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How Behavioral Assessments Are Improving MLB Performance

Major League Minds: How Behavioral Assessments are Improving MLB Performance

Baseball has been a beloved pastime in America for over a century. From Little League to the Major Leagues, the sport has captured the hearts of fans and players alike. Performance has always been a top priority for players and coaches. Evolving over time, new training methods and advanced statistics have been utilized to gain a competitive edge. However, in the last decade, a focus on behavioral science has emerged in the quest to get better with the adoption of using behavioral assessments.

Use of Behavioral Assessments in Baseball

Behavioral science is the study of human behavior with the goal of understanding your strengths and weaknesses, and then using that knowledge to get better. In baseball, it has been used to great effect in several areas. One of the most significant ways behavioral science has helped Major League Baseball (MLB) teams is through the use of behavioral assessments to gain a better understanding of players’ personalities and motivations.

By using tools like personality tests and emotional intelligence assessments, teams identify players who are more likely to thrive under pressure or who are better suited for leadership roles. Moreover, this has been critical in building a strong team culture and selecting players who fit into the overall vision of the organization. For instance, the Houston Astros have used behavioral assessments to build a team with a strong work ethic and a focus on continuous improvement. The team’s culture emphasizes the importance of preparation, mental toughness, and teamwork. The Astros’ focus on player development and team culture has helped the team reach the World Series twice in the past four years.

Behavioral Science and Team Dynamics

Another area where behavioral science has been instrumental in MLB is improving communication and team dynamics. The Tampa Bay Rays have used behavioral science techniques to develop effective communication strategies and build a positive team culture. By encouraging open communication, active listening, and feedback, the Rays have created an environment where players feel comfortable sharing ideas and addressing problems. This has helped the team develop a strong sense of trust and cohesion, which has translated into improved performance on the field.

In addition to improving team dynamics, behavioral science has been used to help individual players improve their performance. The Boston Red Sox hired a sports psychologist to collaborate with players on visualization techniques, mindfulness, and other mental training exercises. This helped the team develop mental toughness and resilience, leading to a World Series win in 2013.

Behavioral Science and Financial Gains

The use of behavioral science can also produce financial benefits for MLB teams. By using data and analytics, teams can increase their chances of winning and generate more revenue from ticket sales, merchandise, and other sources. For example, the Los Angeles Dodgers have used behavioral science to optimize their player development process, which has helped them identify undervalued players and improve their return on investment.

The application of behavioral science in MLB has been a game-changer, with significant results for teams and players alike. The same principles can be applied to businesses, where understanding human behavior is critical for success. In today’s competitive business environment, companies must invest in developing effective teams and creating positive work cultures. This is where behavioral science comes in, providing insights into individual and team behaviors that can help organizations achieve their goals.

How Behavioral Assessments Can Help Your Team?

Behavioral assessments can be used to identify employees who are well-suited for specific roles and to help teams work better together. Effective communication is critical to an organization’s success, and behavioral science techniques can help leaders develop strategies that encourage collaboration and trust. Mental toughness and resilience are critical attributes for success in any field, and the principles used in MLB can be applied to business environments as well.

Finally, by using behavioral science effectively, businesses can optimize their return on investment. By identifying areas where performance can be improved and using data and analytics to drive decisions, companies can generate more revenue and become more successful.


“Houston Astros: How the Front Office Is Innovating the Strategies Behind the Team’s Winning Ways.” Fortune.
“How the Rays Built a Positive Team Culture.” Harvard Business Review.
“How the Boston Red Sox Use Sports Psychology to Win.” Forbes.
“The Los Angeles Dodgers Use Data and Analytics to Get the Winning Edge.” Forbes.
“How Behavioral Science Is Changing the Game of Baseball.” Forbes.
Tewksbury, Bob. “90% Mental: How Mindset and Preparation Are the Keys to Success.” Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2018

Use Behavioral assessments to identify employees who are well-suited for specific roles and improve teams dynamics.

Joe Strick is a Senior Account Manager at TalentQuest. He has spent the last 12 years helping organizations optimize their workforce and talent needs. He is passionate about ensuring clients are successful in executing their talent, performance, and learning strategies.

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