Tag Archive : camisetas de futbol baratas 2018

One of the keys to winning a fantasy football league is the ability to recognize overvalued players and injury risks and to ignore those players at draft time. "Slumpers" are NFL players who tend to be drawn in the top 3 at their position and produce like players drafted in double-digit rounds. These players are also known as "Draft Killers", especially if they are first or second round players. The key to winning your fantasy football league is to find players that will produce on a consistent basis. You may be able to offset one Slumper with a Sleeper, but it is better to just avoid the dead weight if you can see any signs of a potential downfall. There are times that the signs are not present though. Who expected DeAngelo Williams to drop from 20 TDs in 2009 to 8 TDs in 2010 or Peyton Hillis to drop from 1650 total yards and 13 TDs in 2010 to 700 total yards and 3 TDs in 2011? Below are the 2012 top overvalued fantasy football players by position.

2012 Fantasy Football Slumpers

QB: Matt Schaub (Houston) – The Texans proved that they could win last year by just pounding the ball on the ground, even with a healthy Matt Schaub. There is no reason to deviate from that plan in 2012. The Arian Foster / Ben Tate tandem will be full steam ahead again this year. I know Andre Johnson is still on the team, but he and Schaub are both coming off of injury-plagued campaigns. Also, Houston has done nothing to improve its receiver corp around Johnson. I have no idea why Schaub is regularly being drafted in round 6-7, well ahead of Carson Palmer, Ben Roethlisberger and Jay Cutler. I have moved Schaub out of my Top 10 QBs this year and would only draft him as a backup at this point. That may be harsh but he'll kill a team that reaches for him.

RB: Frank Gore (San Fran) – Gore always carries an injury stigma around with him, even though he played 16 games last season and produced rock solid numbers. However, Alex Smith proved to be comfortable in Jim Harbaugh's system last year so the reigns will loose this year. Also, San Fran signed Randy Moss and Mario Manningham to complete Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis. Additionally, the Niners signed goal-line bruiser, Brandon Jacobs, and drafted LaMichael James. San Fran will spread the ball around judiciously and Gore's numbers will suffer for it. He will not produce round 2-3 numbers this year so stay away.

WR: Roddy White (Atlanta) – White has long been unappreciated in all but PPR leagues since he consistently gets over 100 catches a year. However, he has been getting more and more inconsistent with his production and his drops are increasing. I expect that trend to be more obvious this year as the Falcons shift to Julio Jones as their # 1 receiver and run more plays for Harry Douglas and Jacquizz Rodgers. I am not saying that white will drop off a lot, but you certainly do not want your 2nd or 3rd round pick to disappear completely in certain games, especially weeks 14-16.

TE: Tony Gonzalez (Atlanta) – Tony G has played at an elite level for much longer than I would have expected. I believe that you are going to see a downward slope begin that leads to retirement in the next two years. His total numbers have been steady for his career, but the times are changing in Atlanta and, at age 36, Tony G's career, like his speed, is winding down. There are too many other tight ends that you can count on.

D: Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens surprised me with another strong season in 2011, but they are clearly in decline. Ed Reed and Ray Lewis are slowing down as age cats up to them and Terrell Suggs' absence this year (torn Achilles) will hurt a lot more than people realize. Without your league puts very little value on the defensive position, I would only grab them if they stuck around to double digit rounds.

K: Adam Vinatieri (Indy) – In reality, any kicker drafted before the last 2 rounds is overvalued. The best way to evaluate a kicker to draft is by his Bye week. Take one kicker and one kicker only and then pick one that is available with the latest Bye week so you can forget about that position for as long as possible. However, you can skip Vinatieri. He still has a strong, accurate leg. He just will not get to use it much for scoring this year.

Other overvalued fantasy football players to consider avoiding (this list could have pretty long if we included major injuries, recent DUIs and domestic issues): Any SEA QB or WR until the dust settles, RB Adrian Peterson (MINN), Any DET RB until one looks healthy, RB Shonn Green (NYJ), WR Kenny Britt (TENN), Any MIA WR all season.

I’ve often heard it said, “you can’t win betting on sports.” The truth is sports betting is one of the few types of gambling that you CAN win at. The problem is there are so many factors which need to be taken into account, it can be very overwhelming.

There are playing conditions, injuries, home or away games, players health, defense, offense, past performance, coaches, importance of match, rivalries to name a few just to calculate a very precise outcome.

What’s The Odds?

Most people betting sports aren’t aware that you only need to win 52.5% of your bets to break even. 56% winners makes you very successful. If you can manage to average above 56%, you are going to make an enormous amount of money.

Now 56% doesn’t sound like much, does it? just over half your wagers.

The rest is discipline, money management and no doubt, a good selection method. But let’s be clear, there is no magic bullet, no quick and easy method… or is there?

Are You In It For Fun Or For Money?

It can definitely be fun and very exciting to win, especially when you’ve got a big bet riding on the game. Or maybe you just lost a game and decided to double up on the next one to try and “get even.”

If you’ve ever tried this tactic, I’m sure you know all too well that more often than not you lost the 2nd game too. Now you’re broke, starting over, building up a new bankroll and hoping for a better outcome the next time… But as you know, hope is not a winning strategy.

