There are different types of sports played all over the world. Each sport has its own share of benefits and followers. While football has a huge following in Europe, in US it is baseball, which rules the masses. I often get into intense fights with my friends who are fans of football and basketball on which is the best sport to be played ever. Naturally, I always speak for baseball.
The most common fact that I point out about baseball is that while it has several rules, they are not that huge, when compared to the penalties that you need to memorize in a football game. And as for basketball, it surely is a wonderful sport, but does not contain the complexities that keep you alert and on edge, as in baseball. Moreover, people love it in spite of the complexities present.
Here are some of the more compelling reasons that make it the best sport ever:
Last week I got a call from my cousin living in England. He had booked for a seven-day trip to the U.S. and wanted to know about the best places to visit. Though he had been to my place a few years back, it was a very short visit and he couldn't get to see the tourist attractions because of the busy work schedule he had. Now he has saved up for a longer stay and wanted to see as much as he can in the one week that he'll be here.
The United States is one of the countries worldwide that boasts of diversified nature right from its skyscrapers to the natural and stunning beaches and landscapes. From man-made wonders like the Golden Gate Bridge and skyscrapers to natural splendors like Niagara Falls and Grand Canyon, there are several places to view, when you visit the United States. While there are numerous must see places in the country, I've limited it to the most important ones in this list.
My friend is a compulsive gambler and loves to bet on all types of sports, especially basketball and football. We met recently in college baseball match. I was surprised to see him there, as he is more of a basketball fan. He said that he had been trying his hand at baseball betting and found it quite profitable. In fact, he said that he’d made more profits from baseball than other sports. Other than being one of the top US attractions, baseball is also gaining popularity among sports bettors.
Sports’ betting is one of the most profitable forms of gambling and has been indulged in by fans and gamblers alike due to the huge profits it can reap. While many sports bettors say, baseball is the easiest and most revenue earning sport, it is still not that prevalently wagered upon.
The argument that football and basketball betting is common among sports gamblers, but they are not familiar with baseball betting, is a misconception, as baseball wagering is quite easy. You don’t have odds or point spreads here. Here are some tips that help you earn good profits in baseball betting
A prospective baseball gambler should first understand about money lines properly. In baseball, both professional and smart bettors do not indulge in odds more than 140. And they usually bet on the underdog. Even if you just focus on underdogs, it is possible to win at least half or lower of your bets but you still have good profits this way in the long term.
Other than the money line, another important consideration is the run line. Run line is a blend of money line and point spread.
What I love about baseball is the precise way it is played. It is a game of high precision. Every move in baseball needs to be error free to score for the team. The throw of the pitcher, the bat’s swing and the fast running of the player who crosses home plate all need to be accurate to get a score.
All these skills need the player to be endowed with high strength, agility and speed and the sport places high demands on the player. To enhance the skills of a player, the baseball power workout is needed. The workouts have been chosen specifically because they can boost the performance of a player on field largely. Additionally a player also needs hand eye coordination.
The high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts help in increasing the explosive speed of the players. This is also good for anyone who wants to improve his or her athletic performance. Short bouts of intense and very explosive movements are done followed by low intensity exercises or short rest span.
Instead of the low intensity training exercises like jogging or walking, this HIIT workout program helps in increasing the strength and speed of players in baseball greatly. Tabata is one great form of HIIT workout that helps in increasing player capacity. Tossing the Med Ball, Ice Skaters and Kettlebell swings are some variations of Tabata that can be tried. Tabata generally includes 20 seconds of high intensity workouts, 10 seconds rest, 20 seconds high intensity and so on for eight times. This comes to about four minutes. This raises the anaerobic capacity by nearly 28% and the aerobic capacity over 15%.
Med Ball tosses are very important as they improve player performance on field more. The Kettlebell swings help in transferring power right from the ground upwards. Ice skating is for storing and releasing power from the hip region.
Plyometric exercises help to increase the explosive speed essential for the base runners as well as the defensive players. The plyometric workouts help in boosting the cardio vascular capacity and endurance too. When done twice in a week, these plyometric exercises help improve performance. The exercises enable muscles to contract in full force, when they are lengthened or loaded. For instance, in a jump squat you jump vertically from a squat posture.
The plyometric workouts for baseball incorporate the movements identical to that of the on field movements of players. Training done for vertical gain utilizes the muscles used in forward movement just like in sprinting. The exercises are perfect for building lower body explosive speed. Squat jacks, jumping lunges, broad jumps, squat jumps, lateral jumps and mountain climbers are some of the plyometric workouts used for baseball players.
