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Thursday, February 4, 2010
How to Play Baseball - Teaching Younger Hitters a Good Baseball Swing
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By Nate Barnett
I love teaching 11 and 12 year olds how to play baseball. They are still at the age (most of them) where they don't know everything there is about the baseball swing. But, one of the best rewards from teaching youth baseball drills is the excitement on their faces when they figure out for themselves how to crush the baseball.
The first step to teaching youth baseball drills is to understand the part of the swing that will produce the greatest and quickest positive results in a hitter. The faster a coach can reach an athlete and instill some confidence in the skill of hitter, the more receptive he will be for future coaching as he learns how to play baseball better. The single most important first skill to teach a young athlete is the ability to properly manage his balance while hitting a baseball.
Here are a few techniques to include when teaching your athletes how to play baseball offensively.
1. Make sure that the stance of the athlete is wide enough. The "shoulders width" suggestion doesn't hold up when one really understands how weight is shifted. The general rule is to position your hitters with their hips inside their knees, and their knees inside their feet. Once a hitter is in this position, and it is difficult to tell if the formula from the previous sentence is in place, he is too narrow at the base and needs to widen his stance.
2. There must be a legitimate transfer of weight onto the back leg as the hitter prepares himself before the baseball is released. Without the ability of a visual here (though I'll have a complete ebook finished on this topic very soon complete with visuals!), make sure the back knee is roughly above the back shoe. If the back knee has moved to the outside of the back shoe, the weight transfer is too great. This whole process of creating a transfer of weight allows a hitter to create power generating from his backside leg and not only his upper body. I cannot emphasize the importance of this point enough.
3. Once the hitter begins his swing, the back leg which is still housing approximately 60% of the body weight will rotate in what is commonly referred to as the pivot. As the rotation occurs, look to see if the weight and the flex of the back leg is still present. One simple way to tell if this has occurred is see if there is an imaginary vertical line running from inside shoulder through the hip, through the back knee upon finish of the swing.
I do realize this is somewhat technical in nature, however, if fully understood it will make all the difference in the world for the consistency of a young athlete. It's worth learning for sure.
Nate Barnett is owner of BMI Baseball designed to improve the mental game of baseball in athletes. Learn how to help your game by improving the skill of mental baseball
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Nate_Barnett
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