This kind of heart-stopping action is not for me. For my money I prefer a more predictable type of wagering whether it’s betting on sports or any other form of gambling. I like to have more control over the result.

Just to be clear, there will be losing games and maybe even losing days, but by managing your money, patiently building your bankroll, you can comfortably afford to take a swing at those parlays.. that is a winning strategy.

Betting a small consistent amount per game is not exciting… but that is what intelligent, professional sports bettors do. So the question is, “are you doing it for the excitement, or for the money?”

Taking The Gambling Out of Sports Betting

A winning bettor always tries to take the gamble out of the game. Each bet is a calculated risk. There is no magic method that will bring in thousands of dollars overnight.

Taking down a steady monthly profit, working only 5 minutes a day IS the only way. And if you let your account multiply for a few months, before long (months not years), you will reach a point where you could be bringing in hundreds or even thousands of dollars of profit each month… now that’s magical.

Sports Investing will with near certainty turn a small amount of capital today into significant monthly income, month after month and year after year.

There are people who say you can’t win betting on sports… they’re just wrong. Wishing you the best of luck always.

Here are the biggest news, sport and entertainment stories of 1993…

Britain’s longest recession since the 1930s was officially over as the economy grew during the first three months of the year. The Conservatives claimed credit for the upturn in fortunes but critics claimed it was luck more than anything else. However it was achieved, it was welcomed by the nation’s people who could now look forward to spending again.

One new place they could spend at being Buckingham Palace; the public being allowed inside for the first time ever during the summer of ’93. With the entrance fee being set at £8, it wasn’t cheap, but that did nothing to hold back demand; within a week of going on sale, all advance group booking slots to visit Buckingham Palace had been filled for the next three years.

Other news included an oil tanker carrying running aground near the Shetland Islands (resulting in 84,700 tonnes of crude oil being spilled into the North Sea and a major ecological catastrophe); and anti-racist demonstrations being held across London in response to criminal charges being dropped against two youths accused of murdering black teenager Stephen Lawrence.

In the world of sport, horse racing’s big event ‘The Grand National’ (with a worldwide audience of 300 million people) ended in ‘chaos’ after many of the riders had failed to realise a false start had been called and had set off around the racetrack. The Jockey Club was forced to declare the race void; meaning bookmakers had to re-pay the £75 million in bets that had been placed on the race (and miss out on their biggest pay-day of the year!).

On a personal mission to resolve alien related ‘chaos’, were FBI agents ‘Mulder & Scully’; their popular US series ‘X-Files’ coming across the Atlantic to UK screens. Motivated by the belief that Mulder’s sister had been abducted by little green men, they set about trying to find the ‘truth’. One place where the truth definitely wasn’t was on ‘Beavis & Butthead’s sofa. These boys spent ’93 becoming world famous for flicking between TV channels and playing football with frogs.

With Britain itself still struggling to come up with any blockbuster movies of it’s own, ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘Indecent Proposal’ were the major films to hit cinemas during the year. ‘Jurassic Park’ involved dinosaurs (really quite scary-looking, genuine ones!) running riot around a theme park created by an eccentric millionaire. ‘Indecent Proposal’ was another tale to involve a rich man (this time a billionaire played by Robert Redford); this guy offering a couple, who had just lost a fortune in Las Vegas, $1m to spend the night with the wife.

Graphite offers a unique combination of mechanical, chemical and physical properties that make it ideal for manufacturing different graphite materials and products. Some of the products that you can get from graphite include mechanical seals, carbon brushes, bearings and even graphite pipes and machined parts. Graphite pipes are the most commonly used products, especially for heat exchangers.

The pipes are loved for their tensile strength, bending strength, compressive strength and thermal conductivity. Graphite is also a material that is resistant to corrosion, making it even more ideal for the manufacturing of the pipes. Depending on your application you can choose between machined graphite tubes that are generated from pure graphite material or resin graphite pipes got from molding, kneading and pressing graphite powder and resin.

Machined graphite pipes

This kind of tubes is best for high temperature use, especially in industrial field. They are relatively high purity, but the purity largely depends on raw materials used. The major materials used for the pipes include vibration graphite, isotactic graphite and molded graphite. The raw material size also determines the length and diameter of the pipes. Large materials produce large sized tubes whereas smaller sized raw materials process smaller pipes.

The machined graphite pipes are used widely with some of the common uses being in furnaces because of low heat sensitivity, in aluminum degassing and for dilution pipe in metal manufacturing production. The pipes come with a number of advantages, including uniform structure, high mechanical strength, appropriate electrical conductivity and excellent thermal conductivity. They are also resistant to thermal shock and chemical attack and are hard surfaced, but offer amazing bending strength nonetheless.

Resin graphite pipes

These pipes are made from a mix of graphite powder and resin using graphitization process. The resin used can be phenolic or epoxy resin; different types of resin can be used depending on the desired pipe applications. Unlike machined graphite that comes with length limitations, resin graphite can go up to 8 meters but then the diameter will depend on machine. These pipes are most commonly used in heat exchangers.

Just like their machined graphite pipes, the resin graphite pipes offer excellent thermal conductivity, high tensile strength and high mechanical strength.

