10 yr old hit in the face with a pitch - now steps out.
(Boston, MA, USA)
Front Shoulder Turn To Minimize The Hit
Jackie asked: My 11 yr old grandson has loved baseball forever and still does.
However, last yr. he was hit the face with a fast pitch, which broke his nose.
This year he's wearing a helmet with a face plate(?)but he is unconsciously stepping out of the batter's box with every pitch that comes to him.
He also turns his head ever so slightly when catching a pop up.
What is the best way to help him get over his fear of getting hit by a ball? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks
Rick answered: Jackie, thank you for your question.
While getting hit with the baseball is never a good thing, there are some techniques he can do to help minimize the trauma.
If you go back on my site, look in the navigation for Baseball Instruction, the drop down list will have Hitting, click on hitting.
Scroll down to the list near the bottom, Additional Hitting Topics; The second title on that list is Fear Of Being Hit, click to get on that page.
With the experience that he has had, this will be a slow, and sometimes frustrating process.
Hit like he was with a fastball, as well as the location will take much patience on your part.
He will begin to see that there are ways to help protect him. Once there, he can begin to concentrate on seeing the
ball out of the pitchers hand. A big component here is for him to get his front foot down, and his hands loaded, when the pitcher has the ball back in his power throwing position. Getting his front foot down, right back at the pitcher early, will let him concentrate more on seeing the ball out of the pitchers hand, instead of stepping in the bucket, which opens his entire front side to being hit.
Catching fly balls, he should be catching the baseball on his throwing side, which keeps the ball from coming down right at his face.
It is also the best technique for an outfielder to throw from, as it provides the player with a quicker release, win/win on both counts.
There is also information on playing catch and fielding ground balls.
Slow, patient steps. Start with rolled up socks, move to whiffle balls, there is a ball called a smush ball which is soft, won't hurt, but is much easier to throw accurately, than whiffle balls.
If you throw batting practice to him with the smush balls, you can occasionally throw a ball at him, so he can work on his technique live.
If you have additional questions, please check back with me. This is a process; but one well worth undertaking. He can overcome what has happened and come out the other side with increased confidence.
Yours in baseball,