Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Practice - Passing; Cold Weather

A couple posts back featured Outlaws attired for cold weather.  I missed one.  The mystery woman here was ready for a cold practice.

To make up for missing her before, I'm having her lead today's post.  She participated in the pass receiving drill.  That drill provided some fun photos. 

Like this one, above.  She is going to catch it.  Look at the focus, eye on the ball.  Or  like the one below.  A pass too tall.  No chance of getting it.  Maybe if she were six inches taller?

I love shooting the pass receivers. Sometimes the receiver is leaping to reach for a ball sailing over her head. Sometimes stretching for a throw just out of reach.

Leaping high for a tall ball.

Tiffany, a defensive back who is normally knocking down
ball carriers.  I think she's going to make the catch here.
Ball isn't in the photo but I like the shot anyway. 

Most fun are those where the ball is home.  Receiver has it in her grasp.  The facial expression reflects her concentration.  An instant later it will be her satisfaction with  success.

This is Ski, the senior member of the team showing the
kids how it is done. 

Footballs are shaped funny.  They don't always arrive
in the perfect "catch" position.  So securing the reception
takes focus.

Still concentrating, making certain the catch is secure.

Got that baby.  Holding it like a baby.  Can't let it fall.
Note the 49ers sweatshirt.  Almost a Superbowl year.
Maybe the Outlaws will have a championship year?

Years ago I made a video inspired by "Psycho Cybernetics", a book by Maxwell Maltz about human capacity to achieve great things.  One of his illustrations was from baseball but the concept applies to the passing game in football.  For an outfielder, or pass receiver, to catch the ball, an amazing amount of calculation is going on.  The receiver has to gauge the speed the ball is traveling, the direction it is going, the distance it will travel based on the trajectory.  She has to calculate her own running speed and accurately predict where she'll need to be to meet the ball.  She has to determine whether she'll have to leap to get it and if so when to launch so she is at the correct altitude when the ball is.   All of this computing is done unconsciously and with lightning speed.  The ball will be in the air two or three seconds.

Following is a three-photo series of Gina Balin going through all of that calculation and catching the ball.  It may not look all that amazing because we see it repeated over and over.  But when you stop to think about it, to analyze it, it is truly amazing.

Here it comes.  Deciding where she has to be to make the
catch and heading that way.

Not a high jump but she did go airborne
to catch it.  Photographer's timing a tad off,
shooting just before her left foot leaves the ground.

Got it!
This is why I love the game so much.  I always marvel at what athletes do. 

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