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Psych Songs

What do you see most, if not all, athletes doing before a big game? Bingo! They are listening to music. Why blow out your ear drums though? Well, if used properly, songs wield the power to make you happy, care free, excited and want to be a monster on the field. Music sets moods and  I feel it is important for an athlete to realize that and use it to their advantage.

Here is a list of some songs of different genres that could help…

Hip-Hop:

Eminem- Lose Yourself/ ‘Till I colapse/ Berzerk/ Cinderella Man

Jay-Z- Holy Grail (featuring Justin Timberlake)/ Tom Ford/ Paris (featuring Kanye West)

Schoolboy Q- Collard Greens

Kendrick Lamar- Trick, Don’t Kill My Vibe

Angel Haze- Werkin’ Girls

Iggy Azalea- Work

50 Cent- Hate It or Love It

Drake- Headlines/ Over

Black Sheep- The Choice Is Yours

Chali 2na- International

E-40- Tell Me When to Go (featuring Keak Da Sneak)/ Go Hard or Go Home (featuring the Federation)

Nelly- #1/ Country Grammar/ Warrior

The Roots- Here I Come

Azealia Banks- 212

House Music/ Dubstep/ Electronic:

Alle Benassi & Mobbing- Ohm-O-Genik

Agiman- Quantum

Chuckie- Who Is Ready to Jump

Deadmau5- Sofi Needs a Ladder/ Soma/ Lack of a Better Name/ One Trick Pony

Disclosure- Grab Her!

Duck Sauce- Big Bad Wolf

Fedde Le Grand- Put Your Hands Up for Detroit/ Back & Forth (featuring Mr. V)

LKiD- 50,000 Watt’s

Martin Garrix- Animals

MSTRKRFT- Bounce (featuring N.O.R.E.)

Steve Aoki- Boneless/ I’m In the House (featuring [[[Zuper Blahq]]])/ Warp 1.9 (featuring Bloody Beetroots)

… Now that I think about it, there are a thousand other songs I can think of. But for now, try those. Maybe later I will put up a Part II list.

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Suzuki

Ichiro Suzuki is one of the most productive and fast players in the MLB. This diving catch was made against Robert Fick of the Atlanta Braves (Scott Eklund). Suzuki’s hustle is without a doubt unmatchable. He is quick, explosive, and- of course- speedy. Most definitely Hall of Fame material in my book.

For more amazing athletes, visit: http://redboxpictures.com/blog/?p=2035

1) Eklund, Scott. “Coming: Sports Star of the Year Awards.” Red Box Pictures Blog. N.p., 10 Jan. 2010. Web.

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Playing for All of the Above

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A jersey is much more than a number. A jersey is a representation of not only your team, your coaches, but the entire organization of your team. One thing to realize is playing is a huge part, but representing people and putting your best foot forward is also very important.
With this jersey, you also represent your coaches, team, and- of course- yourself. Showing non stop hustle is one way. But for me, hustling non stop for the team doesn’t come from a wish on a shooting star or something meaningless. It comes from a relationship and friendship with my teammates and coaches. Contrary to some people’s belief, a team works it’s best when the girls are bonded. I’ve seen it both ways… Bonding works WAY better than having to grit your teeth through practice and literally counting the seconds until practice is over. I’ve been on teams where we lost EVERY game, but it was all worth while because we bonded as a unit. To me it’s extra if you win. As long as you leave better than you came and you were able to have fun, that was a season worth playing.
Every now and then, you get on a team where you bond, get better, and win. The winning is icing. Play for the actual cake. Play for getting better and having fun for the season. There is way less stress and anxiety that way.

Not Only a Coach, But a Friend

You will inevitably feel horrible about some things. BUT, rest assured for everything that will make you feel down, there will be one thing- or indeed a coach (I know. What? The same coach who wants us to be perfect?) to pick you up. Trust me, not all coaches want to be Genghis Khan, some might even want to be your friend and coach at the same time.

