The World Series….

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The 113th World Series is off to a competitive start.  With both the Houston Astros and the LA Dodgers taking a win, the series is now tied at the end of game two.  Although Astros manager Rick Hill is undoubtedly under scrutiny today for his removal of power pitcher Dave Roberts after only 60 pitches as well as pulling Brandon Morrow and Kenta Maeda early in the game, his risky tactics paid off.  Although it is known that the Astros tend to play better on their own turf in Houston they finished their bout in LA and will regain their home advantage this Friday at game 3 in Texas.  With the starting of the series in LA in 99 degree weather and reaching highs of 102, the heat was intense, but may have helped those fly balls!  In fact in 1955 a study done by Mark D. Kraft and Brent R. Skeeter proved to show thats fly balls travel and average of 16 ft. Further in temps 90 degrees or higher than they do in temperatures 50 degrees or lower.  

So now that we are in the 113th World Series to be played where did it all begin and what are some other interesting facts about this sporting event?

In 1956 Don Larsen of the New York Yankees pitched a “perfect” game with all of his 97 pitches.  That’s right as we all know a perfect game in baseball means a pitcher or pitchers do not let one batter from the opposing team get on a base.  The 1956 game is the only game in baseball history to be a perfect game.  With his 97 pitches he did NOT allow one batter from the Brooklyn Dodgers team of 27 on any base!  Talk about amazing!

Or what about the Chicago Cubs losing curse that was placed on them by Billy Sianis in 1945.  Billy was at the game against the Detroit Tigers in Chicago accompanied by his pet billy goat.  However his goat smelled so bad that he was kicked out of the game by officials.  In an outrage he declared that the Chicago Cubs would not win that game!  In fact the cubs did not win a game again until 2016 when they won the World Series and the curse finally ended.

Another cool fact about this sporting event is that there is only one athlete that has played in both the World Series and the Super Bowl!  That athlete is Deion Sanders who with his team the Atlanta Braves played in the 1992 World Series against the Toronto Blue Jays.  Then in 1995 he played and won the Super Bowl with his team the San Francisco 49ers and then again played in and won the Super Bowl in 1996 with the Dallas Cowboys!  Way to  go Deion!!!

Baseball is a great sport and has so many fun and interesting facts!   The World Series is also one of the greatest sporting events of all time and is enjoyed by many.  How will take the Series this year?  My money’s on the Houston Astros!

Watch out for Windows……

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broken-glass-windowI am a baseball guy. Baseball was my game, and although I no longer play, I still watch it and occasionally coach it. I recently assisted in coaching a youth baseball camp out in Dallas. It was a great time and a learning experience, although one I should have learned by now.

This article is to educated you on probably what you already know……

WATCH OUT FOR WINDOWS WHEN YOU ARE BATTING BALLS!

Seems obvious, but sometimes you think you are far enough away, and well, you just aren’t. We all learned that all to well this last weekend. Let’s just say the swing on a few boys sent a few baseballs through a few windows, and left us a few hundred dollars poorer! It could have been much worse – someone could have been injured and it could have cost us a lot more. Thankfully Barry, from one of the window companies, was a baseball lover himself, and broke a few windows himself back in the day.

Now not only did we break one window, we broke 2!

What the heck, right?!

We were on a field, as we should have been, but the misfortune happened anyway. Sam was thrown a fast ball and swing batta batta swing, he nailed the ball out of the field, into someone’s backyard and through a kitchen window. Luckily no one got hurt. We called a very generous window company, Metroplex Windows and Glass, and they came out a fixed it up. Now what is so awesome and generous is that when it came time for the bill, they did not charge us! Seems crazy and hard to believe, but Barry (the owner) played many years of ball himself. He said he knew all to well about broken windows. Being it was a youth camp, he said this one is on me. We were stunned and very appreciative, so we just want to throw a large shout out to Barry, of Metroplex Windows and Glass, for his kindness….Thanks again man!

