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Thursday, April 30, 2009
Play Baseball the Way It's Meant to Be Played
By Nate Barnett
During my professional baseball experience, I had the fortunate chance to play with a player by the name of Willie Bloomquist. Willie is currently in his 10th season as a professional baseball player. In the minor leagues I watched Willie go about his game with great diligence and focus. It wasn't that other players I played with were horribly less focused, it's just that Willie did something different than most. Aside from pitching, he could play every position well at the professional level.
The ability for athletes to play a variety of positions is extremely valuable. Not only does it raise your value as an athlete, but it raises the value of the team since a multi-position athlete can fill in for anyone, anywhere. Having said this, it is disappointing to see young athletes identifying themselves as a first baseman, or a right-fielder only. Great athletes learn how to play baseball a variety of different ways. Why? Because it's fun and it's the way baseball was meant to played.
Prior to the age of specialization where we as a baseball culture accepted roles such as "the set up man", or "the closer", players played many different positions in the field, and starting pitchers threw deep into games. I'm not suggesting that youth athletes not have a primary position to focus on, but I am suggesting that learning multiple positions has a greater long-term benefit. Just ask Willie how it's helped him. His ability to play baseball the way it was meant to be played is the reason he is still playing professional baseball today. He's simply too valuable to let go.
Nate Barnett is owner of the The Pitching Academy, a pitching information website designed to improve your on the mound performance as a pitcher. The Pitching Academy contains information, products, training, free articles, and more on pitching, play baseball, how to play baseball, pitching grips, and much more.
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