Youth Baseball Drills - Teaching Younger Hitters A Good Baseball Swing
By Nate Barnett
I love teaching 11 and 12 year olds how to hit. They are still at the age (most of them) where they don't
know everything there is about the baseball swing. But, one of the best rewards from teaching youth baseball drills is the
excitement on their faces when they figure out for themselves how to crush the baseball.
The first step to teaching youth baseball drills is to understand the part of the swing that will produce
the greatest and quickest positive results in a hitter. The faster a coach can reach an athlete and instill some confidence
in the skill of hitter, the more receptive he will be for future coaching and baseball instruction. The single most important
first skill to teach a young athlete is the ability to properly manage his balance while hitting a baseball.
Here are a few techniques to include into your growing collection of youth baseball drills.
1. Make sure that the stance of the athlete is wide enough. The "shoulders width" suggestion doesn't hold
up when one really understands how weight is shifted. The general rule is to position your hitters with their hips inside
their knees, and their knees inside their feet. Once a hitter is in this position, and it is difficult to tell if the formula
from the previous sentence is in place, he is too narrow at the base and needs to widen his stance.
2. There must be a legitimate transfer of weight onto the back leg as the hitter prepares himself before the
baseball is released. Without the ability of a visual here (though I'll have a complete ebook finished on this topic very
soon complete with visuals!), make sure the back knee is roughly above the back shoe. If the back knee has moved to the outside
of the back shoe, the weight transfer is too great. This whole process of creating a transfer of weight allows a hitter to
create power generating from his backside leg and not only his upper body. I cannot emphasize the importance of this point
3. Once the hitter begins his swing, the back leg which is still housing approximately 60% of the body weight
will rotate in what is commonly referred to as the pivot. As the rotation occurs, look to see if the weight and the flex of
the back leg is still present. One simple way to tell if this has occurred is see if there is an imaginary vertical line running
from inside shoulder through the hip, through the back knee upon finish of the swing.
I do realize this is somewhat technical in nature, however, if fully understood it will make all the difference
in the world for the consistency of a young athlete. It's worth learning for sure.
About the Author
Nate Barnett is owner of BMI Baseball http://bmibaseball.com and is based out of Washington State. His expertise is in
the area of hitting, pitching, and mental training. Coach Barnett's passion is working with youth in helping expand their
vision for their baseball future. After finishing a professional career in the Seattle Mariners Organization, Nate pursued
his coaching and motivational training career. His instructional blog is located at http://bmibaseball.com/blog
His new FREE ebook, Toxic Baseball: Are you polluting your game? can be found on the main BMI Baseball website.
Hitting 101, an ebook on complete hitting mechanics will be released by June 1st, 2008. Features include numerous illustrations,
video clips, and a special offer to discuss your hitting questions over live on the phone strategy sessions.