How To Hit A Baseball: Keep It Simple

Let's say you want to teach kids how to hit a baseball. How would you go about it? When teaching kids baseball, and more specifically, teaching kids how to hit a baseball, always keep things simple.

I've seen so many young kids get discouraged when learning how to hit a baseball because coaches and parents make it so complicated. What ends up happening is the adults get frustrated with the kids and the kids have a bad experience that makes them reluctant to try again.

If you want a child to learn how to hit a baseball, the instructions need to be simple and fun to keep the child interested and willing to try again. Just remember these simple tips when you teaching how to hit a baseball:

  1. Getting the right grip on the bat
    Just remember to instruct the children to keep their hands together when swinging the bat. If you can see a space between the hands, don't make a big deal out of it. Just mvoe the hands together and say something like "that should make it easier for you to hit the baseball".
  2. Use a batting tee
    Many young kids think that using a batting tee is a sign of weakness but it really isn't. In fact, many major league baseball players use the batting tee to correct their swing. If a child says they don't need it - tell them that hall-of-famer Tony Gwynn would use a batting tee and a whiffleball everyday. He could tell just by the way the ball "whistled" and "knuckled" off the tee whether or not he was swinging correctly. This is a true fact!
  3. Bat Size and Weight
    Don't get caught up in the make, model, barrel size or even the length of the bat - focus on the weight. Use this easy test: If the child can hold the bat out straight with one hand, using the index finger and thumb wrapped around the bottom of the bat handle, then the weight is appropriate.
  4. Batting Stance
    There are so many different philosophies about the batting stance, but let's keep it simple:
    • Legs should be shoulder length apart (left hand below the left shoulder, same for the right)
    • Tips of the toes should be parallel to the plate (each leg should be the same distance from the plate)
    • Bend the knees (get the child to "bounce" a little in the batter's box, get them to feel comfortable)
    • Hands should be together on the bat at shoulder length
    The bottom line is this - get the batter comfortable with a specific stance; one that can be repeated over and over
  5. Confidence
    Most youth baseball coaches and parents focus on the physical aspects of learning how to hit a baseball. However, confidence is more important than any of the physical ones.
    Why?
    If kids can gain confidence in hitting a baseball, they can apply that learning experience to other aspects of their life.

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