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Friday, April 2, 2010

Baseball Youth Digest - Bunting Made Simple - Teaching Bunting Skills to Beginners

Baseball Youth Digest - Bunting Made Simple - Teaching Bunting Skills to Beginners
By Nick Dixon

Bunting is a skill that must be taught and practiced just like throwing, hitting, and fielding. It is wise for t-ball or Little League coaches of coach pitch teams to introduce every young player to the basics of bunting. This article outlines 10 recommended coaching points for teaching and introducing bunting to beginners.

Here are 10 recommended coaching points for teaching bunting to t ball players and baseball beginners.

1. The bunter must move into the front of the batter's box. Moving to the front of the batter's box gives the batter more fair territory into which to bunt the baseball.
2. The bunter will square the feet around to get into the proper body position for bunting the baseball. The foot work should be a step and a step. The batter should not jump or hop into the bunting position. There are other techniques used to bunt should as the pivot or drag bunt. Those techniques are more advanced and complicated to teach. They should be introduced after the batter has mastered the square-around bunt.
3. The bat should be gripped with the top hand pinching the barrel. The fingers should not wrap around the barrel. Exposing the fingers to ball contact can cause injury to the fingers or hand.
4. The bat barrel should be kept level or at a position with the barrel slightly higher that the grip. The baseball will be contacted with the bottom of the barrel. Bunting the ball with the top of the barrel will pop the ball into the air, the worst thing that can happen in a bunting situation.
5. Bunting is not swinging or hitting the baseball. When hitting, a batter takes the bat barrel to the ball. In bunting the bunter places the bat into the path of the approaching ball and allows the ball to hit the bat.
6. The batter should set up close enough to the plate, that the bat covers the entire plate when extended.
7. The arms should be slightly bent. The bat is allowed to give a little when the ball contacts the barrel.
8. The bunter should bunt a strike only in a sacrifice bunting situation. The bat is extended in anticipation of a strike. However, if the baseball is not a strike, the batter will pull the bat back and take the pitch.
9. The baseball should be bunting in as safe zone toward first base or third base. An effort should be made to keep the ball in fair territory. But, the baseball should never be bunted directly to the pitcher in a sacrifice bunting situation.
10. The batter should not exit the batter's box or begin running to first base until the ball is down and on the ground.

I know these points are extremely simple and elementary. But, keeping the concepts simple and the instruction easy to understand makes it easy for beginners to learn. The use of bunting games and competitions is a good way to generate an interest in bunting and to have kids practice in a fun atmosphere. Bunting practice can be boring if the drills are not made competitive or fun.

I hope that you found this article to be informative and useful. I would like to personally thank you for taking the time to read it. I wish you and your team good luck in the coming season. Have a great day, Nick.

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Nick Dixon is the President and founder of Nedco Sports, a sports training company established in 1999. Dixon is also an active and full time high school baseball coach with over 25 years experience. Coach Dixon is better known as the inventor of the BatAction Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Target Trainer, the SKLZ Derek Jeter ZipnHit Pro, and the SKLZ Strikeback Trainer. Dixon is also a contributing writer for BaseballCoachingDigest, the Youth Baseball Digest, the Baseball Parent Guide, the Baseball 2Day Coaches Journal, and Blog4Coaches.

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