Boost core strength
Core strength enhancement is vital for baseball training as many actions performed need amazing level of stability and core strength, particularly in the oblique muscles. The throwing and pitching too need trunk and torso strength. Oblique exercises are hence required to strengthen the muscles of the torso, so the twisting movements used in the game can be done effectively. While this is vital for performing well, it also prevents back injury in players. The core strength exercises should be done twice in a week for three reps to get the needed benefits.
Build strength in upper body
Workouts that target the back and chest help in improving strength in the upper body. These workouts should be done two to three times in a week. However, remember to not repeat the exercises when the muscles feel sore from your last round of workouts.
Speed and agility
Since agility and speed is essential to reach home base safe or to steal the opposing team’s base, a player should be well trained for running fast. The plyometric workouts help to increase speed. The speed workouts should be done for two days a week.
Lower body workouts
Lower body workouts help in raising the cardio effect and further tone and strengthen the legs largely. The exercises should be done continuously, so you get full effect of the workout properly.
One thing that players need to keep in mind, while performing these exercises is they should stretch or do warm up exercises before and after the workouts to prevent strain, muscle tightness and injury.
Power workouts for lower body
The lower body workouts enable higher power and strength buildup that is required for player to boost their throwing velocity, running speed and hitting force. They provide proper balance too. Here are three exercises to boost lower body strength.
- Box squat- This is for increasing strength as well as power in the lower body not only for baseball but for other sports as well. The squat is effective as it helps in increasing explosive power, while the player sits on a box. The muscles in the lower body as well as hamstrings relax while sitting and contract explosively, as the player stands up. This static over dynamic change is seen, when you start from first base where you are in static position. The exercise hence helps you burst forth in full force sharply.
- Heiden Jump- This is a weight room workout, which players can perform to build the lateral body power just as the movement when a pitcher does to remove the rubber.
- Lateral Sled Drag- This is for improving strength, power and work capacity. It also builds strength of ligaments and boosts overall body power too. Since baseball is a lateral type of game, simple dragging of sleds back and forth, do not have any effect. Lateral sled drags should be used instead. For more power, a step over type of sled drag can be used to build the hip strength.
In baseball, some general rules for training are present. You can use medicine ball, body weight, free weights, kettlebells as well as surgical tubing workouts, but not lifting heavy weights using pressing movements. This is because the movement may risk injuring your shoulder.
Lightweight for upper and heavy weights for lower body should be used. And training the core muscles namely the lower back, buttocks and hips is very important. Lightweight should be used to work the rotator cuff region muscles. Since baseball relies on explosive action and reaction, where you are required to explode, stop or start instantly, getting your body fit to perform well is necessary. The power workouts help you accomplish this effectively.
I had a great time last week watching the local baseball competition sponsored by the local neighborhood organization. I also caught up with a longtime friend of mine who I’d lost touch with for a few years now.
When I enquired about his work, he said that he had just finished his nail technician course and was looking for a job here. I was surprised, when I found about the salary paid for nail technicians, as it was quite good. Back to baseball, there have been several new technological advances introduced that take the game to a new level of performance than ever before.
Tracking skills expertly
One newest technology on the block is the tracking technology that helps to keep track of the performance of players. The statistics including, how fast a player fields a ball and the efficient way he rounds the bases, are tracked with this tech. The tracking scout tech is now installed in many of the home games in the third and first baselines. These measure the fastness of the center fielder and his ability to catch a shallow level looper. The distance of each hit ball whether it is a foul or fair one is also recorded. These electronic trackers work continuously helping to record vital game statistics for the coaches, so they can train the players better.
New metrics for baseball
While batting average and percentage on base are done to grade the players’ skills, the new tech including Field F/x and talent scout trackers help in analyzing quantitatively the skills of players that are hard to track. Some of them include
- Base runners- The Field f/x tech helps to chart all the base lines so the efficient routes taken by the players would be known. If for instance, a runner takes a base, the tech can decide on whether the player could have departed a bit later in wake of the pitcher’s windup
- Catcher- The throwing arm of the catcher right from the home plate to the stolen base can be measured in both accuracy and strength with the cameras.
- Outfielders: In case a centerfielder goes for a strong diving catch, the reason for the dive can be determined with the images captures. The reason such as slow reaction for a normal hit, or whether the batter had hit out of the range of fielding can be known. This helps in better training.
- Infielders- The response of the infielders can be tracked accurately by the Field f/x cameras and the scout tech trackers can identify the shortstops that show the quickest reaction to the grounders thus giving information on the fielding range of the players.
