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Friday, May 14, 2010

Baseball Tips - This Problem May Be Causing That Hitting Slump

By Tom Read

Hitting the baseball is tough. You need to have a good batting stance, correct placement of the hands, good eye hand coordination, a good read on the type of pitch, and good body movement through the ball. And as the old saying goes, you are trying to hit a round ball square with a round bat. So when you go into a batting slump, which part of this equation is failing you?

This is a story I like to tell. My young son was in a bating slump like never before. He had gone from hitting the ball all over the field, to striking out at every plate appearance. Of course he was frustrated. This had never happened to him in his young career. So he and I started to take a look at each part of his swing.

His coach was also very helpful. He pitched extra batting practice to my son and gave us suggestions to try at the batting cages. We tried having him crowd the plate, back off the plate. We tried an open stance, then a closed stance. We raised his hands, we lowered his hands. We did soft toss and hit off the tee. We went ot a lighter bat, then to a heavier bat. I began to realize I was putting too much importance on this small part of his life. But to him it was very important.

Two weeks had gone by and I had decided that maybe this was his real hitting ability, and that his earlier success was just an unusual hitting streak. Then a thought came to me. At school they check every student's eye sight each year, but maybe he needed an eye exam.

My wife was able to get him into the eye doctor the next day. And can you believe it, his sight was 20-100, very bad. Surprisingly, we were all pleased with the news. Can you imagine that.? Happy that he had bad eye sight. Maybe this was his batting problem.

We were able to get glasses right away, and my son was amazed at what he could see. Leaves on the trees were now so much clearer. He was so trilled. He said let's get his ears checked. Maybe there was something he wasn't hearing. We told him his hearing was just fine.

Now the true test, the next game. I tried to prepare him for the worst, telling him it might take some time to adjust to this new sight. But that caution was never needed, he came out of the gate sending hits all over the field again. All those changes to his batting stance weren't needed. His eyes had changed very rapidly, but he had not noticed.

From what I understand, four other boys on the team had their eye sight checked within the next week. I guess you can say seeing is believing. So when you see changes in your player's ability be sure to consider their eye sight, as well as any other physical aspect. Kids grow up fast, and they make many changes during that time.

For other baseball tips and stories, please visit my website at

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