audio versionIn Major League baseball, it is not unusual for a coach to assign players to positions and have a relatively small amount of change in relationship to who plays those positions throughout a season. Of course there is an exception to this when it comes to the pitcher. A team may have the same short stop all season long. This is true of just about any position, except pitchers. Pitchers are constantly changed in order not to wear down their throwing arm. They are also changed when the opposing team is bombarding them with hits and runs. Continue reading Strategic Change
He Didn’t Look Athletic
I knew five Jeff’s from middle school and high school. All of them were good athletes, and one was a super athlete. He looked athletic, and he was athletic. He dominated middle school sports competition and rewrote records in cross country and track and field. But there was another Jeff that I want to focus on. This Jeff had kind of a pudgy appearance. He was on the short side and had stubby legs. He really didn’t look athletic but he was. Jeff played football, basketball, and baseball for the school teams, plus he played in a city hockey league. He didn’t just play, he excelled. Continue reading Don’t Let Your Look Stop You
A Laser-Like Blur
It is not uncommon for professional tennis players to hit a tennis ball well over 100 miles per hour. The best players make it look as though it’s easy to return blistering serves and powerful forehand and backhand shots, but if you’ve ever been on a tennis court with a player who can hit with the speed of a professional, it’s a whole different perspective. Those shots seem like a laser-like blur that’s suddenly gone almost before you ever have time to see it. Continue reading A Gentle Answer
In the 1960 summer Olympics, New Zealand suddenly came into the spotlight due to three runners who made it to the medal stand. Peter Snell won a gold medal in the 1,500 meter run, Murray Halberg won a gold medal in the 5,000 meter run, and Barry Magee won a bronze medal in the Marathon. Each runner had one thing in common, they were all coached by Arthur Lydiard. Continue reading Champions
Within the arena of sports, coaches are always in search for great talent. Some people believe that great talent is a guarantee to a winning team, but there are coaches who have gone after extreme talent, only to be bitten by the prize winning catch that they reeled in. Continue reading Great Talent or Great Influence?
In the 1980’s and 90’s, the Bulgarian weight lifters dominated the rest of the world in the highest levels of competition. Many people within weight lifting circles wondered what it was that led to their incredible strength. Eventually, some American coaches were invited to Bulgaria to take a peak at how the Bulgarian weight lifters trained. They were shocked. Continue reading It’s ok to be Wrong if You’re Right
I haven’t done a lot of golfing in my life time, but one of my best memories of golfing is when my friend Mike invited me to go with him to a driving range. To me, drives are a demonstration of power and are more spectacular in comparison with the smaller little shots that are a part of the rest of the game. Hitting a ball and chasing after to hit again, and repeating this process over and over again never quite appealed to me, but I loved the driving range. If I were wealthy and had a lot of time on me hands, I would certainly be tempted to visit a driving range on a regular basis. You hit the ball as far as you can and don’t worry about chasing it, then you get to do it again and again. Hitting the ball far is my favorite part of golf, and chasing after the ball is my least favorite part. The driving range is the perfect solution for doing what I like, and eliminating what I don’t like. Continue reading Follow up and Everyday Life
It was my turn for the softball throw. My first two throws were only average, but seemed to warm me up for a third throw that flew way over the heads of the judges who were measuring the distance of the throws. I was in sixth grade at the time and the judges yelled back to the recorders that I had thrown the ball 142 feet, which was the third longest throw for sixth graders at my school that year.
Unstoppable. I don’t know how else to describe Christian McCaffrey, the all-purpose running back on Stanford’s football team. I had been hearing about him as he was the runner up for the 2015 Heisman award, but I hadn’t really had a chance to watch him play until the Rose Bowl. I wondered if he would be as good as everyone claimed he was when he faced Iowa’s defense that had proven to be impenetrable for most of the season. Three hundred sixty eight all-purpose yards later, McCaffrey really did seem to be as good as many claimed he was.
He Stands Out
When a non-exerciser goes out for a jog, they will generally find it difficult to continue jogging for very long without getting out of breath. On the other hand, someone who jogs on a regular basis will generally be able to keep jogging for a substantial distance without getting out of breath. Why is this? Because consistent exercise will produce physiological adaptations that enable a trained runner to utilize oxygen much more efficiently. Continue reading The Spirit is Our Oxygen