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Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Little League Baseball Drills - Batting Practice
By Chris Campbell
I have heard it said by many an accomplished athlete, that one of the hardest things you can do in professional sports, is to hit a major league fastball. Or any major league pitch for that matter. Just ask Micheal Jordan. He may be a living legend in the world of professional basketball, but he only managed a 202 batting average for the Birmingham Barons (a farm team for the Chicago White Sox). The moral being, it's best to get your little leaguer started early, if they plan on challenging some of the MLB hitting records.
With that in mind, lets consider a few hitting drills that the kids can use to get their bats swinging true, and making contact as soon as possible. One of the best drills you can do with your kids, is simply to grab a bucket of balls, and pitch a few to them every day you can find the time to do so. It's practically impossible, for most kids to get enough batting practice with the team. There's a limited number of pitchers, catchers, and backstops for most little league coaches to work with. It's almost impossible for them to get more then a few minutes hitting each practice. A one on one practice with mom or dad every day or so will really help out.
Now just swinging for the sake of swinging will make you a better hitter, but there are a few simple points you should keep in mind, to maximize the time put in. Don't harp on these items too much, as they can be a bit technical and boring for kids. Try to make it fun for them at the same time.
Choosing The Right Bat
Picking a bat that's appropriate for your child's height and strength can make all the difference. It should feel comfortable for them to hold and swing the bat. If the bat is slowing down their swing too much, it's probably a little too heavy. There is a simple way to test a bat, even before you buy one. Simply have your son or daughter hold the bat by the handle, and hold it straight out to the side, so the bat is parallel to the ground. They should be able to hold the bat steady for at least fifteen seconds. If they can't, or their arms starts to shake, you should try a smaller bat.
It's important to know where the batters box is, where home plate is, and where the strike zone is. That way, even little league players, can put themselves in good position to reach any ball that is passing through the strike zone. Even if your in your back yard practicing, you can mock up a plate, and batters box. Just use a can of spray paint on the grass to mark out home plate and a made up batters box. Don't worry, it'll disappear the next time you cut the grass.
Little League Baseball Drills is a great resource for helping your little leaguer get the most out of his or hers favorite pastime. With a little good training, amateur or even professional ball players will see a dramatic improvement in the way they play.
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