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Active Team Sports

305 Posts authored by: Trish18

 

Lisa Fernandez, a three-time Olympic champion and one of the best pitchers in the world, wasn’t good enough to beat out Jennie Finch, Cat Osterman and Monica Abbott to make the U.S. National Team’s final Olympic roster as the team readies for Beijing.

 

A few weeks ago, Fernandez admitted she was having a tough time getting her skills back, but was confident she could still play at a high level.

 

"I think I still have it," she said. "I think the advantage I have is my experience. I have the heart."

 

And she does. I’ve followed Fernandez’s career dating back to 1994 during her days at UCLA, where she led the Bruins to two NCAA championships. I watched her win a gold medal in the first Olympic Games that included the sport of softball. Every girl on my softball team had the Lisa Fernandez Louisville Slugger bat.

 

The truth is her vast amounts of experience and heart weren’t enough to earn her a spot in the Olympic rotation. When I interviewed Fernandez at the 2007 World Cup of Softball and asked her if she was planning on mounting a comeback, I believed she had a good chance of making it. Not only did she dominate opponents in the batter’s box with world-class style, but was a skilled third baseman and very strong hitter. 

 

However, head coach Mike Candrea didn’t think Fernandez got back to her usual dominating self after taking three years off to start a family.

 

"I was really hoping she would get close to where she was in 2004," said Candrea. " I wanted her to go out on top."

 

So while 37-year-old Fernandez has been left off the Olympic roster, she has been named a replacement player in the event someone gets injured. I don't think Candrea made a mistake but I sincerely wish that the Olympic roster allowed for one more player. I believe she is still the greatest softball player to ever play the game and appreciate the tremendous role she played in advancing the sport and giving female athletes someone to look up to.

 

Do you think Lisa Fernandez should have been included on the Olympic roster because of her versatility and experience—or does Team USA have the most solid squad possible now? 

 

The 2008 USA Softball Olympic team roster:

 

Monica Abbott, Salinas, Calif. (University of Tennessee ’07)

 

Laura Berg, Santa Fe Springs, Calif. (Graduate ’98)

 

Crystl Bustos, Canyon Country, Calif. (Palm Beach C.C.)

 

Andrea Duran, Selma, Calif. (UCLA ’06)

 

Jennie Finch, La Mirada, Calif. (Arizona ’02)

 

Tairia Flowers, Tucson, Ariz. (UCLA ’04)

 

Vicky Galindo, Union City, Calif. (Cal ’05)

 

Lovieanne Jung, Fountain Valley, Calif. (Arizona ’03)

 

Kelly Kretschman, Indian Harbour Beach, Fla. (Alabama ’01)

 

Lauren Lappin, Anaheim, Calif. (Stanford ’06)

 

Caitlin Lowe, Tustin, Calif. (Arizona ’07)

 

Jessica Mendoza, Camarillo, Calif. (Stanford ’02)

 

Stacey Nuveman, La Verne, Calif. (UCLA ’02)

 

Cat Osterman, Houston, Texas (Texas ’07)

 

Natasha Watley, Irvine, CA. (UCLA ’05)

12,066 Views 31 Comments Permalink Tags: olympics, trish-oberhaus, usa, softball, lisa-fernandez, beijing

March 2008 Snapshotz Winner

Posted by Trish18 Mar 2, 2008
1,139 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: snapshotz, trish-oberhaus, hockey

Former Argentinian soccer star Diego Maradona has issued something of an apology to British fans for the infamous "Hand of God" goal against England in the 1986 World Cup quarter-finals. Maradona knocked in the first goal of Argentina's 2-1 win with his hand, an act that went unnoticed by the referee. He went many years without admitting that it was, in fact, a handball.

 

 

Maradona has since said he did it because the English goalkeeper was very tall and he couldn't get his head on it. He also called the tipped goal "something that just came out of me. It was a bit of mischief." A bit of mischief??! Huge understatement.

 

Nevertheless, he was quoted in a London tabloid last week as saying, "If I could apologize and go back and change history I would." However, he shortly thereafter said that the paper changed his words and what he actually said was, "A long time has passed since that and that history can't be rewound."

 

It is unfortunate that Maradona, who is highly regarded as one of the best soccer players of all timesecond only to Pelewill likely be remembered in such a controversial, negative way.

