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JV Sport Shots Blog Intro

Old Computer TypewriterHi, my name is John Ventola and thanks for visiting my new JV Sport Shots Blog Website. While majoring in journalism in college (LSU), I covered high school sports and college basketball and baseball as a correspondent for The Morning Advocate. A native of south Louisiana, famous athletes like Bob Pettit, Jimmy Taylor, Billy Cannon, Pete Maravich, Ben McDonald and many others left their marks forever in my sports memory bank and changed the Louisiana Sportscape.Although my professional life took a different route and my intended career as a sportswriter never materialized, my true love of sports never wavered. I learned to look at and see more than what was on the surface of an athletic event. Strategy, injury, “team chemistry”, coaching, bad fortune, good bounces, and a myriad of other factors can all play a part in a game. In JV Sport Shots I intend to point out and talk about those factors, the “little things” that makes sports watching a national pastime.Today’s athletes, either professional or amateur (college and high school), are so well trained and coached that there is a slim margin of error between winning and losing. That fact alone keeps everyone attending games, keeps everyone with the “this could be our game/season” attitude. Sure makes the week or following day more tolerable when the game goes in the W column for one’s team.As my dad jokingly ingrained in me: “When you win, everyone loves you. When you lose, only your mother loves you”.

Keep re-visiting my blog as I will be posting many aspects of various sport activities and my personal JV Sport Shots aimed at many challenging topics.

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Ability and Focus Lethal Combo


Ability and Focus Tough to Beat

By John Ventola

It comes as no surprise that today’s athletes, whether high school, amateur, collegiate, or professional, are the best trained in the history of sports. Specialization now starts at a much younger age, oftentimes with a youngster getting a gentle “nudge” to go with a particular sport by parents who like a certain game, or type of participation.

Workout regimens start much earlier, and the concentration on proper techniques and movements for an individual sport frequently results in a well-developed, accomplished player in the chosen activity. While early beginnings and overemphasis can sometimes result in individual burnout, and body maturation, or extremes in growth patterns, can determine if a youngster can continue his pursuit of an individual sport, the concept of specialization is here to stay. How many star eighth grade football players stopped growing, and how many pixy gymnasts didn’t? Many factors figure in the formula that culminates in a top collegiate or professional athlete.

Years ago, it was common for high school athletes to compete in two or three sports during a school year. Some of the more talented even managed to do the four-sport (football, basketball, baseball, track) routine by jogging between the diamond and track for dual practices in the Spring. Later, golf, soccer, wrestling, and cross-country gave youngsters a broader range of events from which to choose as they continued their sporting endeavors. Continue reading