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Mickey’s Training Principles

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There was no greater underdog in sports than Rocky Balboa and Mickey knew it. He knew that turning Rocky from a fourth-rate fighter to heavyweight champion would require the most intense training he could conceive. Mickey gave him the tools but Rocky supplied the desire.

The following list of Mickey Principles and Quotes is provided by: www.blogs.amctv.com

1. A Man Should Never Be Afraid to Repeat Himself in Order to Get His Point Across

  • Mickey lives this piece of advice. Telling Rocky he needs to be faster doesn’t do the trick, so he says, “You got to get speed, demon speed. Speed’s what we need; we need greasy, fast speed.”

Chicken Chasing

Chicken Chasing

2. When In Doubt, Go Back to Basics

  • Ever wonder why Mickey makes Rocky chase around a chicken as a training method? No, not as a practical joke. Rocky himself wonders and asks “What do I got to chase a chicken for?,” to which Mickey responds, “Chicken chasing is how we used to do it in the old days.” See? There’s no school like the old school.

3. A Man Must Separate Business and Pleasure

  • Mickey doesn’t mess with anything that interferes with his fighters doing what they are supposed to be doing: fighting. And he says so after Rocky marries Adrian (whom he does eventually take to): “What’s with this domestic stuff? Tend to business, will ya?”

4. Every Man, No Matter What He Does, Needs to Know Math

  • Rocky isn’t exactly Will Hunting, and presumably neither is Mickey, but he knows that you need basic math skills to get through in life. There’s a mathematical and formulaic component to training that can’t be ignored. As Mickey says, “For a 45-minute fight, you got to train hard for 45,000 minutes.” Fact.

5. Never Laugh at Your Friends If They Don’t Read So Well

  • Rocky himself doesn’t read so well, but Mickey never makes fun of him for it. He makes fun of him for many things — but not his literary skills.
Coach Mickey

Coach Mickey

I love these quotes because they prove the age old principle that is lost in a world of modern quick-fixes that a championship is earned through sweat, blood, tears, desire, and unwavering conviction. To all of our growing players who are eyeing a starting position on their school team in a few years I want you to focus on the fourth Mickey principle about training for 45,000 minutes. Since Mickey was talking about boxing let’s break down his concept for lacrosse.

A regulation High School lacrosse game is four twelve-minute quarters:

  • 4 x 12 minutes = 48 minutes
  • 48 x 1,000 = 48,000 training minutes
  • 48,000 / 60 minutes = 800 hours
  • 800 / 24 hours = 33.33 training days

According to Mickey for one lacrosse game at the high school level you need to train for at least 33 days to be at your very best. However, a lacrosse season is not just one singular game. The typical lacrosse season has anywhere from 15-19 games. So taking a median number of 17 you get:

  • 33 days x 17 games = 561 days
  • 561 days / 365 days (or 1 year) = 1.5 years of total training time for 1 Varsity High School Season
"I will break you" - Drago

"I will break you" - Drago

But Gordon the off season is only 8 months long! How can I possibly get a year and a half worth of training time for each season? This is proof that math will only take you so far in your training. The rest will come from your unwavering conviction and desire to improve. If you approach each day of training during the offseason like you are fighting Apollo Creed, Clubber Lang, or Ivan Drago you will be far ahead of your other teammates in security that starting spot.

To inspire you to reach your goals here is a Rocky training montage. When you’re done watching you’re “gonna eat lightnin’ and you’re gonna crap thunder” (www.imdb.com)!

Plus, check out Coyote players Jeremy and Justin chipping away at their training minutes. Only 44,985 minutes to go guys!

Featured Image Credit – www.dvdicas.com

“I love you Adrian!”
Gordon

Gamer Confessions Part 2 of 3

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Part Two of this series explains the various genres of games available today and my recommendations about their usefulness to young kids. Each genre will be given a “Thumbs Up,” “Thumbs Down,” or “Neutral” based on the benefits versus the disadvantages of the type of gameplay. Whether you like it or not video games are the medium of young kids and if you want to be educated you need to know the language. So strap in parents because I am going to throw more video game lingo at you than you ever though possible. All of the information below is provided by the wikipedia article on video games.

