Valuable and Meaningful Data – Makes Life Easier
In virtually every business (unless they are “asleep at the switch”), there is focus on improving productivity and reducing costs. Businesses that do this always perform well. Those that do it the best are the best in their industry because they are constantly in search of new and important nuggets of data that give them a direction to go. Then having a direction to go, improvement occurs more quickly and efficiently.
Baseball is truly no different. Think about this. Example One: You inherit a team where the only valuable data you have on pitching is the traditional stuff – wins/losses, era, walks, strikeouts, etc. Example Two: You inherit a team that not only has the “traditional stuff” but has 10 games of valuable data per pitcher per pitch providing you with velo, trajectory by pitch type, spin axis and spin rate, location, swing and miss, etc.
Greater Impact on Coaching
What is the impact on coaching in these two scenarios? Well, the most immediate impact is that you are going to have to get/gather a lot more “meaningful” and valuable data on your pitchers if you are in example one. That means more time and effort, and a much slower development/improvement plan for your pitchers. It could take weeks to months to have a real meaningful and valuable data plan with each pitcher. Now, you have 10 to 12 pitchers – so more than likely, you cannot even get a meaningful plan in place for each one.
But what if you have the scenario in example two: robust in game data?Well, first of all, a coach can easily review each pitcher before seeing them throw a pitch. You can gain an understanding of a few strengths and weaknesses for each one. You can easily prepare an initial plan for review with that player.
Strengths and Weaknesses
You can quickly find out if the player really knows his strengths and weaknesses. Before you have even started fall practice, you have an initial plan with each one. In the fall, you can use the data to validate or invalidate the methods you are having them try in order to improve, say, that weak curveball. You focus with the player on one or two things, review the data, adjust the method/confirm the improvement.
In essence, having valuable and meaningful data, allows the coach to “scale” his impact as a coach on his players – more players positively impacted in a shorter period of time!!