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  • Development Question

    ****DISCLAIMER****
    I'm not under the false impression that my kid is the next coming of Mickey Mantle or Ted Williams. I also understand LL is for having fun, making friends and staying active. So please don't hammer me to bad I just want him to have an opportunity to get better.


    I am in the military and my family and I recently moved to a new state. We signed my 10yr old son up for LL and he was placed on a team. We were not in state for the placement tryouts so we were put on AA team for kids brand new to baseball or not selected for the AAA 9-10-11 teams.

    The problem is that the league is nowhere near the level he played and excelled at last year. Last year he played in a 9-10-11 division and was selected for the 11u all-star team. His coaches were great and helped him develop some of the areas where I just don't have the expertise to help.

    This year it's back to an almost tee-ball version of baseball and he has really regressed. He is afraid to throw the ball hard to his teammates because some of them cannot catch very well. He doesn't want to pitch because the catcher cried when she missed the ball and it hit her in the mask. Hitting, something that he got a reputation for last year, is almost non-existent now. In the 3 games he has played he has seen 2 hittable pitches to swing at in 8 at bats.

    My biggest concern is that this will sour him on the game because it's evident he is not enjoying it. Do I let him finish out the year and hope it doesn't mess anything up, or try and find another alternative (I really don't want him to get the idea that quitting is ok)
    Last edited by SouthSiders05; 04-18-2008, 01:12 PM.
    "'Don't dig in against Bob Gibson, he'll knock you down. He'd knock down his own grandmother if she dared to challenge him. Don't stare at him, don't smile at him, don't talk to him. He doesn't like it. If you happen to hit a home run, don't run too slow, but don't run too fast. If you happen to want to celebrate, get in the tunnel first. And if he hits you, don't charge the mound, because he's a Gold Glove boxer" Hammerin Hank on Bob Gibson

  • #2
    Playing at a low level can be death. I remember when I moved as a kid to a new town and the baseball program wasn't anywhere near the level I was previously playing. It seemed the teams were poorly put together and we played on terrible fields, seemed like cow pastures. It wasn't as near as fun.

    I also know from coaching my niece that where we started on a rec team the play was very poor. No one on that team continued to play at an older age and none of them besides my niece played at the HS level.

    And your right it is hard to perform well against poor pitching and when the surrounding competition isn't up to speed. I played some co-ed softball, and they always put a woman on first. I had to make the perfect throw for her to catch it. This lead to thinking about the throw and I started to have throwing problems. It made it very unnatural.

    Now, I'm not complaining about the woman on first and many woman have played ball and my third baseman (basewoman) was very good. She allowed me to cheat and position myself without thinking I had to cover the entire area.

    If your stuck on the team, then I would say to just make the best out of the situation.
    Last edited by ShawnB; 04-18-2008, 01:19 PM.

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    • #3
      Unfortunately, I think you are stuck in this rut until the season is over.

      You can compensate for the poor play by working with your son (and maybe a few of his friends), on off days, or wait until the off season.

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      • #4
        If your son plays way over the heads of all these players he will be placed at the proper level next season. This year he can learn to be a leader and make the best of it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Well he had a game today, they played a team they played last week. My kid pitched 2 innings the first game gave up 1 hit and struck out six. We ended up winning 12-3. (again I'm not trying to say my kid is a phenom, just that he shouldn't be in the beginner league)

          Well today we were up 13-4, my son had sat out the 4th inning and was warming up to pitch the last inning. The other coach was vocalizing (loud enough for my kid to hear) that my son "should not be pitching when we have a big lead". My kid is not out there throwing 50 MPH, if anything he gives the kids tons of strikes to hit. Our coach pitched him anyway and the other coach complained the whole time and started arguing with our coach after the game. Hopefully the other coach will complain to the league and we can get moved up.

          Please take a look at his swing and offer suggestions for improvement. I'm a huge baseball fan but I'm smart enough to know that I don't know much about teaching mechanics. He's only 10 but I'd like to make sure he's headed in the right direction.
          "'Don't dig in against Bob Gibson, he'll knock you down. He'd knock down his own grandmother if she dared to challenge him. Don't stare at him, don't smile at him, don't talk to him. He doesn't like it. If you happen to hit a home run, don't run too slow, but don't run too fast. If you happen to want to celebrate, get in the tunnel first. And if he hits you, don't charge the mound, because he's a Gold Glove boxer" Hammerin Hank on Bob Gibson

          Comment


          • #6
            front elbow tends to stay bent with a pro swing, your boys does not. Hips are not really getting through either. Have any clips with a ball coming. Things tend to look a lot different when a ball is coming.

