Kazi To Sponsor The Eugene Mud Run

A runner at the Terrain Racing Mud Run splashes through a mud pit obsticle Saturday morning at Camp Harlow. The race, visiting Eugene for the first time, was a three or five mile run with the track peppered with a variety of obsticles including monkeybars, hay bales and barbed wire covered mud pits. (Michael Ciaglo/Oregon Daily Emerald)

On October 1, Kazi will be sponsoring the Eugene Mud Run.

Here is some info for our valued readers. See you on the 1st!

Available Start Times

Early waves fill up fast, register now before the spots are gone! If you’re trying to join a friend in a wave that is already full, ask them to create a team and when you join their team you can race at the same time they are.

The Competitive waves have prize money and cost $15 extra.

Early waves are super popular and cost more, but don’t worry, the later waves are just as good!

The fastest female and male athletes in the Competitive 5k and 10k distance will be awarded a cash prize

What is included in the registration fee?

  • ShirtComfy and stylish, plus free Gear Check to store it at.

    MedalThis is some serious bling!

    BibHang your wall to brag about your achievements on the course!

    Photos
    Photos of you on the course.

    Drinks
    Refreshing beverage at the finish, and aid stations on the course.

    Obstacles25+ obstacles to conquer!

Location

Camp Harlow
3850 County Farm Road
Eugene, OR 97408

Parking is $10 per vehicle, please carpool and bring cash.

Teams

You can race on a team or solo, but mud runs with friends are so much more fun!

After buying an entry, you can decide if you want to race on a team. You will have the option to create a new team or join one. So you don’t have to sign your whole team up at the same time.

Teams photo
Photo Credit: Eugene Emerald

Previewing an Upcoming Editorial

Thank you, Eugene 

When my team and I started our business in Eugene, we were told that start-ups in Eugene are notoriously challenging. Far better, they said, to move to a more fertile city like Portland or Seattle. Funding would be challenging, gathering committed interns and employees difficult, and receiving guidance and mentor support incredibly hard.

However, with the help of my team and the community of Eugene, we have brought our business to a point where we are beginning to nurture relationships with other local business owners and tap into the senses of decency and community that all people in the Eugene-Springfield area know and cherish.

We teamed up with St. Vicent de Paul in early February to sponsor the Truffle Shuffle, a family-friendly race that raises money that goes toward veterans. We have been welcomed into the downtown community and have professional relationships with some local businesses in the area. We have been ably helped by RAIN Eugene and the people we met there. We have been guided, warned off riskier strategic paths,  and included into the fold despite a much lower starting place.

The app we built connects people to locals and their activity groups. So when we think back on it, there is no more poetic a starting place than Eugene, OR.

Thank you,

Ben Nye

Founder, The Kazi App

How to Watch Football and Appear Smart About It

At Kazi, we know that you’re busy – you might work, go to school, enjoy physical fitness, and take the time to spend with friends. While these are all worthy goals, there can be that time every football season when you just can’t quite get into the game. The vocabulary becomes confusing; the rules are clear as mud, and you find yourself spending four hours on a Saturday or Sunday (or both) completely lost as grown men chase each other around a 100-yd long field.

So without further ado, here is a football how-to guide for the casual viewer:

Vocabulary:

  • Uniform. This is pretty self-explanatory but can on occasion result in a faux pas if you utter the word “outfit” instead.
  • Yardage. A form of the word “yard”. We still don’t know why we use the term yardage rather than yards, though. Both are nouns that signify what the net gain on the play is.
  • Names of US sport teams. Many other countries keep it simple; the name of the team is the name of the town or city in which the team plays (think Manchester United, Real Madrid, etc.). However, for both colleges and pro teams in the US, you have to be able to go back and forth between the mascot and the city. So just make sure you’re familiar with the mascots of the teams you’re watching. You don’t want to be the person who says “Seattle Falcons” or “Alabama Ducks.”
  • The line of scrimmage. This is where the play begins. Both teams must be on or behind the line of scrimmage on their respective sides of the field.
  • Flag on the play. The referee throws a yellow flag when he sees something worthy of a penalty. This has led to the term “flag on the play”. The implications of this are too numerous to go into today but in some instances, it can lead to a “free play”.
  • Free play. If the defense gets a penalty and a flag has been thrown during the play, the game continues. Often you will see the offense take a big risk with a throw down the field because the worst case scenario is that the play doesn’t work but the defense still gets penalized nonetheless.

