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Elements of Athleticism - Page 2

post #31 of 120
Thread Starter 
kinda see where it might go
Let me guess. The best athletes in horse racing are the horses.
post #32 of 120
Originally posted by ryan:
i am noting also that jockeys, like bullriders and skiers pretty much RIDE things; they are not self-propelled.
True, but skis, unlike bulls and horses, don't have a mind of their own. Yeah, I know sometimes it seems like they do [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #33 of 120
Thread Starter 
Ryan, To me the thrill is the chase, not the kill. I am a bit like a dog who likes chasing cars. What would I do if I ever caught it?

I suppose finding the most athletic sport is sort of like finding the most pregnant expectant mother. All sports are athletic and all expectant mothers are pregnant. The rest is a matter of your prejudices as to who or what is the most, what criteria you choose to validate, etc. Is a woman carrying triplets in her second trimester more pregnant than a woman in her third trimester with a single fetus? Yikes. I see what you mean.

Still, I think skiers are not unlike jockeys. Some skiers are like saddle bronc riders, but that's another story. What I see as similar and notable is the unity between the horse and rider in the purpose (win the race) and the art of negotiation, how a good rider "crafts" (as Hillenbrand says) a race, doesn't just ride it but paces energy, manages the line, stays with the horse while guiding it through all the major direction changes and minor adjustments. Then there's the slightly different art of negotiation in which the rider has to work with the horse to do it, has to feel the ground through horse, just like a skier has to feel like he's barefoot through layers of plastic and laminated wood--to communicate with the ride, to know how to ask for something (this offer will get that desired response).

With that in mind, of course I think that jockeys are the most accomplished of all athletes (pound for pound) in major sports, because that allows the possibility that skiers are the most accomplished athletes in minor sports.

I will say this: in the adult U.S. population, fitness-wise, skiers are like racehorses.
post #34 of 120
I'll take Cat Juggling for $500, Alex.
post #35 of 120
thanks, nolo. i have nothing against open-ended questions, or asking just to ask, but i am curious about your thoughts on some of the topics you bring up.

btw, i'd agree that COMPETITION LEVEL skiers are kinda like racehorses. but i see too many joe sixpack sluggos on the hill to put the average recreational skier in that category.
not to quibble.

[ September 17, 2003, 03:34 PM: Message edited by: ryan ]
post #36 of 120

you obviously never have played lacrosse. I have played almost every major sport in the USA, and lacrosse is the most difficult to master. alpine skiing? not in the race, sorry. the movements are not nearly as complex, and there's no teamwork aspect that requires intellect, fast situational analysis, and choice WITH RESPECT TO ANOTHER FELLOW PLAYER.

speed and power aren't athleticism. they mean nothing without balance and coordination. of course, if you think the big ball sports (football, basketball) are the ultimate test of athleticism, you'll think speed and power are all there is.

ANYONE can be a good football player with sufficient power and speed.

not so in lacrosse, soccer, ice hockey

and a horse jockey?

give me a break. that's like saying NASCAR drivers are athletes. the "conventional wisdom" here is crap. sorta the same type of "wisdom" that elected Dubya Bush in 2000.

[ September 17, 2003, 03:39 PM: Message edited by: gonzostrike ]
post #37 of 120
Originally posted by gonzostrike:
coach, no offense intended, but FOOTBALL PLAYERS?

come on. brute strength takes one MUCH FARTHER in football than any other trait.

when in college, I played lacrosse against Slippery Rock State College. 3/4 of their team were football players who played lax just to stay in shape. needless to say, they had no stick handling skills, and relied solely on hitting hard to win games. they could beat unskilled stick handlers fairly easily, but against any lax players with a modicum of skill, they were a laughingstock.

those old "SUPERSTARS" comps were designed for football and baseball players. ever notice how they didn't have to do much in the arena of hand-eye coordination?

