In episode 142 of the podcast, I answered the Question of the Week about whether GameChanger provides any helpful stats that can inform youth baseball coaches on related drills. (Spoiler alert: the answer is no.)
I mentioned that I manually enter data into a personal spreadsheet and the spreadsheet calculates the fielding percentage, the total number of opportunities and fly ball percentage by position. The work is a bit tedious but it's well under an hour's worth of time to enter the data from about 15 games, so it's not too bad. With this data, I can tell which positions need more practice, which positions deserve better-skilled players based on the number of out opportunities, and whether you need to practice fly balls with your infielders and outfielders. I find this data to be helpful in planning future practices.
If you think this spreadsheet would help you, I've linked to it below.
How do I use it?
You'll need data of what each ball in play was and then you enter that data into either (or both) of the "Calc" tabs in the spreadsheet.
I currently have two Calculation tabs in the spreadsheet: one to calculate stats by defensive position, and another to calculate stats by player. This way, you can look at either a particular position as a whole, or look at a specific player. If you use both tabs, you'll need to enter the data for each play in both tabs, so that will be more work but you will also get more relevant data.
To use the spreadsheet, whichever Calc tab you use, just enter data in the white cells under the appropriate row & column. In case the column headers are not clear, I added notes for each column in the top table of the "By position" tab to explain what each column represents; you can read the note by hovering over that column.
Also, the data in each cell of either Calc tab is cumulative, so if there is a "2" in a cell and there was another such play in your latest game, then you'd put a "3" in the cell now.
Where do I get the data from?
- the "Plays" section of each game's stats in GameChanger. Go through your team's defensive plays where the ball is in play and mark accordingly in the spreadsheet.
- the "Chart" tab of the spreadsheet. GameChanger doesn't, for example, tell you whether an error by the shortstop is a throwing error or a fielding error. That info would obviously be helpful so you can tailor future practices to more throwing work or more fielding work. Since GC doesn't give you that kind of info, I created a chart in the "Chart" tab of the spreadsheet that breaks down the defensive outcomes you want to track in each game. Just print out the Chart and assign a bench player, parent or assistant coach to chart this for you during each game.
Either way, after each game, you'd enter the data into the spreadsheet and—voila!—custom and relevant defensive stats you can use to plan your future practices.
If you want to ease some of the data entry work that's required, you could also assign a parent or assistant to enter the data into the Calc tab(s) for you.
Can I personalize it for my own team?
Absolutely. In the Calc tabs, feel free to add or replace the columns with any other categories you think would be helpful to track or calculating additional stats that are not currently provided. In the Chart tab, feel free to add any other things you'd like to track (just make sure to add it also in the Calc tabs so you can calculate what you're charting).
Can I share this spreadsheet with others?
But if you do use the spreadsheet and you want to share this spreadsheet with someone else, just do me one favor please: do NOT just share it from within Google Docs using the Google Docs sharing feature. Instead, please just copy and paste the following link to this post so you can introduce your friends to the mission of YBE: https://www.youthbaseballedge.com/defensive-stats.
Link to the spreadsheet
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