There are several other new technological wonders that are being introduced into baseball. While the match I watched with my friend did not have any such tech support, I however enjoyed the game immensely and it was partly because of my friend too. I said so to him and was glad he had finished his training as we could watch our favorite game together more. He said that the nail technician school he had gone too was quite good and reputed, click here for more info. He was confident of landing a job soon because his credentials were good and I wished him luck too!
The baseball diamond is an iconic part of the game. It has all the distances metered properly, so you don't have to run farther from first to second base, or second to third, or so on. The diamond shows why standards and measures are important in sports games and just about everything else for that matter. However, it’s certainly possible to train for playing baseball without ever setting foot on a diamond or field. The only thing those chalk lines do is show players which way to run, really. You can still do all associated exercises while at home, maybe even in your garage.
Have you ever heard of the Garage Gym? Like the name would make you think, it’s a kind of small, personal gym which you could set up in your garage, or elsewhere in your home for that matter. It is a kind of power rack, which will let users do pull-ups, deadlifts, leg exercises and more, all with the same machine and all without forcing the user to purchase a number of other expensive accessories and items to get the job done. Everything about the power rack is manual; there is no power or electricity to it, despite the name.
While it doesn't offer the full range of motion you would get from say, running a lap around your block, a power rack can still help you to strengthen your legs and make them able to do more work than they can already. This will in turn help you to move faster, which can be the difference between beating a ball to a plate or getting called out and heading back to the benches. By combining the time on your garage gym with those free exercises you can do in any open field, you will get the greatest benefit and keep your body from getting used to any single exercise, which is a major part of building muscle.
The arms are just as important as the legs to any baseball player, and even more so if you happen to be the pitcher for your team. There are too many arm exercises on a power rack to count them all. To figure out the best exercise for your specific workout, you need to figure out where you as an individual could use the most improvement and where you are already strong enough. Just because you can lift all day with your bicep doesn't mean your tricep is equally as strong, for example. Specific exercises are available for working specific parts of the arm (or leg, or anything).
Even if you don't play baseball, your body will benefit from a device like the garage gym. Stronger arms and legs make better swimmers, boxers, basketball and football players, and more. Whether you’re looking for some simple conditioning or you want to bulk up and increase in size and strength, you may find it worthwhile to purchase one of these small devices. You might get away with a gym membership too, but who wants to work out in front of a bunch of other people, in a place which constantly reeks of body odor?
The hands are very important for baseball players. Catching, pitching and passing all rely on the person manipulating the ball to have a certain level of dexterity, so the throws don’t veer off course and the catches don’t end with dropped balls and errors. There are a lot of standard drills for improving hand eye coordination, but there are some other, non-traditional things you could do to make your fingers work better too. I’m talking about other activities where the fingers and hands play a key role in making something happen, or getting something to work. Have you ever heard of a serger?
Well, a serger is a kind of sewing machine that uses different types of thread simultaneously to create unique stitching and embroidery. It’s also a very useful and often unused tool when it comes to improving hand eye coordination. There’s even some footwork involved if you’re using a machine that comes with a pedal for turning on the motor, so there’s that to consider too. Watching with your eyes while you move fabric or cloth with your hands to create stitches without stabbing your fingers can be a little intimidating for those who have never sewn before, but don’t let that stop you.
The truth is, you won’t find another exercise quite like this for making your hands and eyes work together better while you’re out on the diamond. Working with a serger can be fast-paced and risky, even for those with lots of experience using them, so as a freshy you should be very careful with them. Now naturally, practicing catching will help you to catch balls more often too – but this sewing thing really helps with detecting moving objects (the ball) and then reaching for them with your hands. This skill is vital to success in baseball and this is an ingenious way to help develop said skill.
Stitching by hand can have a similar effect, while being far less dangerous to the person doing the sewing. The needle on a serger, or any sewing machine for that matter, is connected to a motor which makes the thing stab again and again and again. The motor doesn’t care if the needle is sticking flesh instead of cloth and it will simply make the needle keep stabbing, even when you wish it would stop. All this said, if you don’t have any experience with a sewing machine, hand stitching is a great place to start your path toward better hand eye coordination.
These training methods come with secondary benefits too. Normally things like repaired socks and knit pants would be the primary benefit, but you’re sewing to get better with your hands – not specifically for sewing, itself. Plus you’re also learning a useful skill you can take with you throughout life. As long as clothes, sheets, blankets and other items are made from cloth and kept together with stitching, there’s going to be a need for people who know how to work stitches. With all the benefits here so readily apparent, there’s no reason not to start sewing soon.
