Tuesday Tips to Tattoo the Ball – An Inch Makes all the Difference

Before the team’s first practice, I suggest coaches inform parents that, if they have not bought their child a new bat yet for the coming season, to wait until after a couple of practices. The reason is that coaches can help players find the correct size bat, which is much easier than getting youth to choke up on a too-big bat, nowadays.

An earlier article discussed how saving an inch or two on the base paths can lead to more wins. Changing an inch or two when batting can also make all the difference, especially with a baseball player’s batting average.

Simply standing in the wrong position in the batter’s box is detrimental to good hitting mechanics, be it an inch too close or an inch too far away from home plate. Anything that inhibits batters from getting the sweet spot of the bat, which is only five or six inches long itself (depending on bat size), makes all the difference with how fast and far the ball comes off the bat.

Helping players find the correct distance to stand from home plate and distance away from the pitcher, is a goal of the hitting coach. Additionally, helping players have the correct size bat is crucial.

A couple of obvious thing good baseball coaches must analyze to help players get the sweet spot of the bat on the ball as often as possible:

Informal three-quarter length portrait of Afri...

Informal three-quarter length portrait of African American baseball player Payne of the Leland Giants baseball team, holding a baseball bat, standing in a batting stance on a baseball field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  1. When hitters seem to get jammed a lot, player may be too close to home, have too long of a bat or are too far up in the batter’s box.
  2. Vice versa, when players hit a lot of balls off the end of the bat, they may be too far away from home or have too short of bat.

Remember, missing the sweet spot by just an inch makes a big difference with how solid a ball is hit.

Finally, often youth baseball player’s hitting mechanics are the culprit for not making solid contact on the sweet spot of the bat, so practicing good hitting mechanics is a continual goal for ball players of any age.


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