Monthly Archives: December 2011

Hitting A Baseball – “The Hardest Thing To Do In Sports”

via Axon Sports

Ted Williams, arguably the greatest baseball hitter of all-time, once said, “I think without question the hardest single thing to do in sport is to hit a baseball”. Williams was the last major league player to hit .400 for an entire season and that was back in 1941.  Last season, the average Major League Baseball player produced a hit less than 3 times for every 10 at-bats and failed to even put the ball in play 2 times in 10 tries. So, why is hitting a baseball so difficult? What visual, cognitive and motor skills do we need to make contact with an object moving at 70-100 mph? A key concept …

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Top Tennis Players Simply See Better

via Axon Sports

For most of us mere mortals, if an object was coming at us at 120-150 mph, we would be lucky to just get out of the way. Top tennis players, like Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, not only see the ball coming at them with such speed, but plan where they want to place their return shot and swing their racquet in time to make contact.

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Head Coaches Face Moral Dilemmas

via Axon Sports

This year has seen a surprisingly high number of high profile scandals at well known college sports programs.  From player troubles at Ohio State and Miami to assistant coaches being charged with serious crimes, notable head coaches like Jim Tressel, Jim Boeheim, and Joe Paterno have had to deal with major non-sports issues. As these head coaches often claim at their post-scandal press conferences, the buck stops with them as they have overall responsibility for the program, the coaches and the players.  Being in the hot seat requires a coach that can provide the balance between ultra-competitive, “win now” demands of fans and boosters and long-term development of players’ skills and …

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Gaze Control Helps Golfers and Surgeons

via Axon Sports

Surgeons now have a really good excuse to be out on the golf course.  Researchers have shown that the same training technique that will improve their putting can also improve their operating skills.  Dr Samuel Vine and Dr Mark Wilson, from Sport and Health Sciences at the University of Exeter, tested both elite golfers and surgical residents in two separate experiments using the gaze control technique known as the “Quiet Eye.” First, they divided 22 elite golfers, (handicaps less than 6), into two groups after their baseline putting performance was measured.  The control group received no additional training while the experimental group participated in Quiet Eye (QE) training, a method first …

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Four Proven Models For Teaching Sports

via Axon Sports

A look at the four major models of teaching sports skills that agree that technical and tactical skills need to be combined for more effective long-term learning. Each of the four models vary in their treatment of learning along two different dimensions; implicit vs. explicit learning and domain-specific vs. domain-general environments.

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