A big part of baseball is maintaining one’s balance while playing. Swinging the bat, running for bases and leaping to catch a fly ball are all important aspects of the game and each of these actions relies on the player having a solid sense of balance in their body. Coaches and athletes know this, and it’s just one of the many things people train for so they can play well. But if you ask me, the exercises associated with baseball just don't do enough to keep players from taking tumbles while running as fast as they can with their eyes on the sky, like they do when trying to catch a hit ball.
Longboarding is one exercise that races to mind when considering ways to improve balance and build a better, more stable body. It’s just like skateboarding, except riders are far less likely to take a tumble or get injured because the board is much longer, lending the rider a more stable surface to manipulate than he would get from a skateboard. Riding is good; practicing rolling along a surface while remaining upright and on your feet is good. However, don’t go trying to do any tricks on a longboard, even if it’s like the Natasha by Sector 9. They just aren't designed to weather impacts like skateboards are.
So how do longboards help baseball players improve their balance? Well, boarding of any kind is all about learning how to center one’s gravity. It is inherently an exercise in balance, both finding a balance to ride at all and maintaining that balance, once it has been found, to keep riding over a measurable distance. More than that, it is about modifying one’s posture as the terrain underfoot (or under wheel?) shifts. Because it is constantly changing, even in places like skate parks where the ground is supposed to be relatively flat, you will constantly be changing the way you hold yourself while riding.
This happens a lot in baseball too, but only on natural grass and dirt. The synthetic stuff you can find in some stadiums is unbelievably flat and even – great for running on but not really realistic in terms of the shifting you need to do to keep from falling down while running on it. After all, running is just falling forward while kicking your feet to keep from actually falling on your face. Anyhow, because there are similar principles at work when trying not to fall off a longboard or into a pile of grassy dirt, it’s plain to see how longboarding could help build a better sense of balance in a person.
The only thing left to do it get your hands on a good tool for training purposes. At http://longboardingnation.com/best-longboard-reviews/ you can find a host of different longboards from a number of manufacturers. You’ll find reviews for the majority of the boards too, and these can help you when you're deciding which board you should grab. Realistically, you could get your balance training from another kind of exercise too; but longboarding has been on my mind lately, so this is the training I'll cover today.
At a glance, you might think there are few things linking these two popular sports together. Sure, they both get the player up and active, but where do the similarities exist beyond that? You might be really surprised, because there are numerous points. I’m going to take some time to talk about a few which were immediately apparently to me today, but by no means does this mean there are only three ways the two sports are similar. Hopefully you’ll forgive me if my boxing lingo isn’t up to snuff – I’m really more of a baseball fan, as my blog should suggest.
Both baseball and boxing are sports which utilize the entirety of the body. In boxing, when you’re taking punches and throwing some of your own, you use your upper and lower body along with your core while attacking, dodging and jockeying for position against your opponent. Baseball doesn’t feature any punching but there is plenty of pitching, as well as swinging of the bat, running between bases, sliding, jumping and more. Both of these sports work the upper and lower body to great effect, making them good whole body workout options.
Boxing and baseball are both strictly aerobic exercises as well. They’re all about movement – getting and staying mobile rather than lifting heavy burdens or moving great weights over long distances. Because of this, endurance and being able to keep going is more important in both of these sports than greater physical strength. You shouldn’t be surprised to learn that boxing and baseball both incorporate similar exercises like running, jumping rope, sprinting and swimming to help ramp up the endurance of players. You want to be strong, yes, but not big and bulky; that will slow you down.
Third, both boxing and baseball feature a minimum of defensive gear. Unlike football which is loaded with pads, chestplates, straps and other pieces of equipment, gloves are pretty much the only thing stopping a punch in boxing, or stopping a flying ball in baseball. Both games stress a strong body overall but at the end of the day, they are also both about the hand; if you can’t punch, you’ll be a terrible boxer, and if you can’t catch, no baseball team in the world is going to want you playing for it. This point might be just a bit more insightful than the other two, but they’re all good comparisons if you ask me.
I’ve now effectively covered three distinct ways baseball and boxing are similar, but like I said, there are many other comparisons to be made between the two. Do any of you have such a comparison in mind? I’m sure other readers would be happy to see it, and that’s not counting me. I often find myself thinking of ways things are similar or different, and I can get pretty extreme sometimes, so I’m sure somebody out there has something good to add to this. I’d still rather be playing baseball at the end of the day though. Anyhow, that’s it for now. See you lot next time.