1,290 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: goal, soccer, trish-oberhaus, world-cup, hand-of-god, maradona

One-handed Basketball Player

Posted by Trish18 Feb 13, 2008

Dax Crum has been playing basketball for Southern Utah University for three years. He is averaging six minutes per game for the Thunderbirds and is doing so with only one hand.

 

Crum was born with just one small finger on his right hand and has been playing basketball with one hand his whole life. He chose to walk on at Southern Utah in basketball instead of accepting a soccer scholarship and worked three jobs to pay for school until this semester.

 

Recently, he played a career-high 16 minutes, made a 3-pointer and shut down Missouri-Kansas City leading scorer Dane Brumagin.

 

“Just those 16 minutes against UMKC were worth it all to me,” he said.

 

Good luck to Dax Crum in the rest of his inspirational athletic career.

2,073 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: basketball, ncaa, trish-oberhaus

February 2008 Snapshotz Winner

Posted by Trish18 Feb 5, 2008
1,239 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: snapshotz, trish-oberhaus

The Brandon (Florida) High School wrestling team's national record of 459 consecutive victories—the longest record held by any high school team in any sport and spanning nearly 34 years—has been broken. South Dade High School recently defeated Brandon, 32-28.

 

The tournament Brandon was participating in when they lost was by far the sternest challenge to their streak and was even titled the Jim Graves "Beat the Streak" Tournament. Seven of the opposing starters had placed in the state competition and had a crowd cheering, “Beat the streak!” behind them. Also, the top-four teams—Brandon being the top-ranked team—in Florida were competing.

 

While South Dade handed Brandon its first defeat since 1973, Brandon is quick to look to the future. The squad is poised to forget the loss and quickly refocus on building another impressive streak by focusing on advice from upperclassman Kevin Timothy: "Next year we start back at one."

 

Do you think any team in any high school sport will ever top Brandon’s streak?

1,687 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: high-school-sports, trish-oberhaus, wrestling, winning

Team is Special

Posted by Trish18 Nov 28, 2007

(A special guest blog from Josh Centor’s NCAA blog, The Double A Zone)

 

Harvard’s Laura Brady talks about being part of a team - and some of the tradition that goes along with it:

 

I still remember like it was yesterday… the sound of my alarm clock going off at 8:45 a.m.… five-mile run at 10 a.m.

 

Should I eat breakfast? Which sneakers should I wear? How should I pace myself? The five freshmen, including myself, headed down to the rink that cold morning for a five-mile running test with the team.

 

The captains that year, Nicole Corriero, Kat Sweet and Julie Chu, along with the rest of the team, were stretching and warming up as we hustled to the locker room to get changed for our final preseason testing. We all joined together as Corriero spoke in a serious tone “Alright ladies, lets get this done as a team” and then we were off.

 

We left the athletic area at what seemed to be an unbearable pace with the upperclassman yelling at us to run faster and I thought to myself that there was no way I would be able to keep up for five miles. We crossed the bridge and took a right along the river. Then suddenly, not three minutes into the run, we turned into Leverett House and continued to sprint up the stairs to the senior’s room where food and snacks were waiting for all of us. There was no five-mile run, what a great surprise. I thought to myself, “This is Harvard hockey.”

 

Coming in as a freshman - not really knowing what to expect - can be a very scary thing.

 

I remember arriving on campus, moving into my freshman dorm, trying to meet as many people as possible and feeling completely lost. I wondered what my teammates would be like, whether I would get along with my roommates, what kind of classes I was going to be taking and how I was going to avoid getting lost around campus. All these thoughts were rushing through my mind as I unpacked my bags and awaited my roommate’s arrival.

 

Fortunately for me, although these are valid concerns, I soon realized that having a team to rely on made this transition much easier. I was excited to meet my teammates, especially those in my class as I would be spending the next four years with them. After meeting the other freshmen hockey players, Brenna McLean, Jessica Mackenzie, Adrienne Bernakevitch and Sarah Vaillancourt, I no longer felt alone or lost. The five of us would grow over the next four years and become best friends. We were all excited to meet our other teammates, but even more excited about embarking on a journey for the next four years.

