Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Having a left hand is key to athletic glory
By Steve Etheridge Special to ESPN.com
The key to athletic success: stimulating your right hemisphere in your brain, of course.
By a show of hands, how many of you have a left hand?
If you did not raise your hand, this blog post is not for you. If you did, I will now share the secret to becoming the world’s greatest sports hero.
According to real, actual science, the key to unlocking your ultimate sports potential is the ability to close your left hand into a fist. Forget the long hours in the weight room, forget the expensive supplements and powders and performance beverages.
If you can place a toad in your left palm and then squish it by tightly closing your fingers, there’s a real chance you could be the most brilliant athlete of your generation and not even know it.
Researchers in Germany have found that in high-pressure sports scenarios, athletes tend to fail more frequently on simple mechanical actions -- free throws, penalty kicks, etc. -- because of overactivity in the left hemisphere of the brain.
The right hemisphere controls the left side of the body, so by clinching your left fist, you can stimulate your right hemisphere, calming your nerves so you don’t disappoint your stepdad with a game-ending air ball. You incompetent dimwit, why can’t you be more like your stepbrother?
The researchers found that not only did clinching the left fist improve performance under pressure, but it also worked in situations that didn’t really matter. So if you’re playing a low-stakes game of H-O-R-S-E with your stepbrother, squeeze your left fist like a maniac in order to completely humiliate him on the court, proving to his birth father that 12 minutes a game off the bench for JV shouldn’t merit all the extra Christmas presents and “just because” milkshakes.
Here are some other ways clinching your left fist can improve your life:
You’re in the final round of a boxing match and you’ll lose if you don’t ditch your strategy of open-palm slaps. CLINCH THE FIST.
You’re on the medal podium at the 1968 Olympics and you want to make an iconic statement about human rights in America. CLINCH THE FIST.
You have a Gogurt in your hand and you’d like to launch its contents into your mouth. CLINCH THE FIST.
You’d like to demonstrate your superior dexterity to a Lego guy. CLINCH THE FIST.
Your pet moth is trying to fly away. CLINCH THE FIST.
You want your stepdad to disappear to Cleveland. CLINCH THE FIST.
You want Jim Thome to be your new dad. CLINCH THE FIST.
Now that Jim Thome’s your dad, you want to take his hand in yours and apply pressure to demonstrate your unwavering affection. CLINCH THE FIST.
For as long as you live, you want to savor the memory of Jim Thome’s massive man-paw holding your hand, so that even when he’s gone on road trips, you’ll know that missing a free throw doesn’t make you any less of a son. CLINCH THE FIST.
How will you clinch your fist to improve your life? Tell us in the comments.