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How to become a successful pocket frogs player

Pocket Frogs is a game for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Android that was created by Nimblebit. In the game, you collect different types of frogs, which you can store in habitats or take to the pond, where you can tame them, breed them with wild frogs, find items and increase your frog’s happiness by leaping from lilypad to lilypad eating dragonflies.

Awards

There is no single goal in Pocket Frogs. Instead, the gameplay is pretty open-ended. There is a large list of Awards that will keep you busy for a long time. Each award has instructions, which in most cases involves collecting certain types of frogs in a habitat. This can take a long time because you must hop around the pond looking for new types of frogs to breed with in order to get the combinations necessary for the award. Each award has a huge XP reward, making it a great way to increase in level.

Increasing in Level

Breeding frogs and taming frogs are a couple of ways to increase your XP, which is listed in the top right corner. As you increase in level, you unlock new breeds of frogs that can appear in the pond. You also get a money reward when you increase in level.

Earning Coins

Coins enable you to buy catalogued frogs, buy new habitats, and do other tasks. To earn coins, you can sell frogs, or just hop around the pond to look for gift boxes. Pink boxes have better rewards than yellow boxes.

Selling Frogs

You can sell a frog at any time, but it’s best if you maximize the frog’s happiness before you do so, because a 100% happy frog can be sold for the maximum number of coins.

Breeding

You have a nursery habitat where eggs from frog breeding will stay until they hatch. If the nursery is full, you can’t breed frogs until you make more room.

Building Habitats

As you earn more coins, you can increase the number of habitats that you have. Each habitat can hold eight frogs. The frogs in a habitat can breed with each other, but they can’t breed with frogs in a different habitat. You can also decorate habitats with different decorations that you can find in gift boxes at the pond. Decorations increase the happiness of the frogs who live in that habitat, which can help you maximize the happiness of your frogs more quickly so that you can sell them sooner.

Cataloging

You can keep a catalog of your frogs. Your catalog can only hold 50 different frog types, so it’s not like the Pokédex in Pokémon. Instead, it’s a tool that you can use to have permanent access to rare types of frogs, to help you complete the different awards in the game. You can spend coins to buy a frog type from the catalog at any time.

The Mailbox

When you find gift box frogs and gift box decorations in the pond, they are sent to your mailbox. You can only have eight things in your mailbox at a time, and the things in your mailbox aren’t delivered right away. The only way to speed up delivery of a mailbox item is to use stamps, which you can find in the pond. Using the required number of stamps will make your item be delivered to you right away.

Improve Your Poker Game with These Skills

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Want to become a better player, fast? Follow these 10 tips to boost your poker performance & profits. While geared to beginner players, these are poker tips even seasoned pros can reference once in a while.​ ​

Don’t Play Every Hand/Do Fold More

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Probably the number one mistake beginning poker players make is that they play far too many hands. When you’re just starting out playing poker, you want to play poker, and that means staying in hands that aren’t very good just to be part of the action. But playing more doesn’t mean winning more, it usually means losing more. If you find you’re staying in on half or more of the hands you’re dealt, you need to upgrade your starting hand requirements.

Don’t Play Drunk

There are nights where you’re just playing with friends for low stakes and it’s more about the fun than the poker. But if you’re in a casino, watch the alcohol. The truth is, while you may be more relaxed after two drinks, it may lead to you playing looser and less sharply, even if you’re not fully drunk. You may notice that few other players at the table are imbibing at all. That should be your first clue that poker isn’t a game to play when you have dulled senses.

Don’t Bluff Just For Bluffing’s Sake

A lot of beginners understand that bluffing is a part of poker, but not exactly how. There’s is no rule that one must bluff a certain amount or at all during a poker game, but many players don’t feel like they’ve won unless they’ve tried a poker bluff. Bluffs only work in certain situations & against certain people, and if you know a player always calls to the showdown, it is literally impossible to bluff that player. It’s better never to bluff than to bluff “just to bluff.”​

Don’t Stay in a Hand Just Because You’re Already In It

Another common mistake beginners make is to think that “Well, I’ve already put that much in the pot, I have to stay in now.” Nope. You can’t win a pot just by throwing money at it. There may be cases when pot odds warrant a call, but if you’re sure you’re beaten, and there’s no way your hand can improve to be the best hand, you should fold right away. The money you’ve already put in the pot isn’t yours anymore, and you can’t get it back just by playing a hand all the way to the end.

Don’t Call at the End of a Hand to “Keep Someone Honest”

Some players look at another player’s final bet, look at the hand, and say “I know you’ve got me, but I have to keep you honest,” as they throw in a final call. It may be worth it to see if a player really has the hand they’re representing; you’re gaining information that will help you later on. But if you really feel a player has the winning hand, why give him another pile of your money? Those bets will add up over an evening.

Don’t Play When Mad, Sad, or in a Generally Bad Mood

When you play poker, you shouldn’t do it to escape depression or because you’ve had a really bad day. You start out on tilt — playing emotionally, not rationally — and you won’t play your best. Likewise, if during a poker game, you lose a big hand or get sucked out on and feel yourself going on tilt, stand up and take a break until you feel calm later on. Fellow players will sense your mood and take advantage of it.

Do Pay Attention to the Cards on the Table

When you first start playing, it’s enough just to remember how to play and pay attention to your own hand. But once you’ve got that down, it’s incredibly important to look at what’s going on at the table. In Texas Holdem, figure out what the best possible hand would be to fit the flop. Make sure you notice flush and straight possibilities. In 7-card stud, pay attention to what’s showing and what people have folded when you consider calling opponents. Make sure you can pick out which hand wins in Texas Hold’em.

Do Pay Attention to the Other Players

As you play, one of the single best things you can do is observe your opponents, even when you’re not in a hand. If you know if one player always raises in a certain position, and another has a poker tell when he bluffs, and a third folds to every re-raise, you can use that information to help you decide how to play against them. Once you know that player 3 always folds to a re-raise on a river, that’s when you can bluff and steal a pot.

Don’t Play at Too-High Limits

There are many reasons people move up to a higher limit game than they usually play. Good reasons such as that they’ve been winning consistently at a lower level and are ready to move up, and bad reasons such as the lines are shorter for higher limits or you want to impress someone. Don’t play at stakes that make you think about the actual money in terms of day-to-day life or with money you can’t lose. Even if you had one super-good night at $2/4, resist the urge to play $5/10. The next tip explains more why.

Do Pick the Right Game for Your Skill Level and Bankroll

One of the reasons you shouldn’t jump into a $5/10 game after winning a huge bunch of money at $2/4 is because as the stakes rise, so does the average skill level of the players sitting there. You want to be one of the best at the table, not the fish who sits down with sharks. If you’re making stacks of money at a lower level game, why move? You’re winning stacks of money. The swings up and down at higher limits are much bigger, and one big night’s win won’t last long at a high-stakes game.

The ability to achieve goals in the workplace requires collaboration. Whether you are currently part of a team or are preparing to join a new one, developing strong teamwork skills can help you succeed in your career no matter your level or industry.

In this article, we discuss what it means to be a team player, common characteristics of team players and how you can improve your own teamwork skills.

What is a team player?

A team player is someone who actively contributes to their group in order to complete tasks, meet goals or manage projects. Team players actively listen to their coworkers, respect ideas and aim to improve the product or process at hand. Team players understand that their team’s success is their own success, and they share responsibility when their team experiences difficulties along the way.

Team player qualities and characteristics

There are many common soft skills that make individuals great team players. While soft skills are not as easily learned as technical skills, they can certainly be developed with time and practice.

Here are several qualities you can focus on to be a better team player:

  1. You understand your role. As a team member, you understand your role within the team and work to achieve your duties to the best of your ability. Though you may offer help or solutions to other team members, you also respect the boundaries of your position.

You welcome collaboration. Working with a team means there will be varying opinions and ideas. Even if you think your idea is best, you should listen to all ideas before pushing yours. Search for compromises, and remain respectful if your work is criticized.

You hold yourself accountable. Take responsibility for your mistakes and look for solutions. Understand how your actions impact the entire group. In doing so, you will learn from your errors and command more respect from your team.

You are flexible. You should readily accept any tasks your manager gives you. Flexibility in your role allows you to learn more and help your team. Look at every opportunity as a chance to learn.