One story that comes to mind for this is when I was in Colorado:

**Disclaimer: No, I don’t like to write about mess ups all of the time, I like to write about how I bounce back from them and I hope that whoever is reading will see where I am coming from and be inspired to enjoy the good in the game and know that it will come even when you can’t see it.

Prior to this painfully irritating game, I had not struck out for 5 games straight. Now, I know what you’re thinking… Dude! Sweet! I know. It was pretty sweet. I had gotten on base at least once or twice a game for- I repeat- 5. GAMES. You could say I was on fire. Then, it happened.

I was in the box for my first AB (at bat) and I had my heart absolutely set on continuing my streak as a hitter- not keeping my focus on making contact like my previous games. One could say that was my downfall. So- my usual long story short- I stuck out on four pitches and tapped the bat on the plate. What made it horrible was I tossed my bat in order to flip it into my hand like a pro player. Some of them flip the bat into their hand to shake it off and say, “you can’t get to me because I got swagg”. But I missed the bat and the it hit the dirt. Because I was so frazzled but tried to be so calm and full of swagg at the same time, it looked like I threw it out of anger. But of course, no one would have believed me if I tried to explain that, so I just took that on. It looked SO BAD. My saving grace was that the umpires called an illegal pitch and I was awarded 1st base. The fact that it looked like I pouted sucked, but of course there’s more. At this tournament, you couldn’t throw a pen without hitting a college coach. So, of course the first worry was did a college coach see that slight mishap? Thank Jesus the answer was no. But I didn’t find that out until later.

In the meantime of thinking I turned a college coach away from a really bad looking accident, I didn’t know what to think. I was just grateful my coaches didn’t bench me. Although I got on with walks for the rest of the game, I couldn’t enjoy it. I was too busy feeling bad about the coach that could have potentially turned away from not only me but my teammates because of me. By far one of the roughest games I’ve ever had, but I did well! It sounds hilarious, right? Well it’s funny until the bat “slam” is brought to your attention in front of the team, the coaches, and the parents. It’s a belittling experience I tell you.

After the team talk, I began what looked like my walk of shame to the gallows. But then someone ran up next to me. It was Coach Lindsey. She made an effort in trying to make me feel better about myself by giving me the “Shake it Off” speech. But then she took it one step further by just trying to make me smile. It was that act of kindness that made me see just how awesome my coaches are. Plus that was new to me because not one of my previous coaches would have said a word to me after the team meeting.

Ever since then, me and coach Lindsey always talk to each other before practice. I have yet to see a greeting that is better than mine. From that act of kindness, we have gone from player- coach to friend- friend. Practices are much less stressful now. Thanks Coach!

The Big Bomb

Many players think that in order to feel apart of the team, they need to hit the big bomb every game. Reasons for that might be that ego boost you get from seeing the ball fly over the fence, or maybe you think college scouts are ONLY looking for the big bruisers who drop 2-3 homers in a game. The truth is, that isn’t possible. Especially if you are thinking about it. I know you want to be the hero, or the star, or you just want to feel good about your game… But that’s just the thing. Find out what your game is. If you are consistently hitting hard grounders in gaps or liners in no-man’s-land, hitting home runs is not your game. If you happen to grab hold of one, GREAT! Trot yourself around the bases and soak that one up. But, you can be just as important, if not more important than the HR hitter. People on base are possible runs. HR hitters can drive them in and clear the bases. Really the consistent hitter and the HR hitter should work hand in hand. It’s simple math: 1(base runner)+1(HR hitter)=2 runs> 0 (base runner)+1(HR hitter)=1 run. By that I’m trying to say that with two of you reaching home, that’s better than a solo HR.

With that said, now your job is to find out where you belong in the equation. If you aren’t the HR hitter, EMBRACE IT! You will get the job done just as well as your big bruiser. If you are the big bruiser, go do your job, but don’t think about “The Hit”. If you do, it’s an out.