Alfred John ‘The Bull’ Ferrara, better known as Al Ferrara, was a famous Major League Baseball player. He’s one of my favourite players, so I decided to write an article about him. He played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres and Cincinnati Reds. He was an accomplished player, and was active from 1963 to 1971. He also had an interesting private life, and a great TV career! Now that’s versatile!
Al Ferrara was born in Brooklyn. His father was a firefighter and his mother a homemaker. His mother died when he was 17, leaving his grandmother in charge of him.
As a young boy, Al wanted to play baseball, but his grandmother was a traditional Italian woman, and she insisted that he learn how to play the piano. Not a digital piano like the ones you can find at PianoReport, but a classical one. He started at age eight, and learned the classics. His teacher insisted that he read music and play classics like Beethoven and Bach. He and his grandmother agreed that he could go to Coney Island and spend a quarter in the batting area for every hour he spent practicing the piano.
As he continued with his musical career, his baseball career was just getting started. He went batting a lot, and he began being noticed. People would watch him bat, and add quarters so he could get more balls. After a lot of negotiating, his grandmother agreed that if Al became his teacher’s number one student, he wouldn’t have to play the piano anymore, and could go completely into baseball. And he did just that. He had a performance at Carnegie Hall where he went on last – a sign that he was the best pupil. He played on an old-fashioned piano, nothing like the ones you see today - like this Yamaha http://www.pianoreport.com/yamaha-p35-digital-piano-review/. When he got off the stage, he kissed his grandmother and never touched a piano again.
Ferrara made his debut in 1963, when he was 23. In 1966, he accomplished one of his best seasons, having played 63 games with 129 appearances on the plate. That year, he also played in the World Series. In 1967, he had an even better season with over 380 plate appearances, and 16 home runs. His average then was .277, and he was elected Dodger of the Year.
After that, he played with the San Diego Padres from 1969, and was traded in 1971, after only 17 games. He played 32 games with the Cincinnati Reds, almost always on the position of the pitch-hitter. He played his final major league game in September, 1971.
After his baseball career ended, Ferrara went into sales, and started his own company. He retired after 30 years, in 2005. When the recession hit, he lost some of his savings, and decided to take up some work for the Dodgers. They made him a part of their community relations team – he visits elementary schools and reads books to the kids.
Many athletes are great at their chosen sport, but really bad at many others. However, this is not always the case. One of the best examples of a multitalented athlete is Jim Thorpe – a player who is considered to be one of the most versatile people in modern sports. He won gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon, was a college and professional football player, had a career in basketball and played Major League Baseball.
Not all players are that extremely versatile, but nevertheless, there are some who show talent in multiple fields. Here is a list of great and famous baseball players, who are also into golfing (and are pretty good at it).
1. Brandon Inge
This star player for the Pittsburgh Pirates loves to take time between practice to relax and shoot some balls on the green. On the diamond, he is a utility player, and plays anything from third base to catcher. On the golf field, he is rumoured to be a 6 handicap. Hats off!
2. Mike Trout
Mike Trout is an outfielder for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Although it is unusual for position players to extend their interests to during the baseball season, this golf aficionado does it anyway. In 2013, he played a charity golf tournament in a four-man team, and earned the title American Rookie of the Year. If he ever gets tired of baseball, he obviously has other career choices.
3. Livan Hernandez
This right-handed pitcher is a free agent, which gives him the time to play all the golf he wants. His handicap is around 2, which is pretty good for an amateur. In an interview, he said that his worst problem is not hitting many mid-irons – this might be because he might not be using a good rangefinder. For a selection of the best golf rangefinders click here.
4. Mark Teixeira
This great baseball player is rumoured to be a 10 handicap. He spends a lot of time on the golf course near his home in Connecticut. He also made a large donation to the golf team of Georgia Tech – his alma mater. He is a big fan of the game, and he’s pretty good at it, too.
5. Nick Punto
Punto gave an interview for Golf.com, where he said he was a 0.5 handicap, and that his long irons were the worst part of his game. When playing baseball, Nick plays for the famous New York Yankees, where he’s a utility man, playing every position except pitcher, catcher and first base. A multitalented player indeed!
6. Derek Jeter
Jeter also plays for the New York Yankees, and he once told ESPN that he doesn’t play much golf. Nevertheless, he loves the game and he loves to host his own charity golf tournament named the Derek Jeter Celebrity Golf Classic. In 2013, he didn’t play because of the rehab for his broken ankle. I’m thinking that maybe he didn’t want to show off his amazing (or amazingly bad) golf skills. Maybe next time Jeter!