You have a positive attitude. Maintaining a positive attitude even during stressful times helps the rest of your team work through that difficult time without getting upset. Your positive attitude will create a better atmosphere.

  • You commit to the team. You should be fully invested in the team. You will be a great team player if you can show others that you believe in the group, the process and the goals. This sort of positivity can radically increase morale and productivity.
  • How to be a better team player

    Working well with others shows that you are committed to achieving both personal and organizational goals. Displaying consistent teamwork skills also shows strong work ethic, increasing your chances for raises, promotions and other earnings. No matter your experience level or position, continuously focusing on becoming a better team player will lead to success in your career.

    Here are several ways you can focus on improving your teamwork skills:

    • Offer help. If you see a coworker who seems overwhelmed or is struggling to keep up with tasks, ask if you can help. Team players support each other during difficult times. Remember to ask for help, as well.

    Actively listen. Active listening means hearing and thoughtfully responding to what your team member says. Ask questions about things you don’t understand.

    Communicate. Keep your team updated on your progress and what you need to be successful in your job. You should be in constant communication with your team to ensure that everyone is working toward the same goal and no one is repeating work.

    Respect others. Recognize that other team members are also trying to fulfill their roles, and consider how you can support them. Take the time to get to know your team. Everyone has a role to play that is no less critical than your own.

    Be a problem-solver. When you recognize a problem, take action to solve it. Brainstorm solutions to your problems and ask for feedback.

  • Celebrate teammates’ successes. If a member of your team succeeds in the workplace, so do you. It means you are one step closer to completing a goal. Celebrate their success. Also, stay updated on their personal lives and take the time to express interest and care.
  • If you’re unsure about what areas you need to improve to be a better team player, ask a trusted friend or colleague for honest feedback about your teamwork skills. Set SMART goals to improve those skills over time. You might also consider asking someone you respect in your industry to be your mentor. Seeking out someone who has strong teamwork skills can help you improve your own.

    Collaboration is a crucial part of working successfully and learning how to be a positive force for your team is vital. When you aim to be a great team player, others will follow. In doing so, you can improve your workplace, grow personally and advance in your career.

    Can you really become a scratch golfer?

    In the article How far do I need to hit the golf ball to get to a ‘scratch handicap’? I suggested that over the years I have met and played golf with thousands of golfers around the world.

    Many of whom were harbouring a secret desire.

    A secret desire that they were unlikely to share with many people (if any at all).

    A secret desire that may be nothing more than some thoughts in their head.

    A secret desire that they won’t share with the others they golf with regularly.

    A secret desire that would give them a massive sense of personal achievement.

    Just what is this secret desire?

    It’s the desire to master the game of golf and attain a ‘scratch handicap’.

    If you aren’t sure what a ‘scratch handicap’ actually is – you can take an in-depth look at that in the article – How does a golf handicap actually work – part three?

    The quick version though, is that a ‘scratch golfer’, is a golfer who effectively has a score that is somewhere close to the par of the course, virtually every time they play golf.

    For example, if the course they are playing on has a par of 72 – if they are having ‘a good day’ the golfer may occasionally have some rounds under that score, as well as a few rounds over that score on ‘their off days’ but by and large, they will be reasonably likely to have a score of around 72 on most days they play that course.

    The question is of course, if you are one of those golfers who is harbouring that secret desire but at this point, your golf game doesn’t quite fit into that definition above.

    Can you really become a scratch golfer?

    Having spent most of the past 30 years observing golfers and assisting a bunch of them to get to that elusive ‘scratch handicap’ (and beyond that for quite a few).

    I’d suggest that it’s possible for a lot more golfers than you’d expect.

    Which is why I’m going to take a look at a few of the signs that may indicate that it’s possible for you to get to a scratch handicap – even though you may be starting from some distance away currently.

    First up, I’m going to look at the most obvious one – are you able to hit the golf ball far enough or can you improve your distance enough (by buying a cool book like this one) to be able to get to a ‘scratch handicap’?

    I’m going to start this with a stunning statement.

    More than half the golfers who play the game around the world, can actually hit the ball far enough (in theory) to be able to accomplish a par round.

    Read that again and think about it for a minute.

    Now, if we take a look at the USGA guide for golf handicapping – a ‘scratch golfer’ is defined as the following:

    ‘A male scratch golfer can hit his tee shots an average of 250 yards and is able to reach a 470 yard hole in two shots, whereas a female scratch golfer can hit her tee shots an average of 210 yards and is able to reach a 400-yard hole in two shots’.

    Not only that but they also hit every fairway, missing every hazard, then hit every green perfectly in regulation before going on to always two putt each green.

    Sounds like you’d need a bit more distance than I’m suggesting – doesn’t it?

    Except for the fact, that the USGA definition assumes the golfer will two putt every green during a round – something that isn’t very realistic.

    So, the good news is that if you have the secret desire to get to a ‘scratch handicap’ – you don’t need to hit it as far as you might think – in fact, you may hit the golf ball far enough already.

    Assuming that you can one putt, every once in a while!

    (This book can really help you with that – if you don’t.)

    The distance required to get to a ‘scratch handicap’ is something that I took a look at in the last chapter of my book This is what your first golf lesson should have been when I was outlining what I call:

    Convertible distance.

    “Convertible distance, what is that?”

    Distance that leaves the ball in play and on the fairway……………

    Sure Pete, what is it?

    “If the ability to hit the ball 165 yards can get a player on to an 18 handicap, then just out of interest how far would a player have to hit to become really good?”

    You mean on a ‘scratch handicap’?

    Let’s go back to the numbers and divide them again Pete this time just using the highest.

    Most par 3 holes were 150 to 220 yards.

    Most par 4 holes were 260 to 440 yards.

    Most par 5 holes were 440 to 660 yards.

    Now, the scratch handicap player would be theoretically expected to reach.

    The par 3 hole in 1 shot and have 2 putts – so on the par 3 holes the scratch player would need to be able to hit 220 yards.

    The par 4 hole in 2 shots and have 2 putts – so on the par 4 holes the scratch player would need to be able to hit 220 yards.

    The par 5 hole in 3 shots and have 2 putts – so on the par 5 holes the scratch player would need to be able to hit 220 yards.

    “220 yards, is that all, I can hit that far sometimes?”

    That’s it Pete, when you look at the numbers that is the answer you get – it doesn’t mean it would be easy to do but it is certainly possible to play on a scratch handicap – if the player is able to hit the ball 220 yards or more.

    “There’s hope for me yet.”

    What do you mean Pete?

    “Well I have never told anyone this, but back when I started golf I always dreamed of being on a scratch handicap……………..”

    Hmmm, so there we have a golfer who has always had a secret desire to get to a ‘scratch handicap’, that has never told anyone about it, who was surprised at the fact that it’s actually possible (in theory) for them to get to a scratch handicap with the distance they can already hit the golf ball.

    Look out for Can you really become a scratch golfer – part two?where I will take a look at the next sign that it may be possible for you to become a ‘scratch golfer’.

    It may surprise you, just how high the handicap is that I think you can start from.

    Always wanted to become a ‘scratch golfer’?

    You can join the wait list for my course The Scratch Golf Formula by clicking here or on the image below.

    How to Become a Successful Pocket Frogs Player

    Related Articles by Ian Hardie

    How to Become a Successful Pocket Frogs Player

    Keeping pace with regulatory change is always a challenge. But if your organization is struggling with privacy requirements such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), the real issue might not be the regulations themselves but implementing a coordinated and resilient approach to privacy that can adapt over time.

    How to Become a Successful Pocket Frogs Player

    When each new policy change or new entry into a jurisdiction with strong privacy protections requires a heavy lift compliance project, it’s no wonder organizations get fatigued. And that fatigue is starting to show.

    One July 2019 survey of privacy professionals at companies subject to CCPA found that only 2% of respondents reported full compliance with the regulation. Less than half (49%) said they would be in full compliance by CCPA’s January 1, 2020, effective date. When respondents were asked to rate their CCPA preparedness on a scale from 0 to 10, the average result was just 5.27.

    Beyond regulatory requirements, companies need a more coherent privacy strategy because consumers are starting to take matters into their own hands. Other surveys show that consumers are less likely to share personal information than in recent years. The decline is remarkable. Barely half of consumers are willing to share even their email address, and less than one-third will share a home address.

