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  • 10u Batting Practice

    My son is in his 2nd season of 10u kid pitch. His swing mechanics have improved significantly since we started lessons. However, it hasn’t translated to game success.

    My hypothesis is that the batting practice is all short distance under and over hand toss. In this enviro environment he’s a beast. When he sees a 45’ pitch he swings late regardless of velocity, which led to my theory that the short distance requires immediate reaction vs the mound distance that requires him to decide when to move.

    i pulled the 8u sling out the other day and he couldn’t hit anything after being a very consistent hitter just a 2 seasons ago, which seemed to confirm my hypothesis.

    im considering prioritizing full distance with a sling or machine over shorter from an arm.

    is this rational? Anyone else experienced this?

  • #2
    It makes sense to me.
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    • #3
      Full distance with a live arm would be even better.

      The problem is timing, but timing off of a machine isn't the same as timing off of a person.

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      • #4
        It could all be a timing issue, but I would assume that lessons would be clearing that up. So I am going to make this next suggestion with kid gloves.

        You might want to have his eyes checked. I had a kid that exhibited many of the things you are talking about, soft toss, close pitching, tee work killed the ball and from full distance struggled once kids were pitching. I suggested having him checked and the mother came back to me saying that the doctor figured out that he had an eye problem that effected the speed at which his eyes adjusted.

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        • #5
          I think you have to do many different types of batting practice with kids for full effect (tee, soft toss, front toss, shorter bp, and full length). What I did often did with my kids was to buy inexpensive skillz balls (they are yellow with seams). If you threw them in a four-seam grip, they often will fly like a baseball without breaking anything if they hit them. Obviously, going to a field is best, but this is a good way to make it work at a park or if you have a big enough backyard, there.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by bman52 View Post
            It could all be a timing issue, but I would assume that lessons would be clearing that up. So I am going to make this next suggestion with kid gloves.

            You might want to have his eyes checked. I had a kid that exhibited many of the things you are talking about, soft toss, close pitching, tee work killed the ball and from full distance struggled once kids were pitching. I suggested having him checked and the mother came back to me saying that the doctor figured out that he had an eye problem that effected the speed at which his eyes adjusted.
            Something i'll look into. We did some vision therapy with him a year or so ago and he wears reading glasses, so that certainly isn't out of the question.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Viking0 View Post
              I think you have to do many different types of batting practice with kids for full effect (tee, soft toss, front toss, shorter bp, and full length). What I did often did with my kids was to buy inexpensive skillz balls (they are yellow with seams). If you threw them in a four-seam grip, they often will fly like a baseball without breaking anything if they hit them. Obviously, going to a field is best, but this is a good way to make it work at a park or if you have a big enough backyard, there.
              We're lucky enough to have a 50' batting cage in our backyard, so we can work any of the drills. His dad (me) lacks accuracy which is the only hang up to the full length arm.

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              • #8
                I remember asking this question when my son was younger - asking how to tell a kid when to swing. One of the board members offered something to the effect of - Imagine a circle about halfway from the pitcher to the plate. When the ball gets in that circle, swing. If you are early or late on the swing, shift the circle earlier or later. That helped my son start to develop his own sense of timing.

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                • #9
                  My son also plays 10U KP. I can say we do short distance overhand front toss several times a week. I feel this helps him time velocity. I'm not throwing maybe 30 mph, but from 15/20 feet that is pretty fast. We then back it up to the normal 46 feet for 10U and do BP there. Now that the season started we also hit live Kid pitch twice a week, roughly 5-6 at bats each time. We work off faster pitchers and slower pitchers, so he is not always seeing the same speed and can learn on his own to make the timing adjustments.
                  Instagram: gavin_thereal34

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by forkliftgator View Post

                    We're lucky enough to have a 50' batting cage in our backyard, so we can work any of the drills. His dad (me) lacks accuracy which is the only hang up to the full length arm.
                    Wow, that is nice to have. For your accuracy, it comes with time (trust me). I have found that both of us (hitter and dad pitcher) improve greatly throughout the season. My slider is now even respectable. One thing I'd suggest is to throw him a lot of different types of pitches. Also, I try and do games with real consequences while doing BP to mimic game situations. For instance, when we can get on a field, I give him a hit or an out based on where the ball goes (also, I try and strike him out). Each 'inning', my 'team' scores one run, and I do my best to get him out. The consequences can be whatever you like (ice cream, etc.). We also make it fun by allowing him to have two 'fast runners' on his 'team of 9', and allow him to call 'error' once every two innings on a batted ball. Sometimes, he gets a little bit worked up when I call 'out', and he argues "no way an outfielder would have run that down". If he argues too much, I kick that 'player' out of the game, making him have an out every other time at bat, lol.

                    However, it also just takes time. At the beginning of every season, my kid seems to have timing issues as well. It usually is due to him being too amped up, and needing to relax a little bit. After 10-20 AB, he starts to settle down, and the extra work he puts in starts to show. Some kids seem to do well early in the season (often pitching isn't too sharp then either), but then start to fall off as the season progresses (and pitching gets better too). Just keep working on it, and remember that slumps will always be a part of baseball.

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                    • #11
                      When I watch 10U and under games, the hitters always start late. They wait until they think the ball is a strike, before they BEGIN their stride. Then, it's too late.

                      You must begin the stride as/near the pitcher releases the ball. The front foot must be down when the ball is halfway to the plate. Then the swing with the arms/bathead begins.

                      To fix, simply hold the ball randomly in the cage. Tell them, and make them, move on every single pitch. Every. Single. Pitch. Watch a few games, and you'll notice kids that have not moved at all after the pitch is over.
                      efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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                      • #12
                        Tee and soft toss is good to groove a swing but doesnt help timing. I agree with normal distance practice for timing. Most young kids cant separate the two and develop timing with short front or side toss. It helps them to see the ball from distance at normal speeds. They should time the ball, not the pitcher.
                        Never played baseball, just a dad of someone that loves to play. So take any advice I post with a grain of salt.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by forkliftgator View Post

                          We're lucky enough to have a 50' batting cage in our backyard, so we can work any of the drills. His dad (me) lacks accuracy which is the only hang up to the full length arm.
                          Do you have anything hanging on the cage wall behind the plate? Give yourself a visual target (clip a square of coloured cloth) and you’ll become more consistent.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Rocketsan22 View Post

                            Do you have anything hanging on the cage wall behind the plate? Give yourself a visual target (clip a square of coloured cloth) and you’ll become more consistent.


                            This! I have to have a visual if I'm going to be anywhere close to throwing a strike.

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                            • #15
                              You have to throw to them from the mound. Which means you are going to have to practice your throwing so you can pitch to him. My kids batting average is directly related to how many balls I throw him in any given week. Of course the eye thing is potentially a problem too. Regardless your going to need to learn how to throw quality BP.

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