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Drills to help with timing?

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  • Drills to help with timing?

    I'm hoping you guys can give me a little help here....

    I have a player on my little league team with a beautiful swing. He's 11 years old, and at this point there is nothing I would change. When he gets hold of a ball he can crush it. Nice quick hands, great rotation, good lower body, Its just a really pretty, high level swing for this age group.

    Here is his problem: He cannot establish any sort of timing. The slower the pitcher throws, the worse his swing. He cannot stay back. The harder the pitcher throws, the better the swing. He plays 12U club ball and the harder the pitcher throws the better he hits. But even with hard throwing pitchers, he will get a lot of strikeouts by being out in front, or make out by hitting the ball off the end of the bat. For a big strong athletic kid with a very fundamentally sound swing, he does not get a lot of hits due to this problem.

    I've worked with him in batting practice, doing softoss, throwing him BP from maybe 15-20 feet out and varying the speeds of my toss from slow to fast trying to get him to trust his hands and get him to stay back on the ball. Its working great in practice, not so much in live games.

    I really want to help this kid out so any advice or pointers, any drills that will help him, is more than appreciated.

    Thanks-

    John

  • #2
    geta dozen or 2 of the little wiffle golf balls....throw him a few rounds tell him to try to hit the ball right back up the middle or to right field dont pull it as much.....for me this helps me to sick back instantly....ive been doing this drill for years whenever i feel myself way out in front everything
    "If you want to succeed you need to eat drink breathe and bleed baseball"

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    • #3
      Before going into my spiel I have just one question for you: Does this guy stride on every pitch, or only when he swings?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by virg View Post
        Before going into my spiel I have just one question for you: Does this guy stride on every pitch, or only when he swings?
        Its a very short, compact "stride"...More along the lines of establishing momentum, maybe 4 inches at max from where he picks it up to where he puts it down.

        And he gets there on every pitch whether he swings or not.
        Last edited by BleacherCreature; 04-05-2008, 03:05 PM.

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        • #5
          Go to the slowest cage and have him work on wait wait wait DRIVE the ball HARD opposite field with as quick a swing as he can manage. Rinse and repeat. During the wait wait wait part, somewhere in there he is striding/developing momentum.

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          • #6
            He plays club ball and hits well with faster pitching. So you want to improve his LL hitting(lol). Well I would not change anything. He is not gonna see slow pitching except in LL right so let it be and move him up in the box and have him hit to RF during LL games.

            Cally

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            • #7
              Originally posted by BleacherCreature View Post
              ......................
              And he gets there on every pitch whether he swings or not.
              Sounds good so far. Next Q is exactly when does he stride, if anyone knows. What sets it off? Decision to swing or what? Rule of thumb- stride later and maybe lazier for slow pitching.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by callyjr View Post
                He plays club ball and hits well with faster pitching. So you want to improve his LL hitting(lol). Well I would not change anything. He is not gonna see slow pitching except in LL right so let it be and move him up in the box and have him hit to RF during LL games.

                Cally
                What I'm saying is that he hits better against faster pitching, but still struggles to have any timing on the ball. Even with faster pitching on the club level, even though he does better, he still gets out in front and has alot of K's and dinks off the end of the bat. This player does not get a ton of hits, even though he has one of the better looking swings and is a big strong kid. When he does catch it solid he can crush, but that does not happen often enough based on the talent level. Not even close to enough. I would say he's a .250+ hitter, and based on the swing / talent it's an abberation.

                I need to get him to stay back and wait, let the ball get up on him, and then explode. It seems to work better in practice / one on one. When we get to game situations its back to the old habits.

                I'm just looking for any additional cues / drills I can use with him besides what I am already doing. I am trying to find something different that might click for him

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by callyjr View Post
                  He plays club ball and hits well with faster pitching. So you want to improve his LL hitting(lol). Well I would not change anything. He is not gonna see slow pitching except in LL right so let it be and move him up in the box and have him hit to RF during LL games.

                  Cally
                  Change ups.

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                  • #10
                    Sometimes what looks in real time like a "pretty" swing really is a long swing, due to mechanical flaws. This will indeed allow the occasional solid hit/bomb, but due to the time the swing takes, timing is a big issue vs. varying speeds.

                    I would suggest if possible that you film him and post a clip. Otherwise, people might make all kinds of suggestions that you might try, only to waste your time because the root underlying issue might be mechanics "disguised" as a great looking swing.

                    Unfortunately, I have personal experience w/ this. My son has been complimented on his swing since he was 7 (now 13). And tho he does make All-Stars every year, and hits his share of doubles, triples (and 2 LL HRs ), he still only hit about .400 each year (which is low for a good LL hitter). Though people will compliment him or us on what a great swing he has, we (and the readers of this board probably) know all too well what his deficiencies are - typical youth swing stuff.

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                    • #11
                      Excellent post. One worth reading several times for dads of young hitters.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BleacherCreature View Post
                        What I'm saying is that he hits better against faster pitching, but still struggles to have any timing on the ball. Even with faster pitching on the club level, even though he does better, he still gets out in front and has alot of K's and dinks off the end of the bat.
                        Sounds like early disconnection with a push..........

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                        • #13
                          Try pitching to him and tell him right when you're in power position (right when you're just about to throw) he should be loading with his back leg and waiting for you to throw it. If he has a stride he can even do that when you're in power position.

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                          • #14
                            I'll vouch for the videotape ...you see alot of things you just can't see at game speed . and sometime things you think you see at game speed are'nt really there ...

                            My youngest daughter ( now a senior ) is a good HS/travel player , at 5'2" and 110 pounds was the only kid on our team to hit a few legit ( 210-220 ft ) HR's last summer ( aided by an Anderson bat , of course ) ....but has holes in her swing that I struggle to fix ...when I bought my camera and taped her last winter , I was stunned to see the amount of bat drag she had ....

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                            • #15
                              I dont have any video, but we do have a couple games coming up this week. I'll see if I cant film a couple at bats...

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