 

The seniors on our team my freshman year went out of their way to take the five of us under their respective wings. We were always in their rooms, watching movies, hanging out and it was great to have a group of upperclassmen to ask about hockey, school, and other aspects of college life. Even though we spend most of our time during the week down at the rink or on the bus for road trips, I found that I still devoted the majority of my free time to hanging out with my teammates.

 

Having this core group of friends to rely on was the most helpful thing as a freshman, with my teammates constantly supporting me through tough times and pushing me to be the best person and teammate I could be.

 

After four years, and now moving into the role of a senior helping our team’s new members each year in the same fashion, I can sincerely say that although I have enjoyed many aspects of campus life, my experience at Harvard has been defined by our team culture.

 

I am sure that other teams have different team cultures but according to my experience, I have found that team traditions and team bonding such as the five-mile run prank discussed above, are just as important as our training both in terms of team success as well as maximizing the Harvard experience. Our team culture emphasizes the importance of every member of the team working for each other toward one common goal. It is just as important for a player on the first line or a player on the fourth line to take part in this effort.

 

Unfortunately, I am struggling with a serious back injury which has prevented me from participating on the ice so far this season. As difficult as it is for me to sit in the stands as a senior captain and watch practice and games, I still feel very lucky and fortunate to be a part of such a great team and be surrounded by my best friends.

 

Perhaps the greatest lesson I have learned at Harvard is the importance of being able to play as part of a team. It is a skill that requires a lot of work but the rewards are vast. Not only is it a skill that is necessary for future success but more importantly, many of the strongest friendships I have made over the past four years have been Harvard hockey players. I am so grateful to be a part of such a hardworking, funny, caring, inspiring group of people and I consider these girls my family. It is a weird feeling now looking down at the freshmen thinking that just three years ago, those inexperienced eyes used to be mine. Now I am responsible for keeping these traditions and to uphold the culture of Harvard hockey, so that one day, they too will make the freshmen wake up early for that five-mile run... or some other prank. We’ve got to keep new recruits on their toes!

 

(Check out http://www.thedoubleazone.com to stay up to date on what’s going on in collegiate athletics on and off the field. I’ve been a big fan of the blog for almost a year now—updated regularly and interesting material.)

1,584 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: team, ncaa, trish-oberhaus, teammates

Beach Soccer World Cup

Posted by Trish18 Nov 6, 2007

There is no need to wait years for another World Cup soccer match. The World Cup action continues Tuesday the 6th as United States takes on Portugal—-on the sand. The FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup is in full swing as teams fight to determine who will be claimed World Champion.

 

Group play concludes tomorrow to determine who will continue on to the quarterfinal round to take place November 8. After a day's rest, the action continues this weekend with the semifinals on November 10. Sunday, November 11 will be the culmination of the tournament when the world's best beach soccer team is crowned.

 

The competition was originally organized in 1995 as the Beach Soccer World Championships. The Beach Soccer World Championships were administered by Beach Soccer Worldwide, a Spanish-based organization, with FIFA's endorsement. FIFA took over the tournament in 2005, when the first Beach Soccer World Cup took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and was won by France (without any head butts, to my knowledge).

 

Beach soccer is an exciting variation of the game. The ball is modified to be slightly softer and the compact pitch allows players to score from anywhere. This leads to high-scoring games, with an average of 60 attempts at goal in a single game, with an approximate scoring rate of one goal every three to four minutes.

 

The major rules differences are:

 

•     Shoes are not allowed, although ankle guards are permitted.

•     Throw-ins are taken from the sidelines, and can be taken with either hands or foot.

•     Goal kicks are taken by the goalie using his hands.

 

An additional notable variation is that each team fields five players and has unlimited substitutions to get them through three 12-minute periods. Every beach soccer match has a winner, with the contest going down to three minutes of sudden-death overtime, followed by penalty kicks if the score is still tied.

 

Check out this short highlight reel of the best beach soccer goals. You will be amazed at how they move the ball.



1,694 Views 5 Comments Permalink Tags: soccer, trish-oberhaus, fifa, world-cup, beach-soccer

Taking One for the Team

Posted by Trish18 Oct 24, 2007

The Washington State basketball team committed all of their available scholarships for the 2008-2009 while one highly touted recruit remained unsigned and out of luck.

 

Until Taylor Rochestie volunteered to give up his own scholarship in order for the program to sign the promising recruit Marcus Capers.

