Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The History of Softball - One of America's Favorite Pastimes

Although many people assume that softball was derived from baseball, the sport’s first game actually came about because of a football game. The history of softball dates back to Thanksgiving Day of 1887, when several alumni sat in the Chicago, Illinois Farragut Boat Club, anxiously awaiting the outcome of the Yale versus Harvard football game. When Yale was announced as winner, a Yale alumnus playfully threw a boxing glove at a Harvard supporter. The Harvard fan swung at the balled-up glove with a stick, and the rest of the group looked on with interest. George Hancock, a reporter for the Chicago Board of Trade, jokingly called out, “Play ball!” and the first softball game commenced with the football fans using the boxing glove as a ball and a broom handle in place of a bat.
Due to the initial excitement surrounding the game, the Farragut Boat Club decided to officially devise their own set of rules, and the game quickly leaked to outsiders in Chicago and, eventually, throughout the rest of the Midwestern U.S. As the history of softball shaped itself over the next decade, the game went under the guise of “indoor baseball,” “kitten baseball,” “diamond ball,” “mush ball,” and “pumpkin ball.” In 1926, Walter Hakanson coined the term “softball” while representing the YMCA at a National Recreation Congress meeting, and by 1930, the term stuck as the sport’s official name.
In 1934, the Joint Rules Committee on Softball collaborated to create a set of standardized rules. Up until this point, the game was being played with varied rules, player positions, and ball sizes. The original softball used by the Farragut Boat Club was 16 inches in circumference. However, Lewis Rober Sr., the man responsible for organizing softball games for firefighters in Minneapolis, used a 12-inch ball. Rober’s ball won out as the preferred softball size, and professional softball games today are played using a 10–12-inch ball. However, many Chicagoans still hold fast to the belief that real softball is played using a 16-inch ball. Games using these 16-inch balls are often referred to as “cabbage ball,” “super slow pitch,” and “mush ball,” and unlike competitive softball, players are not allowed to wear fielding gloves.
While the sport was originally advertised as an indoor game for baseball players looking to maintain their dexterity during the off season, it gained so much popularity and recognition that it quickly became its own official sport. In 1991, women’s fast pitch softball was added to the roster of the 1996 Summer Olympics—a landmark many people recognize as the ultimate success of a sport. Although softball was later dropped from the 2012 Summer Olympics lineup, the game is still one of the most popular participant sports in the United States and 113 countries have officially joined the International Softball Federation since the organization’s formation in 1952.
According to the official rules developed early in the history of softball, and eventually defined by the International Softball Federation, there are nine players on the field at a time. The players take the positions of pitcher, catcher, first baseman, second baseman, shortstop, third baseman, and outfielder. Usually, there are three outfielders holding the positions of right fielder, left fielder, and center fielder. However, slow pitch softball allows for a fourth person in the outfield. Similar to baseball, the team with the most runs at the end of the seventh inning is named the winner. However, if the teams are tied at the end of the seventh inning, the game can go into extra innings, until the tie is broken.
Today, softball is one of the most popular sports in the country, and an estimated 40 million Americans engage in at least one softball game each year. Because it can be played on either a field or an indoor arena, softball games are played year round and involve teams with players as young as 8 years old and some players over 60 years in age. Softball is sometimes played by co-recreational leagues, where both women and men play on the same teams, but the rules are generally modified to reduce physical inequalities between the sexes. Often, companies and organizations form amateur coed teams to play for benefits and charity fund-raiser events.
The history of softball is still unfolding, and the game has undergone numerous modifications since its creation in 1887, but it is still one of the most preferred sports games in the country and has developed a following in several countries throughout the world, especially in Australia, China, and Japan. Loved by amateurs and professionals of all ages and athletic backgrounds, the world can only anticipate what is in store for the future of America’s other favorite pastime.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Six Elements Of Mental Toughness - Forbes

Complexity and turbulence in the business environment may be here to stay, but they present opportunities as well as challenges for leaders. As a business school dean, I run a more than $80 million business in an increasingly competitive marketplace. With over 33,000 stakeholders, I know the pressure isn’t going away, and so do other leaders in my organization. More likely, it will intensify. Still, I say, “Bring it on!”

