Opinion is mixed on the prospect of stats in youth sports. Some people fall into the log everything camp, while others swing to the other side of the pendulum and don’t even keep score. Others fall somewhere in the middle. Now, we’re not saying that any one way is better than another. We are merely pointing out some positive side effects of keeping stats that you may not have considered, like:
1. It Makes The Kids Feel Like Pros
Anyone who had baseball cards as a kid can tell you that reading the stats on the back was one of the best parts. This is usually where a kid gets his first taste of basic stats like batting average, homers, and RBIs. Stats in baseball hold a special place even more than other sports. For young athletes, seeing their batting average or RBIs makes them feel like the guys they see on TV, whose stats they read on the back of a baseball card. It makes them feel like they’re on the front of that baseball card.
2. It Can Be A Huge Confidence Boost
One of the main arguments against keeping stats is that it can hurt a child’s confidence if their stats are poor. However, the opposite can sometimes be true. Measuring stats can show a young athlete just how well they are actually playing. Likewise, measuring improvements can give them concrete proof that their hard work is paying off.
3. Sometimes the Eye Test Isn’t Enough
This one is for coaches. Sometimes, the player you think is the best, who you keep giving opportunity after opportunity to just isn’t cutting it, but you just aren’t seeing it because you’ve already made your mind up that they are the best option. After taking a look at the stats, you notice the guy or girl getting the line share of playing time isn’t producing as much as you originally thought, but that kid that is fighting for playing time is getting the job done. Maybe it’s time to give that player more of an opportunity. Sometimes the eyeball test isn’t enough.
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