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Elements of Athleticism - Page 3

post #61 of 120
Alright, I vote for Modern Pentathalon. Seriously.
post #62 of 120
kind of drifting off the original course-but like mr gonzo, having played most of the major sports-(including some lacrosse-can't escape it in central new york) baseball is the most difficult sport-especially hitting a baseball-look what happened to michael jordan when he tried it-there seem to be a lot of multi sport PRO athletes that couldn't hack it in baseball (mainly because they couldn't hit) and do quite well in other PRO sports-the skills you need to really succeed in baseball are more varied (imho) than in the other major sports-lots of quick burst, exposive type speed-hand eye coordination-for hitting and fielding-throwing for distance and acurracy(sp?)-knowing what to do and when to do it-keeping your head in the game if you're the right fielder and nothing's come your way for eight innings

[ September 19, 2003, 05:51 AM: Message edited by: BG ]
post #63 of 120
You nailed my point about Deion exactly. And you are right about Jordan's baseball career. But what if Jordan would have concentrated on baseball his whole life? An athlete like him would have dominated. He had all the physical skills to excel. You are very right about game specific "skills."
You're right, those Aussie footballer's are TOUGH, and great athletes. You're on the right page!
post #64 of 120
Originally posted by U.P. Racer:

You're right, those Aussie footballer's are TOUGH, and great athletes. You're on the right page!
No just like looking at mens legs
post #65 of 120
Speaking of athleticism....huh...skill..I mean athleticism...I mean skill...I mean...ah crap just watch...

post #66 of 120
Is that real?
post #67 of 120
U.P. Racer-jordan probably would never have been able to hit at the major league level-his arms are too long. A physical trait of many great hitters is short arms (relative to the rest of their body)
post #68 of 120
poppycock. richie sexson does fine, as did frank howard and a long-limbed guy named ted williams. BG, don't go gettin' all Al Campanis on me here.

simple fact is, jordan couldn't handle AA pitching. he was smoked by mediocre fastballs and adding breaking balls to that sealed the deal. gallant effort by a phenomenal athlete but he flatout picked the right sport in basketball.

had he devoted himself to baseball from a young age, he'd've developed into an outfielder with good wheels, an average arm at best, and might've hit .230, which would've meant a short (as in VERY) career. (but before it was over, he'd've turned a lot of bats into splinters for firewood.)

i'm biased but i do think hitting major league pitching is a pretty impressive trick; you just don't appreciate the difficulty of it when watching on TV. having said that, i'd never even hint that major league baseball players epitomize any exceptional athleticism, certainly not as group.
i'd put basketball players before them.

edit: i DO think jordan, by the way, is without doubt one of the more amazing athletes of our generation. that he did as well as he did in minor league ball, with that late start, speaks volumes. doesn't stop at over-the-top athleticism, either; he's a damn good golfer, too, a testament to fine-tuned hand-eye and motor skills.

[ September 19, 2003, 07:37 AM: Message edited by: ryan ]
post #69 of 120
Amazingly enough that is real...but this.....

post #70 of 120

Do you really think we cannot grasp what you are saying? [img]smile.gif[/img]

Of course I describe genetic traits. My point is that they are common (or generic) for purposes of comparison. Lacrosse players may be athletic (relative to many other sports), but your insistance that they are the best athletes because of the game itself is only one opinion.

We simply disagree.
post #71 of 120
Ryan-look at Richie Sexson's arms relative to the rest of his body-disproportionatly short-just cause you're tall doesn't mean your arms are proportionatly long too-and I didn't say "all great hitters" I said "many great hitters" there's always exceptions-
as far as athleticism-the fat slob baseball player is becoming a thing of the past-take a look at some of the stars today-ARod, Vlad Guerrero, Soriano, Bonds, Torii Hunter, Pujols, Delgado, Vernon Wells, Troy Glaus etc-those guys could probably excel at any sport
post #72 of 120

kindasorta givin' ya a hard time. i think we probably basically agree. and yes, i know you were generalizing. just adding a little counterpoint to your (good) point.

also, not so much limb length as the musculature from, say, the elbows to the fingertips. the better hitters, certainly the power hitters, are as strong in their forearms an any athletes.

i hear whatcher sayin'. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

last on this BG - don't wanna derail this into baseball chatter - but yes, look at tapes of baseball games from as recently as 10 years ago. today's players are MUCH bigger and considerably stronger.

(also, look at pictures of sosa and bonds when they broke in, and compare them to how they look today. they've each added at least 20 pounds of sheer rock.)


[ September 19, 2003, 07:45 AM: Message edited by: ryan ]
post #73 of 120
I suspect Herman Maier, especially given his (ceremonial) participation in this past Tour de France (pre-running a time trial), ranks up with the better athletes. Heck, a lot of those guys, some of whom (Eberharter, too) are just beasts.
Bode Miller teaches Tennis in the off-season (and I've seen some info on his workouts; rather impressive). Daron Rahlves was a champion jet ski competitor, and has some motocross experience, as well, I believe.

