NCAA President Myles Brand left open the possibility yesterday that college sports' governing body for the first time is willing to work with both the NBA and shoe companies to improve amateur basketball, which has come under increasing criticism this year.
Some adults pressure their kids in sports to the point where the kids no longer enjoy what should be fun. Adults placing unreasonable pressure on children is nothing new. The only difference is the things they expect their children to excel at. In the 17th century young boys were castrated so their singing voices wouldn't be ruined by puberty (unbelievable!).
It's around 3:30 in the morning and we are heading West on the Ohio Turnpike and still about 3 hours from home. Isn't technology great? I am able to surf the net while driving down the highway! (actually my wife Holly is doing the typing - I'm just dictating. She tends to get cranky when I take my eyes off the road to see what site she is on)
Let me begin by explaining that we had big plans for the Championship game. Our friend Larry Brewer was scheduled to umpire in the game and we were more than ready to enjoy a day at the ballpark and cheer him on. However as you all know by now things did NOT go as planned. After several weather delays and then the[ final decision to postpone the game|http://active.typepad.com/llbworldseries/2006/08/rain_rain_go_aw.html] until tomorrow night at 8 pm we decided to pack it in and head home to Michigan.
Always wanted to see just what it takes to produce sound for an ESPN broadcast? Join Michael as he talks to Paul Krugman, ESPN sound engineer, as he gives us a tour of this fascinating place where 100 different audio signals come in at once--even those controversial ones captured by dugout microphones.
As some of you readers might already know last night a player on the Staten Island team issued a curse word on live TV. This was bad enough--but then his manager reportedly 'slapped' him when he heard the word. (Sorry I can't confirm this because I didn't see it.)
This has led to an official reprimand from Little League Baseball and has caused ESPN to issue a five-second delay on all future Little Leauge World Series. It's sad...but the same constraints that have been institutued because of Janet Jackson and her wardrobe have now been brought to a Little League World Series broadcast.
How does a kid from Trail, B.C. end up playing baseball���and not the great sport of hockey? I actually played both (hockey and baseball) until I was about 12 or 13. After that I just played baseball because I like it more.
What���s the Little League scene like in Canada? It's certainly not what it's like in the states. There are teams and fields, but just not all over the place. Obviously there is more hockey played than baseball. But I think baseball is gaining more popularity in Canada due to the fact that more major league players are from there.
What was it like playing in the Little League World Series? It was awesome. Coming from a small town like Trail BC, and then playing in front of all those people at 11 years old was just amazing. It's something I'll never forget.
[http://active.typepad.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/sten_6_1.jpg]Mike Stenhouse was a Major League outfielder with the Minnesota Twins, Montreal Expos, and the 1986 Boston Red Sox World Series team. We talked to him about his experience as a pro baseball player as well as his fond memories of being a Little League state champion. This is Part I of our conversation. Be sure to look for Part II next week as well as Mike's blogging for the Active.com Little League World Series Special Section.
Let���s start with the tough question first���do you think the Sox have enough to pass the Yankees for the AL East?
Sure they have enough. I didn���t like the fact they lost catcher Jason Varitek and the Yankees added some very good players. But sure they have enough���cos they have better pitching than the Yankees.
You���re a former major leaguer who played for the Expos, Twins, and Red Sox. It must have been cool for a Harvard grad to play at Fenway Park.
Certainly unusual���especially coming out of Harvard. I can remember those little meetings in the dorm hallway where people would talk about what they wanted to be. There were a lot of ���I���m gonna be a doctor or lawyer.��� But when I said ���I wanted to be a baseball player��� everybody pretty much laughed. Until I hit .480 my freshman year.
Your dad was a pitcher for the Washington Senators. Did he help you in your early baseball development?
Of course. Even as a pitcher he learned enough about hitting to be helpful to me and gave me a general knowledge of the game. Both myself and my brother���who got to triple-A with the Blue Jays���learned a ton from my father about how to play the game right.
Did he ever mention what it was like playing for Gil Hodges?
He loved Gil Hodges. Gil was known as tough but my dad loved him. Because he was fair and treated everyone the same.
For thousands of dads around the country the next few weeks brings with it more anxiety than their worst day at work ~ high school training camps open up and there���s a chance your son or daughter is getting cut from the team!At that point I plan to be past the frustration (I still have a long way to go ~ fortunately cuts are two weeks away so there���s time) of watching him not prepare properly and instead do what I should do, what every parent should do ~ be disappointed for him, not in him.
That���s the message I plan to convey to him. That���s the message every child released from a team should hear from a parent when they make that call. That���s the message they need to hear.----
<span style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt">Jon Buzby</span><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold">< </span>is a freelance writer and has published two books, ���Coaching Kids: It���s More than X���s and O���s��� and ���Raising a Sports Fanatic.��� Both books are available at Amazon.com.
But the one element that I see lacking in a major area of these athletes is: STOPPING
No, I didn't type that incorrectly. Stopping or decelerating is a primary problem with young athletes. There is so much information out there to the public on how to become faster and speedy, but very little is addressed about knowing or learning how to decelerate!
The amount of deceleration can be determined by speed of the athlete and if a change in direction is required. Proper body control and angle are of major importance when trying to slow ourselves.
The athletes need to pay attention to their chin, shoulder and hip position when slowing from a rapid movement or attempting to change directions.
So, start adding in basic deceleration drills into their training or skill work. Pay attention to their body positioning. By learning how to accept their body weight and force they will be much more efficient on the field when changing directions.
A couple of things that I always relay to my athletes:
If I was teaching you how to ski jump, I would teach you how to land first; the jumping part is easier!
I wouldn't ask you to get into a sports car and drive at 100 mph. if it didn't have brakes!
[http://active.typepad.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/more_pop_than_ever.jpg]The Little League World Series is about to start and...already there is great news from the home office. After a three-year period in which Little League participation numbers dropped slightly Little League International has announced that participation in Little League has jumped by more than 23,000 this year compared to last. Some of the reasons cited were:
1) The success of programs like Little League International reaching people through e-newsletters, online Q and A sessions, and a revamped Web site.
Join us on the road to Williamsport! Go beyond the scores and check out special interviews, guest blogger articles (including posts from Dugout, the LL mascot) and more! Be sure to sign up below for our e-news at the top of the section.