Little League Baseball Coaching Tips
Besides coaching the correct hitting fundamentals with quality hitting drills and plenty of game like batting practice, there are other little league baseball coaching tips that can go a long way to helping and keeping players interested in continuing with baseball. Because most hitters make more outs than hits, it is easy for frustration to set in.
Coaches can keep players optimistic with their words and advice, thereby, buying time until players’ confidence returns or success comes.
How to Help players through Hitting Slumps with this Little League Baseball Coaching Advice
- Explain that hitting slumps are temporary and the end is probably near. Also, explain that slumps are something even the best players in the world go through.
- Have players go back to the basics of just getting a good pitch to hit and trying to drive the ball back through the middle. Many slumps occur when hitters over swing or try to do too much with each swing.
- Let them know that they are only one swing away from putting it all together. Often, just one good swing gives hitters their confidence back to where hitting makes sense again.
- Explain that they do not necessarily need confidence but they must stay hopeful. Having hope is a huge key to success, especially when confidence is thin.
- Constantly remind them that you believe in them and that they should always believe in themselves.
- Tell them to remember the good at-bats, learn from the bad ones, and then forget the bad ones as soon as possible. Keeping a positive image in one’s mind helps maintain a positive outlook and keeps total frustration away.
Additional Little League Baseball Coaching Reminders
- Explain that no one will remember if they make another out, because they happen often in baseball, but everyone will remember when they get the game winning hit, so there is little to lose when batting in clutch situations.
- Remind them that nerves are normal but concentration trumps nervousness every time.
- Explain that mentally strong players never give away at-bats, which means they are mentally prepared for every hitting opportunity, no matter the circumstances or their confidence level.
First things first – stressing the fundamentals of hitting
As mentioned, coaches are trying to buy time, so players have a shot at eventual hitting success, which only comes with the afore mentioned good hitting fundamentals. Good hitting fundamentals prevent long hitting slumps, even for mentally strong and confident players. There is no substitute for practicing and performing the correct fundamentals of hitting and good little league baseball coaches get their players to do just that.
Hitting is known to be one of the toughest skills to do in all of sport. If there is any little flaw in the hitter’s mechanics than it will show up in the inability to hit the ball solidly. It doesn’t always show up immediately, but it does as the player advances to more competitive levels. That is the reason players may be great in college and not in professional baseball, or accomplished at the triple A level, but not successful in the major leagues.
Many coaches and people around the game say, “there is no one way of getting the job done.” This is true to some extent, but when it comes to hitting, certain fundamentals must be performed correctly if the hitter is to have success. There is no way around the correct sequence of the swing if the player is to keep advancing levels.
The Fundamentals of Hitting Key
What may fool coaches who are not hitting experts is the different “styles” and looks of hitters, especially with batters’ initial setup and stance. However, when it comes time to swing the bat positioning, and initial moves must be made in the proper order to hit the ball squarely on a consistent basis.
Here is the catch, it is okay for hitters to start out of good position if they go to the right position or for the batter to start with the right position and maintain this position as the pitch is approaching home plate.
What many people do not see is that with all good hitters, the bat arrives at the correct hitting position in time to swing and that is
what matters. What the hitter does before this point is their individual style. I’ve found that many coaches and parents get upset when their hitters are waving the bat or appear to be dancing around before the ball is pitched. This is OK and usually is just some nervous energy. This movement can be good for things in motion will usually be quicker and more explosive than static positions. Additionally, the movement from improper hitting position to the correct position is what is called a “trigger” movement.
With young hitters, it is easy to get fooled. Sometimes, a player starts in the correct hitting position but then lose this position when they take their stride or right before they swing. It is safe to say that a majority of young hitters do not get into the proper hitting position or maintain it when the ball is coming toward them and thus limit their chance of becoming a good hitter.
This flaw of not getting to the proper hitting position may not always show with negative results at a young age but always will show up when the player reaches a higher level, especially when curve balls and change ups come into play.
Of course, the opposite is true as implied above. Some players begin far from good bat launch position but can move the bat to the correct spot as they stride. If they can do this, coaches should leave them alone as this is just the trigger mentioned above.
It takes a keen and trained eye to notice the little things like, “hit position,” first move, and swing sequence. When any little thing is off, poor contact or even a major slump may result. or to cause a hitter to be unable to make solid contact. Even if the coach cannot pick up on these little hitting imperfections in your player’s swing, using slow motion video can help them do such. Many swing analysis apps are around on the internet also to analyze the baseball swing and to compare players’ moves with other correct player mechanics.
It is never too young to begin to teach the proper fundamentals. At about 7 years old a youngster can start to comprehend the basics of hitting but showing them some things even younger than that is good. A demonstration of the correct actions is priceless. It’s essential that coaches attend to players at a young age, because the younger the hitter, the easier it is to form new habits or break bad ones.One drawback to young players picking up the proper fundamentals is the strength factor. Many kids are not physically strong enough, especially with their hands and forearms, to hit correctly. As they get stronger with growth and age, they will have a good picture of what a hitter looks like and in time they will have a good understanding and basis for turning into a very good hitter.