Let me explain.
My son plays soccer in a competitive league. He practices three days a week and trains in specific skills with his coach. Also, he and I train together. Not only do we run sprints and engage in long bike rides to build speed, endurance and strength, we also work on the mental game associated with playing competitive sports.

Research and common sense tell us that top competitive athletes succeed because of their physical talents and their dedication to training. However, they also succeed because of their dexterity in dealing with the psychological pressures of a sport. In short, mental toughness and resilience are tremendously important for any athlete aiming to be the best in a sport.

As a result, many athletes engage in training their psychological readiness. At the root of mental training in sports is this question: Are you mentally tough enough to compete?

It is not simply a matter of my son’s knowledge, ability and skill in soccer. It is also his psychological preparedness for the game, including skill in dealing with the stress of strong competition, recovering from mistakes and failure quickly, determining strategies to tackle tough situations, adjusting with each circumstance and game, collaborating with a team, celebrating successes but not becoming overconfident and keeping positive before, during and after the game.
Using research and literature from sports psychology, such as James Loehr’s The New Toughness Training for Sports, my son and I actively work each week on his mental game. When we do so, I recognize dramatic similarities to conversations that I have with business executives.

Many have shared with me that their companies have taken a brutal pounding for the last two years, and even those who have had some success are citing fatigue in this new complex game of business. But, just as with athletes, they don’t rely only on knowledge, skills, ability or past success to traverse difficult situations. They draw on an attitude, a toughness that allows them to push through hard situations and face adversity with confidence. As businesses look to the future, their top people need to think about whether they have game-ready leaders who not only have technical skills in business but mental toughness as well.

There are at least six markers of mental toughness from sports psychology that apply equally well to business situations. As with athletes, business leaders need to ask, am I mentally tough enough to compete?

1. Flexibility. Game-ready leaders have the ability to absorb the unexpected and remain supple and non-defensive. They maintain humor even when the situation becomes tough. If something isn’t going well or doesn’t turn out as expected, they remain flexible in their approach and look for new ways to solve the problem. Just like a quarterback faced with a broken play, a leader may have to decide quickly on a different way to get the ball down the field.

Also, leaders must continually be open to re-educating themselves, even in the basics, which they may have taken for granted for too long. They need to exercise caution in defensively falling back on ideas they know and are comfortable with rather than looking for new ways of doing business.

2. Responsiveness. Game-ready leaders are able to remain engaged, alive and connected with a situation when under pressure. They are constantly identifying the opportunities, challenges, and threats in the environment. They understand that they need to think differently about how their environment and business operate.

The problems we encounter now are messier and more complicated than ever before. They often can’t be solved in the ways others were. Game-ready leaders look for new ways to think about these problems and, more important, look for fresh ways out of these problems. They have a sense of urgency about responding to the changing face of business.

Just as a coach may change strategies at halftime in response to the way a game is going based on the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses, game-ready leaders in business must respond to changes in the environment and the players.

We must pay close attention to and understand global, national, regional and local economic trends, market trends, consumer trends, industry trends and competitor responses. Relying on old assumptions about how business operates and assuming that last year’s trends still hold today is dangerous. Leaders make decisions and act based on up-to-the-minute and in-depth knowledge of what is really going on in business now.

