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Scared at the plate after getting hit...

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  • #16
    Like Omg, I'm not a fan of wiffle balls, tennis balls, etc. Kids are not dumb. They know the difference between something that hurts and something that doesn't. I like the batting cage idea. After that though, the kid will have to face the fear and accept that fact that it's part of the game. Time is really what it's gonna take. My son went through it and most every other kids does too.

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    • #17
      Son had gone through this a few times over the years, and I had forgotten this story. When he was 9yo playing LL Majors (the pitchers seemed huge to him), he was hit in the first game or two. The next game, he stepped way out, and struck out every at bat.

      After the game, I stood up next to his face and gave my stern look. I told him "You will get over this fear sometime this year. You can either waste your entire season doing this, or you can get over it now and have fun all season. It's up to you." It worked.:sun:
      Last edited by songtitle; 04-21-2012, 07:06 AM.
      efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Kings over Queens View Post

        The thing I've done is to show the kids how to properly get hit (turn back, lower head and cover bat)
        I've always believed that lowering the head puts the batter in a dangerous position by exposing their neck to the pitch. I've always taught turning your back, lowering the bat and RAISING the head; thereby putting bottom of the helmet onto the shoulders and making it almost impossible for the ball to hit their neck.
        Sent from my mobile device... probably while driving...

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        • #19
          Originally posted by JCincy View Post
          First and foremost your son's reaction is RATIONAL AND REASONABLE! Agree with him that getting hit with a baseball hurts! Don't make a big deal out it. Please, please don't ridicule him.

          The best thing to do is practice, practice, practice. But don't push him too hard. Keep getting back on the horse and providing encouragement. Soft toss, use a tee, use a deflated volleyball. You can certainly use softer balls for a while. For the younger players we have used rolled up socks. Keep the pitches coming and work up to regular batting. Do not get upset if you son doesn't get over this after a few practices.

          Once again, his reaction is 100% RATIONAL!

          Show him John Kruk vs. Randy Johnson. "All I want to do is live... and I lived... so I had a good a bat."
          Agree...no matter the age after getting drilled like he did his reaction is 100% normal. I've told him that he needs to figure out a way to deal with it, I can't help him put his fears in a box while he is batting.

          We have team practice again today and it's focusing 100% on hitting, soft toss, tee's and live pitching; I'm not going to say a word to him about anything and see how he does today. And I will show him the Kruk video; I had forgotten about that... Thanks!
          Sent from my mobile device... probably while driving...

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          • #20
            Originally posted by mellowthunder View Post
            Like Omg, I'm not a fan of wiffle balls, tennis balls, etc. Kids are not dumb. They know the difference between something that hurts and something that doesn't. I like the batting cage idea. After that though, the kid will have to face the fear and accept that fact that it's part of the game. Time is really what it's gonna take. My son went through it and most every other kids does too.
            what I did with my son is during BP in the cages I would occasionally sneak in one of those Atec soft baseballs and throw it at him. We used to laugh and both get a kick out of it. We would then discuss how to take a ball at you by turning into the pitch and protecting yourself. It soon became instinctive for him to Always turn into the pitch. I cannot count the number of times he has been hit with the ball. Absolutely no fear of being hit.
            Last edited by Standballdad; 04-21-2012, 09:03 AM.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by songtitle View Post
              After the game, I stood up next to his face.......
              Holy cow, your 9y/o son must have been pretty darn tall. :clowning:



              To the OP......standing in against pitching a machine helps a little, even more so if you can slowly crank the speed up, make a game of, and then let them realize just how fast the pitch was traveling that they were hitting......seems to bolster the confidence a little bit.

              But mainly it's something that they're going to have to process and work through at their own speed.

              Some will get there faster than others, but as has been point out previously, they will all eventually overcome it. We as parents/coaches can either encourage and help them through the process, or we can make them "man up" and instill another doubt and fear into them.

              I feel one way works better than the other......having embarrassingly done both at one time or another.
              Last edited by mudvnine; 04-21-2012, 09:32 AM.
              In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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              • #22
                To be honest I've never seen a preteen player afraid of the pitch ever get over it unless it's almost immediate. They're usually out of the game in the next year or two. Having the yips at the plate is not condusive to success. Little kids who fail don't like playing. The thing about baseball compared to other sports is failure is front and center as a solo act at the plate. Our cleanup hitter in 10U never got over taking one off the helmet. He was done with baseball after age twelve. I've seen older, successful players overcome fear at the plate because they were successful before getting hit and injured (not hit and hurt) and were mentally tough.

