5 Uncommon Tricks To Building Athletic Skills

For a soft ball player, there is always room for improvement, whether it be in speed, strength or stamina. To be the absolute best athlete, scientists have uncovered some interesting ways in which an athlete can improve their performance and really be all that they can be out on the field.

Believing in Yourself

This is a proven fact. Athletes will actually perform better when they think no one is watching. Once the crowd arrives, they start comparing themselves to other players and focus on their image rather then their skills. Once you start believing that you are the best athlete no matter who is watching, it will show in your performance.

Step into the Light

Pre-dawn and dusk practices are not helping your performance at all. Research proves that an athlete is at his peak performance when under light. This has something to do with your body clock and wanting to sleep when it’s dark. Imaging that. If you have any control over scheduling, make all of your games at high noon, but just keep in mind that the other team is getting the light benefit too.

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Managing Pressure

Your up, two strikes and the winning run on second. Do you fold under the pressure? Not if you start clenching your left fist. And yes it has to be the left one. Science has shown that this simple act helps an athlete to calm down and focus, even under the most tense situations. Try it the next time you are up at bat to see if it helps you maintain control.

Sing Out Loud

That’s right, singing will not only build your lung capacity, it will help with your sense of balance. Learn to sing online if you don’t want to scare off the spectators, or just practice at home with your online singing lessons. If you are singing a song while waiting for the perfect pitch, there’s a good chance you will hit it out of the ballpark.

Watch Movies

On your next team bonding night, schedule a movie marathon of aggressive, action packed adventures. Scientists swear that comedy and dramas will destroy your athletic prowess, but watching Arnold kick butt will make it come alive. So go get the popcorn and see if this strange study has any merit.

There is no harm or foul or trying out any of these little tricks, either on your own or as a group effort. In any sport and with every athlete, there is always room for improvement, no matter how offbeat the method may seem.


Making a Weekend Retreat out of Your Team’s Softball Practice

Softball requires a great deal of team work, and team work requires like and respect between the players. Coaches are finding that for some teams, this is difficult to achieve. The idea of weekend practices was born out of the success that week long sports camps have had on building sportsmanship. So now, teams from all over Philadelphia are considering the rewards that a weekend camping trip can provide.

Not only do most of the campgrounds around the Philadelphia area boast large fields for practices, they also have a number of activities for the team to work on together to help build the lasting bonds needed.

Jim Thorpe Camping Resort – Located in Jim Thorpe, this is a great camp site for those who are not familiar with sleeping in nature. You and the team can work together setting up the family tents inside of a tranquil wooded environment. In addition to large areas perfect for practice, the team can backpack together through miles of trails and do laps around the free form swimming pool.

Cape Island Resort – This resort is just outside of Cape May, and on the beach affording endless opportunities for a softball team to work together. Once the sleeping bags are laid in the sand, grab your compasses and explore the 175 acres of wooded land around you. Not only do you have the beach, but there are a number of swimming pools, tennis courts and of course the nightly movie. Here your team not only gets a chance to practice together, they get to learn how to relax as a team too.

Hospitality Creek – Sitting on a lake, this campground is located just outside of Williamstown and provides over a 100 sites for family sized tent to be set up. With each campsite equipped with its own fireplace, your softball team is set up for scary stories and s’mores underneath the stars, no need to bring your propane Coleman along.

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French Creek State Park – This is the campground to visit if you have a number of wildlife enthusiasts on your softball team. Located in Elverson, the park offers hiking and fishing, along with the ample sized fields for softball practice.

Lehigh Gorge Campgrounds – This site is better suited for older teams, as they offer white water rafting on the river. Located in White Haven, the park is sitting right on the Lehigh River, with incredible views of the massive waterfalls.

Whichever campground you choose, make sure that you not only pack your softball and camping gear, but also games for the team mates to enjoy together. Decks of cards and checker boards are small, but provide invaluable fun for evenings at the campsite.


Staying Healthy to Make Sure You Stay in the Game

Your body needs an abundance of extra vitamins and minerals in order to stay healthy. Working out, practices and games cause your metabolism to speed up, eating away at your muscles once the fat stores have been exhausted.

