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!

 

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!

Steve Nash played Pickup Basketball in China

 

This is an old news happened on 8/31/2009, but there is something interesting about it.  Even the best players out there in NBA still have fun playing Pickup Games.  They are not even doing it for health or to improve, but purely just for fun.

China has becoming a super power, not only in terms of economy, but also in terms of atheletic attention.  After getting most amount of gold mdeals in Beijing Olympic 2008, China has proven itself as the top athletic country.  This is one of the reason why citizens of China has also become more active.  With players like Yao Ming being picked into NBA, basketball has become the most popular sport in China.

If you guys ever visit china, go to some basketball court and see whether you can find yourself a good game.  And if you can't find games, Pickup Sports will be coming to China too!

Improve your game quickly

The best way to improve your game, whether it is basketball, tennis, or even pickuping women for that fact is to practice and play with the best. If I ask you what is the best way to pickup a new sport and become good at it? You might say, play against your friends and keep practicing. But from my experience, this is the slow way. In order to improve quickly you have to play as many differnt people and styles as possible. Practice on the other hand will reinforce your fundamentals and prevent embarrassment,  but in order to improve you have to add variety.

If you keep playing against the same people over and over your game plateus. Although it is fun to beat up on your less talented friends you have to challenge yourself and find someone who is better than you.

This is what pickup sports is there to do. I have been playing basketball with my MBA classmates for the past year. The game was getting easy and boring so I decided to challenge my self by going to the gym  to find a pickup game. I started with 1on1 basketball with an undergraduate. I did not score 1 point.

So if you think you are good, go find a pickup game. Don't settle. Remember there is always someone better from who you can learn from.

How to Serve in Tennis

Serving , is probably the most difficult part in tennis, because of the rythym, and the motion. Just like anything out there, like going to the gym persistantly, you have to put time and effort into it to see any results. When I was training for tournaments I would practice at least 6-7 days out of the week for one and a half hours to two hours, and in 2 years my serve clock in at about 114mph and I was only 17 (thanks to my coach Alex). Now that im 20, and a little more stronger, and I would guess I could reach about 120mph now. Along with a big serve you need variety, so in this blog i'll talk about the serve.

In Tennis you get 2 chances to serve the ball. If you serve and the opponent doesn't touch the ball its considered to be an ace, and you win the point. If you miss with both chances then its called a "Double Fault", and you lose the point.

When serving you want to stand about a foot away from the middle, behind the baseline about an inch so you dont foot fault (which mean's you lose the point if you touch the baseline while serving), and your body a bit sideways with your left foot pointed at about 45 degrees from the baseline. So your feet should look like this for both of your serves.

Next if you notice where the yellow dot is, this is where you should bounce the ball. When you toss the ball it should want to land here because keeping your ball toss infront of you and in the same spot everytime makes it easier to hit

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.

From the Mission to Kilimanjaro: Where's Your Game?

Every once in a while I stumble across something that reminds me of just what a pickup game can do. Like the other night. On my way home from a swim in the Mission District, I stopped to watch a late game of pickup soccer. Winter is when we count our blessings in SF - while the rest of the country is blanketed by snow, we have warm days that almost make us forget the cold and foggy summers that lie ahead. The field was green (ok, so maybe it was artificial turf, but hang with me here), kids were running back and forth on the sidelines, their parents and older siblings were out passing the ball back and forth, and under the stadium lights I was struck with the thought that a whole community had come together at the end of their week in a way that they might have done in Bogota, or Mexico City, or maybe just down the road in LA. That night, I thought, pickup games helped strengthen a community.

Juneau-based mountain guide Bill Dwyer had a similar thought when climbing in Kilimanjaro, and then turned it on its head. Writing for JuneauEmpire.com, Bill describes the inspiration that drove him to use to soccer to bridge a divide between porters and clients that went deeper than language and money. Halfway up the highest mountain in Africa, Bill's started pickup games that brought him into a community, even if only for a short while. His story is here: http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/020411/out_780512023.shtml.

The next time you travel, forget the paperback and the headphones. Bring a soccer ball. We'll put you on the map with Pickup Sports. You don't need to learn the language.

Pickup Sports, Playing Pickup Games and Finding Activity Partners

This is the first blog post about Pickup Sports, below are the description for the application.

Pickup Sports makes finding pickup games, sports, fitness, workout and running partners in your local areas fun and easy. It is the grand prize winner of "Move Your App" challenge.

Team sports
Track & Field
Running Partners
Fitness Workout
Cardio Workout
Gym Workout Partner
Basketball
Baseball
Football
Soccer
Tennis
Football
Volleyball
Bicycle
Hockey
weight training workout
other sports

Pickup Sports are released on both iPhone, Android and Palm's WebOS, you can tell your friends with other phones to join you on those platforms.

To create a new sports or workout, click on Add button and it will take you right there.

To find other sports and workout activities, simply go into the application and you will find them. Since this application is still brand new, there might not be a lot of sports activities around, create one and share it on facebook and everybody will know.

The app was inspired by inspired by Jamie Oliver's TEDPrize wish, to make this world a healthier place.