Re: Hands out front
> My 9 year old son is considered a good hitter, good power, great hand eye coordination. Lately he has been geting out in front with his hands and hitting too many ground balls. I know there are many different things to look at but what is the the most consistant reason for this and how do you fix it.
I'm not sure if you bought the DVD on this site but this is how I began to understand the rotational aspect of hitting. From there you can go to still Internet pictures of great hitters making contact and notice every aspect of their body position from the feet up. After this read some of the other well known hitting books and see what they have to say about hitting. Just stick to the rotational and make sure that you and your son understand THT, BHT, rear elbow slot, and rotation as taught here. Take it slow because these things take a while (a year or two) for a kid to understand and eventually burn into muscle memory. This has worked extremely well for me and my son.
Hitting the heavy bag as mentioned in the Jack Mankin video is very good and hitting the ball off the tee and up the middle or to right center for a right handed hitted works as well.
Ground balls to the left side are usually the result of hitting the outside of the baseball (right handed hitter) so to fix you teach hitting the middle of the ball which will translate into more balls up the middle. Ground balls in general are the top hand wrist rolling over the bottom hand prematurely at contact with the ball or hitting the baseball too high on the ball or swinging level with the ground as opposed to swinging level with the plane of the pitch. Because the plane of the incoming pitch is so exagerated and downward sloping at 9 you really can't tell if he is hitting too high on the ball or not. Most of the time they are not on plane because the slope of the pitch is too great. At 9 I would be working on hitting the ball hard up the middle ground ball or in the air. On tee work and soft toss, I would stress line drives up the middle. Nine year old pitching is just too unpredictable other than to stress hitting it hard up the middle for a kid that is pulling the ball too much.
As a general rule, creating correct muscle memory is how problems are corrected so it is easier to fix swing mechanics on the tee, with a heavy bag, and some soft toss. Correcting swing mechanics on the pitch is harder with kids because their concentration is focused on the ball and they tend to forget during the swing.
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