The graphite pipes you get for your kind of application will always largely depend on the manufacturer you have settled for. It is therefore best that you choose a manufacturer you can trust for reliable and stable quality. Check the products the manufacturer can handle on your behalf as well as the technologies it embraces to ensure that you get the very best with your graphite products like the pipes. Pipes are very important in whatever application they are used and you therefore want to get the most suitable ones that won’t disappoint. Graphite is a very reliable material, especially for pipes used in heat exchangers and other industrial applications. Choose the most reputable manufacturer to enjoy a superior quality with your pipes and to get solutions you can rely upon for a long period of time.

Are you searching for soccer body painting ideas and a painted football costume? If you have already searched to find a great body design, you may have noticed how many different photo galleries are available out there – both for male and female soccer costume ideas.

So whether you would like to take a look at the best body design ideas simply as a hobby in your spare time, or perhaps you would like to draw a creative soccer art on your body, you will find out some helpful ideas here in this free guide.

Why Body Painting is the New Trend as a Football Cheerleading Outfit?

For decades, it has been a motivational custom to support our favorite team by various means – from cheerleading dances, songs, waving the soccer team flag, or simply shouting supportive messages to them during the game.

So now in the 21st century, where young people are more innovative than ever, a new trend is setting into place: Soccer body painting.

You have already seen the typical old way of wearing the football team costume, when the football fans would like to support their team – especially in big important matches.

Now this new way of wearing a body or face painting art, adds a kick to it. Because it is more creative, more bold, and stands out from the rest of the crowd.

Now depending on how comfortable you are with the idea, you may paint on your skin with no clothes on. Or to dress more modestly, you can wear a white simple underwear and paint on top of it, so it almost looks like it is a part of your own skin.

Female and Male Body Art Ideas for Men and Women

When it comes to clothes, tattoo, and body and face paints, there are usually slightly different styles suitable for men, women, or children. So it is a wise idea to check out different designs based on your age and gender, to find the style that matches you the best.

For younger kids or teenagers, body arts are usually a fun way to celebrate a birthday, or as a part of a costume party. But for adult men and women, body painting is more like an art. A way to express a bold unique side of them through the body.

That is the reason female body paint styles are usually designed to appear more attractive, feminine, and focus on the unique curves of the body. To put it simply, body art designs for women are usually more sexy.

On the other hand, male body styles are focused on delivering a character message – like strength, power, or simply a good sense of humor. Superhero designs are common for men especially (e.g. Batman, Spiderman, Superman, etc.)

So hopefully the above mentioned tips helps you find your favorite body and face painting design more easily.

While very popular in most countries, soccer is obviously not the most popular sport in America. Part of the reason is that Americans tend to prefer the sports that "they" invented, such as (American) football and baseball. If you ask any American sports fan "who won the World Series (baseball) last year?" they will be able to tell you. Or if you ask them "which two teams played in the Super Bowl last year?" they will almost assuredly be able to tell you the teams, the final score, and who won. But if you ask them "Who won the last World Cup?" they may look at you with a blank stare.

There are reasons that soccer is the most popular sport in many countries. Here are three of them:

Action – The action in soccer is almost non-stop (except there's a penalty). To many people, this makes soccer exciting to watch. Contrast this with American football or baseball where there are exciting plays, but then the action stops for a while until the next hit or the next play; these two sports are very stop-and-go.

Skill Oriented – Soccer is a game of skill and finesse more than brute strength. In baseball, players try to get stronger so they can hit the ball farther and hit more home runs. In soccer, getting stronger will help a bit, but it will not make you better able to keep the ball away from someone trying to steal it. The skill aspect makes it entertaining to watch.

World Sport – The championship in soccer, the World Cup, truly involves the entire world (compared with the "World Series" in baseball which involves only the United States and Canada. the end you get to see who is truly the best.

So, if you have not watched a soccer game in a while, give it another chance. You just might like it.

In 2004, nobody outside Chicago had heard about the subject of the book The Bridge by David Remnick, Barack Hussein Obama, who was only a state legislature then and author of a memoir titled Dreams from My Father. Next he went on to win the Democratic primary for Illinois, a safe seat for the Democrats. It was about four months later when he delivered the famous keynote address to Democratic National Convention ("there is not a liberal America and a conservative America; there is a United States of America"). He announced his candidacy for presidency in January 2007, and came back to the Democratic convention as the nominee. In January 2009, he became the 44th president of United States of America, and it took him only 58 months to become the President.

Uneasy Childhood

The rise of Barack Obama, as chronicled by The Bridge by David Remnick, was not normal electoral politics, in which one was normally for his or her turn in the sun. He eruted on the international scene like a revolutionary figure, in the League of Trotsky, Lenin and Hitler. Obama had an uneasy childhood due to absent father, and eyewitnesses describe the childhood as normal and different at the same time. It simply means as a child Obama realized he was meant for something important, and that he was part of something larger.

Artistic Longings

The book The Bridge by David Remnick also notices that Obama used to write short stories earlier and he had dreams of becoming a novelist, just like other revolutionaries. He felt rootless in the world where he was and felt he did not belong. Although he was a sensitive and clever young man, he was still living on the fringes of a strong country. He then moved to a great cosmopolitan city Chicago in 1980s and plunged him into the obscure surroundings where he began to discover himself and pursue a single minded ambition.

More Partisan than Those Born To It

The time when Barack Obama worked as a community organizer in Chicago closely follows the lives of other revolutionaries. He lived alone in a small apartment, and used to work very long hours. He barely socialized with other people in his vicinity, and he came across as a person who was determined to become a part of that culture, and was going to champion its cause with more fervor than those who were born to that very culture. A fellow social worker was surprised to see how quickly Obama became a Chicago partisan, though it was clear Obama was determined to merge himself into the place so that he could call it home.

The Power of Oratory

The book The Bridge by David Remnick mentions the power of oratory that Obama discovered within himself attracted the people around him. The book written by Obama about his growing racial awareness served as campaign manifesto and autobiography at the same time. It was common to see someone writing his memoirs after their tenure was over, but here was a man who wrote a book when he was just 30 and had not even stood in an election. His book and fame benefited from each other and he never had to worry about money again.

Fundraising has become an essential element to schools, scouts, sports and cheerleading teams, youth sports leagues, and other community groups in both small towns and major urban areas. The need for fundraising has become greater than importance than ever before for a variety of needs ranging from playground equipment, uniforms, and trips, to primary funding to support and maintain many types of programs and curriculum.

Fundraising is used to be a means to offer or support for supplementary programs or activities, but in today's world funding is being depended on more and more for the survival and primary support for more and more groups, activities, events and programs.

This importance of fundraising in today's marketplace has created the need for stronger and more successful fundraising programs than can generate impact and results. Fundraising is no longer just a fun activity, but rather an entrepreneurial enterprise – a business.

Parents, students and community members are bombarded and approached with more fundraising solicitations than ever before. "The one crucial element is to make sure your fundraising efforts do not get lost in the shuffle.

The good news is that there are seven important steps you can implement to help to insure your fundraising success.

1. Create A Good Fundraising Team

This is one of the first and often most overlooked aspects of a successful fundraising program. Your team is the heart and soul of your fundraiser. Even though it is often difficult to get volunteers and quality people to be part of your fundraising team, one of the biggest mistakes that can be made is just accepting anyone onto your team. Seek people that are driven, motivated, and share your fundraising vision. Those who can attain their given goals. Confident, self-starters who can take direction, yet be able to function and operate on their own.

It is better to have a smaller team of like-minded and motivated members than to have a larger team with some weak links.

Take the time to find the right people for your team. Talk to them, learn their interests, discover their strengths and weaknesses, and then put the best qualified person in their most appropriate position.

Do your homework and make the effort and you will find that this is time well spent as you are creating the strongest foundation possible for your fundraising abilities.

2. Selecting The Right Fundraiser

Equally as important as assembling the best fundraising team as possible, is selecting the right and proper fundraiser itself. Factors such as the length of your campaign, the season or timeframe of your campaign, the size of your committee or team, the amount expected to be raised, and your target market and demographics are just some of the key elements that should be considered to assist you to select the right fundraising program.

Let your fundraiser stand out from the pack. The market is arranged with many of the same typical fundraisers such as candy, candles, wrapping paper, cookie dough, discount cards and so on. While some of these may have the potential to offer decent results, you may find your efforts are greatly improved and better accepted by your target audience by offering a different type of fundraiser. Custom fundraising products, live event and family entertainment fundraisers, and other unique fundraising ideas can assist you in offering that "something different or special" element than can allow your campaign to stand out and be better accepted and a welcomed relief from the typical standards.

Explore your options and ideas. What programs really excite your team and can create excitation in your market? Take the time and effort to carefully examine these factors to select a winning fundraiser.

3. Plan Your Fundraising Success

Many times the lack of proper planning is the reason behind a lack of expected results. Chart out your fundraiser from your first step through completion. By creating a plan to execute your fundraiser you and your entire team will be able to see the big picture.

Plan out all facets of your fundraiser including staffing, dates, times, promotion, product distribution, ticket sales, accounting, meetings, and any other pertinent details than may be included in your overall plan.

4. Set Your Goals

Along with the proper planning of your fundraiser is the creation and execution of your goals. Creating a written set of goals allows you to see your starting point, where you are each step of the way, and where your final goals are at all times.

Having these written goals also helps keep your team invested and aware of their expectations, while also being a fantastic way to measure and track their results and progress. Your team will enjoy a great feeling of pride and accomplishment as each goal is reached during your campaign. There is no better feeling than to meet your expected goals and even surpassing them to achieve greater success. This also promotes team spirit and overall motivation of all of your team or member members.

5. Manage Your Fundraising Team

Once you team is in place, your plans and goals have been determined, it is crucial to properly manage your fundraising team. Make your leaders and team members are clear on their role and duties. Make sure they have the tools and materials to succeed. Identify any strengths and weaknesses that may exist. Tend to the weaknesses and play to your strengths. Who are your teams "superstars"? Who needs special attention and reinforcement and sometimes personal motivation? What combinations of team members work well together and produce the best results?
Managing your team while assisting and supporting your team leaders will put you on the fast track to your desired expectations.

