Your decisions this fall are critical as they impact your upcoming season. One decision is what you are doing or not doing regarding the training of the visual side of the game.
The visual side of the game includes early, accurate recognition of the ball’s actions, tracking the ball, staying visually focused at contact or until it is secured in the glove.
One consideration is that either poor visual habits or poor visual skills result and reacting to the ball later. On the other hand, high level visual skills and habits result in seeing and reacting to the ball sooner. There is power in small wins and slow gains.
Consider searching for 1 percent visual improvements in the visual side of the game in all your players. Improving by just 1 percent isn’t notable. Sometimes improving by just 1 percent isn’t even noticeable. But it can be just as meaningful, especially in the long run. It’s the sum of many small reactions — a 1 percent improvements here and there — that eventually leads to success.
As a cautionary consideration, continuous, small, slower reactions work the same way in reverse. For example, if your defensive players read the hit ball 1 percent later, they are going to be 1 percent slower in their reactions. The same is true with your baserunners. Hitters that see the ball later are going to be 1 percent slower in their reactions.
Initially, there may be little observable difference between making a choice that is 1 percent better or 1 percent worse. But as time goes on, these small improvements or declines compound and you suddenly find a very big gap between the players who make slightly faster reactions and those who don’t. Therefore, small choices don’t make much of a difference at the time, but add up over the long-term.
During the upcoming seasons, if you find your players stuck with bad habits or poor results, it’s usually not because something happened overnight. It’s the sum of many small choices — a 1 percent decline here and there — that eventually leads to a problem.
Almost every habit that your plyers have — good or bad — is the result of many small decisions made over time. The most common decision is to demean dismiss or put down the importance of the visual side of the game.
Let that be your opponents. Make the decision to get your players visually better, visually quicker, and to react faster.
Success is a few simple disciplines, practiced every day. In contrast, failure is simply a few errors in judgment, typically visual, repeated every day. It’s so easy to overestimate the necessity of one defining major change or accomplishment and underestimate the value of making continuous, better choices daily.
The truth is that most of the significant things in life are the sum of all the moments when we chose to do things 1 percent better or 1 percent worse.