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At what age do most youth achieve a proper bat path as part of their swing?

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  • At what age do most youth achieve a proper bat path as part of their swing?

    I'm wondering at do what age most youth baseball players achieve a slightly upward bat path (matching pitch plane), as seen by most MLB players?

    I watched a few of the LL World Series games and noticed that during instant replays of hard hit balls and HR most if the swings did not have an upward swing path through the ball. Most were level to the ground and many we even down through contact.

    I figure these are the elite youth of the game, and if they haven't achieved "proper bat path" then maybe it's not something that is typically mastered until much later.

    To answer this question, one must accept that the proper bat path through the ball is slightly upward in plane with the incoming pitch, as seen by many slow motion swing analysis of many MLB players.

    I ask this question in part because after doing fairly well with the "bath path" concept in coach pitch, my son now going into kid pitch has gone back to level or slightly downward swing through the ball. I've let it go for the most part because I'm just letting him focus on getting used to and making contact with an overhand pitch, but I'm not even sure it's something I should worry about after seeing many of the LL World Series kids swings.

    At what age do most youth baseball players achieve a slightly upward bat path (matching pitch plane), as seen by most MLB players?

    ** Note the key word "most." I'm basically looking for an average or general guideline recognizing and accepting the fact that each child is different, etc. etc.
    Never played baseball, just a dad of someone that loves to play. So take any advice I post with a grain of salt.

  • #2
    Age has nothing to do with technique.

    Also many, if not most, swings are ruined by the constant barrage of "hands to the ball", "squish the bug" and other cues by the time they are 12.
    efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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    • #3
      Why would those be the "elite youth?" All you need is an early developer who throws 75+ from 46' and you're going to win almost 100% of the time.

      Comment


      • #4
        If you have CBS Sports Network, watch the NYBC 12u championship game tonight. Those are the elite 12 year olds and almost all of them will have a major league swing path. The first four batters for the Banditos have incredible swings. In the semi's they had a kid hit a ball around 350 feet. He wasn't some monster either. Now, the team from Florida that the Banditos beat, had Bill Cartwright's nephew on it. He was 6-4 220 lbs and wore a size 16 shoe.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by songtitle View Post
          Age has nothing to do with technique.

          Also many, if not most, swings are ruined by the constant barrage of "hands to the ball", "squish the bug" and other cues by the time they are 12.
          I agree with Song.... I've seen some accomplish great things at a young age with regards to technique and other develop them later and still have great basball lives.
          "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
            Originally posted by d-mac View Post
            If you have CBS Sports Network, watch the NYBC 12u championship game tonight. Those are the elite 12 year olds and almost all of them will have a major league swing path. The first four batters for the Banditos have incredible swings. In the semi's they had a kid hit a ball around 350 feet. He wasn't some monster either. Now, the team from Florida that the Banditos beat, had Bill Cartwright's nephew on it. He was 6-4 220 lbs and wore a size 16 shoe.
            That should be a fun game to watch. Phenom imports from all over the country. They have the #1 from Grant in Oakland which is probably the nation's best team. Grant mercy ruled the Banditos earlier in the year.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by pthawaii View Post
              I'm wondering at do what age most youth baseball players achieve a slightly upward bat path (matching pitch plane), as seen by most MLB players?

              I watched a few of the LL World Series games and noticed that during instant replays of hard hit balls and HR most if the swings did not have an upward swing path through the ball. Most were level to the ground and many we even down through contact.

              I figure these are the elite youth of the game, and if they haven't achieved "proper bat path" then maybe it's not something that is typically mastered until much later.

              To answer this question, one must accept that the proper bat path through the ball is slightly upward in plane with the incoming pitch, as seen by many slow motion swing analysis of many MLB players.

              I ask this question in part because after doing fairly well with the "bath path" concept in coach pitch, my son now going into kid pitch has gone back to level or slightly downward swing through the ball. I've let it go for the most part because I'm just letting him focus on getting used to and making contact with an overhand pitch, but I'm not even sure it's something I should worry about after seeing many of the LL World Series kids swings.

              At what age do most youth baseball players achieve a slightly upward bat path (matching pitch plane), as seen by most MLB players?

