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  • Can soft toss cause problems?

    My 7 yo son got a nice net for xmas, so I've been doing more soft toss (from the side) with him vs actual front toss at a field. He really hits the ball well with soft toss, but it seems like he misses the ball more, or mis-times the ball more with front toss. Should I stop soft tossing him into the net? Or is it that I just need to get off my lazy butt and go to the park and pitch to him from the front more? Or is there a way to change how I do soft toss so it translates better to front toss hitting?
    Never played baseball, just a dad of someone that loves to play. So take any advice I post with a grain of salt.

  • #2
    he misses the ball more, or mis-times the ball more with front toss
    He must stride on every pitch

    Can soft toss cause problems?
    If he's about to play a game, I would choose front toss vs. side toss so he can work on his timing.
    Last edited by songtitle; 03-30-2012, 06:13 AM.
    efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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    • #3
      Originally posted by pthawaii View Post
      Should I stop soft tossing him into the net?
      No, it's a good drill to focus on certain things like bringing the bat directly to the ball, or having a relaxed grip and being quick with the bat.

      From what I've seen most, if not all, big leaguers do soft toss regularly.

      Maybe try a progression from T to soft-toss to front toss to b.p. (in the same session, I mean).

      I certainly wouldn't worry about messing anything up with soft toss. It isn't going to hurt your son.

      For me and my kids, soft toss is a good tool for reinforcing certain aspects of hitting.

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      • #4
        There seems to be a movement in the baseball world away from side soft toss. I know it has been eliminated in a lot of the big time college programs. You see angled front toss, and front toss, but not nearly as much side toss.

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        • #5
          Have him do the "happy feet" drill with a tee. He can do it by himself and he will feel the power he generates.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by d-mac View Post
            You see angled front toss, and front toss, but not nearly as much side toss.
            I learned soft toss from Cal Ripken's books/videos, and the tosser tosses from roughly a 45 degree angle to the hitter, as if you were just in foul territory maybe 6-10 feet from the plate.

            Is this what you mean by "side toss"?

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            • #7
              What I try to reinforce to my kids when we are doing soft-toss is:

              1) It's a great opportunity to think about your swing and make sure the pieces are going in the correct progression;
              2) Notice the location of the ball and where you can drive it (front hip = inside, belly button = down the middle, back hip = outside)

              Soft-toss has been a good tool for me to work on the swing but you need to have a specific goal in mind when doing it. It should not, and can not, replace front toss and/or bp just like hitting off a tee can't replace them.

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              • #8
                I bought Cal Ripken Jr's DVD about a year before I read Ted Williams and Charlie Lau Jrs book on hitting.

                I watched the DVD again last week and learned that Ripken's hitting instruction DVD was about his ego (watch how many times Ripken hits for the camera) and not about how to properly hit.

                Ripken's DVD has now been filed in dumpster. It proves to me that not every great hitter is a great instructor (in fact few are in my opinion).

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                • #9
                  Make sure you are not the problem.

                  I hold every ball up where the batter can see them, drop my hand down and then toss upwards. The batter loads when my hand goes down. This helps establish a rhythm the batter can get into. If you are tossing fast, flat tosses in without any visual cues, it may be very difficult for the batter to hit.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BamaYankee View Post
                    Make sure you are not the problem.

                    I hold every ball up where the batter can see them, drop my hand down and then toss upwards. The batter loads when my hand goes down. This helps establish a rhythm the batter can get into. .
                    I also do this and consider it to be essential.
                    I seldom see others tossing this way.
                    Skip

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                    • #11
                      I'm not a fan of soft toss for young hitters. It's an unnatrual angle for the ball to come from. I prefer front toss. I did front toss with my son with whiffle golf balls. I put the bucket between my legs and protected my face with a glove. The few shots I took in the chest or shoulders weren't a big deal. If you have a screen you can front toss from behind the screen.

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                      • #12
                        If done right along an emphasis on form it is a great tool. I try to be 4-5 feet away at a 45 degree angle. My son was able to differentiate the power output leading the hands with the hips vs hips with hands. There was more smoothness and a lot more power when he led with his hips.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tg643 View Post
                          I'm not a fan of soft toss for young hitters. It's an unnatrual angle for the ball to come from. I prefer front toss. I did front toss with my son with whiffle golf balls. I put the bucket between my legs and protected my face with a glove. The few shots I took in the chest or shoulders weren't a big deal. If you have a screen you can front toss from behind the screen.
                          OK. This is something I completely agree with. I gave up soft toss a long time ago as a waste of valuable time. I front toss from behind a screen.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by pthawaii View Post
                            My 7 yo son got a nice net for xmas, so I've been doing more soft toss (from the side) with him vs actual front toss at a field. He really hits the ball well with soft toss, but it seems like he misses the ball more, or mis-times the ball more with front toss. Should I stop soft tossing him into the net? Or is it that I just need to get off my lazy butt and go to the park and pitch to him from the front more? Or is there a way to change how I do soft toss so it translates better to front toss hitting?
                            It can lead to a lot of vertical movement, and a funky swing plane, if the ball isn't tossed fast enough.

                            I prefer front toss because you can bring the ball in at a more realistic speed and angle.
                            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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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by pthawaii View Post
                              My 7 yo son got a nice net for xmas, so I've been doing more soft toss (from the side) with him vs actual front toss at a field. He really hits the ball well with soft toss, but it seems like he misses the ball more, or mis-times the ball more with front toss. Should I stop soft tossing him into the net? Or is it that I just need to get off my lazy butt and go to the park and pitch to him from the front more? Or is there a way to change how I do soft toss so it translates better to front toss hitting?
                              Soft toss can be from several positions... Side toss and front toss... both take a little expertise in order for them to be helpful. I agree with TG on this and prefer front toss. I used to turn an "L" screen around and threw sitting on a bucket. This gave the hitters something that emulated real pitching...... and..... it saved coach's arm!
                              "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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