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Monday, April 13, 2009

Don't Dream It, Do It - Baseball Goal Setting Part II

By Mike Posey

In Part I we learned the importance of setting baseball goals and how to set goals that were obtainable.

Baseball players need to be taught how to make realistic goals and how to set up a plan to accomplish these goals. The coach can help by having team goals for the week (or individual practices) and encourage players to write down individual goals per game or goals for the week on an index card. At the end of that short period of time, they can check their road map and find out where they are at. Encourage players to write down both individual and team goals.

On our daily practice plan, we have One Practice Goal (what we want to achieve that day) and several objectives on how we plan to accomplish them.

We also have specific goals for offense, defense, pitching, etc.... during the season. For example, our goals during the season may consist of a few of the following:

Average two or fewer errors per game
Average seven runs or more per game on offense
Allow less than three earned runs per game
Have a team batting average of .330 or higher during the season
Have a team ERA of 3.00 or lower during the year

Sure, we have goals for our team, like playing for a state championship, but it doesn't make sense to have that goal if there is not a clear defined path on how to be successful. Believe me, if we average less than one error per game during the season, we have probably won 20+ games and are playing in the state finals.

It's important for us to remind players each game when these goals are not reached and to praise them when these goals are accomplished.

In order to accomplish our team goals at the end of the season, we need to evaluate where we are at along the way. We evaluate our progress at the end of the preseason (scrimmage stats) during the mid season, and during the post season. It's amazing how much we improve from the first part of the season to the end.

We encourage individual goals through our philosophy and daily reminders.

For example, the goal for a pitcher when facing every batter (scrimmage and games) is to get the batter to hit the ball in the first three pitches. We don't want 7- 8 pitch counts per batter. This is part of our written philosophy and a daily goal for all of our pitchers, one we talk about a lot.

We find this philosophy improves a pitchers control through concentration, making them more aggressive to go after hitters. It also helps the defense because they are preparing to make a play on the first pitch to the batter. Finally, it helps our pitchers keep low pitch counts and stay in the game longer.

OK, did you take some good notes? Goals can be accomplished easily if you focus on them in shorter periods of time. After that, they become part of your philosophy and the expectations of your players every day.

Don't Dream It, Do It.

Mike Posey "CP"
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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick