Aline’s webstore to buy a stock pair of insoles, or to learn more about getting custom-fitted for a pair like the pros.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