Sports Psychology And Baseball: How To Be A Mentally Tough Pitcher


This year baseball playoffs and the World Series are approaching rapidly. As always, pitching will play a key role in determining which teams will do well in post season play.

Pitchers who can perform well at this crucial time of the year require a special kind of physical toughness and mental toughness.

Where physical toughness is concerned, pitchers who play well at the end of the year need to have energy and strength to continue to pitch well after spring training and after a one hundred and sixty two game regular season schedule.

Where mental toughness is concerned, the best pitchers know how to remain relaxed, confident and focused when the pitch in these tense, post season games. They benefit from having control over their range of pitches. They also benefit from being able to get ahead of hitters and from knowing hitters strengths and weaknesses. Previous playoff experience also seems to help pitchers to adjust to the special kind of pressure that is a part of championship baseball.

But, how do pitchers develop mental toughness?

Some pitchers use traditional sport psychology techniques like relaxation training, meditation, self-hypnosis, visualization, guided imagery and pre-pitch routines in order to perform to their fullest potential on the mound. I teach these kinds of techniques to pitchers all the time.

A recent study by my colleague, Anthony Cinelli at Boston University, sheds some interesting insight into how pitchers develop mental toughness.

Mr. Cinelli, who pitched in college and who has studied the psychology of pitching, approached me several months ago because he wanted to collaborate with me on some research about mental toughness, choking and staying in the zone.

We decided to interview pitchers about these issues.

Interestingly, ten of the nineteen college pitchers who were interviewed, stated that their father played an essential role in their development of mental toughness. That is,
fifty two percent of these pitchers attributed the early learning of mental toughness to contact with and coaching from their dads.

Many young baseball players are first introduced to this sport by their fathers. So, their dad t is often their first coach. Therefore, fathers often play a crucial role in how an a pitcher develops physically and mentally.

Some of the pitchers interviewed also attributed the learning of mental toughness was function of watching their fathers behavior in their careers and in their businesses.

Apparently, the young pitchers started to model some of the behaviors, attitudes and actions that were demonstrated by their fathers in the world of work. In short, they took what they observed their dad's doing in their lives and brought some of these attitudes and behaviors to the baseball field.

Others pitchers stated that fathers taught them valuable lessons about being accountable, taking responsibility and learning to accept good and bad performances.

While this study has a small sample, it does seem to reinforce the importance that early learning, relationships between parents and kids and early coaching can have on the development of mental toughness among pitchers.


Source by Jay P. Granat, Ph.D.

Book Review: The Downhill Lie by Carl Hiaasen


The Downhill Lie is my introduction to the writing of Carl Hiassen. My beautiful and much more informed schoolteacher wife is already familiar with his writing through his Newberry Award winning novel, Hoot.

Like many middle-aged dreamers, hoping that reading how to do something rather than actually doing it might give me that illusive ‘onenness with the golf universe’, I was browsing the sports section in a local bookstore and came across this seductive chronicle of a man in his fifties returning to golf.

This intriguing question hooked me: “What possesses a man to return in midlife to a game at which he’d never excelled in his prime, and which in fact had dealt him mostly failure, angst and exasperation?” There was an immediate connection that drew me inexorably into Carl Hiassen’s universe.

What is it about the game of golf that would entice me to leave a perfectly comfortable recliner, well-stocked refrigerator and climate controlled man cave to face the challenges of a hot, bug infested golf course that is impeccably groomed and perfectly designed to increase my risk of heart attack, stroke and pre-meditated assault?

Once again, I identified with Hiassen when he writes: “Unfortunately, the single most important fact about golf is as calming as a digital prostate exam: It’s hard…

When I decided to reconnect with the game, I had no illusions about getting really good at it. I just wanted to be better at something in middle age than I was when I was young”

Hiassen chronicles his 577 day foray into his return to the world of golfing beginning with his purchase of clubs: “After a few minutes of puzzled meandering, I confess that I have no idea what kind of clubs to buy.

My plan though is to start cheap. Minimizing the investment in golf gear should make it easier not to take the game so seriously, and if necessary, allow for an honorable retreat.”

His return to golf takes the reader on a laugh out load ride that concludes with a 45-hole tournament which he describes as: “No lighthearted romp for a reclusive, neurotic, doubt-plagued duffer”. His golfing partner dismissed it as “A couple of bad nines, that’s all” Which Hiassen comments, is like saying, “Don’t let an iceberg or two spoil the whole cruise.”

