Posted by: Ralph C. (
) on Sat Dec 16 07:43:30 2000
The biggest singel problem with teaching young boys under 15 to hit is their fear of getting hit with the pitch. I would say it is true of 40 to 50% of them. This is not addressed properlly becuase there is a culture of machoism that won't let the kid admit it, his coach won't admit it and the kids father (sometimes he is the coach) won't let the kid admit it nor will the father accept it.
That is one of the reason why kids hit great against a pitching machine but not against a real pitcher.
The first though of many kids is to get out of the way of the ball. Once they see that the ball is not going to hit them then they try to hit it. This is late and causes an uncontrolled swing in which most mechanics are forgotten.
Because of fear of others finding out and making fun of them, to say nothing of the fathers disaopiontment and judgment, kids find many ways of hiding their fear and it is very difficult to detect. But its there if you know what to look for.
One outfielder (I know this is not hitting but its the same point) who never got to balls hit in the air on time. He was running as hard as he could when he got near the ball but never got there to catch it. He made them look like good hits.
I learned this by watching him before the ball was hit to see what he did when it was hit. He ran slow at first and when he knew where the ball was going to be he ran hard but just did not get there. Sometime he even made a great dive and just missed it. Balls hit near him were often droped or just over the glove. Usually he was not looking when the ball came down.
Actually, when you think about it, he had to be good at judging the ball to pull it off every time.
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