I once coached the high school baseball team. (Some of the hardest work ever done. Teachers that coach work some of the craziest hours on the planet.)
But the thing I soon learned was that the team that does well is the team that executes the very simple elements of the game.
Field ground balls.
Throw with basic accuracy to your teammates.
Catch the pop flies that are easily catchable.
Have your pitchers throw strikes.
Teach your hitters how to make contact and put the ball in play.
In high school baseball, little league as well, a team that can do this will prove to be a very solid team. And if you know anything about high school baseball, teams like this are much more rare than one would think.
They have kids that swing for the fences, try to turn crazy double plays, see ground ball after ground ball go through their infielder’s legs or then, when they do field ground balls, watch throw the ball into the opposing team’s dugout instead of to their own first baseman.
It’s all about fundamentals.
Fundamentals are not sexy.
Fundamentals are not thrilling.
Fundamentals are not razzle dazzle.
Fundamentals are vanilla.
Fundamentals can be boring to watch, learn and practice.
But fundamentals produce results.
And a team that doesn’t know how to execute the basic fundamentals is cooked.
In basketball, the team that is comprised of showboats that can slam dunk will not measure up to a team that can play fundamentally sound defense and offense.
In baseball, well you just heard.
For these tests, to improve our scores, we need to simply be able to execute fundamentally sound test-taking.
Test taking at the level where we currently are is a sport.