Saturday, May 27th, 2017

Don’t get lost in your statistics

November 21, 2011 by  
Filed under Mental Side

Any player who says they have no idea what their statistics are is probably lying.  A player may not know to the decimal point what the numbers are but he certainly will be able to “ball-park it” if pressed for a number.  When a player says “I don’t know what my batting average is,” what I think the player is trying to say is really “stats don’t drive me as a player.”

There is nothing wrong with knowing what your statistics are as a player.  Statistics can be very helpful in determining areas of improvement and proper goal setting.  Statistics become a problem when players get lost in them.  By that, I mean when a player is walking up to the plate thinking about his batting average or taking the mound with the overwhelming focus on getting more strikeouts.

The danger in statistics is that they represent the past or the future.  What a player’s batting average is as he walks to the plate is information about his past.  A pitcher taking the mound focusing on getting 15 strikeouts is focused on the future.  The problem is that we don’t play in the past or the future.  We play in the present.  A player who is too stat conscious is focusing on things completely irrelevant to his task in the present.  


I mentioned this before in a popular post called Focus on the NOW which provided a couple useful visuals.    The more players can focus their attention on the present, the better they can avoid the pitfalls of pressure situations that include stress, fear, and anxiety.


Stats are fine to focus on but it has to occur at the correct time.  During a game, focusing on the process of the task is always more beneficial than focusing on the statistical outcome.  Stats are fine to look at and analyze but a player has to be careful to keep them in their proper place.   

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