Hitting with Power

Batting Stance

Getting the form and stance right is already halfway to hitting right. When coaching kids, the first thing you should teach is how to assume the regular batting stance from the feet up to the head, including the eyes. Specifically check that the placement of the player’s feet, knees, hips, shoulders, head, and eyes is right. A great way to start teaching stance is by letting the kids watch baseball videos, whether little league, minors, or the big league, so that they can become familiar with the proper batting stance. A lot of kids are talented in imitating or mimicking others. Also, they unconsciously absorb visual information faster, more than they do oral instruction especially when it comes to physical activities such as youth sports. Take advantage of the visual memory of kids as well as their inclination for video games and the internet. You can make use of YouTube or baseball computer games as instructional materials, making learning about baseball all the more fun.

Batting Stance

Getting the form and stance right is already halfway to hitting right. When coaching kids, the first thing you should teach is how to assume the regular batting stance from the feet up to the head, including the eyes. Specifically check that the placement of the player’s feet, knees, hips, shoulders, head, and eyes is right. A great way to start teaching stance is by letting the kids watch baseball videos, whether little league, minors, or the big league, so that they can become familiar with the proper batting stance. A lot of kids are talented in imitating or mimicking others. Also, they unconsciously absorb visual information faster, more than they do oral instruction especially when it comes to physical activities such as youth sports. Take advantage of the visual memory of kids as well as their inclination for video games and the internet. You can make use of YouTube or baseball computer games as instructional materials, making learning about baseball all the more fun.

 

Hip speed

A good exercise for developing and relating hip speed is to hold the bat behind the waste with hands placed on the opposite ends of the bat and assuming the normal batting stance. As a pitch is delivered, the player will have to execute a stride and a quick turn; with the aid of the bat the players should be able to turn the hips faster and finish in the right contact point position.

 

Timing

In sports, timing is everything. In hitting a baseball, the best exercises to develop proper timing are lead hand swings and follow hand swings. In lead hand swings, the player should concentrate on keeping the hand above the plane of the ball; if a player fails to execute this, a strike out or a pop out will usually ensue. In little league hitting drills, the player also has to turn the hips quickly and precisely on time to hit the ball successfully, as well as prevent the lead elbow from extending fully before contact; if not, a slow bat will result from the excess arm arc during the swing. Lead hand and follow hand swings develop timing and strength because both hands have to snap straight into the ball at precisely the same instant.

 

Hands

To enhance the quickness and strength of the hands, practice makes perfect. As is well known in baseball, hitting right is largely muscle memory, thus players have to work on developing that memory through constant practice. Basic practice can start with hitting a ball that is pitched or thrown 12 to 15 feet away from the batter, with the pitcher throwing the ball underhand on one-knee. After each swing, the batter should quickly return to the batting position.

 

Stride

Developing good habits is important to be efficient at baseball youth sports. The batter should learn to automatically step to the ball every time instead of stepping out of the plate or physically moving when hitting. This should come naturally to the player with enough practice.

 

Bat Control

The wrist and forearms are the only parts to be used when rotating the bat. To enhance bat control and speed, a good exercise is to make the players assume a contact position and let them roll the bat forward and backward, touching the shoulder to complete a full arc. A good average is 60 to 80 wrist rotations in a minute.

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