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What age can you start teaching Rotational hitting, 5 yr too young?

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  • What age can you start teaching Rotational hitting, 5 yr too young?

    Hi, I Been analyzing MLb swings for the past 2 years , I think I finally get it

    I wish I knew this when I played little league.

    My son just turned 5 yrs last month and loves baseball, we hit about 60-80 balls a day

    that's all he wants to do all day is play we also play nightly family wiffle ball games.

    He also watches the MLB swing vids on youtube with me, hes trying real hard to swing the same way.

    Is he too young to start trying?

    Heres his swings , first swing is the most recent, last swing in VID is 5 months ago. so its about a 5 month span

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZngPPLDq2Q

    Any tips on what he can do?

  • #2
    Have fun? Play in the mud? Learn to count to 100? Make paper airplanes? Build a sand castle?

    Comment


    • #3
      Whatever you do keep it fun and don't burn him out.

      He has a really good swing for a 5 y.o.

      I like the idea of family whiffle ball games.

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      • #4
        IMO, a lot of natural ability is coached out of kids. They don't get to discover on their own. They don't get to think through the process at all in any phase of the game like we did a million years ago when I was a kid. IMO let him play ball all he wants. Let him mess up as well as have success. In short, let him be a kid. In the long run, he will be able to think at age 9-10 when others have been drilled to death at an early age. JMHO!
        Granny said Sonny stick to your guns if you believe in something no matter what. Because it's better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you're not.

        I am an ex expert. I've done this long enough to know that those who think that they know it all, know nothing.

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        • #5
          I believe my son was eleven when we first stated discussing hitting, breaking it down and mental approach. Until then he hacked away and was successful without any serious flaws.

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          • #6
            They are never too young.
            efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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            • #7
              Originally posted by HeinekenMan View Post
              Have fun? Play in the mud? Learn to count to 100? Make paper airplanes? Build a sand castle?
              Oh yeah,
              when he's not playing baseball he does normal kid stuff, he's also starting kindergarten this month.

              Again he is having fun this is what he loves to do, when hes good and we go to toys r us to buy him something he doesnt want batman or gi joe he wants new bats and gloves.

              He watches a lot of baseball as well and the game has also taught him Numbers he's very good at math because of baseball

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              • #8
                At that age, they likely lack the vocabulary and the kinetic connections to hear what you say and see what you do and do it on your own. IMHO, what you'll end up teaching is "spinning" as the simply turn their hips, rather than stretch/coil/load/etc.

                Like I mentioned previously, my 10yo is learning the stretch & tip, sit/coil, stuff. My 5yo picks up on it and walks around like Julio Franco (bat tip toward pitcher). What they think they're doing and what they're doing are two different things many times. It is cute though, he thinks he's big stuff because he T-Ball he "goes grass" (hits it to the OF).

                I, personally, do not think you should teach "rotating hips" because so many kids do it wrong (or dads/coaches teach it wrong). I think you teach the load/coil and the stretch (scap retraction/pinching), and the hips take care of themselves.

                At 5, I'm working with my son to [1] step to the pitcher (show me the side of your foot), [2] Hands back by pulling back with the elbow (you and I know it's really the shoulder blade pulling back), and [3] starting the swing by turning the barrel or taking the rear elbow toward the hip. You'd be amazed at how 3 simple things can produce a really nice swing. That's about all he can handle.

                Throwingwise he also does very good, and we recently worked on "tucking his glove", taking his gloveside elbow toward his hip, rather than letting it swing to the side or end up behind his back. Now, by "working on" what I mean with him is I simply said "I want you to try to do it like this ... point your elbow at me, then take it to your hip" ... after 4 tries he did it about as well as I think a 5yo could do it. If after numerous tries he demonstrated he wasn't "getting it", we would have stopped. I wouldn't have continued with a "No, you're getting this or we're not playing catch anymore". I praised him for doing it well, and now it's just how he throws. He's 5 years old and may never know or experience an incorrect way of throwing.

                It's a fine line and each kid would be different. Some are saying just let him swing, but if there are things that can be improved easily ... improve them. The same dads /coaches saying just let them have fun and hit, etc are probably the same ones saying "Holy Crap, who does he work with?" when he's 9 and he doesn't have a 9yo's mechanics.

                I look at the same way I do everything else. As a dad, if my kid is writing his 5's backwards, I correct him and practice doing it the right way, and praise him when he does it correctly. I'm his dad, it's my duty. When he needs help with something, he's supposed to come to me for help.

                The important thing to mention is that it's not necessarily what you say, but how you say. A dad can very easily take all of the fun out of learning how to hit/pitch by how they "instruct", or he can also make it very fun and rewarding. Most of us learned how to fish from our dads. I don't recall a single day of fishing feeling like "work" or being yelled at. Unfortunately many of our baseball days were. Teach hitting/pitching with the same mentality you'd use while teaching fishing and you'll be fine.

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                • #9
                  At age 5 being too technical could be very counter productive. Your son has a very good basic sequence in his swing with rear leg leading the charge. Try to rotate the hips is like putting the cart before the horse.

                  Just let him swing away and having fun.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CircleChange11 View Post
                    he thinks he's big stuff because he T-Ball he "goes grass" (hits it to the OF).
                    Great stuff! lol.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Just watched the video. I'd lose the underhand toss.

                      An overhand flip should be just fine, plus it comes in on a path that is better for learning proper mechanics. If you are going to underhand toss, then stand up. You want the ball traveling on a line (pretty much) at the hitter's belt line or slightly higher. Pitching in coach pitch should be the "throwing darts" motion from a knee. Better control and better baseball flight path.

                      I personally think the underhand toss causes more problems that it relieves, namely in timing and swing paths.

