HEAR LESS, SEE MORE
HEAR LESS, SEE MORE
THE MUTE BUTTON'S VALUE
The next time you’re watching baseball on TV, turn down the volume and you'll likely see more of the game. With the volume muted, you'll very likley see some things that you would have otherwise missed. When your ears aren't being told what to look for, your eyes will notice many interesting details of the game that commonly go unnoticed. When our brains are not focused on what the commentators are saying, it frees up more of our attention to see more of the game.
The television commentators are paid good money to narrate the game, and many of them are very enjoyable to listen to. A good commentator can add a lot of enjoyment to watching a game, as they add storylines that trigger emotional connections and give interesting background information. I listened to Vin Scully eloquently talk through a baseball game for 30+ years. He was amazing at storytelling, and he had just the right words for the big moments. That said, if the announcers are narrating the game for you, you’ll most likely see it through their eyes, while missing other more pertinent aspects of the game such as technique and strategies. Not only that, as we all know, our attention is finite and by allocating attention to the words coming from the commentators, it inherently reduces the attention we can give to other aspects of watching the game, such as seeing key things done by the players/coaches that we can learn from.
Regardless of how well announcers do their jobs, it is a good mental exercise to see the game through your own eyes. While the announcers can give you interesting backstories and fill you in on the off-screen action, like when the ladies run on the field to give Cody Bellinger a big smooch between pitches, they leave out a lot of useful game details that can help players and coaches elevate their own game. That said, I highly recommend watching at least some baseball with the TV’s volume muted.
SEE FOR YOURSELF
I'm making a firm promise to you that you'll see and learn things you would have probably missed had you been following along with the announcer's version of the game. Instead of focusing on the announcer telling you about Mike Trout’s OPS with runners in scoring position, you’ll instead notice that Trout puts his right foot on the backline of the batter’s box.
Knowing Trout’s OPS won’t help as much as knowing what he specifically does to be so great. Keep in mind, when you are playing or coaching at your next game, there won’t be a play-by-play dialogue taking place in your ear. Everything will be observed through your eyes, so why not give it a try at home.
There may be some obstacles to muting the TV, other than finding the lost remote. For instance, it may be hard to silence the TV with others in the room. Muting the game with family and friends in the room may be hard to negotiate, but the next time you get the chance to watch the game on your terms, hit that mute button. When you do hit that mute button, avoid getting on your phone unless you’re putting on some background instrumental music. Then, sit back for a few innings and closely observe the game. Music or not, the main thing is to give your full attention to what you see on the TV by eliminating distractions.
Side note: If you play or coach other sports, try watching those sports with the volume off. I bet you pick up on some things you generally miss.
By: COACH BO
Photo Credit: Glen Carstens Peters (Unsplash)
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