1966 NCAA high jump champion (and more recently a member of the U.S. Olympic
Developmental Committee, which holds clinics for potential Olympians and
analyzes their performances), says he learned the value of medicine-ball
training 20 years ago in international competition. "The Eastern Europeans
were big on medicine balls, but in this country people just thought of them as
something boxers bounced off each other's stomachs."
may be changing. The Washington Capitals hockey team has started training with
Versaballs, and Costello expects other professional and college teams to
follow. "You're going to see a big upswing in medicine balls," he says.
"They're an important part of an athlete's training."
medicine ball may even come to be perceived as—gasp!—sexy. Shape magazine
recently put curvy television actress Connie Sellecca on its cover, cradling a
Bodyball against an admirably slim thigh.
My first serve of
the deciding game was in the air, but I won't bore you with a shot-by-shot
recounting of the epic denouement of the resurrection of mediball. Actually, I
don't remember much of the final game, except that I scored a crucial point by
nimbly avoiding contact with a heavy shot that was out by inches. Which, I must
add, should not be mistaken for ducking.
My side won.
More to the
point, Hoover Rules mediball was judged a success. "I tell you," said
Hinman, "you wouldn't even have a waistline if you played this every
day." "It's neat," echoed Schwartz. "A bit of Americana
rediscovered." The Athletic Club of Overland Park plans to add medicine
ball to its regular activities schedule.
But Will Irwin's
note of caution will be observed. Beginners must start out with the six-pound
medicine ball or a four-pound plyoball. The game will go faster, with less risk
of injury. Heed the words of the game's inventor, Commander Boone:
"Exhilaration, not depression, should follow. Otherwise, it's