Tuesday Tips to Tattoo the Ball – Check Your Distance

Even though it seems inconceivable, so often, youth batters walk up to home, in either games or practice, and set themselves to hit without looking at home plate and/or without measuring for their correct distance from home plate with the bat.

Rickey batting for the Browns in 1906.

Rickey batting for the Browns in 1906. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Almost every batting lesson I have with youth baseball players I find myself saying, “Check Your Distance,” many times. It is almost impossible, especially for young players, to stay in the same, correct spot swing after swing, even when they set-up initially correct. Just being an inch off in any direction is enough to put the all-important sweet spot of the bat in a different position, not to mention possibly throwing the batter’s timing off.

Because of that importance, baseball coaches must instruct kids to continually find their sweet spot in the batter’s box in the following ways:

  1. Look at home and, using the bat, check their distance from home plate before every at-bat and after stepping out of the batter’s box.
  2. By holding the bat with their lead hand only, players bend the knees and waist slightly and touch one inch beyond the outside corner of home plate.
  3. After every game swing, they should recheck this distance.
  4. After a few batting practice swings, recheck their distance.
  5. When setting up for batting tee practice, treat the tee base as if it is the regular home plate, as in a game, so tee practice is realistic.

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