Alternative strength training and hitting regiments for youths

Thursday, Jan. 3rd 2013

Last week at this time we devoted our attention to strength training for high school hitters. While weight training should not be implemented for youth hitters, there are several simple, yet effective, ways to build hand, wrist, and forearm strength in youth baseball hitters that will serve them well in the long run. On Yahoo Voices, I found an article by a Coach Mc entitled Simple Tips to Improve Youth Baseball Batting and Hitting. Coach Mc suggests, in order to improve functional strength and bat speed, that parents have their children squeeze tennis balls to improve hand strength (here is a video that I found that demonstrates the action), and use a forearm roller (here is a video of how to make one).  Both exercises are low stress and effective at building functional batting strength.

While Coach Mc suggests limited strength training for youths, he also suggests that repetition is another key to success for youth hitters before they reach the high school level. A common theme amongst youth hitting instructors, when it comes to how to teach hitting, is the idea of station work to improve swings and keep players excited. For example, implement three stations with six kids in each group. All stations should have a coach or parent to facilitate the activity, and it gets everyone involved. At the first station have the kids hit off tees and work on their mechanics. The second station will put the mechanics they just worked on into use through ‘soft toss’. Finally, the third station will look to utilize what they learned in the first two stations with live batting practice. Not only will their swings improve, but time will fly.

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