Back in the mid 1980’s I had to select several physical education courses to take because I was a physical education major while attending the University of Wisconsin. One of the classes that I ended up taking was Badminton. I quickly discovered that the backyard badminton that I was familiar with was vastly different from the type of indoor badminton that I was being introduced to that existed among highly skilled players. Our instructor demonstrated various badminton strokes and I was amazed at how fast a badminton smash travels. I didn’t know it then, but a badminton smash is considered by many to be the fastest hit of all racquet sports with the badminton birdie reaching speeds of over 160 miles per hour. Continue reading Don’t Let Your Past Limit God
One of the dreads of every coach is when their team gets stuck in a, “We’re no good, we always lose,” mindset. Somehow the thought of losing permeates thinking so much that players constantly visualize themselves making mistakes, playing bad, and losing. Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with losing. One team is always going to lose unless there is a tie. However, it’s one thing to lose because the other team was better, and quite another thing to lose because a team beats themselves by playing far below their own ability level. A losing mindset is one thing that will cause a team to play below their ability level. Continue reading The Power of Encouragement
Last Second victories
Five – four – three – two – one.., you will often hear this countdown at the end of a basketball, soccer, or hockey game. Many times the game has already been decided early on and it doesn’t matter, but there are times when the game is close and it does matter. On the occasions where it’s close, most of the time the last second shot doesn’t go in, but sometimes it does, and those are the times we remember. Continue reading The Last Second Shot
Effort That Falls Short
No one can doubt that it takes effort to do well in sports. Physical exertion, concentration, and skill development all take effort and are essential for athletic success to be realized. Even so, anyone who watches sports will see plenty of instances where athletes put forth their best effort, but do not succeed to the degree they desire. It doesn’t take a huge margin of error for athletic efforts to fail. A shot that is off by just little is still a complete miss. It’s the same with a batter who misses a ball by just a little. An athlete’s efforts that come close to success can still result zero measurable productivity. Continue reading Avoiding Vain Effort
The one sport that I both loved and hated to play more than any other sport while I was growing up was basketball. During the summer months I would spend hours trying out the unlimited possibilities of dribble moves and shots that I had constructed in my imagination. I also loved playing just about any form of playground basketball as it tended to be spontaneous, free and creative. Continue reading Plans or Effective Action?
A First Baseman’s Lesson
When I was first learning how to play baseball, I was taught to scoop up a ground ball. A few years after I had started playing baseball, I remember watching a major league first baseman on TV demonstrating various baseball skills. One of the things that that a first baseman must know how to do is to catch a throw to first base that is thrown in the dirt, forcing the first baseman to catch the ball after it bounces off the ground. This first baseman said he had different philosophy for fielding this type of throw than most players. Continue reading A Soft Heart
Hitting the Sweet Spot
In sports there is such a thing as a sweet spot. The term has multiple applications. Golfers talk about the sweet spot on their golf club. Kickers have a sweet spot on their kicking foot and on the ball. Tennis players have a sweet spot on their racket.
Baseball players have a sweet spot on their bat. In all of these examples, the sweet spot is that perfect spot on the bat, or racket, or golf club, or foot, where the ball seems to take off much faster and farther than when it makes contact with any other spot. The sweet spot has a certain feel to it. A person knows when they hit the sweet spot because it feels just exactly right. Continue reading Finding Your Sweet Spot
The Head start
I recall a story that John Maxwell told when he was talking with a lady who happened to be a world class sprinter. At one point in the conversation, John said something rather challenging to her and the essence of what he said went something like this, ‘I can beat you in 100 meter dash.” He then paused for a while and a continued, “If I have a big enough head start.” John went on to explain that having a head start is an advantage in any kind of race that applies to running or to life.
Some of the kids that I grew up with understood, others didn’t. The one’s who did understand never quit. They knew that a highly demanding coach who pushed them relentlessly was actually on their side and trying to help them be their best. The others were the one’s who were initially blind to the difficulties and effort that always comes with pursuing excellence in sports. When things got tough, they quit. Continue reading Unwaivering Love for Christ