Let’s Talk Bats

Nowadays, the 2013 DeMarini CF5 is going head to head with Louisville Slugger’s 2013 Xeno and OneX bats. I have tried all three and between Louisville and DeMarini, there isn’t much of a difference aside form the sound it makes. The DeMarini has just as big of a sweet spot as the Louisville, only Louisville’s barrel is more flexible. That was a good thing to add to a bat. Louisville also added an aluminum ring in the barrel for a sling-shot reaction. Another great thing, however there is NO longevity in the Xeno. My teammates have to buy new bats constantly. With the DeMarini, it’s built to perform longer. It can do this by not having thinner material for the barrel. The barrel of a bat takes the hardest punishment, so why make it less sturdy. There are too many freely moving parts in the barrel. I understand it’s for pop, but the reality is once the bat is broken in, the composite webs, then there is no need for an aluminum ring because you already have enough elasticity in the bat for pop. If you are going to invest in the Xeno/ OneX, then it will be a costly endeavor for you, however if you invest in the DeMarini, you will get the work that you paid for. It’s long life span vs. short life span. You can decide for yoursef.

*Also, the DeMarini CF6 is on the market now. It is supposed to have stronger composite that is shaped for performing softer. I can’t quite tell you what that means, but if it’s supposed  to be better than the CF5, I’d give it a go.

Alabama Update!

Alabama Softball is now 29-4 after their HUGE shalaking of Auburn. The game ended 13-1. Traina pitched and did a wonderful job. Defense gave ’em heck as well as the bats. Lots of hits for Alabama in the third inning and aggressive base running. Alabama played one heck of a game. It’s a beautiful sight to see when your favorite college team kicks the other team’s butt so badly it’s not a game anymore after the third inning. It made me smile… A lot. Congrats Bama! Roll Tide, Roll!!

Leaders

Leadership is crucial. Period. Doesn’t matter what it is. There are leaders in a classroom, a band, and, of course, on a team. However in order to lead, you must learn to follow. Some “leaders” nowadays don’t know how to. So think about that. Teams tend to struggle without leadership. The leader has the most important role on the team and that is to take a team from 9 individuals to 1 unit. The leader brings the best out of every player regardless of the skill set. Every team needs a leader to help them look at the bigger picture. Without one, the team is a selfish team. A team is not a number of individuals that happen to be wearing the same uniform, but a bonded, tied together, well oriented unit. Units win games. Not some players who scored enough runs or hit enough bombs. It’s manufacturing runs to bring the team together as one. Only this can happen with a leader. If you are a leader, let it come out. Think about that for your next team bonding.

The HIIT Workout

Has anyone heard of the HIIT workout? I just found out about it and it sounds intense, yet extremely helpful. Apparently it’s a workout that has you running for 20-30 minutes while you alternate between jogging and sprinting each minute. The HIIT workout is supposed to increase metabolism, strength, endurance, and calorie/fat burn. I haven’t tried this yet but I need to because I have very little endurance for an athlete. I know that endurance will help my softball game a lot so I’m down for a go at it. So, whoever is really looking to be more fit could give this workout a whirl. I know I will.

Colin Kaepernick

Guess what bloggers! I’m an athlete who’s a girl and madly in love with Colin Kaepernick. Not only is he a phenomenal quarter back and exceptional leader, he is also a 43rd round draft pick for the Chicago Cubs. The scouter didn’t even see him throw a baseball. They only saw him throw a football in college and decided that was enough to get him in a draft pick. That should tell everyone something right there. Being a softball player and understanding the game of baseball pretty well, I know that throwing a football won’t usually get you in a draft pick for a professional baseball team. If you can pull this off, you must have the arm of the Hulk like Kaepernick. I am head over heals right now.

   Anyway, moving away from my love for him, Colin Kaepernick has just lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl. Do you know who didn’t? That’s right, Alex Smith. You had nothing to do with that victory against the Falcons, Green Bay, or the win against Arizona. I hope you hear footsteps, Alex, because he’s charging your spot on the field. I’m not saying you are a bad quarter back, it’s just Kaepernick is on fire and you got injured which gave him an open door to seize. Better luck next time Smith. Another year another Super Bowl attempt.

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