I'm even tempted to argue that ice hockey players are the best ovrerall athletes. skating is way harder than running. but handling a puck is way easier than cradling a ball in a lax stick.
So Gonzo,
where did you go to school to play Slippery Rock in Lax? I went to school at the Rock in the early 90's and find it rare to see people that have ever heard of it. At that time, the Laccross team was a bunch of drunks who played in high school, just like us on the Rugby team.
post #38 of 120
I'm gonna have to agree with Gonzo. Lacrosse rules.
post #39 of 120

I went to Wheeling College (Wheeling WV) from 1981-1985. We played the Rock all 4 years. Most years the team were as you described. Fun to party with after the game, but not too hard to beat. Good guys despite their spearheaded hit techniques.

post #40 of 120

from http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/Dugout/8973/

Men's Superstars®
1973 - Bob Seagren, Pole Vault
1974 - Kyle Rote, Jr., Soccer
1975 - O.J. Simpson, Football
1976 - Kyle Rote, Jr., Soccer
1977 - Kyle Rote, Jr., Soccer
1978 - Wayne Grimditch, Water Skiing
1979 - Greg Pruitt, Football
1980 - Charles White, Football
1981 - Renaldo Nehimiah, Hurdles
1982 - Renaldo Nehimiah, Hurdles
1983 - Renaldo Nehimiah, Hurdles
1984 - Tom Petranoff, Javelin
1985 - Mark Gastineau, Football
1986 - Renaldo Nehimiah, Football
1987 - Herschel Walker, Football
1988 - Herschel Walker, Football
1989 - Willie Gault, Football
1990 - Willie Gault, Football
1991 - Kelly Gruber, Baseball
1992 - Mike Powell, Long Jump
1993 - Dave Johnson, Decathlon
1994 - Dave Johnson, Decathlon
1998 - Jason Sehron, Football
1999 - Jason Sehorn, Football
2000 - Jason Sehorn, Football
2001 - Hermann Maier, Alpine Skiing Alberto Tomba was second
2002 - Bode Miller, Alpine Skiing Johnny Mosely was second
2003 - Jeremy Bloom, Freestyle Skiing

1973 British Superstars® - David Hemery, Hurdles
1974 British Superstars® - John Conteh, Boxing
1979 British Superstars® - Brian Jacks, Judo
1980 British Superstars® - Brian Jacks, Judo
1975 European Superstars® - Kjell Isaksson, SWE - Pole Vault
1979 European Superstars® - Brian Jacks, GBR - Judo
1980 European Superstars® - Brian Jacks, GBR - Judo
1978 Irish Superstars - Pat Spillane, Gaelic Football
1979 Irish Superstars - Bernard Brogan, Gaelic Football
1980 Irish Superstars - Declan Burns, Kayaking
1981 Irish Superstars - Gerry Loftus, Trampolining
1996 Swedish Superstars® - Ingemar Stenmark - Alpine Skiing******
1997 Swedish Superstars® - Mattias Sunneborn - Long Jump
1998 Swedish Superstars® - Thomas Ahlsgard, NOR - Nordic Skiing**
1978 Canadian Superstars® - Brian Budd - Soccer
1979 Canadian Superstars® - Brian Budd - Soccer
1980 Canadian Superstars® - Brian Budd - Soccer
1981 Canadian Superstars® - Gaetan Boucher - Speed Skating
2000 Candian Superstars® - Travis Moore - Football
2002 British Superstars® - Austin Healey - Rugby

World Superstars®
1977 - Bob Seagren, USA - Pole Vault
1978 - Brian Budd, CAN - Soccer
1979 - Brian Budd, CAN - Soccer
1980 - Brian Budd, CAN - Soccer
1981 - Jody Sheckter, RSA - Auto Racing *********************
1982 - Brian Hooper, GBR - Pole Vault

Women's Superstars®
1975 - Mary Jo Peppler, Volleyball
1976 - Anne Henning, Speed Skating
1977 - Anne Henning, Speed Skating
1978 - Anne Henning, Speed Skating
1979 - Linda Fernandez, Volleyball
1980 - Linda Fernandez, Volleyball
1981 - Ann Meyers, Basketball
1982 - Ann Meyers, Basketball
1983 - Ann Meyers, Basketball
1984 - Nancy Lieberman, Basketball
post #41 of 120
Originally posted by gonzostrike:
coach, no offense intended, but FOOTBALL PLAYERS?

come on. brute strength takes one MUCH FARTHER in football than any other trait.

