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11 year old Not hitting.

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  • 11 year old Not hitting.

    Hello everyone. My son had been playing baseball since he’s 4. He’s always had trouble making contact and driving the ball. He strikes out a lot and when he does make contact it’s usually weak contact. He goes to a hitting instructor but this is his third one. I shared a few videos. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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          • #6
            Let me first start off by saying that I'm not a hitting expert or instructor. There are several on here and I'm sure they will chime in throughout the day. I'm just a regular 9 to 5 dad with a kid who loves baseball.

            I see a few things from your videos.

            1. He is shifting too much weight back on his rear leg. Not sure if that is what he is being taught, but it looks has though his weight is getting out over his back leg. Look at his upper body and it looks to me like it's back past his back foot and then has to reach with his front leg. You should stride with your back leg. He needs to load on the inside part of the back leg. There shouldn't be a big weight shift back IMO.

            2. Bat Drag.

            3. Weak at the point of contact. He gets to contact and keeps slicing across the ball rather than barrel through the baseball.
            Last edited by coachrjb; 07-11-2019, 06:31 AM.
            Instagram: gavin_thereal34

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            • #7
              I see in the last video he is REALLY trying hard to make contact with bat and ball. Just like pitching the worst thing you can do for throwing strikes is to try REALLY hard to throw a strike. Once he makes contact it appear to me his mentality is that his job is done nothing futher to do.

              I am no hitting guru. However I would have him try and swing harder and swing through the ball not to the ball. I would like to see him swing whiffle bats and different sizes and lengths of pvc pipe at whiffle balls both small (golf ball) and big (baseball). Lots and lots of reps of that. Cue him to swing through the ball and hit it very hard. The body will learn to naturally react to hitting.

              It may seem counter intuitive and I could be completely wrong, but my guess is that both you and he understand he's having trouble making contact so you're focused a LOT on just making contact (naturally) and that focus on making contact is actually detrimental mentally and physical.


              Edit: watched the 2nd to last video and the main problem there is he swung at a ball. One of the BIGGEST issues for 9-12 year old hitters is pitch selection. When he is doing any kind of BP do not EVER let him swing at a ball. Focusing on just swinging at strikes is still too big of an area. He needs to recognize pitches which he can hit with authority and ONLY swing at those in practice. You can do a 2 strike approach where he has to expand to the full strike zone, but I would focus heavily on pitch selection.

              if you do that, you are likely to see him start being very late on strikes (this is natural) because he is waiting too long to decide if the pitch is perfect or not. In my mind this is progress because he's being selective. if he is starting to be late but he's late on good pitches you then work on pulling the trigger early. What I see is they are NOT late in BP but are late in games. They expect the coaches to throw strikes and are ready for them, in a game it's the opposite. So they need to take the cage approach (if in the cage they lay of bad pitches) to the game.

              it's also important that coaches not just pipe strikes all day, they need to move the ball around and throw pitches to get kids to chase.
              Last edited by andre8; 07-11-2019, 06:42 AM.

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              • #8
                He also needs to finish his swing. He's giving up so much of his power when he does make contact by not swinging all the way through. Have him hit some heavy balls to get the feel for swining through.

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                • #9
                  I'm at work and just wanted to do a quick look but more or less just expanding what's here.

                  On that last video, he gets into that rear leg, which is great if it wasn't for the fact he looks ready to fall over and swing for the sky. He needs to have a small forward move or a very good no-stride approach which is difficult to teach.. I'm not saying lunging, but every hitter I've seen that's successful has a move forward, small or large but said move needs to be controlled and relaxed. He can still be in the rear leg without over-doing it. Yelich below is my personal threshold of how far to stride forward and see if it helps clear his hands.



                  Secondly, at contact, he just rolls over to the side as if it's over. Every hitter swings THROUGH the ball. Not at the ball. If it helps, teach him a one hand drill with the bottom hand swinging the bat like a racket. Choke up if needed for control and tell him to swing and go through to the pitcher without breaking the wrist. Cue Federer and his backhand would be similar to a swing for a left handed batter since the right hand is the bottom hand. Mcenroe would be for a right handed batter. The top hand will always finish in front at extension but it should be doing that at follow through and a second after contact, not immediately when contact happens.




                  Lastly, the issue I see is bat drag, which could be a case of letting his hands drift back. The only trick I have is thinking of his upper body as one unit and not moving separate. So when he's turning to hit the ball, he's not letting his hands go back but rather be identical to the rest of the body in terms of position. I'll use Gary Sanchez who might have a bit of movement but he never lets his hands get far back and lets them move together as a unit through every aspect of the turn. They work together, not separate actions synced up to make a collision.

