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  • Is it true about hitting?

    Is it true that when a batter goes to hit the ball, they should point to the ball with the knob before swinging to correctly hit in the target zone therefore getting a better hit?

    It doesn't sound relevant to me, but I may have been doing it all along without knowing that I was doing it.

    Also does anyone remeber the verbal cues they got when batting - something like stance, back, head swing or something. I remeber being told to get a good stance, shift my weight back while front heel comes up, keep my head down, while I swing and place front heel down while back comes up during swing - then run like the dickens to first base - not to wait to see where it went.

  • #2
    Originally posted by little_1_lady
    Is it true that when a batter goes to hit the ball, they should point to the ball with the knob before swinging to correctly hit in the target zone therefore getting a better hit?
    Difficult to know where to start on how to help you. The answer to the question is no, but that won't help you much. I think you need to obtain some basic training. This can be done with tapes, books or a visit to a baseball company that specializes in training children. You could start with Little League's Al and Al program, although I would use this as a start only. I do not agree with their training methods for older children.
    "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
    - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
    Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

    Comment


    • #3
      As I was saying - I don't think it's true. I checked out another website & that's what they told me to do! Quite frankly I think it would not only confuse the kids, but also mess up their form therfore slowing their response time & causing them to strike or foul most pitches.

      Comment


      • #4
        Basic Hitting Cues

        Originally posted by little_1_lady
        Also does anyone remeber the verbal cues they got when batting - something like stance, back, head swing or something. I remeber being told to get a good stance, shift my weight back while front heel comes up, keep my head down, while I swing and place front heel down while back comes up during swing - then run like the dickens to first base - not to wait to see where it went.
        The cues that I use with my 6 year-olds are...

        1. Feet apart (shoulder width).

        2. Hands all the way back.

        3. Back elbow up.

        I know that the whole back elbow up thing is the subject of furious debate, but I find that it more often than not helps little kids (at least). It seems to do three things...

        1. It seems to make it much harder to hitch (to take the hands back toward catcher and then forward).

        2. It makes it harder to wrap the bat around the head.

        3. It also seems to have a psychological benefit; it seems to help them feel more ready.

        I use these cues during game situations and they seem to work.
        Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

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

        Comment


        • #5
          Any cue any given day with any given kid can be golden. The important thing is YOU understand the difference between cues and reality. Of course then we have to discuss what is the preferred reality in terms of goals. Do we want to swing like MLB hitters or do we want to swing like Mike Marshall suggests. I don't know which side of that fence you are on where hitting is concerned.

          Comment


          • #6
            Following up on Mark's excellent point, teaching kids hitting, like teaching anything else, has to take into account where they're starting from. A cue often is used to overcome some flaw or deficiency; if they don't need it, don't use it. But if you throw the same list of "cues" at every kid, there will be too much to absorb. The "knob at the ball" cue works for very few kids, and at worse will have them develop into linear hitters sacrificing everything else to get the knob to the ball.

            First, start with something they know -- an athletic stance, like they're guarding someone in basketball: you know, feet slightly more than shoulder width apart, weight on the balls of their feet. That puts them on familiar ground.

            Second, rather than giving them cues, give them a visual concept they can aspire to. How's this: hold the bat so that the shoulders, front elbow, hands and bathead are all in a single plane, with the hands in front of and about four inches away from the rear shoulder. Then -- to swing -- turn the hips and have the rear shoulder turn with them and point toward where the ball likely will come. Don't think of the arms at all, as the hands should stay back with that rear shoulder longer than you think they should; let the rotation of the shoulders force the bathead around in the very same plane that you started with -- i.e., the shoulders and hands follow that front elbow around. Adjust for height by changing to pitch of the spine, not by reaching down or up for the ball with your arms or dipping with your knees.

            This is your "ideal":


            Rinse and repeat 900 times. Of course kids will cheat and bring their hands around too soon, but at least they'll have the core dynamics to start from.

            This is much simpler than worrying about "cues", or grips or strides or weight shifts.
            sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Ursa Major
              Following up on Mark's excellent point, teaching kids hitting, like teaching anything else, has to take into account where they're starting from. A cue often is used to overcome some flaw or deficiency; if they don't need it, don't use it. But if you throw the same list of "cues" at every kid, there will be too much to absorb. The "knob at the ball" cue works for very few kids, and at worse will have them develop into linear hitters sacrificing everything else to get the knob to the ball.