Hiassen summarizes the enticement of golf in his entry of ‘day 577’ after the tournament is over. He is watching his son Quinn:

“But today is a dazzling march morning, breezy and cloudless, and despite the fresh wounds from the tournament, it feels all right to be standing in the sun on the practice range, just watching.

For a second, I’m a kid again… and I can recall exactly how fantastic it felt to pound one, really crush it, then peek back to catch the look on my Dad’s face.”

My biggest complaint about The Downhill Lie is that I really do have better things to do but none of them as fun as reading this book.


Source by Steve McMurray

What Does Golf Driver Loft Mean?


Part of learning how to be a good golfer is learning the terminology involved with the sport.Golf driver loft is a term that many beginning golfers have heard but they have no idea what it means. The definition of loft pertains particularly to hitting the ball off of the tee. The loft is the angle the club face is in that helps to control distance ad trajectory. From what we know about golf engineering, a clubs loft is what decides the first shot trajectory once the ball is hit. Measuring the loft is easy to do. You simply measure the angle that is formed between the club face and a vertical line when your club is in the address position.

What Is The Typical Golf Driver Loft?

The typical driver has a loft between 7 to 12 degrees and golfers that are more seasoned usually use drivers with lower lofts. (10 degrees of less) This is because low loft clubs require that more skill is used to get optimal distance and loft. Beginning golfers tend to use drivers that are closer to 12 degrees because they are better outfitted to give more loft by themselves. Though experienced players tend to make use of low loft drivers, it has become more common for professionals to opt for drivers with a higher loft. The reason they cite for this decision is that they make longer drives due to the high launching angle combined with a spin that is lower. This is what a higher golf driver loft can do for you.

How To Determine What Golf Driver Loft Is Right For You

Determining what golf driver loft is right for you can be tricky but there are tips to follow to ensure you choose the best one. The first step is to evaluate the speed that you swing the driver. This can be done two ways. You can go to a golf shop and use a pro measuring device or you can make the estimate on your own. To do this you must figure out what club you would use for a shot of 150 yards. If what you use is a 7 iron then your usual speed will be about 100 mph, a 6 iron will give you about 90 mph and an 8 iron will give you about 110 mph. Next, choose the loft that is based on the club speed you assessed. If you find that it is between the range of 95 to 105 you want to use a club with an 11 degree loft. If it is from 105 to 115 the loft should be a 7, 8 or 9. For those below 85, use a loft between 14 and 20 degrees for the golf driver loft. For those who are above 130, use a loft that is between 4 to 7 degrees.

Practice Your Golf Driver Loft

Once you have your head speed under control you should compare how the golf driver loft fits the speed of your clubs head and practice. You may feel just a little bit of a change or you may feel a major change. Just make sure that the torque and stiffness of the shaft are the same for the comparison to make sure that you are comparing the drivers properly.


Source by Nancy Ambrosio

SJCAM SJ7, The True 4K Action Camera


How do you choose the sport cameras? For me, I will select the compact and portable body design with high-resolution. At this article, I will tell something about a new product SJCAM SJ7 action camera, which features 4K shooting. Besides, it has the waterproof ability.

SJCAM SJ7 Specifications:

Brand: SJCAM

Model: SJ7 STAR

Type: Sport Camera

Chipset: Ambarella A12S75

Screen: 2.0inch LCD Touch Screen

Decode Format: H.264

Video format: MP4

Video Resolution: 1080P (120fps),1080P(30fps),1080P(60fps),1440P (2560 x 1440),1440P (30fps),

1440P (60fps),2.5K (30fps),2.5K (60fps),2.7K (30fps),2160P (2880 x 2160),4K (25fps),4K (30fps), 720P (120fps), 720P (30fps),720P (60fps),960P (120fps),960P (30fps),960P (60fps)

Video Frame Rate: 120fps,25fps,30FPS,60FPS

Image Format: JPEG

Audio System: Built-in microphone/speaker (AAC)

Wide Angle: 166 degree wide-angle lens

Max External Card Supported: TF 64G (not included)

