Does Boxing Increase Softball Performance?

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In one word, the answer is “probably”. I know it seems like a stretch, but boxing is amazing cross-training for most sports, but I had to stop and think about it when someone asked me if it helps with softball. After much deliberation, I felt it was worth writing this article to outline some of the general cross-training benefits, as well as my own personal experience.

Boxing is hands-down the best workout I have ever participated in. It’s amazing how quickly you can be whipped into shape, ultimately cutting fat mass while simultaneously building lean mass. In other words, you can get ripped. Most of this is due to the structure of the training. Boxing works on a “round” system (e.g. rounds in a boxing match). At most gyms, you will perform exercises in three minute rounds with 30-60 seconds rest in between, and many different exercises are covered, allowing for a full body workout. Additionally, weight lifting is kept to a minimum, with most of the work being performed under your own body weight.

Boxing is both accessible and affordable. Most cities and towns have at least one boxing gym, but if not, you can always find equipment for your own home. This may be a little more expensive, but you won’t be paying a membership fee. For more information on what may be necessary for your home, we recommend the site www.tomatocanchamp.com. If you’re thinking of joining a gym, we would encourage you to visit them first, as most trainers are more than happy to provide a tour and any other information. Also make sure to check if there is any communal equipment, like boxing gloves, as that can help decrease the number of items you will need to buy. Again, for a better sense of what equipment is good and bad, check out tomatocanchamp.com.

Pure fitness benefits aside, I found boxing to be surprisingly helpful with my swing. This is all subjective information, so take it with a grain of salt, but I’m quite certain the reason is because I was able to focus on the pitch better and adjust my swing speed accordingly. One thing I found most difficult with boxing was remaining focused when on the receiving end of combos during sparring. With practice, I was able to calm my mind, focus on the key aspects of what was happening, and before I knew it, it was like everything just slowed down for me. It was when I started seeing these benefits that my batting average increased drastically (that and I’m a bum to begin with). I cannot conclude cause-and-effect, but it makes sense and it definitely didn’t hurt.

So if you’re playing softball, feel a little sluggish, and want to be in amazing shape, try boxing. It’s fun, challenging, rewarding, and the benefits can extend to many other sports.


Restoration of Legendary Sweetbriar Field in Philadelphia

Charles Dangl, referred to by his friends as “Ole Charlie,” has fond memories of the legendary Sweetbriar Field in Philadelphia. Located in what is now known as Fairmount Park, Charlie recalls watching his wife Loretta (at the time his high school sweetheart) play some heated softball games there. “She played a mean second base,” he reminisces as he gazes through the fence at the field that has seen a lot of fantastic softball action over the years.

sweetbriar fieldSweetbriar Field was originally built in 1942 and accommodated mostly softball games, and some little league games, for several of the surrounding schools. Although the layout of the field remains the same, there have been some changes over the years. The fencing has since been replaced and a makeshift press box was built behind home plate in 1987. One thing that hasn’t changed though is the original wooden bleachers that were put in only a few years after the field was opened.

The ball field has seen better days and has been run down over the last several years. It is still used occasionally, but not like it used to be. A restoration committee has been formed recently and they are committed to getting this field fixed up and back in the condition it was known for in it’s hay day. You can imagine how thrilled Ole Charlie was when they asked him if he’d be willing to help out. As a retired carpenter, a project like this is right up his alley.

“Boy was I excited,” exclaimed Charlie after he learned that he would be involved with the restoration. One of the main projects that Charlie will be working on is restoring the original bleachers. The metal framework is intact and still in pretty good shape. But the wooden planks were people rest their rear ends have seen better days. Replacing the seating planks will be a fairly easy project for an experienced woodworker like Charlie.

“I spent many hours sitting on those bleachers back in the day,” said Charlie. “It will be an honor to fix them up for the next generation.” And speaking of the next generation, Charlie even got one of his grandchildren involved. His second oldest grandson Trevor visited on a Saturday and started helping Charlie plan out the project.

As if the project itself wasn’t exciting enough, Charlie’s excitement for the opportunity to purchase new tools was almost just as evident. “Taking on a project like this is a perfect excuse to buy some new tools,” said Charlie as he winked towards his wife. Even buying tools is different than it was in the old days. “My grandson Trevor showed me how to read reviews on the internet before making a buying decision. In my day, we would just stick with brand loyalty or recommendations from friends.” The purchase Charlie is most excited about is his brand new miter saw which Trevor helped him pick out after reading through several miter saw reviews on the internet. “Having a good miter saw will be critical for this bleacher project,” explained Charlie. And his old miter saw was barely in working condition anymore.