Now you would think that one broken window would be it. But no. Another one of our camp members accidentally hit ( a home run by the way) a car and shattered one of the back windows. I couldn’t believe it. Again thankfully no one was injured or hurt, but geez! This time we called another company that fixed auto windows. They were great too, but they didn’t play ball or offer up a zero bill, so we ate a few hundred dollars for the fix.

This second window really was a fluke. The angle that the ball hit the car was unreal. I would never have thought, but just goes to show the power of a good swing and a baseball.

The major message of this story is to be very aware and be careful. Luckily there were no injuries, but there could have been.

Broken windows from baseballs will happen, but overall caution must be had…take it from me!

Thanks again to Metroplex. The youth boys had an incredible weekend and they too learned that must be careful of windows!!

 

Your Diet Matters

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Your Diet Matters

As is the case with most sports, just winning the genetic lottery won’t take you very far in Basketball if you don’t have the right conditioning and discipline. Having a well-planned out nutritious diet is one of the determining factors on the court. With this in mind, I’m going to throw some light on 3 key nutrients – Protein, Carbs, and Fats. We are going to get all crazy and talk about all the diet fads, just some basic nutrition knowledge. Keep in mind different body types may require different amounts and proportions of macro nutrients.

Proteins – More be good!

With protein, get ‘em when you can is common wisdom. Protein is the raw material needed to build and grow muscle mass. Athletes, and even window installers – haha, this is a shout out to my good friend Barry, are looking to build a lean, strong physique, with minimal fat. So it’s no surprise that protein is needed in every meal for a basketball player to be in top condition. It is said that you need 0.8 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
One should always choose lean (having minimal fat) protein sources – lean beef and pork, chicken, eggs, fish, turkey, etc. Nuts are another good source of protein worth incorporating in your diet.

Three Men in a Bar

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In my previous blogs, I wrote a bit about different types of sports.  So this time I thought maybe I’d drift away from the usual for a while and write about something else.

So now, I’ve decided to write about three men in a bar. Yes, you read that right. Three Men a Bar. Actually, you can find these 3 men not only in a bar, but just about anywhere if you pay attention.  At this point, you’re a bit curious, wondering who these 3 men I’m talking about are, and what on earth have they got to do with sports. You’ll find out soon. First, let’s start looking for these folks, shall we?

Now, here we are, in our little imaginary bar, trying to look for our first gentleman. Right now, you’re trying to look for someone who most likely resembles a Greek God. Yes, someone slightly tall, muscular, with broad shoulders, and narrow hips. A good ‘V’ shaped body, someone who’s won the genetic lottery when it comes to having a great physique. This is your typical Mesomorph, aka, the hot bod!

These person usually has the ability to excel when it comes to strength, speed, as well as agility, making them the perfect candidate for almost any sport there is. They have low amounts of body fat and high muscle content, along with a fast metabolism. This dude finds it much easier to grow muscle than the other 2 men we’ll talk about shortly.

This person will probably excel at sports like bodybuilding (duh), and other sports that require both strength and endurance in varying amounts. Soccer, rugby, hockey, and boxing are a few other options that the Mesomorph has. Due to a well-built upper body, long distance endurance sports are probably not for him, although mid-distance racing sports like cycling and running are something the Mesomorph can excel at.

Next up, we’re looking for a guy who’s looking at the Mesomorph and the women surrounding him with envy. He’s the Endomorph. This guy looks like he’s been drinking and binge eating a lot. He’s the one with a round, pear shaped body. He’s got curves in all the wrong places. Round face, big hips, and an even bigger belly. He’s broad, but not side-to-side, as in broad shoulders. He’s broad from front-to-back, which is basically saying that he’s fat.

But don’t be fooled, he’s also probably stronger than you think he is. It’s no mystery that this person tends to store fat and put on weight very easily while he finds losing weight a little hard.

An Endomorph, due to his large frame, is suited for sports which use strength, instead of agility or speed. Something like powerlifting, or wrestling.

Now, we’ll try and look for our third and last man. Somehow, in my experience, this guy is more readily found than the Mesomorph or the Endomorph. In terms of physique, he’s not really got it as bad as the Mesomorph, but he’s not as muscular as the Mesomorph either. We’re talking about the Ectomorph. He’s lean, thin, doesn’t really have broad shoulders, and doesn’t have much muscle or fat. He looks like the sort of person who can eat as much as wants to without getting fat!

This guy has a fast metabolism rate, which means that he’s not going to put on weight easily. Unfortunately for him, building muscle will also be difficult.

The Ectomorph is very well suited for endurance sports, like running, swimming, gymnastics, or even soccer. If this person is quite tall, he could also be a great basketball player.

It’s important to note, that rarely will someone fit into a body-type perfectly. We’re all Endomorphs, Ectomorphs, and Mesomorphs to a varying degree. But, you can probably get an idea of which type of body you’re closest to, and maybe pick a sport accordingly.

Oops, the bar’s going to close now. See you next time!

PS – If the title of the blog sounds familiar to you, it’s probably because it’s similar to the famous book by Jerome.K.Jerome, Three Men in a Boat.

Need for the stretch

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Learn how to stretch safely and properly.

stretchingIf you are following our running training, there is probably need for some nice deep stretching. Stretching is an important part of training and recovery. It is ofter overlooked because for most people it’s just not comfortable. After the actual training is completed, stretching seems like a chore. With over 600 muscles, stretching is however, a very important piece of the pie, whether your running, horseback riding, playing baseball, or even in everyday life.

Many things in life are about developing the habit. Just like getting up for practice everyday, or starting anew training program. It is consistency that helps develop the habit, and makes it a lot easier to stick with.

The easiest way to stick with something is to have support. In list a friend to stretch with, especially if your training with them. This recommendation comes straight from Ryan, the guy who I created the running training for. He asked that I cover how important stretching is. Him and his buddy Adam, move similar because of their line of work. Ryan works with cars doing dent repair, while Adam is owner of of vehicle wrap shop in Denver. He does wraps a lot of large vehicle in vinyl. They both have to hold positions that make the body tight. Since they are training to run, and have careers that strain the body, stretching is an essential part of the program.

Run Forest Run…..Part 2

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Run Forrest, Run – Part 2

In the last article, I had laid out a rough training schedule for my buddy, and those new to running. I’m going to expand on that a bit, and tell you how to bring a little variety to your training.

Please take note that I’m just giving you a general idea of the types of running exercises that there are. How and when they should be included in your training, is something I’ll leave to much more experienced people, since I’m not qualified to answer that. Your But before getting to the list, there are a few terms you need to understand.

Aerobic/Anaerobic running, and the Lactate threshold – Since I’m no expert on the topic, this is a simplistic view of it. Your body needs to convert sugar to glycogen, which is used as a fuel, or energy, in order to exercise. For the process, your body needs oxygen. When the body has enough oxygen to break down sugar into glycogen and thus provide fuel for running, it is called aerobic running. Here, you’re running at a comfortable speed. This is low-moderate exertion. Now, if there isn’t sufficient oxygen, your body produces excess of lactate, and that’s anaerobic running.

Lactate threshold, from my limited understanding, means the point after which the lactate levels in your blood build up rapidly. It’s the line at which you switch from aerobic to anaerobic running.

Now that that’s out of the way, I’ll introduce you to the 8 common types of running exercises –

Recovery Run/Easy Run

This is one of the more relaxed types of running, when you go at an easy pace. It’s the pace at which you can run, but still keep a proper conversation going. This helps you build some endurance, and moreover, it helps you form your technique and posture, because it’s not that intense. This could be a warm up or cool down form of running, between the more intense running types.

