Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Are you a Creature of Bad Habits?

There are many days I wonder about falling victim to practice. Definitely a creature of habit, just have to make sure that I'm choosing the right habits and mind-sets.

When I coached, I had to struggle to remember not to frame the talk around negatives like "Don't walk this guy" or "Don't give him anything good to hit". "Don't" leaves too many open variables and options for the mind to consider. You don't effectively convey what you want the athlete to "DO". Often you end up subconsciously talking the athlete into the outcome you wanted them to avoid.

From the New York Times:
A Creature of Bad Habit: Why Mistakes Are Repeated
Published: July 18, 2009

Daniel M. Wegner, a psychologist at Harvard, is a professional scientist, not a professional athlete, and in a recent issue of Science magazine, he reviewed the research on the problem. A recent article in The New York Times explored the social implications.

When the pressure is on, Wegner wrote, the unconscious attempt to avoid errors consistently increases their likelihood of occurring. The same happens with words and thoughts as it does with physical actions. Tell someone, “Don’t think about a white bear,” and you can almost be guaranteed that for the next 10 minutes, white bears are all the person will think about.

Under even a little stress, the problem becomes worse. If you tell people not to think of a given word, then give them a word association test under time pressure, they are likely to blurt out the forbidden word as a response. The concentrated attempt not to think about it becomes just another way of thinking about it. Wegner calls this “the ironic return of repressed thoughts.” Baseball managers, and athletes suffering with the disorder, may have other words for it.

It can become quite embarrassing, and not just on a baseball field or a golf course. Experiments have shown, for example, that if you ask people to concentrate on suppressing prejudices like racism, sexism or homophobia, they blatantly express those biases despite — or perhaps because of — the effort to control them.

In one experiment, researchers put eye-tracking cameras on soccer players and instructed them to avoid a particular part of the goal in making a penalty kick. Guess which part of the goal their gazes most often fell?
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Giants Top Minor League Prospects

  • 1. Joey Bart 6-2, 215 C Power arm and a power bat, playing a premium defensive position. Good catch and throw skills.
  • 2. Heliot Ramos 6-2, 185 OF Potential high-ceiling player the Giants have been looking for. Great bat speed, early returns were impressive.
  • 3. Chris Shaw 6-3. 230 1B Lefty power bat, limited defensively to 1B, Matt Adams comp?
  • 4. Tyler Beede 6-4, 215 RHP from Vanderbilt projects as top of the rotation starter when he works out his command/control issues. When he misses, he misses by a bunch.
  • 5. Stephen Duggar 6-1, 170 CF Another toolsy, under-achieving OF in the Gary Brown mold, hoping for better results.
  • 6. Sandro Fabian 6-0, 180 OF Dominican signee from 2014, shows some pop in his bat. Below average arm and lack of speed should push him towards LF.
  • 7. Aramis Garcia 6-2, 220 C from Florida INTL projects as a good bat behind the dish with enough defensive skill to play there long-term
  • 8. Heath Quinn 6-2, 190 OF Strong hitter, makes contact with improving approach at the plate. Returns from hamate bone injury.
  • 9. Garrett Williams 6-1, 205 LHP Former Oklahoma standout, Giants prototype, low-ceiling, high-floor prospect.
  • 10. Shaun Anderson 6-4, 225 RHP Large frame, 3.36 K/BB rate. Can start or relieve
  • 11. Jacob Gonzalez 6-3, 190 3B Good pedigree, impressive bat for HS prospect.
  • 12. Seth Corry 6-2 195 LHP Highly regard HS pick. Was mentioned as possible chip in high profile trades.
  • 13. C.J. Hinojosa 5-10, 175 SS Scrappy IF prospect in the mold of Kelby Tomlinson, just gets it done.
  • 14. Garett Cave 6-4, 200 RHP He misses a lot of bats and at times, the plate. 13 K/9 an 5 B/9. Wild thing.

2019 MLB Draft - Top HS Draft Prospects

  • 1. Bobby Witt, Jr. 6-1,185 SS Colleyville Heritage HS (TX) Oklahoma commit. Outstanding defensive SS who can hit. 6.4 speed in 60 yd. Touched 97 on mound. Son of former major leaguer. Five tool potential.
  • 2. Riley Greene 6-2, 190 OF Haggerty HS (FL) Florida commit.Best HS hitting prospect. LH bat with good eye, plate discipline and developing power.
  • 3. C.J. Abrams 6-2, 180 SS Blessed Trinity HS (GA) High-ceiling athlete. 70 speed with plus arm. Hitting needs to develop as he matures. Alabama commit.
  • 4. Reece Hinds 6-4, 210 SS Niceville HS (FL) Power bat, committed to LSU. Plus arm, solid enough bat to move to 3B down the road. 98MPH arm.
  • 5. Daniel Espino 6-3, 200 RHP Georgia Premier Academy (GA) LSU commit. Touches 98 on FB with wipe out SL.

2019 MLB Draft - Top College Draft Prospects

  • 1. Adley Rutschman C Oregon State Plus defender with great arm. Excellent receiver plus a switch hitter with some pop in the bat.
  • 2. Shea Langliers C Baylor Excelent throw and catch skills with good pop time. Quick bat, uses all fields approach with some pop.
  • 3. Zack Thompson 6-2 LHP Kentucky Missed time with an elbow issue. FB up to 95 with plenty of secondary stuff.
  • 4. Matt Wallner 6-5 OF Southern Miss Run producing bat plus mid to upper 90's FB closer. Power bat from the left side, athletic for size.
  • 5. Nick Lodolo LHP TCU Tall LHP, 95MPH FB and solid breaking stuff.