Charlie and Trevor can hardly wait to get started. “Maybe Trevor will spend some time on those bleachers just like I did. Perhaps even watching his future wife play a mean second base,” said Charlie as reminisced about the past once more. “Ahh yes – those were the days!”

 

Image Credit: alamodestuff via Flickr


Relaxing After a Softball Practice

You gotta chill after the game

You gotta chill after the game!

Everybody knows how popular softball is nowadays. More and more individuals get involved with this sport and are hoping to be one of the famous softball players of all time. However, playing softball can surely be an exhausting activity, adding up the game that you will have to play later on.

If you were to practice playing softball, you will find out that even just the basic skills that you need to practice, or the thought itself is already quite exhausting.

Let’s say for instance catching, if you want to make sure that you are performing this activity correctly, you must be able to catch the ball without hurting yourself and at the same time being in a position where you will be able to throw the ball in a precise manner. This can only be perfected through practice which may need your full physical effort and mental alertness to perform the task correctly.

Another, basic skill to learn is hitting. Although, more likely you will have to use hand-eye coordination in performing this skill, it is still one of the most challenging activities in softball. Apart from this is fielding and base running. Both of these skills require speed and defense. You run and slide which can be both physically draining for a beginner.

We all know that all certain type of sports may be both mentally and physically draining that is why you shouldn’t allow your body to endure that much stress and know when you should relax. If it is the end of the season and you are just practicing, you should at least give yourself some time to rest.

Well, you don’t really need to go to some spa or anything like that. If you prefer to stay at your own home and relax in your cozy bedroom then you should do that. One of the best options you can consider if you want to have an added relaxing ambiance at home is making use of essential oil diffusers. These diffusers allows you to enrich your life through bringing aromatherapy to your very own home. Try the Riverock by Deneve (review here) for the best experience.

All you need to do is to sit back and relax after turning on the diffuser and you can now enjoy that relaxing aromatic experience without having to go to a spa. It is important that you give your body some rest even before the big game. There is no way that your body can regain the energy level that it needs without getting enough rest and relaxation. So, if you really don’t have time to go to a massage parlor or spa to take some rest, you can relax at home taking just a few minutes of your time.


Men’s Grooming Tips Before Playing Softball

Are you a softball enthusiast and you play the sport as well? You probably are aware on how this sport is being more and more popular to men nowadays and you want to be part of this particular manly fad going on.

softball

You have probably considered a lot of tips when it comes to playing softball as to how to handle playing ball the right way and of all of the techniques and the playing strategies available out there, but have you ever considered looking better in front of the public while playing softball? Although, we know that this is an outdoor activity that does not require grooming at all, but if you want to look your best before playing at a softball game, you should take note of the various mens grooming tips that help.

You don’t really have to set aside grooming when you are an athlete. Keep in mind that you are also facing people in the public and you definitely want your softball fans to see you at your best. One of the best grooming tips that you can start with is grooming your facial hair.

Your facial hair is one of the most noticeable things that people will look at when you go out the playing field to hit your first ball. To make that first good impression, you can at least start with trimming or making your beard or mustache look more presentable in public. Take note that this includes having to trim down unnecessary hair that can affect your playing performance in the field.

Long beards and mustache should be trimmed at all times. You don’t really have to go to a parlor to have this don, you can perform some do-it-yourself steps in trimming excess facial hair through using a beard trimmer. If you want a different image and you opt to have a clean face, you can use the same trimmer to shave off that beard or mustache safely.

Aside from trimming and shaving facial hair, you should as well keep in mind that overall cleanliness should be considered before playing softball. You should as well consider personal hygiene, the usual. And don’t forget to keep your body clean before and after playing softball.

Some may say that men are supposed to be dirty especially when they are athletes, but this doesn’t always have to apply to everybody. If you can make yourself standout from all the softball players on your team because you don’t only look handsome but you appear to look clean every time you appear in the public. Who knows, you may even gain that first good impression that can lead you to obtain a good reputation.

 

For more softball reads, check this out!