3. Strength. Game-ready leaders are able to exert and resist great force when under pressure and to keep going against insurmountable odds. They find the strength to dig deep and garner the resolve to keep going, even when in a seemingly losing game. They focus on giving their best and fighting hard until the end, with persistent intensity throughout the game.
The story of Team Hoyt, Dick and Rick, is an inspirational example of drawing on both inner and physical strength. Rick was born in 1962 to Dick and Judy Hoyt and was diagnosed as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. His parents were advised to institutionalize him because”there was no chance of him recovering, and little hope for Rick to live a ‘normal’ life. This was just the beginning of Dick and Judy’s quest for Rick’s inclusion in community, sports, education, and one day, the workplace. In the spring of 1977, Rick told his father that he wanted to participate in a 5-mile benefit run for a lacrosse player who had been paralyzed in an accident. Far from being a long-distance runner, Dick agreed to push Rick in his wheelchair, and they finished all 5 miles, coming in next to last. That night, Rick told his father, ‘Dad, when I’m running, it feels like I’m not handicapped.’ At that moment, they formed Team Hoyt and have run many races together with now impressive times. The 2009 Boston Marathon was officially Team Hoyt’s 1,000th race.” (Adapted from the Team Hoyt website.)

Just as athletes dig deep to find the physical and psychological strength to continue through adverse and tough situations, game-ready business leaders must exhibit the same strength. As James Loehr puts it, top athletes think, “While this is tough, I am a whole lot tougher.” Game-ready business leaders bring the same intensity, through all the continual pounding.

4. Courage and ethics. Game-ready leaders do the right thing for the organization and the team. They suppress the temptation to cut corners or to undermine others so they come out on top. They have the courage to make the hard but right decisions for the organization.
A famous story I share with my son as an example of courage and ethics in sports is that of the tennis player Andy Roddick. In 2008 Roddick was the No. 1 seed at the Rome Masters. He was at match point and about to win. The umpire called his opponent for a double-fault serve. Walking to shake his opponent’s hand, Roddick noticed a ball mark on the clay–in bounds. Roddick got the umpire’s attention and pointed out that the ball had nicked the line but was in fact in bounds. The match continued. Roddick went on to lose the match, and his beyond-the-call-of-duty honesty made him famous as an upstanding person, an opponent who would do the right thing. Game-ready leaders in business do the same. PepsiCo provides a great business example of this. A disgruntled Coca-Cola employee and two other individuals attempted to sell proprietary information to Pepsi. Pepsi received a package containing a sample of a new Coke product and other information. Pepsi immediately informed Coke, which contacted the FBI. Game-ready business leaders ultimately win by making the right and courageous decisions.

5. Resiliency. Game-ready leaders rebound from disappointments, mistakes and missed opportunities and get right back in the game. They have a hardiness for enduring the downs of a situation. They remain optimistic in the face of adversity and quickly change when necessary.They resolve to make things better and are experts at figuring out ways to do more with fewer resources. How about the resiliency of Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga, who was just one out away from pitching a perfect game when Jim Joyce, the first-base umpire, called a runner safe who was indeed out? Joyce had made an error. Galarraga was certainly deeply disappointed, but he continued to pitch and get the next batter out. Afterward, Joyce admitted the error and apologized. Galarraga shrugged it off, saying, “Everyone makes mistakes.”

6. Sportsmanship. Game-ready leaders exhibit sportsmanship. They don’t let the opponent know when he or she has gotten them down. “Chin up,” I say to my son. Clearly we all experience disappointment, attacks from others, an occasional blow to the stomach. However, the behavior exhibited by game-ready leaders after losing or being attacked by others or the situation sets the tone for the rest of an organization. Additionally, top athletes support their teammates and their roles. If teammates start competing with and attacking one another, it is definitely difficult to win.

Living in Denver, I follow the Denver Broncos. Kyle Orton has done an outstanding job of displaying sportsmanship while under public scrutiny. Brought to the Broncos last year, he has been the subject of constant press speculation about possibly being replaced. The drafting of Tim Tebow brought on another press outcry, that Kyle was out and Tim was in. Kyle handled it with grace and dignity. Putting his mind to the game and the team, he got on the field and simply practiced hard, welcoming his new teammate. In the face of even internal competition, Kyle Orton exhibits the mentality of “Bring it on!”