Power: 1000mAh Removable battery With 110 minutes Working Time

Frequency: 50Hz,60Hz

Functions: WiFi, Loop-cycle Recording, Motion Detection, Remote Control

Dimensions: 5.90 x 4.10 x 2.11 cm / 2.32 x 1.61 x 0.83 inches

Weight: About 80g

Compact and Portable Alloy Aluminum Body Design

SJCAM SJ7 has a dimension of 5.90 x 4.10 x 2.11 cm with a brand-new alloy aluminum body. Comes with a waterproof housing that it can be used to take photos under the water. It has a simple design so that it is easy operation. With the 2-inch LCD screen, you can preview the shooting videos and images. Most importantly, this touch screen allows you to use it by only a tap of you fingertip. It has three color options, including the black, golden rose and the silver.

World Class Leading Ambarella MPU

This camera adopts an outstanding world-class Ambarella A12S75 chipset to enhance omnidirectional performance. By increasing dynamic contrast, it is able to provide separation brightness and darkness. In other words, this MPU will offer ultra sharpness images. And it comes with Sony IMX117 CMOS.

4K Ultra High-Definition Photography

The highlight of SJCAM SJ7 is the 4K resolution for shooting ultra HD images and videos. This high-end configuration allows you to make a professional cinema quality clip to capture your every single wonderful moment.

Moreover, it supports 166-degree wide angles shooting. With a wider viewing perspective, it provides the better and unique visual impact. And it also supports remote control, which allows you to view, photography and film effortlessly.


SJCAM SJ7 is an excellent sport camera, which features 4K high-definition shooting, waterproof and compact and portable body. If you like outdoor photography, you can have a try!


Source by Lucy Yang

BMW M1 First M-Series Model


The BMW M1 model is the first M-Series model produced by BMW, during the period 1978 to 1981. The model is a two door coupe sports car designed with the rear mid-engine layout and it is offered in rear wheel drive. The BMW M1 model is designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro.

The BMW M1 model is a sports car manufactured by German automobile producer, BMW. This model was produced as a joint venture between Lamborghini and BMW and it is the only mid-engined model to be mass produced by BMW. The initial model was powered by a 3.5 liter twin-cam M88 6-cylinder gasoline engine with mechanical fuel injection. The same model was also used in the BMW 745i version. The engine had four valves per cylinder, and six separate throttle butterflies. The powerful engine produced power up to 204 kilo watts and the model has the capacity to achieve top speed of 260 kilo meters per hour. The turbocharged versions of M1 produced up to 634 kilo watts of power.

The two-seater and two door fastback coupe model, BMW M1 were produced 450 vehicles in total, out of which 400 were road versions, while the other models were race cars.

As far as the dimensions of the model are concerned, it has the wheel base of 2560 mm. The length, width and the height of the car are 4346 mm, 1823 mm and 1140 mm respectively. The sports model has ground clearance of 124 mm and the curb weight of the car is around 1361 kilo grams.


Source by Geof Ryan

Judo In The 1950s At Cotham Grammar School, Bristol


Judo at Cotham was the creation of Jerry Hicks, the art master. It was the first school Judo club in the city and one of the first in England. At 27, Jerry Hicks was every schoolboy’s idea of a Greek god, tall, handsome, perfectly proportioned and at the peak of fitness. It was not surprising that, once started, Judo became a popular activity and boys could be seen practicing in the Upper Hall during the lunch break, every day of the week.

Jerry Hicks was only the second man in Bristol to be awarded a blue belt at Judo. The first, Bob Taylor, had been shot dead when he chased bank robbers on Blackboy Hill near Durham Downs, and was remembered with an annual trophy contest in his name. So Jerry became the first man in Bristol to win brown and black belts, and before the decade was out, he had been promoted to 2nd dan. The boys practiced hard, they all wanted to be like Jerry. They couldn’t imagine anyone being able to defeat their idol, but he arranged for them a solid dose of reality.

The ‘Father of British Judo’ was Gunji Koizumi, a Japanese expert who first came to Britain in 1906 and founded the first Judo club in the country, the Budokwai, in London, in 1918. Koizumi was a legend in the sport who at that time had advanced to 6th dan black belt, a grade unimaginable for any European. When Jerry Hicks invited him to visit Cotham Grammar School, the boys couldn’t believe their good fortune.

