I get a ton of requests from students who are doing a baseball research project. They want help with the process or are looking for data or consultation. I wanted to put together this article to help the process for those who are interested. Please feel free to contact me with any questions through my social media or the site.
Baseball has been growing as a more evidence based practice which means more and more people are looking for expert information on baseball. I have devoted my coaching career following my playing career to this cause. This game needs a ton more high quality case studies and I encourage you to study the process and become a scientist yourself.
In this article, I will define what makes a highly valuable case study through laying the foundation of the research question. I will then take you through some of the basic steps of building this research question into the research problem.
What is a research question?
The research question is the foundation of a baseball research project. The research question is defined as the central focus of the research effort that serves as the basis for the research problem and provides direction for the entire process (Baumgartner & Hensley, 2013, p. 32) Basically, it is the essence of what makes you a scientist and drives you to become an expert in your field.
Once the research question has been asked then we must build it into a research problem and then follow the steps to solve the problem.
How do you specifically define a research problem?
Once you narrow down the research question you then began the distilling process by first reviewing the literature on the topic. Once you gather enough research on the problem then you make the decision that this is a problem you want to study.
Here are the critical criteria for making the final decision to build your baseball research project.
Does the problem interest me?
This is a very critical part of writing a research paper which is having an interest in the problem. You will be more motivated to put in the long hours needed to collect all the needed information to compile a well structured research paper if you have a strong interest in the topic.
Is the problem worthwhile?
It is important for the purpose of contributing to the field of research that the problem is worthwhile. This means the research will bring value to the field of study. This is important to note when picking the question for your research paper. Will people care about this topic and will it contribute to the current level of information available. Most important, will it be amenable to a study that an institutional review board will approve (Hulley, Cummings, Browner, Grady, & Newman, 2007).
Is the problem manageable?
It is important that in the problem is actually researchable. That you have the capabilities to perform the study. This means having the adequate number of subjects, the adequate technical expertise, that it is affordable in time and money and manageable in scope (Hulley, Cummings, Browner, Grady, & Newman, 2007).
Baseball Research Project Guide
In the article called “Conceiving The Research Question,” by Hulley, Cummings, Browner, Grady, & Newman (2007) it gives a thorough layout of creating a valuable baseball research project. It starts by talking about the importance of scholarship and becoming first an expert in the topic. During the evolution of the research question a good approach to carving the best path is using the “FINER” method. This means, is the research problem feasible, interesting, novel, ethical, and relevant.
Once the path has been chosen the necessary following steps to take are to make sure the research study is feasible. Do you have the list of necessities like subjects, funding, technology in place to perform the study. It also gives you strategies to distill your question into a specific problem to produce a great piece of research.
I would highly recommend you download this guide and use it as your road map to developing your first baseball research project.
Download Guide here:
Baseball Research Project Reference:
- Baumgartner, T. A., & Hensley, L. D. (2013). Conducting & reading research in kinesiology (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
- Hulley, Stephen B.; Cummings, Steven R.; Browner, Warren S.; Grady, Deborah G.; Newman, Thomas B. (2007) Designing Clinical Research, 3rd Edition. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins