Draft Day 2014: 50 Reasons

50 Reasons to Like NFL Draft Day

Joy
Despair
Excitement
Tension
Elation
Anxiety
The Commissioner
The Jets Fans
War Room
GMs
Head Coaches
Phone calls
On the clock
Upside
Downside
Good feet
Strong arm
Potential
Hands
Attitude
Contract
Boom
Bust
Deal-breaking
Trade-making
Career-making
Competing
Expert Analysis
Video
Tape
40-Time
Combine
Numbers
Potential
Risk
The #1 Jersey
Team Cap
Family
Friends
Agents
NYC
Suits
Bling
Style
Limo
Fans
Bench Press
Pro Day
Dreams
Realities

WilsonFootball

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My Type of Political Discussion

This is one of the great scenes from one of my favorite movies. Monty Python and the Holy Grail makes me laugh each and every time I watch it. I probably laugh more when I watch it for the 250th time than I did the 1st time.

I really don’t consider myself a political person and really don’t align very well with either political party. But, if there was a Dennis the Peasant Party, I may have to consider joining up, even if it didn’t involve a “farcical aquatic ceremony”.

And, for the record, I’ve been known to drop a “Come and see the violence inherent in the system!”, every now and then for good measure.

Scene Three from Monty Python and the Holy Grail

King Arthur: I am your king.

Peasant Woman: Well, I didn’t vote for you.

King Arthur: You don’t vote for kings.

Peasant Woman: Well, how’d you become king, then?

[Angelic music plays... ]

King Arthur: The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. That is why I am your king.

Dennis the Peasant: Listen. Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

Arthur: Be quiet!

Dennis the Peasant: You can’t expect to wield supreme power just ’cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!

Arthur: [grabs Dennis] Shut up! Will you shut up?!

Dennis: Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system!

Arthur: [shakes Dennis]Shut up!

Dennis: Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help, help, I’m being repressed!

Arthur: Bloody Peasant!

Dennis: Ooh, what a giveaway!

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Core Competitors

It’s all about how you compete. It’s all about how you develop players who compete.

Success hinges upon this one factor. Competing. 

Competing needs to be a way of life and a daily approach to the task at hand. It is developed through constant challenge and drive to squeeze a little more out of what is in the arsenal.

And I’m not just talking about the championship caliber athlete or team, either. I’m talking about taking the average Joe. I’m talking about teaching him the basic fundamental techniques, teaching him the basic philosophy, and infusing in him a philosophy to compete every single day.

  • It’s not about facilities or about fields.
  • It’s not about snazzy uniforms or the newest and best equipment.
  • It’s not about peppy-ness or spirit or “rah rah”.
  • It is not about team functions and dinners and trinket/snack sales.
  • It is about competing. Every day, every hour, every minute, and every second.
  • It is about being a competitive clog in a competitive wheel and not settling for anything less than full-out effort by everyone.
  • It is about getting down and dirty every day to push yourself to get better.
  • It is about being up to the challenge and providing the new challenges every day.

Athletes and coaches, if you can understand this one thing and if you can focus on competing, you will be instantly headed in the right direction. Instantly.

You may not win every game, but you will compete with every ounce of marrow in  your body.

You will walk from every contest with your head held high and the respect of your opponent in your pocket.

It’s not about the WANT TO.

It’s about the “WILL DO“.

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715

I saw the home run through my 10-year-old eyes.
The Record.
Hammering Hank.
I didn’t know of the bigotry.
I didn’t know of the hate.
I didn’t know of the threats.
I knew baseball.
I knew hitting.

I knew Henry Aaron,
my right-handed hitting hero.
I knew Carl Yastrzemski,
my left-handed hitting hero.
I didn’t see black and white.
I saw sweet, smooth swings.
I saw the ball popping off their bats
in the color of baseball, not skin.

In Atlanta, Georgia,
on an April evening,
I saw the ball fly over the fence.
The record fell.
715.
The Holy Grail of records,
the one which would never fall.
The Great Bambino.

Then the man with the brown sugar swing
ran around the bases.
Afraid for his life.
Afraid for his family.
Because he did what he loved to do,
the same thing I loved to do.
Hit a baseball,
and watch it fly.

April 8, 1974

aaron-hank-437-57-nbl

 

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Spring Into April Dollar Special

ATTENTION: Middle Graders! (And/or parents, teachers, and librarians of the aforementioned middle-grade-aged young persons.)

I invite you to my Spring Into April  Dollar Special which offers a fine eBook copy of THE YOUNGER DAYS for about a dollar, depending on which online store you wish to shop at.

I happen to highly value a dollar. Okay, okay…I’ll admit it, I’m a cheapskate by nature and by genetics. Still, I understand how important a dollar is.

To celebrate the value of a dollar and the most awesome, highly anticipated arrival of spring, my publisher is offering the eBook version of THE YOUNGER DAYS (in any format) for a single dollar this week, March 28 – April 4, 2014.

2014theyoungerdays

If you’re wondering why you should part ways with your dollar in exchange for THE YOUNGER DAYS…

10 Reasons to Spend a Dollar and Buy the Book

1. Win $$$, bling, cha-cha-ching.

  • Buy THE YOUNGER DAYS for around $1.00 (or if you have already bought/read the book) and then enter a super random drawing to win a $15 gift card to your choice of MuseItYoung bookstore or Amazon. Abiding by the code of honor, enter by sending me a short message of your purchase. You can enter with a comment on this blog, on my Facebook page, or send me a Twitter message (@coachhays64).

