Before we get started I need to explain what I mean by most skilled athlete. This person has the best of both worlds he is an athlete with quick feet and can run fast. But he also has the skill of a baseball hitter that has the hand to eye coordination. You have the ability of the pitcher on the mound, attempting to fool the hitter with his skill. Then you go to the games of skill like a bowler, and pool shooter.
The sports we will be discussing
What sets baseball apart from the other major sports is you need to be a relaxed concentration. The player needs to be focused on the game situations and what he needs to do as an individual player to help the team. The intensity of a baseball player is when you go into second base to break up the double play. The close play at the plate when the catcher positions himself to block the path of the runner trying to score is another example.
The athleticism of the baseball player is when he is running to the gap to catch a long fly ball or leaping up against the wall to rob the batter of a home run. The batter hitting the ball in the gap and sliding into third base in a cloud of dust.
One of the skills in baseball comes with hitting the baseball. The timing and the skill to do this is the most difficult to accomplish in all of sports. Pitching is another skill in baseball, to be able to throw strikes and develop two or three solid pitches.
Football and hockey are examples of very intense sports that lead to a lot of collisions. The players need to keep their energy up on their motors almost the whole time when competing.
Basketball is a lot of running and jumping which is the athletic part of the sport. The shooting and passing of the ball is more of a skill for the basketball player.
When I think of soccer, I think of a lot of running for distance and also short bursts of speed. The skill comes with the shooting of the ball and the passing to teammates.
Tennis is a sport that has a combination of athleticism and skill. There is a need to be quick to reach the ball that your opponent has hit. The skill comes when you are hitting the ball to win the serve.
Racquetball is a sport that is great for your cardiovascular, athleticism, and to show your skill. On the court there are short bursts of energy at all times, and the skill to defeat your opponent with quick and strategic shots.
I am going to narrow this down to the best skilled athletes on the team sports.
The most skilled athlete on the baseball diamond is the shortstop and a close second is the center fielder. A shortstop has to be quick with his feet and to be able to explode in a direction to field ground balls. The need to catch a blooper like a wide receiver going for a pass is very important and takes athleticism. The skill to catch the hot grounders and to redirect the ball to turn the double play is a skill. Hitting the baseball is the hardest skill to master in all of sports and the shortstop is expected to make a contribution at the plate.
There is no doubt in football the most skilled athlete is the wide receiver. This is a man that usually can run and change directions like a cheetah. These men are very athletic and have the skill to catch a football thrown like a bullet into a crowd of mad men that want split him in half! This does not seem to be a lot of fun to me at the higher levels of the game.
Another physical sport is hockey and the most skilled athlete is the center. He needs to be fast and able to change directions in an instant. The sudden stop and go and change of direction on skates is pretty awesome. The skill comes with all the puck handling, passing and shooting the puck. Hockey players are animals on skates and are high on the food chain as far as being skilled athletes.
The athleticism of basketball players is really something to watch with the foot speed and the jumping ability. The best skilled athlete on the court is the guard. This man needs to be fast and quick to be able to out maneuver the opponent. The skill comes with his shooting ability, passing and dribbling the ball.
Here is the scenario each athlete in his chosen sport has only played his particular sport. This is until the age of 14 and then I will discuss how I think the athlete will succeed in the new sport. This is going to be real interesting and should receive a lot of comments. I have discussed this subject with a friend named Tom and he came up with his theory and I agree with his reasoning.
We are going to start with baseball and we will discuss how a player from another sport can learn and if he can be successful at the game.
The wide receiver in football could maybe learn to play the outfield and use his speed to catch the ball in the gap. I think infield work is out of the question because it takes a lot of work and years to learn to play the infield. The ball hit off the bat is hit like a shot and there is the need for athleticism, skill, and a lot of practice to master the infield. First base is a possibility, but there is still the issue of the groundballs. We now turn to stepping up to the plate and learning how to hit the baseball. There is a very little chance of the athlete working to make himself into a good hitter. There is so much to know and work on to be a good hitter. Besides at this age the pitchers are starting to throw some curves and changes. Very few football players could succeed at baseball if they start the game at the age of 14.
Hockey players with the speed of the game and the quick movement of the puck may be able to play baseball at a high level. The reflex it takes to hit the moving puck is similar to the skill of hitting the baseball. These athletes have the hand to eye coordination to hit the baseball with a lot of good coaching and hard work. There is no guarantee, because hitting a baseball is the hardest thing to do in all of sports. The hockey player could work hard and maybe play any position on the field. There is a good chance a hockey player could be a good baseball player.
I had a player last fall that I worked with and he was a junior in high school. I could tell immediately when he took a swing that he hadn’t played much ball or was just a terrible hitter. I asked him how much ball he has played and I was right he didn’t start to play the game until he was a freshman. He made the freshman team and got cut his sophomore year. We worked our rears off and after about 4 months he was hitting like he had played the game for years in the cage. We missed about a month of work because of the weather and we got back in the cage and he had lost a lot of his ability. It was depressing for both of us! He tried out for the team and the head coach was very pleased with how he was hitting the ball and he made the squad.
Basketball players I think could learn to play the outfield, but they would have to be guards. As an athlete and the skill it takes to play guard this person could pickup hitting and be successful. They will need to have excellent coaching and a lot of hard work! The guard could pick up the game and be successful.
I think soccer players would have the most difficult time trying to learn to play baseball. They do everything with their feet. They will need to work extra hard and would be very frustrated.
Tennis players have the skill and the athleticism to learn to play the outfield but it will take a lot of work. When they step to the plate they are use to the speed of a round ball. I think they have the chance to advance into a baseball player.
I am a big fan of racquetball and think it is just great for your athleticism, skill and cardiovascular. This athlete could learn to play all the positions in baseball and could develop into a good hitter. The sport is so quick and with the small ball it is an advantage for this player to learn to play baseball.
Baseball Players– Could play football, basketball, tennis and racquetball.
Football Players– Could Play basketball, tennis, and racquetball.
Hockey Players– Could Play baseball, football, soccer, tennis, and racquetball.
Basketball Players-Could play baseball, football, tennis, and racquetball.
Soccer Players– Could Play football, tennis, and racquetball.
Tennis Players– Could Play baseball, and racquetball.
Racquetball Players– Could Play baseball, football, basketball, soccer, and tennis.
There are 2 players who have played in the major leagues that didn’t start to play baseball until the age of 14. I have tried to find my sources but with no luck. I am pretty sure that they began playing the game later than others. They are J. D. Drew, and Sammy Sosa. Drew had so much natural talent but failed to work hard and couldn’t stay healthy. When Drew was with the Cardinals he didn’t know his angles in the outfield and the reason was he didn’t play the game when he was young like the rest of us. Sosa I believe played a lot of soccer as a youth and then started to play baseball. With these 2 there are always exceptions.
Who are the most skilled athletes in America!
Baseball “You knew I was going to say this”
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