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johnq
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2004-12-20, 04:01

Right, I've no doubt there are problems. I'm at the edge of my knowledge of multiple sorts on data.

Basically I didn't want merely the sum, which was what that "total" column had, but I wanted total count of 5's per sport, 4's per sport etc.

I guess the questions could be:

1. What is the toughest all around position in any sport
2. What is the toughest all around sport (total team)

So yeah, my counting 5's and 4's etc. per sport is inaccurate until we capture quantity of players per sport. In other words, right now, Baseball's "Infield" has three 4's but it really ought to have nine (assuming three per 1b, 2b 3b).

Hm, gotta sleep but it won't be too hard to fill it out a bit more.

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johnq
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2004-12-20, 04:04

Quote:
Originally Posted by \/\/ickes
(PPS, hey john -- how's the 'sort by title clicking' thing goin? -- I'm gonna grab a copy of that spread sheet at work for reference if we can't figure it out)
I did a VB/macro button but it was clunky (showed the literal steps instead of "just doing it"). Couldn't see how to just make it sort by clicking the label. I wish FileMaker made Excel...they know "easy".

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Wickers
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2004-12-20, 04:07

Cool... well i'm on an all night coffee bender... (don't ask, it's gonna be a long day at work tomorrow) So I've imported the spreadsheet into OOo and just for kicks I'm gonna pimp it out.
(well at least with the colour of my eyes (think pinkeye) and the look on my face (dead to the world), no one will bug me at work tomorrow.. hehe.. )

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Wickers
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2004-12-20, 04:09

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnq
I did a VB/macro button but it was clunky (showed the literal steps instead of "just doing it"). Couldn't see how to just make it sort by clicking the label. I wish FileMaker made Excel...they know "easy".
Hehe... a code monkey at work told me once that in all his coding adventures when he picked up FileMaker and saw how most of it was drag and drop.. he was never more freaked out in his life.

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johnq
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2004-12-20, 04:11

Quote:
Originally Posted by \/\/ickes
I'm just going to point out that with that ranking table it does not take into account that football has more entries then any other sport, thus putting it in first place.

Maybe a table that takes the median score of each position per sport, then compairs them.
I can see wanting it that way.

But it also doesn't bother me to also compare sports inclusive of player count.

We can say a person riding in the Tour de France is "tougher" than a person playing goalie in Hockey, but I also think another valid interpretation is that Hockey The Sport is "tougher" than Bicycling The Sport (assuming the numbers showed it). (Random example too, I'm not taking sides. Actually it might be the opposite! )

Damn statistics.

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johnq
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2004-12-20, 04:18

Ok, my example actually proved yours is the only set we want.

If we, say, included the N.Y. marathon, then it would win by virtue of number of "players". Ok, so do that median thigamajig.

I'm smart but slow.

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Wickers
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2004-12-20, 04:33

I'll give it a shot...
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Wickers
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2004-12-20, 05:50



Here it is... done in OOo.

(EDIT: made it look a bit better... EDIT: for spelling error in pic... sigh.)

Oh yah, I created a table on the side that used the 'MAX' and 'MIN' functions across each skill of each sport per position... then I used this table to show the median between the max and min of the other table... I would have just made it into one table (function within a function) but with the tables seperate I can use them in other places.

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Last edited by Wickers : 2004-12-20 at 07:03.
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2004-12-20, 09:30

The problem I have with your analysis is to be "athletic" you must encompass all factors that you rate. That is simply not true and it's an unfair analysis if your competition or sport does not require you to use that factor or is even capable of using that factor.

I realize this is for "team sports", but team goes out the window when you break it down to individual athleticism. If you put a tier one collegiate rower (Harvard, Washington, Cal, Princeton, etc) or an Olympic rower against pretty much any of the positional players you chose to analyze, he'd do pretty poorly based on the factors you consider are signs of athleticism. Yet, I would make a strong argument that the rower is significantly stronger both in strength and aerobically than pretty much any of those players.

Also, in the other thread it was brought up that someone never "felt winded" after playing baseball or a baseball practice. Well.... baseball itself should not wind you if you are in shape. Baseball itself will not get you in shape. It is the shape you put yourself into before the game that makes you great during the game. If you were never winded during a baseball practice its because you did not properly train. Baseball practice is not simply ground balls and batting practice and bullpen sessions. It's also weight training, running, sprints, core work, etc. The out of shape players many people harp on to say baseball doesnt require athleticism are the the exception. If you look at 90% of the players in the major leagues they are incredibly strong and in shape guys. As gay as this is, their uniforms dont do them justice. If you have seen Alex Rodriguez or Derek Jeter or even bernie Williams without a shirt on you'd swear they had the same build of ripped NBA stars. Andy pettite's legs look like they belong on horses. Nolan Ryan was as successful as he was because he worked like a fucking lunatic. His strength and conditioning program would awe most athletes in most sports considered significantly more intense.

The problem some people here, notibaly Kichaha have, is that baseball is a game that can be played on many levels. It's what makes the game great. You don't have to be huge to have fun playing it. Kids can pick it up fairly easily. However, baseball does have the most intense paths to getting to the professional level. It is not easy and requires a severe amount of play, practice, training, and patience.

A few more things
1. Someone said pitchers were overrated on stamina because they only have to run to a base on the rare triple. You have no idea the wear and tear on your arm and body throwing 90-110 pitches at 85MPH does. It's one of the most unnatural movements in sports, hence all the injuries. It's also one of the most violent on muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It requires a great amount of muscle and ligament stamina. And any pitcher who has pitched in 90+ degree heat will tell you that pitching is surprisingly aerobic as well.

2. I see baseball players are rated very poorly for endurance and physical abuse. I remind you that baseball has the longest season out of any professional sport. It is also the only professsional sport that is played every day. there are only a handful of off days in the span of 162 games. Over the course of a season, you get beat up, hurt, tired, worn down, etc. It most certainly requires endurance and involves physical abuse.
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Moogs
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2004-12-20, 09:58

You make some interesting points about the bias towards team athletes. I guess my response to your rower example is, the skill of effective rowing technique is much easier to acquire and master than say puck-handling through two opponents at high speed, getting flushed out of the pocket and throwing a 25 yard bullet to your receiver, all the while having a huge lineman in your face... or even throwing a good sinker.

No offense but my high school had a great rowing team, and many of the guys on that team had never done it a day in their life... but by the time a season or two had past they were very proficient at it. To the point of getting scholarships / partial scholarships.

I agree though that there are many individual sports which require the competitor to be in top physical condition. That said, I look at virtually all professional athletes and arrive at the conclusion that, while some are bigger built than others (or more able to continually exercise - like a rower), they are all - for the most part - in extremely good condition.

Almost all of the positions listed would get a 4 or 5 for "PC" (Physical conditioning), football linemen being the noteable exception, but they're not on the list anyway.

PS - it's awesome (and pretty telling) to see such interest in this thread. Whether culturally ingrained or otherwise, shows how much we care about our sports.

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2004-12-20, 10:08

With all respect, you are horribly mistaken with your assumption that mastering the rowing stroke is an easy thing, and considerably easier than the other examples you provide. The rowing stroke is a thing of beauty when done perfectly, but perfection is rarely achieved. It is something that you practice and train for everyday in hopes of eventually achieving. Having played all the sports you mention as a youth and having now been exposed to rowing I can say that all have a factor of ease in picking up and doing and doing fairly well in. Rowing a bit more so, simply because its very different than the other sports I had previously played and also because as long as you aren't in a single, which I'm not, you also have to depend heavily on your teammates. Rowing requires an incredible amount of hand-eye coordination, focus, intensity, and control. Puck-handling I'm sure is an extremely difficult process to become great at. However, there are thousands (maybe millions) of people who can do it well enough to play a game of hockey. Of course to do amazing feats requires a step above, but so does winning an IRA or an olympic game in rowing.

As for quarterbacks. I always found quarterbacks to be dumb and unsuccessful pitchers..... but that's my experience

I like to think about putting a player in another player's shoes. I think it tells a lot. Put a football player in a baseball players shoes. Do you think he'd fair alright? Maybe. Put a basketball player in a baseball player's shoes. I think he'd look like a fool (cough michael jordan). Put a baseball player in football....I think most would fare decently. Hockey players.....well, to be honest, I cant see them playing much else successfully.
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Kickaha
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2004-12-20, 12:48

Actually, I could - they have the brute grunt for football, the explosive speed for running bases *well*, and their hand-eye coordination and aerobic stamina are second to few in sports in general. Okay, so maybe they wouldn't be effective point guards.

Also, I think you misunderstood my complaint about baseball-the-sport requiring less athleticism vs some-positions requiring quite a bit. Yes, hurling a ball for nine innings as pitcher is a huge drain, but that's just one position. That would be like using, oh, the horse to measure the jockey's athleticism. *Overall*, I think that baseball requires less raw athleticism than most sports. Skill? You bet. It's not easy to nail a ball coming at you at 100mph+.

I think I'm beginning to see the problem I'm having with 'stamina' as one of aerobic vs. structural. A pitcher needs high structural stamina on that one shoulder, but relatively low aerobic stamina compared to say a soccer center. We're all choosing to interpret it to mean whatever we want for our bias.

