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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: back foot pivot

Posted by: Torque (roscoethewestie@comcast.net) on Wed Apr 15 19:57:33 2009

> > > > > > > I am new to this so forgive me if I am missing something. My 6 year old is just starting to hit coach pitches (mine) and he hits often and hard. He does appear to have a good swing but instead of pivoting his back foot on the swing he lifts his heel so he finishes the swing with his back foot on the toes. I would guess he is putting too much weight on the front leg but he doesn't seem to understand what I am saying to him. Do I have the diagnosis correct and should I do something about it or let it go until he is older?
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Most good major league hitters finish the same way as your son.
> > > > >
> > > > > Really? When I say he finishes on his toes, I mean all the way on his toes with entore foot off ground as opposed to just the heel off the ground with ball of foot on ground.
> > > >
> > > > Do a Google image search of Barry Bonds, Albert Pujols, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Hank Aaron. Their back foot is often toe down. Now if he is doing something funny with his front foot then there may be a problem but what you described isn't unusual. Right now I'd make sure he is hitting the ball hard and seeing well. Also, make sure you understand the principles taught on this site just so you can know what you are looking for. If you see something in his swing that is different or looks like a problem and this web site confirms it then make small adjustments over time to get him where he needs to be. Kids have so many people in their ear when it comes to hitting and most have bad advice. The most important part is they are having fun, hitting hard, and slowly developing a better and more powerful swing. It sounds like he hits hard so don't get in his way too much or let anyone else get in his way too much either. They can get too mechanically minded sometimes at the expense of swing aggression and slow improvements (months and years) are better. At the end of the day, the goal is to hit hard and hit often.
> > >
> > > Thanks for all the help. I looked at Manny and A-rod and my sons toes are similar. I am his only coach and I subscirbe to this site's theories so no one will mess with hos swing but I hav to understand it or I mess him up. Also, he hits the ball hard to the opposite side of field most of the time and sometimes straight over 2nd base. He rarely pulls the ball so it sounds like from readings here his swing is good.
> >
> > That sounds similar to my son. He hits hard to the opposite field. I do stress that I want him to pull the inside pitch though. Opposite field power is great for a right handed hitter. Especially if they can hit the right center gap because it is often a 3 bagger. I tell my son to hit where it is pitched. Sometimes he hits everything to right center and up the middle and I've seen him crush inside pitches with an inside out swing which is difficult to do. However, when he pulls the inside with a line drive the ball will come off the bat low and continue to rise and there is even more power. I have enjoyed watching him develop opposite field power because this is harder to do as a hitter but he is now 12 and I want to see left field line drives on inside pitches. If your son can take it to the opposite field with power and pull inside pitches for line drives he will be a very good hitter. What will be amazing to watch after your son gets a year to 3 years older is to watch him crush a line drive that continues to rise. We do talk about getting backspin on the ball and the hitter can get a lot of carry from this. There may be some discussion on back spin on the board and this would be worth reading. Basically it is a slow process with a kid this young that can hit. Even with all this, slumps happen and the trick is keeping them moving towards hitting hard. You really can't help if the defense makes plays on hard hit balls. After all, there are 9 guys out there trying to get you out and the odds that one of them will make a play is pretty high about 70 to 75% odds in the major leagues. Eventually (age 11 to 13), he really needs to understand how and why he generates power. They just can't get to caught up with thinking right now.
> Mine tends to pull inside pitches too but they are usually hard grounders. If I could get him to pull other pitches as well, they would be huge hits. He also fouls quite a few balls back as he tends to swing underneath the pitch. I don't know if this is the 6 year wanting to hit it in the air or if it is juts his natural swing. I assume everything comes with experience since he is only 6 and just now starting to hit live pitches in games. My goal is just to teach him the right way from the start.

It is really important to start correctly and for th hitter to be aggressive when they swing. Mine will foul a bunch of pitches too. On the one hand I like seeing a lot of foul balls because it makes for a good at bat and takes that many pitches away from the pitcher. On the other hand I'd rather see adjustments during an at bat. Rotational hitting provides 85 to 90% of the answers but there are certain rotational issues that have to be specifically addressed that really deal with pitch selection. For example, rotational hitters have to address the high pitch and the outside pitch. They address both pitches with early pitch recognition. Your son probably fouls the higher pitch more frequently. I have addressed this with my son by reminding him that his hands have to be higher than the ball and he has to recognize this early as the pitch is being released. Outside pitches I remind him to recognize the pitch early and get extended. The high pitch problem really disappears as they advance and age because umpires will call shoulder and letter high strikes at young ages but around 12 they start expecting pitchers to get it down. So when they are young I just tell him to get his hands higher than the ball. As he has advanced I've told him the letter high pitch really isn't a strike so let it go unless he has 2 strikes. Major league players really don't have to worry about the high pitch issue as the strike zone is only from the knees to the belly button. However, they have to deal with the outside pitch issue more as many umpires often give one baseball width outside the black on the plate.

Pulling more ground balls to the left side is almost always from prematurely rolling the wrists. Major league players frequently do this but the goal is to reduce the frequency and hit more line drives. There really is no way to eliminate this but only to reduce the frequency by recognizing the pitch and hit more line drives. What happens is the back hand palm (rear elbow palm) is in process of rolling over the front hand palm at contact with the baseball. This causes the bat head to lift up just a hair at contact and results in the batter hitting higher on the ball than intended. Two ways to eliminate this are wait just hair longer but the easiest way to address it is to remember to get the bat head around and have the rear elbow palm up to the sky at contact or facing anywhere from the pitchers waist height to the third basemens waist height. Once the wrist rolls over the bottom head wrist the bat head raises and a ground ball usually results.

Personally, I wouldn't address any of the issues I've mentioned to a 6 year old other than the standard watch the ball all the way from the pitchers hand and the rotational issues which you are already familiar with. About late 7 or 8 you might want to address recognizing the high pitch and having hands on top of the ball. At about 10 you should start addressing recognizing the outside pitch and getting rear elbow slot extended. I'd also get him used to throwing the ball a long way at this young age of 6. You can give him good flexibility and a strong arm with virtually no risk of injury. Arm flexibility is much easier to address at 6 or 7 than 11 or 12. Risk of arm injury starts increasing at 11 and peaks at 12 or 13 and continues at 14. The reason for this is the prepuberty arm length greatly increases and the shoulder joint is still lagging in growth. So you end up with a longer lever supported by an undeveloped shoulder or elbow joint.

He really should pull the inside and go opposite field.


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