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Re: Bad Timing?

Posted by: Torque (roscoethewestie@comcast.net) on Tue Apr 14 13:49:06 2009

> My 9 year old had always been a solid contact hitter until he started facing kid pitch in the Fall. He has a good level swing and hits very well at the batting cage, soft toss and off the tee. When facing kid pitch he always seems to be swinging a little late and not hitting the ball at all. Confidence is not an issue with him, it just seems like a timing thing. He easily hits 40 MPH pitching at the batting cage which is significantly faster then the pitches he see's from kids. He seems to be pressing too hard at the plate. Any ideas on what to do? Unfortunatly, he is a bit hard-headed when it comes to making swing adjustments. Thanks...

Nine YO kid pitch is entertaining and frustrating. Frankly, most 9 year olds don't really trust other 9 year olds and I don't blame them. Because of the control issues and the significant downward trajectory on the ball hitting it solid can be difficult. It gets better as they get older.

I'd pitch him even faster in BP to get him swinging at faster pitches. You can also buy one of those baseballs on a rope that you swing over head and they hit the ball. The ball looks like it is coming at them and is great for hand eye coordination and they are young enough that when they hit it that it doesn't take your arm off. It does take some practice so you can't try it and then not do it if it doesn't work. Small doses if he struggles with the rope ball. The rope ball enables you to make the pitch plane similar to a 9 year old pitcher. You can also have them swing a heavier bat along with the faster pitching in BP.

I have seen kids that almost strictly hit in cages at the shorter distances lose focus on the baseball or not start tracking with their eyes it until it gets too close to them. So hitting on the field at the appropriate pitching distance is the best. Too many kids grow up hitting in cages which can give a false sense of power and success.

The most encouraging thing at this age is to see a hitter that has just been hit get back in the box just as aggressive as he was before. Fear/uncertainty at this age is common and a positive and aggressive response is very encouraging.


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