The venerable oriental guru couldn’t have contrasted more with their local idol. Beside Jerry Hicks, Gunji Koizumi, at the age of about 70, looked like a little frail old gentleman. He conducted a class and put the boys through standard exercises, adding words of advice and encouragement as appropriate. Then came the time for randori, or free practice, in which pairs of judoka engaged in friendly competition. Gunji stood watching the class with Jerry by his side. Then Jerry plucked up the courage to ask the great man to practice with him. At this, the mat cleared to give room to the seniors. The old man smiled shyly, ‘I don’t know if I’m any good,’ he said.

There couldn’t have been a more unequal contest. Jerry tugged and heaved with all his great strength but Koizumi reacted like a heavily-loaded trolley. However hard he was pushed or pulled he moved only smoothly and partially in that direction, maintaining perfect balance. The boys began to wonder if they would see any other action. Then with a swift fluid movement Jerry hit the mat with a resounding break-fall, and proceeded to practice his break-falls for the next few minutes, until with a formal bow the two men gave the mat back to the boys. Judo at Cotham and in Bristol had been shown where it stood on a global scale.


Source by John Powell

Recovery for Co Participants Injured in Outdoor Sporting Activities in Michigan


The question I address here is what happens when a co participant in an outdoor sporting activity injuries or kills someone while engaged in that activity? An accident can occur in a vast array of activities such as golfing, dirt bike riding, skiing or hunting.

The lead case concerning recovery for outdoor sporting activities in Michigan was decided in 1999. In that case, the court granted leave to consider the appropriate standard of care for those involved in recreational activities. The court ruled that co participants in recreational activities owe each other a duty not to act recklessly.

Hypothetically, let’s consider the case where someone is injured while skating. The Midwest contains numerous ice rinks open to the public for skating. The question is what is the liability of someone who is inexperienced and knocks down while skating backwards causing serious injury to the innocent victim. The victim in this situation could would allege that the defendant was skating backwards in a “careless, reckless, and negligent manner” at the time of the collision.

The Michigan Courts will have to consider the appropriate standard of care for those involved in the specific recreational activity. In this case it is open public skating. Consequently, under Michigan Law co participants in skating activities owe each other a duty not to act recklessly.So, we are left with a valid argument that an inexperience skater in a crowded public rink should not be skating backwards under any circumstances. Therefore the defendant is acting recklessly. The defendant could easily counter that while inexperienced she is practicing and learning in a reasonable manner. Obviously this creates a question of fact after all the information and fact are developed in discovery.

The Michigan courts supply little guidelines where individuals engage in recreational or sports activities. The case law generally assumes there is an ordinary risk in each activity and that plaintiffs cannot recover for any injury unless it can be shown that the other participant’s actions were either ‘reckless’ or ‘intentional’. In other states where assumption of the risk has been abolished, some courts have held that a participant “consents” to conduct normally associated with the activity. In that case an injured party must look very closely at the expectations of the parties to each activity.

The Michigan Courts adopted a reckless misconduct as the minimum standard of care for co participants in recreational activities. The court found that this standard most accurately reflects the actual expectations of participants in recreational activities. However, in this writers opinion, the only way to apply this standard is to go into the intricacies of each sporting activity. Thus, each sport will have different standards and rules. Additionally there is an issue of the relative experience of each person involve in the activity.

The Michigan courts have stated they believe that participants in recreational activities do not expect to sue or be sued for mere carelessness. Although that is true to an extent, you also don’t expect to go out for some sporting fun and come home disabled or seriously injured.

The Michigan courts further conclude that a recklessness standard somehow encourage vigorous participation in recreational activities, while still providing protection from egregious conduct. Finally the Michigan court concludes this standard lends itself to common-sense application by both judges and juries.

I believe this decision is wrong and somewhat disturbing. I do not agree with the court. Consider the case of an injured hunter. I believe that if people knew the law on hunting in Michigan they may choose not to participate in a multiple group hunting event. A co participant could easily be shot by an inexperienced hunter in their group. The inexperienced hunter could be violating a basic rule of hunting such as swinging on game. There are several basic rules of firearm hunting that could be violated causing serious injury. The question is whether this should be considered negligence or reckless conduct for purposes of civil liability.