How to win:

  • In short, you have four chances to get 10 yards when you have the ball. If the other team prevents you from accumulating 10 yards in four plays, then they get the ball. For example, if you start on the 20-yard line, you have four plays to get to the 30-yard line.
  • Now let’s say you have only been able to get to the 25-yard line after three plays. In that case, you can kick it as far as you can down the field because the likelihood of getting those 5 yards is pretty small. The other team will (most likely) still get the ball, but at least they will be farther away from scoring themselves.
  • Play continues in this manner until some get the ball into the end zone, located at both ends of the field.
  • In some circumstances, teams that are reasonably close to the end zone but too far away to score (say 20 yards) will try a field goal. This is where the ball is kicked between the posts at either end of the field.

Scoring:

  • 6 points for a touchdown (but can become 7 or 8 with the option for points-after-touchdown)
  • 3 points for a field goal
  • 2 points for safety (just don’t worry about this too much right now – it doesn’t happen often)

Something to say to sound like a smart football analyst:

  • “The game is being won at the line of scrimmage right now.”

(Image Credit: Sporting Charts)

Why Wit Wins Out, a profile of unheralded defender Ciro Ferrara

ciro

Today, a guest post by our resident soccer expert, Nathan Ronco:

Around the globe, the current state of football (soccer) has been characterized by flashy goals, super clubs, and inconceivable amounts of money. Regarding flashy goals, the demand for such instances has only been heightened with the advent of social media and untapped markets, cultures, and nations who are new to the sport (i.e. the United States).

Furthermore, modern football demands speed and individual skill, for all positions. With the current state of the game, even central and wide defenders must possess the same level of technical/fundamental skills as many attacking players. With ball-playing defenders, the true art of defending has lost much of its grit in recent years and veterans of the game have been quick to draw attention to this “issue.”

One of my calcio (soccer) idols, the Italian Ciro Ferrara, is one of those veterans who have expressed their concerns about the art of defending losing its identity, so to speak. Now, Ciro Ferrara was one of the best, if not THE best, central defenders of all time and you’ve probably never heard of the man (if you are new to the sport or do not watch Italian calcio).

Ciro was born in Napoli in 1967 and rose through the youth ranks at his hometown club, S.S.C Napoli. During his tenure with Napoli, he won two Scudetti (League Championships), one Coppa Italia, and one UEFA Cup. From Napoli, Ciro earned a move to Juventus F.C. where he became an intricate part of Marcelo Lippi’s formidable squad for the betterment of 10 years, winning trophy after trophy; thus cementing his name into Italian defending folklore. Ferrara might not have been astoundingly flashy with the ball at his feet nor was he an incredibly intimidating center-back (due to his kind nature).

He did, however, possess a plethora of other skills that molded him into a legend of the game as a whole. For instance, like any Italian calciatore, Ciro was a physical, yet elegant ball winner. He was comfortable winning the ball on his feet, in the air, or in a sliding tackle. However, Ciro was especially gifted with an uncanny ability to read the game with composure and patience. Having the vision to anticipate an attacking player’s movement and runs were his forte. Ciro Ferrara was able to boss attacking players simply by intercepting passes and winning tackles right from under their noses, in a very sly manner to boot (pun intended). A notable example being an away match in 1997/98 against Inter Milan in which Ciro was able to neutralize many attacking players through his vision, including O’ Fenomeno Ronaldo. Ferrara’s development as a player can be credited as the reason for such a skilled eye for the game. Ciro was a product of a man-marking defensive system that dominated Italian calcio for years until a more zonal marking system was adopted.

This ability to read the game and stifle attacking plays is a trait many feel today’s defenders lack. Tactics and composure are just as important to becoming a great player as are skill and speed. Ciro Ferrara was one of the greatest because he was able to outsmart his opponents, rather than overpower them. The ability to outsmart an opponent when defending is a dying skill that should not be overlooked by coaches and players alike. Being able to read the game and outsmart attacking players like Ciro Ferrara is essential to, not only Italian calcio but for the sport as a whole.

Nowadays, there are too many defenders who rely on sheer athleticism rather than using their wits. Although Ciro was physically imposing, he could easily win the ball by anticipation or patience. This is why, in my opinion, Ciro Ferrara is one the best defenders* of any nation, club, or generation PERIOD. So, to those of you who have never heard of the great Ciro, do yourself a favor and make a quick google search.

(Photo Cred: Slowfoot )

 

Kazi & Mental Toughness: Basketball

In the final edition of our 6-part series on mental toughness, we examine basketball. We have previously written on mental toughness in runningsoccertennis, ultimate frisbee and bowling.

By way of introduction, here is how we define it:

What is Mental Toughness?

