Tests to Choose the Best Baseball Players
We always test ourselves or being tested by others to know whether we are able to do things or whether we reach our goals. For instance, probation time and trial assignment before you are officially accepted for a job which needs qualified people in order to have good results. Baseball is no exception. It has tests to choose the best baseball players. In the other words, to know where the baseball players stand and how well they can perform.
There are a considerably number of tests to measure the baseball players. There are many ways to test our ability in studying, working, et cetera. However, we can divide the tests into two types which are indicated below.
Physical tests are to check and ensure physical endurance and performance. Physical tests can be called fitness tests or performance tests and may be differently categorized. For example, fitness tests are to ensure the endurance while performance tests or physical tests focus on the performance. How much players can use their physical features. Even though they are not officially categorized and may refer to different aspects. Depend on people who use the terms. We can still see that they are all related to the physical characteristics of the players.
The tests can be the exact statics or just field practices. Coaches usually talk to baseball players that they perform worse or they need to improve some specific skills but don’t say how much. Because, many aspects in baseball and features of players can’t be measured by exact statics. But, some athletic skills such as speed can be measured by statics and people can look at them and predict the levels of the players.
We can divide physical tests into two smaller types, endurance tests and performance tests base on purpose of the tests. Endurance tests are to ensure and check long periods performing of the players with less fatigue and exhaustion. Therefore, the tests include some fitness elements like measuring the body fat which interfere with the players’ speed and movement as well as increase fatigue, or the cardiovascular endurance which is well needed for the intense practicing in hot days.
On the other hand, performance tests are to measure how well a player can play baseball.They focus on four main features: Strength; Speed; Agility and Coordination. There are four common baseball tests to pick out the good players:
- 60 yard dash: It is a traditional test in baseball in which baseball players run straightly 60 yard. In fact, the players never run 60 yards straight when playing baseball but the test is still 60 yards because of the tradition. However, there are 30 yard and 20 yard dash test taking nowadays. What is a good 60 yard dash time? It depends on the position the player hold. The middle fielders and center fields shall get under 6.6 seconds for 60 yard dash. Conversely, impressive 60 yard dash is inconsequential with pitchers or catchers. The 60 yard dash test focus not only the total speed but also the acceleration of speed which is vital in critical time.
- Vertical jump: It is simply jumping vertically. Jumping needs both speed and strength so it is also a way to measure players’ lower body power. There are many critical moments in baseball which need jumping such as when an outfielder jump to take back a homerun. Jumping heights of Major League Baseball shall reach from 27 inches.
- 20 yard shuttle (also called Pro agility test): It is running test in which the players’ change direction after running short distance to train and measure their agility. It shows how fast players react and accelerate the speed when needing to take sudden turns. It can be 20 or 40 yard or different depends on the tester. With 20 yards, pro shall have under 4 seconds.
- Rotational Power Ball Throw: This test is to measure total body power as well as core strength and rotational movement in baseball. Therefore, it measures how efficient pitchers and hitters interact with the ball or the bat. This test is mostly for pitchers and hitters. The players need to throw a power ball (2 – 3 kg) as far as they can with proper motions. Good results shall be more than 30 feet.
Those are the common tests used in baseball to choose the best players. Of course, the tests need proper motions and tools to be followed. Moreover, each tests are mostly used and useful for specific baseball positions.
Beside from those tests, there are many other programs and tests which can predict the physical qualified players. New ones keep showing up for better prediction of finding who the qualified players are. But, remember tests are for consideration, there is no such thing as absolute accurate prediction.
Mental is claimed to be important in practicing and performing sports. Weak mind baseball players can’t play well even they have physical talents. Therefore, a personality test was designed to measure the psychology qualities of the players. It is Athletic Motivation Inventory (AMI) developed by Thomas Tuko, Bruce Ogilvie, and Leland Lyon in 1969. It deals with the scale of aggression, leadership, self-confidence and so on which are said to be related to athletic ability.
However, AMI is not used for just only sports but used in quite a various scales. In baseball, the psychology tests commonly used are William Winslow’s AMI and Athletic Success Inventory which base on the original AMI. They measure the levels of players’ ambition, leadership, confidence, et cetera to pick out the one with the right psychology (personality) for the sport, who can perform up to their physical abilities then succeed. In facts, the mental tests vary from clubs to clubs, from coaches to coaches and they keep the secret of their own way seek for the ones who do better than others when stress time come or identify which personalities suit which positions.
There are always tests to test the abilities of people in baseball as well as in other fields and aspects. As people have both physical and mental elements, so do the tests. Physical tests is to measure endurance and performance of baseball players while mental tests seek out the ones with successful and well performing factors by their personal characteristics. However, there are no absolute and accurate tests to know whether one is the best baseball players or not just like tests cannot always decide one’s abilities. This work the same with the assessment of people.