Special Hitting ReportPosted on Thursday, May 16th, 2013
The #1 Issue Youth Hitters’ Face…
If you’ve been scouring the internet for quality information on how to help your son become a better hitter, then you’ve probably come across one of many websites featuring a professional coach claiming he’s uncovered the secret to hitting. Or that his brand new “controversial” methods are taking the MLB by storm. Or maybe he’s throwing his hat into the “Squish The Bug” debate. Or maybe he has won 78 straight NCAA National Championships.
When I see these slick marketing tactics, I know that the coaches behind them really haven’t spent much time (if any) coaching youth baseball players. How do I know? Because after 10,000 hours of private instruction with hitters under the age of 12, I’ve learned the single biggest problem holding young hitters back isn’t how they generate power from the lower half, it isn’t their hand path to the ball, and it isn’t their pitch selection. It’s far more simple than all those concepts.
The majority of young hitters improve their ability to hit the ball consistently and with power almost immediately simply by improving their balance during the swing. Poor balance in a swing results from lunging forward towards the ball with the stride foot. It results from getting their weight stuck on their heels and falling backwards. It results from not “anchoring” their front side.
And here’s the best part about the other parts of the swing (the 3 “H’s” as I call them – Head, Hands, and Hips…coming soon in another blog) – young hitters have a much easier time making other important adjustments to their swing when they are balanced.
1) In the short term, better balance means more consistent contact.
2) In the medium term, better balance gives young hitters the ability to make other important adjustments because now they finally have control of their body during the swing.
3) In the long term, better balance is going to make adjusting to inside and outside pitches, and off-speed pitches much easier.
So before you start getting too technical with the swing, or get excited about the new “secret” (there is no “secret” formula or everyone in the MLB would hit .500), spend a few practices focusing on nothing but balance and see how much improvement you see immediately.
For more tips on balance, be sure to check out EBA’s videos for some visual support of this concept.
– Coach Spring