Cool to see another rower here. I did it at the UofW (intramural only), and my grandfather rowed there competitively in the early 30s. I agree with you on the skill of the proper rowing motion - it takes a hell of a lot of core stability to do effectively, and you have to have enough strength to counteract hitting a rogue wavetip and catching a crab. It doesn't require the sort of fast reflex hand-eye coordination that other sports do, but it does require a lot of properly trained muscle memory, strength and stamina - both kinds.

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Eugene
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2004-12-20, 15:40

How much raw athleticism is there in the goalie's job? Yeah, they can usually beat up all the non-goalie players, but what does he really do? He needs to have quick reflexes, and he needs to be able to do the splits, but he doesn't need to have the stamina or the skate speed of his teammates, ...that's like a 1st baseman. I could judge hockey based on analysis of one position, just like you've done with baseball.
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Messiahtosh
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2004-12-20, 15:53

lol, boxing wins.
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Kickaha
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2004-12-20, 15:58

No, Eugene, you wouldn't be doing what I'm doing, because I'm specifically *NOT* doing that. I'm pointing out that *other people* are doing that.

Overall, *AS A SPORT*, baseball simply doesn't require much raw athletic ability as measured by aerobic stamina or strength, as compared to most other sports. The only positions that require structural stamina of any real sort are the pitcher (arm) and catcher (knees). People using those two positions as justification for the entire sport is simplistic and just plain wrong.

Sorry, but it appears you were simply confused.

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Eugene
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2004-12-20, 16:17

I see precisely what you are saying. How can you infer that baseball doesn't require as much athleticism based on something like how tired you feel at the end of the game or whatever your original reply covered. How many games do most major league baseball players have to play a week anyway? What about daily practices and weight training?

If that's not what you're saying, what is the basis for your conclusion? What are you measuring? I say baseball require more athleticism than basketball because it requires nine active players per team vs. five!

You can't begin to compare a pitcher to a soccer midfielder, or to a shortstop, center fielder or any other position. If anybody thinks the OF in baseball is a piece of cake, woo boy...

If you are going to say baseball on the whole requires less athleticism than other sports, I expect you to back it up.

Last edited by Eugene : 2004-12-20 at 16:31.
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Eugene
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2004-12-20, 16:35

applenut has another point. It's no secret that NFL WRs are mostly NBA rejects. Does that mean the NBA is a more athletic league than the NFL?

Where does Lance Armstrong rate on the athleticism scale compared to Steve McNair?
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kretara
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2004-12-20, 16:48

If you want a sport that really requires an athlete then how about Rugby?

Another thing to consider. How many personel substitutions the "team" has per game. American Football is unlimited which means that individuals (for the most part) only have to be in for a few downs and each down is something like 10-25 seconds of movement.
Soccer has a limit of 3 substitutions per team.

I don't follow hockey, baseball or basketball so I'm not sure about them.
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Kickaha
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2004-12-20, 17:23

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene
If you are going to say baseball on the whole requires less athleticism than other sports, I expect you to back it up.


And yet no matter what yardstick I choose to use, you're going to claim it's wrong, and twist it around again. Why should I bother again?

Baseball: you don't move constantly, plays have long breaks between them, there's no contact except accidental or sliding into someone. There's no sustained aerobic activity, strength is important to many, but not essential for most positions, and the relative hand-eye coordination, while necessary, isn't that much different than many other sports due to the intermittent action.

Clear enough? Or should I keep rewording it?

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2004-12-20, 17:44

That was a bit too confusing......
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Paul
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2004-12-20, 17:51

hah, I didn't notice that was nut... I was just about to say he was missing...

re: substitutions... That is a good point as well. Like you say, soccer only has 3... IIRC baseball is the only other major sport to have a limit (roster size, a player can only be entered to play once per game)...
Hockey, basketball, and football (although there are some complicated procedures for some positions) can sub in/out pretty much at will and as many times as they like. Hockey is the only sport where changes can be made on the fly, which is important as well.

Another interesting area to look at is penalties... hockey and soccer can become MUCH more strenuous when down a man--moreso in soccer because it is permanent.

where would golf rank?

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Last edited by Paul : 2004-12-20 at 18:02.
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Eugene
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2004-12-20, 17:52

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickaha
Baseball: you don't move constantly, plays have long breaks between them, there's no contact except accidental or sliding into someone. There's no sustained aerobic activity, strength is important to many, but not essential for most positions, and the relative hand-eye coordination, while necessary, isn't that much different than many other sports due to the intermittent action.
No constant movement? Football has 10 seconds of movement broken up by half minute long gaps, and only half the team plays at a time, but it figures highly on these charts.

