Last week I had the pleasure to meet Gabe Ribas, head coach of the Broncos Santa Clara Baseballteam. So I had the opportunity to get to know baseball, how it is played but also what is the philosophy of the club.
It seems that baseball is quite different to all other ball games. Where as in the other ball games, the objective is to move your players that way, that you find a hole in the game where to place the ball, in baseball there are more than just that aspect to be considered. Therefore the coach is using a lot of data to analyse his players.
Some things I am learned:
In their locker rooms the coach hangs up all the data, who played how, who will play on which position and so on. All this information is on one side of the room. On the other side, the players by themself shall put informations. News, things they heard or saw, jokes – anything that not only motivates the team, but also brings them further on.
On one wall, they put fotos from players in action. The special is that you can see photos how players are hitting a ball, special moves to throw the ball, running positions and so on. The idea is that the own players always have a visualisation on how the perfect move should look like. Constant learning on the go, so said.
Also communication seems to be very important. All team members, standing all over the field, are communicating all the time. In order that the other teams doesn’t understand it, each team has their own secret language (e.g. Touch with my right hand my nose means XYZ). The Broncos are investing a lot of their training time in communication. It is crucial, that every member understand the language and no misunderstandings happen during a game. I never thought that communication is so important and trained in a game.
Most hitting for me was the fact, that the batter doesn’t hit 7 out of 10 balls, or said in other words, he only hits 30%. Some may call Baseball a game of failure, they call it a game of opportunities. Instead of being frustrated by that bad statistic and perhaps giving up, the Broncos see their goal in improving themself. That is why they train a lot, analyse every movement, use all the data. For them, a failure is nothing negative, but an opportunity to learn and play next time better.
I was asking myself if sometimes companies shouldn’t be more like a baseball team. I think, a lots of them could learn a lot and change their culture for the better….
The way the broncos live, is also in their slogan:
RD, RD, RD, relentless development!!!!