BALLET TRAINING FOR ATHLETES. The Wall Street Journal reports here that the Minnesota Twins have signed Max Kepler-Rozycik, the sixteen-year old son of two professional ballet dancers, with an $800,000 bonus. One of the advantages that the ballet background gives him is the work ethic. Ballet dancers practice more intensively than athletes. The article quotes a saying of the phenom’s mother: “Three days away, out of the ballet.” When the mother was 15, she was dancing from ten a.m. to six p.m. at the Joffrey Ballet school. The Berlin ballet, where the mother starred, gave dancers 52-week contracts so they could practice every day. Another advantage of the ballet background for the young player is what he has learned about movement from his parents. One of his coaches says: “”Max’s athleticism is precise, without wasted movement, like in ballet.” Football teams have experimented with ballet training, especially for linemen, and I remember one ballet teacher commenting that ballet dancers have learned how to move their bodies from point A to point B in various ways and that football players didn’t seem to have learned that.

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