The 3 Youth Baseball Hitting Keys to Boost Team Morale
Youth baseball hitting can be one of the most rewarding experiences in a coach/instructor's life because kids really make huge gains with just a simple concept, like mastering waist down hitting mechanics.
The coach's job is to be able to explain hitting in a fun and easy way, so each little person can understand it.The 3 "F's" of youth baseball hitting faults, and how to correct them are:
- FEAR, and
Let's go over each one in more depth...
If you haven't read the article link I posted called, "How To Grow A Super Athlete," located as a link from the Youth Hitting caption on the nav bar, then I highly recommend you do. Set aside 1 hour, or so, to go through it.
The above article is crucial for coaches/instructors because it sheds light on the importance of developing the right muscle memory in kids. The FORM side of youth hitting is simple...
Most of the time should be spent on hard-wiring waist down mechanics, the "right" muscle memory is critical at the early stages. Without that, then you're building a house without a foundation.
The big issues to deal with on a youth baseball swing are:
- Over-rotating (Gorilla swinging),
- Lunging at the ball, and
- The root of all evil...sound swing mechanics.
The last point above will virtually take care of the other two. To cure over-rotating, you use the Bat Behind the Back Drill, to stop kids from lunging, you utilize the Balance & Reach Drill.
You can also widen the hitter's stance to eliminate the stride to curb lunging. The stride is a timing mechanism, so the player won't lose power...just a simple pick-it-up, put-it-down will do.
Youth baseball hitting all depends on confronting the mounting fear kids have of getting hit by a baseball. Once the first time happens, the fear grows until you address.
You can use whiffle, tennis, or soft cored rubber tee baseballs to train kids to turn in towards the catcher properly when a pitched ball comes their way. The Bean Ball Drill should be an important part of your practice routine.
Youth baseball hitting all starts with fun at practice. And, in order to have fun you need to KISS...Keep It Simple Stupid, no offense;-) Nothing bores kids more than a practice saturated in dry hitting drills.
Try using games like Total Bases, Backwards Baseball, and T-Points to teach team work, competition, and adding the pressure element they'll see come game time.
Here's each hitting drill game in a nutshell...
Total Bases is a good youth baseball hitting game where you pick three teams,
- One hits,
- Another is in the infield, and
- The other is in the outfield.
The coach pitches, there are three outs, and points are decided as such, 1 point for a single, 2 for a double, and so forth. You play as many innings as you like, and the points are tallied at the end.
Backwards Baseball is played just like Total Bases, but the hitter throws the ball up and hits it them-self, and once they hit it, they have to run to third base instead of first. If they run to first after hitting the ball, then they're out. Also, they only get three tries to hit in one at bat or they're out.
The youth baseball hitting game call T-Points Drill is played with two teams in a cage, swinging off a tee. You decide the points system in the cage on whatever you're working on that week. If you're working on hitting to the opposite field, then you reward 3 points for hitting the opposite field cage netting, 0/-1 points for hitting the top or pull side netting, and 1 for going up the middle, and so on.
FORM, FEAR, and FUN are three great references to go by when putting together a youth baseball hitting practice. The kids will get a lot out of it, and you have fun games to take away if they don't get their work done during the drills and skills part of practice.
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