Tuesday Tips to Tattoo the Ball – Getting Kids Out of the Batter’s Box Quickly
Tricky Hitting Maneuver – Which way is first base
One of the first things I like to do with young players (teams) is have them, one by one, practice taking a swing (no ball) and timing them down the line to first base. I stress the importance of getting out of the box quickly, once completing their swing. I also mention that it will help their batting average and on base percentage, with the ability to beat out infield ground balls.
What I am really teaching
You are probably thinking, “What does this have to do with hitting mechanics?” Everything, really. A key to great hitting is the ability to keep the head and eyes on the ball to contact, so by having young players understand where first base is and which way they need to run after contact, they keep their head (and their weight) in towards first. This maneuver prevents them from pulling their front shoulder and eyes off the ball. So many hitters end up on their heels because they turn their front shoulder off the ball prematurely because of over-swinging, which puts their weight on their heels and prevents them from getting out of the batter’s box very quickly.
By stressing the idea of “where first base is,” it helps eliminate that hitting problem. Of course, this drill is not for left-handed hitters, where the opposite is true – no drill is perfect.