baseball - abc's of training

Posted on 2011-09-04
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
when you want to learn baseball, what are the very basics that you should master before trying to hit hard (eye coordination etc)..  i mention eye because i notice -for most- it is hard to connect the bat to the ball even though the miss always seems close..

Question by:25112
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Accepted Solution

Anthony Russo earned 500 total points
ID: 36482126
Are you coaching a child, learning yourself, have familiarity with general team sports, etc.

A little more background on what you are trying to accomplish, and it would be much easier to apply some tips and basics.

My granddaughter is 7 years old and has been able to hit an underhanded ball with a bat for a few years now. Best rules I started her with is:

Eye on the ball all the way to hit the bat. WATCH IT HIT THE BAT!
Follow through ALL THE WAY with your swing.
Back elbow up to keep your swing level.

There's about a million more hitting tips but these 3 should get about anyone making contact. Then it's about me speeding the pitches to her a little at a time, and practice, practice, practice.


Author Comment

ID: 36482388
it is for a 7 year old boy learning it for the first time..

>>Eye on the ball all the way to hit the bat. WATCH IT HIT THE BAT!

do you mean not take the eye off the ball? what are some causes that the newbie may not be able to keep an eye on the ball? are they afraid sometimes that it will hit the head (they are playing with plastic ball and bat, still the fear of being hit is there and they are not able to keep the eye on the ball all the time)- any tips on how to encourage in that?

>>Follow through ALL THE WAY with your swing.

do you mean give it all your energy in the swing?
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Expert Comment

by:Anthony Russo
ID: 36482479
>>Eye on the ball all the way to hit the bat. WATCH IT HIT THE BAT!

Yes it is commonly referred to as keeping your eye on the ball. The natural tendency for a new hitter is to look where they are hitting the ball too soon. They lift their head in mid-swing looking to the outfield, or down the 3rd base line or wherever they believe they are trying to hit the ball. This is the leading reason to miss the ball, or foul it off instead of hitting it solid.

>>>>Follow through ALL THE WAY with your swing.
>>do you mean give it all your energy in the swing?

No. It's easy to swing as hard as you can. That though will make your swing erratic and not smooth and cause your bat to not smoothly go through the contact zone of when it hits the ball, so you get less of a hit. It's more important to swing smoothly with good force than swinging as hard as you can. You'll actually hit the ball further more often with most of your energy in a swing, rather than all of it.

A couple of other tips for working with a 7-year old:

--Short sessions while they are having fun is more important than long sessions when they aren't.

--Let them "run the bases" on the good contacts. for my granddaughter that means running around our backyard while I chase the ball and then chase her, (usually around the trampoline in our yard).

--End the session on a hit, never on a bunch of strikes (unless they are really un-motivated, then let it go).

--Fun is the #1 rule. Nobody is going to be good at something they don't have fun doing.

Keep me updated on progress. Glad to keep helping out.


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Author Comment

ID: 36489118

OK- I am following you.. we just had a session with your point #1 (short & fun one).

is "WATCH IT HIT THE BAT!" the same as "Follow through ALL THE WAY with your swing."- if not, what is latter mean?

"Back elbow up to keep your swing level." Just means you have the bat up in the air, ready to go, right?

"run the bases" on the good contacts - you are referring to warm up with good shoes?

i am new to the game too- can you briefly tell what is basic difference between hit and strike?
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Assisted Solution

by:Anthony Russo
Anthony Russo earned 500 total points
ID: 36490425
Glad you had a good fun session.

No, the two terms are different things. Watching the ball hit the bat is about keeping your head down and hitting the ball solidly. You lessen your chance to hit if you aren't looking at it. If you try to pitch with your eyes closed or looking the other direction it wont be as good a pitch either.

Following through is about making a good hit go further. when you try to stop your swing too soon to run, then you lessen the impact on the ball. Follow all the way through makes for a better hit.

No. Back elbow up means the elbow that is further away from the pitcher should be raised so your back arm is parallel to the ground. This will help your swing be level as opposed to 'dropping the head of the bat' as you swing which causes you to foul off more.

"Run the bases" is no other reason than it is fun for a child to run around, and especially when an adult is playfully chasing them. Also it is what they see the pros do on TV so they want to do it too. It wont help them hit, ,but it will help them have fun, which helps them practice longer.

Hit is when you make contact with the ball and put it in play. You hit the ball.

A strike is when you swing and miss, or a pitch is in the strike zone (over the plate and between knees and shoulders) that you should have swung out but didn't. Three strikes and you are out, and your At-bat is over, but that is game only and not during practice.

Good baseball info for you possibly:

Author Comment

ID: 36490789
this is so helpful to know the terms and now playing will be different.. the resource looks good- getting it.

thanks for sharing Anthony- i can see it is your passions and proud of you that you are passing it your granddaught and also setting a great example/model to her.
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Expert Comment

by:Anthony Russo
ID: 36499163
Baseball is a great bonding sport. I did it with my kids and now grandkids.

Have fun.

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