20 KEY BASEBALL TIPS
In today’s baseball world, new information is consumed at an exponentially growing rate. Finding more information, right or wrong, is very easy. Thus, accumulating information is not the true game-changer; accurately discerning the validity and then, more importantly, correctly prioritizing its impact, now that’s the big needle-mover!
If you’re not questioning and vetting the information you consume, your path to success will be much longer. We must ask ourselves: To what degree does this information impact the achievement of optimal results come game time?
Players, you should all have a simple list that prioritizes each aspect of your game. The top 3-5 items should get approx. 80% of your training time. Prioritize your process. Be the best at the super-important things, not average at everything.
Easy practices, or easy games? If we avoid challenging practices, we’ll surely avoid being a champion.
"During a game, players don’t rise to the occasion; they fall to the level of their training."*
*A paraphrased Brandon Webb quote.
THE LAW OF INVERSE PROPORTION:
The easier your practices/training is, the more difficult the games will be, and vice versa.
Stay disciplined, delay gratification, and embrace the struggle of a challenging practice, so you can later embrace an abundance of game-time success.
“THE 20-40-40 TRAINING RATIO”
Try this ratio/allocation when designing your drill/practice or when setting up your training session. I’ve found it to be a very effective blend.
20% of reps - easier than game action.
40% of reps - same difficulty level as normal game action.
40% of reps - more challenging than age-level game action.
COACHES: High-quality drills are far more valuable than a high volume of coaching pointers. Players learn best by feeling it out, rather than thinking it out. Be strategic with your coaching pointers. Say less, rep more.
Having a process allows us to measure/assess more effectively and more accurately. Having a process/system inherently reduces variables, thus allowing us to make more efficient and effective course improvements. Variables are an assessments kryptonite!
The book "The 80/20 Principle" by Richard Koch is a game-changer. This should be required reading in all schools. Just because you’re training doesn’t mean you’re improving. 10-20% of the training drills I see out there are more impactful than the other 80-90+% combined.
If you haven’t already read ‘The Checklist Manifesto’ by Atul Gawande, it’s a quick, worthwhile read. Using the core message of the book will help us coach up the key things without getting distracted, or forgetful.
As the baseball training community continues to add and add, and add, more, and more info/opinions, the winning difference will be who does the following steps the best:
Be non-partisian. Avoid being a "new-school guy" or an "old-school" guy. Don't be the "new-school" person that thinks things can only be figured out with Rapsodo, Trackman & HitTrax, and don't be an "old-school" person that’s stuck in your ways with a hardened ego. Just be a "better baseball" person.
6 absolutes of a great practice environment:
1. Consistent praise.
2. Enforced standards/rules/expectations.
3. Healthy competitions.
4. A high volume of quality reps.
5. Individualized skill improvement.
6. No long speeches. (5 minutes or less!)
Conventional practice is to first focus on perfecting the swing, which is definitely important, but it is not the top priority. Teaching hitters to swing at the correct pitches is priority #1.
A hitter’s job is to help the team produce runs. Scoring runs is the only ‘stat’ that matters for an offense in baseball. All other stats are at best just incomplete measurements.
It is vital for players (hitter, fielders, & pitchers) to fix and improve the technique/mechanics from the GROUND UP. Start by assessing/improving the feet, and move up from there. WORK ‘LOW-TO-HIGH’ WITH ALL TECHNIQUE ASSESSMENTS AND IMPROVEMENTS.
I hear old-school baseball people riffing on the use of technology/data within player development, and it surprises me that they don’t just learn how to use it, and thus become the gold-standard coach. Time is on their side...it’s much faster to learn tech/data than acquire decades of experience.
Paradigm shift with regard to the pickoff’s purpose:
An ‘out’ is the icing on the cake, not the cake.
For pitchers, developing a good pickoff move is as much, or more, about slowing the runner’s arrival at the next base(s) as it is about getting an ‘out’ right then and there.
A runner @ 3B & zero outs, makes for a perfect time to pick to 3B. Whether that’s a Pitcher pick-off, or a catcher back-pick.
The offense has ultimate leverage in this situation, but the defense’s risk/reward ratio will also never be better.
“No risk it, no biscuit.”
Before designing any drill, the 2 most important questions you must answer are:
1. What specific skill is this drill improving?
2. And more importantly, how much will this drill/skill impact the level of success come game time?
Copyright © 2023 8020BASEBALL