Be Careful of Falling into this Video Analysis for Baseball Trap

The saying, “The camera doesn’t lie,” is usually true, but coaches should be careful how they use it. “More is learned from positive images than negative ones.”

Many coaches use video analysis for baseball in a negative way, and I am guilty of that. The minute players begin to struggle with their baseball skills we pull out the video camera and film the negative results, in order to find fundamental mistakes. That is fine up to a point, because it helps players understand what may be going wrong.

However, people should be careful of using video only in a negative way as players see themselves doing things wrong, time after time, deflating their confidence. The problem with using baseball video analysis only for finding problems is twofold. First, players begin to associate baseball video analysis as a bad sign and secondly, when there is nothing to compare the incorrect action to, it is much more difficult to comprehend. Just seeing what is wrong is not that helpful without seeing the correct way. Without a positive picture of the correct way in their mind, it is difficult to figure out and improve. 

Video Analysis for Baseball Best Practices

  1. Coaches should film players for video analysis on their very best days – being able to watch themselves performing well builds good visualization skills, as well as helping with self-esteem. Of course, it may be difficult to know when players will perform well and difficult to film too often, but in time, some good skill actions should occur. Additionally, coaches can film without players’ knowledge so as not to put undue pressure on them.
  2. Always look for and point out positive things first, before breaking down the negatives of the baseball video analysis.
  3. After watching the negative habits on the video analysis, pull out the video of good performances to compare and for players to see the correct way of doing it, and for the confidence boost of knowing they have done it the right way in the past.
  4. Have on hand some video of the correct way to do something, whether it’s another team member or a professional player, so players can picture and learn the correct way.

It is necessary for players to have a picture of the correct way of doing things and not simply their incorrect way. Baseball video analysis is a great teaching tool, when used correctly.

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