We all need these same markers of toughness to succeed and lead in today’s business environment. We cannot succeed on technical skill alone. Companies have tough questions and situations to address. Game-ready leaders go into today’s business environment with their best mental game and with the attitude of “Bring it on!” After all, who doesn’t love the challenge and fun of a demanding, complex game?

Christine M. Riordan is the dean and a professor of management at the Daniels College of Business, University of Denver.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

How to Approach the Coach about my Student Athlete?

The competitiveness of youth and college sports can lead to strained relationships between an athlete and their coach. I recommend parents encourage their athletes to handle the discussions with the coach as these can be some of the most critical teachable moments in a young person’s development. However, there comes a point as a parent where you might feel it is best for you to talk to the coach directly (when that is up to your own interpretation of the situation). This article discusses how to approach the coach in a way that gives your family the best chance for maintaining a positive relationship with your child’s coach.

Its About Your Student Athlete's Well-Being
The first point you need to establish with the coach is that you are approaching them with concern for your athlete’s well being. You are not approaching them about playing time, scholarship amount or how the coach runs their program. When coaches feel like you are there to discuss how they run their team, they can become very defensive and it leads to unproductive conversations. You are simply approaching the coach for clarification on your athlete’s unhappiness, that is it.

*A good general rule of thumb for parents in this situation, the coach should be talking 90% of the time. You are on a fact finding mission, not to discuss the issues.

Step Away from He Said She SaidIn my experience, when an athlete is frustrated with a coach (whatever the reason), they tend to exaggerate the reasons why things are going badly. This is not to say their problems aren’t real, they are, but that the truth about what is going wrong is usually somewhere between what the athletes are saying and what the coaches are saying. When you approach the coach, you want to get clarification on the points your athlete is frustrated about (try to avoid making any judgments about what you think is right or wrong until you get all of your questions answered).  Once you’ve talked with the coach, go back and discuss all of the points with your athlete and come up with what you think are the best next steps.

Make A Plan On What to Do Next

Once you’ve gathered all of the facts, the next step is making a plan with your athlete on what to do next. I have seen many “terrible” coach athlete relationships get turned around once the athlete and coach have had a sit down conversation about what is wrong and establish a clear understanding of what needs to be done moving forward. It helps tremendously if the coach feels the support of the athletes parents towards the goal of helping the athlete grow and mature.
Sometimes, despite the best intentions, the best thing to do is look for a new team. At the college level, this usually means requesting a transfer.

If you h ave any questions or comments please leave them  below!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Mental Toughness of the Week

"When  you look at the girl at the top of the mountain, just remember, she didn't just fall there."

Friday, April 17, 2015

Is it Too Late to Be Recruited?

Depending on your sport, you may not be too late. Football’s signing date closed on April 1st and basketball’s NLI signing period is finished May 16. If you play any other sport, you have until August 1st to commit to a school. Once again, it is not impossible to get recruited, but with most rosters already full it is going to be very tough to find a spot for yourself. You have to be willing to take any opportunity that becomes available.
Here, are some things you should consider if you are still trying to get recruited.
-Become a walk-on: Walking on to a team is a terrific way to be a part of the team if you have missed the opportunity to get recruited for a scholarship. Call or write the coach, asking if there are any open spots on next year’s team and let them know that you are interested in trying out. You will have to be able to attend school and pay for yourself. If you make the team, you are giving yourself an opportunity to earn a scholarship the following year. Just because, you are planning to attend a school without an athletic scholarship, does not mean that the coach or the athletic department won’t help you find other means of finical aid.
-Unsigned Senior Showcases: These are tournaments / exhibitions where you can go and showcase your talents to coaches who are still looking for senior recruits. This is a perfect opportunity to go into a venue where you know all the spectators are still looking to fill their teams. Many recruits get recruited out of these types of events and are able to show their talents to schools they normally wouldn’t have thought of contacting. Find some of the events on
-Playing at the Junior College level: Junior Colleges are an excellent way to earn units toward your degree, develop as a player and continue the recruiting process. Many coaches recruit junior college athletes because they prefer more mature athletes with some college level coaching and competition under their belts. If you need to improve your academics, this is also a perfect venue to be able to do that. 
Once again, if you are a senior and want to play your sport at the collegiate level this is not the time to wait around; you need to be proactive. You do have options, but you need to make sure that you explore all of them and be aggressive.
If you have any comments or questions please leave them below!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