 

Rochestie is giving up his scholarship because his family can afford to pay his tuition to attend Washington State next year. With the Cougars going 26-8 and advancing to the second round of the NCAA tournament last year, Rochestie figures this is a way to give back to the program and help keep it among the nation’s elite for years to come.

 

"When I first learned of this option to open up a scholarship by giving up mine, I thought it sounded great,'' Rochestie said in a press release. "I am thankful that I was fortunate enough to be in a situation where I could help the team out.''

 

This is one of the most inspirational examples of being a team player and the selfless acts that often result

from belonging to a team.

 

However, do you think coaches might take advantage of financially-privileged recruits and encourage them to pay their own way for the “greater good” of the program?

1,956 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: basketball, ncaa, trish-oberhaus, teammates, scholarship

Great Shoulder/Core Strengthner

Posted by Trish18 Oct 18, 2007

(Another great sports tip from guest blogger Jon Doyle of Baseball Training)

 

A few weeks ago I introduced you to the plank. Well here's another version of the plank, called the side plank, that builds helps develop shoulder and core stability...and, like the plank, you can do it while watching the playoffs. Who said watching TV wasn't active?

 

 

Place your elbow directly under your shoulder and your foot on top of you other foot. Simply raise your hip off the ground and hold for 30-60 seconds. Repeat on other side.

 

(Jon Doyle is a former NCAA All-American baseball player who now works as strength and conditioning specialist. For more tips check out www.baseballtrainingsecrets.com)

1,366 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: training, baseball, jon-doyle, side-plank

Hitting Made Simple

Posted by Trish18 Oct 3, 2007

(Another great sports tip from guest blogger Jon Doyle of Baseball Training)

 

The key to quality swing mechanics is quality work on the tee. A player should groove his swing with hundred of quality reps on the tee before he ever steps foot outside and hits live pitching. A Tee Station can easily be constructed in the garage or basement by attaching a tarp to the ceiling. Attach a pole to the bottom and it can be rolled up to the ceiling and secured with a chain when not in use.

 

The hitter should take his stance with his belt buckle in the center of the plate. The tee should be moved around to three different contact points. Contact point one is placed on the inside 1/3 of the plate, about 2 feet in front of the plate. This pitch should be pulled. Contact point two is placed down the middle and about one foot in front of the plate and hit up the middle. Contact point three is placed on the outside corner, back into the plate and driven to the opposite field.

 

One-third of the swings should be lead-hand cuts, a third should be follow-hand cuts and the final third should be two-hand cuts. When swinging with the lead or follow hand, the hitter should choke up for bat control and place the bat flat at the tip of his shoulder. Lead-hands cuts will emphasize that the swing is powered by the rotation of the hips and body not by the arms and shoulders.  I place a lot of emphasis on lead-hand cuts at contact point three because this emphasizes letting the ball get deep, staying closed and driving the ball the other way. It is easy to learn to pull the ball but hard to learn to stay back, let the ball get deep, and drive it the other way.

 

Tee work is very boring for most younger players. I told my players to envision a Major League pitcher in the tarp and pretend to be their favorite hitter. I also advise them to announce the game in order to "bring it to life." This really puts the fun in tee work and increases your child's chance of success.

 

(Jon Doyle is a former NCAA All-American baseball player who now works as strength and conditioning specialist. For more tips check out www.baseballtrainingsecrets.com)

1,736 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: baseball, jon-doyle, tips, hitting, drills

While using technology in football has gotten a bad rap lately, the argument for implementing the use of it in baseball got a boost last night at the end of the Padres–versus-Rockies game.

 

The last game of the MLB regular season was the best game of the year. But instead of focusing on how great of a game it was, the talk among the sports community is about the controversy that ended it.

The Padres were playing the Rockies for the National League wild-card spot after the teams ended the season in a tie. The Rockies were hot, having won 14 of their last 15 games to get to this point. But things didn’t look too hot after Jorge Julio gave up a two-run home run in the top of the 13th inning, putting the Rockies in an 8-6 hole.

 

The Rockies battled back to tie it up again and, with no outs, Matt Holliday was standing 90 feet from clinching a playoff spot. This is where the controversy began. A sacrifice fly was hit to right field and Holliday tagged up and sprinted home with the season on the line. The throw from right field came loose as Holliday slid in head-first. Safe! Or was he?