    Pamela Hrubey, managing director in the consulting group at Crowe, believes that a resilient approach is the solution. With resiliency, your organization sees the introduction of new regulation as a refinement of existing privacy practices, not separate events. “These laws have different definitions, but if you have a resilient privacy practice, you don’t need totally different practices to prepare for them,” Hrubey says. “You need to think about being prepared, capable, and resilient so that each new requirement doesn’t mean you’re starting over.”

    A complete privacy resiliency strategy takes time to implement, and Hrubey writes frequently on the topic. But these four principles can help you gauge how effective your approach already is.

    1. Don’t Lose Sight Of The Real Data Owner: The Individual

    It’s easy to be distracted by terms such as “big data” and “data lakes” and to think of data as vast, faceless pools of information controlled by large companies and specialist brokers. When you do that, you’re overlooking the truth: Each one of those data points represents an actual person. And if your privacy practices start with the individual, they can adjust more easily to new protections and regulations, which are designed to protect individuals.

    “The real owner is an individual somewhere who has said it’s okay to use his or her information for a specific business purpose,” Hrubey says. “Owners matter. They have opinions about how their data is used. They have rights, and those rights matter.”

    2. Embrace The Simplicity Of Clear Privacy Ethics

    The fewer exemptions, exclusions, and corner cases privacy policies have, the more robust and resilient they will be in the face of change. Consider this tangible example of a company that decided to extend GDPR and CCPA practices to all individuals, regardless of citizenship or location. This major operating system and cloud provider “decided that it was easier for them to give those rights to everyone in the world,” Hrubey says. “That might be a slightly more expensive approach in the initial phase. But it’s a simpler program to implement, and it’s a more ethical position to take with the consumers who interact with the business.”

    3. Blend Privacy And Data Security Practices

    There’s room for healthy debate about just how tightly linked privacy and data security practices should be, but an organization that manages them on two separate tracks will find it very difficult to stay resilient in the face of change. Senior leadership is increasingly concerned with the reputational and financial costs of breaches in both avenues. And it’s difficult to provide privacy assurances when the underlying data is not properly secured.

    “You need to have a focus on both privacy and information security if you really want to protect both the organization and the individual data owners,” Hrubey says.

    4. Decide On Your Brand Approach To Privacy Ethics

    A shift in terminology and mindset can have just as much impact as a legal review. When compliance is something you are pulled toward, rather than something you welcome or embrace, it will always be a slog.

    “Compliance feels like something you have to do, not something you want to do,” Hrubey says. “But if you make it a part of your brand that you believe in doing the right thing, or that you believe there is a foundational value in being compliant, then that’s your starting point.”

    On the other hand, a brand that fully accounts for the reputational costs of privacy violations and believes in learning from mistakes and adapting to changing tastes and guidance is one that will be more resilient to changes.

    Hrubey describes one top pharmaceutical as an interesting study of a company with a surprisingly public commitment to privacy and data protection transparency. “On the public-facing homepage, there is information about the privacy program—and not just the niceties. This organization presents data about issues it has investigated and about how it has adjusted to those issues,” Hrubey says. “And that transparency builds trust.”

    To put it simply: When you look forward to the healing qualities of the dose, it doesn’t taste like medicine. Privacy compliance and incident management doesn’t have to be disruptive. Make it part of your organizational fabric, and it can be easier to internalize both the costs and the benefits.

    How to Become a Successful Pocket Frogs Player

    Crowe LLP is a public accounting, consulting, and technology firm with offices around the world. Crowe uses its deep industry expertise to provide audit services to…

    Crowe LLP is a public accounting, consulting, and technology firm with offices around the world. Crowe uses its deep industry expertise to provide audit services to public and private entities. The firm and its subsidiaries also help clients make smart decisions that lead to lasting value with its tax, advisory and consulting services. As an independent member of Crowe Global, one of the largest global accounting networks in the world, Crowe serves clients worldwide. The network consists of more than 200 independent accounting and advisory services firms in more than 130 countries around the world.

    Come for COVID conversation, stay to make fun of Texas.

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    How to Become a Successful Pocket Frogs Player

    Links O’ War Danny Mourning

    Football:

    “Texas now becomes the prominent program to date to extend an offer”

    A three-star talent with nine offers to date, Jackson announced his pledge to the Horned Frogs on May 3, but at that point, Jackson’s offer list featured only two other Power 5 invitations — Indiana and Minnesota.

    On the surface, Jackson’s productivity as a junior certainly warrants a bit more attention, as he hauled in 56 receptions for 1,342 yards — good for 23.9 yards per catch — and 15 touchdowns. So it seems as if TCU may have unearthed a diamond in the rough, which has become a common theme for the program under Gary Patterson’s guidance.

    That said, Texas now becomes the prominent program to date to extend an offer to the recent TCU commit, so the impact that invitation has will be something to monitor in the coming weeks.

    The 6’2, 170-pound Jackson is currently ranked as the nation’s No. 106 wide receiver and as the No. 12 player in Oklahoma, per the 247Sports Composite.

    The more they can test, and the quicker they can get results, the more likely they are to keep playing.

    “We’re learning more all the time, and yet there’s much we don’t know,” Bowlsby said. “What we do know is that testing is the best way to intercept early after infection and that we need to do a rigorous testing regimen.”

    There is a rather important detail in that agreement, one these ADs had to hustle to answer before and after their Tuesday meetings: Can their testing labs actually deliver on that plan? If they’re going to make that pledge, they better make sure it’s legitimately possible.

    “Our testing labs, they know what our demand is going to be and the turnaround,” West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons said. “We worked with them to say, ‘Can you do this?’ We don’t want to go down the path here in the next month and say, ‘Oh, we can’t do this now.’ So we’ve all asked the questions of, if this is gonna be our protocols, can you meet our needs? Because we don’t want to test on a Wednesday and not have a test result back until Sunday.”

    Pro Frogs:

    Andy Dalton is a Cowboy. Crazy, right?

    “As soon as I signed here,’’ Dalton says of his one-year deal, “I was like (via text) “Hey man, I’m here to help you in any way I can. ”I’m trying to serve and help him as much as I can. Just getting to know him and being around him, we’ve got a great relationship. He is really talented and I’m excited to see what he is going to do this year.’’

    But Dalton is also excited about how he’ll be able to contribute in the event the $31.409 million man Prescott is sidelined – and how that opportunity could provide the veteran an NFL springboard after this season.

    I feel like I’m a starter in this league and I feel like I have a lot of football left,’’ he said. “We’ll see how it all shakes out this year. I’m excited for this year and what’s to come.’’

    Around Campus:

    With classes starting, please, please, please wear your mask, practice physical distancing, and protect those that can’t protect themselves.

    Rhodes, who was known as a “professor’s professor,” taught law in the Neeley School of Business, first starting as an adjunct professor in 1982. He practiced law until 1984, before becoming a full-time lecturer at TCU and became a well-respected and successful professor.

    “This loss is devastating for me to relay and to bear, as I know it is for so many of our students, faculty and staff who admired Rob so much,” said Daniel Pullin, the John V. Roach Dean of the Neeley School of Business, in a TCU memorial. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones.”

    There’s work to be done at a key position this fall.

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    How to Become a Successful Pocket Frogs Player

    Links O’ War Danny Mourning

    Football:

    Storment fills a big hole, but other guys are going to have to step up, too.

    “We just need to keep growing up to be honest with you,” Patterson said. “You’ve got to find a way to get eight [O-linemen for the season]. We have two or three right now that can play at a high level. That’s it.”

    Patterson singled out senior Austin Myers as a player who has stepped up at tackle, and sophomore Esteban Avila at center. Patterson confirmed that Avila has replaced Coy McMillon as the first-team center in camp. Avila is also getting reps at tackle.

    McMillon started every game at center last season. But, if he’s replaced, that would mean every position along the O-line is being filled by a new face compared with last season.

    McKinney started 11 of 12 games at left tackle, while Bolisomi and Niang both started six games at right tackle. Iwuagwu started every game at left guard. At right guard, Bolisomi started six games with Myers starting four and Quazzel White starting two. White started once at left tackle, too, in place of McKinney.