                      Now, saying that (because it might not even be you pitching in the video), kid has a good swing. I wouldn't stress or feel as though there needs to be work done at his age/level. He could spend a year or two just hitting using his current mechanics before anything new is added.

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                      • #12
                        Syidewayz,

                        “What age can you start teaching Rotational hitting, 5 yr too young? “
                        First do not fall into the marketing trap that all fall into since the internet began finding acceptance and use.

                        All swings are rotational whether the bat starts horizontally at start (batter susceptible to low pitches) if maintained or if the bat is held vertically (batter susceptible to higher pitches) if maintained.
                        The biggest problem with this age group is maintaining a short straighter path with lesser looping path from initial acceleration start being dropped instead of the hands maintaining their forwards orientation.
                        This done best and especially at this age by letting him stay with as light a bat as can be used when training or just hacking around. This can be done with wiffle equipment. Older kids should be underload training most of their swings also because this builds neural firing orders in a more linear path better.

                        “Hi, I Been analyzing MLb swings for the past 2 years , I think I finally get it”
                        Now if you had matched you viewing of MLB swings by studying 5 year old swings just as much you would have something worthwhile.
                        What swing style did you pick of the many MLB swing styles that had you get it? Currently most of the MLB batters are using the vertical barrel start but the pitchers are still pitching at the knees unberealized to them that the batters have adjusted to this in the last 20 years. When the pitchers realize that all these vertical barrel starts can be better delt with by pitching higher in the zone with their fastballs the batters will have to adjust back to more horizontal starts. Generationally this leaves the kids always 2 generations off. Now that the internet has come in this may be reduced to 1 generation misled.

                        ”I wish I knew this when I played little league”
                        When you were in LL and you had used this anecdotal form of learning and you liked Micky Rivers swing you would have still emulated an MLB swing! Get it?

                        ”My son just turned 5 yrs last month and loves baseball, we hit about 60-80 balls a day”
                        Nothing wrong with this as long as you make it fun for him and you have him do field agility, tumbling, hiking, monkey bars, swimming and balance attaining activities in equal amounts.

                        ”that's all he wants to do all day is play we also play nightly family wiffle ball games.”
                        This is exactly what you should be doing at this age, great job!!

                        ”He also watches the MLB swing vids on youtube with me, hes trying real hard to swing the same way.
                        Just remember it’s all about the initial path.

                        ”Is he too young to start trying?”
                        No, it’s when he starts competing that he will regress.

                        ”Heres his swings , first swing is the most recent, last swing in VID is 5 months ago. so its about a 5 month span”
                        Watch how he dumps the initial movement, this is what I mean by competition regressing his initial path and it happens to all age groups. The one that play more games than practice come out worse than they could have been.

                        Any tips on what he can do?
                        Place an obstacle behind the plate at last rib height like another tee so he will spatially learn that his launch point should start from his backside delt (shoulder acromial tip) and not his ribs or even worse his hip.
                        Last edited by Dirtberry; 08-13-2012, 02:52 PM.
                        Primum non nocere

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I started my kids swinging the heaviest bat they could swing without sacrificing form. They both have verticle barrels at the start. The younger one was swinging a 29-19.5 Omaha 2-5/8 barrel as a 7 & 8 year old. Both of my kids want and love fastballs up in the zone, but have no problem getting the barrel on balls down and away, or up and in. This was my younger son as an 8 year old swinging the orange Omaha. The last 3 stills are from a HR hit into a 20 mph wind (gusts reached +35 mph).
                          Attached Files

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Not to sound offensive, but some of the threads in this file are downright scary.

                            When I played LL back in the 70s/early 80s, my parents rarely showed up. And I loved it. It let me still be a kid without somebody over my shoulder while still playing the game as best I could. I see these frame-by-frame shots, critiques of a young pitching arm, swing stances, etc and it just oozes to me a parent's need to live their lives thru their kids. Don't do that - please. Let your son or daughter play to their best ability while letting them enjoy the fun that's supposed to be had at that level. The most important lesson they'll learn is that while personal accomplishments are great, sometimes it takes a team of people to get where you really want to go.

                            I see kids today in general getting fat because they live behind a keyboard. The opposite side of the rainbow are the kids who are doing reps and such to become the ultimate player. Neither one works - at least not with some long-term hostility attached. Take a look at Todd Marinovich's history sometime. IMO, let the kids be kids and let them figure out for themselves what they want to do. No kid at 5 wants to hit buckets of balls or do non-stop reps of fielding grounders. That is something his/her parent(s) wants him to do and they deflect the damage by saying their child "likes it".
                            "Chuckie doesn't take on 2-0. Chuckie's hackin'." - Chuck Carr two days prior to being released by the Milwaukee Brewers

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              @ Ben Grimm, Can I make an assumption about you? No? Well that goes the other way too. There are coaches that are teaching garbage and the purpose here is to help others see that. It cracks me up when someone makes a comment here criticizing certain hitting or pitching mechanics, yet some of the greatest players used those same mechanics.

                              I rarely get to go to my college player's games and missed a lot of his high school games too. My younger son went to Cooperstown a few weeks ago and I could not take time off. My kids hit bombs and have no fear of striking out or making mistakes. Why? Because no one learns from negative criticism or yelling. When they become upset, because of a strike out or an error, I remind them how can anyone hold kids to a higher standard than pro players? One of the players on my team was upset that he struck out and grounded out and I brought up the old saying "If you fail 2/3's of the time it is possible to make it to the hall of fame. I also brought up the Michael Jordan quote on why he was a great scorer, he missed a lot and was not afraid to miss or fail. It was the kid's first time in a competitive league, I encouraged him and his dad. I am a firm believer in making the least skilled players on the team better to win championships.

                              Where I do not cut my kids any slack is school work. Absolutely no compromise there.

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