Three steps to improve your youth hitter’s confidence

Thursday, Jan. 17th 2013

This week’s edition of youth hitting will look at a drill devoted to the improvement of your little leaguers confidence. Confidence is important at every age, but especially at your child’s adolescence when every strikeout, groundout, or pop out could mean the end of the world in his or her eyes. Mark Muto in Youth baseball: Great batting drills has developed a drill with three progressions that is sure to improve your young hitters aptitude and fortitude at the plate.

In Drill 1, Muto places the child’s ability to have confidence in the hands of the parents. You will need a wiffle bat and wiffle balls. Preliminarily, have your child take 8-10 swings, and you will notice that the younger your child is the more consistently your child’s bat path falls along the same plane. Most importantly, this drill is intended for youth hitters that still place a premium on contact. After the 8-10 swings, the parent or adult should throw the wiffle ball to the hitter, while they do their best to put the ball on the same swing path that the hitter showed in their warm up swings, and have them hit the ball.

Drill 2 has more variation involved than Drill 1, is intended for hitters that have proven to make contact with the ball, and will increase overall contact ability. This drill will need a baseball bat and a bucket of wiffle balls: they should be multiple sizes, from baseball size to golf ball size. Now have your hitter try and hit the wiffle balls of varying sizes. They will struggle to make contact at first, but after their focus has honed in you will notice their eyes will always see the ball at the bat.

Drill 3 improves on Drill 2. For Drill 2 you will need a bucket full of golf ball sized wiffle balls and a sawed of broom handle the length of a baseball bat. Throw the wiffle balls to your young hitter as he tries to swing at the balls with the broomstick. Notice that any lapse in concentration will impede the hitter’s ability to make contact. Now, once the hitter approaches the batters box, the baseball will seem four times as big as when they tried to hit in Drill 3.

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