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  • Train a switch hitter

    We have a talented 8yr old player on our team, throws left bats right. Hes a power hitter, one of our best players. (Come to think of it we had a similar kid in the fall). I think he'd be good candidate to switch hit. And even focus on batting left. Any suggestions on teaching lefthanded hitting to a righty? Planning on starting with tee and then soft toss.

  • #2
    Originally posted by JohnDoe View Post
    We have a talented 8yr old player on our team, throws left bats right. Hes a power hitter, one of our best players. (Come to think of it we had a similar kid in the fall). I think he'd be good candidate to switch hit. And even focus on batting left. Any suggestions on teaching lefthanded hitting to a righty? Planning on starting with tee and then soft toss.
    Why? if he rakes righty, why change?

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    • #3
      Not a big fan of switching but why not make him hit left the next time?

      My opinion is if it comes naturally go for it but if it is a lot of work drop it again. Some people are just quick learners and naturally talented from both sides and for them switching is good.

      But if learning new moves generally is a PITA with him and he looks uncoordinated don't waste the effort.
      I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

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      • #4
        He seems talented enough to swing left, and he already throws left. I think at age 8 it would be easier to learn, plus theres less pressure, half the kids dont hit well so he wouldnt be behind. From a development future batting left or switch would be sought after. Give the kid all the advantages you can...

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        • #5
          “Talented” is a very relative term for an 8yo. He has a long way to go and a lot of practice before he’s even a competent high school player. Switch hitting is twice the effort. He rakes right handed (once again relative to 8yo) and you want to change him? The first rule of coaching is, DO NO DAMAGE.

          Since he may be naturally left handed if you’re going to turn him into a left handed hitter make him stay on the left side. Everyone I know who was L/R didn’t stick with left handed hitting long enough to succeed. They lacked the patience to learn to hit left handed when they were already competent right handed.
          Last edited by JettSixty; 02-11-2019, 11:15 AM.

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          • #6
            Switching has to be fun. A good way to learn to hit from the other side is in whiffle ball games, or other fun baseball activities.

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            • #7
              Not talking about the OP, but if a person thinks they are a hitting guru, teaching a kid (or yourself) to hit oppo is the best way to bust it or make it.

              What happens when you teach oppo, is that the person literally does exactly what you tell them. Most baseball instruction is wrong, so it's very, very difficult.

              An easy start would be:
              1. Line up the rings for the grip
              2. Stance, just back heel on the ground, and both toes pointed straight at the plate (dont worry about much else)
              3. In a mirror, coil shoulders/hips inward 45 deg while striding the back leg forward, until landing
              4. Then add in horizontal rear forearm by toe touch

              Then do these on a tee, then graduate to doing 1-4 via front toss. (I think most side toss generally prevents/inhibits coiling)
              Last edited by songtitle; 02-11-2019, 05:06 PM.
              efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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              • #8
                If he's a lefty thrower, that likely means he's a natural LH batter. Who started him swinging righty? I would switch the kid immediately. He's 8 years old. I would have him hit off the tee, take extra BP, go do soft toss in the yard. Everything is LH for a month. Then if in a game he sees a LHP, he can hop over to the right side, but I would train him LH and frankly keep him there. A Switch is going to be on the left side of the plate 85% of the time. There isn't really any reason a natural lefty should switch hit.

                I'd find an old school Epstein instructor and take the kid through the 7 day program as a LH. Go from there. Keep swinging LH a lot more than righty. He will be ticked for a bit that he doesn't have as much power. Keep swinging from that side.

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                • #9
                  FWIW, I can't speak for other areas, but around here switch-hitting is virtually non-existent in HS baseball.
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                  • #10
                    Uncoach, im with you on this, im gonna dig a little deeper at practice tonight and Find out from the player why he hits right instead. Truly not concerned about switch hitting, i just believe he should try going left if he can and better to convert now instead of later.

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                    • #11
                      I asked a few questions tonight. He writes LH, throws LH. He used to swing both ways in teeball but last year when he moved up that coach decided that because he hit better righty he should stick righty...i disagree with that. We did softtoss, he's rusty from the left but its still there. He doesnt have the weight transfer he has from the right but he makes good contact. We ll work a little more with it in the cage next time

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JohnDoe View Post
                        I asked a few questions tonight. He writes LH, throws LH. He used to swing both ways in teeball but last year when he moved up that coach decided that because he hit better righty he should stick righty...i disagree with that. We did softtoss, he's rusty from the left but its still there. He doesnt have the weight transfer he has from the right but he makes good contact. We ll work a little more with it in the cage next time
                        Yes. He's a LH naturally. He will get that weight transfer improved as he keeps getting more swings in. Great job of paying attention to details, JohnDoe. That's good coaching.

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                        • #13
                          My 9 year old hits both ways. He’s right handed with everything else, and he has slightly more power from the right side. But he’s a good hitter either way. He’s just hesitant to hit lefty in games because he thinks he’s better righty. Should I be encouraging him to hit more lefty? I know there’s no advantage now, but is there an advantage to switch hitting or just hitting lefty as he gets older?
                          Last edited by Joecancer; 02-14-2019, 08:16 AM.

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                          • #14
                            "is there an advantage to switch hitting or just hitting lefty as he gets older?"

                            When a kid gets to HS age there is so much pressure just to make the HS team, and then actually start, that many just focus on their best side.You would have to be a sure starter just to get enough at bats to switch.
                            efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by songtitle View Post
                              "is there an advantage to switch hitting or just hitting lefty as he gets older?"

                              When a kid gets to HS age there is so much pressure just to make the HS team, and then actually start, that many just focus on their best side.You would have to be a sure starter just to get enough at bats to switch.
                              Also, if you tell your HS coach that you're a switch-hitter, it will generate skepticism and set the bar higher.

                              It's similar to when your 55mph LL pitcher says, "Coach, wait until you see my cutter!"
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