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Charting Pitchers and Hitters - Page 2

Sounds Time Consuming

If it sounds like charting is too time consuming and takes too much effort, you may be right. But, so is keeping stats if you do them yourself. I always have a Dad or Mom who don't want to coach, but come to all the games and like to help out. I put one of them in charge of charting the hitters and another in charge of charting the pitchers. It takes about 10 minutes to show them how to chart.

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There are no rules that you have to chart in a certain way or chart all players all the time. Charting is supposed to be a tool to help you, not another responsibility. Those parents may not want to chart each hitter, each inning, of every game. I don't blame them I wouldn't want to either. I don't chart the entire team each game. I have the parent chart only 2 or 3 hitters. I pick 2 or 3 players that seem to be hitting well during practice, but not during the game and chart them. Same for the pitchers. I may have the parent chart one pitcher each game. Again, maybe a pitcher that is throwing strikes, but having trouble getting outs. This gives me a reasonable amount of data to analyze and hopefully determine a coaching action that I can use to try and help the player.

Coaching Advice

If the kids on your team are old enough, have them do the charting. This is a good way to keep them in the game and thinking baseball.


Mental Part of Baseball

You'll often hear coaches telling players that the game of baseball is 90% mental, but how much time is actually spent developing the mental part of the game? If you look back at your practices, you may discover that not much time is spent developing a player's mental approach to the game. As coaches we often enforce this by packing as much repetition into a practice as possible. Often, the goal is to rush through batting practice, trying to get that second round in. What gets lost is the importance of quality in relation to quantity. It would be more beneficial for a player to take 5 good swings with a purpose than to simply hack away at 20 quickly thrown balls. Charting is one tool that you can use to give the player purpose and open up a discussion about the mental part of baseball.

How to Incorporate Into Practice

Here are some ideas on how to incorporate the mental part of baseball into your practices with the aid of charts:

Coaching Advice

Remember: Always emphasize quality over quantity during all drills. One way to do this is to give them a purpose during the drill. For a pitcher working in a bullpen it may to place his fastball first inside and then outside. See Pitching Accuracy drill for an example. For a hitter it may be to wait on the ball and try to hit it up the middle. See Up the Middle drill for an example.



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