6. Promote And Spread The Word

After all of the team, goals and organizational efforts are in place, the priority is the continuous promotion of your fundraising campaign. Your main objective is to make sure as much of your target audience as possible becoming aware of your fundraising program.

Spread the word in anyway you can including as many methods and resources as possible. Although you must have a combination of promotional methods and techniques, the most beneficial is still word of mouth promotion. Let everyone you encounter be made aware of your fundraiser and the important cause or benefitor to your efforts. Promote the reason for your fundraiser and remind your target or potential customers that they are helping your cause and objective. People want to feel that they can help to make a difference.

You will soon find the amount of promotion directly affects your final results, so promote, promote and promote even more.

7. Motivate Your Fundraising Team

The importance of maintaining the proper focus and motivation is also very important to your fundraising success. Different people get bored or lose motivation at different levels. Stay on top of your team members and offer support and motivation to each member as needed. Acknowledge their successes and accomplishments, remind them of your goals, and reinforce their importance to your team's overall success.

Avoid "fundraising fatigue" or burnout. Offer incentives and rewards to your team members for achievements.

Maintain the spirit, attitude and enthusiasm of your team members. The right positive attitude is infectious. Being aware of these factors should help you to keep everyone focused and on track to achieve your desired results.

By following these seven steps your fundraising campaign will be managed properly and positioned for optimum success. "While these steps may appear to be a more business¬like approach, this is how fundraisers must operate to attain your goals, succeed in today's potentially scheduled market, and anticipate even in difficult times." These steps work well with all styles of fundraisers and offer immediate and residual benefits.

When choosing to invest in a slow pitch softball bat (sometimes called “sticks”), there’s a lot of things that you might like to consider… bat material, length, weight, weight distribution, and grip. You then need to correlate these items for your build and preferences because unfortunately slow pitch bats usually are not always one-size-fits-all. Let’s go into the important points to determine if we can help demystify the process.

Bat Material

Slow pitch bats come basically in two unique materials, composite or metal. There are positives and negatives to each, however the majority of companies have moved most of their business to employing the composite materials for slow pitch softball. Normally the composites are usually the better alternative due to their durability, capability to perform in colder climates, along with the innovations in composite technology.

Bat Length

When it comes to slow pitch softball, almost all the sticks come in a 34-inch size which is the greatest length allowed by league policies. Nearly all slow pitch players don’t need to be concerned in regards to smaller bat length unless you are really small and/or not heavy enough to swing the 34-inch. If that is the situation, the player may possibly consider choking up on the handle to essentially decrease the swing length.

Weight

Typically bat weights vary from 26 ounces to 30 ounces, but you may find some that exceed these regular ranges. The primary principle behind bat weight is that if the ball player is able to maintain a constant swing speed when utilizing both a light and heavy bat, then the batted-ball speed shall be highest for the heavier bat. The best results are obtained by swinging a heavier bat quicker, but it is something which most average players cannot do and still keep control over the bat while swinging it. If you must choose, we’d encourage employing a lighter weight bat due to the fact that swing speed in slow pitch is likely to rule a great deal more than bat weight for the reason that high swing speed is really what will flex the walls of the bat at ball-impact, thus enhancing the trampoline effect from the bat wall.

Note: For a reference point, I’m 5′ 11″ and 195 pounds. My greatest performance comes from using a 26 ounce bat. I have tried out bats up to 28 ounce, but those all frequently decrease my swing speed further than the gain produced with the heavier bat.

Weight Distribution

Bats for slow pitch softball can be bought in two distinctive weight distributions: balanced and end-loaded. These variations in weight distribution can lead to the sense of a light-weight or heavy swing weight of the bat. To get a little bit nerdy for you, it truly comes down to the location of the balance point (or center-of-mass) and the moment-of-inertia. Basically, the idea here is that the way the bat weight is distributed along the length of the bat can affect bat swing speed just as significantly as the varying overall bat weights. The nearer the bat’s balance point is to the handle, the simpler it can be to swing and manage the bat barrel.

Look at two bats that are identical in length and have a 26-ounce weight. If you pick them up and swing them, you are able to undoubtedly distinguish the swing feel between the two. Bat 1 has a balance point that’s 23 inches from the handle and Bat 2 has a balance point of 20.5 inches from the end of the handle. Bat 1 will have a much bigger moment of inertia (i.e. hit harder) than Bat 2 should they be swung with the same exact bat speed. However, as stated previously, the bat with the weight nearer to the handle is a lot easier to swing and control. The bat using the weight farther from the handle is more tricky to control and likely to lower your bat swing speed a result of the bigger moment of inertia. Let us reiterate here that bat speed governs in slow pitch because the high bat speed creates the trampoline effect of your bat walls when it strikes the softball.

There you have it, if you are a big bruiser and can swing an end-loaded bat fast and with excellent control, then that’s the weight distribution for you. The majority of slow pitch players cannot do that and need to work with a balanced bat that should provide them maximum performance. Personally I favor a balanced bat.

Grip

The grip bats usually come in are leather or synthetic leather. Occasionally grips can come with cushioning to absorb shock. Grip selection tends not to be considered a factor in bat selection, especially given that if you don’t like the grip you could change it out with a different one.

There it is, happy bat hunting!

