The only stat that matters is the W! How often have we all preached this to our teams? Being part of a team requires unnatural self-sacrifice for the betterment of the group. Many Christian schools, athletic departments, and coaches do not like to keep stats or make athletes aware of the records. The common belief is that it promotes arrogance and pride that is detrimental to team growth. However, we also live in a time where advanced metrics are taking the sports world by storm. Allow us to argue in favor of stats and records.
Your athletic department should keep stats from every game and keep record of each season’s results.
Many coaches and teams dispose of their stats at the end of a season. Or they log them into MaxPreps and leave them there, un-researched, for the rest of time.
Today’s post will identify key reasons for statistical recording and give some practical ways to accomplish this in a small, understaffed Christian school program.
Keeping Stats Recognizes Athletic Achievement
We’re not necessarily talking about leading scorers, best servers, or goal scorers. These players identify themselves to everyone over the course of a few games.
We’re talking about the players on your team that contribute in subtle ways. On base percentage, deflections, completed passes, pocket protection: these are all stats that are recorded on our team’s unsung heroes.
Coaches realize the value of these players and their vital contributions to the team’s success. However, they need to be recognized more than just in the locker room.
Highlight the accomplishments of role players in your athletic department.
Whether it be on an athletic bulletin board, in the paper, or morning announcements, find ways to celebrate these players.
Keeping stats also recognizes long term achievement. Players that have had outstanding careers across multiple sports can be identified. This is valuable information at an awards program or sports banquet.
Keeping Stats Identifies Strengths and Weaknesses
Everyone has preconceived notions about attitudes, players, plays, defenses, and strategies. One of our favorite quotes is:
People generally see what they want to see and hear what they want to hear.” — Harper Lee
Having stats to reference after a game or over a period of time can help coaches identify strengths and weaknesses.
These stats also prove beneficial if you’re dealing with a coach that has a biased view of players on their teams. Maybe it’s a family member or just a favorite, either way stats can go a long way in helping coaches recognize their teams and players for what they are.
You’ll find that unlikely players may be very valuable to team success over time through statistical analysis.
Obviously, not everything is so black and white and stats can be misleading. But the saying “numbers never lie” is accurate more often than not.
Stats provide a way to objectively look at players and teams.
Keeping Stats Aids in Scholarship Acquisition
College coaches know how to recruit. They see the players play in person. They watch recruiting tapes and highlight videos. They have scouts.
However, if your players are not on the radars of certain programs than you need something to help them get noticed. Stats are a big part of that.
Coaches know that highlight videos show the best plays. They’re aware that watching an athlete play in one game is not necessarily indicative of consistency. They know that scouts can be wrong.
Stats, though, show how a player has performed and impacted his team over an entire season or over an entire career.
Do some of your players want to play in college? Than do your best to make sure that your athletic department is recording statistics. This will help your kids get noticed.
Keeping Stats Places Teams and Accomplishments in Proper Perspective over Time
It’s easy to get caught up in an exciting season that results in great records and championships. It’s human nature to compare, and soon people will be talking about the most recent successful team as the best team in school history.
Stats will show over time which teams in your program’s history truly were the best. This is important to look at in order to build tradition and culture in your program.
Tradition is vital; stats and records help you build and maintain it.
Younger players should know who the best volleyball team in school history was. They should know where the bar was set by players that have come before them.
If teams exceed the accomplishments of previous successful teams, then they should be celebrated.
However, if there are no stats, then its hard to recognize the best. It’s also easier for mediocre teams or players to be lifted up when in reality they were not as good.
All effort whether winning or not, should be celebrated, because ultimately the score or records don’t matter. But the program should know which teams and players have set themselves apart in school history.
Your teams are probably already taking stats. We just want to ask the question: What are you doing with the stats? Make sure you are keeping up with them and analyzing them.
Check out our article this coming Friday for some practical thoughts on taking and analyzing stats.