Re: swinging too early
> My son is 9 years old in his first year of coach pitch. He has been a very good baseball player until his last 4 games in which he has struck out 6 of his last 8 at bats. He is very relaxed at the plate, confident and has is not afraid of the ball (He has been hit alot, I am a terrible pitcher). The bulk of his problem is that he swings the way too early. He usually gets behind on the count because he fouls down 3rd. He has excellent bat speed, He has a 18oz 29" bat that he has been using the past two years. I even thought about getting him a heavier bat to slow up his speed. Lately we have been working in the cage alot. I think that this may mess with his game timing because of the shorter distance. What advice can you give me and what drills do you suggest that I do?
Several reasons have been listed in some excellent responses to this thread. Pitching BP to your son on a field at game distance is probably the best recommendation I've read. Throughout baseball at all levels and ages you see what I call cage monsters. These are people that can crush the ball in the cage but don't perform on the field. Unfortunately, with so many of todays kids growing up in cages they don't hit well on the field. You cannot grow as a hitter in a cage. You can develop a good swing and probably some good batspeed. Cages besides having the short distance also place the hitter at another distinct disadvantage and that is seeing the ball. All cage netting is black and the spatial depth perception and sharpness of the white ball against the black netting is completely unrealistic. Hitting on a field provides natural colors and realistic depth perception. Both of these make it harder to see the ball. So the field hitting should not only improve your hitters timing but really help with seeing the ball. Probably best to work in the cage and on the field. Field hitters also strive much more to hit the ball harder because they get immediate feedback on a field when they make a weak hit. All hits look good in a cage. Maybe finding a white netted or very light grey batting cage will help. Good luck.
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