3 Easy Ways to Improve Scholarship Opportunities

3 Simple Steps
Student-athletes wanting to participate in college sports can improve their scholarship opportunities by being more aware of what they post on social media accounts, more active when researching colleges, and filling out athletic recruiting questionnaires.
Don't Wait Around
Get involved. Don’t wait around for coaches, scouts or recruiting companies to find you. As an athlete you should be used to being a go-getter and working hard for what you want. This is why being the catalyst to your own recruiting process will give you the control to do what is needed in order to gain the best college opportunities.
Depending on the sport you play and the amount of exposure that you have received, you will either have college athletic programs sending you form letters early in your high school career or not.
Remember that NCAA rules and regulations are enforced and NCAA Division I and Division II coaches must abide by contacting recruits during certain time periods. Dedicated athletes need to make sure they have done all of the necessary recruiting tricks to get their name out there.
Use Social Media to Your Advantage
Clean-up your social media accounts. Remember to post ONLY appropriate pictures and videos on your wall. Coaches and recruiters will be trolling recruits accounts before they seriously consider athletes; don’t give them reason to dismiss you before they get to know you. If you have a Twitter, Facebook or any other social media accounts make sure that the updates you send out are appropriate, meaning no foul language, no name brand endorsements and especially no smack talking any coaches or teammates (past or present). This is an instant red flag. Think about it, if coaches see that you bad mouth your current coach they will undoubtedly believe that you will cause issues with future coaches and teammates.
Search Out College Athletic Coaches
If you have your mind set on attending a specific college, get online and check out what that school has to offer academically and athletically. Check the number of players on the team and where they hail from- it will give you a good idea of where the coaching staff recruits from. Read up on the coaching staff and accomplishments that they have made. Check into academic features the college is known for; does it offer a major that you are drawn to? What will the typical class sizes be? What are the graduation rates of students that chose that major? Knowing what colleges have to offer will help you to learn what you want and need in college.
Recruiting Questionnaires
The simplest way to get your name on coach’s radar is to fill out recruiting questionnaires.
Questionnaires alert coaching staffs that you are interested in their program. Another advantage student-athletes gain by filling out questionnaires is that they will be informed of upcoming events, camps or games that will be hosted by the college as a way to gain more exposure and have more chances to meet college coaches.
Also, constantly updating your profile on FastPitch Recuits will keep the coaches informed and interested. An untouched profile quickly becomes obsolete.

If you have any questions regarding recruiting or FastPitch Recruits please comment below!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Tips to Make Your Life Easier on the ACT

Worried about taking the ACT? It's a little different from the SAT. Here are some tips to help your score:
  1. Answer every question. Yes, even the hard ones. You won’t be penalized for guessing like you would if you were taking the SAT.

