We could be pitching coaches for the Yankees…


Jeff here, Accounts Director and SRH’s resident baseball coach,

Each year around this time, I come back from the ABCA (the country's largest baseball coaching convention) filled with new tips and tricks, excited to share what I learned with the boys on our team. Everytime I'm there, I'm amazed that coaches struggle with the same things those of us in the marketing and advertising field can struggle with too. It struck me when I heard Matt Blake, pitching coach for the New York Yankees, present the ways he develops pitchers: through objective data.

Matt Blake started out coaching youth teams. He never liked hurting a player's feelings when talking to players and their parents about performance. And he felt like he and other coaches gave inconsistent and subjective feedback, offering nothing tangible that could be measured and nothing a player could use to get better. So he developed what he calls an Objective Coaching Framework. This framework eliminates subjectivity and monitors just three things: The Body, The Ball, and Performance of the Opposing Batter.

By being objective — and by using real data — he’s able to do several critical things to make his players better:

  1. Create consistent language and alignment for the players. His framework sets a "North Star" for all of the pitchers on the Yankees

  2. Teach everyone what’s most important and gets everyone bought in

  3. Provide an opportunity to partner with each player on their own vision and work together to create the best version of themselves - within a measurable environment

  4. Use real data, not opinion, to help the Yankees navigate difficult conversations (and reduces the hit to multi-million dollar Major League egos)

  5. Allow the player and team to set appropriate, reachable goals and objectives.

  6. Set roles and manages expectations before every season, every series and every game

  7. Create systematic feedback loops including post-game, weekly and monthly reports and conversations

So, as I listened to Coach Blake I couldn't help be reminded of the things we strive to do at SRH:

  • Make sure our agency and client partners all know what success looks like for a brand, a campaign or video we create — before we begin

  • Ensure we all know the measuring stick and why we're measuring what we're measuring

  • Combine real data and insights whenever available to drive our creative

  • Be consistent with our values, and make sure everyone knows that we're ALWAYS looking for the best outcomes

  • Keep it simple and not worry about the things that don't help us win for our clients

  • Give honest feedback that aims to eliminate opinion, elevate objectivity, and help us improve our crafts

Many of us may not have the resources and analytics tools available to us like the Yankees. But, we can all strive to find and apply real, tangible data to our daily work. I'm sure you'll be surprised at how easily we can impact performance and measure it.

72 days until Opening Day,