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Monday, December 27, 2010

Practicing in the off-season months

Looking outside and seeing practically blizzard conditions outside of Philadelphia brings back memories of practicing baseball when I was younger.  I recognized early on that if I wanted to play professional baseball my competition was not just the kids in my neighborhood or just my school.  It was not even going to be the kids who I played against from other teams.  My competition lived many more miles away in states like California, Florida, and Texas.  They would even be in foreign places like the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Venezuela.  What all these places have in common of course is warm weather where kids can play on a field practically year round.  So how can a cold-weather kid compete with this disadvantage?  Most of the answer begins with desire.  Having the desire will force you to improvise during the off-season months when most kids lay down their glove to play basketball, indoor soccer, or hockey.  Basically, if you really want it, you'll find a way.  It helps to have access to an indoor facility but if you don't there are still ways to improve your game, even if you have to do it by yourself in a garage, basement, or other rooms.  A friend of mine who is the head coach at Mississippi State University made this video which shows one example of how it can be done.  They use a specially made screen but a wall would work as well.  Be creative and get to work!

Coach Cohen's "Wall Ball" video and website.

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