> Just had a question for you.
> My son is in little league (Majors) and he is 9 years old. He starts at second, but plays just about everywhere. He bats cleanup amongst 12 year olds, three are All-stars. He regularly HITS 75 mph pitching, not just gets around on it, hits it. We've played about 19 games and I'd say he struck out about 5 - 6 times total so far. Always seems to put the ball in play or walk. It's funny because he's average size (54" tall 75 lbs), smallest on the team more due to age I think. hasn't done it in a game yet, but has hit it over the fence at 200ft. He hits more line drives than elevated shots.
> He actually draws a crowd in the cages and get a lot of praise from the High School coaches.
> Hitting coach at the High School said "that kid is baseball"
> I just want to see if you've run across a lot of kids that can hit at this level.
> Judging by this if you can, do you have any drills that I can work with him on for adjusting to a drop off on his AAU team. They throw a lot slower and he seems to have a hard time waiting on the ball. I tell him to try and pluck it out of the air. He still get his hits but you can tell he's a little off balance.
> The most important thing is he loves it and I just want to give him every chance to get better.
> thanks a bunch.
> Have a great day!
I have a kid like that and they are rare.
Kids like that have major league reflexes but there is so much more to baseball than this. You've got attitude, work ethic, running speed, throwing strength, love of the game, baseball running hitting and fielding smarts. The other problem is they will step up to the plate and shine against very good pitchers but look just better than average against normal pitchers. I would say the biggest challenge with a talented hitter is to maintain high level focus and concentration against all types of pitchers and pitches. This is mental and you have to figure out how to get your kid to focus in all situations and make adjustments because obviously he has a good swing and power so we are left with the mental aspects of hitting. This takes a lot of experience and guidance and a drill won't really do it because he is going to be facing two types of pitching so he has to adjust. A nine year old is going to take time learning to adjust and you really have to emphasise pitch recognition (speed, location, type of pitch) first and staying back on the ball. I teach my son that pitch recognition comes on the back weight shift or load motion. Fastball is recognized and the motion weight shift goes forward. Breaking or offspeed recognized and you slow down the rear weight shift or extend the time in the weight shift backward then come forward. When we take BP we always work fast speed first then slow the BP speed down. The hardest adjustment for a hitter to make is to slow down. It is easy to speed up. The hitter doesn't like the slow down process but I expect to see the slow down adjustment fairly quick and expect to see the hitter staying back.
Then you have aggressiveness. Players can get sidetracked with mechanics in the batters box. Hitting is about crushing the ball so you want him to maintain aggressiveness always. Young kids have to understand the difference between working in BP and smoking the ball in a game. BP is about thinking and developing instincts. Games are about good hitting habits and instincts.
The best thing you can do for him over the years is to make sure he understands why he hits the ball hard and it is because of the torque and rotational mechanics taught on this web site. Then you can get him over the years to understand the mental aspects of being a good hitter. Waiting for pitches you can hit and getting the pitcher behind in the count so you get better pitches to hit.
Last, is to keep unknowledgeable coaches from interfering with bad hitting instruction. They can come from the most elite and respectable baseball organizations in the country.
Keep your communication simple and consistent through the years. Read Ted Williams book, Charlie Laus book, Mike Schmidt, Cal Ripkens youth baseball book. They all have a little bit of positive information and some really bad hitting information. When it comes to power stick with this web site and make sure your son understands tht and bht, slotting the rear elbow, and rotating.
Don't spend too much time in the cages and hit on the fields when able. Don't do too much tee work or too much pitching machine work. You really need a balance over time between tee, pitching machine, soft toss, live pitching. Your really trying to increase his mental database of pitches, locations, etc. It all starts with pitch recognition and an extensive mental database.
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