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Leinster fight back for Wasps win

first_img Alapati Leiua’s 23rd-minute try was added to by a cracking Christian Wade score as wind-backed Wasps built a 20-11 half-time lead, with Andy Goode kicking 10 points with the boot. Two penalties from Ian Madigan, coupled with a try from European debutant Darragh Fanning, kept Leinster in touch and they went up through the gears with third-quarter scores from Fanning and Dominic Ryan. However, Wasps’ scrambled defence earned them a deserved losing bonus point as they kept the Irish province at bay in the closing stages. In their first European outing since Brian O’Driscoll’s retirement, injury-hit Leinster were without 10 players who lined out in last April’s quarter-final against Toulon. The hosts settled quickly, though, winning a scrum penalty and carrying forcefully in the 22 with Rhys Ruddock leading the charge. A close-in penalty was tapped over by Madigan. But Wasps, who were without captain James Haskell due to illness, were not long in replying. Ashley Johnson used an overthrown Leinster lineout to cause concern in the home defence and Goode’s 12th-minute penalty levelled matters. Rampaging runs from Ruddock and Nathan Hughes lifted the tempo at the end of a tight first quarter, although a ruck offence by the former allowed Goode to make it 6-3. It got even better for the visitors when Noel Reid’s attempted pass to Fanning was juggled and gathered by Leiua – just outside the Wasps 22 – and the Samoan centre had the gas to run over unopposed. Leinster replied just four minutes later as captain Jamie Heaslip bulldozed past Joe Launchbury in midfield and Jimmy Gopperth’s inviting grubber kick was grounded by Fanning in the left corner. Madigan’s missed conversion left a five-point gap and despite failing to capitalise on breaks by replacement Rob Miller and Elliot Daly, Wasps added to their lead before the break. Leinster came through a tough first examination in the Champions Cup as they edged out Wasps 25-20 at the RDS Arena. Press Association It was a Christian Wade ‘special’ as the fleet-footed winger whizzed by Madigan on the outside, evaded Fanning’s attempted tap tackle and dived over in the right corner past the despairing Zane Kirchner. However, Goode’s terrific touchline conversion was cancelled out by Madigan with the last kick of an entertaining first half. Turning with the elements behind them, including a fresh rain shower, Leinster had to weather some early pressure before a Devin Toner block launched the blue shirts downfield. Sean Cronin carried twice to good effect and Heaslip again made crucial yardage before Eoin Reddan released Fanning to go over on the right. Madigan’s conversion made it a two-point game. Goode pushed a right-sided penalty across the posts and Leinster were looking increasingly potent, with hooker Cronin careering through tackles and the hard-earned momentum led to flanker Ryan powering over from a few metres out. TMO Derek Bevan confirmed the grounding and Madigan added the extras for 25-20, giving the hosts the impetus to push on in the final quarter. Number 8 Hughes led Wasps’ resistance at a scrum close to their own line and while Gordon D’Arcy and Kirchner had a couple of bites at the cherry, the bonus point try eluded Matt O’Connor’s men whose opening win sees them join Harlequins at the top of Pool 2. last_img read more

By adding a full-time therapist, Syracuse Athletics wants to put mental health at the forefront

first_imgFor some athletes, the response to injury can prompt mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and sleep disturbance, according to the NCAA.That’s why, after Syracuse athletes undergo surgery, Assistant Athletics Director for Sports Medicine Brad Pike now offers them an idea for dealing with what may follow.“Hey, the counselor is available. It’s completely cool to do it,” Pike tells athletes. “… We kind of strongly push them to see our therapist,” Pike said later.Roughly one in five adults in the United States suffer from mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Two experts and numerous studies suggest that athletes may be at greater risk. NBA star Kevin Love and NFL star Brandon Marshall are among athletes to have gone public with their battles with mental illness.Last September, Syracuse Athletics made two therapists available exclusively for athletes. Both worked 20 hours per week. On March 19, SU Athletics positioned a single full-time therapist for athletes.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Our mental health services were a direct result of input that we got from student athletes at ACC meetings and at the NCAA convention in 2017,” Syracuse Director of Athletics John Wildhack said. “I came back and said, ‘We’ve got to provide more support services, more help in that area.’”A 2016 NCAA survey of nearly 21,000 Division I, II and III college athletes indicated that about 30 percent of students self-reported feeling “intractably overwhelmed” a month prior to the survey. A 2016 Drexel University study surveyed 465 athletes at Division I programs and found that nearly 24 percent of the athletes reported a “clinically relevant” level of depressive symptoms, and 6 percent reported moderate to severe symptoms.In March 2016, the NCAA published a guideline with best practices regarding mental illness, which includes encouraging schools to provide a therapist. Before that, the NCAA didn’t have a set of practices laid out.“Because college athletes are expected to play at such a high level of competition, especially in Division I, they have enormous pressure to perform and maintain their place on a team,” said Ellen deLara, an associate professor emerita in the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics. “This can help to create an atmosphere for them that promotes a lot of stress, which in and of itself can lead to anxiety and depression.”Athletes can also use medication, mindfulness training and yoga to promote a healthier atmosphere, deLara said.deLara said an important first step to better understanding the mental health issues associated with athletes lies in uprooting the stigma that poor mental health is tied to weakness. She said the stigma may trace back to ancient Greek sculptures, as they represent the “perfect specimen of a person.” In a similar way, athletes are considered to be a model, she said.In a growing “achievement-based culture,” there may be an increase in the percentage of athletes experiencing mental health issues over the next five to 10 years, said Robin Scholefield, a psychologist at the University of Southern California and associate director of the school’s clinical and sport psychological services for athletics. She consults with Division I and Olympic athletes. Oftentimes, she suggests mindfulness: The process of bringing one’s attention to the present moment through exercises focused on the breath.Kevin Camelo | Digital Design EditorScholefield said the key distinction between how athletes respond to mental health issues versus nonathletes is that athletes usually register fatigue and lack of motivation before sadness. This contrasts with nonathletes, who may experience sadness first.She said signs of stress specifically among college athletes include complaints of stomach or headaches, as well as dizziness.Mood swings, increased irritability and emotional outbursts also are signs because they may be an indication of an underlying stress issue, Scholefield said. The pressures of attending every practice, as well as quickly recovering from injury, contribute to athletes’ mental health issues.Cory Wallack, the director of Syracuse’s Counseling Services, said the primary benefit of a therapist in Manley resides in accessibility. He noted that last school year the trek from Manley Field House to the Counseling Center on Walnut Place is “about as far across SU property one can go.” Should demand increase, SU Athletics may expands its therapy services, he said.“Their ability to blend and be just another student is not possible,” Wallack said. “Where else do you have a student who can also be criticized as readily by the student population in an acceptable manner? Think about the missed free throw, the missed touchdown catch, the fill-in-the-blank. There’s just a heap ton of pressure there.”Wallack said members of all SU teams utilize the service.“Around the country, I think we’re on the front end of what’s about to be an explosion,” Wallack said. “You’re going to see a whole heap of specialists who are working with college student-athletes. The NCAA is treating mental health as a public health crisis at the level it needs to be treated.”Wallack said it’s integral that anyone, including athletes, not wait until they have mental health issues before seeing a therapist. That aligns with the NCAA report released two years ago: The guidelines emphasize mental health screening tools and written mental health referral plans — all before athletes even appear in their first collegiate athletic event.“We’re trying to get the point that mental health is just as important as physical health,” Pike said. “Or probably more important than physical health.” Comments Published on April 30, 2018 at 10:31 pm Contact Matthew: mguti100@syr.edu | @MatthewGut21 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more