635928254185448446-2076824172_mentally-tough

Mental Toughness not hard to identify but difficult to define. Inc magazine provides an interesting starting point in “4 Excuses Mentally Strong People Don’t Use“. These are:

  • I’d rather beg for forgiveness than ask for permission.
  • You only live once.
  • I don’t care what anybody thinks.
  • I deserve to be happy.

While these sayings aren’t necessarily bad, when used as excuses they tend to have deleterious effects. When mental toughness is defined as one’s ability to consistently demonstrate outstanding results in the most critical circumstances, then an excuse designed to shirk one’s responsibilities is counter-productive. In addition to the cliches above, we would humbly propose the following addendum:

  • Whatever will be, will be.

Now, there is probably a time and place for this. However, the mentally strong don’t use this as a way to avoid follow-through but rather as a comfort that when he has “worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted one the field of battle – victorious.”Not necessarily a victor in the  battle itself but a victor in knowing he has done all that he could. (h/t Vince Lombardi)

Mental Toughness in Basketball

No expose on mental toughness would be complete without a quote from the legend, John Wooden. So here we expound upon his three foundational principles to winning the mind game:

  • Don’t whine
  • Don’t complain
  • Don’t make excuses

Of course, reading these simple “don’ts” makes it seem obvious and dull. But how often have we seen these circumstances in professional sports.

It’s usually subtle; something like: “I’m not one for excuses but I was just not feeling too well today. Something was wrong” or; “the game was so close – it really could have gone either way.” Of course the game could have gone either way. If it couldn’t, you wouldn’t have bothered stepping on the court or the field.

But occasionally you will see blatant excuses in which the athletes simply cannot accept the fact that they lost within the confines of a proper game. Referees and umpires are a particularly convenient scapegoat but far too often the player or coach neglects to mention the fact that the game shouldn’t have been close enough to let one call decide it. We get it – you want a well-refereed match. But at the end of the day, the scoreboard says you lost. You can’t control the referee; you can only control your own performance. So what’s the point of blaming someone else?

Then, working backwards, you have the whine. Sometimes it’s accompanied with the cheese – my name for the whimper some athletes have when they want the audience to take pity upon them. Think Cam Newton in the 2015-16 playoffs.

If you want me to conform, I’m not that guy. If you want me to be that type of person, I’m not that. I am happy to say that. This league is a great league with or without me. I understand that. I am my own person. I take pride in that.

Sounds at least like he has a dose of humility, right?

Wrong. Actions speak louder than words and whimpering about the fact that you lost and failing to appear at the press conference is emblematic of mental weakness. If you can bear it, go back and watch the fourth quarter. Newton had lost any will to win, instead deciding to chastise his teammates and berate media and game officials.

LeBron James is an excellent example of mental toughness. He comes through with the big shots when his team needs it and always takes responsibility for losses. (Perhaps a little too much responsibility – you know you have teammates who will help you out right?)

So don’t whine. Don’t complain. Don’t make excuses. Everyone loses at some point and it sucks. But don’t pretend that you always win; then you are a loser.

Kazi & Mental Toughness: Ultimate Frisbee

In the penultimate edition of our 6-part series on mental toughness, we examine ultimate frisbee. We have previously written on mental toughness in runningsoccer, and tennis, and bowling.

By way of introduction, here is how we define it:

What is Mental Toughness?

635928254185448446-2076824172_mentally-tough

Mental Toughness not hard to identify but difficult to define. Inc magazine provides an interesting starting point in “4 Excuses Mentally Strong People Don’t Use“. These are:

  • I’d rather beg for forgiveness than ask for permission.
  • You only live once.
  • I don’t care what anybody thinks.
  • I deserve to be happy.

While these sayings aren’t necessarily bad, when used as excuses they tend to have deleterious effects. When mental toughness is defined as one’s ability to consistently demonstrate outstanding results in the most critical circumstances, then an excuse designed to shirk one’s responsibilities is counter-productive. In addition to the cliches above, we would humbly propose the following addendum:

  • Whatever will be, will be.

Now, there is probably a time and place for this. However, the mentally strong don’t use this as a way to avoid follow-through but rather as a comfort that when he has “worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted one the field of battle – victorious.”Not necessarily a victor in the  battle itself but a victor in knowing he has done all that he could. (h/t Vince Lombardi)

Mental Toughness in Ultimate Frisbee

Imagine yourself on a grassy field.
Friends shout all about
The pressure upon you now mounts
So many arms and legs – too many to count,
Nought but a frisbee do you wield.

A disc, not large; in fact really quite small,
Its centripetal rotation forestalling its fall,
The air underneath outweighs that from above,
Soaring softly through wind like the wings of a dove.