Additionally what happens when a hunter is injured by a hunter that is not in the same party of the victim? Is this random hunter considered a co participant even though they are not in the same group of hunters. What …

10 Tips to Choose Between Sports Agent Firms


Is the agent or agency that’s recruiting you registered to practice as an agent or agency in your state?

For the NFL, sports agent firms must be registered with the National Football League Player’s Association (NFLPA) to negotiate a contract for a player. The Uniform Athlete Agents Act, or the UAAA, is a state law currently recognized by 40 States (as of April 2011), in addition to Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands, that regulates the recruiting actions of agents.

The Act’s purpose is to create uniformity in the way sports agent firms go about recruiting and communicating with prospective clients. Part of the Act requires that sports agents register in each state in which they choose to recruit athletes in.

If you’re in a state where the UAAA isn’t recognized, ask them if they’re registered in that particular state (if applicable). If you’re already a professional athlete, the prospective agent(s) don’t have to register with your state.

Have you ever been disbarred, suspended or disciplined as an attorney or agent?

While bad things do happen to good people at times, it’s good to know whether or not the sports agent firm you’re considering has ever been disciplined, suspended or disbarred (in the event that they’re also an attorney). Research the attorney or agent, and feel free to bring-up what you’ve learned. There may be a good explanation of what happened, but it’s important that you’re comfortable with them and their track record.

What is your fee? Is your fee negotiable? How and when do you bill me for your services?

Do you provide any type of annual statement to your clients?

Sports agent firms normally bill on a percentage of the value of the contract they negotiate on the players behalf. Quite often this fee is capped. For example, in the NFL (National Football League) and the UFL (United Football League), these fees are capped at 3%, meaning the agents’s commissions cannot exceed 3% of the total value of the contract negotiated.

Even so, you can ask to pay the agent on an hourly rate, if it’s agreed upon. It’s been said that Ray Allen, now of the Boston Celtics (NBA), saved himself over $2.8m by paying Johnny Cochran $500 an hour instead of paying a 4% commission back in 1999 when he was negotiating his own contract with the Milwaukee Bucks.

As far as athletic training, who do you work with? Who have they prepared for the Combine in the past? Who pays for my training?

Nowadays, sports agent firms commonly foot the bill for combine and pro day preparation training for sure-fire draft picks. Some athletes choose to stay at school and train for these events, while others prefer to go to a remote location to train.

It’s important to make sure that you and your prospective representatives have a clear understanding regarding where you’re training, who’s training you, and how much it will cost, as well as if any of the related fees are your own financial responsibility.

Your career’s at stake, so it’s vital that you research the experience and track record of the entity where you’ll be training.

What type of financial services do you provide? Do you receive any referral fees from the financial advisor you recommend? Can I use my own financial planner or accountant?

Sports agent firms sometimes receive kickbacks or commissions for referring clients to specific financial advisors. This practice obviously should raise concern regarding whether or not the agency is referring that financial advisor because of their performance and quality of services.

Ask if they recommend a financial advisor. If they do, investigate the backgrounds of them. If you discover any red flags, bring up your concerns with the agency or agent to see what they say. Sports agent firms that recommend financial advisors with questionable backgrounds shouldn’t necessarily be disqualified from consideration, as they are (or should be) two separate entities. It’s also possible that they either didn’t know about the infractions themselves, or that there’s a good explanation behind what you found, unless it’s criminal activity.

When interviewing prospective financial advisors, find out their take on you employing risk managers to assess the level of …

Coaching Basketball to Children With Autism


Through my experiences as a volunteer basketball Coach at the Special Olympics New Jersey Sports Complex and working at various camps and clinics, I have encountered life changing practices through the teaching of developmental basketball. Many people assume that children with autism or other disabilities do not need to learn the necessary skills and concepts associated with basketball. However, I have discovered that it is essential to teach autistic children the same skillsets and concepts as children without disabilities but in a modified manner. As an aspiring College Basketball Coach, I focus on individual skill development, teamwork, and communication when volunteering. These three aspects of basketball are a few keys to success when coaching sports and are important to teach to children at a young age. As a volunteer, I was able to learn new and innovative ways to teach individual skill development, teamwork, and communication that will help children with autism develop their basketball skills and gain confidence and abilities that will help in the overall spectrum of living a healthy life.

