'); Watch and Learn

Watch and Learn

Posted 16 May 2016 in Hitting Tips

Behind every athlete is a fan who loved a sport so much they decided they needed to be a part of the action on the field. That same fan still lives inside all athletes. When athletes aren’t playing or practicing, they’re usually watching sports. But what if I told you that you can practice while you watch…

I’m not talking about doing sit-ups during commercials (although that’s not a bad idea). I’m talking about analyzing how the pros play. No matter what your sport, there are valuable lessons to be learned from watching the pros.

For example, if you’re a pitcher and you’re watching a baseball game, you should be keeping an eye on every detail. How is the pitcher approaching a specific count? How long is he taking between pitches? What is he doing between pitches? Does he have any rituals? How is he breathing? How is he communicating with the catcher? Does he change anything when a runner is on base?

If you’re a point guard watching a basketball game, you need to pay close attention to the little things. How does the point guard run the pick-n-roll? Is she actively helping plays develop? Or is she more reactionary? How does she move her feet on defense? How does she communicate with her teammates? What does she do during timeouts?

The great thing about this style of analysis is it can be applied to your team when you’re on the sideline! When you’re not on the field you should be paying just as much attention to the game as you do when you’re playing. When Tom Brady gets off the field, what’s the first thing he does? He goes to the bench and immediately starts reviewing film. Most high school athletes don’t have the resources to watch film on the sideline, but they can still pay close attention and identify their opponent’s weaknesses.

It’s equally as important to be on the lookout for the mistakes your own team is making. You should always be watching for things you and your teammates can be doing better. Is somebody in your rotation having trouble seeing the slider? Is a linebacker biting on every play-action pass? Is the goalie coming out too early when a striker is barreling down the pitch?

If you want to become an indispensable team member it’s critical you pay attention no matter where you are on the field, even when you find yourself on the sideline.

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