Diet

Athletes need more calories than non-athletes to ensure that they maintain their muscle tone. The best way to get those is not from burgers and fries, but from lean meats, eggs, vegetables, fruits and whole grains. With a high calorie, low fat, well balanced diet, your athletic body will not go out of shape.

Physical Exams

If you are an avid athlete, you should be visiting the doctor more often. Not just when you feel pain in the arm or knees, but for regular physical exams. An assessment of your heart and lung function will help determine if you are pushing your body too hard.

If you do  suffer an injury, you should never delay in seeking treatment. Softball players are susceptible to both shoulder and knee injuries which can turn serious quickly if not treated. Shoulder pain can be an indicator of a torn rotator cuff which will require surgery to repair if left alone. The same is true for knees if one of the tendons becomes torn or damaged.

mexicanamericanTo ensure that you don’t spend the softball season on the bench have any pain, no matter how slight, looked at immediately by your physician.

Dental Health

The phrase “never look a gift horse in the mouth” has real meaning. With horses, like humans, you can get a good assessment of the overall health by the way the mouth looks and smells. By taking care of your teeth, you are making sure that your entire body is taken care of. Invest in a strong whitening toothpaste like Crest and electric toothbrush. These will help to clean your teeth more effectively like they teach at www.waterflosserhq.com and protect them during the day. A water flosser is a good investment as well, as it is able to clean in between the teeth more efficiently then typical flossing products.

Rest

It is important for both your mind and body that you rest from all of the physical activity once in a while. Engage in other activities like reading or going out with friends that give your body a break from all of the physical strain it is under.

You want last through one softball season if you are not taking care of your physical self. Eat right, have regular exams and take care of your mind and you are guaranteed many years of softball off of the bench and out in the field.


Recreational Sports That Can Improve Your Softball Skills

As much as you love pitching a ball during your off time, even an avid softball player has to admit it can get tiresome. There are other ways in which you can practice on those skills needed, that don’t involve your bat and ball.

Softball requires precision throwing, patience and great eye-hand coordination. Check out some of these other, less intense games, that you can play in between practices that will work on helping you build those skills.

Frisbee

When you are playing catch, your partner is basically throwing the ball right at you. Out on the field, that same ball hit off a bat can, and will, go just about anywhere. To help prepare for the unexpected, put down the ball and pick up your Frisbee. The Frisbee has a mind of its own, causing you to have to pay attention and anticipate its target, just as if you were in left field.

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Archery

Archery, like softball, is a precision sport. It is just not as fast moving. With a recurve bow and arrows you need to have patience, focus on the target and take your time in making your move. As you improve, push yourself to make those moves faster. Have a buddy time you on how long it takes to load your bow, take aim, and release. Work on improving on that time while watching that you still hit the target. Make sure you read some good reviews before picking your bow and arrow to ensure maximum possibilities.

This will help you in finding your target when throwing a softball into the infield and there is no time for making an error. We have all been there, that panic throw when the guy on 2nd may make it home. If you have built on your skills to get focus fast, your throw will make it to the catcher every time.

Golf

Golfing is not just for your dad. Not only will it help you relax in between your softball practices, it will help with your eye hand coordination. What better way to learn how to control a ball, then with an object that gives you very little. Golfing forces you to pay attention to all of your surroundings to make a winning shot.

Like with archery, you should be trying to build up your speed as you golf without compromising on your precision. Once the ball is hit, softball becomes much faster paced than both golf and archery combined. Speed things up to create that same sense of urgency that you feel when on the softball field.

Bowling

Bowling teaches a softball player how to think outside of the box. By forcing you to look at a target from a different angle, you can learn the skills to compensate for that. There will come a time in your softball career where you will be making a throw from the ground. Bowling will help you see quickly in which way you are most likely to make it to your target.

As much as we all love softball, it is important to stay well rounded in your sports ventures. This not only gives you an opportunity to love a new hobby, it can help you reinforce those special skills you need to become an ace softball player.


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.

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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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