I didn't start in high school. I got cut in college, and I played in the big leagues.
After 30+ years in pro ball as a player, coach & scout, here's what I learned.
1. Baseball is the BIGGEST self-esteem destroying sport in the world.
2. The batting-average is the BIGGEST trap in all of sports.
This is what Quality At-Bats™ does.
It helps players redefine their definition of success from getting hits to hitting the ball hard & helping their team win by having MORE Quality At-Bats at the plate.
Here's the thing...
...90% of hitting is how you feel when walking up to the plate.
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".
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.
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
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.
What’s every hitter’s favorite day of the season?
Because there’s no yesterday getting in the way of today’s game. When you play like every day is opening day, you develop more confidence. Period!
Let me help you get out of your own way. Let me be your personal mental hitting coach!
Module 1 - Quality At-Bats - Mental Side of Hitting Audiobook (Best Seller)
Module 2 - Q2 DVD - Hitting Approach - Putting into practice
Module 3 - Q15 - A 15 Minute Pre-Game Mental Hitting Pep-Talk
Module 4- Parenting CD "Help, I'm the parent of a youth player!"
Module 5- Springtime Digital Book - Steve Springer's road to the big league
Steve Springer is the former performance coach & major league scout for the Toronto Blue Jays.
After not starting in high-school his SR year, getting cut in college, Springer was drafted by the Mets after a break out sophomore season.
After years in the minor leagues, Steve eventually collected his first major league hit with the New York Mets.
Steve played over 14 years as a professional baseball player and compiled over 1,600 professional hits. Over 35 years in professional baseball as a baseball player, agent, and scout.
He now travels and speaks across the country about the mental side of hitting while working and training with major league all-stars.
He resides in Huntington Beach CA and is the author of Quality At-Bats and the founder of Quality At-Bats Academy.
Baseball is mental. This is why you sometimes see a player who gets drafted in the 50th round or goes undrafted to sign as a free agent, play 10 years in the big leagues.
The mental side of baseball is so important it's mind-blowing.
"Got your information in 2006. Loved it and applied it. Thanks Spring!"
"Springer connects the dots for me. He makes this make sense!"
"I started working with Spring in college. Wish I had started in high-school!"
"When I'm in a funk, Spring knows he's getting a call. Thanks Spring!"
Drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 2nd round of the 2009 amateur draft.
Spring, I listened to your training almost every day in the minor leagues! Thanks!
"Bombs, Doubles & RBIs. Want the 5th at-bat. Thanks Spring!"
One day, your kid's baseball career will end.
The last thing you want to have is regret. Wishing that you had been more positive or less critical. We need to hold them accountable and we need to push them, but not at the expense of them playing for themselves , instead of to please you... ...because it's not about you. It's never been. Never let them forget that.
You're not gonna be the next Joe Torre, Bobby Cox or Tommy Lasorda coaching your 12U travel ball team.
More importantly, Vanderbilt University isn't going to ask your players what their batting average is this year.
We need to back off.
On the other hand, I know we need to hold our kids accountable.
The questions is, how do we achieve that perfect balance of motivating them, building them up but also showing them clearly where their weaknesses are?
Well - we have to be stern and honest with our youth ballplayers...
...but if you're a coach and you yell at a 12-year-old or under, you're not coaching them you're humiliating them in front of their peers. I've said this many times.
Build them up, break them down, build them up again.
Good youth baseball coaching is building players up so that they play this game with calmness, toughness and focus with a goal to help their team win.
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