  2. Start easy. Answer all of the easy questions first, then move on to the difficult ones. Usually, if you answer the questions in order, this is easy to do because they are ranked from easiest to most difficult. However, if you’re one of those people who finds reading the longer passages easier than the shorter passages, start there, where it’s easiest for you.
  1. Memorize the directions. During the test, you won’t get extra time to read the directions, so if you take five minutes to figure out what to do, that’s five fewer minutes you’ll have to get points.
  2. Don’t doodle. On the answer sheet, that is. The ACT is graded by a machine; if your chicken scratch interferes with the reading mechanism, you could miss out on points. Keep the oval sheet as clean as is possible.
  1. Erase completely. Bring two erasers – one for the heavy-duty erasing you may need to do and another clean eraser to fix up your ovals completely. You don’t want erasure marks mucking up your answers and causing you to lose points.
  2. Pace yourself. You’ll have a little less than 30 seconds to answer each question, so keep that in mind. Don’t spend three minutes staring off into space or re-reading a longer passage; stay focused.
  3. Bring a watch. Archaic, yes, what with your cell phone and all, but since you won’t be able to have your cell phone on you, bring a watch. There’s no guarantee you’ll be testing in a room with a working clock.
  4. Reconsider the obvious. If an answer seems too easy, it may just be. Be sure to read every answer choice and select the best possible answer. The obvious choice may be a distraction.
  5. Don’t second-guess. If you marked B for question 18, there was probably a good reason for it, so don’t go back and change it, unless you've found information in a later part of the test to disprove your original theory. Statistics prove that your first guess is usually the best one.
  6. Come back to a toughie. If you’re stuck between two answer choices, circle the question and come back to it with fresh eyes after you have answered the other questions. Remember you have to pace yourself.
  7. Cross-check ovals. Every five questions or so, double-check your answer sheet to make sure you haven’t skipped an oval. There’s nothing worse than getting to the end of a test and realizing you missed filling in a oval somewhere.
  8. Bring your own calculator. The test center will not provide you with one, so bring an approved calculator for easier math work. (All the questions can be answered without one, but bring one anyway.)
  9. Outline before you write. If you’re taking the essay, be sure to take five out of the thirty minutes and plan before you write. It isn’t a waste of time; the scorers are looking for well-organized essays. The best way to get one is to plan ahead with either an outline or graphic organizer.
  10. Practice.You’ve heard it before, but it’s really the truth. Buy an ACT prep book, and answer every single question in it. You’ll gain confidence and a lot of extra points by doing so.
These fifteen tips will make your life easier when you’re taking the ACT. It is a stressful test so follow all of these simple ones to make your test day more relaxing!

If you have any comments or questions please leave them below!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

