If there’s one thing in this world that’ll mess with your head, it’s a slump.
The worst part is that slumps typically perpetuate themselves and can lead to streaks in player performances and team performances.
But why do slumps and streaks begin in the first place?
A simple explanation might invoke what is commonly understood as the law of averages; statistical events will eventually balance out, given enough time.
(I do acknowledge that this is not a completely proper understanding of the law of averages according to statistical theory, just an everyday understanding.)
For example, the Braves started off the first two weeks of their season this year with a 10-1 record, much higher than has ever been sustained over the larger course of a season by any team in the history of the MLB.
Surely enough, the Braves’ average has fallen from .900 to .556 since then, which, unfortunately, seems to support such beliefs in the law of averages to suck hot streaks back down into the pit of mediocrity.
In the modern era of understanding baseball, with sabermetrics standing at the door, new models and theories are constantly being offered in the hopes that, one day, player performances will be described and predicted for the better of the team.
However, the psychological aspects involving the human elements of the game may prove to be far too diverse and difficult for an understanding of things like slumps to ever be explained away.
Honestly, how could the statistician be expected to predict how any player will respond to slumping, even given their past experience and general trends based on the players personal data? The mind is simply too complicated.
Not to mention that nebulous concept that has plagued predictors since far before number-crunchers got their hands on a hot item like baseball: luck.
Madison in May races present historic downtown Madison at its finest
By Nick Nunn
For the past week and a half, football has been in the air at Morgan County High School, as spring practice has brought a little feeling of fall to May.
But it isn’t all fun and games for Coach Bill Malone, who uses the time as a “filter” to see who might make it onto the team.
“Our primary goal is to get on our board who are the ones and two at every position,” said Coach Malone.
The largest problem the coaching staff faces at this point involves the natural cycle of high school sports: the leaving of seniors and the need to fill the holes that they left behind.
Personnel replacement has created some interesting issues during the first stage of training for the 2013 football season for the Bulldog’s offense.
“In the backfield, all of the guys – Armoni, Melvin, Marquis, and Trent – all of those guys are picking up right where we left off,” began Malone. “Our offense is way, way ahead of where it is supposed to be at this time of year... but our offensive line is way behind. We’ve got very capable people there, but they’ve got to learn what they are doing.”
I enjoy some aspects and specific types of yard work (really) and today’s lesson is a discussion on my philosophical and scientific approach to the topic. I like to see, and get great satisfaction from, a freshly mown yard, the edge of a pond that has been neatly trimmed and a scenic view through the trees. That said I do have certain limitations and thus have come up with a structured way of accomplishing these tasks. The number one rule is to use my time in an efficient manner. My wife calls this particular philosophy “short cuts.”
One of the primary reasons I am a fan of efficient time management with regard to yard work is that there must be sufficient opportunity left over to go hunting, fishing, play golf and pursue my multitude of hobbies. I think that this perspective makes a lot of sense.
Now you must understand that my pretty, talented spouse is a stickler for detail. In fact her attention to said detail is legendary if not historic in nature. Anything worth doing is worth spending all day on (even if it should only take a couple of hours) is her mantra. I think that viewpoint stinks like old bilge water. By the way she is out of town this week and won’t get to read this column otherwise I would phrase that criticism more delicately.
If I used her method it would take me weeks of back breaking labor to keep the yard in order. More importantly many fish would go uncaught, my golf handicap would skyrocket and I would very probably go into a deep, dark depression.
By Nick Nunn
Gregory Harold Thompson, varsity tennis coach at Morgan County High School, was born January 29, 1969 at the Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta.
While attending Central Gwinnett High School in Lawrenceville, Coach Thompson played baseball and basketball, as well as competing in the high jump for the school’s track team.
After graduating from Central Gwinnett, Coach Thompson enrolled in Gordon Junior College then transferred to Georgia College and State University, where he completed his studies with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology before returning to earn a second BS in Health and Physical Education a year later.
Coach Thompson was married to his wife, Allison, on August 2, 1997, and they have a nine-year-old son together named Will.
At the Crossroads Alternative School, Coach Thompson teaches all subjects with the exception of math, as well as teaching special education to English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students.
Outside of his sports-related interests, Coach Thompson also spends time camping, staying involved with his church, and spending time with his wife and son.
During his 10-year tenure in the Morgan County School System, Coach Thompson has coached tennis, baseball, girls’ basketball, track, and cross country, in each of which he has a personal interest.
Among the many sports that you have coached at Morgan County, which has been your favorite and why?
GHT: I have enjoyed all of them, but I have to say that tennis has been pretty fun. I also really enjoyed my years as the cross country coach because I was running with the kids everyday and I was in the best shape of my life for four to five years.
What is your favorite local campsite and why?
GHT: Locally, it's hard to beat Hard Labor Creek
What makes Hard Labor Creek one of the best campsites around?
Dogs fall to Cartersville in first round of state tournament
By Nick Nunn
The Morgan County High School varsity Diamond Dogs lost both games of a doubleheader to the Cartersville Purple Hurricanes last Friday afternoon, falling out of the state playoff bracket in the first round. Despite a late push by the Dogs, they lost the first game 3-8 before dropping the second game 0-3.
Coming into the doubleheader, Cartersville had racked up a perfect 14-0 region season, losing only six games in total during the year for an overall 22-6 record.
The threat of rain pushed the games ahead last Friday, so the Dogs had to leave Morgan County early to make the long trip to Cartersville.
The hurricane warning flags flying in the wind over the home bleachers forewarned the Hurricanes’ dominance over Morgan County.
During the first five innings of the first game of the doubleheader, only Cartersville was able to put runs on the board.
In the top of the sixth inning with the score 7-0 in the Hurricanes’ favor, Morgan County was able to push ahead their first run of the game when Andrew Couch hit an RBI double with two outs on the side.
Stewart Spence also delivered an RBI in the inning, making the score 2-7 with the Dogs trailing by five runs.
The Cartersville team managed another run in the bottom of the sixth to put them ahead 8-2.