“Measurement = Motivation” – Brian Cain

The goal of evaluating performance is to help athletes speed up the learning curve.  If we do not measure performance, how will we know if we are getting better at the specifics we are working on?

I often ask clients how their game went to which they reply… “good” or “not so well.”  This not only gives me little information about how best to help them, but of even greater importance/detriment, it does little for the player in learning from what just happened.  Each game is a learning experience in which valuable information can be taken, learned from, improved by, and practiced in order to be better in the next game.  Each game you play, you should be a better player than before.  This does not mean the results should always get better, however the things that you choose to work on that are inside your control…can be better each game.

WHY is it important to properly evaluate performance?  While many athletes allow their stats to tell the entire story, statistics tell a very small story compared to the rich information each game brings.  The mature athlete basis his success on the process goals he or she sets for themselves and is focusing on; while the immature athlete bases all his or her focus on their results as the basis for a “good or bad game.” A proper approach would be to evaluate performance on those things inside your control like your mental, physical/mechanical, and visual approach rather than on how many points you scored or hits you had.  To take the results oriented approach (# of points/hits) would be to short change yourself of valuable feedback on what areas you performed well in and areas where you can still stand to improve.

Process Oriented Example for Nemo Dubbs: (4 at bats) – Baseball Hitting Evaluation

  • Remembered to play with big body language and was confident I would get my pitch: 3-4  (3 out of the 4 at-bats)
  • Committed to my routine and plan each pitch: 2-4 (2 out of the 4 at bats)
  • Saw the ball well: 4-4
  • Made contact on the sweet spot: 3-4
  • Overall quality at-bats: 3-4
  • Hit the ball hard: 3-4
  • RESULTS? 2-4 (2 hits out of 4 at-bats)

Did Nemo have a good day at the plate?
On paper Nemo was successful 2 out of 4 times. This tells us little. But dig a bit deeper and we see that Nemo saw the ball 4 times really well which is key to hitting.  We saw that 3-4 times he remembered to walk to the plate with confidence and got “big.”  We also saw that Nemo is still inconsistent in repeating his routine that gets him back to the present moment and this might be due to allowing bad calls or bad swings to throw his emotions off.  This is valuable information that gives him direction on what he can give greater attention to next practice.

Post-Game Evaluation Sheet:  (scale of 1-5: 1 being not well at all, 5 being very well)

I believed that I was the best player on the field: ________
I was able to stay in a positive mindset during each at-bat: _________
After negative events: I was able to recognize, release, and refocus on the next play  ________
I stayed calm and was able to hit from my backside rather than jump out at the ball _________
I took nice deep breathes between pitches that helped me stay calm and in the moment: _________
I was able to commit to my routine (pitching/hitting) each pitch: __________
I kept a positive attitude even when things didn’t go my way: __________

I saw the ball well right out of his hand:  __________
I tracked the ball in as long as I could see it: _________
I kept my eyes at point of contact the best I could each pitch: __________

3 mechanics I was working on today:  1 = not consistent at all   5 = Very consistent (circle one)

  • ________________________________________: How consistent was I?     1   2   3   4   5
  • ________________________________________: How consistent was I?     1   2   3   4   5
  • ________________________________________: How consistent was I?     1   2   3   4   5

How would you rate your play in todays game 0 (worst) – 5 (best) and why?

What mental skills techniques did you use today?

Techniques used used to manage any stress or perceived pressure in order to control performance?