Posted on September 20, 2013

My son is 8 years old, he has been playing baseball since he was 4 and I’ve worked with him since he was 2. My question is he kills the baseball when I throw him BP and when I pitched to him last season in coach pitch but now he has to hit off of player pitchers and he is pretty much not swinging the bat at all. He just stands there and when I ask him about it he says that the pitches were not strikes. How do I remedy this? He just made a 9 year old select team and I have to fix this before the season starts or he is either going to lead the league in walks or strike outs via looking…. What is frustrating for me is he has a ton of power, he is 4’9″ 100lbs and hits lefty, I know how to fix mechanical issues but this one is mental.

Thanks!
Sam

 

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Dear Sam

Let’s make sure of one thing first off the bat does he have good mechanical skills and does he batting practice pitching, tee work, soft toss work well and consistently.   My guess is you’re going to answer yes then I have to agree 100% that it’s all mental. What your boys doing is he thinking way too much and not just seeing the ball and hitting it.  I don’t know if you have control on are not but if I was his coach and I saw these things I would start to correct it by telling him that he has to hit the next pitch no matter what and if there are runners on base and we can collect hit-and-run, but in reality what were trying to do is take the decision-making out of his hands and make him swing at the next pitch the matter where it is.  You will actually need to do this for an entire game and yes he may swing at some bad pitches anyway make an easy out or two but he will swing the bat he will make contact I promise you that.  It’s a very odd thing when you take away the decision-making, batter that actually is pretty decent they almost always get the ball the matter where it is in the strike zone out of the strike zone it doesn’t make a difference they will make contact because their swing is good and they’re not deciding if I should or shouldn’t swing they know that already so they’re just trying to get the ball and they will.  Now if you can’t do that a game because you don’t have the control and what you need to do is go in the cage and tell him swing of this one no matter what don’t swing at this one no matter what and start to take away the decision-making.  You’re just trying to get him comfortable with looking at the ball coming at him and swinging at it not whether it’s a ball or strike not whether it’s a curve or fastball just see the ball and hit.  You will be amazed at how effective that is.

Please let me know how turns out.

Coach Arnald Swift

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