“Forehand or backhand”, you think with an arm in your face.
“It would surely be nice if this guy gave me some space.”
“If I go left, he won’t be quite as ready.”
“But right, I don’t know, I’m just not nearly as steady.”

So you ponder, but quickly, for your friends are still shouting.
And way down the field your teammates are doubting…
Doubting if they should have settled for you,
To get play in motion and carry them through.

You consider a Hail Mary, and then the other Hail Mary.
But that wouldn’t do…
A cop-out’s not for you
So you try something new
Something magically, wonderfully, amazingly new

You cross your left food around
Keeping your right on the ground
Fake a dump pass to the right,
Spin with all of your might,
Flick your wrist coming round
To the direction of your teammate’s sound…

Up
Up
Spinning
Down…to no one…

But a desperate friend, sprinting,
And diving
And catching.
You’ve scored!

weve-got-another-amazing-frisbee-catch-for-you

…..And that’s how you deal with mental toughness in Ultimate Frisbee. Hope you enjoyed it. See you on the field!

#KaziCanRhyme

(Image Credit: TotalProSports)

Kazi & Mental Toughness: Bowling

In the fourth of our 6-part series on mental toughness, we examine bowling. We have previously written on mental toughness in running, soccer, and tennis.

By way of introduction, here is how we define it:

What is Mental Toughness?

635928254185448446-2076824172_mentally-tough

Mental Toughness not hard to identify but difficult to define. Inc magazine provides an interesting starting point in “4 Excuses Mentally Strong People Don’t Use“. These are:

  • I’d rather beg for forgiveness than ask for permission.
  • You only live once.
  • I don’t care what anybody thinks.
  • I deserve to be happy.

While these sayings aren’t necessarily bad, when used as excuses they tend to have deleterious effects. When mental toughness is defined as one’s ability to consistently demonstrate outstanding results in the most critical circumstances, then an excuse designed to shirk one’s responsibilities is counter-productive. In addition to the cliches above, we would humbly propose the following addendum:

  • Whatever will be, will be.

Now, there is probably a time and place for this. However, the mentally strong don’t use this as a way to avoid follow-through but rather as a comfort that when he has “worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted one the field of battle – victorious.”Not necessarily a victor in the  battle itself but a victor in knowing he has done all that he could. (h/t Vince Lombardi)

Mental Toughness in Bowling

We have all been in that position on the tenth frame. We have just knocked down eight pins. Two more stand tantalizingly at attention down a path of hardwood floor. The ball in our hands feels…right. We’ve done this so many times before. Just a nice easy roll down the center to set up the opportunity of the bonus frame…a frame we need if we are to beat that annoying friend who has been barely in the lead the entire game…

Gutter

Doh

dsc02292

Have another sip of soda, piece of pie, nasty nacho. Turn around and face the ignominy of your friends’ jeers and declare that you will be playing another game because “you can’t finish like that”.

You see, bowling is one of those activities that is entirely mental. It is like shooting a free throw in basketball or throwing down a smash in volleyball. It’s simply not that hard with a bit of practice. It’s a mental thing. It’s having the fundamentals so “in synch” that you don’t even have to think about the operation. It just happens. The ball rolls off your hand, rotates down the hardwood, and smashes over the pins at the other end.

Easy.

But for journeyman recreational players like us at Kazi, the muscle memory is difficult to come by. In tech-speak, the muscle-memory is a “hack” that corrects for the frailties of mental toughness. The more we think about it, the tougher the action is to do. But the problem is, for people who don’t bowl all that often, thinking about is exactly what we must do.

A Catch-21, if you will.

So what do we do?

Well, the first thing is that we need to disregard the importance of the game. Who cares if it gutters or if it is a strike? This is a hack that many rec players use because it fools the mind such that the pressure and the stress is alleviated. The reason you bowl is to have fun, not to win mountains of money.

The second thing that we must do is focus on the fundamentals and not the goal. Get the fundamentals down and the pins will fall with it. Focus on the pins and you’ll pull the shot and gutter it every single time.

The last thing you need to do is to practice, and preferably with strangers. This way you can train your brain into feeling the stress of proving your bowling prowess. You can invite friends, join a league, or (better yet) join Kazi!

So next time you’re bowling in the tenth frame, you can thank us when you land that strike.

P.S. To all our loyal readers, major apologies for the random one-phrase paragraphs. Sometimes, when the mood strikes….

P.P.S. Anyway, please spare us such gratuitous literary license…

(Image credit: Cashtonaffa)