            Comment


            • #7
              No none with a ball coming. Thanks for the observation. He tends to have a long swing any suggestions on shorting it up?
              "'Don't dig in against Bob Gibson, he'll knock you down. He'd knock down his own grandmother if she dared to challenge him. Don't stare at him, don't smile at him, don't talk to him. He doesn't like it. If you happen to hit a home run, don't run too slow, but don't run too fast. If you happen to want to celebrate, get in the tunnel first. And if he hits you, don't charge the mound, because he's a Gold Glove boxer" Hammerin Hank on Bob Gibson

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by TG Coach View Post
                If your son plays way over the heads of all these players he will be placed at the proper level next season. This year he can learn to be a leader and make the best of it.
                :bowdown::candle:

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by SouthSiders05 View Post
                  ... He tends to have a long swing any suggestions on shorting it up?
                  I would suggest correcting the "Bat Drag". The top arm elbow gets out ahead of the knob. This will create a long swing. It also creates a lot of bat speed such that this swing pattern gets rewarded with some hard hits against slower pitching. Then when the pitching picks up, the hitter can no longer catch up to the ball consistantly.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by GFK View Post
                    I would suggest correcting the "Bat Drag". The top arm elbow gets out ahead of the knob. This will create a long swing. It also creates a lot of bat speed such that this swing pattern gets rewarded with some hard hits against slower pitching. Then when the pitching picks up, the hitter can no longer catch up to the ball consistantly.
                    Thanks I showed my kid what bat drag is and he seems encouraged to correct it, any advice on drills to correct it? Fence drill?
                    "'Don't dig in against Bob Gibson, he'll knock you down. He'd knock down his own grandmother if she dared to challenge him. Don't stare at him, don't smile at him, don't talk to him. He doesn't like it. If you happen to hit a home run, don't run too slow, but don't run too fast. If you happen to want to celebrate, get in the tunnel first. And if he hits you, don't charge the mound, because he's a Gold Glove boxer" Hammerin Hank on Bob Gibson

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SouthSiders05 View Post
                      Thanks I showed my kid what bat drag is and he seems encouraged to correct it, any advice on drills to correct it? Fence drill?
                      Let him know correcting it will take a lot of reps. Small doses of daily reps spread over many months! No "Silver Bullet"!

                      I suggest you tape him doing some no-stride one-arm tee swings. Set the tee about belt high and middle of the plate. Have him hold the bat with his bottom hand and put his top hand fisted on top of the bottom hand. If you want greater detail regarding fixes, PM me. I will replay with some suggestions as to some good information sources.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SouthSiders05 View Post
                        Thanks I showed my kid what bat drag is and he seems encouraged to correct it, any advice on drills to correct it? Fence drill?
                        There's an old, overused saying, "Keep your back elbow up." That actually makes no sense when taken literally, but it isn't bad if you understand what it is for.

                        The handle of the bat is mainly moved by the rotation of the torso. You keep the hands near the armpit until after the shoulders have rotated a little bit. The back elbow needs to simply drop down and in close to the body.

                        What your son, and many kids his age do is; they pull the handle with their arms instead of locking the hands into the shoulder rotation. To pull the bat with the arms, they need to lead with the elbows, hence the term "bat drag." They get the elbows out in front and pull or drag the bat.

                        The old saying "keep the back elbow up" ACTUALLY means, "don't lead with the back elbow." Obviously, it can't stay up, but the phrase is meant to think of that, so the elbow doesn't get ahead of the knob.

                        This drill can help learn to move the handle with body rotation instead of pulling with the arms. Put the legs in the position that they get to in a real swing, after you have turned the hips. Put the shaft of the bat against the outside of the back shoulder, and just turn. Notice how the back elbow stays close to the body. Get him to learn to NOT pull the bat with the arms. Let him feel how the bat will come around by itself. Don't let him push, or pull, the bat away from his back shoulder. It will come off by itself.



                        Also, your son needs to learn to brace and straighten the front leg. His front knee is bent which prevents the hips from fully rotating and can cause his head to drift forward beyond center.
                        Last edited by jbooth; 04-20-2008, 09:35 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by callyjr View Post
                          front elbow tends to stay bent with a pro swing, your boys does not. Hips are not really getting through either. Have any clips with a ball coming. Things tend to look a lot different when a ball is coming.
                          Do you mean like this?





                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jbooth View Post
                            There's an old, overused saying, "Keep your back elbow up." That actually makes no sense when taken literally, but it isn't bad if you understand what it is for.

                            The handle of the bat is mainly moved by the rotation of the torso. You keep the hands near the armpit until after the shoulders have rotated a little bit. The back elbow needs to simply drop down and in close to the body.

                            This drill can help learn to move the handle with body rotation instead of pulling with the arms. Put the legs in the position that they get to in a real swing, after you have turned the hips. Put the shaft of the bat against the outside of the back shoulder, and just turn. Notice how the back elbow stays close to the body. Get him to learn to NOT pull the bat with the arms. Let him feel how the bat will come around by itself. Don't let him push, or pull, the bat away from his back shoulder. It will come off by itself.

                            Also, your son needs to learn to brace and straighten the front leg. His front knee is bent which prevents the hips from fully rotating and can cause his head to drift forward beyond center.
                            Thanks for the tips, at first he looked at me like "Why in the world would we change my swing?" Once I explained that as he gets older pitching is going to improve and he won't be able to catch up to it anymore he seemed to get onboard.
                            "'Don't dig in against Bob Gibson, he'll knock you down. He'd knock down his own grandmother if she dared to challenge him. Don't stare at him, don't smile at him, don't talk to him. He doesn't like it. If you happen to hit a home run, don't run too slow, but don't run too fast. If you happen to want to celebrate, get in the tunnel first. And if he hits you, don't charge the mound, because he's a Gold Glove boxer" Hammerin Hank on Bob Gibson

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jbooth View Post
                              This drill can help learn to move the handle with body rotation instead of pulling with the arms. Put the legs in the position that they get to in a real swing, after you have turned the hips.

                              Thanks for posting the drill. Would there be anything problematic with, later, doing the same drill with a stride?

                              Comment

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