The Comparison of Professional and College Football Versus Baseball
Most football fans see baseball as this sluggish, laid back and easy sport… On the other hand, they view football as the toughest sport to play. Football fans need to look at the big picture. Football and baseball are alike in many ways, they both have the best athletes in the world today. But, they are also different in many ways. Baseball rather than football is harder to play professionally. Think about it… the climb they take to reach the majors, the mental aspect of the game, the skill you must have to play baseball.
Furthermore, football fans don’t think baseball is a physical sport but they need to recognize the physical and mental toll a baseball player goes through at the highest level. Watching football, it clear to see that there is far more physical contact. They are allowed to hit each other, they have to wear all sorts of equipment for protection, and the pace of the game is very fast. Football fans see the hard hits, the frequent injuries. Yes, in football, it is all about who is the biggest, strongest and fastest. What they don’t understand is the short season that football has; Only sixteen games and a few more if the team plays well enough in the playoffs. In baseball, you don’t have to be the biggest, strongest, and fastest guy out there. They are cut from a different cloth… They are built different. It would benefit a baseball player with a smaller chest, who has stronger hands and forearms to go to the plate and compete; opposed to a guy that has a big chest and bigger biceps because that gets in the way of bat speed and flexibility. If a football player stepped into a batter’s box and tried to hit a 90 MPH fastball they would get laughed at for how slow of bat speed that they have. This is because football players get so big and it becomes difficult to do what baseball players do. Moreover, in baseball, teams play 162 games a season, not including playoffs. Six to Eight months out of the year, they play every single day. That’s a lot more than football. The constant routine of playing every day and leaving everything out on the field, takes a serious toll on the body. Not to mention the time and hard work they put in off the field.
In football, the mental side of the game is all about staying focused and doing your job. In baseball, failure happens more than success. A player is considered an above average player, when he only gets a hit 3 out of 10 times. No one has ever been a perfect hitter in baseball. Being perfect would be having a batting average of 1.000. Dealing with failure in baseball takes mental toughness to a whole new level. It’s one thing to get focused for one big game a week in football, only sixteen games a year. It’s another thing getting prepared every single day of the week in baseball, 162 games per season You can pitch a horrible game or go 0-3 and make several errors and still be expected to come out and play an hour; after for the second game of a double header in just one day. It takes a special kind of mental toughness to do that on a daily basis.
Next, football fans need to take the road to the show into perspective. To become a NFL player, you go through two stages. Those two levels are high school football, and college football. The road to the NFL is short. Baseball has many different levels that a player must go through in order to get to the MLB. Those levels include the following: high school, college (unless drafted out of high school), instructional ball, rookie ball, low A-ball, A-ball, high A-ball, AA-ball, and AAA-ball. There’s a huge difference between the two sports, just to get to the highest level of play. That says a lot.
The development process shows if a player is ready for the big show or not. The long process in baseball shows that the skills to play in the big leagues are very difficult, not only get to and to have, but also to maintain consistently on a day-to-day basis. Everyone knows that the hardest thing to do in all of sports is to hit a 90mph (or faster) big league fastball. There’s curveballs, change-ups, cutters, splitters, two-seam fastballs, sinkers, screwballs, and knuckleballs. Imagine stepping into the batter’s box having never seen a ball thrown in such a way… Hitters have just a split second to react and swing at a 90mph fastball. This requires a substantial amount of focus, talent, and skill. There are so many tiny details that are to be perfected in order to be on the roster of an MLB program. There are so many details that go into fielding a ground ball, catching a fly ball, stealing a base, throwing the right pitch, turning a double play. Football players have to be strong, fast and physical. There aren’t as many details when it comes to playing the game of football. The process to just make it to the big leagues in baseball makes it clear that more skill is required to play the game of baseball.
For all of the football fans out there, it is now easier to see that baseball is clearly the tougher sport to play professionally. The long season, the steps it takes to get to the majors, and all of the little things that make a huge difference. Yes, football is a more physical sport for the short-term, but in the long run, baseball shows to be more physically demanding, which brings the mental side with it. The long and hard process it takes in order to make it to the big leagues really brings attention to the those who get there and those who don’t. The argument over skill level is tight, until football fans start seeing baseball for what it truly is. It isn’t hard to see that the more difficult sport to play professionally is indeed baseball.
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