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About BlitzkriegBob

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  1. BlitzkriegBob

    Bad Sportsmanship

    I umpire high school (NFHS), ASA, and Little League softball, and also officiate high school volleyball. In neither of those sports is it the responsibility of the game officials to control crowd behavior. For high school sports, that responsibility falls on the site administration (for other sports as well as softball and volleyball), and for ASA or Little League the responsibility rests with the League Adminstration. The umpires are in control of what happens within the confines of the fences during a softball game, but we are not and should not be responsible for what happens outside the fences. When I was strictly doing Little League baseball (coaching and umpiring), there was always a board member who was designated "Duty Officer" who kept their eyes and ears open for any potential problems. As a tournament director during the Little League tournament season, I was the one responsible for maintaining crowd control, not the umpires. We umpires have to listen to enough garbage coming from just within the fences without having to worry about what Joe Schmo is yelling from the stands. We are (rightfully) instructed to not pay attention to what anyone in the stands is saying...which is why I will never hear a parent scream at me that their little Junior was safe at first on a play where the ball beat him there by half a step
  2. BlitzkriegBob

    Streching And Warm-up

    University of Pittsburgh Medical Center: "The single most important aspect of improving performance is stretching before and after you step onto the field, court, ice, or golf course." ESPN The Trainer: " You can prevent many sports injuries by properly stretching before and after you exercise." UC Berkeley Foundations of Wellness: "Stretch before exercising or playing a sport to improve performance and perhaps prevent injury." "Stretch after exercising to prevent muscles from tightening up." The Mayo Clinic: "Many experts believe that stretching may also reduce your risk of injury in sports. "The more prepared your muscles and joints are for an activity, the more protected you are against injury," says Edward Laskowski, M.D., a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist and co-director of the Sports Medicine Center at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. University of Michigan Health System: "It is especially important to stretch before and after weightlifting, running, or participating in any sport. Stretching before an activity improves flexibility and reduces your risk of injury. Stretching after workouts helps to relax the muscles and reduce soreness." The Center for Young Women's Health, Children's Hospital Boston: "Proper stretching before and after exercise is important for preventing injuries in all your muscle groups (upper, mid, and lower body). It also decreases your risk of back injury." The John Hancock Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition: "Stretching decreases the risk of injury. In fact, most sports injuries stem from not stretching and not warming up and cooling down properly. Done regularly, stretching can also increase flexibility to allow for easier movement and better balance. Other benefits of stretching include relieving low-back pain, reducing muscle soreness, promoting relaxation, and improving posture, agility and athletic performance." Dr. Freddie Fu, one of the world's leading sports orthopedic surgeons and a medical adviser to the Pittsburgh Steelers (from USA Today): "Fu suggests that athletes do some fast walking or easy jogging, followed by stretching, before they hit the tennis court or softball field." I also add plyometrics and activities such as skipping, running and jumping to the dynamic and passive stretching that we do. Sure, you'll find people telling you to stretch in the morning, but you're wrong to say you won't end up in court if one of your players gets hurt and their family doctor attributes it to your laissez-faire attitude toward the wellness of the children who have put their faith in us.
  3. BlitzkriegBob

    Streching And Warm-up

    You're kidding aren't you? Have you not ever watched any professional sporting event? Tell me any sport where a professional athlete who has a vested interest in keeping his body healthy does not perform stretching prior to engaging in his or her activity. I can see it now...the finals of the 100 meter dash in the summer Olympics and the contestants enter the stadium. They immediately go to their starting blocks and get set...after all, they stretched that morning when they get out of bed! Not only is stretching mandatory for my team BEFORE practices and games, but also AFTER practices and games. In 13 years I have not ever had any team members suffer from pulled muscles. Also, if an injury like that were ever to happen, under no circumstances would I want to find myself in court trying to explain why I did not feel that stretching should be an integrated part of our team philosophy. I'm sure you can find studies where water consumption is deemed unnecessary, but I wouldn't alter my stance that my players are to stay hydrated at all times.
  4. BlitzkriegBob

    Coaching Videos And Books, Which Ones To Buy?

    Welcome to the coaching ranks. I have a couple of suggestions for you. I coach older girls (14U and 16U) and don't have any experience coaching 6-7 year olds. I would recommend a book entitled "Coaching Girls Softball" by Kathy Strahan. I've never read it, but I have read her book on coaching basketball and it gives excellent advice for new coaches. It's not just a skills and drills book, but also gives pointers on the role of the coach, strategies for coaching young female athletes, and physical and psychological differences between boys and girls. If you're a guy, like me, you'll find the last part especially useful. The book is available from Amazon for under $10, or from Barnes & Noble for $13.50 if you want to look at it in person before you spend the money. You can even do what I do which is to go to B&N to look at the book and then go home and order it from Amazon After you've read that you can find excellent tips and drills from the eteamz site. The direct link to fastpitch softball tips and drills is http://eteamz.active.com/fastpitch/instruc...cfm?m=1,2,3,4,5 Look through those and pick out some you think will work best and then give them a try. You'll notice that some will be instant hits and some will flop, but believe me, even after spending the past 13 years coaching baseball and softball, I still try new things every year and quickly dump anything that doesn't work out with that year's team. Having said all that, remember that the number one goal should ALWAYS be that your players have fun. Don't coach to win ball games, instead coach to ensure that every girl on your team is enjoying their time and developing a love for the game of softball.