I agree with you...almost. That's why I specified the positions. I agree that brute strength doesn't make someone athletic, as a stand alone factor. If that was the case, I'd have said Power Lifters. I zeroed in on the corners, safeties, and linebackers because they combine brute strength with size, speed, quickness, agility, fearlessness, and the ability to react and turn on a dime. My college linebacker coach had a poster that, in my opinion, described that position pretty well as follows:


As smart as a Quarterback,
As strong as a Lineman,
As fast as a Running Back,
And as crazy as a Shit House Rat.

As to lacrosse players, the good one are very athletic and if you were just comparing sport to sport as a whole, I may would agree with you. I played at the Univ. of MD in the late 70's and early 80's when MD and John Hopkins were year in and year out the top lacrosse teams in the country. We lived in the same athletic dorms and knew most of their players pretty well and there's no question they were athletic. In fact, this point was debated on a regular basis over beers. But, in terms of the positions I cited, they conceded that these football players were as athletic as them, and exceeded them in terms of size and strength.
post #42 of 120
Originally posted by gonzostrike:

ANYONE can be a good football player with sufficient power and speed.


This was obviously said in the heat of the moment. You're a pretty bright guy and we usually agree, but this is a pretty silly statement.
post #43 of 120
That is kind of a silly statement.
Basketball players are some pretty damn good athletes by my criteria.... I'm talking mainly about guards, not 7 footers who succeed mainly on size.
Generally, if you take a guy that is a good basketball player, chances are good that he (or she) would be good at any other sport they concentrated on.
Ya think Iverson would be any good at Lacrosse? I have a feeling he would.
You think Jordan could have been one of the best wideouts ever? I do.
And I guarantee Karl Malone would be a SCARY linebacker.
post #44 of 120
I gotta go with Gonz on this one, Hockey/Lacrosse.
post #45 of 120
post #46 of 120
Thread Starter 

You were remarkably short-winded on that one. Are you saying that the elite in any sport epitomize the elements of athleticism, and to compare one against the other is meaningless and misleading?

Well, right on! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #47 of 120
I think he's recommending Wheaties.
post #48 of 120
Using the criteria I was using above... (would an athlete be good at another sport?) I would agree that Lacrosse players are good athletes. Hockey players...... not so much. I live in a big time hockey area, and hockey players seem to be good at one sport. Hockey.
I'm not saying they aren't athletic, but using that criteria, they don't match up as well with other sports.
post #49 of 120
I think the most important aspects of athleticism are (in no particular order) hand-eye coordination; foot speed; quickness (some athletes do not have great foot speed, but have great quickness); field awareness; peripheral vision; strength; intelligence. That being said, I think that the greatest athletes in the world, as a group, are NFL defensive backs. One play they're running down the field covering a fleet wide receiver (probably a former world-class sprinter); the next play they come up to make the tackle on a 225 pound running back. They generally possess all the above in absurd quantities. Though I guess you do have to question their intelligence sometimes.
post #50 of 120
Fencers [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #51 of 120

You are right I never played lacrosse. However, I have participated in many sports and have competed in several as well. We probably have a different definition of athletic, that is all. My definition of athleticism includes generic characteristics only: strength, speed, stamina, agility, explosive strength. No specific skills, no teamwork, no coordination/balance with any gadgets.

This is the only way you can compare athletes from different sports. The Superstars competition included tennis, bowling, golf, swimming, etc, which was questionable. Those who had the skills, could make easy points in these events. I still wonder which part of golf/bowling is the athletic part. Tennis certainly requires athleticism, but it also requires specific skills. Hence, my reasoning behind my definition of athleticism.
post #52 of 120
Thread Starter 
I still wonder which part of golf/bowling is the athletic part.
Banking the winnings is considered a form of heavy lifting.
post #53 of 120
Isn't Lacrosse was one of those sports you played if you couldn't make the football or baseball team. Kind of like the guys who play rugby in US colleges. Club sports guys. Theres a whole world of difference between them and NCAA Division 1 football players. Our ski team used to play soccer against our Football team. We would kill them. We were so much more agile. But that was a bunch of Nor-AM and FIS level ski racers playing a bunch of NCAA Division 2 football players. One of the football players was a guy who played safety on a Division 1 team. That's a whole different level of Athlete. He was faster and stronger than us.

