Sarris: Why doubt and uncertainty are crucial to modern player development

From SABR member Eno Sarris at The Athletic on September 5, 2019:

Deep within baseball’s duffel bag, which is now increasingly filled with wires, wearable tech and books on physics and biomechanics, somewhere nestled in between the ibuprofen and the energy drink, there’s a tricky emotion: doubt. Though some would like to eradicate it to pave the way for success — and though it never feels good in the moment — doubt can be incredibly useful.

Teams can harness doubt for their benefit. Examining the way things are done and looking at other approaches can help improve the player development process and team culture overall. What if we’ve got it wrong? It’s an important question.

After all, we were once certain about an entirely different set of assumptions about how baseball players should be trained. Players were supposed to get the front foot down early, and chop down on the ball, and finish their delivery in a good position to field the ball. These things were gospel. Until they weren’t.

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Originally published: September 5, 2019. Last Updated: September 5, 2019.