Little League Baseball Coaching
By Joe Brockhoff
If we hold our hands up and pop our wrists, we can do that over and over again very quickly. If someone were to throw a punch at us, our hands would quickly and automatically pop up in defense.
As an infielder, we don't have to think about a ball thrown to us. Our hands will react to the direction of the ball and make the catch without having to think about it.
Think of the catcher after he gives the sign. He is taught to frame the pitch. His hands automatically go to the pitch without any thought or direction.
So the hands are auto reactors. Is this good for the hitter? The answer is: No! The hitter who allows his hands to react automatically as his first movement towards the pitch will never have full body support.
When the hands go too early, this is when we hear the coach yell out, "Wait on the pitch!"
Now, let's apply this to our baseball hitting mechanics.
These are the steps:
1. Coil (Load): The hitter collects his weight on the backside
2. Stride: a linear step towards the pitched ball (30-40% of weight transfer)
3. Body Rotation: Hips rotate toward the ball
4. Hands will then, and only then, execute the stroke
Here is one of our best little league baseball coaching tips: "HIPS TAKE US TO THE BALL. HANDS TAKE US THROUGH THE BALL."
So, when we are leaning how to hit a baseball, do we trust the hands? The answer is:
Don't trust the hands. Then, trust the hands. In other words, discipline the hands to wait until we get into the launch position, which is with the hands inside the ball and the hips rotated.
Our hands do not initiate the stroke until we rotate to the pitch. They travel in rotation with the pivot, but they do not commit to the pitch until the rotation is complete. This rotated position with the hands still back is what we call the DRIVE position. It is at this time that the hands will launch.
NOW we can trust them. Let them explode the bat to the ball.
One final note. Remember that when we hit, the hands are in a double lever system. That is, they don't personally go to the ball. They are holding the bat, which goes to the ball. The hands always end up in front of the body. They are responsible for directing the bat to the proper cut line on the pitch.
Former Tulane Hall of Fame Baseball Coach, Joe Brockhoff, fully explains his baseball hitting drills with the Super 8 Hitting System, completely demonstrated with videos and hitting drills to help you hit with more power and raise your batting average. http://www.kewego.com/video/iLyROoafMM8J.html.
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If you are looking for great coaching articles, please consider one of our sites: The BaseballCoachingDigest.com, the YouthBaseballDigest.com or the BaseballParentGuide.com. Have a safe and happy season! Nick Dixon
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