For those of you who have a kid just starting out or if you’re a coach of 5-7 year-olds, this video is for you! Coach Lisle breaks down what the most important thing is for a young hitter to learn. Check it out…his answer might surprise you!
I’ve coached my son’s tee ball team in the past, and have been training with him for the U2 National Baseball Team tryouts.
OK, we’re obviously not really training for the national team at 2 years old, but I have spent some time coaching my son in tee ball. Here is what I’ve learned.
Best Piece of Advice for Young Hitters
The number one thing to tell your kids in the age range of 5-7 years old, whether they are playing baseball or softball is to swing hard.
I know it sounds easy, but at this age, it’s critical to keep things simple. Too many times at the Little League fields you hear parents yelling at their kids.
“Keep your elbow up!”
“Eye on the ball!”
My approach? You’ll hear me telling my kids something a little different. “Grit your teeth, show me your mean face, and most importantly:
“Swing as hard as you can!”
I would tell you that all of a sudden, you see kids, swinging the bat hard. You’ll start asking yourself, where was this the whole time we’ve been working on swing movements?
Creating an environment that allows your players to swing really hard, that would be the very first thing. And like I said, from a swing movement standpoint, I don’t care. Swinging hard– that would be the goal for them.
What Else Should You Focus On?
Once you’ve created that environment for your youth hitters to start swinging as hard as they can, I would tell you that based on their ability to pay attention and learn, is learning how to turn. Learning how to turn their bodies under control. After the turn, you can then start to focus on getting them to a good launch position.
What I mean by that is just making sure that they’re in a good stance and they can stride without the entire swing breaking down. I would tell you from age five to about 13 years old, everything in the swing breaks down from stance to launch position.
You could have a great swing. You could do everything right. But if your hands are dropped, shoulders have opened or collapsed on your backside hitting for power is going to be a lot more difficult. Those are all the things parents are seeing every day at home, in the backyard, and the coaches are seeing at practice. Check out our post four hitting drills for beginners to help your baseball and softball players with these movements.
Final Words of Advice for Youth Hitters
The movements listed above are all things that happen before the swing. So if you were asking advice on what I would do with younger hitters in general on building a swing, I would take a look at the Swing30 program for members of The Hitting Vault. This program talks a lot about stride and getting to launch position because it is extremely important that hitters get there.
Once they get there, swinging hard is usually the fix for most five to 12-year-olds. But if they swing hard and they’ve already collapsed their backside, their shoulders have opened, their hands are dropped, it makes it a lot more difficult.
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