2. Enrich your springtime with outlaws, border ruffians, Spencer repeating rifles, and a fairly fierce set of meek, mild-mannered parents.

3. Justify not cleaning your room by reading the book while relaxing on the patio.

4. Take comfort in the fact that even in 1874, there were kids who thought they knew more than their parents.

5. Find out what a Bushwhacker is.

6. Can honestly tell your teacher you are “enriching your mind” and not playing games on your electronic device.

7. Redemption stories = Awesome sauce.

8. The Border War. Kansas vs. Missouri in a no-holds barred, drag down, knockout fight between neighbors who hate each other. Can you say “drama”?

9. Reading from a $1.00 book stays in your brain cells, eating from a $1.00 value menu stays in your adipose cells.

10. When done with the 78-page eBook you will: (choose one)

  1. … want more.
  2. …experience a tremendous satisfaction upon digesting a fine piece of middle grade historical fiction.
  3. …think this Hays guy is a putz.

So, if you have an extra dollar, I invite you to check out THE YOUNGER DAYS at one of these links:

MuseItUp Bookstore

https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/now-available-in-ebook/the-younger-days-detail

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007I7OY3W

Bookstrand

http://www.bookstrand.com/the-younger-days

Smashwords

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/148794

Don’t forget to enter the drawing for the $15 gift certificate by sending me a message and/or commenting on this blog, my Facebook page, or on Twitter (@coachhays64).

Thank you for your support.

Enjoy your spring!

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Scoring Position

Most people think this base,

Home Plate
is the most important base in baseball. Home plate is where you score the runs, isn’t it? So, it has the be the most important base on the field, right?
Wrong.
The most important base in baseball is this one,

Second BaseSecond base.
What?
Second base?
The one base, which doesn’t even rate high enough to get decorated base lines, is the most important?
Yes, it is.
Second base has another name in baseball–scoring position.

The key to successful defense is to keep runners out of scoring position; keeping the opponent from reaching second base. My philosophy has always been unless the outcome of the game is on the line, everyone on defense focuses on keeping the runners off second base. Give up a run, to save a bunch of runs later.

Pitchers need to throw strikes and avoid walks. They need to hold runners close on first base to make it difficult to steal second base. Catchers need to make it hard to steal second with quick, accurate throws and blocking balls in the dirt. All the other fielders need to communicate when the ball is in play and be intent on keeping runners out of scoring position.

The key to successful offense is to get runners into scoring position and beyond. Hustle ever batted ball to first base. Round the base hard with every single and look to take that extra base. Run the bases aggressive, but smart.

So, keep the most important base in your mind at all times when you play or coach this great game. The true battle in baseball is the battle for scoring position.

Take care of that lonely, unadorned base isolated in the middle of the infield; it’s critical for baseball success.

Good luck!

Play hard, play the right way, and have fun.

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Throw & Catch

Throwing and catching a baseball. It is about the most fundamental baseball skill there is. It is also probably one of the most ignored. It is one of my baseball coaching, check that, it’s one of my biggest, most grating-on-my-last-nerve, plain coaching any sport, pet peeves.

Baseball_Images_Free_63

Baseball is generally broken down into three major parts: Pitching, Fielding, and Batting. In case you didn’t notice, throwing and catching a baseball comprise two of those three major parts.

Pitching is throwing to a catcher, right? And fielding on defense is catching baseballs and throwing baseballs. Like I said, skills that encompasses 66.66% of the game.  In my opinion, being able to throw and catch a baseball are the most vital skills you can possess as a team, or as an individual.

Poor catching and throwing often means poor baseball skill, which often translates to poor quality of team. As a player, take pride in how your throw and catch a baseball. As a coach, take pride in how each player of your team throws and catches a baseball.

Nothing puts a burr in my backside faster than watching a baseball team warm up before a game and seeing the ball hit the grass more than it hits gloves. Nothing is more embarrassing as a coach, than to watch your team running around the outfield chasing baseballs in some sort of demented circus routine. I’ve pulled teams off the field in pregame and pre-practice before due to playing chase, instead of catch.

Learn to throw and learn to catch. Find help if you need it.

For the coaches, hold the line and be firm and consistent from day one. Demand that your team throws and catches a baseball appropriate to their level. The simplest, single thing you can do to make your baseball team more successful is to improve throwing and catching a baseball.

Here is my basic coaching and teaching plan:

Daily Throwing
Focus on every throw and catch.
Consistency – Hit your partner in the torso with every throw.
Mechanics:

  • 4 seam grip
  • Throwing Arm -Elbow above shoulder, wrist outside of elbow,  hand with ball pointing back.
  • Lead Arm – Shoulder and elbow pointing at target.
  • Front Foot – Slightly open with outside stepping to target

Throwing (5-6 throws from each distance)

  • 30 feet apart
  • 60 feet apart
  • 90 feet apart
  • 120 feet apart (Long Toss = Builds arm strength)
  • Sprint to 30 feet for 5 quick throws

Catching

  • Keep it simple with a soft glove to the ball. Go and get it.
  • Where you glove goes, your off hand follows.

Take pride in your throwing and catching skills. Work on it every day. Focus and concentrate when you play catch. Talk, joke, or have all the fun you want, but remember the focus needs to stay on throwing and catching the ball.

Never forget this: If you can effectively throw and catch a baseball, you will be competitive in every game.

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