    Now do it for Marcel.

    TCU remains optimistic that LSU transfer Marcel Brooks will obtain a waiver as well. That decision is expected soon, possibly at some point next week. Coach Gary Patterson raved about Brooks’ versatility as a defender last week, saying the former five-star prospect can play pass rusher, linebacker and even safety.

    Spielman, meanwhile, brings a veteran presence to the wide receiver corps and is also an option to return punts. Spielman has earned preseason recognition, including being named to the Senior Bowl’s Top 250.

    Patterson said Spielman had been “in and out” of practice in recent weeks, but “when he’s out there, he’s starting to learn. We just need him to get more reps.”

    Dude is projected to go in the first round. so.

    He is a poor tackler. Too often he takes incredibly acute angles in pursuit, whether it be moving to the edges or on the interior. When he squares up to a ball carrier he’s not overwhelmed by their presence, but he struggles to get to that place. His finishing rate is bad because of those poor angles. The above rep isn’t the worst of his catalog of misses but it does show where he struggles.

    Although the poor angles and tackling technique is a bit of a concern, they are easily fixable through the ingestion of coaching and practice. What will be more difficult is transforming his body enough to be able to bring the necessary amount of boom to make a difference as a run defender.

    Landyn Watson seems tailor-made for TCU.

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    How to Become a Successful Pocket Frogs Player

    Links O’ War Danny Mourning

    Football:

    I think he’s a perfect fit with GP.

    Evaluation notes: Watson is a high-floor player whose motor runs hot. He makes a lot of effort plays as an impact defender for Hutto High School. He’s an edge defender who has played with a hand on the ground and occasionally stood up. Watson’s physical profile fits a weak-side defensive end who can do either.

    Watson is listed at 6-foot-3, 235 pounds, though there is not a verified measurement on him. I think he’s probably closer to 6-foot-2. He does not look overly long on tape and that could put a cap on his physical ceiling. He still has some frame space to add some bulk, but as an edge player, he’s not somebody you expect to gain 40-50 pounds in the strength and conditioning program.

    Texas will be a state to watch when football starts.

    The decisions come even as Texas remains a hot spot and the state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths remain high. Students are preparing to return to campuses in less than a month, though many have expressed nervousness about the prospect of in-person instruction. Texas universities have been moving large portions of their course loads online to space students out on campus to prevent spread of the coronavirus.

    After months of wrangling, Power Five conference officials are firming up decisions as the start of the fall semester looms. Both the Big Ten and Pac-12 cited major concerns for the health and safety of student athletes, questioning if they would be able to compete safely due to the coronavirus. Those cancellations led to speculation earlier this week that the other major football conferences would follow suit.

    “The mental and physical health and welfare of our student-athletes has been at the center of every decision we have made regarding the ability to proceed forward,” said Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren in a Tuesday statement. “As time progressed and after hours of discussion with our Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee, it became abundantly clear that there was too much uncertainty regarding potential medical risks to allow our student-athletes to compete this fall.”

    Around Athletics:

    More than just football was Impacted by this week’s news.

    Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said he is confident in the conference’s protocols and ability to keep athletes safe.

    “The virus continues to evolve and medical professionals are learning more with each passing week,” Bowlsby said. “Opinions vary regarding the best path forward, as we’ve seen throughout higher education and our society overall, but we are comfortable in our institutions’ ability to provide a structured training environment, rigorous testing and surveillance, hospital quality sanitation and mitigation practices that optimize the health and safety of our student-athletes.”

    The ACC and SEC said yesterday their plans to play this fall were unchanged by the Pac 12 and Big 10’s postponement.

    In recent days the #WeWantToPlay hashtag has become popular among college athletes.

    Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence tweeted out the hashtag along with a picture that asks for the establishment of universal safety protocols and the creation of a college football players association.

    Pro Frogs:

    DA and Sewo have a great shot of sticking with the team.

    In 2020, the Dallas Cowboys have an elite one-two punch when it comes to the running back position. Coming off another stellar season, Ezekiel Elliott will be a primary focus for Mike McCarthy’s new system. Tony Pollard showed several glimpses of speed and hybrid abilities racking up 455 yards on the ground, scoring twice and adding 15 receptions and a touchdown catch as a rookie. While this is set up for a successful 2020, what if this year’s running back room was a three-headed monster?

    Darius Anderson comes in as an undrafted free agent out of TCU. Anderson caught the eye of scouts at the 2020 Senior Bowl where he finished the game with 43 rushing yards along with 87 receiving yards and a touchdown. Considering the volume of touches in this particular game, Anderson made the most of it.

    How to Become a Successful Pocket Frogs Player

    Illustration: Nusha Ashjaee. © The Spruce, 2018

    Texas Hold ‘Em Poker is a game that rewards good play. There’s some luck involved, but a good player will beat bad players the vast majority of the time. Make sure you know the rules to increase your chances of winning.

    Know Your Position

    The best position in Texas Hold ‘Em is “on the button.” When you’re on the button, you’re the last person to act in three out of the four betting rounds—after the flop, the turn, and the river. When it’s your turn, you have full knowledge of how many other players are still in the hand, and you can make a much more informed decision on how much to bet if any.

    The worst position is the small blind. After the flop, the turn, and the river, you must act first. Sometimes you can use this to your advantage by playing aggressively, but it’s much better to act last.

    Also, focus on the total number of players remaining at the table. A hand that shouldn’t be played with seven players could be strong when you’re down to two or three since there’s less competition at the table. Also, the fewer players there are, the more often you’re forced to bet (the blinds), so you have to be more aggressive.

    Concentrate on the Other Players

    It’s easy to get caught up in your hand and lose sight of the other players. But you need to be aware of how many chips they have (a rough count, not necessarily a specific count), what cards they could have, and what their best hand could be given the community cards you share with everyone else.

    Watching player trends can also be helpful. Try to determine who bluffs and who plays a tighter game. If a player has consistently never bet more than $10 and suddenly comes in with a $50 bet, you should be wary. It’s a good indication that the player has something solid.

    If a player loses a fairly big hand and then comes right back with a big bet, that player may be betting recklessly out of frustration. This is not a bad time to push back—as long as you have a solid hand to do it with—because someone playing like that isn’t likely to fold.

    Don’t Let Other Players See the Flop for Free

    If you have a hand that’s strong enough to see the flop, don’t let other players see it for free—at least raise by the minimum bet. Beginners love to see the flop as cheaply as possible, but it’s dangerous to let them do it.

    Say your hand is an A-K and the other players have a 7-4 and a 10-5. You should be able to get both of them out of the hand before the flop. But if you let them see the flop for just the price of the big blind, disaster could strike. In this case, a 10-9-8 would be about the worst—you have nothing, and one of your opponents has an open-ended straight draw while the other has a pair of 10s. You’ve wasted a great starting hand.

    Don’t Be Afraid to Get out After the Flop

    Folding a hand after the flop is difficult for some beginning players. “I’ve already put money into the pot, so I might as well stay in and see what happens,” they reason. But that kind of thinking can cause you to lose a lot of chips.

    Even if you start with a great hand, the flop could kill you. Say you have an A-K but the flop comes up J-J-5. That does you no good, and if someone else has a J you’re suddenly a big underdog. Even if an A or K, or both, come up, you’ll lose to the three Js. If the flop doesn’t improve your hand, and you’re not holding a big pair, think hard about getting out.

    Sometimes, you should get out after the flop even when you might think it’s gone your way. Let’s say you stayed in with a Q-6, and the flop is K-10-6. A natural tendency is to concentrate on what went right—”Isn’t it grand? I have a pair of 6s!” but the K and the 10 are very dangerous—you have the low pair, meaning that any other player with a K or a 10 is ahead of you.

    Play Smart on the Turn and the River

    Following these simple tips will help make you a better player at the turn and the river.

    • If you’re holding a draw after the turn—i.e. you need one more card to make a good hand, typically a straight or a flush—try to get to the river as cheaply as possible.
    • If you’re sure you have the best possible hand after the turn, make it expensive for opponents to see the river.
    • If the community cards include a pair, remember that you might be up against a full house.
    • If the board shows three cards of the same suit, watch out for an opponent holding a flush.