Why Baseball is Important to America

Baseball in America

Wars and depression cannot stop major league baseball at all. It seems that only the major league baseball itself can stop this. Baseball is heralded as America’s national pastime and there is a good reason behind this. All it requires is a bat (click here for baseball bat reviews), a ball and a glove. Compared to other sports the equipment is pretty minimal.

This democratic game can be played by people of average weight and height unlike other sports like basketball and football. That’s probably why baseball became important in America. It allows people of all sizes to play it, unlike basketball or football, which needs you to have some form of advantage like height and muscularity. Is that all of it? There’s more than that and it’s a great story.

The Origins of Baseball

 

Baseball originated before the American Civil war. That was around 1860s and people often play it in vacant lots. The game was fine-tuned to incorporate skills and mental judgment that made cricket respectable in England. What made the game intense was the existence of record keeping and scoring. We can imagine today that baseball without records is unimaginable.

The professional league was born in 1871 and by the start of the twentieth century; professional baseball teams are common among large cities of the Eastern United States. The teams were isolated into two leagues, the National and American; amid the normal season, a team played just against different teams inside its league. The most triumphant group in each league was said to have won the “pennant;” the two pennant victors met after the end of the customary season in the World Series. The champ of no less than four games (out of a conceivable seven) was the champion for that year. This arrangement still holds today, in spite of the fact that the leagues are currently subdivided and pennants are chosen in post-season playoff series between the champs of every division.

Baseball has since been developed into t-ball, softball and fast pitch. Great games in their own right.

Professional Baseball League

Baseball grew up in the 1920s, when Babe Ruth (1895-1948) headed the New York Yankees to a several World Series titles and turned into a national hero on the strength of his home runs (balls that can’t be played on the grounds that they have been hit out of the field). Throughout the decades, each group has had its incredible players. A standout amongst the most critical was the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Jackie Robinson (1919-1972), a skilled and gutsy player who became the first African-American player in the major leagues in 1947. (Before Robinson, black players had been confined to the Negro League.)

That event is probably one of the main reasons why baseball became important in America. It fueled the elimination of racism and black and white players can now be in one league.

Baseball in other Countries

It’s for the most part concurred that baseball was presented in Japan by an American teacher in the 1870s and from that point until the 1930s, the university baseball leagues overwhelmed Japanese baseball. Professional Japanese baseball started in the 1930s with the formation of the Japan Professional Baseball League. In the 1990s a Japanese player, Hideo Nomo, turned into a star pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers.


Discover More About Softball and Why People Love It

softball glovesAre you one of those softball fanatics who can’t just get over discovering what this sport can offer? There are a lot of people who find themselves amazed with what softball players can do that they get enthusiastic about sport as well. If you are a beginner at this and you want to know more about softball, here are some of those things that you need to know.

The History

In America, softball is one of those innovative type of sports that people enjoy to watch and entertain themselves with. It is somewhat related to baseball but is played differently. George Hancock was the inventor of softball and this started out to become a craze in Chicago.

Softball is more known as an indoor version of baseball. Some time in the late 1800’s the sport became an outdoor game and was then played in Minneapolis. Aside from the US, another country that found the love of softball is Canada. The first softball league outside America was then organized efficiently in Toronto, Canada. From then various softball organizations were put up in the country. At the game, though times were more lax, the players from out of the country would have needed a lawyer for their travel purposes while dealing with immigration issues (or the Ministry of the Interior, at the time).

The Benefits

If you are a softball enthusiast, you probably will be asking yourself what makes you want to engage in this kind of sport or what benefits can you get from it. Well, the first thing that you may think about when it comes to the benefits that softball can offer is having a healthy lifestyle.

You can join various softball organizations that will not only help you understand what softball really is, but will as well allow you to learn more about living a healthy lifestyle just like a real athlete.

Aside from enhancing your physical abilities with this sport, you can also gain mental health by learning various techniques and strategies in playing the sport. It even allows you to socialize with people who have the same interest as yours and enhance your social abilities. These benefits are the reasons why people just love softball that much.

If you live in either Canada, US or you are from overseas and migrating, you can definitely enjoy softball in any way you want. Either if you are a fanatic or a softball player yourself, your contribution to this type of sport matters. You can find various organizations that deals with leagues and builds teams of softball players to keep the softball spirit going. You can also enjoy watching tournaments, events, related games and participate in various competitions related to softball.

