Masters of the Sandlot

All recreational sport is really quite simple: You run. You jump. You throw. What's more, it's pretty easy to get good at these things.

Jul 1, 1997
Outside Magazine

You hear the grouchy lament all the time. Sports have gotten out of hand: Preening athletes. Criminal athletes. Fickle owners. It's enough to make one long for those pre-Macedonian days, when sport consisted of coating yourself with olive oil and running naked through Olympia for the ultimate prize, a dried-up laurel wreath. Well, maybe not that far back, but one does wonder, just what is athleticism really all about? What are the basic movements that must be mastered in order to be a great athlete? Deferring to one ancient philosopher who said, "Look to the essence of a thing," we've sought to answer these questions, with a comprehensive look at the crucial skills of summer, five athletic essentials you'll employ while participating in this season's decathlon of backyard sports.

To get you into recreational form, we've called on a few of the world's finest athletes — like Olympic runner Suzy Hamilton — to hand-hold us through their particular movement specialties. Together these five building-block motions should provide you with the raw stuff to dominate (or at least get better) at almost any athletic pursuit you choose. This may not be enough to snag you a fat contract or buttery adulation, but no worries: The world has enough sports "heroes." What our summer barbecues can never have enough of is kick-ass Ultimate Frisbee players.



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