Coaching up here in Northern California, Little League (10-12 year olds, Majors). The one thing I have the biggest problem with is kids pulling their heads as they swing and not keeping their eyes on the ball. I've tried a lot of home remedies, but nothing works consistently. Any hints?
You are correct this is a problem and you're correct until he can once to stay in and look at the ball while he swings it will not happen.
The first and foremost thing is that they have to get in the right sequence: have to step and get their foot on the ground, rotate their hips,then bring the bat through the strike zone hands first.
The best drill that I've found for this is a version of the soft toss drill. Get a screen (probably a pitcher L-screen) and have the batter stand at the plate (preferably in a cage) and soft toss directly at him both underhand and overhand just like your throwing pitches over the plate, using a screen to protect yourself. This will allow him to concentrate on the three steps and not worry about how hard he's going to hit it or if he's going to get it and he can keep his head down and see the ball all the way and even trying to see it come off the bat.
Hope this helps and if we can help you more with getting DVDs or conversation please just let me know.
Coach Arnald Swift
My question is what can we do about a hitter that is habitually late with her swing? It doesn"t seem to matter if the pitch is fast or slow!! Her mechanics and bat speed are great! She will be a sophomore at UW Whitewater this year. If she doesn't correct this problem soon, I don't think she will make the team this fall.
You're concerns are well-founded, because if the situation is as you describe no matter what pitch speed or type that she is always behind and misses the ball or hits it to the right side I will almost guarantee that
she's thinking too much.Here's a few things that you might try and ask her to do which by the way she has to do you can't do that for her.
1. While she is standing in the on deck circle she is to review several facts so she's not in her mind before she ever gets into the box-- what did this picture to me last time, what's the situation I'm going to be faced
with outs, runners, defensive position anything that could affect my time at bat she needs to have those answered within her mind before she ever gets into the box.
2. During practice she needs to be told to swing at and hit every pitch no matter what. What this is going to do is take away any thought process and you will be amazed many if not all the pages she puts the bat on.
I've even done this as a coach in a game but I'm going tell you right now her coach is not going to allow it during college game but she might pull it off in practice situations, scrimmages, doing our own.
3. Do this drill against the machine or against a real pitcher and that is what the bat down and watch the ball making a decision whether to swing or not mentally and never really doing anything if she could find the
time and the ability to look at 10 to 15 pitches with no bat it will make a big difference in how she's looking at pitches and in making the decision.
Because in a nutshell that's the problem she's thinking too much and therefore always late and always behind so we need to try to get as much of that out of the way before she gets into the box.
I hope some of this create some thought and even some help and best of luck let me know how it all works out.
Coach Arnald Swift
My 8 year old has a good swing but does not hit the ball in the game. We play in a coach pitch league so the pitches are normally very good. Can you give me some suggestion for us to work on.
I do understand your problem with little kids. As a matter of fact I do have a couple of things that you can do that will really help.
First and foremost you need to find yourself a protective screen for in the cage and place it in front of home plate. Then get you a 5 gallon bucket and turn it upside down and set behind the screen set up about 10
feet away from the batter. Now what you need to do is reach around the outer edge and underhand toss the ball to your batter. This is called front toss in it works with little kids better than soft toss from the side. You
will notice very quickly that for some strange reason, it must be the physics, that little kids can hit a ball thrown underhand. Then after you've done at for a couple of rounds give each kid like five swings have them
hurry in and out so they keep moving like you said the attention span is a big deal. Then in the third or fourth round flip it over hand from the same position so that you're down to there level and not standing above
them. You will be surprised how much better they hit I wouldn't even worry about the pitching machine until the game. What you're trying to develop his hand eye coordination.