There is nothing more exciting than being able to reach out to people who love the same sport that you adore. This is your chance to do what you have always wanted.

 

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Bringing your dog to the ball game but don’t want him to run onto the diamond?

Softball games are great events to bring the whole family out to. It’s outdoors, there’s lots of people, and the energy is high. You can easily make a great day out of it. But what about your dog? They love being outdoors just as much as you do (probably more so), yet they’re pent up inside the house all alone while your family goes out for a great time! Though it is common, we like to encourage pets to come with the families to the cities softball games. Unfortunately we’ve run into some problems in the past where dogs have gone running into the diamond and disrupted the game. We definitely don’t want anyone to get hurt!

If you’re worried about this, but would love to include your dog in the day’s events, there are a few things you can try to encourage them to stay nearby!

One option is to have them tied to a nearby gate or fence pole (not one that surrounds the diamond though). This will keep them near you while you watch the game and interact with other families during the day. All you have to do is use their leash and collar to keep them secure while giving them an appropriate enough amount of slack so they can still move around a bit and lay down comfortably.

softball game

If you like your dog to have a bit more freedom, a great option is using a wireless dog fence. You can set up a perimeter around where you will allow them to roam free, while trusting that they will not escape, run away, or disturb other families and players. There are different brands and models of these products out there that offer different sized fences (perimeter), as well as models that deter from an area rather than keep your dog away from certain things. The best option for the ball park is definitely the perimeter fence though. If you’re in a good, open area out of the way of the game, you can set up as big of a perimeter as you want!

It’s very important to us that all communities in Philadelphia and visitors feel welcome, and we want to offer as many non-exclusive activities as we can. That means all ages family events that are dog friendly! One thing we offer as well as encourage, is for families to ensure their dog is well hydrated and fed. At most of our events you will find water for purchase, or someone kind enough to fill a bowl for your dog. Shade is just as important as well! Your dog can’t sweat as easily as we do, so they have a higher chance of over heating. Bring an umbrella, tent, or something you can put up to block the sun on those hot days.

We hope to see you and your dogs this summer! Each game is a great event within itself and we would hate for anyone to miss them.


Build Explosive Home Run Hitting Strength

Raw Power

Being the guy who hits all the jacks is where it’s at. After all chicks dig the long ball, chicks don’t dig the through the hole single. That isn’t sexy, that’s not what we want to be doing.

So with that in mind I decided to put together a workout routine to give myself a shot at hitting the long ball this season. The first thing I did was hire a trainer you can read about that post here.

My trainer put me onto Barry Bonds off season workout routine. In other words, juice. Okay only kidding – he does a pretty standard split.

Monday: Chest & Bicep

Tuesday: Leg Day

Wednesday: Back and Abs

Thursday: Shoulders and Triceps

Friday : Leg Day

You’ll notice he does legs twice a week and takes Saturday and Sunday off from weight training. He spends those days working on flexibility. He uses a combination of tools such as massage rollers, yoga straps, yoga blocks and different fitness regimes. The truth is if you want to build strength you need to be focusing on your legs. Functional movement, compound movement and resistance band explosive training is the ticket to building up that home run power.

Functional Movement

What exactly do I mean by functional movement? Picture a guy doing bicep curls in front of the gym mirror – you don’t want to be that guy. Now picture a guy doing a variety of exercises including TRX work (if you’re not familiar with a TRX it’s time to get familiar), squats, lunges, slams etc. That’s the guy you want to be.

A lot of guys confuse “functional movement” with crossfit. I’ve never done crossfit in my life and I don’t intend to do it. The entire culture of crossfit is something else. Functional movement consists of movements which help you perform in sports and every day life. They strengthen not only the muscles you think you ought to work out, such as your biceps and triceps but also all of the tiny stabilizing muscles that you may not know you should work out, but really should work out. Functional movement also helps improve your ability to move and your overall flexibility.

The best tip I got from my trainer was focus on your flexibility, when you’re all locked up you lose power. You never correlate the two, flexibility and power but man I’ve noticed a huge difference. Think of a coil, the more you “wind it up” the more energy it releases. Your body works in the same way, if you have a bigger range of motion you’re going to be able to produce more energy. Simple yet powerful stuff.

I’m looking forward to baseball season, to see if all the work I put in i going to pay dividends (after all, chicks dig the long ball).