Action Games – These games rely on a player’s reflexes to win and believe it or not the granddaddy of all action games is the beloved Pong. The concept is simple – be faster and think quicker than your opponent and you have a solid chance of winning the game. These days action games fall into a few sub categories: fighting, puzzle/maze, and platforming. Platforming is video game lingo for jump from point A to point B as quickly as possible. Because action games encourage quick thinking and fast reaction to stimulus I give this genre a “Thumbs Up.”

Golden Eye

Golden Eye

Shooter Games – As the name suggests this genre focuses on games that require projectile weapons. Guns, arrows, throwing knives, grenades, and rocks have all been integrated into shooter games. The most successful shooter of them all was James Bond’s GoldenEye. Players could play against three other opponents at the same time with the singular goal of amassing as many kills as possible before being killed. Within this genre are two sub categories: tactical and third-person. Tactical shooters were actually designed for the U.S. military as training aids for troops. In tactical shooters the player “shoots” through the sights of the gun as if it is at eye-level. Third-person shooters are for the more recreational gamer where the camera sits a few feet back from the main character to provide a wider angle of vision. The issue I have with these games is unless they are set on the hardest setting a player can beat it by just pressing A and B repeatedly. Some of these games require actual skill but the majority do not so my recommendation is a “Thumbs Down.”

Adventure Games – These games immerse a player into a fictional world where they become a scientist, historian, gold-digger, etc. The purpose of these games is less about winning and more about the journey getting there. The breakout game in this genre was Myst and it continues as a powerhouse today. The goal of Myst is to solve a series of challenging puzzles in an alternate world. As the player progresses they unlock new mysteries within the world that deepen the storyline. These games do not emphasize quick reaction time or head shots. Instead, they reward critical thinking and the ability to remember past events and not repeat mistakes. My recommendation for this genre is a “Thumbs Up.”

World of Warcraft Logo

World of Warcraft Logo

Role Playing Games – In my own experience these games are both the most fun and the most addicting because the central concept of this genre is that the player becomes the character or characters in the game. Often, a gamer can change the name of the main character to their own name! While many RPGs have an adventure component their are two overriding objectives: level/power up your character, and beat every aspect of the game. Often RPGs have various “side-quests” that can assist a player in beating the final boss but have no actual bearing on winning the game. They are really a way to immerse a gamer deeper into the story. Still many of these games require critical thinking and a level of multitasking that would astound the greatest mini-van mom. Because these games have an addictive component but also provide a way to learn critical thinking I am giving this genre a “Neutral” rating. However that is not the end of this explanation.

  • A Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, or MMORPG, is a type of game that takes some explaining. Take a moment parents and imagine your favorite game as a kid. Perhaps it was hide and seek or cops and robbers. Imagine you go outside and play your favorite game with ten of your friends. Everyone has a fun time and you gained valuable skills socializing with different kids. Now imagine you walk outside your door and instead of ten  kids who want to play hide and seek with you there are 100,000 kids wanting to play. That is the allure of the MMORPG. The big daddy of this genre is World of Warcraft, or WoW, which is produced by Blizzard. This game brings together hundreds of thousands of people per day in a gigantic, fictional world where every player has the opportunity to become a hero on their computer screens. That sounds pretty darn enticing compared to a game of hide and seek with ten friends doesn’t it? That enticement is the danger with this genre. In fact, Blizzard has been sued by individuals who spent more time playing WoW than caring for their family! There are multiple websites for individuals who have been addicted to WoW and are trying to break it much like an alcoholic going to A.A. There is even a best-selling book by a WoW addict called Unplugged, which details how he spent nearly 20 hours per day playing the game. Because of the highly addictive nature of these games and the way they affect adult and child psyches I must give this genre a “Thumbs Down.” If you are a parent of a child who enjoys playing MMORPGs I strongly suggest setting one hour worth of play time per gaming session and enforcing it.