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                • #23
                  I know this thread was created about Little Leaguers.. but as a high school player who is experiencing a smaller case of this, are there any suggestions as to how I can subconsciously forget about a fear of the ball? I've been hit in the body before, and it's not a rare occasion, obviously. Those are no big deal, just toss the bat and take my base. However, two years ago I got hit in the cheek with a pitch I couldn't get out of the way of. I still managed to hit above .300 the next year, but found myself striding towards third about 2-3 inches, which obviously diminishes plate coverage and causes bad mechanics.. still experiencing this problem to present day.
                  There are numerous great baseball quotes. The best ever? "Play ball."

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by chain220 View Post
                    However, two years ago I got hit in the cheek with a pitch I couldn't get out of the way of. I still managed to hit above .300 the next year, but found myself striding towards third about 2-3 inches, which obviously diminishes plate coverage and causes bad mechanics.. still experiencing this problem to present day.

                    You can find them here......
                    In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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                    • #25
                      Can someone provide a list of useful protective gear and where online you can get it? I have a friend who told me about their thoughts. They put their kid in all types of protective gear (daughter). Even a masked helmet. They figured, I'd rather them field grounders properly and look a little silly then take one in the face and deal with 3 mos of trying to get them down for grounders. When they get older, if still playing, they will be more equipped to take hits.

                      This thread makes me think, maybe it's not such a bad thing to get an elbow guard, padded vest or undershirt to take the edge off. But does anyone here have any experience with any products that they can endorse?
                      Never played baseball, just a dad of someone that loves to play. So take any advice I post with a grain of salt.

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                      • #26
                        I have seen kids with all of the padding in the world and still be no less afraid of the pitch. Last year one kid on my 12U's team wore a undershirt with all sorts of padding, looking like motocross rider. He didn't help him control his fear of taking ground balls nor in the batter's box.

                        The 19 year old was 12 when he was hit by a 75 mph fast ball under his eye that required surgery. He was back within 60 days. He would not wear a face shield for his helmet and barely tolerated a cheek guard from Marquart (sp?) that attaches to the helmet with screws. He took it off after 3 months required by his mother.

                        I have bought the Evo Shield elbow protectors for my kids. While the 12 year old at first like it, he didn't want to use it, so only the 19 year old uses the elbow protector. The 19 year old's first one broke and his brother let him have the other one.

                        My 12 year old wore a pitch on God's padding yesterday. No dramatics some laughter and he took his base. Latter when he went swimming he noticed it had left a mark and laughed about it.

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                        • #27
                          Sometimes kids respond to humor and attention...

                          Whew... look at the mark... don't worry kid, the chicks dig scars.

                          That shiner will give you something to talk about a school tomorrow.

                          Somebody get a sharpee, we need the pitcher to sign that one.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by pthawaii View Post
                            Can someone provide a list of useful protective gear and where online you can get it?
                            Elbow guards, ankle guards, shin guards, wrist guards, helmet with a face guard, jock & cup, chest guard, heart guard, etc...

                            I have not used the following site, I have purchased everything at a local store, so my kids can try stuff on first.

                            http://www.cyaprotectivegear.com/Vie...Sport=Baseball

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                            • #29
                              Part of it I think has to be a discussion that getting hit with the ball comes with the territory in baseball. It's inevitable. It will hurt to some degree, but it will pass and life goes on.

                              My son broke his arm at about 7 or 8 and we used to compare everything to the pain of that. Getting hit with the ball never seemed all that big a deal in that context.

                              Also in the process of being hit a few times and having a lot of different injuries he developed a self image of being sort of tough and fearless.

                              Finally, I told him this story about when I was in HS. I had a JV coach that lined us up and threw baseballs at us....true story. I guess he didn't want to give off the impression that he needed that he needed that form of instruction.
                              There are two kinds of losers.....Those that don't do what they are told, and those that do only what they are told.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by tcvander View Post
                                I've always believed that lowering the head puts the batter in a dangerous position by exposing their neck to the pitch. I've always taught turning your back, lowering the bat and RAISING the head; thereby putting bottom of the helmet onto the shoulders and making it almost impossible for the ball to hit their neck.
                                Its a natural motion to roll out and lower your head as you cover the bat. My view is that it presents the same small target (the neck that is) as if you were to raise your head, but in my case, the ball is going to glance off the boys back (like a rock skimming a pond) and hurt less than if they do it your way, standing straight up and getting a shot square in the ribs or kidney.

                                Just my .02.

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