    After the river, your decision to check, bet, fold, or call can only be based on the realized value of your cards—you no longer have the potential to improve your hand. If you think your opponent has a better hand, it’s usually unwise to bluff here.

    When I started my career in sports law in 1975 by signing the first pick in the NFL Draft — Steve Bartkowski, quarterback with the Atlanta Falcons — to the largest rookie contract in football history, sports representation was in its infancy.

    Most athletes represented themselves or had their fathers help them, and teams were under no obligation to interact with agents. Owners such as Mike Brown of the Cincinnati Bengals would simply announce, “We don’t deal with agents,” and hang up the phone.

    The two expansion franchises that entered the league in 1976 had purchase prices of $16.5 million. Each team received $2 million as its share of the national television contract, and the average player salary was $30,000. There has been a revolution in agentry and economics in the past 36 years. The average NFL franchise is worth a billion dollars, teams receive $130 million from national television and the average salary exceeds $2 million.

    As I have spoken on more than 75 campuses — to student bodies, law school, business schools and masters programs — a career in sports is the No. 1 goal of ambitious students. We can blame or credit the three years I spent with film director Cameron Crowe, guiding him through and telling him stories about football representation for “Jerry Maguire,” with spurring some of the excitement.

    Thousands of agents and financial planners attempt to sign every rookie entering professional sports. Each of the pro sports’ players associations certify the agents representing its athletes. Agents must pass background checks and agree to be bound by ethical standards. Financial planners are not subject to mandatory certification, but the NFL has a voluntary program to mandate standards for professionals handling athlete’s money. But anyone can try to recruit an athlete on a college or high school campus — and many thousands of “runners” who steer athletes to agents are active throughout the country.

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    Certain states such as Florida and Texas have state regulation requirements so stringent that agents have been sent to jail. California has a state program to regulate athletes.

    I’m asked many times daily how someone can break into the field.

    Start by forgetting every hoary stereotype and most conventional wisdom about representation. Agents have distorted their real purpose by narrowly focusing on simply stacking more dollars into a player’s bankbook and publicizing themselves in bitter public negotiations.

    Athletes have short playing careers and the specter of injury is ever present. Quality representation focuses on a holistic approach to second career and life skills.

    There is an obligation to truly understand a young man or woman’s greatest hopes and dreams and most limiting apprehensions and fears. This process can be initiated by asking an athlete to be internally introspective and evaluate their own goals and priorities.

    How critical are values such as:

    •Short-term economic gain?

    •Long-term financial security?

    •Geographical location — weather, urban/rural lifestyle?

    •Profile and endorsements?

    Then inventory sports priorities:

    •Playing surface and facilities.

    Ranking and valuing these priorities will add clarity in decision making and help the agent actualize a client’s dreams. (“Help me, help you.”)

    I ask every athlete to be a role model. They must be able to permeate the perceptual screen that people erect to filter out messages from authority, political and commercial messaging and influence values.

    I ask that athletes view themselves as active citizens and return to their high school, collegiate and professional communities and set up charitable and community foundations that enhance the quality of life and allow them to leave a legacy.

    Establishing these programs helps stimulate values such as spiritual sense, a sense of self-respect, nurturing family and supportive community. My staff and I worked hard every offseason to prepare athletes such as Troy Aikman, Warren Moon, Steve Young and Lennox Lewis for possible careers in business, broadcast and coaching.

    I have also tried to spur awareness and research into the causation and treatment of athletic injuries, especially concussion, with an understanding that most athletes are caught in a pattern of denial and distorted priorities when it comes to protecting their health.

    Agents also have a responsibility to help build the sports of the players they represent. Professional sports is not a vital life necessity like food or transportation. Sports depend on the support of fans who choose to spend revenue on products and attend and watch games.

    We can damage that relationship by acrimonious public or player negotiations that rub excess greed in the faces of fans.

    The average family income in California is $43,000, with average debts of $78,000, according to an excerpt from “Boomerang,” the book by Michael Lewis I just read. Don’t expect fans to sympathize with an athlete who is “only making $10 million, when he deserves 15.”

    The real battle of sports is not labor versus management, but the struggle of a sport like football to attract fans away from baseball, basketball, HBO, Disneyland and every other source of discretionary entertainment spending. The real energy in sports needs to be devoted to building brand identity and popularity to stimulate every ancillary revenue flow and build a bigger pie.

    The agents who feel the need to take the spotlight away from their players and turn the focus to their own macho negotiating skills do a disservice to the profession.

    How Can You Tell If A COVID-19 Vaccine Is Working?

    How to Become a Successful Pocket Frogs Player

    A scientist at work on a COVID-19 vaccine candidate at Bogazici University in Istanbul in August. Onur Coban/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images hide caption

    A scientist at work on a COVID-19 vaccine candidate at Bogazici University in Istanbul in August.

    Onur Coban/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

    Several vaccines are currently in large-scale studies to see if they can prevent COVID-19, and more are on the way.

    President Trump has been hinting that a vaccine could be ready before the end of October, but Moncef Slaoui, chief scientific adviser to the administration’s Operation Warp Speed, downplayed that possibility in an interview on NPR’s All Things Considered.

    “There is a very, very low chance that the trials that are running as we speak could read before the end of October,” Slaoui said.

    Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about the large-scale vaccine efficacy studies that Slaoui was discussing.

    How big are these trials?

    The intention is to enroll at least 30,000 volunteers per trial. Some of the volunteers will get an injection containing the vaccine candidate, and others will get an injection of an inert placebo. Neither the person giving the injection nor the person getting the shot knows which is being administered. This is so neither party has a predetermined idea of what the outcome might be. Studies like this are called double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, and they are generally considered the best design to get definitive answers.

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    Researchers chose enrolling 30,000 people as a target for pragmatic reasons. To test a vaccine, it needs to be given to enough people who will subsequently be exposed to the virus. But researchers didn’t know for sure where the virus would be circulating when they were ready to test their vaccine.

    So the researchers hedged their bets and chose a large number, “primarily due to the uncertainty as to where those infections . will happen,” says Holly Janes, a biostatistician at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

    What determines whether the trial is successful?

    By conducting a large trial, researchers hope to learn whether the vaccine is safe and whether it prevents infection.

    Initial safety studies were done by testing a small number of healthy volunteers. A large trial should reveal less common side effects.

    To determine whether the vaccine is working, researchers will compare the number of infections in the people receiving the active vaccine with the number of infections in the people receiving the inert placebo.

    The Food and Drug Administration is the federal agency that will decide whether to authorize the use of the vaccine. It has said a vaccine must reduce infections in the vaccinated group by at least 50% to be considered.

    When will we know if the vaccine is working?

    That’s not clear.

    These are what’s called event-driven trials. “An event-driven trial means that the primary analysis of the trial happens when you get enough events,” Janes says. “We don’t know how long that’s going to take.”

    By “events,” Janes means laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 disease. Janes says the trial now underway aims to get at least 150 events among the trial participants.

    To make sure the researchers are unaware of who’s getting the vaccine and who’s getting a placebo, an independent body will track the data as they’re collected. That data safety monitoring board is made up of experts in all aspects of clinical trial design and implementation.

    What’s the drawback to putting out a vaccine too soon?

    If the vaccine doesn’t work well, people would continue to get sick and die. A vaccine that is only 50% effective would still mean people could get COVID-19, but even a partially effective vaccine would make the pandemic more manageable.

    Releasing a vaccine with serious side effects, even rare ones, would mean perfectly healthy people would put their health at risk if they got the vaccine.

    If the vaccine is perceived as a flop by the public, it will undermine confidence in the government.

    What vaccines are being tested now, and how can I sign up?

    How to Become a Successful Pocket Frogs Player

    STACK Expert Patrick Mendez researched quarterback content on STACK.com and compiled 11 Tips QBs need to follow to improve at their position.

    Good quarterbacks are made, not born. You need more than a great arm to lead your team to victory. Here are some quarterback tips, based on previous STACK stories and interviews with Drew Brees and Bruce Arians, to get you off the bench and into a starting spot in no time.

    Regardless of who you are off the field, you are the leader of the offense on the field. Every time you go into the huddle, you are expected to lead the 10 other faces staring back.

