One doesn’t coach or play baseball or softball for long before they realise that batting is the most fun part of the game.
Ever had the experience at training when the words “Grab your bats and your helmets – we are going to do some batting” sparked unanimous hoorays all around?
Without exception, every young child loves to hit a ball. But sadly, natural instincts and love of batting is commonly undone by a lot of nonsense our youngsters are told as they learn the game.
It’s our job as coaches to sort our way through all of the nonsense, and help our youngsters to learn how to succeed at the plate.
Having heard (and yes, I admit taught) many batting myths along the way, I am extremely grateful that some very generous mentors continue to send me information about batting which sets the record straight.
This page is all about sharing that information – what good batting looks like, and how to go about teaching your players to swing the bat correctly. Enjoy what follows – with time and hard work, it will result in greater success for your players. Hopefully, doing better at what the kids like doing best will result in greater enjoyment that sees them playing the game for longer!
The Vision Drill
One of the oldest and truest sayings around coaching Baseball or Softball is “See the ball…. Hit the Ball”. While as adults, we know it is all about simplifying the message that you can’t hit the ball unless you watch it, sometimes young minds work differently and fail to grasp its intent. With this in mind, here are some other drills to try with young batters…
Swinging the Nob of the Bat
What the? Some great advice from batting great Tony Gwynn, one of the most consistent hitters of all time. Playing 20 years with the Padres, he never batted below 0.309 in a season (achieving a 0.338 career batting average), and struck out only 434 times in 9,288 career at-bats.
The following video will help illustrate Tony Gwynn’s point further. The article features none other than Major League Baseball’s all-time hit leader, Pete Rose (4,256 safe hits).