In Wednesday's post I asked if anyone could think of an accomplishment to rival that of Floyd Landis at the Tour de France. Unfortunately I now have to ask if you members of the eteamz community have seen a sports scandal as shocking as this.
This tip is really powerful, yet simple and to the point.
Know exactly which pitch you are looking for and do not swing unless the situation calls you to do so.
Before you go to the plate know exactly which pitch you want. If you like a fastball middle in do not swing at a curve ball low and away on the first pitch.
If you do you will likely miss or make a soft out. You certainly won't get many good swings on the ball. This is called getting yourself out. I see this way too often.
Changing this can easily skyrocket your batting average and help your team because you have a much greater chance at hitting a pitch you know you can handle than one you don't.
Hitting is already difficult enough. Please don't make it any more complicated than it already is.
Sit on your pitch and force the pitcher to come into your wheelhouse. The great ones all do this.
I know this tip may seem very simple, but do not overlook how effective it is.
To learn more about proper hitting I have written a report titled "The 7 Secrets of Successful Hitting". I am currently giving it away for FREE! Just visit www.milliondollarhitter.com and I will rush it rig
Laura Berg is a three-time Olympian and USA Softball mainstay since 1996. We sat down with her to get her thoughts on what it���s like to be an Olympian and the U.S. National Team���s expectations for the World Cup of Softball II this week in Oklahoma City.
Let���s start with the tough question first. Where do you keep your three Olympic gold medals?
In a safety deposit box. (Laughs)
Can you tell us a little bit about the Olympic experience?
It���s kind of hard to put into words. It���s so exciting and an honor to represent the U.S and it���s just something I consider myself lucky to be a part of. When you walk out on the field and see the crowd cheering for you���it���s really something else.
What���s one thing about the Olympic experience that would surprise most people?
The great McDonald���s diet we eat in the village.
You���ve been called the ���best centerfielder in the game.��� Is there anybody you modeled your game on when you were coming up the national ranks?
Well I don���t know if you can say that anymore. There are some really great young centerfielders like Caitlin Lowe and others who���ve come up recently. I���d have to say players like Jim Edmonds and Willie Mays were players I tried to model my game after.
Has your work as an assistant coach for the Fresno State Bulldogs helped improve you as a player?
Definitely. It���s tough to sit and watch. A lot of times I���ll see a play and put myself in that situation and see what I can do differently. You can learn a lot in this game just by watching.
How did you first get involved in softball?
When I was a kid my parents signed me and my twin sister Randi up for little league. I was the quiet twin and pretty much copied what my sister did. That led to ���Little Miss��� and ���Bobby Sox��� and finally to the U.S. National team.
So how do you select players to try out for the national team?
Athletes were invited to our camp in late November/early December, and 24 players were chosen for the national training team. That designates you as one of the top 24 softball players in the country and gives you the benefits of monthly training camps as well as training stipends that can really help out. From that group of 24 we selected the group of seventeen we have now.
Of the seventeen players selected how many pitchers will be taken to the World Cup?
Typically we have four on the roster. But we have a few pitchers this year that can do more than just pitch. Amanda Freed is somebody who through the Olympic process in 2004 had really moved onto the outfield. She was an All-American pitcher at UCLA but didn���t fit that role when she first got on the team. Then during last year���s Japan Cup she was used as a pitcher. So she can pretty much do it all. We have a lot of players who provide some flexibility.
And how many games will they play during world cup?
Six. A round robin tournament in which they compete against everyone--with the top two teams playing in the finals.
That���s a lot of pitching for four players.
Actually it���s not. Alicia Hollowell who just won the NCAA championship for the University of Arizona is on the team. She went 5-1 during the Softball World Series and pitched six complete games from Thursday to Monday. And that���s just for one pitcher. So really the struggle a lot of times for us with carrying that amount of pitchers is getting enough innings for people on the roster. It���s definitely not the baseball model.
Tucson, Ariz. ��� Backed by a grand slam from Jessica Mendoza and a no-hitter by Cat Osterman, the 2006 USA Women���s Softball Team completed their four-game sweep of NPF Arizona Heat tonight in Tucson, Ariz. The team hit at a .368 clip during the series with seven players registering five or more hits.
In the second inning, one ball away from a walk, Jenny Topping (Whittier, Calif.) took a Leslie Wolfe offering and ripped it over centerfield to put Team USA on the board. Osterman (Houston, Texas) started in the circle, throwing a complete game with 12 strikeouts, no hits and one walk.
With a single, Natasha Watley (Irvine, Calif.) started a scoring drive that would end with Team USA posting five runs on the board in the fifth. Caitlin Lowe (Tustin, Calif.) followed Watley with another single, loading up the bases. On the first pitch, Mendoza (Camarillo, Calif.), took it deep over center field to clear the bases for the team���s first grand slam of the season.
Team USA again put up five runs in the sixth, off of six hits. Topping added another RBI with a single while Amanda Freed (Cypress, Calif.) put up two RBI with a single to center field.
Team USA will play in one more exhibition series on July 10 in Irvine, Calif., against the World University Games team before heading to Oklahoma City, Okla., where they will compete in the II World Cup of Softball July 13-17.
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