Have you ever had a kid that had the perfect baseball swing but sometimes has difficulty hitting live pitching? In drills, the player simply kills the baseball. Every soft-toss rep is a line drive. Every front toss rep is a line drive with power. The player is perfect in every drill that your team but has difficulty hitting live pitching. The player often struggles to hit in games although he has one of the best swings on the team. What could cause a player to perform perfectly in practice but have a difficult time hitting the ball when a pitcher is pitching from regulation distances? This article discusses one cause of poor hitting performance that baseball coaches sometimes fail to detect.
Youth Baseball Digest: One Cause of Poor Hitting Performance that Often Goes Undetected Have you ever had a kid that had the perfect baseball swing but sometimes has difficulty hitting live pitching? In drills, the player simply kills the baseball. Every soft-toss rep is a line drive. Every front toss rep is a line drive with power. The player is perfect in every drill that your team but has difficulty hitting live pitching. The player often struggles to hit in games although he has one of the best swings on the team. What could cause a player to perform perfectly in practice but have a difficult time hitting the ball when a pitcher is pitching from regulation distances?
I am speaking from experience here. I once had a right handed player on my high school team that was absolutely a dream hitter in practice and a nightmare hitter in games and live inter-squad games. He would dominate every hitting station with his high velocity bat speed, precision bat control, and unbelievable ability to adjust to every pitch location with the perfect swing adaptation. However, when he faced live pitching he simply looked like "Ned in the First Grade". He would miss or be late on routine and average fastballs. He would be late or completely misjudge curve balls and when he should attack them.
I quickly realized that there was a problem and began to do some research. I soon found some definite performance tendencies. In day games, when he made contact, he almost always hit a ground ball to the second baseman. On ball he should pull, he nearly always got jammed. At night, he hit for 150 points less than in day games. With all these facts considered, we realized his cause for poor hitting. The cause was poor eye sight. We sent him to have his eyes checked. He had extremely poor vision in his dominate eye. He could perform well in our hitting stations and toss drills because they were all done at short distances. When the distance the pitch came from was increased, his ability to see and pick the ball up quickly was diminished. A new set of contact lens got him back on his "A" game. He quickly became as dominate in games as he was in drills.
So the moral of is that if you have a kid that is inconsistent from his hitting in practice to hitting in a game, make sure to have his vision checked. Poor eye sight may be the cause of his poor hitting performance.
I hope that you found this article to be informative and useful. I thank you for taking the time to read it. For more great articles on coaching baseball visit the Baseball Coaching Digest, Youth Baseball Digest, Little League Digest, and the Baseball Parent Guide. Good luck to you and your team. 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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