Setting Goals For Baseball
If you missed part one of our series on setting goals for baseball, here it is:
We've established that goals are important for our baseball practices, so let's continue to examine some of the reasons why:
#2: They give the coach a way to monitor progress
This is one of the cheapest ways to monitor a team's progress as well as an individual player's; write it down.
Yes, a coach would like to think that he could just intuitively know how each of his players is progressing. We would love to know from watching practice where each one is in his development and readiness for the season.
The fact is, there are numerous pieces of information that can be learned about each and every player, as well as the team as a whole, when an effort is made to track their progress and practice results on a weekly basis.
Batting Average Does Not Track Development
A lot of coaches use batting average to track a player's progress at the plate. Goals in practices could give both a better idea of what the hitter is struggling with and what they're not. Let's look at two goals and explain why setting them is superior to using stats to track development.
First goal: Hit 75% line drives off of the low tee in the cages.
Second goal: Read 60% of the numbers on the tennis balls in the vision drill
If the player had both of these goals, he could track both fronts simultaneously to see if he was improving or not. Clearly if his trend line on the vision drills was headed steadily upward and the low tee was giving him tons of problems, we would know what to attack first. His batting average may be headed down, and it might be because he is struggling with the low pitch.
Likewise, if his vision was not adequate at the plate and he was hitting the low ball very well, we may have a different priority in our coaching. In both cases the hitter may be "struggling" but goals can tell you what exactly he's struggling with.
What You See Isn't Always True
The typical batting practice in most programs really doesn't track anything. In fact, the typical "anything" practice in baseball usually doesn't have a chart. The only thing that is kept are game stats. Again, this tells the coach that there's a problem, but it doesn't tell him very much about why there's a problem. In order to fix a problem we need to know what's causing it.
Setting goals for baseball is the best way to track progress and identify the real issues that a player might have. We need to be setting goals for baseball on a regular basis and charting them or having the player chart them during practice.
Stay tuned for more articles about goal setting, and join our thousands of followers on Twitter. We also highly recommend checking out our favorite strength and conditioning resource out there, Eric Cressey's High Performance Handbook.