8 Tips to Become a Better Student-Athlete

Trying to get into college is stressful enough but what do you do when you get there? Here are 8 helpful tips on how to be a better student athlete.
1. Your JOB is to be a student athlete. Practice, class, film, weights, eat, study hall …. Wait a minute, I don't have any "me time." How am I supposed to check Facebook, do my laundry, call my mom, and play Xbox? Treat your responsibilities as if they were your-full time job, because they are. Create an hourly planner, and update it daily. Stop scheduling nap times, and use breaks between classes to study and get your work done. If you manage your time during the day, you may just find that you have 15 minutes in the evening to sneak in a game of Halo.
2. Communicate your absences. The key to successfully managing missed classes is to communicate. At the beginning of the semester, let your professors know (in person, by E-mail, or through a letter from the athletic department) the dates you will be missing class to participate in athletics. A week before you miss a specific class, remind the professor, and make a plan for how you will make up the work and obtain the notes. And when you return, make sure your work is handed in at the agreed time. This not only shows your professors you are on top of your studies and schedule, but also creates a better relationship between you and him/her.
3. Avoid "imposter syndrome." Inevitably, there will come a time in your college career when you feel as if you're walking around with a sign on your back that says, "Dumb Jock." You may feel you don't belong in the same class as the "regular" students, either because of your lack of self-confidence or poor treatment by those who (for whatever reason) don't like athletics. Step out of your comfort zone: Make an effort to cultivate friends outside your small circle of teammates and coaches. Remember that each student brings value to the institution in different ways, whether it be musical talent, academic excellence, or athletic ability.
4. Don't be a punch line. We all know him, we've all seen him, and we all know how much of pain he is . . . that guy. And trust us, every team has one. You don't want to be the player who causes your teammates daily grief. Be on time (in the athletic world, being on time means being early). Be prepared, whether it's practice, class, or study hall. If you are perceived as responsible and reliable from the start, when you are late or you do make a mistake (and you will), you will have created a margin for error, a little bit of social capital.
5. Manage your brand. Signing on to be a college athlete automatically projects you into the spotlight, not only on the field but off the field, too. You are the face of your university, and your actions reflect on your institution and your sport, both positively and negatively. Make good decisions, especially when it comes to alcohol and drugs. One bad decision will negatively affect not only you but your team, your family, and your whole athletic department. Understand that as an athlete, it's not just about you anymore; you are part of a greater whole.
6. Make the most of failure. Many college freshmen­—especially student athletes who have the twin demands of challenging athletic competition and heightened academic expectations—experience some kind of difficulty in their first semester. For some, it's a low grade on an exam or paper; for others, it's just feeling lost or overwhelmed in their new surroundings. Resist the temptation to give up. Make a realistic assessment of where you went wrong: Did you spend enough time studying? Did you ask questions in class? Did you visit the professor during office hours for extra help? Then take the steps necessary to correct the problem, right away.
7. Value Plan B. Every college student has dreams. For the ones who are athletes, those dreams usually include competing professionally. That's Plan A, and there's nothing wrong with it. The reality, however, is that fewer than 5 percent of all college athletes compete professionally after graduation. This means that you need to make a Plan B for what happens if your athletic career ends after college-level competition. This does not mean you must drop athletic pursuits altogether; it just means you should pay enough attention to the student part of your student athlete status to be ready for whatever opportunities life presents you after college.
8. Plan for life. It's easy to forget the big picture when your daily life is packed with academics and athletics, but remember to use your resources and build your network. You should aim to take at least two classes from the same professor so that when you need letters of recommendation, you will know a faculty member who can write a strong letter for you instead of a form letter. And create a résumé early. Though most student athletes are intimidated when it comes time to write one, it's good to keep in mind that your athletic experience has taught you many skills that employers value. As an athlete, you have demonstrated that you are goal oriented, work well in teams, communicate, and are organized and disciplined.

If you have any comments or questions please leave them below!

Monday, April 6, 2015

What is an Athlete?

An Athlete rises before the sun to start grinding. She rises without a need for an alarm clock for her desire to succeed is too strong to be defeated by the temptation of sleep.

An Athlete carries herself with confidence. She knows that although she may be failing, she will never fail for she will never give up.

An Athlete feeds herself well. Her body is a temple and she must treat it as such for it is the agent of which her dreams can be achieved.

An Athlete holds herself with pride. She understands that in order to be the greatest she must achieve success in all aspects in her life for there can be no true Champion with no virtue.

An Athlete is strong. She has the mental strength to fall down one hundred times and get up one hundred and one for nothing can defeat her.

An Athlete is fearless. Drenched in blood, sweat, and tears, an athlete knows she has won long before she steps under the lights. She knows nobody has worked as hard as her. It is lonely on the extra mile and few venture to endure the pain and suffering she has. She knows she has won for she is relentless, she will always prevail, she can never be stopped...

Are you an Athlete?

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Mental Toughness of the Week

Its not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog
-Archie Griffen

Thursday, April 2, 2015

10 Things to Consider Before Choosing Your Major

What Is Your Passion?
Too often this basic question is ignored in the college planning and college application process. At times, it can seem as though the people around you have a clearer idea of what major you should choose than you do. The esteem with which your family and friends regard you likely pushes them to insist that you would make a great lawyer or a brilliant physician. What they fail to consider, however, is whether or not the position is right for you, and whether you are working toward your college goals by pursuing this major. If you are bent on painting for a living, then by all means obtain a fine arts degree.
Don't disregard factors like salary potential or job opportunity, as they will affect your future, but weight them against your desire and commitment to pursue your passion. Choosing one of the top ten highest paying college majors may seem like a good idea, but it is not your only option for paying the bills. It is also possible to channel your passions into paths that might in the end be more successful. If you aren't so committed to painting or a band that you are willing to regularly bypass your evening meal, consider finding another outlet for your creativity. Writing or teaching majors can offer an individual with a natural artistic ability a chance to use his talents without committing himself to a life littered with unpaid bills and skipped meals.


