Are You a Heavy Hitter?
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Are You a Heavy Hitter?

By Chip Lemin

Hitting is the Spice of Life in Baseball

There are plenty of theories on how to hit a baseball. Let's start with some real live facts. Home plate is 17 inches wide. Batter's box it is 4 ft. wide and 6 ft. long. The catcher's box is 8 ft. from tip of home plate. So as you can see, you do have room to move closer to pitcher, or farther from pitcher.

When there is a pitcher who has an overpowering fastball, batters should move toward the back of the batter's box. When we face a pitcher who is throwing slower than normal, we may want to move up in batter's box.

In youth baseball, especially younger ages, a common mistake is being too far away from the plate. Younger player's bats are too short to cover entire plate unless they stand close to the plate. Crowding the plate will help the player to reach the outside corner of the plate. It will also help teach the player to react quickly inside pitches and pull them.

Young players should use bats that are light enough to generate good bat speed. Make sure your players use the right length bat also. A bat that is too long will also slow down bat speed. A good way to check if the bat weight is right for the player is to hold out your weaker arm at shoulder height while holding the bat near the knob. If you can't hold the bat without struggling, then the bat is too heavy for the player.

The length of the bat should be no more than three to 8 in. longer than the number of ounces it weighs. Players 8 years old should use bats that weigh anywhere from 15 to 21 ounces. Players who are 9 to 12 years old will swing bats that weigh around 21 to 25 ounces.

Every player should know how to get out of the way of a pitch. That should be one of the first things you show a young player to do. We recommend a complete drop down to the ground, just dropping the bat, as you sprawl to the ground. We will have video links to this technique.

Players should hold bat loosely, so that they don't restrict wrist movement during the swing. The player's middle knuckles on both hands should be lined up on the bat. That is where they will end up after the swing anyway, so you might as well put them there to begin with.

We feel that you should have your players hold their hands up high while in their stance. This will help them to keep from holding their hands too close to their body. Having your hands too close to your body restricts your ability to throw your bottom hand at the baseball quickly.

Your players or their parents should clean their bats once in awhile and look for any damage to the bat. The bats should be cleaned occasionally including the grip. Just use some cleaning spray on the handle to bring back a nice sticky grip. Also wipe the barrel and check for damage.

These bats sometimes cost up to $300 or more, so let's take care of them. When using a hitting stick with a coach, use an old bat, to prevent damage to your game bat. When hitting at the batting cages, don't use your game bat, because the cage balls can damage your bat. When the temperature is below 50 degrees don't use your game bat unless there is a real a game being played.

Put your name or some identifying mark on your bat somewhere where it will not come off, like just above the grip. There are barrel covers available to use during batting practice to help protect your game bat.

Hitting is probably the favorite part baseball for most players, although it is arguably the most difficult. There is nothing like hitting solid line drives, or bombing a pitch over the outfielders head. Even little kids at T ball games love hitting the baseball.

There are many types of approaches to hitting. We hear of linear, rotational, or a combination of both. Or you can just plain attack the baseball. Good consistent hitters all share some similar traits. They may not show or arrive at these points at the same time in their swings. Our course doesn't endorse nor oppose any of these approaches. We will stress good simple methods you can use to help develop good hitters.

In our course, we will share what we believe to be some solid pointers on hitting. Hitting is hitting. Some old sayings are true, see ball hit ball, drive the ball, hit the middle of the ball, stay back on ball, are only a few of them. Good hitters have a plan, for example, try to hit only strikes, look for a certain pitch early in the count, or try to get into a hitters count.

Most good hitters have good balance. They keep themselves under control during their swing. You will not see them lose control during a swing. Usually they hold the bat fairly loosely, not in a death grip, with middle knuckles lined up. They often swing only at good pitches.

Every player will have their own style in their stance. This course will address some of the basics of hitting. It will not attempt to change any player's stance or swing. That is the job of the youth baseball coach, or parents after reviewing our course. Professional instruction is always a solid option.

Our hitting drills will help you to develop basic hitting fundamentals. The main objective is to make it fun to learn. That is why we encourage a positive mindset when running these drills. There are many other hitting drills out there for you to use. We are introducing you to the ones that been successful in the past. By purchasing this course you will have access to more instruction in all areas of youth baseball as part of our If you so choose, we will give you updates and instruction information as part of our newsletter which we hope you enjoy.

ATTENTION: Please always wear helmets when conducting any kind of hitting. Please train your hitters to always be aware of hit or thrown balls while on deck waiting to hit.

Coach Chip

Chip Lemin has been a promoter of youth baseball since they started using aluminum bats. That's a long time. I have witnessed many good people get into coaching without solid coaching skills and it is not fun for them or the kids.Today's newer coaches are also being shortchanged on sportsmanship, like there is none. Visit my site to sign up for a insightful, informational, free coaching e-course at

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