E.g. – Running 3-4 miles at an easy pace

Tempo Run

The tempo run is hard enough so that you need to push yourself, but not so hard that you can’t sustain the effort. This sort of running is used to build endurance and speed levels. It is that speed which is at the lactate threshold, which means the point at which your body switches from aerobic to anaerobic respiration.

E.g. – 1 mile at an easy pace, then 3 miles at a lactate threshold pace, then 1 mile at an easy pace to cool off.

Progression Run

As you might have guessed, here the runner starts off at an easy pace, then gradually builds up speed. Start slow, finish fast. This type involves both, the aerobic and the anaerobic system. This is a moderately difficult workout session

E.g. – 10 minutes at an easy pace, 10 minutes at a moderate pace, and the last 10 minutes at a hard pace.

Hill Running

It’s just running uphill and downhill. It’s a high intensity workout session, which needs bursts of explosive energy. It can be done in short sprints running up/downhill, or can be done by running at a consistent pace on a gradually steeping hill. It increases strength, aerobic power, speed, and endurance.

E.g. – 10 minutes of easy running, then a 1 minute hard burst of hill running, followed by 2 minutes of easy running. Repeat this, say, 10-12 times. Then another 10 minutes of easy running to cool down

Interval Running

This is essentially a speed workout at regular intervals. You run hard with a consistent speed, for a set distance, for a set number of times. You take breaks, i.e., run at an easy pace in between the hard running intervals.

E.g. – Run for 200 metres, 8 times. In between, run at an easy pace for 200 metres.

Fartlek Running

It’s a relatively unstructured form of exercise. In this, you can include different speeds and distances in your running session.

E.g. – 10 minutes of easy running, followed by cycles of 2 minutes of hard running and a minute of easy running. At the end, easy running for 10 minutes to cool down

Ladder Running

This is something like interval running. You go on increasing and/or decreasing the distance of your intervals.

E.g. – Increasing & Decreasing intervals – run or 400 metres, then 800, then 1600, again back to 800 and 400. In between these intervals, do an easy run for 400 metres.

Only decreasing intervals – Run or 1600 metres, then 800, then 400. Increase your pace with shorter distances, and take easy runs in between each interval.

Long Running

It usually means running a long distance at a comfortable pace. However, you can modify this a bit. You can gradually increase your speed, you can prepare for a very fast run towards the end, which is similar to how you end a race. This is a great way to increase your endurance, and mental toughness when it comes to dealing with long distances.

With that, I’m ending this article. Despite writing a 2 part series on running, there’s still a lot more to cover. I would encourage you to read on the different running events by distances (what’s a 5k and 10k run, a half marathon?), common running injuries, different types of gear used for running, and so on.

Run Forrest, Run!

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As you might have guessed, this article is about taking up running as a sport.

I never was a huge fan of running. It seemed boring. Now I think, if I could walk, I would run. A buddy, who also is not a fan of running, actually wants to train to run a marathon at some point in his life. Mind you he doesn’t run, he is very active, just not in running. The only thing he “runs” is his business, a dent repair shop in Denver & CO springs. But, to stand by him, I’ve decided to help him out. I may not be able to run with him, but I am creating his program to learn to run. That being said, I thought I would share it with my readers. This program is great for the novice runner. Enjoy!

Running – Part 1

Apart from running being fun and a rewarding work out, it has some other benefits too. If you think about it, running has such a universal appeal! It doesn’t matter if you’re old, young, tall, short, thin, or fat – it doesn’t discriminate. It’s a relatively inexpensive sport, unlike Cricket or Horse-riding. It can be done with minimal frills, if you want to. Also, something unique about running is that you can mentally check out for a while when you’re running – you can listen to music, talk, and enjoy the scenery around you.

So, for those of you who are considering starting to run, here’s a short training guide –

  1. Only Walk – This is the beginning, where you basically try and get your body used to the idea of a little physical exercise
  • Week 1 – Start by walking once a day for 20 minutes, 3 days a week
  • Week 2 – Walk once a day for 20 minutes, on alternate days, 4 days a week
  • Week 3 – From here on, the idea is to walk for longer periods at a time. Walk once a day for 20-25 minutes
  • Week 4 – Walk once a day, for 25-30 minutes, for alternate days, 4 days a week.

