The old adage, thrown out there during just about every sports interview ever done, is that teams and players and coaches need to “just take it one game at a time.” That’s junk. Well, maybe not total junk. But it certainly doesn’t give you the whole picture of how your team is playing and how they are progressing as athletes. Especially with 18-21 year old young men there is often a massive amount of uncertainty with regards to how they’re going to play each day. Just when you think a guy has turned it around and is playing like you thought he would, he drops an 0-4, with 3 punchouts. Conversely, just when you start wondering if you’re going to have to recruit a replacement for somebody, he goes out and runs a ball out of the house and makes a diving catch in the outfield. What are you gonna do?
We really like to take a more macro look at how we’re competing, both as a team and as individuals. We use 10 game statistical splits to break down our players’’ trends. We’ve found it gives us a better perspective on who’s really playing well, and who is struggling at the moment. It also highlights areas where our entire team may be deficient, or where we are excelling. Right now, we are grappling with a problem common to a lot of young teams, and not terribly surprising for us, given that we are just in our second year as a program. Whereas early in the year our pitching staff was doing a lot of the heavy lifting and our offense was struggling to get on track, the last 10 games it has almost completely reversed itself. Our offense has begun to pound the baseball like our staff thought they would when we recruited them. Problem is, now our pitching staff has not been able to get hitters out with any regularity. It is especially frustrating because we have seen both areas of our game have such great stretches, and with that the tantalizing possibilities of our future success, but we are seemingly unable to sustain that total team dynamic here we are clicking on all cylinders. But that is our job as coaches – to continue to push these young men to improve themselves and to be accountable for each other. If they can be honest about their own preparation and candidly evaluate what they can do individually to help us win as a unit, then we are going to play better, win more games, and they will be better people for it as well.