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bp: how many swings?

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  • bp: how many swings?

    When I do bp with my boys (ages 10 and 5), I generally pitch an entire bucket to them (about 40 balls). I've experimented with capping it at 20 pitches, thinking they might get tired by then. Most of the time they seem eager to keep swinging away, though.

    I noticed recently that in MLB guys generally take maybe 8 pitches or so before stepping out and letting another hitter in (I guess they work in groups of 4 or so and rotate around for 15 minutes).

    I assume this is because standing in for pitch after pitch is not productive, maybe their concentration starts to wane.

    What's your experience regarding bp? Should I strictly limit the number of swings at any one time? Last night, for example, I pitched a bucket to my 10 year old and he was making contact pretty much the entire time. I suppose he was "resting" a bit more between pitches after the first dozen or so, and I waited until he was ready before letting loose with the next pitch. But do you think it would be better to just have him do a limited number of swings?

    In a team practice setting, with more players waiting to hit, I can see where rotating around frequently would be beneficial.

    Thanks for your opinions.

    BTW, for those of you who might remember some of the threads this past spring about the 10 year old struggling a bit in his first year of majors LL (he was 9 at the time), his hitting is really coming along. Still working on the fear of the hard-thrown baseball, though, which he instinctively shies away from and tried to catch off to the side of his head/body. Tried suiting him up in catcher's gear and having him stand and catch balls hurled by the pitching machine at 60', hopefully he'll get over it!)

  • #2
    Originally posted by Megunticook View Post
    When I do bp with my boys (ages 10 and 5), I generally pitch an entire bucket to them (about 40 balls). I've experimented with capping it at 20 pitches, thinking they might get tired by then. Most of the time they seem eager to keep swinging away, though.

    I noticed recently that in MLB guys generally take maybe 8 pitches or so before stepping out and letting another hitter in (I guess they work in groups of 4 or so and rotate around for 15 minutes).

    I assume this is because standing in for pitch after pitch is not productive, maybe their concentration starts to wane.

    What's your experience regarding bp? Should I strictly limit the number of swings at any one time? Last night, for example, I pitched a bucket to my 10 year old and he was making contact pretty much the entire time. I suppose he was "resting" a bit more between pitches after the first dozen or so, and I waited until he was ready before letting loose with the next pitch. But do you think it would be better to just have him do a limited number of swings?

    In a team practice setting, with more players waiting to hit, I can see where rotating around frequently would be beneficial.

    Thanks for your opinions.

    BTW, for those of you who might remember some of the threads this past spring about the 10 year old struggling a bit in his first year of majors LL (he was 9 at the time), his hitting is really coming along. Still working on the fear of the hard-thrown baseball, though, which he instinctively shies away from and tried to catch off to the side of his head/body. Tried suiting him up in catcher's gear and having him stand and catch balls hurled by the pitching machine at 60', hopefully he'll get over it!)
    I believe that pausing after 10 to 15 swings is always a good thing. It gives the muscles a rest, and it gives you time to evaluate what you did and what you want to do in the next round.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hitting off a tee, you go forever... Until you establish the right feel. There is no time constraint that the moving ball provides, so thought process is very controlled.


      With thrown BP, usually you rotate to keep concentration. Rounds have a purpose. A lot of young kids will take empty swings after a certain point. If you are just having fun and taking hacks, that is ok. But if you are working on stuff, work on something, accomplish it, then get out. The time outside the cage is just important. More details work can be done in between rounds. I suggest getting a mirror so they can see themselves going through some of the movements between rounds.

      Comment


      • #4
        I purchased a Swing-away and it's the best piece of equipment I've bought in 15 years. Your kid can get more swings than off a tee in the equivalent time.
        I can also make videos of my kids swing and it's easier to make minor corrections to his mechanics.
        This is not to take anything away from pitching batting practice which I believe is superior. It just saves my arm a little.

        http://www.swingaway.com/product_inf...products_id=30

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by jbooth View Post
          I believe that pausing after 10 to 15 swings is always a good thing. It gives the muscles a rest, and it gives you time to evaluate what you did and what you want to do in the next round.
          Agree with Jim, They learn nothing once they get tired. I stopped at 15 and rotated my players through several times.
          "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.

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          • #6
            OK, so even if you're just working one on one keep it to no more than, say, 15 swings at a time. I'll buy that. Thanks for the suggestions.

            Maybe I can rotate the two kids and let them each have a couple rounds of 15.

            I definitely agree that letting fatigue set in is a bad thing.

            To be honest, at this age I'm really intentionally being very minimal in my advice and tinkering with mechanics. We watch a little video and I point things out to them when we're watching the pros, and I offer some suggestions at the T, but my gut sense is that at this stage (especially the 5 year old) it's best to establish a few basic fundamental guidelines and then let them just swing the bat naturally. My observations (and my own experience) is that too many mechanical tips can get them thinking so much that they are less able to just relax and focus on seeing the ball.

            I do a little more "coaching" on the T but the more I spend time with the kids the more I feel that young kids just need to focus on having fun playing ball (with a little guidance or intervention to keep the fundamentals on track).

            A little different with fielding, as they really do need to build up some muscle memory with fundamentals to succeed, and they need to engage their minds with each pitch in order to react correctly and make the appropriate play.

            But in the batter's box, these days I'm inclined to let them swing away and develop a feel for getting the bat head on the ball. So far so good. As they get older we'll probably do more refinement and tinkering on the swing.

            I wish I could lick this fear of the hard thrown baseball, though--at 10 y.o. you'd think he'd be beyond that (hasn't been hit in the face or anything), but it seem to be an instinctive flinch response. He knows he's doing it and gets very frustrated by it, but can't seem to work past it. Even a 30-40 mph throw will cause it if it's headed for his face/upper chest. I reassure him that he'll get over it with practice, and am trying to come up with games (my euphemism for drills) to help build confidence that, yes, he will catch any ball flying towards his face.
            Last edited by Megunticook; 10-25-2011, 08:57 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Megunticook View Post
              I wish I could lick this fear of the hard thrown baseball, though--at 10 y.o. you'd think he'd be beyond that (hasn't been hit in the face or anything), but it seem to be an instinctive flinch response. He knows he's doing it and gets very frustrated by it, but can't seem to work past it. Even a 30-40 mph throw will cause it if it's headed for his face/upper chest. I reassure him that he'll get over it with practice, and am trying to come up with games (my euphemism for drills) to help build confidence that, yes, he will catch any ball flying towards his face.
              This is not uncommon at this age group. I wouldn't fret a whole lot about it. By the time they're 12 or so most, though not all, have lost this fear. Drills can certainly help, but sometimes it just takes time for the player to realize that they indeed can avoid getting hit, or that by using technique it's not that bad when they actually do get hit.
              The outcome of our children is infinitely more important than the outcome of any game they will ever play

              Comment


              • #8
                My kid just bought one of those swingaway's. It's a very nice tool and something he'll use off season.

                To the original question, I always felt that batting practices should be built upon. First tee work, then front toss, then live pitch, and you build upon each level. I can't throw BP (torn shoulder) so all of our BP was thown by my coach (team partner) or indoors. We'd rotate kids out after about 10 to 12 swings, unless we were doing live game simulation, then they were removed when the walked or struck out.

                I saw a trainer once soft toss a bucket to a kid he was working with as quickly as possible, so the kid has to swing and set again to swing very quickly. It was more like cardio and you knew the kids arms were screaming about halfway through. His form suffered but his arm speed improved.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by jbooth View Post
                  I believe that pausing after 10 to 15 swings is always a good thing. It gives the muscles a rest, and it gives you time to evaluate what you did and what you want to do in the next round.
                  This.

                  A bodybuilder that trains also does sets. he doesn't do 100 reps in a row. he will do a set of 8-10, then break for 2-3 minutes and then do another set.

                  I think that should be done similarly in baseball. too many guys just grind reps till they are physically and mentally fatigued and their mechanics break down. especially in pitching that is dangerous.

                  so I would prefer to do a set of about 10 high quality swings, then break for two minutes (let the other kid hit) and then do another set. that will increse quality.

                  In pitching it is the same. an inning is about 15 pitches on average. so why throw 60 pitches with no pause?
                  I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    How about 5 quality, purposeful swings.
                    "Thank you for repeating your opinion again for the umpteenth time, we had almost forgotten how important it is....to you. "

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Towards the end of last season, I messed around with only giving the kids 10 swings (at good pitches from me, so sometimes 15 pitches!) of live bp. At first, many didn't get in any good work, but after a few times of doing this, it certainly seemed to force them to focus, knowing that they only had a limited number of opportunities. I'm possibly coming to the notion that too many pitches in bp is a waste because they just don't concentrate all that much when they know they have 40 pitches coming. You can see the same results when you hold a home run derby-type competition.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Roothog66 View Post
                        I'm possibly coming to the notion that too many pitches in bp is a waste because they just don't concentrate all that much when they know they have 40 pitches coming. .
                        I always like to introduce a situation, whether it be starting with a 2-1 count or a runner (invisible or real) on first or second and make them hit to the right side. Something to get them to think about WHERE to hit the ball, and then do it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by omg View Post
                          How about 5 quality, purposeful swings.
                          At younger age groups, I like more swings, but for high school I like 5 swings a lot. For those interested in their kids going on, here in California many of the showcase events use 5 pitches per player, so getting used to the 5 pitches before the next player comes in will prepare them for college tryouts.
                          The outcome of our children is infinitely more important than the outcome of any game they will ever play

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I learned something from this thread...
                            While it should have been obvious, I should have realized that when we do have the chance for live BP, I need to do a couple of sets of 15-20, rather than a whole bucket of balls without a breather.

                            We have the "Bat Action"...
                            http://www.bataction.com/

                            I will sometimes bring it to a team practice, but it mostly gets used at home. My son, who's almost eight, uses it 2-3 times per week. He'll hit fifty on non-game days, twenty-five if it's game day. We don't do as much live BP as we used to, but I think this piece of gear is worth the price.
                            Last edited by johnlanza; 10-25-2011, 11:54 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              are you guys talking about pre game BP or a workout?
                              Last edited by dominik; 10-25-2011, 12:16 PM.
                              I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

                              Comment

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