              ** Note the key word "most." I'm basically looking for an average or general guideline recognizing and accepting the fact that each child is different, etc. etc.
              Never, there's a difference between attempting to match the plane of the pitch and having the correct barrel path (deep whoosh). I'd say 99% of college players don't have it.

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              • #8
                Lots of highlights of NYBC on mlb.com
                http://mlb.mlb.com/search/media.jsp?..._key=2009_nybc
                @noontimegifs

                Comment


                • #9
                  i3uw46.jpg
                  Which one of these guys is the 1st ballot HOF...?

                  LOL!!
                  I don't like my balls to smell like pickles.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by songtitle View Post
                    Age has nothing to do with technique.

                    Also many, if not most, swings are ruined by the constant barrage of "hands to the ball", "squish the bug" and other cues by the time they are 12.
                    I undertand why those two examples are incorrect. But they sure beat "keep your elbow up". If I feel that telling kids the above will help them move closer to the proper swing, I will use them. I used "hands to the ball" a little when I was working with kids who were around 6 or 7. In my experience, kids were able to do what they needed to do even if the advice seems to suggest something that is not correct. I do have a few kids this fall who leave the back foot flat on the ground. It seems like squish the bug would be a step in the right direction. I usually tell them to turn the back foot. And that's really no more correct than telling them to squish the bug.

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                    • #11
                      A swing is a constant work in progress. Otherwise there would be no need for college, minor league and MLB hitting coaches. One of my son's travel teammates was the state GatorAde Player of the Year. He's in A ball now. They're still working on his swing.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by pthawaii View Post
                        I'm wondering at do what age most youth baseball players achieve a slightly upward bat path (matching pitch plane), as seen by most MLB players?
                        I think a better question would be when a kid could start to develop their swing into that type of swing. For me, I didn't do a whole lot with my son when he started. I tried to get him into a reasonable stance and let him go from there. I would just tell him to hit the ball hard. It seemed like he was always figuring something out for himself. When he was able understand what instructors were trying to teach him about his swing was maybe around age 9 I suppose. He didn't have any private instruction for hitting until last year at age 13. Before that, it was camps here and there.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by d-mac View Post
                          If you have CBS Sports Network, watch the NYBC 12u championship game tonight. Those are the elite 12 year olds and almost all of them will have a major league swing path. The first four batters for the Banditos have incredible swings. In the semi's they had a kid hit a ball around 350 feet. He wasn't some monster either. Now, the team from Florida that the Banditos beat, had Bill Cartwright's nephew on it. He was 6-4 220 lbs and wore a size 16 shoe.
                          Banditos win..back to back 12u titles. And 3 out of last six. If Phenom had been able to win the semis without throwing their #1 it might have been different.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The two middle infielders for the Banditos have a bright future ahead of them. The 2b hit over .800 in the tournament and the SS has a phenomenal swing and hit two balls over 300ft tonight. Both kids can run, as well. I was surprised at how sloppy the game was. Phenom let three pop ups hit the ground.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jake Patterson View Post
                              I agree with Song.... I've seen some accomplish great things at a young age with regards to technique and other develop them later and still have great basball lives.
                              I suppose I was trying to avoid this sort of response with my, "** Note the key word "most." I'm basically looking for an average or general guideline recognizing and accepting the fact that each child is different, etc. etc." I keep thinking that baseball instruction for youth can be "age appropriate," I'm guessing from your response that baseball doesn't always work that way.

                              For example, in math, on average kids learn addition in 1st grade (plus minus a year) and multiplication in 3rd grade (plus minus a year). You wouldn't try to teach a normal 4 yo how to do multiplication.

                              I'm trying to get a sense about certain baseball instruction in a similar way. But given the responses here, it either doesn't work that way, or it hasn't been figured out yet. I make up, it's the later, because I've seen people provide opinions when something isn't age appropriate. For example, if someone were to post that they are trying to show their 5 yo how to stand in the batters box, I think many people would see that as a good thing. If someone was trying to show their 5 yo how to do something more high level (e.g. running start), many people would think they are over zealous and should chill.

                              So I'm thinking, gee am I being realistic or over zealous with trying to teach my son bat path. I know what I should teach him with math. Baseball, not so much. And without even a very very very rough approximate draft, I'm left to just sort of wing it.

                              Just wanted to give some context to my question.
                              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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