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Friday, April 17, 2009
Where Does Power Come From For A Youth Baseball Hitter?
By Chip Lemin
Greetings to all coaches,
To help your players develop more power in their swings, you must instruct them to have balance throughout the entire swing. In the previous article,on 2-14-08, I discussed the stance of the hitter. This includes even weight distribution right from the trigger of the swing. In order to generate power, the swing must be compact and short. Yes players with long swings will generate power also, but they generally will not make as much consistent contact.
Many youth baseball players will have far too much hand and foot movement to achieve balance throughout the entire swing. These players could get away with these flaws when pitchers are just trying to throw strikes in younger leagues. As pitchers develop velocity and location these flaws will be exposed.Some young players will resist keeping their hands held up high. They resist keeping their shoulders stacked up over their feet. They may not have a wide enough base in their stance. These players like to stride out at the ball. A small controlled stride is acceptable. Many newer coaches are unaware that a long stride will hamper the player's power base.Many of the top youth baseball hitters will no stride at all. They may use some front foot movement as a timing trigger to begin to "load up' their swing.
I became a student of the baseball swing to learn all I could. When your gets professional instruction (which I encourage) pay close attention,and take notes.Many of the instructors are great sources of knowledge who are willing to help you too. After all, it is in their best interest for your players to improve. It is a reflection on his talent as an instructor.It may mean more business for him.It is the player's responsibility to work on their swing. You can give them the tools and information. You can attempt to inspire them to work harder. Don't feel any guilt about a player's swing if they are not putting in extra work to improve.
Players must look at the pitcher with both eyes. Too often the player's shoulder position will be turned so that both eyes are not on the ball. These batters may have hit the ball well at lower even with these flaws,it may take some strikeouts or weakly hit balls to get their attention. Just be a patient instructive leader. Focus on what the batter is doing right first, then move on to correcting mistakes. Most young players don't get proper extension and follow through on their swings.They may be trying too hard to pull all pitches. This is a common mistake. When players wrap the bat around on their follow through, and it ends up below the front shoulder, it is a sign that they are "pulling off "of the ball. The finish should be up high, with the bat and the hands up near or above the front shoulder.
Power is not always generated just by size. It is a function of bat speed.The quicker the bat head can get into the hitting zone the better. The batter's hands must lead into the zone, and the hips and torso will follow. The player must focus on extension through the entire hitting zone. This will help the player to finish the swing with a nice high follow through. Then the hips and torso will come along also. Professional instruction with a qualified instructor is worth every cent. I believe the coaching staff will get just as much help from it as the players. There will be more articles on hitting for youth baseball players coming up soon. Thanks Coach Chip
Chip Lemin has been a promoter of youth baseball since they started using aluminum bats. That's a long time. I have witnessed many good people get into coaching without solid coaching skills and it is not fun for them or the kids.Today's newer coaches are also being shortchanged on sportsmanship, like there is none. Visit my site to sign up for a insightful, informational, free coaching e-course at http://www.baseballecourse.com
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