Pickup Sports Featured on UrbanDaddy.com

Thanks to Russell Brandom and the team at UrbanDaddy.com for the recent article and post.

Check it out the posting right here.

Go Daddy Go!

 

Cornhole Goes Five-Star!

There are few games in this world that are less appreciated for their skill requirement and effort-to-enjoyment ratio than cornhole.  If you're not familiar with the name cornhole, you might be familiar with the terms "corn toss" or "bags".  But "cornhole" is a legitimate game and has a surprisingly strong following with the tailgating and general "leisure" athlete.  (Read: games to be played in the backyard with or without the influence of alcohol.)  Click here to find out more info on the history and regulation rules of this game enjoyed throughout America from the American Corhole Association.

Granted, cornhole was traditionally spotted at tailgate parties, NACSAR races and other less reputable events in America.  But I think it's safe to say that cornhole has emerged as one of the preferred forms of entertainment for America's elite!  Recently, a big Pickup Sports enthusiast was in Scottsdale, AZ and spotted the game being played poolside at a 5-star resort.  Yes, cornhole has reached 5-star status in America!

That being said, I would argue cornhole is one of the best group sports out there because it involves not only the 4 players in the game, but it's also an exceptional spectator sport.  Everyone loves the anticipation of each throw, and the competitive nature of the game always keeps things interesting.  So grab a bag, get your friends and set up a game of cornhole this weekend!

Pickup Sports Presents at SF New Tech Mobile Night

SF New Tech is the original San Francisco tech meetup group where techies, tech enthusiasts and tech "aspirationalists" congregate to see what's new and interesting from Bay Area entrepreneurs and small businesses in technology.  Last night focused specifically on cool mobile technologies and applications, and Pickup Sports received a spot to present on stage in front of a sold-out crowd at Mighty!  Check out the bill on SF New Tech's website here.

There was a lot of anticipation and energy in the room since mobile has become one of the hot new buzzwords in tech, and most of the presentations were quite impressive.  Lots of polished apps and quirky presentations from really smart folks made for an interesting night.

We were really happy with our demo of the iPhone, Android and WebOS emulators, and a bunch of people at the event downloaded our app right then and there!  We were able to explain how Pickup Sports was born and where Pickup Sports is looking to go as it matures.  Thanks to everyone for some great questions and shoutouts on Twitter, and stay posted for more from Pickup Sports!

It was a great audience and great experience overall, and we were happy to share the stage with apps and companies like Flipboard, vid.ly and cooliris.  Great job everyone!

Are you 'experienced'? Team sports and you.

One could argue that my background in sports isn't entirely in team sports.  I grew up playing sports that most wholesome Midwestern boys played: football, basketball, baseball, swimming and soccer.  My football career was stunted by a broken collar bone the day before tryouts my freshman year, but I still managed to play well into my senior year - much to my mom's chagrin after a mind-rattling concussion 2 years later.

My baseball career came to an end after high school as well since Columbia University's baseball stadium was 100 blocks to the north, and I wasn't sure I'd want to play catcher for the rest of my life.

But swimming stuck with me all the way through high school, college and shortly afterwards as I put forth my best effort at Olympic Trials in 2000.  I was fortunate enough to train with some of the best swimmers in the world, and was proud to say I was part of a team that sent 5 swimmers to the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

But that's my point.  I was on the team, made some great friends, and had others to help me through training, but its only the individual that makes it to the Olympics.  And only then do they join ANOTHER team.  The "team" is a combination of everyone's best individual efforts, and those individual efforts usually happen in separate events or heats, not simultaneously - like football or basketball.

A former teammate of mine from the Irvine Novaquatics commented on my last post about only experiencing sports to its fullest, which is what got me thinking about this again.  Morgan made the case that some of her best stand up paddle experiences were solitary.  She might have been hanging out with her friends before or after her session, but while she was "in it", it was just her and the ocean.

There certainly is something to be said for that solitary pursuit and feeling of accomplishment in anything you do.  And I agree with Morgan on many aspects.  I mean, it's all about ME when I'm swimming because no one else is gonna move me through the water, right?  I guess it comes down to a balance - as everything does in life.

So if you need some time alone today, take it.  If you need someone to hang with or motivate you, it's easy to find it with us here.

The Community of Pickup Sports & Games

Much has happened since I spoke last with Jonny Chai of 5 Stones Fitness while he was pulling his kid around in a tire on the Marina Green in San Francisco.  But I had the chance to speak with Jonny again today to learn more about his personal training business in San Francisco, as well as what he's looking to do as he expands his business.  Jonny's an interesting guy, and is definitely focused on the importance of community in his client base - and his business as a whole.

And then I opened my personal Facebook account and got an update from one of my old Irvine Novaquatics swimming teammates, Morgan Hoesterey.  Aside from my insane jealousy for her stand-up paddleboarding lifestyle, I felt very happy and proud of her for pursuing her dreams in Hawaii - and having a damn good time with her friends while doing it.  You can learn more about her travels and adventures on their Destination 3 degrees Facebook site.  (Go girl!)

This brings me back to community, friendships and the innate human need to be around other people.  You've read about me questioning whether or not surfing, rock climbing or other "individual" sports are best alone (found here) - whether it be tennis, soccer, basketball, etc.  Now I'm posing another question: It's possible to do "individual" sports alone, but is it possible to get maximal enjoyment out of those sports while playing alone?

My previous argument that individual sports are better enjoyed with someone else could be bolstered by the fact that competition in and of itself creates a community, which in turn makes sports more enjoyable.  We're competitive creatures by nature, and a little competition is always healthy...

Are you confused yet?  If not, I'm glad we understand each other.  If so, I encourage you to get out and find a game to see what we mean by "community".

Sports is in All of Us

There are many sayings in the world of sports.  One of them is, "You win some, you lose some."  Today, Egypt both won and lost.  The people of Egypt happily lost a dictator, and won (what they hope to be) a newfound freedom.

 Today we have to step back from the world of sports and recognize the historic day that the youth of Egypt have given us.  It's not every day a dictator steps down, and it's definitely a sign of the times when social media plays such an important role in such a series of events.  It's exciting, revealing, provocative and unsettling all at the same time.

 But what caught my attention on the radio this morning were comments that we haven't seen this level of excitement and celebration in the streets of Cairo since the World Cup.  Don't misinterpret; I'm not comparing a soccer game to an historical change in the country's leadership.  What I thought was remarkable was how the correspondent on the radio used soccer as a means to relate the celebration and euphoria in Egypt.

You may think this is nothing, but I see the incredible influence team sports have in everyone's life – including a country's culture.  When someone mentions a soccer game celebration, a majority of the world’s population knows exactly what that means.  Don’t take the effect of team sports on our world lightly.  It’s more powerful than we realize.

There is No Age Limit for Pickup Sports

Greetings from sunny California!

I just can't get over this weather in the Bay Area, and it's definitely had a positive impact on my mood in recent weeks.  La nina, global warming, climate change, the Al Gore Effect, or whatever, it's made exercising and playing sports outside so much more enjoyable.  My apologies to those on the East Coast.

But today I realized there's no age limit to pickup games.  I met the guys from 5 Stones Fitness (http://5stonesfitness.com/) in the Marina this afternoon as they were loading up a tire with a kettlebell, some weight, spare clothes...and a baby.  (Don't worry, the kid did it on his own accord.)  As the tire was pulled around Marina Green, it reminded me that fun comes in all shapes and sizes - and ages.  The guys from 5 Stones were having a good time and getting a good workout, and the little guy in the tire was enjoying the ride too!

It doesn't matter how you do it, as long as you're having fun by staying active.  So get out and have some fun - and drag someone along with you...okay, that was bad.

Check out the quick video here:

Is Surfing a Pickup Sport?

If you're lucky enough to live in the Bay Area, you've been lucky enough to appreciate some of the unseasonably gorgeous weather we've been having recently.  Those of us inclined to brave the cold water in search of a nice ride found last weekend particularly special.  The waves were decent, the sun was strong and it was a great time out surfing.

 

But it got my surf buddy and I talking about the camaraderie and fellowship of surfers along the coast.  For the most part, surfers are pretty chill and accepting of beginners and visitors - because we've all been there.  But why can't surfing be a pickup sport?

It's more fun when you're with a few buddies or betties, and as many Ocean Beach surfers can attest, it's not always safe to be out by yourself.  So we figured surfing is another great sport that we can tell people about on Pickup Sports.  Just like other games on the Pickup Sports app, it passes the following criteria:

1) You can partake alone (but it's more fun with at least one other person)

2) Location is very important (since good surf breaks are found in many places)

3) If you're new to the area or sport, some local input is invaluable!

Let us know what you think, and if you're out to hang ten or thrash the lip, don't go it alone!

2011 NHL All-Star Game Adopts Pickup Game Format

According to the Fanhouse Staff (@fanhouse), it's hard to imagine the Fantasy Draft for the NHL All-Star Game not returning for a second year.  Why?  Because the fans and media loved it!  Over 2.5 million viewers tuned in, and ratings were up 36% from 2009.  (The Winter Olympics took precedence in 2010.)  The players loved it too, but not all of them: Phil Kessel was picked last (which is never fun), but he received a car for it and some good-natured ribbing from teammates.

The new selection format leaves final selection up to captains, much like you would do on the playground for recess.  How awesome is that?  It's also pretty cool that a major sports league like the NHL would embrace the new format, which is nothing but fun and entertaining for its fans.

Pickup Sports is obviously a big fan of this move by the NHL to bring excitement back to the game.  Nice work to all those at the NHL for opening a new chapter for the All-Star Game!

 

More information on the draft, how it works, and what happened at the game:

http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2010/11/10/nhl-makes-all-star-game-format-change-official/

http://www.nj.com/devils/index.ssf/2011/02/devils_patrik_elias_didnt_appr.html

http://nhl.fanhouse.com/2011/02/01/nhl-all-star-game-ratings-rise/

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/589304-nhl-all-star-draft-chill-out-hockey-fans-the-nhl-catered-to-you