Quality-At-Bats: Baseball is not a Game of Perfection

A good batting average in the major leagues is 300 or above. What does it mean to hit 300? To hit 300, a hitter gets a hit 3 out of every 10 at bats. That also means a 300 hitter makes 7 outs for every 10 at bats. In other words, a 300 hitter fails more than twice the amount he is successful.

In what other sport can we consider 30 percent successful? If a quarterback completes 30 percent of his passes, he will not be starting. A basketball player shooting 30 percent from the foul line may not make it in the NBA. A goalie who stops only 30 percent of the goals will be looking for a new position. A coach who wins only 30 percent of his games will be fired. However, in hitting, 30 percent, or .300, is considered successful.

Every hitter will fail more than they succeed.
Successful hitting coaches need to consistently relay this message to their players. Once a player realizes this reality, hitting will become much easier for them.

Don't let your players compound one mistake with another.
Good hitting coaches make sure that their players do not become agitated from making outs. Often, we see players have a bad at bat, a strikeout with the bases loaded or a pop up in the infield, followed with a few errors in the field because they were still upset about their poor performance at the plate.

After a bad at bat, calmly sit down and analyze the previous at bat with your player. What did the pitcher throw in certain counts? Do your players feel weak today in a certain location? What is the plan next time? Coaches who ask these questions are now taking a proactive approach towards helping their players become successful the next time around.

Focus on Quality-At-Bats instead of analyzing hits and batting average.
A quality at bat could be ground ball to the right side that moves a runner over, a sacrifice bunt, a walk, a hard hit line drive to the shortstop, or even a strikeout in which the hitter fouled off numerous pitches just to stay alive.

Focusing on quality at bat instead of batting average conveys a more positive message—that is, just because an out was made does not necessarily mean it was an unsuccessful at bat.