You can continue this for 1-2 more weeks, until you’re comfortable with the schedule

  1. Walk more, run less – From here you on, you start ambling at an easy pace. But you’re still going to be walking most of the time.
  • For 2-3 weeks – Start your routine by walking for 10 minutes. Then for the next 10-15 minutes, you follow a cycle of jogging at a very easy pace for 1 minute, then walking for the next 2 minutes. When you’re done with this cycle, you end with a walk for 10 minutes again to cool off. You could also jog for like, 30 seconds, if you’re unable to do so for a minute. Do this on alternate days, 4 times a week.
  1. Start running more, walking less – Now this is when you start running (again, by this I mean jogging at an easy pace) a little more.
  • Each week – This is the same as step 2. But in the jogging-walking cycle, you run for say, 1.5 minutes, and walk for 1.5 minutes. You gradually increase the jogging time and reduce the walking time by 0.5 minutes each week.

Continue with step 3 for like, 8-10 weeks. The goal is that by the end of step 3, you should be able to run for 15 minutes at a go.

Then every week, you can try and push your running time by 5 minutes, until you can run for about 30-40 minutes at a stretch.

This is just one kind of training schedule. You can find more detailed training plans on the web. Keep in mind, that all the training described above will yield optimal results only if you run with the right posture. Having the correct posture is also important from the point of view of preventing injuries.

As always, maintain an erect posture, keep your back straight.

Keep your head naturally straight. Look ahead towards the horizon, not down at your feet or the ground.

As far as your shoulders are concerned, try not to droop, but keep them relaxed and loose.

Move your arms back and forth, not across your torso. Elbows bent at approximately 90 degrees. Don’t clench your fist tightly, instead curl your fingers so that they just touch your palm.

Don’t lift your knee too high, and when your feet touch the ground, it should be directly beneath your body.

Now that we’ve covered a rough training schedule and posture, in the second part, we’ll discuss the different types of running exercises.

Just Horsing Around

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In my last post, I wrote about a fairly conventional and well known game, Cricket. This blog is about a sport which isn’t as typical as that, but it’s still popular and has its share of enthusiasts. I’m talking about horse-riding.

Of course, you can also call it ‘Equestrianism’, if you want to be all pedantic about it (see what I did there?). Anyway, Equestrianism refers to the skill or the sport of horse riding. It includes a wide range of activities and sports involving horse riding.

But wait a minute, you say. It seems that you’re just sitting on a horse commanding it to run around hither and tither! The horse is the one actually doing all the work! How is that a sport?!

Well, a sport has 2 aspects to it – physical and competitive. Equestrianism definitely is a sport because it has both of these things in abundance.

So, how exactly is horse riding physically straining?

I wouldn’t need to explain that to anyone who’s ever tried riding a horse, even for a short while. A beginner will quickly notice how sore his body feels after riding. For those who haven’t had the opportunity, think about this – you’re constantly fighting to maintain balance, bouncing on a galloping horse. You have to apply pressure with your legs and change your posture in order to guide it. Wouldn’t all of this require some amount of strength and endurance?

The most obvious workout during horse-riding is for your core strength. The core is commonly used to refer to the torso or the midsection of the body. The muscle groups in the core act as a stabilizer for the rest of the body, and they are used daily for the most mundane things, like bending and reaching underneath the sofa to pick up something you dropped. Trying to ride a horse well and maintaining balance keeps the core engaged.

While riding, your legs and thighs absorb the impact of the horse’s movements, thus you’re exerting your lower body muscles too. You’re constantly pinching your thighs around the horse to remain on the saddle. Also, while steering the horse, you use your arm muscles quite a bit.

The Gentlemen’s Game

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The title of this blog alludes to a very popular bat and ball game. Err… Baseball? Nope. I’m referring to its English cousin, the other popular bat and ball game – Cricket.

Cricket has approximately 2.5 billion fans worldwide, making it the 2nd most popular sport in the world, right after Soccer. The countries playing Cricket internationally can be broadly divided into 2 groups: the ones which play Test Cricket, which is considered by purists to be the authentic form of Cricket, and the ones which don’t. The ones which play test Cricket are Full Members of the International Cricket Council (ICC), and currently, there are 10 such members. They include India, England, Australia, Sri Lanka, and so on. Mostly though, Cricket became popular in the nations that were former British colonies, with the notable exception of the USA.

The earliest definite reference to a Cricket game can be found in a court case in 1597, where a coroner by the name of John Derrick mentioned that he and his friends used to play ‘creckett’ 50 years ago, on a piece of land in Guildford, Surrey. This establishes that the first game of Cricket was certainly played in Surrey circa 1550, if not earlier.

It is believed that Cricket was growing in popularity in South-East England during the 17th century. The first Cricket club was founded in Hambledon in 1760, and it went on to become the most influential club, until 20 years later, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) was founded. The MCC became a premier club, and a custodian of the rules of the game.

Cricket became even more popular by the mid-18th century, with people betting on the games, and soon these gamblers starting forming their own 11 member cricket teams to increase their chances of winning.

Cricket was introduced to places like North America, Canada, India, and Australia in h 17th and 18th centuries, because they were all English colonies at some point of time.

Conceptually, the objective of the game is standard across all its formats (more on that in a bit). There are 2 teams, each consisting of 11 players. Each team takes turns to bat. A coin toss decides which team bats first. One team will bat, while the other team will field. The batting team has to score as many runs as they can, while the fielding team has to prevent them from scoring. The team which scores more runs wins.

2 batsmen from the batting team will be out on the field to bat. They will be the ones scoring runs. They stand at both ends of the pitch. Batsmen can score runs by knocking the ball past the boundary, or by running between the pitch. When a ball goes directly past the boundary without coming in contact with the ground, the batsman has scored 6 runs. If the ball makes contact with the ground, or slides to the boundary, he has scored 4 runs. The players in the fielding team will either bowl or field at any point of time. Bowlers are the ones who hurl the ball at the batsmen in the hopes of dismissing him. A batsmen can be dismissed when the ball hits the wicket, or when a fielder intercepts the ball directly. They can also be dismissed if any part of his body prevents the ball from hitting the wicket.

Recreational Baseball

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Possibly one of the greatest movies of all time was The Sandlot!  It made you long to be a kid again and live in the moment of summer with your best friends, playing outside all day and dealing with the instances that seemed like the biggest thing in the world.

All the characters in this beloved movie added a little bit of humor and spark to a  summer filled with Babe Ruth, older girls and baseball in the midst of junior high and middle school.  Centered around major league baseball and the passion that young boys seem to find it made you long to be part of a team and a group of friends so close.

  This being said, playing recreational baseball is one of the best community based sports and recreational activities that anyone can do.  Whether it’s a team of friends or a group of strangers who all signed up with one thing in common, the love of baseball, a fun time is sure to be had.

On our blog we will share different tidbits and baseball facts that we find interesting and fun.  We will also promote recreational baseball leagues throughout different towns and cities.  Should any of our readers or blog visitors want to share any information on baseball leagues in their area we encourage you to email or contact us.  

Our goal with this blog site is to get people involved in a community based baseball or softball league and have fun doing so.  When we can bring people and communities together you will also find lower crime rates and a better sense of neighborhood involvement for our children and our families.

Baseball is one of the greatest sports out there and is loved by many.  Whether you have children you want to get into little league or perhaps a son or daughter who would like to play for fun outside of school, or maybe you are looking for something for you and your spouse to do on the weekends finding a baseball league near you can fulfill all these desires.

Stay tuned and continue to visit our site to learn, have fun and promote baseball!