Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Ambidextrous thoughts

"Lake Clifton guard Karee Watson (No.31) fouls St. Frances Wayne Sparrow (No.3) in the face as he drives to the basket during the 13th Annual Basketball Academy at Morgan State, Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009. Lake Clifton won 63-54."

Punxsy Phil casted a shadow early yesterday morning, meaning we will see six more weeks of winter. Great! Can you sense the sarcasm?

Whether or not the fuzzy, furry create saw his shadow, I'll probably still be shooting more indoor sports and stories until spring comes and the warm weather is upon us.

A couple weeks ago I was sitting on the baseline of a match-up between two of Baltimore's top city men's prep basketball teams and for some reason I kept thinking about what makes certain athletes standout from the rest.

I have no idea why, and I am not really sure why I am trying to come up with a essay about it, other than it makes sense to me.

Let's take Michael Phelps, who has won more gold medals than anyone in Olympic history, and recently found himself in the news again, yet, this time in a negative light.

Here is an average American with an ability to leave his competition strokes behind in the pool. Of course, he trains hard, uses some of the newest technology in swim gear and has an amazing body structure that some say give him an extra advantage.

But if you put all that aside, when it comes down to it, he is just a faster swimmer. Simply put. It's a clear cut answer, but if you want, you can look deeper at the situation and see what really makes him better. It's sort of a open minded thought that can be dissected a million different ways.

Then I got thinking of when sports become a staple in ones life - high school. I started thinking of things that make prep athletes better at sports than their peers. While I got a nice list, one of the most dominant is being ambidextrous.

This skill is one thing I was always taught from a young age to try and improve. I was told it would separate me from the pack.

Take any sport: soccer, lacrosse, basketball, hockey, baseball, football, etc.

Being equally skillful with each hand means the ability to do things your opposition cannot.

In soccer, if you can kick and shoot with both feet, you have an advantage.
In lacrosse, if you can pass and shoot with both hands, you have an advantage.
In basketball, if you can dribble and shoot with both hands, you have an advantage.
In football, if you can run with the ball with each hand, you have an advantage.

And the list goes on. But it's true. If I look back at athletes I thought were better than I was, they had the ability to do more than just one thing. They were more than a one-trick pony.

And with that thought in mind, got me thinking about life. Anyone successful has more than one thing they do well.

I like to consider myself that way. I can do a little bit of everything, and if I can't do it well, I am always trying to better myself.


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