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Teaching HS kids a new way of hitting

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  • Teaching HS kids a new way of hitting

    Hi, we started try outs this week where I am the varsity asst coach. I have been coaching at this school for a while so I know many of the 10th-12th graders. As the kids have been hitting I noticed that all of them 100% of them don't use their lower half well at all. Many of the don't stay connected. I have watched Yeager's videos and feel he does a great job of breaking the pro swing down. I am the hitting coach for the team and my questio is where would you start with these kids? All of them do hips before hands or at best hands and hips together. I think the walk up drill would benefit them all as well as the helmet drill(put the helmet behind the back foot) as none of them get off the back foot well at all. Plus many of them swing down through the ball instead of level or slightly upward.
    The problem is I just learned all this great info over last summer and fall into this year. Previously, I didn't know nearly as much as I thought. I feel now I have a pretty good understanding on the Yeager style and feel it is the best swing even for HS kids.
    So, where do I start and how would you go about teaching these kids the pro style of hitting?? One of my fears is to try to do too much too soon and totally overload these kids. I want to help them be the best hitters they can be this year and for future years.

    Thank you,

    Coach W

  • #2
    Originally posted by skipper5
    I don't know that it's realistic or reasonable to do much more than minor tweaks of their swings. If they're somehow putting the ball in play hard, I wouldn't change anything know matter how ugly the swing is. These kids have been swinging this way for 8 years now--that's a lot of muscle memory.

    It depends on the child,

    drill
    Yogi Berra was asked by a reporter "How do you catch a knuckle ball?" He came right back and said "When it stops rolling"

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    • #3
      Yes it does. I've seen remarkable improvements in college age kids in days to weeks. I've seen others still struggling to change and improve after years. What is their productivity now and how high do they want to play? If they are hitting well enough to meet their goals right now and don't plan to play in college, what are you trying to accomplish?

      Leave the 1 through 6 hitters alone till you get the 7 and below hitters to pass them up would be my suggestion. If you accomplish that, then you may know what you are doing, you won't have ticked off the head coach by messing with the top and middle of the order hitters and you will have a lot of credibility established with the players. If you can't accomplish that, then maybe you don't need to be messing with the top 6 hitters.

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      • #4
        W,
        If you go into the new with the better hitters and it doesn't work out as hoped, you may have no lineup at all going into the season. Plus top of the order don't accept the help until they see it work somewhere else. It's wasted time and lots of it until they do.

        They're hungrier, more ambitious and open at the bottom of the order and the bench; and you prove things together. Find a few who crave the help, the worst ones FIRST and concentrate there. If it and you are good it's obvious and sells the others, studs and all, and they ask for the attention. And you won't have to chase them down.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by CoachW View Post
          I am the hitting coach for the team and my questio is where would you start with these kids?
          1. Stop doing things that encourage disconnection. That means abandoning cues like "take the hands to the ball" and making sure all batting tees are set at the heel of the front foot (and not out in front of the front foot).

          2. Try to cue "start the swing with your hips". I have a 13U with a dead lower body (but huge upper body). That has helped him some.

          3. Make sure that their posture at set-up is good (e.g. feet apart, knees bent, and butt out).
          Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

          I also work with the pitchers who are dealing with injury problems.

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          • #6
            All great advise, but if you want to take these kids to antother level you have show them what they are leaving on the table. If you don't show it to them they cannot even begin to understand what your trying to help them learn. video a couple of the swings, put all the kids in a room and show them a MLB swing and their swing. Then the ones that want to iprove will ask for help, the others you will still have the visual and maybe you can make some ground.

            I can change a kid in 7 days, I did it last year to a couple kids prior to season, 1 ended up leading her league in hitting(not just her team, but her league). She was a freshman as well.

            Cally

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