Individual skill development is the foundation of becoming a better basketball player and players can improve by working on their weaknesses and expand on their strengths through individual skill development. When working with autistic children, I have experienced, as with some children without a disability, that the players are more incline to focus mainly on their strengths and are less interested in identifying a weakness. Furthermore, the players are usually reluctant to work on skills that could use more development. To overcome this developmental issue, I utilize a principle called “quick transition” to help children improve on weaknesses or areas where they aren’t as competent. The “quick transition” principle focuses on the child’s strength while quickly transitioning to a new task that needs more development and finally back to the player’s comfort zone. Getting a child with autism to get out of their comfort zone is a challenge and is exciting for me when it occurs. I have been successful with implementing this principle and would suggest to anyone, whose challenge is to motivate children with autism to work on their basketball weakness as well as strengths, to use the principle of “quick transition”. Individual skill development is an important element and is a much needed skill to facilitate the use of teamwork.

Teamwork is the backbone of basketball and all other team sports. Although it is important to have players improve on their individual skills, they must all play as a team in order to achieve one overall goal. Teamwork is the most challenging aspect of teaching children with autism but it can be done. The key here is to begin by introducing a basic concept of two individuals cooperating together to make a pass, score a basket, get a defensive stop, or any other concept of the sport. Once the players are comfortable with achieving a common goal as two people, appropriately transition them into a small group by adding another person into the equation. Once they become competent in this area, continue with adding other players until you reach the goal of five players on the team contributing to the conception of the overall objective. Coach Mike Krzyzewski, the head men’s basketball Coach at Duke University has a quote that reads, “Two is better than one, only if two acts as one.” This quote epitomizes teamwork and encourages players to understand the concept that working and cooperating as a team will get the job done more effectively and efficiently which is essential to get children with autism to learn. While teamwork is essential, teamwork needs to be cemented in communications.

Communication in basketball is one of the things that can separate a good team from being a great team. Communication is the voice that wills a team to victory because it creates energy, and provides structure and order. Children with autism may have different types of communication deficiencies. For example, I have coached children who communicated well with me using short precise words and sentences, and others who did not verbally express themselves at all. When communicating with children with autism, I’ve learned to keep my instructions direct, precise, and also to be …

It’s a Small World – Satellite Technology


The most recent advances in satellite and fiber optic technology bring our amazing world to us without having to leave the comforts of home. Digital satellite television providers have mastered the science and have the capabilities to transmit international programming signals to and from all locations on our earth. From its inception, immediately after the Cold War period, television and satellite technology has advanced from black and white imagery to intense high definition crystal-clear pictures with sound clarity that is equally as exceptional and now brings viewers live broadcasts from around the world in real time. This enables peoples to learn about foreign cultures as well as stay in touch with native lands and be in the know as far as relevant news events develop. From India to the United States, Greece, China, Iran, and Russia – satellite technology provides the best in television and audio programming. News, sports, and family programming are available, including arts and languages, cuisine, fashion, music, drama series, current events, and children’s shows, at the touch of a fingertip. Experience life in other cultures and feel the excitement of knowing how others live in our world. International programming packages are provided in many different languages providing diversity at its best.

India offers programming in Urdu and Hindi with the best of Bollywood movies, news, family programming, and sports. Iran offers Farsi with excellent news, sports, and family channels. Tapesh offers movies, dramas, and sports 24 hours a day with arts, documentaries and classic films also being provided. China’s programming includes a variety of channels in Mandarin Chinese in addition to a channel called Videoland that features current events and news, entertainment, and children’s shows. One package includes live coverage from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and other Asian cities and includes the latest in news and sports as well as music and children’s shows and movies. Specialty packages of international sports, including World Cup Cricket from India, Pakistan, and Africa, are available for enthusiasts to experience the wide world of sports entertainment. Broaden your horizons the easy and cheap way – digital satellite international programming. It is easy with specially designed packages of programming delivering the best each country, culture and language has to offer. Get live broadcasts as well as radio channels for round the clock entertainment.

There is actually life outside the confines of your home, and satellite and fiber optic technology bring it to you in style. You are in for a real treat with offers of diverse and sophisticated channels. As the technology advances, the spectrum of channels continue to expand – taking viewers to more exciting and exotic locations around the world. Choose your location and get ready for a trip around the world – sit back and enjoy!


Source by Julia Hall