baseball hitting q and a2

In today’s blog post, we have put together a great list of Baseball Hitting questions and answers for coaching at the youth level!

Baseball Hitting Q & A’s

Q: At the youth level, what does it take to become a good hitter?

A: At this level, we are simply looking for each player to be comfortable at the plate, have a fundamentally correct swing, and hand-eye coordination to make contact with the ball.

Q: You use that word “Comfortable”, and talk about being comfortable at the plate.

A: When we talk about being comfortable at the plate, the player has to be able to stand in a position where he is addressing the pitcher, and he has to be relatively comfortable and balanced in his approach to hitting the baseball.

Q: What should the batter focus on at the plate? Are we looking at the pitchers hat, or are we looking at his thumb, belt buckle? What are we looking at at the youth level?

A: As a coach, you should stress eye contact, and picking up the baseball from the moment it is visible in the pitchers hand. From the moment the pitcher starts the windup, the hitters eyes should be focused on that baseball.

Q: What is “good contact” on the ball?

A: There is a “sweet spot” in the center of every bat. This is located at the top part of the bat, the bat head. I want to be clear that we are not stressing location of hitting the baseball – we are talking about making good contact.

Q: Let’s talk about swing a little bit. Is there anything you would like to mention about the swing? Should it be shoulder to shoulder or is it a swing that’s coming down?

A: You want to see a good shoulder to shoulder swing that is very level, and fluid from start to finish. Not a swing where the player accelerates very quickly and comes through the ball, and not a swing where he is trying to drive up on the ball. Because all of these take a way from your basic stance.

Q: Let’s say you have an 8 or 9 year old who is not making contact with the ball but he has a good swing. As a coach, is that acceptable?

A: While the player has a good swing, mechanically, he may not be seeing the ball, or he may be moving his head, not focusing in on certain areas. Do not change a fundamentally correct swing. Instead, help the player learn to focus better on the ball.

Q: At this level, we cover a lot of basic fundamentals and skills. How advanced should players get at the youth league level?

A: Not at this level. Developing strong basic fundamentals is the main goal of youth league baseball. If we have the fundamentals down and each player becomes very comfortable with those fundamentals and confident that he can perform, then you can begin to teach more advanced techniques. But again, at this level, your purpose as the coach is the make that player fundamentally sound for the next level.

Q: If you had to emphasize just one thing, what it the main point to stress when teaching hitting at the youth level?

A: The basic point that a coach should stress at t his level is that if the player can develop a fundamentally sound batting stance from head to toe, that ball player will have success on the field.

 

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    2 replies to "Baseball Hitting Q & A’s"

    • Dave

      @Phil – In my opinion, there are a few reasons for teaching a level swing. (1) Having a level swing gives the batter a solid and stable platform for swing at all pitches, not just a fastball for example. (2) The pitchers mound places the pitch, and therefore the release point of the pitch higher than the batter, and conversely the pitch is coming down hill to the batter. I believe this is what you are talking about regarding “the pitch not traveling level”. If you have ever played golf or pool, then you should be familiar with backspin and how that can affect a sphere such as the baseball. When the hitter make quality contact, he will impart backspin on the baseball, this causes the ball to travel farther. If you watch major league hitters, especially when hitting a line drive homer, the ball will start on a 30° plane, for example…and as it travels it keeps rising. Just like in golf, the tee shot will start as a low line drive and as the backspin takes affect, the ball will rise and continue to travel. Now (3) if the hitter starts using a upper-cut swing…yes they will have a good hit here and there, especially at younger ages…However, as they get older, and face better pitching, they will inevitably pop out exponentially more often. Also, having an upper-cut swing will tend to impart either forward spin, or even worse no spin (knuckle ball) both of which will rob the batter of distance and power.

      “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction”.

      Hope that helps,
      Coach David

    • Phil

      Why do we teach athletes to swing level when the pitch is not traveling level? How does one maximize power if they are not on the same plane as the pitch?

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