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Quality At-bats

Quality At-bats

By: Chris Carter-February 8, 2007

One of the biggest problems with helping young hitters is the fact that they do not realize this game is built on failure. In what other profession could a person fail seven times out of ten and still remained employed? Doctor? Teacher? Preacher? Ted Williams even failed 60 percent of the time!

Baseball is so unique in the fact that is the only game where the defense always has the ball and if you fail 70 % of the time at the plate, you are considered an All-Star. Over the years, I have used a different idea to teach our kids to deal with the failure that takes place in baseball by focusing more on the number of quality at-bats they have in a game or season rather than the number of hits or their batting average. We have even gone so far as to keep a quality at-bat chart for our team during each game of the season. Over the years, we have determined that if we have fifteen or more quality at-bats, we win the game 91 percent of the time.

What is a quality at-bat? Any hard hit line drive or ground ball, situational hitting, walk or hit by pitch.

What is a non-quality at bat? A soft ground ball, pop-up, strike out, missed bunt.

One of our coaches, Stanley Moss, has developed a chart (below) that we use to record the outcome of each players time at-bat and the player with the most quality at bats receives the “Q AB Title” belt for the day. 

It is amazing to watch our players during a game go and check the chart to see where they are and focus on each at-bat regardless of the score of the game. 

Another interesting fact is that when a player has a high number of quality at-bats, his average is normally reflective of his effort.

Best of luck to all of you this season.

It’s not about wins and losses, it’s about building relationships with your kids.

About the author: Chris Carter is in his second year as the head coach at Byrnes High School after a successful seven-year stint at Easley. Carter played collegiately as a catcher at Clemson under Bill Wilhelm and Jack Leggett before being a draft pick of the Milwaukee Brewers in 1993.

 

 

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Quality At Bats include the following: Base hit, BB, HBP, Sac Bunt or Fly, Hard hit line drive or GB, move runner over to third with 0 outs. 

 

0 = Non-Quality At Bat

 

1 = Quality At Bat