Simulation Games – These games are actually pretty cool. The entire goal is to create a self-sustaining town, city, state, country, empire,  or world. They require critical thinking, learning from mistakes, adapting to new situations, and diplomacy between the computer and other players. Sim City and Civilization are the biggest names in simulation games because the gameplay is executed flawlessly. Players actually need to keep their citizens happy, productive, and safe. If they do not their citizens will revolt, strike, or get attacked by a stronger player. Within this genre are two subcategories: construction simulation and life-simulation. I give construction simulation a “Thumbs Up” because they encourage a serious degree of multitasking and conflict management. However I give life-simulation games like The SIMS a “Thumbs Down” because they only encourage players fantasize about what their life could be like instead of actually living it outside the computer.

Strategy Games – This is my favorite genre of video games because there are so many different types of strategy games but they all follow the same basic pattern. The player acts as an Overlord controlling every aspect of the gameplay. They set characters to collect gold or food, create armies and defenses, anticipate and work through conflict, and above all work to create a winning strategy. My personal favorite of this genre is Starcraft and Starcraft 2. Although I played those games far too often I did learn how to keep four or five situations in my head at the same time while defending my home base. South Korea actually has a Professional Gaming League where strategy games can win thousands of dollars in televised competitions. Remarkably, militaries in developed countries are benefiting from players with experience in strategy games because they multitask so much better than those who do not play. As long as there are limits on the amount of time a kid plays strategy games I give this genre a “Thumbs Up.”

While there are many other genres and sub-genres the ones I have listed cover the basics. I hope I have not overloaded the parents with too much information. If I did comment below and I will answer any questions as best as I can.

With all of the “Thumbs Up” and “Thumbs Down” you may not have realized one key point I made in this post. That is the setting of time limits for gaming and enforcing those limits. Every one of these genres can turn into a serious compulsion for a young player if they are not reined in by their parents. Unfortunately, the major benefit of video games to working parents is the ability to baby-sit a young child. Yes you did hear me correctly. If you allow video games to baby-sit your child you have not yet realized the dangerous impact that can have. We tell our kids to eat breakfast, eat their vegetables, get eight hours of sleep, do their homework, don’t talk to strangers, and get physical activity. Yet somehow setting limits on game time has slipped through the cracks. Remember, I lost 100 days because my parents and I did not have the knowledge about the addictive power of video games. Take this knowledge and be firm with your kid about their new gaming hours. They will whine, cry, and complain but, really when do they not when faced with change?

Part Three will delve deeper into the benefits and disadvantages of some of the more popular games that your kids want to play today.

Featured Image Credit – www.giantbomb.com

Cheers,
Gordon

Gamer Confessions Part 1 of 3

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Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat

Ever since Mortal Kombat came out in the early nineties controversy has grown around video games. Many of the early arguments against video games contended that these games glorified violence and desensitized young children to graphic images. These days video game opponents argue that games increase the risk of depression, agression, and addiction in young kids. As a former gamer I am going to address each of these issues in light of my own gaming experiences in a three part series. Part one will detail my own history of gaming to the present day. Part two will focus on my observations of the available games today. Finally, Part three will delve deep into the benefits of video games and the valid concerns. I hope that this series will educate parents and children alike in what video games are all about and how to “game responsibly.”

Part One – The Personal Gaming History of Gordon Corsetti

The earliest game I remember playing is the original Mario on my most prized possession – the original Nintendo. I never beat Mario but I could never resist how much fun the game was. Smash the little mushrooms, dodge the ducks, defeat the giant turtle, and rescue the princess. I was a hero in sixteen pixels. Eventually I graduated to Paperboy and Duck Hunt. These two games required far greater timing than Mario and consequently took up more of my time to master. I will say with pride that I defeated the Paperboy game in impressive fashion but my experience with Duck Hunt was not as awesome. Try as I could I just never was very good at shooting the ducks unless I was six inches away from the screen. Each Nintendo game I played was mostly a distraction. I could burn thirty minutes to an hour engaged in my personal fantasy world after school then I would go play with my friends. It was not until I dived into the world of the RPG that I lost control.

A Role Playing Game, or RPG, is a game “in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting” (Wikipedia). Taking this concept a bit further for the non-gamers in the crowd, imagine The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Now imagine that you are actually Frodo and you must personally destroy the ring in the fires of Mordor. That is the allure of the RPG. A player actually takes on the responsibilities of the lead character/characters in this type of game. My first experience in this fantasy was with an ironically titled game Final Fantasy 8.

In the interest of full disclosure, Final Fantasy 8 was my world for over a year. I thought about this game daily, pined for it during classes, and played it until my eye lids were too heavy to keep open. As far as I was concerned my mission in life was to beat that RPG. Looking back I had an actual addiction to Final Fantasy 8 but I was not old enough to realize it. What, you don’t believe me? What if I told you that I have empirical evidence of this addiction?

I played this game eight different times from the very beginning. This fact cannot be denied as I have the memory card to prove it. What I find scary now is how much I played this game according to the memory card. The first two times I played for a total of forty hours. The third and fourth combined for a total of sixty hours. The fifth and sixth equaled eighty hours. The seventh time I tried to play this game and beat it I spent seventy hours on it from start to almost finish. I say almost finish because the Playstation shorted out and fried the system. I was so furious that I did not play for about a week. Then the bug hit me and I dedicated myself to beating that game once and for all. Game number eight took a total of eighty hours to finish. Now (40+60+80+70+80 = 330 hours). 330 hours equals almost fourteen days of gaming on one game! That means I spent nearly two weeks attempting to beat a game that had no real bearing on any aspect of my life, but in reality it impacted every aspect.

Once I beat Final Fantasy 8 I had no real games to play until the Playstation 2. Oh what a glorious machine that was! The image quality on that piece of technology equaled the beauty and power of the Ark of the Covenant. I was hooked instantly. It would take far too much time to detail how many games I played on the PS2, Xbox 360, Gameboy, and my desktop so I will list them here:

  1. Final Fantasy 10 – 120 hours
  2. SOCOM – 60 hours
  3. SOCOM 2 – 40 hours
  4. Final Fantasy X2 – 80 hours
  5. Starcraft Brood War – 200-300 hour range over three years
  6. Diablo 2 – 150-200 hour range over three years
  7. Sonic the Hedgehog – 30 hours
  8. God of War 1 and 2 – 40 hours combined
  9. The Sims – 30 hours
  10. Sim City – 40-50 hours
  11. Okami – 50 hours
  12. Splinter Cell 2 – 20 hours
  13. Splinter Cell 3 – 30 hours
  14. Splinter Cell 4 – 40 hours
  15. Assassin’s Creed 1 – 20 hours
  16. Assassin’s Creed 2 – 30 hours
  17. Final Fantasy 12 – 60 hours
  18. Pokemon Red and Yellow – 60 hours combined
  19. Madden Football – 40 hours
  20. Grand Theft Auto 3 – 50 hours
  21. Medal of Honor 2 – 20 hours
  22. Tomba 1 – 20 hours
  23. Tomba 2 – 40 hours
  24. Final Fantasy 8 – 330 hours total
  25. Guitar Hero – 40 hours
  26. Halo 1 – 20 hours
  27. Halo 2 – 30 hours

All of the hours listed are conservative numbers but they give an decent range of total time playing games. When added together these numbers equal a whopping 1,850 hours! That turns into just over seventy-seven days of total gaming with conservative numbers. These numbers do not reflect time thinking about the games, strategizing in my off time, or daydreaming in class. So tack on another twenty days to reflect the times I was thinking about gaming and you have almost 100 days of gaming over a ten year period. That may not sound like a lot but imagine what I could have done on a lacrosse field and in school if I had those 100 days back to practice and study.

To be completely honest I am disappointed in myself, but I did not have the knowledge about what games can do to a young kid and neither did my parents. They saw their kid playing sports and hanging out with other kids so me playing games occasionally did not seem like that big of a deal. That lack of knowledge cost me 100 days.

I hope that disclosing my personal gaming history will open the eyes of parents and players alike. While it may seem that I am showing video games in a negative light I am not. I am just chronicling my own experiences and my own experiences with games took a decidedly negative slant because I was not educated to game properly. Because video games are part of the culture of young kids parents cannot ban them from the house entirely, lest your child become a social pariah because he cannot talk about the newest Wii game. To further educate parents and players, Part Two will focus on my take on the current gaming culture and how young kids can game without losing out on the world around them as I did.

Featured Image Credit – www.destructoid.com

Cheers,
Gordon