As a 21-year old college student at Wharton, the business school of the University of Pennsylvania, I embraced the ideals of entrepreneurship so whole-heartedly I started my own company. My classmates and I managed the company for two and a half years and it became our full time job after graduation. We wrote a business plan and believed we had a unique concept, a strong management team, and a viable “business model.”

Unfortunately, despite some initial success, my business eventually shut down. Our fate isn’t surprising when you consider the challenges faced by entrepreneurs starting new companies. Like many entrepreneurs, we lost a lot of money invested by friends and family. For two years, we lived in our offices, sleeping on the floors, working day and night with no personal lives. In the end it seemed as if those sacrifices had been for nothing.

Lessons Learned

I think the failure of my company can be attributed to inadequate leadership among its founders. After years of reflection, I’ve asked myself to define what being a “leader” means to me. My definition follows:

A Leader is someone with sound judgment, integrity, and a sense of responsibility for others. A leader motivates others towards common goals, provides hope and inspiration in times of uncertainty, and helps the organization to adapt to an ever-changing environment.

While some degree of technical competence is necessary, these attributes mostly stem from increased self-awareness. It was Sun Tzu who said, “Know your enemy and yourself and you will win 100 battles; know the enemy and not yourself and you will lose every time.” Unfortunately, as a first time entrepreneur, there was a lot about myself I didn’t know. While a lack of self-knowledge isn’t so unusual for someone in his early twenties, it’s a huge problem for an entrepreneur.

I have always found that a good acronym helps me to remember things. For example, “ROYGBIV” and “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally” have locked the colors of the rainbow and the mathematical orders of operation into my brain since I was a high school student. As I was writing this manuscript, I wanted to create another mnemonic to help me remember the mistakes I made so I don’t repeat them in the future.

I have categorized these entrepreneurial mistakes into five elements (the “E CODE”). These five areas are as follows:

Egomania

Corporate Governance

Outlook (or Attitude)

Deeper Meaning

Emptiness

1. Egomania

As a college student, I heard stories how Michael Dell started his company from his college dorm room, and how Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard to start Microsoft, and how many of the wealthy benefactors of my university had been entrepreneurs. While I couldn’t possibly know the hardships and brushes with failure these men had, I latched on to their larger than life images of “success.” After all, I wanted to believe I could accomplish anything with my future. I wanted to believe in the unlimited potential of entrepreneurship.

In my mind’s eye, these tales were all that came close to meeting the “extraordinary expectations” I had of life. I was convinced that entrepreneurship was the single greatest wealth-building opportunity. At 21 years of age, I wanted to make my own decisions, to be my own boss, and to have a financial stake in the outcome of my work. At the same time, I didn’t want to spend 10 or 20 years slowly climbing the corporate ladder. By starting my business, growing it quickly, and selling it, I believed I could have my cake and eat it too.

It was Bill Walsh, former head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, who remarked that “ego” is a misused word in the United States. He said, “We Americans throw that around, using that one word to cover a broad spectrum of meanings: self-confidence, self-assurance, and assertiveness… But there is another side that can wreck a team…That is being distracted by your own importance… [It] ends up interfering with the real goal of any group .”

As a young entrepreneur, I considered it my right to serve my own self-interest. Since I was “taking the risk,” I believed I was entitled to the rewards. Therefore, I was very controlling about who I allowed to get involved in my business. Even if recruiting a larger team added benefits, I sometimes hesitated. After all, I viewed it as “my company,” so I didn’t want to share the upside with others unless it was absolutely necessary. If I had checked my ego, I would have been more likely to recognize my limitations and concentrate on assembling the right team of people, even if it meant slowing things down.

Unfortunately, my exorbitant expectations of entrepreneurship were difficult to meet. Soon, I became embarrassed to show people I worked in a small office with only a handful of employees. I wanted to live up to my lofty ideal of a “real entrepreneur.” So, I rushed to rent larger office space and expand my business prematurely. When the image I had in my head failed to live up to reality, I panicked. Why? Because I was far more excited to chase a “rags to riches” fairy tale than I was to hunker down and slowly build a business over a long period of time. I wanted results in a hurry, but it wasn’t going to happen that way. It was time for Peter Pan to grow up.

At the end of the day, an entrepreneur has the responsibility of stewarding his company and its many stakeholders, not just himself. There’s no room for large egos, because they lead to bad decisions. Entrepreneurship is not so different from other career paths as many of us would like to believe. It still takes many years to build a reputation and a strong client base. It still requires the founder to start at the bottom. If anything, it’s less glamorous, because there are fewer people around to help and a lot less resources at our disposal.

2. Corporate Governance

My partners and I had little corporate governance and no written policies or procedures. Oftentimes, we lacked the independent perspective necessary to critically evaluate our thinking. “GroupThink” was rampant, whereby everyone was entranced by the same views, so no one was thinking independently.

Although we didn’t think we needed advice, my company would have benefited from including independent directors on our Board. It would’ve forced us to share our assumptions with outside professionals. Inevitably, we would’ve had to test our theories, identify potential risks, and slow down our growth plans. At the very least, independent directors would have forced a system of checks and balances.

