RESULTS VS. THE PROCESS
When a new client comes to me, it is often that they tell me a bit about their son. Their first words are usually not words at all – they are numbers. ” My son has a .635 batting average or he only has 5 doubles in the last two years . . . . etc. ” Numbers are the RESULTS. The PROCESS is the means by which you arrive at those numbers. Make no mistake about it – in baseball, the player is DEFINED by the numbers he puts up. However, THOSE numbers are almost never looked at when making projections about a players development.
The numbers below are used as indicators of projectable performance but can also challenge the scouting and player development departments of MLB teams. See the article on this website by Cubs Insider writer Brendan Miller about how everyone was wrong about Kris Bryant – except me – and it has absolutely ZERO to do with me being his Dad and EVERYTHING to do with Kris and myself focusing on the PROCESS of his development as a baseball player . . . . . AND . . . . . Kris being very coachable with the intelligence to be able to acquire the knowledge and take it to the actual execution of the swing – to be able to FEEL the sensations in the swing to facilitate continuous improvement.
The RESULTS have been remarkable and they speak for themselves.
– what % of balls does the kid hit on the ground?
– or . . . more important . . . in the air?
– where is the majority of his hard contact ? What is THAT number ?
– does he use the whole field ? What % to LF ? To CF ? To RF ? What are those numbers ?
– how hard does he hit the ball and how often does he hit it hard ? What are THOSE numbers ?
– does he swing and miss a lot ? What is that % ?
– what is his LAUNCH ANGLE ?
– what is his VERTICAL ANGLE of the bat as it crosses the plate ?
And so many more questions . Those questions all have answers . And they are NUMBERS / RESULTS . The problem is , if we spend our time focusing on the NUMBERS , we will inevitably forget about the PROCESS which provides us the guideline to influence those numbers in a positive way . INCREASE our CONTACT % – DECREASE our SWING and MISS % – INCREASE the % of balls hit in the air – DECREASE the % of balls hit on the ground – INCREASE the HARD HIT BALL % – DECREASE the number of strikeouts . And so on . . . . . . .
To many coaches and instructors , the next question should be , ” How ? How do I teach the kid how to move those numbers in a positive direction ? ” In short , ” What is the PROCESS ? ”
You MUST discover a PROCESS , tailored individually to the hitter , within the philosophical framework of hitting the ball in the air ( because that is where the hits are ! ) . This is the way to continued and sustainable development .