    Good quarterbacks are made, not born. You need more than a great arm to lead your team to victory. Here are some quarterback tips, based on previous STACK stories and interviews with Drew Brees and Bruce Arians, to get you off the bench and into a starting spot in no time.

    1. Be a Leader

    Regardless of who you are off the field, you are the leader of the offense on the field. Every time you go into the huddle, you are expected to lead the 10 other faces staring back.

    2. “No” Means Try Harder

    At some point you will hear that you are not good enough or didnʼt make the grade. Accepting “no” for an answer means you are not fit to be a quarterback. Have the grit to never give up and always strengthen areas of weaknesses.

    3. Develop Your Arm Strength

    Throwing strength does not simply mean shoulder strength. You need scapula stability, leg strength and rotational core strength to improve your velocity.

    4. Work on Your Footwork

    Much of what a quarterback does relies on footwork, especially on running plays. Better footwork will help you escape pocket pressure better and make it easier to throw on the run. It will also improve your throwing efficiency.

    5. Train Like a Beast

    Training is designed to give you an edge over the competition. Cover every aspect of training. Leave something out and it will become a weakness.

    6. Hold a Football at All Times

    The football is the tool of the quarterbackʼs trade. You can never get too accustomed to it. Hold it like you would while standing in the pocket, and even hold a football during your exercises. The more you move with it, the more natural it will feel.

    7. Know the Offense

    A quarterback needs to know every play call in the book. He must also know his players: how fast they can run, whether they break out of a route early, where they like the ball thrown, whether they will sacrifice their bodies over the middle.

    8. Build Glute and Groin Strength

    Quarterbacks need to move laterally even when moving forward. Strength and endurance in these muscles will build better functional movement.

    9. Have Awareness and Vision

    In practice you may be protected, but in a game you are not. You need to learn to feel pressure and minimize movement within the pocket that keeps you protected while focusing on the receivers running routes downfield.

    10. Watch Film

    Film not only prepares you for defensive looks and what your opponents have to offer, but you can see what others are doing well and improve your game based on that.

    11. Love Your Position

    1 through 10 are irrelevant if you do not want to be a responsible, dedicated leader of men. Much of what a quarterback does is preparation. He needs to train harder and be better prepared than anyone else.

    To read the interviews for yourself, follow the links below.

    Research what it takes to become a professional baseball player. Learn about the required skills, potential job growth and salary to find out if this is the career for you.

    What Is a Professional Baseball Player?

    Professional baseball players are athletes who are paid to play baseball. In the United States, they may play on major or minor league teams. Often, they have significant experience, which can include play at the high school and college levels. They may be recruited from the NCAA, or they may land a position on a team by demonstrating their skills at a tryout camp. A job as a professional baseball player includes practices, fitness training sessions and games, as well as promotional activities like giving interviews and signing autographs.

    Additional information about this career can be found below:

    Training Required Several years of playing experience
    Key Skills Eye-hand coordination, physical stamina, agility
    Job Growth (2018-2028) 6% (for all athletes and sports competitors)*
    Median Salary (2018) $50,650 (for all athletes and sports competitors)*

    Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

    What Kind of Education Do I Need to be a Professional Baseball Player?

    Becoming a professional athlete does not require any formal education, and professional baseball players do not need any post-secondary credentials. For many players, the pursuit of a career in baseball begins at an early age with little league experience. On a little league team, you will learn the fundamental rules and skills of baseball, including batting, pitching and playing the field.

    Most aspiring players eventually take up positions with their high school team. These programs continue to foster skill development and provide a greater degree of competition. Students are expected to demonstrate a strong capability to bat, pitch and play the field, as well as employ strategy, such as stealing bases.

    How Can I Be Recruited?

    Players begin to achieve exposure from MLB franchises in secondary school programs. You may attend tryout camps where you will be judged on a variety of physical traits as well as overall performance. Following the conclusion of camp, you may be taken by a team in the MLB draft in June.

    Those who are not drafted by an MLB franchise after high school move on to play collegiate baseball. Collegiate baseball offers opportunities for more extensive training and the possibility of gaining more exposure. Players who are drafted often begin their professional career with a minor league team. Minor league franchises exist all over the country and provide opportunities for aspiring athletes to compete and further develop their skills, as well as gain exposure with the parent club.

    What Kind of Skills Do I Need?

    Professional athletics demands a high level of general and sport-specific physical capability. You should have strong hand-eye coordination and physical strength for batting or pitching. In addition, you should be a strong sprinter and have the agility to move quickly from base to base. Professional baseball is highly competitive. While many young people play baseball in little league and at the secondary or post-secondary levels, very few go on to play professionally.

    What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

    If you are looking for a job related to baseball, you could also consider working as an umpire, where you would make calls and enforce rules. A high school diploma is the minimum educational requirement for most sports officials, but some leagues will also require you to complete additional training programs. Another option is to become a fitness instructor, where you would teach individuals and groups of clients general exercise practices, like weightlifting or aerobics, to help them improve their health and wellness. Fitness instructors need a high school diploma, and professional certifications can boost job prospects.

    How to Become a Successful Pocket Frogs Player

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    The Real Story Of How Macklemore Got ‘Thrift Shop’ To No. 1

    The No. 1 song in the country right now is “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, a rap group out of Seattle. Their claim to fame: They got the song to the top of the chart by themselves, without being signed by a major label.

    They’ve bragged about this success in a video spoof and on Twitter.

    How to Become a Successful Pocket Frogs Player

    But the story they’ve been telling — the story that’s been widely reported — is not entirely true.

    The truth is that Macklemore and Ryan Lewis hired a company to help them get their music into stores. That company, Alternative Distribution Alliance, is an arm of Warner Music Group, one of the most major of the major labels.

    Still, the rise of “Thrift Shop” is something new. It’s an indication of a power shift away from the major labels to the artist themselves. Clearly, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis accomplished a lot on their own.

    The rap group spent their early years hustling and playing small clubs like a lot of acts. But they also used technology to build a devoted following on Twitter, Tumblr and YouTube.

    They eventually got to the point where their touring was so successful that they could have been signed by a major label.

    Instead, they went a different route. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis took the money they’d made from touring and made their own album — a process that digital technology has made much cheaper.

    To get their album to the top of the charts though, they needed help.

    “You really cannot get a radio hit at this point without major label backing,” says Gary Trust from Billboard.

    Even in today’s world of iTunes and YouTube, you still need the radio to become a superstar, Trust says. So Macklemore and Ryan Lewis hired Warner Music Group to get the band more radio play. That helped propel “Thrift Shop” to No. 1.

    Yes, artists can do a lot on their own today. But to get to the top of the charts, they still have to work with a major label.

    A journey in accepting failure

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    Share All sharing options for: I thought I knew how to brush my teeth until I played Pokémon Smile

    If a game is targeted at kids, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be easy, but the fact that I’ve been brushing my teeth for my whole life should have made Pokémon Smile a cinch. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

    When the game was announced, it seemed like an easy slam dunk. It would be a way to make sure I was taking the proper amount of time to brush my teeth, let me take cute selfies with virtual Pokémon hats in the meanwhile, and provide an incentive to keep it up by ending each successful brush with a new Pokémon to catch. On paper, the game is simple. While using your phone’s front-facing camera, you brush your teeth. The camera tracks your brushing movements, and at the bottom part of the screen, a row of cartoon teeth and a Pokémon covered in purple clouds slowly become cleaner and cleaner as you brush. At the end of the allotted time, the player is given a Poké Ball to throw. If the Pokémon has been fully cleaned, it’s caught.

    How to Become a Successful Pocket Frogs Player

    Image: The Pokémon Company

    The day Pokémon Smile debuted, I immediately downloaded it and tried it out when brushing my teeth before going to bed. While busting plaque, I also caught a Pidgey, drawn in the adorable style of the artist Kanahei. It was a perfect game! Or so I thought until the next morning, when I cracked open the game again.

    The next several times I tried to play Pokémon Smile, my efforts were an abject failure. Despite doing exactly the same things that I had the first time I played, the interface kept telling me that I either wasn’t brushing fast enough or that my toothbrush wasn’t in view. After a few minutes of reproach, it invited me to throw a Poké Ball, only to have the Poké Ball bounce off and the game tell me to try again next time. Was I doing something wrong? Maybe I just hadn’t brushed properly, this time. So I tried again. And again. And got the same result each time.