Contact? Oh, incidental doesn't count now... What about beanballs? Comebackers? Leaping over fences to make catches? Nipple erasing face-first sliding catches?

Oh, and hand-eye coordination is less important somehow because there are breaks in the action. Aren't there line changes in hockey? I wonder why there's stoppage time in soccer...

Back to Lance now. Is his coordination less important because he likely does next-to-zero upper-body conditioning, or because there's no contact in his sport?

You're right, I'm not satisfied with your answer(s).
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Kickaha
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2004-12-20, 17:57

Tough. Not my problem.
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Paul
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2004-12-20, 18:05

we all forgot tennis as well...
I've never really played, but it is the only other "major" sport (besides boxing) where the only person you rely on is yourself... plus the games can go on for HOURS.

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Eugene
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2004-12-20, 18:15

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul
we all forgot tennis as well...
I've never really played, but it is the only other "major" sport (besides boxing) where the only person you rely on is yourself... plus the games can go on for HOURS.
But there's no contact. And there's a break after every point. And there's a break after every second game. And there's a break after each set. And, well, tennis players are as pussy as baseball players, you see? Hand-eye coordination doesn't matter considering the above points.
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Moogs
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2004-12-20, 18:21

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Return of the 'nut
I like to think about putting a player in another player's shoes. Hockey players.....well, to be honest, I cant see them playing much else successfully.
It's the other way around, friend... put any among professional: basketball players, baseball players, football players, soccer players, track and field types, etc on skates and tell them to give it a go.

A large majority (even those who have skated a number of times in their life) would quickly become frustrated trying to merely balance themselves as they attempt keep pace, turn, pivot, etc. The VAST majority would find it all but impossible to skate and manuever as noted above, while simultaneously keeping their head up, the puck on their blade... keeping it away from other players, getting passes off without hesitating, hitting that player's tape with that pass... much less getting into scoring position, much less scoring.

Nor would they be able to skate backwards with laterla mobility, without falling on their ass every 3 seconds. If you think otherwise I can only suggest you've never put on the equipment, laced em up and tried it yourself. Skating around the rink in lazy circles during disco night is something unrelated to the sport of hockey.

OTOH, I sincerely believe many hockey players would find that basketball, soccer (in particular) and the fielding positions in baseball, would come easily compared to the amount of toil they put into becoming a competitive hockey player. Obviously, hitting a baseball would be difficult for anyone in any sport, if they'd never done much of it before.

And let's be clear: I'm talking about playing at a high level here. I'm not talking about being able to hold a stick in your hand and swipe at the puck going by, as your ankles buckle inward while your buddy snaps a picture of you for ammo at the bar.

Even so, I did not mean to imply that being a professional orrsman is an *easy* thing; I'm just saying the ability to become a competant rower (say at the high school or college level) is relatively easy when compared to the number and type of skills that must be mastered to become a competant hockey player, quarterback, or pitcher at the same level. You can take that or leave it of course; I suspect most who've played a variety of sports will agree with me though.

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johnq
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2004-12-20, 20:10

Anyway, we'll sort it all out and get it right!

There has to be a way to strip out or biases and factor in the differences in numbers of players etc.

"Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding." - Albert Einstein
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Moogs
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2004-12-20, 20:25

Well even the numbering system is probably biased in its own way, and the categories too, as some might contend that the categories I chose are unimportant or that one or more should be combined (agility / mobility, stamina / physical abuse, etc).

There is an inherently subjective aspect to all of it so the key is to just note the biases in the beginning and then try to measure every aspect of the positions in the same way. We've got a good start. :smokey:

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2004-12-20, 20:55

Quote:
It's the other way around, friend... put any among professional: basketball players, baseball players, football players, soccer players, track and field types, etc on skates and tell them to give it a go.
I did not mention that simply because I think the skates are an unfair variable in the big picture. Hockey players certainly have an edge in that regard since that is a talent that really requires you to learn from a young age.

but put a hockey player in the other sports and they'd look like big thugs. I have also seen many hockey players that look terribly out of shape. Hockey players often play into their 40s. All arguments used against baseball.

Quote:
A large majority (even those who have skated a number of times in their life) would quickly become frustrated trying to merely balance themselves as they attempt keep pace, turn, pivot, etc. The VAST majority would find it all but impossible to skate and manuever as noted above, while simultaneously keeping their head up, the puck on their blade... keeping it away from other players, getting passes off without hesitating, hitting that player's tape with that pass... much less getting into scoring position, much less scoring.

