Wednesday, October 24, 2012

2012 World Series: Leadership and Consistency

Here's an excerpt from our analysis of the 2012 World Series.

Pitching Leadership
Leadership on the playing field has proven to be statistically significant in its relationship to winning the big game across all sports we have studied. In baseball, top starting pitchers are a key leadership factor - and are a good indicator of success during baseball's short playoff series. The finalist with the better top of the rotation, measured by total wins by its top two pitchers, has won 67 percent of the World Series over the past 22 World Series (over 23 years because there was no postseason in 1994). This factor goes to the Detroit Tigers, whose top two starting pitchers, Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, edge San Francisco's top starters, Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner (33 combined wins to 32).

In total, our analysis points to the Detroit Tigers.  

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sports Psychology: Being a Mentally Tough Pitcher

With the MLB playoffs getting set to start, many analysts focus on the playoff contender's pitching staffs.  Dr. Jay Granat, psychotherapist and founder of -- and co-author of "Who Will Win the Big Game," recently helped with a study on how mental toughness develops in young pitchers.

Working with Anthony Cinelli of Boston University, Granat, interviewed college pitchers and learned that:

Many young baseball players are first introduced to this sport by their fathers. So, their dad is often their first coach. Therefore, fathers often play a crucial role in how an a pitcher develops physically and mentally.

Apparently, the young pitchers started to model some of the behaviors, attitudes and actions that were demonstrated by their fathers in the world of work. In short, they took what they observed their dad's doing in their lives and brought some of these attitudes and behaviors to the baseball field.Some of the pitchers interviewed also attributed the learning of mental toughness was function of watching their fathers behavior in their careers and in their businesses.

Others pitchers stated that fathers taught them valuable lessons about being accountable, taking responsibility and learning to accept good and bad performances.

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