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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:
- 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".
- 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!
- 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.
- 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
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.
If kids can gain confidence in hitting a baseball, they can apply that learning experience to other aspects of their life.