Page 610. " a splendid wrestler and a superb pelota-player "

   A youth is described in terms of his prowess at various sporting activities: pelota, being the Spanish word for 'ball', could refer to any one of the variety of ancient games based around one.  'Pitching the bar' refers to a feat of strength resembling the Scottish caber-toss.

                           

Page 619. " he began to weave his intricate patterns with his companions, turning so often and so nimbly "

   Various forms of sword dancing have been practiced as a performance art in many cultures for centuries.