The human body is a marvel, especially on the field of sport. Whether playing or spectating, we who love athletics become enthralled with games just as much to celebrate our player, team, and country allegiances as to indulge our hope that, at any given moment, some near metaphysical hybrid display of coordination and talent may occur. In short, we love seeing athletes do really cool stuff and we really love seeing them do really cool stuff while scoring lots of points. That’s why we’ve compiled five video clips of the best (successful) amateur trick shots we could find. We’re no coaches, but these guys sure make it seem like it pays to practice more than just the fundamentals. From tennis to hockey to basketball to lacrosse, we’ve got all the fancy you crave. Have a look!
Roger Federer may great and all, but let’s not forget that every day, on courts across the country, truly amazing shots are made by non-pros. And we’re not just talking about the kinds of shots that are “good for amateurs”. We mean US Open, standing ovation, “Oh my God, did that just happen?” stuff. That’s just the type of thing we’re serving up with this video (pun intended). When you see the unnamed orange-shirted player lob a shot back to his opponent at 0:06, you sort of peg him as a newbie. But then. Then, comes the 0:08 mark and, almost faster than our eyes can process it, a stunning bullet of a no-look, behind the back return lets us know this dude’s no stranger to the game.
Forgive us for the video quality on this one, but celebrate us for finding an amazing piece of footage from the last game of 2011 in which New Jersey varsity high school hockey game in which Edison and Colonia high schools faced off. Edison’s Mike Criscitello, the senior who pulled off the acrobatic shot, explains the move’s mechanics to a local news station here and recounts how a tirelessly practiced play, shown off in the last game of his high school career, won him wondrous accolades from viral video-crazed Internet viewers and professional hockey players alike.
Not all great trick shots happen during gameplay and this video reminds us of that. An impeccably aimed ball won he who launched it potential lifelong fame as the Guinness World Record holder for shooting (and sinking) a basketball from the greatest recorded height. The rock was reportedly launched from inside a 67-meter-high (about 220 feet) light tower at the Western Australian Cricket Ground and the inimitable sounds of sheer joy and surprise can be heard as soon as the bucket sank. We have but one question: exactly how many tries did it take for this to work?
The spectator holding his head at the 0:12 mark says it all. How did Staples High School’s Brendan Lesch anticipate the ball so perfectly, number one? And, number two, how did he time his bicycle kick with such incredible accuracy? He’s really good, that’s how. After doing some research on Lesch we found that, before he left Connecticut to play D1 ball for the University of Notre Dame, he won considerable acccolades including All-American and Connecticut Junior Soccer Association (CJSA) Connecticut High School Player of the Year recognition. All this tells us that this clip was not the first time Lesch did something totally awesome.
We had to watch this three or four times to figure out what happened. That’s how fast things went down. Once we got up to speed, though…wow. Three defenders from UNC, one of the best lacrosse schools in the country, went up against this University of Maryland player and had nary a chance of stopping his behind the back rocket. (Yet another no-look shot on our list; perhaps that’s the key to memorable scoring. Take note all ye “Best Trick Shots 2.0″ hopefuls.) Thank heavens for slow-mo replay, because this goal gets sweeter as it streams. Also, full disclosure: we’re still not 100% sure when the ball was shot. We know it’s sometime between 0:19 and 0:22 but, every time we try to pinpoint the moment, our analytical capabilities are thwarted by some sort of crazy lax magic. The movie-trailer-cool soundtrack doesn’t help either. We’d love some help figuring it out, so feel free to chime in.