    Baffled and frustrated, I went online and searched to see if there might be some non-me-related reason that I wasn’t catching any Pokémon. But the answers I found — that a brightly-colored toothbrush and well-lit space ought to solve the problem — weren’t satisfactory. My bathroom was bright, and the toothbrush I was using, in addition to being the same toothbrush I’d used in my one successful attempt, was a loud purple. Was the problem … me?

    How to Become a Successful Pocket Frogs Player

    Image: The Pokémon Company

    The prospect of facing that fact was nothing if not depressing. Had I been brushing my teeth wrong my whole life? Was I invisible? Was this incredibly cute game going to be the rock to my Sisyphus? Over and over, I kept trying to get the game to recognize my efforts, experimenting with different poses, different distances from my phone camera, and even different rooms in my apartment to see if a change in lighting or background might do the trick. Alas, nothing worked.

    Ultimately, I’ve chosen to give up on Pokémon Smile. Failing time and time again at what I thought would be the simplest game I’ve ever played — based on an activity I regularly perform twice every day — was sending me into an existential crisis, one that seemed unnecessary to have, given my lack of cavities. The grief wasn’t worth the Pokémon hat selfies, despite how much I loved them. Maybe someday I’ll pick the game back up and it’ll magically recognize me once more, but for now, like Ash letting Butterfree rejoin its fellows, it’s time to let go.

    How to Become a Successful Pocket Frogs Player

    As virtues go, humility is pretty unpopular. Being paid the “humble” compliment can be worse than when a woman gives her romantic partner the “you’re a nice guy” letdown. But many positive psychologists feel that humility is due for an image makeover.

    Part of the reason humility has been so overlooked as valuable and honorable is practicality. After all, it’s hard to measure how humble a person is. If researchers ask someone to assess her own humility and the self-rating is five out of five stars, how humble can she really be? This paradox of humility is why you probably haven’t heard of it as a “regular”—up there with gratitude, optimism and compassion—in the science of happiness. It’s difficult to quantify and study.

    Humility also has another public relations challenge: It’s not exciting. We might appreciate the trait in others—we don’t feel threatened by unassuming people—but in ourselves? Eh. We’d rather be confident and bold. We’ll take that spotlight, thank you very much. Humility doesn’t have the Oprah-worthy, leather-bound gratitude journals, nor does it feature optimism’s sunny, iconic smiley face, nor the heartwarming imagery of compassion.

    But humility could effect just as powerful a positive change in your life as the other pillars of well-being. Higher levels of humility have been associated with a higher sense of life purpose, better (self-reported) health, increased workplace harmony, longer-lasting marriages and greater generosity—all of which contribute to stronger communities. And that’s sort of the point of humility: It’s for the good of all, not just oneself (another reason it’s been a tough sell). “Humility is a very pro-social quality,” says Joshua Hook, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology at the University of North Texas.

    But if you don’t want to cultivate humility for the sake of others, do it for your love life. In one study, Hook and other researchers asked college students to check out the online-dating profile of a potential romantic partner and assess the likelihood that they would accept a date with the person. Along with an essay about interests and history, the profile included measurements of various personality traits such as extroversion, openness to new experiences, neuroticism and humility. One group was shown a profile of someone who was rated “highly humble” (ranked in the 87th percentile). A second group was shown the exact same profile, but with a “not humble” (24th percentile) rating. Overwhelmingly, the students who were given the more humble candidate were significantly more willing to accept a date than those shown the not-so-modest match. “When you don’t always need to be right, relationships are smoother and can be more intimate,” Hook says.

    Research on the personal benefits of humility is still in its nascent stage, Hook says, but he is confident that the humility-happiness connection will be proved even stronger. These strategies can help you cultivate humility for yourself, for your partners at work and home, and for the world at large.

    1. Ask for feedback.

    Humility can be defined two ways, says Don Emerson Davis Jr., Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology at Georgia State University and director of its Humility and Advancement of Positive Psychology Interventions (HAPPI) Lab. Interpersonally, humility involves an outlook that is other-oriented rather than self-focused. On a personal level, though, humility involves an accurate view of the self. Ask several close friends to be really honest about three things they appreciate about you and three areas where you might need some growth. It’s OK to be proud of your strengths, Davis says, as long as you acknowledge—and work on—your weaknesses.

    2. Confront your prejudices.

    As a class exercise in humility, Hook encourages his students to identify an area of diversity or culture that they struggle with or admittedly know little about. One of his students, for example, felt uncomfortable with elderly people and held strong opinions about what it meant to be older. As her class assignment, she visited a nursing home and interviewed the residents there about their past and current lives. “The intention should be to listen and learn,” he says, “not to argue or prove a point or confirm your suspicions.” If you have negative views about, say, a particular religion, ask to interview a practitioner or attend a service. Then look for similarities rather than differences. “Humility is all about having an open mind,” Hook says.

    3. Start with a question.

    Paul Shoemaker, author of Can’t Not Do: The Compelling Social Drive That Changes Our World and founder of Social Venture Partners, a network of leaders supporting social change around the world, says he starts any meeting with a question instead of a solution. It takes humility to show what you don’t know instead of what you do, but “one good question is worth 100 good answers,” he says. “Humility creates more oxygen in the room. It allows for others to participate and come together and make a change. If you think you already know everything or act like you do, other people will check out, and things won’t get done as quickly or as well.”

    4. Really listen.

    You can ask thousands of questions, but if you don’t listen to the responses, it won’t do any good. Listening does not obligate you to agree (nor does humility make you a passive doormat), but it does help dial down your own pride. Yours is not the only way of thinking or doing. After someone shares an opinion or experience, take a moment to digest what he or she said before you speak.

    5. Accept setbacks.

    Let yourself be humbled by your experiences, Shoemaker advises, because “if you don’t get your butt handed to you every now and then, you’re probably not deep enough in the work or the cause to make a real difference.” Humility allows you to accept challenges without the fear of failure. And when those failures inevitably come, he says, use what you learned to do it better next time.

    6. Discover awe.

    Take notice of and express gratitude for the world’s beauty and wonder. Most simply put, being humble is recognizing that you are not the hub of the universe. It’s hard to maintain your self-centeredness when gazing up at the stars or into a newborn’s eyes.

    This article appears in the December 2015 issue of SUCCESS magazine.

    Let’s put this notion to rest before we even start–you don’t have to be Instagram famous for your brand to see the best results.

    Learning how to be successful on Instagram isn’t just about follower count. Instead, success comes from engaged audiences and great content. It might seem overwhelming to think about ensuring a successful outcomes when you’re just starting an Instagram marketing strategy, but you’ll find that the same approach of careful planning will help you here.

    That’s why we’ve put together a simple but highly effective five-step guide on how to be successful on Instagram. Follow these Instagram success tips to boost your strategy.

    1. Plan Out Your Content Strategy

    You probably already know it’s not enough to post a few photos or videos, and wait for the audience to come rushing in. Instead, you have to build a content strategy just like you would for any other marketing campaign.

    Here are a few specific guidelines for Instagram:

    • Research the bests posts in your industry and track your competitors. Find 5-10 competitors (such as similar brands) and document their top posts within the last few months. Mark all commonalities: product-related, bright colors, photos of people and other themes, and see what works. You don’t just want to copy other accounts, but this will help you get a pulse on what’s grabbing attention in your niche.
    • Start building a plethora of content around a similar theme or idea. You’ll get greater consistency in your quality and message by planning out enough posts that could provide at least a month or two of content. Adjust them to your social media calendar and ensure each post has a consistent vibe.
    • Try to be as unique as possible with your content. While that’s easier said than done, a creative play on Instagram works and there are plenty of reliable ways to get inspiration for Instagram post ideas. Whether its the endless table by Reynolds Wrap or the consistent bright color theme of Bioré, themes work.

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    • Invest in photo editing tools for your content. Whether it’s Adobe Photoshop or VSCO, your content has to be stellar to grab audience eyes. Beautiful, breath-taking photography always gets your viewers’ attention.

    It might seem like a lot of work at first just to build out content, but the rewards are worth it. Better content leads to more engagement. When followers genuinely enjoy and look forward to what you post, you’re increasing your chances of converting them to a lead or customer.

