Talking Shop with Bruce Qualls of Real Baseball Instincts

Monday, August 13, 2012
Bruce Qualls operates Real Baseball Instincts in Jackson. (Fred Lynch)

Bruce Qualls opened Real Baseball Instincts to help area athletes reach the next level. Whether it's moving up from tee-ball to little league, or from playing in high school to college and the pros, RBI's goal is to help develop the complete player, Qualls says. RBI features coaching, camps, clinics and speakers throughout the year. Qualls says he works with players to improve fundamental skills, mental toughness and leadership. Most of all, Qualls says they have fun.

Q: How did your career evolve to get you to where you are today?

A: My life has revolved around baseball. I started playing at an early age, I was good enough to play at the college level. I started coaching at the college level, elite exposure level with kids of all ages. My life has revolved around baseball and the opportunity came up to help promote the athletes in both baseball and softball of our area to get to the next level, whatever that may be; high school, college, the next level.

Q: What was your vision for RBI when you began?

A: Our vision is basically to help the kids in our area get more looks to play in the collegiate level. To help our athletes improve their game enough to get to the next level and assist them in making our game better. We want to help each and every athlete that comes through our doors that wants to play the game; and it's still a game. Our biggest thing that we concentrate on is we have fun. Softball and baseball are still a game, but we want them improving each and every time they go through our doors, each and every time they go onto the field. So I guess my vision is to assist and help each and every athlete that comes through our doors.

Q: What are some of the challenges of owing your own business?

A: Quite a few. I've been my own boss for about five years now. You either do it, or you don't get paid. And it's not so much about the money as it is about the challenges. Each and every athlete has different things they struggle with. Some physical, some mental. We work on the mental approach just as much as we work on the physical approach. Just making sure that everything is in line on a day-to-day basis from administrative to structural to not so much the lessons themselves, just making sure everything is on line from a day-to-day basis.

Q: What are some of the rewards?

A: The rewards are seeing the kids improve, getting calls back on how well the athlete did and gained after they've been in here. We just had one of our softball athletes sign a scholarship for a four year institution and get part of her education paid for and be able to play softball at the next level. That is our goal, to get these athletes to be able to play college athletics and concentrate on their education and get part of their education paid for to better themselves in life. Seeing a kid's face light up, ‘Hey this does work, this is how well I did at the last game we had.' Getting those calls back that the athletes are improving is part of my reward. It's not about the money, it's not about self satisfaction, it's seeing these athletes improve on a weekly basis, on a monthly basis and just get better and better each time out.

Q: What are your long-term goals?

A: We are in the process of having our own facility so we are not renting, we're looking into the process of trying to build our own facility with an indoor field so we can work on some defensive stuff on a full infield. We want to continue to help each and every athlete that comes through the doors to make the teams in our area even better. Taking nothing away from the high school coaches and local coaches, they do a wonderful job, but we want to assist their teams in reaching the next level and help their athletes get better.

Q: Anything else you can think to mention?

A: We do both baseball and softball. We do a lot of camps, clinics, coaches clinics. We have a softball coaches clinic in December. We have a baseball coaches clinic in January. We have college coaches come and speak in these clinics. Stop by and see us. To walk in the door is free, to look around is free, we give free tours.

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