I think it may get back to Bob's one word summation.

[ September 19, 2003, 07:55 AM: Message edited by: ryan ]
post #74 of 120
Originally posted by U.P. Racer:
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
Oh my god. you really are overwhelmed by what "they" say about athletics, aren't you?

You probably never have played seriously any small-ball or no-hands game like lacrosse or soccer. In fact, I'm willing to bet you haven't. You'd realize that size and strength are vastly different from athleticism.

5'8" 175 is MUCH stockier than I am. I dare you to find someone playing a field position at 5'10" 160lbs WHO WAS 5'8" 125 lbs in high school.

The majority of top pro basketball players would be lost on a lax field.

And as to football's complexity, you really ought to take off your blinders caused by a lifetime of following pro or collegiate football as if it were the most important game ever. A big and strong person can excel in football with minimal coaching.

A big and strong person hasn't even reached square 1 in lacrosse.
post #75 of 120
wait a minute, BG...

baseball is much easier to master at a level of competence that makes you competitive with your peers.

growing up I played the following sports:

baseball - 2d grade through 7th grade
football - 2d grade through 7th grade
basketball - 10th grade through 12th grade
soccer - 4th grade through 9th grade; 1 yr college varsity
golf - high school & college teams
lacrosse - college and grad school, some summer league

yes, I consider being in college "growing up"

In baseball was a good infielder and average hitter, with strong fast accurate throws... good enough to play all-stars every year.

In football I was a decent running back and linebacker.

In basketball I was a decent guard

In soccer I was a striker until college, then a sweeper back in college.

In lacrosse I was a defenseman 1st year, then middie after that.

Easiest to learn? football. duh.

hardest individual skill learned: hitting a curving fastball.

hardest combination of skills: lacrosse. take all the running and cutting of soccer, football or hockey, then add the difficulty of cradling a ball in a stick that a defender is constantly swatting and poking, while looking for teammates to pass to or holes to charge, while committing various dodges.

for god's sake, it's INFINITELY more complex. and to be good at it, you have to be an excellent all-around athlete. power and speed can be an advantage only if you have the rest of the package. most players don't, and so their power and speed are patches that cover weaknesses in their game.
post #76 of 120
Hey, what about dogwalkers and cat wranglers?
post #77 of 120
Originally posted by dirtnsnow:
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.

This whole discussion has actually gotten pretty funny to watch take place. I think the obvious answer is that to play any sport at a high level you have to be pretty athletic. Some of these athletic attributes carry over to other sports and some don't. Are size and speed an advantage? You're damn right they are. The oldest saying you'll ever hear from coaches is, "you can't teach size and speed." As to professional athletes, the average person can't even fathom how talented and athletic these guys are. Simply put, they're freaks of nature in terms of size, speed, and athleticism.

dirtnsnow...I didn't save the quote above just because you're wrong. You are, but really that's the opinion of most people who's exposure to the game is from the fans perspective or have played only up to through the High School level or below...and they're wrong too. I could set here for hours and give you examples of how a pro or college defense has to "read" what the offense is doing and react accordingly or how the offense has do to the same thing in reverse. As to pass coverage, a protection scheme is called from the sideline and as the play developes the defensive backs and linebackers "read the offense and adjust the coverage accordingly. They NEVER know who they are going to guard until the play starts when the ball is snapped and the play starts to develope. The only exception is when a player is in "Man" coverage. This is really run very little because it's so easy to beat. On the offensive side of the ball, it's much the same. There are primary pass patterns called, but they're typically adjusted or changed as the play devlopes depending on what the defense is doing. These are the simplest examples. but it should give you an idea of what's actually going on out on the field every play. The complexity is in reading the offense or the defense on the fly. Breakdowns in a play occur when teammates read a play differently. Dirt, I'm certainly not trying to give you a hard time, I'm just trying to clear up an uninformed opinion that many people have.

Gonzo...I agree without question that, all other things/factors being equal, size and speed is a great advantage. But there are thousands of big, fast, strong guys who couldn't make the NFL because they didn't have the talent to do so. Hell, I was one of them. The average person has no idea what NFL players can do and how athletic they are.
post #78 of 120
I'll suggest a new sport and everyone will be like eeewhhh, blahh blahh.... Who cares! Everyones so focused on braging rights these days, identifying themselves as so and so athletes. I dont give a dime, I just want to improve @ what I do!
post #79 of 120
so right about a fan's perspective. My dad was a football coach, I played in High school, (not college though, not big or strong enough ), and I have an intimate knowledge of all the reads, blocking schemes, stunts, traps, formations, etc. I was thinking the same thing you wrote, but didn't think it was worth getting into. I'm sure Gonzo has the same intimate knowledge of the complexity of Lacrosse. Which is MORE complex? Who cares? But to oversimplify the game of football to a bunch of big, strong guys is utterly ridiculous.
post #80 of 120
Bass fishermen. And women. Bill Dance is the MAN.

But, before I forget...
Kindergarten, I snatched 45 flies out of the air in 10 seconds.
Fifth grade, I outran the wind. (BOring!)
Seventh grade, I swam the English channel, manacled and blindfolded.
10th grade, I bench-pressed Alaska. (You must've heard about it.)
Sophomore year in college, I jumped to the moon and bit off the biggest chunk of cheese ever consumed at one sitting.
Junior year, I played and beat all the ping pong players China could throw at me, after I'd dug a hole in my backyard to tunnel my way there. In one day. They never scored a point.
The year after graduation, I took some time off and, for kicks, leaped every skyscraper in New York and Chicago in a single bound.
I'm too modest to continue with my myriad other exploits.

[ September 19, 2003, 12:31 PM: Message edited by: ryan ]
post #81 of 120
Genetics, interest and training specialization can yield wonderful "Specimens". It would be hard to extract "the most athletic" without placing severe limits on the specialists.

Cyclist are perhaps the most efficient. Distance runners as well. Just don't bump into them.
Jockeys can hardly be in the running due to the short duration of thier performance. Tough to be sure, but..... Tough like a prize fighter?
Any activity that is composed of non active intervals (American sports, football, baseball basketball, etc. require less "energy management" than I would befit one who was named "Most athletic". Sports that offer "line changes" and substitutions, are questionable, though the players still need to be in fine condition to be competitive.

Swimmers fall somewhere I just don't understand, how can so much energy be expended without visible strength? puzzle and query?. Water polo ?? anyone.

Continuous action sports demand much of the participants.

Now, if the continuous activity requires a wide variety of motions, speed, endurance, bursts of "extra" effort, jumping, opponents, tactics, possible impact, and personal skills of some type other than "just running",

Hmmmm... now you have "a player"!

Cardio wise, it has been soccer or motocross , pick one ( two 45 minute sessions without stoppage of action)


post #82 of 120
Originally posted by CalG:
Swimmers fall somewhere I just don't understand, how can so much energy be expended without visible strength?
I guess as a swimmer I don't understand what you mean. Are you saying swimmers don't "look strong?" If so, I've got to disagree. I think swimmers tend to have a slightly higher body fat pct. than distance runners or cyclists, but that's only because otherwise we'd expend too much energy trying to stay bouyant.
post #83 of 120
NOLO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU did this.
post #84 of 120
Kinda makes you long for discussions on "Clean carved Round Short Turns."
post #85 of 120
SkiKing, As I said, "I don't understand swimming" Certainly J Wismueller(SP) was an athlete. You just don't hear of swimmers in many of the "maid for sensationalism" he-person competitions.

Ry. In acknowledgement of this being "national talk like a pirate day" Arrrrrgggghhhh!

post #86 of 120
Originally posted by gonzostrike:

growing up I played the following sports:

football - 2d grade through 7th grade....
...Easiest to learn? football. duh....
....for god's sake, it's INFINITELY more complex.
I have to apologize, Gonzo. You are absolutely correct. Lacrosse is infinitely more complex than elementary school football.
post #87 of 120
the interesting thing is that you can be a great "athlete" and not be that great at your specific sport-or you can be not considered that great an athlete-and be a star. look at Emmitt Smith-too small, too slow, but the leading rusher in nfl history. Jerry Rice wasn't that highly-regarded coming out of college. and there are different levels of athleticism in each sport, too. in football, I'd say the best "athletes" are probably d-backs and wide receivers-but quarterbacks are often the best-all around competitors in other sports. In baseball-probably middle infielders and outfielders are the best athletes-but lots of times pitchers are the best golfers or basketball players on the team.
post #88 of 120
Ryan. Was it difficult to maintain regularity after consuming all that cheese? [img]tongue.gif[/img]

Spag :
post #89 of 120
the perils of growing up in America, with its bizarre emphasis on games that highly reward speed and strength... commentators always laud strength and speed, so vieweres begin to think they're all that matters.

you can't teach speed and strength? seriously limited view there. plyometrics improve speed and power, weight training improves power, sprints improve speed. strength is easily improved with plyometrics and weight training.

how quickly does the player adapt? that's the measure of athleticism. and again, I DO know how fast & strong pro football players are. I just don't think fast and strong is all that big a deal. I guess that's because I grew up a small kid and always looked for sports that didn't require brute strength and size (I always had speed).

It's laughable that so many people think strength and speed are subsitutes for real athletic ability. what meatheads!
post #90 of 120
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