This question is pragmatic, but important. If you have your heart set on a specific university and a specific major you just might want to ensure that the school of your choice offers a degree within that area. The availability of your chosen major in your preferred geographic area can have a profound impact on your college search. If you have selected a fairly uncommon major and cannot afford to or do not want to relocate, it is important to verify that local universities offer your selection.
If you choose an uncommon major that requires you to relocate, be sure that you consider all of the expenses involved with this process. If you pursue a degree that is only offered at a few private colleges or even state universities in other states, expect to pay more. Tuition is typically higher out of state, and the living expenses associated with relocating can be a burden. Keeping in mind the difficulties involved in balancing work and college, can you afford to move for a major? Additionally, if you are planning on entering a field that requires an extensive amount of education beyond the first four years, like medicine or law, pursuing such degrees is considerably more expensive and requires a greater amount of commitment on behalf of the student, especially when it comes to funding your education. While financial aid can often help offset costs, your choice in major can play a big role in minimizing student loans.


The areas of your life that you are most successful in may be in stark contrast with your passions, but usually this is not the case. Look at the courses you have taken. Did you excel in any? Did you participate in an advanced placement (AP) program? Teachers can also be good at identifying aptitudes within their students. If you are uncertain about what area you perform the best in, ask one of your teachers. It is likely that they can provide you with valuable ideas and point out a direction that you had not previously considered. Additionally, if you pursue a major that compliments your strengths you are more likely to distinguish yourself within your field. If your major doesn't support your strengths, you will probably find that the curriculum within your area of choice is more difficult than you anticipated, which could make it more difficult for you to succeed.


There are variations between the scholarship opportunities and the financial aid incentives for different majors. If the amount of financial assistance you need can for whatever reason possibly prevent you from attending college altogether, you may want to consider a major that has financial aid incentives attached. Scholarships and incentives vary by state, but it wouldn't hurt to look into career fields that are in need of people to fill them as there are often grants or other incentives attached for those who pursue a major within the field.


The work load involved with a specific major may be of importance to you if you have to work and attend school at the same time. Some majors are more time consuming than others, especially if the major you have chosen does not compliment your natural abilities. If you are looking for a major with a work load that is light enough to allow you to work and pursue other interests, consult with your guidance counselor either at your high school or at your university to determine which options will be best for you.


If you already have a major in mind that you think is a good fit for you, you might want to consider chatting with someone who obtained a degree in that field. They can probably answer your more specific questions better than a guidance counselor as they have had first hand experience. Additionally, they can provide information about the curriculum, the work load, and tell you about their experience looking for work after graduation. You might find that different degrees have impacted the graduates very differently when they pursued opportunities after graduation. For some, the degree they chose made finding a position easy, for others their degree was their greatest obstacle.


Not all majors are created equal. Yes, they all offer a diploma upon completion, but they don't guarantee a job. When you are choosing a major, it would be wise to check out the job placement statistics of others who have pursued this degree. There is no reason why you should be the guinea pig; if a specific career is your reason for choosing this major, investigate the success of others. If you want to avoid a data entry position, check out all of the opportunities available and your chance at landing one of those positions after graduation.


This suggestion is self-explanatory. There are some attractive financial aid incentives or tuition reimbursement programs that are associated with specific majors. If financial aid is one of your primary concerns, look into majors that will help you pay for college. If you choose to take advantage of one of the incentive options, expect that they may require you to commit to working for a couple of years within the specified field.
Also, it is all the more motivation to receive an athletic scholarship. Say you wish to be a doctor or a lawyer which requires extra school. You can save the money for your undergraduate degree and use it towards your graduate studies.
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