 


Get In Shape For The Baseball Season

Baseball Drills

With College and Highschool baseball right around the corner there isn’t a better time to get in shape. Let’ face it, if you plan on hitting dingers come game time you’re going to have start working on your physical strength during the off-season.

Curtis Granderson talks about how his in-season stats improved because of his off-season approach. Swimming, cardio training, strength training and other conditioning drills to his off-season workout plan. So what can you do as a minor league player to help improve all aspects of your game? We chatted with the head trainer at Thrive Fitness, Mike who works with a minor league team about what types of drills he puts them through.

Q. What is the single most important thing a young baseball player can do in the off-season?

A: I’ve always been a believer in the idea that kids, particularly young kids should play a ton of different sports. I know at an elite level coaches are concerned that there shortstop might get hurt playing baseball. While it’s a fair concern, I think what we’re doing is taking opportunities for a quality athlete to learn other skill sets. For instance, as a kid I played a lot of hockey and baseball. Playing hockey got me in shape like baseball would have never. Not to mention it greatly improved my hand eye.

Q. What types of training do you recommend in the off-season?

A. As I mentioned above, I think playing any other sport is great training. However, if you’re in between seasons or you’re strictly focusing on ball the next I would recommend is movement drills. Basically, the majority of us lack the mobility that we should naturally have. Without it, you’re almost certain to get injured or suffer some kind of set back. Not to mention it allows us as athletes to become way more explosive. If you don’t have the full range of movement in your hips you’re not going to be able to drive through the ball like you should be able to. You won’t have as an explosive first step, etc.

After that work on functional strength. I don’t encourage my guys to sit under a bar and press 300lbs. Rather we suggest they train in a fashion that is conducive to athletic sports. Working on athletic movements.

Q. What do you mean by learning how to move?

A. Basically one of my specialties is teaching functional movement systems. We take the athlete or individual through a series of assessments and as a result we’re able to judge what they need to work on. Sometimes they need physical therapy or other specialists in order to fix a nagging issue they may not even have known existed. It’s really powerful stuff and all of our athletes rave about how much it improved their game.


MPASA Sports Day Event!

We’re happy to announce that we will hosting a Sports Day this summer! It will be held at one of the main diamonds in Philadelphia. We’re just in the process of working out all the details, but we couldn’t wait to spread the news! This is going to be a huge event for everyone and a great opportunity for the whole city to take part in.

Okay, maybe not on a scale like this!

We will be catering to families and children/teens mainly, but we’re going to make sure that parents and adults have some thing to do too! There’s going to be all sorts of activities to get involved in. We will have a bouncy castle and inflatable maze, face painting and kid’s races for the younger ones. As well as batting cages, obstacle courses, three legged races, and small games of softball for the older kids, including so much more! We will be offering cold water, lemonade, iced tea, sports drinks (and coffee for the early birds!) to keep you all hydrated and healthy throughout the day! Concession stands will be placed in a few areas around the field for easy access to some snacks and food such as hot dogs, veggies/dip, chips, hamburgers, iced cream, snow cones and more. We will be offering healthy options at the concession stands thanks to our local nature markets, as well as the staples as was mentioned before! This Sports Day is going to be fantastic day for everyone, we hope you can make it!

By hosting this day, we hope that we can spark an interest in youngsters’ lives to an active lifestyle. If they see how much fun they can have while just hanging out with their friends and families, they will be more inclined to spend their free time outside or active instead of glued to the TV screen (figuratively, of course). While we are a softball oriented organization, if we can interest kids in any sport, we consider it a win. We will have different booths and stations set up around the field for information and registration in softball for those who wish to start up with one of our teams. We have casual beginner teams as well as tournament teams which hold try-outs and are a little more competitive. There will also be stations with representatives from other sports teams and organizations in the area if anyone may interested in those.

Our main objective is to spread awareness of the importance of being active and healthy. If you start young, there’s a way higher chance that it will be a habit throughout your life. We will have lots of information and stations on healthy living, including healthy diet stations and general information.

We believe that making a difference in the lives of those today will influence the decisions we all make in the future, therefore bettering the lives of ourselves and those around us. We will be updating the information on the where and when very shortly so stay tuned! We hope to see you there!

 

Click here to learn the benefits of softball in your everyday life.