Love, Soccer, and Baseball

Baseball and soccer are not very similar. The American stereotype, will watch a grueling three hour baseball game if their home town team is playing.  Conversely, there are people who find a blazing no-hitter in baseball tedious while renaming enthralled for 90 minutes of soccer during a 1-1 draw.

Then there are the folks who like both and just want others to get both, too.  Even though the sports are different, I’ve found the best way to get others into the other is not by overselling it.  Tone town the enthusiam.  Sell them one small piece of the game at a time.  Minutiae!

One of the first things young goalies are taught is to fight the urge to catch shots that are coming to high and hard.  Instead, they’re taught to punch the ball up and over.  It is exciting to watch and it really is difficult to fight the natural urge to catch and or smother a ball.

In baseball, one of the most revered skills is smothering of a wild pitch by a catcher.  Every single time there is a ball in the dirt the broadcaster inevitably says ‘that’s how you block a baseball. Smother it!’ or if the catcher fails, ‘he really didn’t keep his body in front of that.’  Catchers have to learn to fight the urge to catch the ball.  Instead of lunging down for the ball, they need to slightly tilt forward while keeping their chest and shoulder over the ball, ready to smother it.”

They’re not the same thing, but nevertheless small technique is often appreciated by those who are fans of sport.

And if you’re not a fan of either or of sport, this has been a tough few weeks for you…

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