Tuesday, February 22, 2011


This past weekend, the baseball team here at Cortland opened up the season with four games in Virginia. The Red Dragons came back with a 1-3 record, but things aren't looking so bad. Every year since I have been here, it has always been a rough start to the season. It isn't the easiest thing to go from the field house right into an actual game. The first game turned out to be a pitchers duel with the two runs scored by Shenandoah coming off of a passed ball and an infield single. The two games on saturday were daggers with the first game getting broken open by a controversial home run call and a interesting balk call. The second game on saturday seemed to be in the bag with a 5 run lead in the bottom of the ninth, but then again this is baseball. Bridgewater College scored 6 runs including 2 on a walk off double to knock us off. Sunday's game was a different story however with Senior Mike Mahay pitching a gem for 7 innings shutting down Salisbury in Maryland. It was a great thing to finally get the first win of many more to come. The upcoming schedule for the Red Dragons includes a trip to Long Island next weekend and a trip to Florida for spring break where 7 games are scheduled. Since I have been here, I have been a part of two teams that have made it to the world series, one making it all the way to the National Championship. So it is safe to say that I could tell when a team is pretty good. This team almost has it. All it is going to take is the experience of playing together and becoming more of a team where everyone knows their role, shuts their mouth and performs. The talent is there, no question. The team working together and playing for each other is what will lead to eventually the National Championship.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Whats Changing in College Baseball? The Bats.

The baseball bat has evolved in the last twenty years tremendously with the addition of composite bats being introduced into the market. Aluminum bats have been generally used in baseball in the levels of college and below, but within the last few years the use of composite bats has increased greatly leading to an increase of hitting overall, turning the most average hitters into sluggers.
            Composite bats produce a much greater trampoline effect when a baseball is struck. The trampoline effect is described as the bouncing of the ball off of the bat when it is struck. The barrel of the bat compresses when contact is made forcing the energy of the ball to decrease less. The composite bat is made with a combination of that is usually graphite and fiberglass resulting in a greater trampoline effect and higher bat speeds. These bats usually take over about 100 swings to break in unlike aluminum bats. The composite bats being so much lighter than the aluminum will not only increase bat speed but the speed that the ball comes off of the bat, sometimes making it extremely dangerous. This fear is not as strong in wood bats due to the fact they do not compress as much and not having an impact on bat or ball speed such as the metal bats do.
            College baseball has veered away from composite bats and regular aluminum bats in 2011 by making the BBCOR (Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution) bat the only legal bat to use. This new line of bats was created to as closely as possible imitate the velocity of wooden bats but still have the non-wood material to create longer lives of bats and durability. The change in this is first for the safety of all players and coaches (mainly pitchers, infielders and base coaches), and second to separate the true hitters from the hitters who would get lucky hits by not hitting the ball on the sweet spot. These new bats are going to bring true baseball back. Balls will not be flying out of every single park as they have been for the last few years. Small ball, such as bunting, stealing bases and hit and runs, are going to play a much bigger factor in winning baseball games for teams from now on. This will also increase the importance of defense and pitching to win ball games. With balls not jumping off the ball as fast as they have been, players will have to increase their ability and concentration to execute the fundamentals of fielding a ground ball and throwing it across the diamond. Hitters will have to perform at a higher level than with the older bats by hitting the ball on the sweet spot of the bat.

This video of a middle school in Baltimore is a great influence to schools and teachers across the country showing that by even having a great diversity in school, it can be handled if the teachers and faculty are willing to take on the challenge. This school has students from 38 nations and more than 30 languages spoken by the students. I cannot remember in my middle school or high school having more than maybe two students who spoke a different language. As a teacher it is important to realize that these students from different backgrounds and languages will struggle at times in many activities, even speaking english, but it is the job of the teacher to include them and help them fit in creating a melting pot of cultures. It will also be beneficial if the teacher knows information about the students heritage and background being able to relate that into the teaching while involving the whole class. Having a staff as a whole, such as this one, is what other schools across the country should learn from. Being so faithful to the students and valuing their education is what will help the amount of diverse students succeed.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Drew Brees @ NASPE Session

The AAHPERD national convention is being held on March 31st in San diego, California and one way to attract attention is having 2009 Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees, Quarterback of the New Orleans Saints, as the head speaker for the NASPE general session. This is the 126th annual AAHPERD convention being held. Past speakers have ranged from the Iron Man himself, Cal Ripken, Herschel Walker and Annika Sorenstam. Brees is the co-chair of the Presidents Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. Even as an outstanding performer on the field, he is also a great help off the field establishing the Brees Dream Foundation in 2003, where they have raised money for every thing from cancer care and research to helping rebuild schools, parks, playgrounds and athletic fields in New Orleans, San Diego and Purdue. The NASPE session, streams as one of the overall highlights of the whole AAHPERD conventions. The expectations for attendance spread among over 5,000 teachers and coaches. I think it is a great addition to the conference to have an athlete as well known as Drew Brees to speak because it adds to the importance of physical education throughout the country as well as helping people notice that even the most famous professional athletes care and understand about the overall well being as the nation and children as a whole. I believe that the addition of Brees will also help people who were considering going to the convention make their decision definite.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

How do peer groups impact Elementary school life?

As children reach the stage of elementary school in their life, a certain change begins to set in. Peer groups, or being around other students, become increasingly influential on the lives of these children, sometimes even overpowering the influence that parents can have on a child. When a child reaches first grade, it is seen that they turn to adults for a safety valve where they can ask questions and receive affection or comfort when needed. At this level the student is still dependent on the adults in their life to help them through difficult and uncomfortable situations. At about second grade, the students begin to seperate themselves between male and female. The boys tend to be more adventurous as a whole then the female students. The gender barrier becomes a great problem due to the fact the students seem to think that it is almost wrong or embarrassing to befriend the opposite sex. This can be seen in almost any persons experience through elementary school, when students start making rumors or if one student "likes" another it is blown up through the young emotions and immaturity.

Monday, February 7, 2011


This weekend was full of plenty of baseball for myself and the rest of the Cortland baseball team. Friday through sunday our hitters squared off against our own pitchers in the indoor cages. The team is working hard as usual, looking forward to our first game in Virginia in a week and a half.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Learning Styles

Each student has their own style of learning, and when teaching these styles are mixed together which makes it important for a teacher to incorporate more than one style into their presentation. There are three main types of learning styles: Visual, Kinesthetic, and Auditory. Visual learning students require learning through seeing words, charts, pictures etc. Things that they can see are learned more efficiently. The students that learn this way will gain more information from diagrams in the text, overheads presented to them in class or simply through text books. Kinesthetic learning is known as learning through performing actions or "hands-on". If the students are moving around or have things they can directly use by themselves, then this will enhance the ability of the kinesthetic learner. Even strategies as the students taking roles will help enhance the learning process for the student who is a kinesthetic learner. The third learning style is Auditory learners. This type of learner gains the most knowledge by hearing lectures and conversation. These students have the ability to gain their knowledge from talking about it with others. Groupwork is a great way for Auditory learners to understand what is being taught. This type of learner will benefit from from hearing and talking about what is put in front of them. It is important for teachers to blend these styles together therefore there will be less of a chance for misunderstanding. My belief is that the only way to ensure effective teaching would be to display each style of teaching into a lesson.