              First, start with something they know -- an athletic stance, like they're guarding someone in basketball: you know, feet slightly more than shoulder width apart, weight on the balls of their feet. That puts them on familiar ground.

              Second, rather than giving them cues, give them a visual concept they can aspire to. How's this: hold the bat so that the shoulders, front elbow, hands and bathead are all in a single plane, with the hands in front of and about four inches away from the rear shoulder. Then -- to swing -- turn the hips and have the rear shoulder turn with them and point toward where the ball likely will come. Don't think of the arms at all, as the hands should stay back with that rear shoulder longer than you think they should; let the rotation of the shoulders force the bathead around in the very same plane that you started with -- i.e., the shoulders and hands follow that front elbow around. Adjust for height by changing to pitch of the spine, not by reaching down or up for the ball with your arms or dipping with your knees.

              This is your "ideal":


              Rinse and repeat 900 times. Of course kids will cheat and bring their hands around too soon, but at least they'll have the core dynamics to start from.

              This is much simpler than worrying about "cues", or grips or strides or weight shifts.
              Ursa is definitely on the right track. There are many long detailed discussions on this forum about rotational hitting. I've been studying it for about a year now and was lucky enough to spend last weekend with Steve Englishbey learning how to teach rotational hitting. As I mentioned on your other thread, I'm now teaching six 9-10 year olds these methods.

              Seems to me that traditional batting instructions have been a collection of cliche's such as take the knob to the ball, squish the bug and keep your back elbow up. Some of these instructions may have some validity, but are frequently offered out of context.

              My last few practices have encouraged me that teaching rotational mechanics to even young kids is doable. But, you have to have a solid understanding yourself and break it down into manageable bites. Following Steve's examples, I have the kids keep their feet a little wider than shoulder width apart and try not move them during the swing. (A little movement is almost unavoidable) Have them tilt their upper body forward in the athletic position with knees slightly flexed, keep their hands near their back shoulders with the bats resting on their shoulders at about 90 degrees to their torsos, and rotating their torsos into the swing. Keep their hands near their back shoulders almost to contact with the ball, then release. When done to perfection, the result should look like Ursa's skeleton.

              However, perfection is elusive in 9-10 yo's. I am pleasently surprised that my kids all seem to have at least learned how to rotate the torso. And their hitting has really benefitted. One of the kids who developmentally just doesn't seem to be able to put together a good catch and throw motion, has sufficiently mastered the rotational swing that he is smacking the ball hard in the batting cage. I think the key is to keep it simple. The finer points of Steve's teachings can be taught as opportunity presents itself and skills develop.

              If you want to pursue this take on hitting, it seems to me that a crash course is necessary. There are many people on this forum that can help steer you in the right directions. Good luck.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Mark H
                Do we want to swing like MLB hitters or do we want to swing like Mike Marshall suggests. I don't know which side of that fence you are on where hitting is concerned.
                To tell the truth, I have spent zero time looking at Marshall's stuff on hitting.

                In general, I am a big fan of rotational hitting and follow the work of Mankin and Epstein.

                Last year I screwed up one of my guys trying to follow some linear advice (striding led to sliding under the ball) and have been teaching him rotational with great success.
                Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

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

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ursa Major
                  Second, rather than giving them cues, give them a visual concept they can aspire to. How's this: hold the bat so that the shoulders, front elbow, hands and bathead are all in a single plane, with the hands in front of and about four inches away from the rear shoulder.
                  This is much too complicated for 6 year-olds (much less 11 year-olds).

                  In general I try to give them cues that will lead them to do the right thing (without their necessarily understanding the logic).
                  Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Chris O'Leary
                    To tell the truth, I have spent zero time looking at Marshall's stuff on hitting...
                    Good call.


                    Originally posted by Chris O'Leary
                    In general, I am a big fan of rotational hitting and follow the work of Mankin and Epstein..
                    Flawed IMO, but a good place to start. I suggest getting Englishbey's DVD's.


