QABs (Quality At-Bats) in baseball starts with changing what you think success is from getting hits to hitting the ball with an attainable goal to hit the ball hard.
Here's the thing. Baseball is the BIGGEST self-esteem destroying sport in the world.
90% of hitting is how you feel when walking up to the plate.
So here's the question. If hitting is about confidence, the question is, how do we create more confidence?
Every hitter goes through adversity.
In my mind, if you haven't gone 0-20, 20 times, you haven't played long enough.
It's how you deal with not getting hits that dictate how good of a hitter you ultimately become, period.
It's easy being confident when you're 4-4 w/ 2 doubles, a triple and line-drive RBI.
Food tastes better. The ride home is fun, right?
It's when we don't get hits, that we start having the wrong player showing up.
When our goal is to get a hit instead of hitting the ball hard, we press.
Our confidence goes down because our batting average is going down.
Now comes the non-confident player.
The non-confident player isn't very good.
The non-confident player makes it about "them".
How do we get the confident-player to show up again?
We change what we think success is from getting hits to hitting the ball hard with an attainable goal to help the team win.
When we make it less about "you" and more about "you helping your team win"...
...the pressure disappears.
Now you're free to play with calmness, toughness & focus instead of pressure, tension and anxiety.
The question is, "how willing are you to get great at the mental game?"
The same level of confidence that you have when you're 4-4 can be the same when you're 0-4, but you have to set aside time to train that skill.
Let's get that mind right.
What is a Quality At-Bat?
A Quality At-Bat is an at-bat or plate appearance that ends with a:
- Ball hit hard
- 8 Pitch At-Bat
- Sacrifice Fly or bunt
- Runner Moving Over w/ Less than 2 Outs
- Base Hit
How to Have More Quality At-Bats
It's amazing how many emails I get from players and parents who say that they lead the team in batting average while leading in Quality At-Bats.
I talk a lot about getting rid of the batting average because it's a trap.
The thing is, I'm trying to help you achieve your highest batting average.
I get it - if you want to have fun, get hits, but we have to have a mental game. Period.
After 30+ years in baseball as a player, coach, and scout, I believe what causes hitters to struggle at the plate because:
- They're trying to get hits instead of competing with calmness, toughness, and focus.
- They make it about "them" instead of about helping their team win
- They try to hit the fastball, curveball, and changeup all at the same time. Not hunting pitches, and not watching the pitcher.
- Go into Pout Mode when they don't get a hit instead of being a better competitor than they are a player.
If you pout. I'm not saying you're soft, but it sure does look soft.