Although no entrepreneur wants to create bureaucracy, having some structure in place is essential to a healthy organization. Unfortunately, my partners and I thought the primary value of having independent directors was to tap into their business contacts. We weren’t concerned about corporate governance. Instead, we wanted directors to help us get financing or drum up new business. When it became difficult for us to recruit these “well-connected” people, we gave up looking.

As founders, we couldn’t afford to pay ourselves high salaries, so we were financially dependent on the value of our stock. While our ownership stakes were nearly worthless at the time, we assured ourselves that “equity” was the best motivational tool. Unfortunately, being solely dependent on the value of our shares made us more inclined to embrace riskier strategies. After all, our stock could never be worth less than zero. In that sense, it resembled a “call option,” so adding volatility to our business was a way to boost our equity value.

Ultimately, I grew so concerned with protecting my ownership that I turned away venture capital. Rather than selling a large chunk of my equity, I preferred to embrace a highly leveraged operating strategy. Now, I realize that anyone can bet his entire company on a risky financing strategy. The real whiz can capitalize his business in a way that doesn’t “sink the boat” if things take an unexpected turn for the worst.

I also realize that my company’s corporate culture lacked discipline. My partners and I were generally unkempt – we showered everyday at the gym and we slept on the floor of our office. We didn’t keep regular business hours and we had no planned schedules. As a result, the environment we created lacked professionalism. Unfortunately, our lack of discipline manifested itself in a negative way whenever we faced stressful situations.

Tense arguments between founders would turn into screaming matches. We became hotheaded and it spread into the way we managed our business. We were prone to knee-jerk reactions and quick changes of strategy. Although we viewed our nimbleness as a competitive advantage, we lacked the emotional intelligence to realize when we were behaving irrationally. Unfortunately, we lacked the balance in our culture to keep us grounded.

As founders, it was our job to mold the company’s values after our own beliefs. Unfortunately, we listed corporate values in our business plan, but they were just words on paper. Now I realize that corporate values are not pieces of PR fluff that companies put on their websites to appease investors. When these values are held deeply by managers, they help in making difficult decisions.

I think of the nationwide Tylenol recall by Johnson & Johnson whereby 7 people in the Chicago area died in 1982 because their Extra-Strength Tylenol had been laced with cyanide. J&J made a $100 million decision to do a nationwide recall and take its products off the shelves. J&J wanted to send a strong message to its stakeholders that customer safety came before profits. No doubt, it was a difficult decision, but senior management relied on the company’s corporate values to guide them through the crisis. At the end of the day, shared values are a much more reliable way to control behavior in unpredictable situations than are extrinsic controls.

Undoubtedly, part of the allure of self-employment had been the feeling of freedom from not having a boss to which I was accountable. However, the reality was that such freedom didn’t exist, because I was still accountable to my stakeholders. I couldn’t just behave however I wanted. Therefore, I needed to be willing to put checks and balances on my activities for the good of my company. That meant being clear about my company’s values, creating more structure in my organization, and including independent directors on our Board. In short, I needed to take corporate governance a lot more seriously and make it just as important of a goal as my quest for profits.

3. Outlook (or Attitude)

After becoming an entrepreneur, I often compared my life with those of friends who accepted the types of jobs I turned away. While I slept on the floor of my office, ate the cheapest thing on the menu, and was buried beneath a mountain of credit card debt, my peers had apartments in the city, corporate expense accounts, and were improving their credentials in the job market. I began to fear my friends were developing better resumes than I was, while I worked twice as hard for a fraction of the pay.

Comparing myself to others created a lot of unrest, because I was a competitive person and I didn’t want to feel like I was “falling behind.” Although I think it’s natural for entrepreneurs to contend with self-doubt, these emotions only impaired my judgment. They made me impatient, because I was scared of “wasting” years of my life as an entrepreneur, but never becoming “successful.”

After the initial excitement of writing a business plan and setting up my company, I was almost depressed to be sitting in my small office handing out debit cards to college students. I didn’t really have an appreciation for the work. In my mind, I had earned my degree from Wharton to become the manager of a tiny debit card office, but I probably didn’t need to go to college to do that. It made me feel as if I wasn’t living up to my “potential.” Therefore, I wanted to put my head down and focus on growing my business faster.

It sounds ridiculous, but a founder must train himself to find meaning in his daily toils, not just in the dream of his future victory. Otherwise, he’ll feel powerless every time the business takes an unexpected turn and leaves his prospects worse off than before. If a founder feels that he is powerless and at the whim of fate, his psyche can easily become easily damaged by the emotional roller coaster of potential failure and success. The stress can lead him to make bad decisions.

Experiencing failure is an inevitable part of success. Therefore, an entrepreneur has to view adversity as a necessary step that helps him to learn, to grow, and to become a stronger leader. In that regard, challenges and struggles can be hidden blessings, not curses. Entrepreneurs need to observe someone like Nelson Mandella, who survived many years of abuse and imprisonment, but never allowed the situation or his captors to break him. Rather, he used adversity as a tool to transform himself and grow stronger.

There are lots of stories of prisoners of war and concentration camp victims who use their experiences to their advantage. As Warren Bennis and Robert Thomas noted in their book, Geeks & Geezers, leaders often use periods of difficulty as opportunities for reflection that allow them to look deeper into themselves and make discoveries about their own character. It’s ironic, but without moments of desperation, many leaders would never have the opportunity to find their inner strength.

By looking at hardships as opportunities to conquer ego, an entrepreneur can mitigate the emotional swings. As Carlos Castaneda observed with his concept of the “petty tyrant,” life is filled with lots of petty obstacles and challenges, so we might as well learn to use them to our advantage and not allow them to drag us down. In fact, obstacles and hardship can teach entrepreneurs to keep a sense of humor about their plight. It can teach founders to laugh at life’s surprises, both good and bad.

In his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl describes how life demands things from us, not the other way around. Therefore, we should condition ourselves to find meaning in answering life’s daily callings and use them as opportunities to live with dignity and find meaning in every moment. Learning to enjoy the unpredictability of life can enable an entrepreneur to appreciate the path chosen rather than stress about the uncertainties of future outcomes.

It was John Keats who said the most important attribute of a leader is the ability to be in “uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.” I wish I had a better sense of humor when I was an entrepreneur. Not only would I have had more fun, but I would have been less likely to feel sorry for myself when my company faced challenges. Instead of wasting my energy worrying, I would have been poking fun at my anxieties, strengthening my character, and living in the present. This outlook would have kept me more even keeled and better able to make good decisions.

4. Deeper Meaning

It was Benjamin Disraeli who said, “The secret of success is a constancy of purpose.” I believe an entrepreneur must choose a “cause” to which he’s willing to devote himself, even in the face of failure. It should be a broader purpose that’s worth the fight regardless of the outcome. After all, of the approximately 1.8 million new businesses incorporated every year in the United States, less than a few thousand receive venture funding and a fraction of those ever go public. Clearly, there are no guarantees of success, so a founder’s reasons for choosing his journey have to be about more than the allure of financial gains.

In fact, there is so much volatility embedded in entrepreneurship that it can be difficult for founders to stay motivated by the prospects of riches. Too often the company will be in peril and the founder will be forced to reinvent aspects of the business. If the entrepreneur is only motivated by financial success, then he’ll probably lack the necessary staying power. In fact, most new ventures would probably never get started if a founder’s motivations were based purely on the risk-adjusted economic merits of the project.

At the end of the day, I believe the motivation to pursue a business has to come from a genuine commitment to serving a cause that’s bigger than ourselves. There has to be a responsibility we feel to serve others in a certain way. From my experiences I learned that even the best business plan can become a burden if you don’t believe in what you are doing. Our motivation can’t just be about benefiting ourselves, because when the company’s prospects diminish, most of us will be inclined to quit and do something else.

History is filled with tales of people risking their lives for causes in which they believe. By comparison, very little is written about mercenaries performing such acts of courage. Those who perform the greatest feats do it for reasons which hold deeper meaning to them, not just for money and accolades. Therefore, an entrepreneur should choose a purpose for his business that comes from someplace deep inside of him. Unfortunately, that was not something I did. Rather, I was simply trying to make money, so I could “cash out” and move on to something else.

That’s why I believe an entrepreneur with a long-term dedication will ultimately reap the benefits of his commitment. The right opportunity will eventually present itself. The long-term players will weather the storms and be in better positions to take advantage of the new opportunities when the clouds finally part.

5. Emptiness

There is an interesting poem from the Tao Te Ching that I have come to appreciate since my experiences as an entrepreneur. It follows:

“With a wall all around

A clay bowl is molded;

But the use of the bowl

Will depend on the part

Of the bowl that is void.

Cut out windows and doors

In the house as you build;

But the use of the house

Will depend on the space

In the walls that is void.

So advantage is had

From whatever is there;

But usefulness arises

From whatever is not.

–The Tao Te Ching

Like the poem from the Tao Te Ching, entrepreneurs must see the importance of emptiness, which requires a different way of looking at the world. While emptiness can be uncertainty, it can also represent opportunity.

As an entrepreneur assembles the pieces of his business into place, there will inevitably come a time when the viability of his company is in doubt. New markets are difficult to break into, customer needs are always changing, and the threat of new competition always seems to be lurking about. Sometimes, it’s hard to look into the unknown and see opportunity. It’s easy to doubt ourselves and be scared.

As a 22-year old entrepreneur, I looked into the unknown and I saw only two possibilities. I saw the possibility for personal success or failure. Working at my desk until the early hours of the morning, my mind’s eye was able to craft detailed scenarios for each. Either sleeping on the office floor was going to be part of a story I would tell guests on my yacht one day or I was wasting my potential with a business that would never succeed.

Unfortunately, I didn’t understand there was more an entrepreneur could see in his unknown future if he focused on something other than his “personal success.” He might also see the opportunity to fight for a cause that inspires him, regardless if he wins or loses. Whether he becomes rich or not, the future represents an opportunity to make a difference in the world.

That’s why the true “fire in the belly” of an entrepreneur should come from a vision that the future, while uncertain, holds possibilities for each of us to make an impact on the lives of others. To have maximum power, our vision shouldn’t be just about our own success or failure. It’s not about personal greed. To be truly inspirational, we need to see how our efforts will benefit the lives of others. By sharing that vision, we’ll be able to influence those around us to join our cause.