Gonzo you said "those old "SUPERSTARS" comps were designed for football and baseball players. ever notice how they didn't have to do much in the arena of hand-eye coordination?"
Does this mean you don't think baseball requires hand-eye coordination? Does this mean it's really easy to hit a major league curveball? Dude baseball players epsecially infielders have great hand-eye coordination and awareness of where their body is in space.
post #54 of 120
lord, deliver me from those who can't grasp the obvious! :

TomB, you just described genetic traits. That's not athletecism. Athletecism is adaptability of skills that demonstrate coordination, body awareness, and play field/pitch/slope awareness.

It would be quite easy to be an outstanding athlete who, because of body size and strength, would NEVER be able to play NFL pro football.

If you ask me, body size and strength should be rated on a handicap scale... it's an advantage in the big neandertal sports.

Nord, that idea about lax is not even funny. Lacrosse is infinitely more complex than football, more fluid, no "downs" that give rest. Someone who -- like me -- is not big enough to play football, or during HS wasn't big enough to play football, isn't going to play collegiate football. So that makes him/her a poor athlete? Fer pete's sake, you're not a wide-ranger are you?
post #55 of 120
"Infinitely more complex?"
Gonzo, you don't follow football much do you? I'm not saying that Lacrosse isn't complex.... I don't know enough about it, but your statement was quite a stretch.

Here's an idea... teach Deion Sanders how to play Lacrosse. He'll be head and shoulders above most players in a pretty short period of time. Not a big fan of the guy, but you gotta admit, he's an awesome athlete.
Football player..... defensive back. Not a bad baseball player either.
post #56 of 120
Infinitely more complex isn't that much of a stretch. The real complexity of football lies in the strategies of the offensive and devensive coordinators. The rest is pretty much cookie cutter for the players. For example, they know exactly which route to run, who to guard, where to guard, etc. Lacrosse requires much more adaptability. I consider that to be part of athleticism. No, I don't think that Deion Sanders would be good at lacrosse. Put him on defense. Lacrosse has more dodges, fakes, etc. that isn't incorporated into football. Offense. He simply wouldn't have the stick skills. Middie. Same reasons. Goalie. Ha, I'd like to see him stop a 100 mph shot. No, I don't think that Allen Iverson would be good at it either. Too much hand-eye coordination involving a ball that is way smaller than a basketball, and moves so much faster.
post #57 of 120
Too much hand eye coordination involving a ball smaller than a basketball? I think coordination is coordination, an athlete is an athlete.
So are you saying a top athlete like Sanders or Iverson are somehow incapable of learning the skills to play lacrosse? And their speed, quickness, agility and coordination wouldn't be an asset?
I want to meet some of these superstar lacrosse players. If they are truly as athletic as you guys are making them out to be, they could easily make a transition to the NBA or NFL. Do you know what an NFL DB makes? Thats a damn good job.

And don't play the "not big or strong enough" card. A lot of cornerbacks are 5'8" 175
post #58 of 120
Gotta be Craig Stadler . Any over weight, two legged Walrus that can win a Champions (Senior) tour major then turn around a few weeks later and whip the young bucks on the PGA Tour proves it ain't the packaging it's the contents. [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]

Maybe there is hope for me yet!!!
post #59 of 120
Have a look at some REAL football... then tell us how athletic your silly footballers are...

Can they jump onto someones(usually the opponent's) shoulders & THEN catch a ball & control it as they hit the ground?

Tell em to take of all that padding & try a REAL game...

post #60 of 120
I agree with dirtnsnow, Deion Sanders wouldn't make a great lacrosse player if he started now. (Remember Michael Jordan's baseball career.) There is too much sport specific skill involved. A lot of the sports specific skills have to be learned at a young age while the bodys motor skills are developing to excel at a sport. However,Deion would be the fastest most agile person on the field. If he had started playing Lacrosse at a young age with a good coach/team he probably would be in the Lacrosse record books. But you get a lot more money, status and hot chicks if you play a popular sport like football, baseball, basketball or hockey. So the best athletes gravitate to these sports.
For example,
The best soccer player on our high school team, switched to place kicker for our football team so he could get a college scholarship for football.

I knew a ski racing family where the daughter and older brother ski raced on College teams. The younger brother, the best racer of the three, played hockey in college.

If you were bigger would you have played high school football instead of Lacrosse? You could have been dating that cheerleader!
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