As stated in our last “Head on the Ball” Blog Mike Kellogg designed “Head on the Ball” to assist in teaching baseball players and softball players to lead with their head down into the strike zone. Remember that it is essential for baseball and softball players to see the ball from the point of release all the way to the point of contact.
Batting Tips 3-5 by Mike Kellogg:
PATIENCE: Patience is essential for baseball and softball hitting.
Baseball and Softball players need a lot of one on one training to allow them to concentrate on getting to the baseball or softball as a routine. This is a great time for coaches or parents to keep quiet and allow them to work hard themselves. Make sure that if the baseball or softball player misses several times to step in and help them refocus to keep them from losing interest and from getting discouraged. If the baseball or softball players continue to struggle do not hesitate to work more off of the tee to build confidence in making contact on the baseball or softball
HAND POSITIONING: It is no secret that baseball and softball players need to use the proper hand position. As stated before, seeing the baseball or softball is everything, and hand positioning will allow the hands to move quickly and fluently to the baseball or softball.
Example: It is like cutting an apple in half while sitting on a batting-tee.
Example: If you are right handed and held a sword in your hand preparing to cut an apple in half on the tee, aligning your right hand knuckles on the sword is the same way you need to align your knuckles on the baseball or softball bat. Your palm would be straight up while slicing the apple in half. The opposite is true if you are left-handed. Many young baseball and softball players think this feels strange and they want to hold the bat with both hands like a hammer with the fist knuckles and the first finger knuckle aligned.
Aligning the hands with the hand up in a waiting for the pitch-batting stance the batter hand to twist his wrists towards each other for proper joint alignment allowing for quicker hands to the ball.
HANDS TO THE BALL: Most coaches tell their baseball and softball batters to take their hands to the ball and this is definitely correct but sometimes confusing to the batter.
Try this war game:
- Tell hitters that they are being attacked.
- Set up 2 tees with the ball at the same height
- Place one tee on the plate and one tee the approximate length of the bat from butt end to the sweet spot on the bat sitting closer to the batter
- Tell the hitter that the attackers are coming and to hit the closest attacker with the butt end and then swing to hit the next alien sitting on the plate
- This teaches them to keep the hands back until the butt-end of the bat is dropped into the “zone” and then releasing the barrel of the bat. Plus young players love the game.