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Archive for category basketball

You Won’t Believe Some Of These

I am almost speechless after watching this People Are Awesome 2013 video. There are athletic stunts and achievements here I have never even heard of, and many are clearly somewhat established “sports.” It also reminds me how nuts some people are to take these risks…like walking a tightrope between two moving trucks about to enter two different tunnels. Still can’t believe that is for real.

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Two-Year-Old Basketball Whiz Inspires Me To Practice

This video looks like it’s for real. Quite amazing to see a two-year-old on his way to becoming a basketball star. A feel-good video that reminds me how one can improve with hours/years of practice. Especially if your technique is good.

Tomorrow I am going to play in two doubles matches: my usual Wednesday morning game and filling in as a needed fourth in the afternoon. I can’t wait to try out my new serve. I saw a pro squash match at NYC’s Harvard Club in which the player changed his grip for forehand and backhand…you are supposed to keep the same grip in squash. What he did on the back hand is move closer to the racket head (away from the butt of the handle). I tried it, and it gave me more control and power and hits in the sweet spot. At a squash clinic, I learned that most pros do NOT change, but most DO choke up more on the handle. So I am doing that in tennis.

Still frustrated that my serve lacks power, I practiced after yesterday’s match to fall on the ball more and into the court…even though my current coach said I should jump UP, rather than forward. Just as if I was shooting a basketball. Well choking and falling forward made an enormous difference. I practiced for an hour and can’t wait to see tomorrow if I can duplicate those serves under the pressure of a game. Very exciting.

Now if I’d just started all of this when I was two or three, I might be a champion…

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Marc Sokolik Keeps On Winning Medals

softball throw

Marc Sokolik has done it again. In his latest St. Louis, Memorial Day, Senior Olympics competition, with 1800 competitors, he placed sixth or better in all 11 events he entered: four golds, two bronzes, one fourth, two fifths, two sixths. I love the different events he competes in. I mean this guy is 71 years old. I bet he could beat many people half his age! You can read about him and his earlier achievements by typing his name in the search box above right.

BENCH PRESS GOLD MEDAL…145 LB
SOCCER KICK GOLD MEDAL…6 OUT OF TEN KICKS
FOOTBALL ACCURACY GOLD MEDAL…51 POINTS
BASKETBALL AROUND THE WORLD GOLD MEDAL…11 OUT OF 15 SHOTS
SHOT PUT BRONZE MEDAL…30′ 10″
FOOTBALL FOR DISTANCE BRONZE MEDAL…33 YARDS
FOOTBALL PUNT FOR DISTANCE 4TH PLACE…33 YARDS
BASKETBALL FREE THROWS… 5TH PLACE
SOFTBALL DISTANCE…5TH PLACE 112′
SOFTBALL ACCURACY…6TH PLACE
FOOTBALL KICKOFF FOR DISTANCE 6TH PLACE

football accuracy

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How Some Old Dudes Stay In Shape And Top The Kids

Marc Sokolik sent me this amusing video that is not only entertaining but shows impressive sports skills by a really old guy. You’d never guess he was so limber. Watch the video to the end to see how he stays in shape, so he can remain so talented. Reminds me of a capoeira master I admired in Brazil—in his 60’s or 70’s, and he could still play with the kids.

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Larry Bird’s Unbelievable Basketball Skills And Dexterity

Here is another video and comment by Joe Marshall about a professional player who can inspire us all. What impresses me so much is the same skill I observed in the previous Santoro video from Joe posted two days ago—the ability to anticipate where the ball is going to be in the future. This may just be an instinct that you either have or your don’t. But I can see in my own tennis game that I begin to sense where certain people I play with repeatedly are going to put the ball. It takes a bit of courage to commit to going there before even the opponent knows what he/she is going to do. But it makes all the difference.

Even if you have no interest in basketball, go to 3:00 in this video and watch an astonishing anticipatory Bird steal of the ball.

Larry Bird, one of the all time greats in his sport. He dreamed the game.

No one was more creative, no one hustled more, no one did as much with relatively limited gifts (couldn’t jump, couldn’t run). But he was tall enough to be a great player, he had great hand-eye, amazing anticipation, the best pattern-recognition, and a genius basketball mind.

I don’t follow basketball that closely, but Larry was an exception….he reinvented the game.

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Basketballer Jordan McCabe May OutDribble The Other Jordan

What’s amazing about this latest Jordan is that he is only 12 years old! Obviously he has been practicing, training and playing since he was practically out of diapers. He actually had basketballs in his crib. Then his grandfather and father started teaching him when he was five, and he continues to practice two hours each day. He is clearly a great talent with stupendous potential. How do you explain this kind of ability? Is it mostly in the genes? Or could many other people be this capable if they had received his early instruction and drilling? What do you think?

Here he is on the Ellen deGeneris Show:

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Think Positive

I want to explore what it means to be positive…in Life, and especially when one is playing sports. The other day at tennis, I was discouraged, because my partner and I were losing 2 games to 5. Then Frank said to, “Think positive.”

His words reminded me of my father, who had been president of the Miami Beach Optimist’s Club. I was raised hearing constantly about the importance of good thoughts, how they really influenced your behavior, your actions and the results. If faith can move mountains, if visualization helps you reach your goals, certainly there might be power in positive thinking.

So Frank and I came back to win 7-5. And the next set, when we were behind 1-4, we “got” positive again and achieved another victory from behind.

I am always hearing how so much of competitive sports is based on confidence, on self-belief, on the player’s attitude. But I always wondered how you get a good attitude and acquire all that confidence? Don’t you have to have the success first, and then again and again, and then that gives you the confidence and good attitude? I asked the same questions about some of my successes in life—I often had the upbeat attitude—and the best answer I worked out was that I was just lucky. I acquired some of that attitude from genetics and the rest from favorable upbringing or life experiences.

When people say “Relax” or “Stay calm” in stressful situations, I am not sure that really works. Read the rest of this entry »

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Josh Sobel Eats Scorpions, Snakes And Sea Horses While Getting Fitter And Losing 20 Pounds

To put it simple, I felt like shit when I got up in the morning. My back ached, my legs hurt and my body didn’t feel like it belonged to a 21-year-old. After I reflected the obvious, I concluded that being overweight and out of shape would become a thing of the past! I had never been on a diet, and I knew that it would be hard to change my eating habits, but I was committed to feeling healthier. That’s how it started. After talking with some friends, some of whom were personal trainers, I was told that the most important thing would be transforming from ‘Static Josh’ into ‘Active Josh.’

Static Josh—1/09

Static Josh—1/09

I started simple: I changed my eating habits and started exercising. I became a man of habit. I tried to eat the same meals over and over again, and made it a point to exercise every day. My diet was boring, and I struggled to stick with it, but I started feeling better after Day One. Every morning I started the day with an egg white sandwich, followed by some turkey and salad for lunch, and had fish or chicken for dinner. I would often allow myself to cheat and have something sweet at the end of the night; I don’t think I would have been able to live if I
didn’t.

Active Josh 20 pounds lighter—8/09

Active Josh 20 pounds lighter—8/09

The diet wasn’t that hard to stick to. After I was able to shake my diet-coke habit (aspartame is highly addictive), no one could stop me. I began climbing the stairs of my 17-floor apartment building and playing basketball in the park. I recalled how well I used to play basketball as a kid, but when I tried to play this summer, I realized how out of shape I was. A game to 11 would leave me gasping and limping for water. Fortunately, I had my roommates who would soon double as my personal trainer and nutritionist. Read the rest of this entry »

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