By Ethan Guevin
With winter looming and baseball in the United States slowing to a crawl, many stir-crazy members of the baseball community take to social media to share their ideas on all topics baseball. Reading opinions on coaching, swing mechanics, and everything in-between, can be both interesting and extremely troubling. The sheer amount of information that is available, the range of differing opinions on similar topics, and unfounded opinions are enough to overwhelm and confuse any baseball mind, regardless of experience. So how do you sort through all this information and figure out what to retweet and what is no good? Thinking about this challenge, I am reminded of a great article we published by Andrew Bennett, “Teaching Your Player about Productive Listening.” This article speaks to the importance of being able to filter through information and decide what to apply to your game– a skill that is essential for today’s successful ballplayer. The article is a must read and sets you up nicely for the following tips.
Since you are likely to come across endless amounts of baseball information this winter, we have 5 suggestions to help you improve your “filter” and separate the best info from the rest!
1. Don’t believe everything you read on the internet. No, seriously! Question what you are reading. Is the writer trying to sell you something? It’s important to know the difference between reality and a sales pitch. Look for holes and look for ways to disprove what the author is arguing. If you can’t find anything, you likely have something worth reading.
2. How is the information presented? Does it come across as well planned and educated, or does it sound like a rant? Many people rant and rave online just to get attention, but coherent arguments are more likely to be well thought out ideas that merit closer attention.
3. Does the information actually apply to your level of baseball? It’s great to know why Jose Bautista has the approach he does, but is it applicable to your ability, skill set, and level of competition?
4.Is it something that will actually make you a better player or make your team win more games? Just because you can incorporate something into your game, it doesn’t mean you should!
5. Consider the evidence presented. Is it anecdotal or backed by a body of work? Is it talking about an ideal situation or something realistic? Consider these questions and whether you or anyone else should take the recommendations.