QUALITY AT-BATS

QUALITY AT-BATS

OFFENSIVE PHILOSOPHIES – PERSPECTIVE SHIFT

I just finished up a weekend at the ABCA where I was blessed with the opportunity to speak to thousands of coaches. You may have been there. This article is designed to be a follow up on one of the topics I spoke about. If you weren’t there then you can still get some great info too through reading this blog. Thanks for all the coaches in attendance and who took advantage of the 1Pw System and purchased the Triple Crown Package. I had an amazing time and hope to connect with many of you down the road to establish solid mental game strategies linked with 1PW Process Based Measurement.

One major flaw in baseball/softball is the way we measure and evaluate a player’s performance. Most players will evaluate how well their season is going based on what their average is. In our program, we do not talk about averages.

Why measure yourself on something that you cannot control? It is totally unfair in an already very difficult game. If you hit a ball hard three times during a game and get out all three times, your batting average is zero for the night and your overall for the season will go down. Players start pressing, thinking that they need to do better, when in reality, they did their job!

We have found better ways to evaluate both our team and our individual players. After doing this for enough years, we have created benchmarks for our team to try to reach on a nightly basis. If we hit our benchmarks, our chance for success is much better.

QUALITY AT-BATS

Players need to shift their perspective from getting hits (which is out of their control) to hitting the ball hard or doing something productive for the team (things they can control). In the QAB System, players have to change the way they evaluate and think about the game that they have played for so many years, but it is to their benefit. In the QAB System players always have a higher QAB average than their regular average and on-base percentage. Typically, a player’s QAB average is twice as high as his regular average. In an unfair game, we want to give our players a meaningful way to evaluate their performances, and also to help us make decisions as a coaching staff as to who is really doing the most for our team, throughout the season. The thing that we take into consideration, that no one else does, is productive outs that players make. You should get credit for doing something positive for the team, yet in the calculation of average, your average drops. Even if you sacrifice bunt, your average stays the same and it is not credited for or against you. It is as if it never happened. This is just one example that happens in the game of baseball, where the hitter gets screwed even if he did all he can. The bottom line is that we want to give credit where credit is due. This is why I love the QAB average and throughout the course of the season, as far as numbers go, it is the only thing I post in the dugout or show players on the bus.

WHAT IS A QAB?

There are nine things that a player can do to get credit for QAB:

1) Hard Hit Ball

2) Walk

3) Hit By Pitch

4) Move Runner(s) with No Outs

5) Score Runner From 3rd with Fewer Than Two Outs

6) Base Hit

7) Six Pitch At-Bat Not Ending in a Strikeout

8) Nine Pitch At-Bat Even Ending in a Strikeout

9) Catcher’s Interference

For example, what if during a game a hitter goes 0 for 4 on the night and the at-bats go like this:

1) Line out to the shortstop

2) Ground out to 2nd base that moves a runner to third with no outs

3) Grinds out a long at-bat by fouling off pitch after pitch late in the game, which ultimately leads to the opposing team having to go the bullpen

4) Scores a run from third with less than 2 outs by weakly grounding out to the middle infield that was playing back.

This player normally would consider the as 0 for 4 but in the QAB System he would be 4 for 4. If you want to change the game then change your perspective on the game. Players view their performances much different through the QAB System and it won’t lead to, as much stress and frustration, which we know, are performance crushers.

We have a chart that we use during games to keep track of how players are doing. This information then goes into a spreadsheet that I created on my iPad, which calculates the team average for the night and also keeps a running total for each player.

We use the same QAB system during our practices. When we do hit on the field, it is situational hitting and we evaluate our team on the same nine things. We have a certain QAB percentage that we are trying to hit each night at practice. As we get closer to the season, the percentage starts to climb, and once we are in post-season practice mode, we raise the bar even higher.

In the next article I will follow up with what the QAB System has done for our program and my findings about what it has done for run production, number of walks, and also benchmarks we are trying to hit doing games that if reached almost always produce wins.

For more information on the charts and spreadsheets to keep track of Quality At-Bats and the other parts of the 1PW Process Based Measurement System go to store.1pitchwarrior.com to checkout the 1-Pitch Warrior Books and the 1-Pitch Warrior System.

To schedule a speaking engagement with your state association, for a consulting engagement with your team or organization, contact Coach Justin Dehmer at coachd@1pitchwarrior.com. Follow @1pitchwarrior on Twitter and www.facebook.com/1pitchwarrior

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