Hitting a baseball is one of the most difficult tasks in all of sports. It takes excellent hand-eye coordination, great timing and exceptional ability to consistently hit a baseball.
Some are blessed with this natural talent and will excel, but most will experience difficulty when it comes to hitting a baseball.
Imagine yourself in the batter’s box – the anxiety, the fear, and the anticipation of facing a pitcher.
Yes, hitting is a difficult skill, but the child wants to hit, and it is the job of the coach to instruct each and every youngster to hit that ball as best as he or she possibly can.
How are we going to do that? What methods are we going to use? We have all heard most of the clichés about hitting – keep your eye on the ball, head still, step into the ball, swing level – follow through. All of these are good tips, but how does a kid do it, and how should it be taught?
The method I have developed can teach any youngster how to hit a baseball. I call it the “Pitch-Hit” approach to hitting. Using “Pitch-Hit” every child will be able to hit the ball.
Many baseball experts agree that this system is the best method of teaching a child to hit.
In my next article, I’ll explain the “Pitch-Hit” method in its entirety, but first we must review the basic fundamentals of hitting.
- Comfortable stance
- Bat held back, arms bent, hands at about the level of your shoulder or ear
- Feet spread about shoulder-width apart
- Body slightly crouched and knees flexed
- Stand parallel to and about 12 to 18 inches from the plate
- When swinging the bat, make sure that your bat will reach to the outside part of the plate
- Eyes focused on the pitcher
- Watch the ball
- Stride or step into the pitch
- The stride should be about 12 inches
- Step straight at the pitcher
- Swing, contact, follow through
- Swing level, rotate your hips and body – speed is essential – as you swing the bat
- Contact the ball where the bat passes the front leg
- At contact the hands should turn over and the bat should follow through over your shoulder from the momentum of your swing.
Most importantly, relax at all times – absolutely no tension
After understanding the fundamentals of hitting, now the youngster is ready for the “Pitch-Hit” approach to hitting a baseball.
Richie Richman of Bluffton is a boys and girls baseball coach and author of the book “How to Teach Kids to Play Baseball.”