1COVDDMA16It has been said many times and in many ways that humans are driven by vision. More of the neurons in our brain are dedicated to vision than all the other senses combined. Half of all neural tissue deals with vision in some way, and, when our eyes are open, almost 70% of our brain’s electrical activity is due to vision. With vision so critical to how we see the world, it’s not surprising that we learn more naturally from our eyes than any of our other senses. At  XBand Sports, in addition to being engineers and scientists, love baseball and softball. Many of us grew up playing youth sports. We have also coached club basketball, youth baseball and fastpitch softball. We can’t claim to be expert coaches, but we have an appreciation for what it takes to be a good one.

Coaching and parenting athletes is a challenging job. Getting young baseball players to correct flaws in their throwing, hitting and running mechanics is a big part of that challenge. As coaches, we’re always trying to find the words to describe their kinematic flaws, with varying degrees of success. Often, we find ourselves not just demonstrating correct technique, but even imitating a player’s flaws to try to help them see what they’re doing wrong.

But, we’re not them. They’re not us. There is a real, cognitive disconnect between seeing someone else doing something and doing it yourself.  And imitating flawed technique is like asking the athlete to look at themselves in a cracked mirror. That is why video of the athletes themselves doing something (right or wrong) is such an incredibly powerful teaching tool. One that, as a coach or parent, you should use in whatever form you can.

Derric Waller, the group director of MIT Sports (travel baseball club) describes his success using video to instruct his athletes. “The ability to show the correlation between proper mechanics and how it relates to real tangible numbers like pitching velocity, bat speed or running times has proven to be invaluable. After reviewing video, we are able to make small tweaks in a player’s delivery, running form or batting mechanics and have them see immediate, quantifiable results,” he said.

In “A video is worth a thousand words,” P.K. Daniel writes about the use of video by various professionals.  Read More