Today, I’m going to talk about hitting basics, which are perfect for going over with your young kids baseball team.
What size bat should a player choose really depends upon the hitter. They key points are bat control, bat comfort, bat quickness, and bat speed.
Your players want to choose a bat that they can control through the hitting zone. To clarify, the hitting zone is that area where the hitter is going to make contact with the ball.
And then your player can establish some good quickness and bat speed as he swings. Each player, depending upon his size and strength, will select the bat that is comfortable to him.
The thickness of the handle would also be a consideration in the selection of a bat, and the overall comfort and feel of the bat.
The bat grip should be loose and laid in the base of the fingers for the hitter.
An easy way to do that is by having your player lay the bat on his thigh, laying the bat in the base of his fingers, closing his fingers, and bringing it up to his shoulders, thus establishing a comfortable grip.
Kids baseball players need to avoid an improper grip. One of the most common problems is a player that puts the bat too deep into his hands and jams it back to his thumbs. And then when brings the bat up, it produces more of an elbows-up type of position when he gets into his stance. This produces a more upper body shoulder-type swing which we want to avoid.
When considering the type of stance that a player would use, he needs to consider dynamic balance first of all. That is controlling the center of gravity and knowing that your bellybutton is your center of gravity. It is also important that the hitter understands that he wants a ball of foot to ball of foot movement with his feet and that he wants to keep his head over top of his bellybutton throughout his swing.
When the hitter establishes his stance, one of the most important things for him is the distance that he is from the plate. Basic rule of thumb: I want to lean over and touch my bat to the outside corner to make sure that I have plate coverage. That is the first and most important thing when you consider a basic stance and distance from the plate.
Of course, that can vary throughout the game, depending upon how hard the pitcher is throwing or, for that matter, how soft he is throwing. A harder thrower may take us to an adjustment towards more of the back of the box, where a softer thrower may make us adjust a little bit more to the upper part of the box.
There’s also the theory that if a hitter wants the ball thrown inside to him that he might get on top of the plate a little bit more, challenging the pitcher to come to him on the inside part of the plate. Or the opposite idea of moving a little further away from the plate less the pitcher thinking that the hitter can’t get to the outside pitch, and that’s exactly what the hitter wants in this case.
The other stance that’s important in hitting is the two strike stance or the two strike approach to hitting. In this, we consider the three ups: choking up on the bat, being up on the plate, and shortening up on the swing to protect the plate.
Most pitchers are going to try to come on the outside part of the plate when you have two strikes on. And that’s the part of the plate that you want to make sure that you can protect and put the ball in play.
A hitter that may be ahead in the count – on a 2-0 count, 3-0 count, 3-1 count – his coach may want him to take a pitch. When taking a pitch, one of the things that can really distract a pitcher is that the hitter would step back off the plate as the pitcher begins to get to point of release. A lot of times, the pitcher’s eyes will follow the hitter and he will then throw the ball off the plate on the inside part.
The other option would be if the player would step in towards the plate. And a lot of times the eyes would follow the hitter, causing the pitcher to throw the ball off the plate.
Do you think your younger kids baseball players will understand the basics of hitting a little better after checking out this post? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!