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Friday, April 16, 2010

Baseball Tips - The Lost Art of Switch Hitting

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Baseball Tips - The Lost Art of Switch Hitting
By Tom Read

My son, who is in high school, recently attended a baseball showcase with four hundred other invited players. To stand out in this large crowd, you had to put up some great stats. My son was performing well, in the upper ten or fifteen percent of each category, but he was not turning heads. The last baseball drill was hitting.

Each player got ten swings from the pitching machine. My son did good from the right side of the plate. Then the professional scout who was running the showcase told him, "OK, switch to the left side". All the college recruiters and pro scouts standing behind home plate looked up and took notice. They grabbed their pens and started making notes. This was what turned heads for my son. He was the only switch hitter out of four hundred invitees.

Switch hitting is such a valuable tool; almost everyone will agree. Yet there are very few switch hitters because it takes a lot of work and time. Most hitters feel they need to work on their natural swing, not start something new from the other side of the plate. They might switch over and try a few swings, but they feel awkward, and seldom have success at the start. No need to waste anymore time tiring this they think.

A few college and minor league players suddenly realize what an advantage there is in switch hitting. They give it a shot, trying to save or jump start their careers. If you are a right handed hitter and move to the left side, you are automatically two steps closer to first base. And if you have ever been at bat and seen a nasty curve ball coming in, you know you would be better off on the other side of the plate. Those are the two main advantages, and I mean big advantages, of switch hitting.

Mickey Mantle is the greatest switch hitter to have ever played the game. His dad taught him to switch hit at a young age. The Mick did not want to do it. He tried to talk his dad into just letting him hit from the right side, but his dad would not give in. In his major league career, Mickey had 164 home runs from the right side, and thanks to his dad, 372 from the left side.

Obviously, starting to switch hit at a young age is the best time. But like those college and minor league players, it is never to late to start. And it will help you turn heads.

If you want more tips on how to turn heads, please visit this site

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