cornhole wants to make the idea to the big leagues

Ankit Mittal, of Ellicott City, Md., tosses a bean bag as his friend Shean Flynn, of Newport News, Va., waves his Terrible Towel as the two were playing Corn Hole while enjoying tailgating before the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers as well as Washington Redskins at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.

Ricky Carioti | The Washington Post | Getty Images

Ankit Mittal, of Ellicott City, Md., tosses a bean bag as his friend Shean Flynn, of Newport News, Va., waves his Terrible Towel as the two were playing Corn Hole while enjoying tailgating before the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers as well as Washington Redskins at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.

Every day after he leaves his job as a warehouse general manager, Cody Henderson runs up to three miles. Then, he sets up cornhole boards as well as practices throwing beanbags for a couple hours, focusing on timing, balance as well as precision.

“the idea helps a lot with the endurance as well as mental game,” Henderson, 27, told CNBC. “If you can sit there as well as not get bored in a quiet area For just two or three hours, you are genuinely going to set yourself up to succeed on the pro level.”

Succeed he has. Henderson, who lives in Jackson, Ohio, is usually the top-ranked player out of the 20,000 pros from the American Cornhole League (ACL). He says he earned between $20,000 as well as $25,000 in prize money last year. He’s peaking just as the sport is usually surging in popularity.

While cornhole is usually generally thought of as a beanbag tossing game played at family gatherings or tailgate parties, the idea’s gotten so big of which players like Henderson are generating their way to ESPN. During last year’s The Ocho, a one-day event for alternative sports on ESPN 2, the Championship of Bags was the most viewed competition.

from the 18 to 49 age group, more peopled watched cornhole on of which day than the competing game coverage of Major League Baseball, the WNBA or the final stage of the Tour de France, according to Sports Media Watch.

For Henderson, cornhole requires 20 hours a week of training as well as tournaments on weekends. Still, he said most people don’t take him seriously when he says he plays professionally.

“They’ll say, ‘Oh yeah genuinely?’ as well as just change the subject,” he said. “When people were seeing me on ESPN, everyone’s attitude changed.”

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