The following post comes from guest author Jeff Wise. Jeff played baseball for 14 years , lettering all three years in high school baseball, and played college baseball at Roane State Community College. He has a passion for baseball and has made it a goal to help as many players as possible with easy-to-learn baseball hitting tips. He offers articles, blog posts, special reports, ebooks and videos all related to baseball hitting tips for beginning and advanced players at www.baseballhittingtipsonline.com.
There are literally thousands of kids who will sign up for baseball this year for the very first time. Parents are excited and the kids are excited. They’ll also be a little nervous because they may not know what to expect. Baseball hitting is one of those unknown areas for new players and parents.
I want to put you at ease so you don’t show up at the first practice or tryout without a clue. Yes, you want the first year playing to be all about fun and learning a new sport. You also want to prep your child with some basics, though, so they can hit the ground running.
I vividly remember my first year playing baseball. I remember what city I was in, what house we lived in and how my dad prepped me for my first practice. I was definitely blessed because my dad spent a lot of quality time with my brother and I showing us how to play the game of baseball. We had an immediate respect for the game even at a young age because of him.
What my dad taught us from the very beginning were the basic fundamentals of baseball hitting. The reason a player should learn these at the start is because they’ll need them for the rest of their playing days. Major League Baseball players learned basic hitting fundamentals when they were kids and they practice and train focusing on fundamentals to this day. If you want to hit the baseball well then you need to know, learn and practice the basics.
One of the very first hitting fundamentals I have for you isn’t a mechanical one. You’ve got to have fun, plain and simple. I played multiple sports and I don’t know of a more fun activity in the world then baseball hitting. Every fun activity I did growing up seemed to involve hitting. Hitting baseballs, hitting wiffle balls, hitting pinecones with a bat in the backyard … it’s fun!
Batting grip – From the very beginning, make sure your kid has a firm grip on the bat while holding it more in their fingers and not stuffed way back in their palms. Also, try to have them line up their door-knocking knuckles which will allow them to control the bat and their swing better.
Batting stance – Keep everything basic and simple. Have both feet parallel and shoulder width apart and stand in the middle of the batter’s box. With a slight bend in the knees, hold the bat in a vertical position just slightly angled over the back shoulder. The head should always be pointing towards the pitcher. Following those basics should give kids the most comfort while standing up there.
Eyes on the ball – You might be wondering why this is basic. Well, I was a kid and I have kids of my own now. Everything is new, and as a kid, the baseball field is big and busy. The ballpark is crowded, parents and other fans are everywhere, umpires are intimidating, and there’s lots of cheering. The main focus while hitting should be on the white baseball. Not the shortstop, not the scoreboard, and not the pitcher’s feet. Keep your eyes on the ball from the time it leaves the pitcher’s hand until you swing the bat and make contact.
The baseball swing – You don’t have to swing as hard as you can. Swing the bat in a nice, fluid motion. You will naturally swing pretty hard anyway. If you’ve got that nice solid grip in your fingers your muscles will grip and swing hard. Make sure to follow all the way through with the swing. Don’t stop at the moment of contact. Swing all the way through the hitting zone.
Baseball hitting is loads of fun and there is such a sense of accomplishment when you get a hit in a game. Always encourage your child and be patient with them while they are learning this new activity.