Chicken Bowl! Objective Measurement Accelerates Learning
IF WE’RE NOT KEEPING SCORE, I’M NOT PLAYING!
I love competition. I compete at everything.
I mean EVERYTHING.
Here’s an example:
I’m a notoriously fast eater. It’s something I learned during my first year at The Citadel.
Mealtime at a Military Academy is a stressful event for a first year student.
It’s the time when upper classmen typically seize the opportunity to harangue and harass
the plebes, knobs, or rats, or whatever freshmen are called at that particular institution.
Have you ever tried to enjoy a savory meal with a slobbering 20 year old wanna be drill sergeant,
veins bulging out of his neck, shouting insults into the core of your brain
such that you can practically feel his vile breath whipping like a cyclone through your auditory canal?
Trust me. It’s not a pleasant experience.
You learned 2 things very quickly:
1) Never get caught with your mouth full, and
2) Get done and get our of there as quickly as possible.
Two of my sons play on the same high school baseball team.
It’s a huge kick for my wife and I to go to the games and see them both on the same field,
fighting together to help their team win.
After every home victory most of the families gather at our local Beef O’Brady’s Family Sports Bar and Grill.
I always order the same thing:
Chicken and Rice Bowl, side salad with ranch dressing and unsweetened tea
(no room for any liquid calories–thank you Tim Ferris).
I have introduced a few other parents to this particular menu selection,
and it is rapidly becoming a popular tradition.
If we have a lead with 3 outs to go in the game, many of us in the stands can be heard chanting
“Chick-en Bowl, Chick-en Bowl”.
At the restaurant there is always laughter and great times
as we collectively discuss the successes and failures of our young lads,
and solve all the problems of the world.
When the food is served the conversation continues, but at that time, I’m all business.
I don’t think anyone has noticed yet,
but when the server brings the entree, my conversation ends and I attack my chicken bowl with fury.
When done eating, I mentally throw my hands in the air like a rodeo calf roper who has just completed his tie.
I secretly look around to make sure I’m the first one finished and then give myself a celebratory mental high five!
But my family is onto my game.
My oldest son, if present, will race me.
If I finish first, he will argue with me about the definition of “done eating”.
Do you count the crumbs from the crackers?
What about the sauce around the edge of the bowl?
Do you have to sop it up with bread so the plate looks like it just came out of the dishwasher?
What is the objective measurement of victory?
All valid questions.
I don’t do leisure sports or church picnic softball games either.
For an activity to be considered for my participation,
it has to have a scoreboard where runs or points are tallied,
or it must be timed on a clock.
It must have a clear, OBJECTIVE measure of victory,
we must ALWAYS keep score, and finally,
NO JUDGES MAKING SUBJECTIVE ASSESSMENTS OF PERFORMANCE!
That’s where I stand.
Hate on me if you must.
The differentiating factor is OBJECTIVE MEASUREMENT.
And THAT is another of the scientific pillars of our program at The ARMory
One of the problems with traditional pitching lessons
is that there is rarely any objective evidence of improvement.
The traditional instructor provides only subjective feedback regarding the student’s progress
(“Johnny is getting better.”).
This approach is shallow and without direction.
In my opinion:
ANY INSTRUCTIONAL PROGRAM THAT DOESN’T INCLUDE OBJECTIVE MEASUREMENT OF PROGRESS
WILL PROVIDE, AT BEST, LESS THAN OPTIMALLY OUTCOMES,
AND MAY EVEN BE USELESS OR DETRIMENTAL.
My friend Matt Furey, best selling author and CEO of Psychocybernetics and Mattfurey.com
shared this quote in his book
“Expect to Win: Hate to Lose.”
“What gets measured gets done, what gets measured and fed back gets done well,
what gets rewarded gets repeated.” – John E. Jones
I couldn’t agree more.
At the ARMory we measure EVERYTHING.
Every exercise is counted,
Every throwing drill is measured by radar gun or target tracking chart,
Every bullpen is charted and measured.
We measure breaking ball spin (revolutions per second) using The Rev Fire Pro device
We measure long toss distance.
If it can be measured, we measure it.
We have created a patent pending web based training manager,
which allows us to measure and record (in real time)
almost every exercise, drill and throw we perform.
Prior to the initiation of any drill or exercise,
the athlete’s personal best record for that activity is broadcast on a 60-inch HD TV mounted on the wall.
The numbers can be seen from anywhere in the room.
The player’s job before every drill is to try to beat that record—every time.
This ensures maximum effort on every repetition, and gives us the greatest return on training time.
Objective measurement and documentation of results accelerates our rate of learning
and affords us a wealth of data to analyze our performance as athletes and instructors.
If you want to train in an environment rich in objective measurement, then The ARMory is the place for you.
Our ongoing training sessions take place Monday through Thursday from 5pm to 7:00 pm.
Just email or call and let me know when you’re coming.
The first session is free. It will last about 2 hours.