    2. Use Branded Hashtags

    As a brand on social, you need some form of marketability. It’s a thin line between being promotional and resourceful. According to our 2016 Sprout Social Q3 Index, 57% of users unfollow brands on social because they’re too promotional.

    How to Become a Successful Pocket Frogs Player

    To avoid being overly promotional but still market your brand, consider branded Instagram hashtags. An important stat to know is seven out of 10 hashtags on Instagram are branded. This means your hashtag has to be unique, memorable and engaging.

    For example, Thrive Market uses the hashtag #letsthrive to promote user-generated content on Instagram. The hashtags works as a source of interaction between the brand and users. Instead of a promotion, you’re simply highlighting your users.

    One the most frequent questions asked of me by entrepreneurs is, “How can I become a Venture Capitalist?” The inquiry is common because being a VC is (to an entrepreneur, at least) a sexy job. You control substantial amounts of capital, have tremendous autonomy, a flexible work schedule and you get to play Santa by bestowing financial gifts upon worthy entrepreneurs.

    You also can vicariously share in the success of those around you and, if you are so inclined, you can give yourself more credit than you deserve for other people’s success.

    There are many paths into the VC world, but they can generally be lumped into two categories: (i) serial entrepreneurship, and (ii) tech-oriented investment banking. I define a “VC” as, “a professional investor who deploys third-party funds into relatively early-stage companies.” In contrast, an Angel Investor is someone who invests their own capital. All you need do to become an Angel is identify a promising venture and write a check.

    Of the two broad paths to a VC career, the banker route is becoming less common among VCs who focus on early-stage investing, because banking skills are best applied to later-stage companies in which financial engineering, creation of financial syndicates and IPO and M&A experiences are more germane.

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    In contrast, the operational experiences required to take a company from its founding through a successful exit are additive to early-stage startups. Thus, during the past decade, the more common route to seed and Series A investing has been an entrepreneurial career, personified by such investors as: Dave McClure, Chris Dixon, Brad Feld and Mark Suster.

    By drawing upon their practical experiences, such former entrepreneurs can reliably assess the venture team’s capabilities, the company’s value proposition and the size and accessibility of the startup’s market opportunity.

    Manipulate Your Odds

    In addition to pursuing an entrepreneurial or investment banking career, there are a number of other steps you can take to increase the likelihood of becoming a VC:

    Be An Ecosystem Epopt – Become an active member of your local startup ecosystem. Spend as much time as possible in the company of aspiring and accomplished entrepreneurs. An effective way to associate yourself with high-caliber members of your startup community is to lend your gratis support to a venture accelerator or incubator. In addition, establish relationships with the accountants, bankers, lawyers and investors who comprise your local startup world. This probably won’t lead directly to a job as a VC, but it will help you execute the next task.

    Get Venture Backing – Exposure to VC as a star performer at a successful startup will significantly increase the chances that you will be invited to join a venture firm. However, do not be surprised if the VC offers to back you as an operator so they can make more money from your hard work, rather than invite you into the VC fold.

    Hang Out With VCs – VCs love free help. If you have skills that will augment their deal flow, due diligence capabilities or simply expand their network, you can make yourself an asset within the small world of venture capital.

    Become An Angel – Before I became a VC, I invested my own money in such companies as RightScale, Eucalyptus and AppFolio. This process helped me determine to what extent I enjoyed the transition from operator to investor. It also demonstrated my ability to identify and evaluate viable opportunities and add value to startups beyond giving them cash.

    Start Your Own Fund – Although it is extremely difficult for a novice VC to raise adequate capital to establish a first-timefund, each year a handful entrepreneurially oriented investors defy the long odds.

    Just as unproven startups struggle to raise capital, so do newly minted venture firms. As such, most inaugural funds are comprised of a significant percentage of the General Partners’ cash, rather than a single digit percentage of the total capital invested, as is common at established firms.

    Microscopic Industry

    The total number of VC professionals is nearly identical to that of professional baseball players. There are approximately 600 Major Leagueplayers and another 5,300 in the minor leagues (i.e., 267 professional and semi-professional teams with approximately 20-players per team). Thus, an aspiring venture investor has about the same numerical chance of becoming a professional baseball player as they do becoming a VC professional.

    Major League Players Don’t Count The Odds

    Aspiring baseball players are not intimidated by the competitiveness of their sport. On the contrary, the limited number of positions in the Major Leagues motivates them to outwork their competitors.

    Similarly, it is doubtful that an entrepreneur who wants to eventually become a venture capitalist will be daunted by the industry’s small size. After all, of the 6,125 potential openings, you only need one position to fulfill your dream. Besides, if no one asks you to join an established firm, you can always start your own.

    Irrespective of which path leads you to a life as a VC, you will be well served to work closely with someone who has complimentary experiences. For instance, at Rincon Venture Partners, my Partner Jim Andelman compliments my operational history with 15-years as a professional investor. I would be a well-meaning, but far less effective investor without the benefit of Jim’s experiences.

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    By Guest Author Lamar Hull

    Becoming a professional basketball player can be a long journey, whether it is the NBA, overseas or other basketball adventures. Tons of kids dream of playing in the NBA. The journey to the NBA is filled with hard work and sacrifice. There are 30 teams in the NBA and only 12 seats per roster, meaning that only 360 players can be on a NBA team at any one time. Only the most elite high school and college basketball players have a chance of becoming one of the 60 new professionals selected in the NBA draft each year. Read more about this topic on my site at Inspirational Basketball.

    Many of the best basketball players started playing in grade school or earlier. Players should look to practice as often as possible, challenging themselves to battle against stronger, taller, faster and better opponents. I didn’t get the opportunity to play in the NBA, but was fortunate to play professionally overseas. I’m 5’9” and what it took was a lot of practice and hard-work. What also made me a better basketball player was playing in organized team practices; pickup games, going to basketball camps, and being involved in private coaching. Today’s NBA players and other professional basketball player are in peak condition for many months at a time. Being in this type of condition involves work on and off the court including brutal cardio conditioning and strength training.,

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    Michael Jordan always points out that it’s not enough to be a scorer; players who make it to the NBA also have to have great defensive and team player skills. A player needs to be well rounded in dribbling, passing, shooting, three point shooting, and free throws. For those who want to play college or NBA basketball, having a 60% plus free throw average by eighth grade is highly recommended.

    AAU Basketball (Amateur Athletic Union) is a non-profit league organized for aspiring players. The AAU gives players an opportunity to play against the toughest students in their region. AAU players can start as early as second grade and go through high school. Basketball players and their parents need to actively be involved in managing their AAU “experience”, making sure that the player is on a team with good chemistry, coaching, and ethics. AAU basketball teams, even at the 7th and 8th grade level, are known for practicing as much as 25-30 hours per week as a team. Parents can expect to pay on average at least $400 per season per player in order to pay for general team costs and rental space at a school gym. College and professional teams scout both AAU basketball and high school teams. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of having your child play AAU or YBOA (Youth Basketball of America) basketball.

    In my opinion, being a star on a high school basketball team is critical to making it to the big leagues. While a few incredible high school players are able to skip college level play, NCAA basketball is still the primary recruiting ground for professional teams. Most professional basketball players still spend some time at college. To have a good chance at making it overseas or to the NBA, players need to attend a college. If you think you have what it takes, here are some tips to earning a basketball scholarship that will be useful when trying to be recruited. Playing for a big basketball college program is also very beneficial when trying to make it professionally. Though playing for Duke or Kansas still won’t guarantee that a player makes it to the NBA or overseas, it will dramatically increase a player’s chance. Once in college, elite college players have the opportunity to face elite opponents in season play and nationally televised tournaments.

    The NBA, D-League, or overseas may be a long journey but for those who put in the work it is a difficult but attainable dream. I put it in a lot of hard work and it paid off. As a short 5’9” point guard, I was able to earn a professional contract overseas. Through perseverance, hard-work and determination my dreams came true and so can yours!

    Author: Lamar Hull is a former Davidson College basketball player who had the opportunity to play alongside of Stephen Curry and play professional overseas in the United Kingdom. Lamar currently is establishing a youth basketball website called Inspirational Youth Basketball. The purpose of his site is to provide professional and college drills and tips for parents, players and coaches. You can follow Lamar @lamarhull20.

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