First time playing
Easy Stance and Load
Anonymous asked: Hello, my child is playing 7U/8U baseball for the first time. The players vary in skill level from beginner/no experience to intermediate.
He's not being taught any batting fundamentals and I have only a limited skill set to effectively teach him the right way to hit.
The one thing that I am noticing is that he is swinging in more of a golf swing fashion and he also is standing straight up with no shift in his weight.
What can I do to help him?
Rick answered: Thank you for your question.
There are two pages on the site, in the navigation section under hitting.
There is a Rookie page, as well as an advanced page.
You will want to start slow, and be very patient. Hitting a baseball can be a lot of fun for kids; keeping it simple at the start will keep them from getting frustrated.
Start him with just a bat. Teach him the proper grip, there are pictures on both the website pages for knuckle alignment, and how they can check to see if they are correct.
Balance out his stance to be a little wider than shoulder width apart.
Have him take a short step with his front foot, once the foot is down, then tell him to swing. This will start getting him in a sequence to actually hit a baseball.
They can take a lot of swings without a tee or a baseball, all on their own.
Have him set up on a home plate, or anything you can put down to give him an alignment point.
Have him look out at an imaginary pitcher, stride then swing. They often want to combine those two steps into one.
The stride comes first, then the swing. In full speed timing, it is sometimes difficult to see that the front foot gets down before the swing.
That step keeps them balanced, with a good base of support. Players can work on that portion most anywhere, do not even need a bat. They can grip the thumb of their bottom
hand in the palm of their top hand, set up, stride and swing their hands through.
From there, put the ball on a tee for them, and let them add hitting a ball off the tee. It helps at the start to talk them through the steps.
Grip, stride, swing.
Spend time talking to him about seeing the baseball. It will become the most important hitting skill he will need, as he moves into hitting live pitches. (Quite often they swing, attempting to generate additional power by dropping their hands, pulling their head and shoulders off the ball, generally results in a swing and miss).
As they get comfortable, turn them loose on their own to set up, and swing. They are on their way.
The beginners page is very basic. If you go to the advanced page, you will pick up additional information for fine tuning his swing.
Make it fun. Hitting a baseball consistently is not an easy activity. Keeping things simple allows them to concentrate on the one thing that is truly important, tracking the baseball from the pitcher's hand to the hitting zone, and hitting the ball hard, somewhere.
The image above, an easy stance and load. Not much movement.
Second image has the hitter's head down and on the ball, feet and body balanced.
Third is solid, balanced contact. Head is still down.
There are all kinds of different stances, looks and beliefs.
At an early age, the less moving parts the better, until they develop some confidence.
It is truly a continual work in progress.
They will see older kids with big leg kicks and loads, as well as MLB players. Much of that comes later in their development, when they have a better grip on what is needed.
If you have additional questions as you go along, don't hesitate to ask.
This is a fun time for you and your son. You are in the midst of making many great family memories. Take your time, and enjoy the ride.
Wish you both the best as you go forward!
Yours in baseball,