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                  • #10
                    There are some flaws in his swing, he loads by just leaning back the upper body, rolls over and doesn't finish the swing and some other stuff but the biggest problem is he has no intent. He should want to hammer the ball but he just goes through the motions swatting weakly at the ball. Does he like baseball?

                    This is not meant as a critique but if a kid after a a certain age looks like he is going through the motions baseball might just not be his thing. How is his defense and throwing?

                    he can get better but it would be a lot of work both mechanically and physically. Does he Want that?
                    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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                    • #11
                      I think his biggest issue is this: he’s not processing ball location, evidenced by the fact his face is still directed at where the ball came from throughout his swing. Look at where Yelich and Sanchez direct their vision right before and during contact.

                      I would be happy to elaborate if anyone is interested. Changing his mechanics won’t be the difference maker. He’s on his third instructor.

                      Edit to expand on an Andre8 comment: one of my new favorite drills is adapted from Doug Latta, with a nod to Kevin G: using the pitched ball as a metronome, where the goal is not to hit the ball- but it’s fine if you do. The goal is to get the best swing with the best vision on the ball, on time. He appears mostly on time, so the vision variable and swing variable are what to work on. I’m in the camp of not stress testing a swing with velocity, as Kevin G. says, because the mechanics and vision break down, then the swing breaks down.
                      Last edited by Nib; 07-11-2019, 10:48 AM.

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                      • #12
                        posey-coil-stride-catcher-view.gif
                        You need to start over with the lower body. As others have said, he goes back over his back leg, then he opens his hips. He's dead after that.

                        How to fix:
                        Get in front of a mirror and take your stride, and hold a 45 degree inward coil (hip and shoulder) until landing. Do this for a few days until you get the hang of it.

                        You don't need to try to 'sit' or 'set' or 'crimp' your hip, or pick your front hip up in the air, or have a certain leg kick, just rotate your torso - it's simple.

                        Make sure you are striding forward using your back leg, not the front, until the neck or belly button is 8-12 inches past his back foot.

                        Tip: Keep the back heel on the ground as you stride using the back leg. It makes no difference whether or not you do a leg kick, although it's usually easier if you pick the front knee up to hip level. Try not to turn your front knee over until toe touch.

                        You and he can learn this in a few days. You don't need an instructor.
                        efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Nib View Post
                          I think his biggest issue is this: he’s not processing ball location, evidenced by the fact his face is still directed at where the ball came from throughout his swing. Look at where Yelich and Sanchez direct their vision right before and during contact.

                          I would be happy to elaborate if anyone is interested. Changing his mechanics won’t be the difference maker. He’s on his third instructor.

                          Edit to expand on an Andre8 comment: one of my new favorite drills is adapted from Doug Latta, with a nod to Kevin G: using the pitched ball as a metronome, where the goal is not to hit the ball- but it’s fine if you do. The goal is to get the best swing with the best vision on the ball, on time. He appears mostly on time, so the vision variable and swing variable are what to work on. I’m in the camp of not stress testing a swing with velocity, as Kevin G. says, because the mechanics and vision break down, then the swing breaks down.
                          Do you have a link to this drill (apologizes if I missed it in the other thread, it's over 300 posts).

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by stranded1 View Post

                            Do you have a link to this drill (apologizes if I missed it in the other thread, it's over 300 posts).
                            To do a quick TLDR; it's about the hitter getting in rhythm and having their own internal timing system/mechanic and not based on just being faster. There's a video from Jose Bautista saying to start slower and earlier instead of rushing.

                            A perfect example by using me is that I felt rushed as a RHH but not as a LHH. I didn't realize but before the ball comes at the cage, I was getting into a stride and ready for the ball with nearly a second of anticipation and ready to hit.

                            When I applied that as a rhh, where I was able to relax, and be ready before it's time to swing, the swing was effortless and crushed the ball unlike I ever did before. The hitter should feel cool and not rushed at all and high velocity cages can mess that internal rhythm.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by stranded1 View Post

                              Do you have a link to this drill (apologizes if I missed it in the other thread, it's over 300 posts).
                              No link, sorry. I'll see what I can come up with. Point being: adjust your timing, not your swing. "No panic swings".


                              Related tangential: Doug Latta talks about chaos being something in the hitter's mind, not anything external. When they hit at the Ballyard, they "give a verbal", "go", which means load and initiate forward move. This is given before the release of the front toss, or dropping ball in the pitching machine. Related to MudV and Modal94 reference to loading early.

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