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Monday, October 4, 2010

Baseball Coaching Digest: Helping Your son overcome fear at the plate.

I recently received the following comment from Paul concerning helping his son to regain his confidence and swing quality. Below is my comment.

Hello Nick: My son is 10 years old. Last year he broke his thumb on an inside pitch. Since that incident, he began bailing out on every pitch. His once solid swing has gone to crap! We have made some progress, he has unbelievable hand eye coordination which has saved him from complete failure. He now tends to almost sand up during the swing resulting in a tremendous loss of power! Not to mention changing the swing plane. What can i do?

I understand your frustration and concern. I also understand the feelings that are causing your son the problems. There are several suggestions that I have.

1) There is a drill called the "Step-in-and-hit" drill (see below)
that is often used to correct or elimintate the bad habit of stepping out.

2) If he is standing too tall, I would have him widen his feet or stance and go to a no stride or simple load-lift-lauch technique that involves very little travel of the front foot. This stance should force him to be lower throughout the swing.

3) A last alternative would be to open his stance and to have him step in on very pitch. The open stance will make him feel that he in seeing the ball better. An open stance requires the batter to close and step in on the pitch. I would resort to this tactic as a last resort.

4) You may want to consider purchasing a front arm guard and padded batting glove to give him a feeling of being protected.

I hope that these suggestions help. I wish you are your son great luck in the approaching season. He is lucky to have a father that cares and that is committed to helping him become a better player.

Have a great day, Nick

The Step-In-And-Hit" Batting Drill

The "step in and hit" drill is a good remedy to this problem. This drill has the player move back one step farther of the plate than normal. The players will step in first with the back foot. The step is taken straight toward the plate. Then the front foot step is taken at a 45 degree angle toward the plate. The step is almost toward the second baseman. (For a right handed batter). When the front foot lands, the batter will attack the ball. This teaches the batter to step into the ball and prevents him from stepping back. This drill is best done with a hitting stick type training aid.

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick