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Re: Hitting Issue- Weak grounders, pop ups

Posted by: Bill Stevenson (wwstevenson@hotmail.com) on Fri Jun 26 16:28:15 2009

Look Matt, somebody sold the �Rotational Hitting" vocabulary to millions of dads and it all is unfortunately backed up with videos of Bonds, Pujols, Bagwell and Griffey hitting skyscrapers. However, remember these guys are big, strong and powerful. They have mastered the swing and hit high long fly balls with bat speed and strength.

I suggest:
Work on bat speed by taking quick swings. High long fly balls for a 14 year old can be an out or just a mishandled fielding error by the weak outfielder. I teach hitting line drives, bat control and getting into a load position. Quick toss inside, middle and away. Hitting homeruns comes with hitting balls they first recognize, staying on plane and getting extension and time. To me, staying back means not coming forward on off speed pitches or keeping your hands back. Watch how he takes pitches. Does he stay back? Does he keep his weight from coming over his front side? Does he track or recognize the pitch and keep his hands back. Does he pick up and put down his front foot without loses his backside integrity?
Take a look at his load. In a load", it helped me to turn in my front knee towards the catcher and touch my shoulder to my chin. My hands don�t physically move, they move into the load as I "coil" (an old term). Have him swing a heavy bat at the house, working on staying level. Can he play pepper? Pepper helps with bat control and hand-eye. Have him concentrate on hitting the top half (pound it in the ground), middle (line drive) and the lower half (with out swinging up). Check out his pitch selection and make sure he studies pitchers.

The future Hall-of Famers I mentioned look for pitches that they can offer a ferocious but quick swing; they maintain balance and try to get extension. They are aware of hitting strikes and recognizing the pitch. I would be careful of addressing the word rotating especially when explaining hitting a pitch the other way. For that matter, expressing to lead the knob of the bat could cause guiding and/or causing him to get hammed. Matt, think of an inside fastball; to pull it, wouldn't you want your knob to be pulled through inside the ball and go severely towards 3rd base (righty) or towards 1st if a (lefty), always staying inside the ball with a strong firm top-hand, right?
Try putting him in a balanced stance, with his weight on his inside back foot, hands off his back shoulder with bat held light in his hands (make sure the hand are holding the bat correctly) and kept the bat more vertical opposed to pointing to the dugout and elbows out. Get a soft load and strike like a snake, always looking in that imaginary strike zone. Teach him the hitting counts. 0-0 first pitches down the middle, 2-0 and 3-1 great times to hit for a 14 year old. Visualizes and don't give up on curves. Have him step in the box to do damage. And don't mope or walk if he is unsuccessful.

I love to talk baseball and have many tips about hitting, catching, pitching or coaching.


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