                    Originally posted by Chris O'Leary
                    Last year I screwed up one of my guys trying to follow some linear advice (striding led to sliding under the ball) and have been teaching him rotational with great success.
                    Linear vs rotational, as defined by Epstein and Mankin, doesn't mean you stride or not. But, as you found out, taking out the stride is an excellent way to work on rotation etc. Putting the stride back in may very well blow everything else sky high. At some later point, the stride can be added back in if desired. This need for this methodology may vary depending on the individual and level of player you are working with.
                    Last edited by Mark H; 04-05-2006, 08:36 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Quote: Originally Posted by Ursa Major
                      Second, rather than giving them cues, give them a visual concept they can aspire to. How's this: hold the bat so that the shoulders, front elbow, hands and bathead are all in a single plane, with the hands in front of and about four inches away from the rear shoulder.
                      Chris O'L replied:
                      This is much too complicated for 6 year-olds (much less 11 year-olds).

                      In general I try to give them cues that will lead them to do the right thing (without their necessarily understanding the logic).
                      You may not have picked this up from the other thread, but she'll be coaching 9 and 10 year olds, so they're further along and can make use of this teaching.

                      And, I'm just talking about the starting position. What screws kids up is trying to remember what to do in the middle of their swing. The point of this is to place them in a starting position, with a simple single mnemonic to remind them where everything should be (i.e., line up the bathead hands and front shoulder in a single plane), and then let them rotate hard. That's simpler in my book.

                      And, you'd be surprised at what even a six year old can do. Here's one of my favorite hitting clips gleaned from a Setpro post; I believe this slugger was just shy of his fifth birthday.

                      sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I like the little guys swing.

                        At this age,always keep it fun.

                        For this sort of tee hit, I say turn,step,turn,swing.

                        turn- turn body back/neg move
                        step- usually just pick up foot and put it down or can take some forward stride

                        turn - body forward together when front foot gets down, let bat rest on deltoid sometimes
                        swing - try to pull with lead arm to high followthrough

                        Also with tee, walkup drill is a great way to learn footwork and weight shift.

                        Self toss and front toss are good.

                        With front toss, try mostly flat trajectory not loopy rainbow pitches,even at this size/age.

                        Reward more for hard hits to oppo side of pitcher.


                        Alos note that this "avatar" has plusses and minuses.

                        The swing plane and lead arm is pretty good.(except for absence of shoulder/scap tilt adjustment of course - not expected in the non believer).

                        Shoulder turn stopping at contact is a good thing to be aware of (heavy bagdrill works well with this timing- older kids).

                        There is no weight shift, back foot bug squishes, hips and legs turn together which does not happen in real swing, head action is weird.

                        This sort of thing is like a piece that can get inserted in the swing, but the flow/connections have to be thought of and they are omitted or wrong here.

                        These insertion drills are for older kids.In young kids this overstructuring limits learning.

                        Do not confuse the avatar with a real swing.
                        Last edited by tom.guerry; 04-06-2006, 09:52 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          "Do not confuse the avatar with a real swing."

                          Also do not confuse a guy who does nothing but sit at a computer and speculate with someone who actually works with hitters .

                          Someone for ex. ,like the dad of the 6 yr. old that Hiddendem showed [in still footage].

                          This dad has taken the time to actually read and understand well any number of things which I promote and which he picked up from Hitting-Mechanics.org.

                          His son is certainly one of THE best that I have seen at that level in terms of movement control and efficiency[or levels above him for that matter].He does not swing the bat like the young [and typical ] hitter above.

                          They are both [dad and 6 yr. old son]having alot of fun and being very smart about this stuff.

                          Ceratinly the dad----and possibly his 6 yr. old son -----have a better understanding of teaching than does the doctor from Yale.


                          steve

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The point of this is to place them in a starting position, with a simple single mnemonic to remind them where everything should be (i.e., line up the bathead hands and front shoulder in a single plane), and then let them rotate hard. That's simpler in my book.
                            THis little fellow doesn't like hitting from one plane it appears...can't feel the bat barrel pop probably



                            Way to go kid...BHUT; lead elbow in tight then plane transition as the lower half begins rotation....LOOK Ofher a 5 year old can do it and he just hatched out of the egg before you messed with him ....must be as natural as throwing HUMMMMMMMMM...look TOM they can do it .

                            I totally agree you cannot fix the middle of a swing and especially the end.

                            AMEN!! That leave one place to work...the beginning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                            Last edited by swingbuster; 04-06-2006, 03:57 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              When you learn where the f the beginning of a swing is you'll have a clue.

                              That being said, you claimed to be AD a while back. Does that mean when you reread your posts you can't edit them so they are coherent.

                              Comment

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