How can OODA Loop change Baseball?

Tyler Doty
4 min readMay 12, 2020
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Are you a big baseball lover like I am and spending your time at the ballpark? Have you ever wondered how ooda loop can get inside your opponents head? Now some of you may be wondering what ooda loop is and that was me when I first found out about it. Ooda loop is an acronym that stands for observaton, orientation, decision and action [1]. Putting that into words what that means is that it basically is an understanding how we make decisions during competition [1]. There are other things you can use it for other than sports as well. Ooda loop first started out as a military term and or strategy [2]. I will be focusing my time discussing 3 ways ooda loop can change baseball. Those are offense/baserunning, defense/pitching and scouting other players and teams.

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First things first lets talk the offense side of things. There are many things offensively you can do to swing the momentum your way or to simply throw the defense off. What I always do when I step in the box is look where the defense is and how they are lined up playing me. Also to see where we have runners at on base along with outs because that can make a difference. Lets say our team has a runner on first. You can send the runner on a early break which means an early steal and then lay down a bunt. Now breaking it down that can throw off the shortstop and 2nd baseman. 2B ususally would get the bag for the throw but he may have to cover 1B because the first baseman may be crashing on the bunt charging the ball. The defense may not be ready for something like that and make an error or over throw allowing the runner to take an extra base or have both runners get in. In a situation it will make the defense look silly on a somewhat easy play because the hitter was giving himself up for an out [1]. Something else you see now days is the defense shift to a certain side of the field as a hitter bunt it down the line opposite of where they are and it works most times.

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Now to transition over to the defense side of things mostly to pitching. As a pitcher if you get ahead or behind in the count with the batter you can mix in some pitches they may not see coming and as a defensive alignment goes you can shift the defense depending on the hitters tendencies. As a pitcher and just watching over the years it seems like when they are head 0–2 against a hitter they throw a waste pitch to see if they'll chase a pitch. As a hitter in your head this is what you expect but not always. Other times pitchers go right at hitters and get the out and some batters may not be expecting that. Same goes the other way if a hitter is a head or they're battling as a pitcher I may throw in a mix of pitches they aren’t expecting or that I haven't thrown a lot of just to throw them off [2].

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Now lastly talking about scout team. As an organization at the higher up levels they scout and watch film of opponents. That can give you the edge come game day. Whether it be a pitcher you might face or the lineup you can look at their tendencies and see what type of pitch they throw most or in what count etc. There are a lot of things that go into scouting. Baseball is a game of many aspects and there are so many things that go in to it[3].

To wrap everything together in baseball so many things go into the game. Anything you can do to get an edge you’ll do it. It can alter games and switch momentum it also depends on the teams attitude if they struggle or get down that will also tell the story of how the other team can control that. As the old saying goes “take me out to the ball game!”

Refrences

[1] Coach McCreary, “Baseball and the OODA Loop,” RSS, September 9, 2014, https://www.baseballbytheyard.com/baseball-and-the-ooda-loop/.

[2] Darrell Morgan and Darrell, “The OODA Loop,” Athletic Advantage, September 7, 2018, https://www.athleticadvantage.com.au/2018/09/06/the-ooda-loop/.

[3] “The Basketball Ooda Loop,” Pivot Sports (pivot sports analytics ), accessed May 12, 2020, https://pivotsports.com/articles/the-basketball-ooda-loop.

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