 

 

The umpire didn’t call him safe at first. Replay shows Holliday missed the plate on an incredible block by Michael Barrett. Barrett then picked up the ball to tag Holliday as he lay on the ground. But for some baffling reason—-after hesitating and waiting until Barrett reached to tag Holliday for the second out—-the ump decided to call him safe.

 

Maybe the umpire just missed the call. Is it possible he was trying to make up for the fact that an earlier ball that was ruled a double was actually a Rockies homerun? Perhaps Holliday sold his slide by not getting up and scrambling to touch home plate.  We’ll never know what was going through his mind, but it seems clear enough that Holliday still hasn’t scored the winning run.

 

Since games such as this one are so important, do you feel instant replay would be an asset to assure accurate calls?

1,381 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: playoffs, baseball, trish-oberhaus, mlb, instant-replay

"I'm not happy with it, but it is the coach’s decision and I have to be there for my team," replied Hope Solo regarding not getting the start prior to the U.S. women’s soccer team’s semi-final World Cup match against Brazil.

 

Fair enough. I can understand not being happy about being sidelined for the most important match of your career. And she seemed to understand that she still had a responsibility to support her teammates and be prepared to contribute in a positive way.

 

After hearing her post-game interview, it is quite clear that she did not grasp that concept.

 



I watched her interview make the rounds on ESPN several times after the game was over and became increasingly disappointed each time I heard her bark those disparaging words. Publicly calling out your coach, no matter how wrong he was, isn't a good idea; nor is slighting your teammate--especially if she is one of the most decorated keepers in the world.

 

Prior to the game, head coach Greg Ryan said Solo is a very talented keeper who will lead this team many years into the future. Now that future has become unclear for the young keeper. I think Julie Foudy's comments were right on and I would venture to say that many members of the U.S. team agree with her:

 

"It is an unwritten code of conduct that you don't do that to a player. This is a coach's decision so, if anyone, she could have made Coach Ryan the villain but instead she chose to attack a player, Brianna Scurry. To make the decision to go in front of a camera, if I'm a player—I don't think I want  Hope in goal behind me."

 

For a team that has always been far removed from controversy, the loss on the field and the heated debate off the field made it the most regrettable day in the history of the United States women's national team.

3,214 Views 8 Comments Permalink Tags: soccer, world-cup, hope-solo, usa-soccer, national-team

Cincinnati (Ohio) Elder ended the nation's longest football winning streak—just barely—with a 41-34 overtime victory over Charlotte (North Carolina) Independence. Charlotte Independence won 109 games in a row, a streak that spanned exactly seven years.

 

During the run, the Patriots, who have been ranked No. 1 in The Associated Press state 4-A poll since the beginning of the 2001 season, became the first team to win seven straight state championships in North Carolina.

 

For a football program that almost graduated two full cycles of high schoolers who never knew defeat, I can’t imagine it has gone over very well. I have a feeling they’ll be back on track soon and working hard to secure their eighth state championship.

 

This reminded me of another team that got noticed for ending another impressive streak—but on the other end of the spectrum. Last winter, Caltech’s basketball team beat an NCAA Division III school for the first time in more than a decade, ending a 207-game losing streak by beating Bard College 81-52. The Beavers, hadn't beaten a fellow Division III school since the 1995-96 season.

 

Check out all the latest high school football news, results and rankings at FootballPower.tv

1,409 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: football, trish-oberhaus, winning-streak, football-power

60 Seconds To Stronger Abs

Posted by Trish18 Sep 20, 2007

(Another great sports tip from guest blogger Jon Doyle of Baseball Training)

 

Here's a simple exercise you can do just about anywhereeven watching TVthat will strengthen your abs, and your entire core, in no time.

 

It's called the Plank and it's pictured here:

 

 

Simply hold your body off the ground and only your arms and toes are touching the ground. Be sure to keep your body parallel with the ground and do not let those hips sag. Pull your belly button in towards your spine to maintain a tight core.

 

Try to hold for at least 30 seconds and work your way all the way up to 60 seconds. Then you can try to get up to two full minutes.

 

(Jon Doyle is a former NCAA All-American baseball player who now works as strength and conditioning specialist. For more tips check out www.baseballtrainingsecrets.com)

1,630 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: training, baseball, jon-doyle, plank
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