Nor would they be able to skate backwards with laterla mobility, without falling on their ass every 3 seconds. If you think otherwise I can only suggest you've never put on the equipment, laced em up and tried it yourself. Skating around the rink in lazy circles during disco night is something unrelated to the sport of hockey.
skating to be an NHL hockey player never came across as a "difficult thing" simply because if that is what you do you likely were born with skates on so to speak. Now, yes, if I were to decide to be a hockey player, I'd have an impossible time trying to skate like them. But since they grew up like that its almost 2nd nature. I don't neccessarily think the skill of skating makes them greater athletes though. I know 15 year old girls who can skate circles around any NHL player. And yes I've skated before and fair a bit better than the disco night at Berkeley Iceland. One of my past desires was to take up speed skating but without the rink it was impossible.

Quote:
Even so, I did not mean to imply that being a professional orrsman is an *easy* thing; I'm just saying the ability to become a competant rower (say at the high school or college level) is relatively easy when compared to the number and type of skills that must be mastered to become a competant hockey player, quarterback, or pitcher at the same level. You can take that or leave it of course; I suspect most who've played a variety of sports will agree with me though.
there is a difference between competant and competive. The collegiate level is no piece of cake. It is more of an international pool of rowers. As it is my team is dominated by them, olympians, national champs, etc. Also, dismissing the rowing as relatively easy sounds as if YOU have never suited up and got in a boat and tried it yourself. Also, we're not just talking technique here although you can spend alifetime perfecting that as well. Rowing, competively requires an amazing amount of strength and conditioning. It's a very cuthroat sport and if you have the time I recommend going to a gym and just hopping on one of the rowing machines. Try to hold 1:30 for 2000 meters. That would give you a fairly competive 2K time. I think you'll quickly realize within the first 30-60 seconds or maybe sooner just what I'm talking about.

Quote:
Cool to see another rower here. I did it at the UofW (intramural only), and my grandfather rowed there competitively in the early 30s. I agree with you on the skill of the proper rowing motion - it takes a hell of a lot of core stability to do effectively, and you have to have enough strength to counteract hitting a rogue wavetip and catching a crab. It doesn't require the sort of fast reflex hand-eye coordination that other sports do, but it does require a lot of properly trained muscle memory, strength and stamina - both kinds.
That's very cool. UW is as you probably know our biggest rival and I'll be heading up there this April for the duel. I'm proud to say I have 4 UW tanks from last season (San Diego Crew Classic, Duel, Pac-10s, and Nationals)
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Moogs
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2004-12-20, 22:23

Rowing takes serious quad and upper body strength, no doubt. As for skating, you can make the "playing since he was 5" argument with any sport. Look at Tiger Woods.

I would also suggest that skating as if it were "second nature" is tougher than you might think, even if you've been doing it for years. While your muscles never forget a learned and repeated skill like that, it is very easy for even accomplished players to become rusty on their skates.

They call it "getting your legs under you", and quite literally that's what it means. If you skip even a few weeks and head back out to the rink and try to go full-tilt, most likely you end up on your ass in a well-played game. That or you just get left in the dust (errr, shavings).

Anyway, we all know my bias for the sport. But I will never forget (generally being able to pick up every sport I've played pretty quickly), how much respect I *immediately* gained for the better hockey players, after I suited up the first few times, thinking I would pick the sport up quickly like the others.

Hockey humbled me in a big way, and kept on humbling me. Every time I thought I had mastered enough of the skills to actually go out and compete, I got humiliated. It took basically a year of intense instruction (even though I knew how to skate generally, I didn't start playing hockey seriously until my late 20s) and three years of skating [on a regular basis] to get to the point where I don't look like a fool amongst good players. And I'm still just a role player at best on the teams I played for.

There's no other team sport I can think of that put me in my place so quickly. Even golf (a notoriously difficult "skill sport" to master) has a shorter learning curve than hockey IMO, and I carried a single digit handicap for a long time (though probably no more; I play twice a year).

I think the thing of it is, with hockey you have to do so many things well to even be good enough to stand out there with the other guys, that it's just totally impressive to me what someone at the NHL level can do.

And as a side note, most NHLers are cut in stone these days. You're not going to find many hockey players with spare tires I can tell you that. It's not like the days when Gretz was in there at 170 lbs going gonzo, either. Even the smallish guys are in the 6'0" 200 lb range. I'd say the average forward is about 6'2" 215 lbs. The more impressive specimens are 6'4"-6'5", 230 lbs. These guys are built a lot more than they were 20 years ago.

I venture to say - fighting tendancies aside - they could pound the crap out of most basketball players... though football players and baseball players are surely larger breeds these days.

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