... let's not forget that.
Learn to Hit Basics
Relax position: Start with the stance. The feet should be a little more than shoulder width apart and the knee
caps should face into the plate. Knees bent, athletic, balanced stance. Have the front foot (closet to pitcher)
set up slightly pigeon toed to best achieve this. Have the child place the bat head on the plate and then lift it
like an ax to insure that are holding the bat correctly and bring the barrel to rest on their back shoulder.
Ready position: once we have them in the proper stance, teach the player to shift to a ready position. Lift the
bat off the shoulder and ‘coil back for power.’ To coil back the player rotates their shoulders and hips back
towards the catcher so the hands go back and their weight shifts back to the back foot. The back knee should
be bent while the front leg becomes a little more elongated and the weight on the front foot moves to the
inside of the ball of the foot the weight on the back stays mostly centered and more on the ball of the foot.
Swing: Start with the hips rotating open and driving the shoulders and the bat. Check to make sure your
players are trying to contact the ball just behind the front foot not when it reaches the center of their body.
Check for correct hand position on contact- palms facing the ground and to the sky (not the pitcher and
catcher.) Back arm should be bent at the elbow until contact is made while the front is more extended. There
should be very little body movement aside from the rotation. Image while they are in ready position that you
put a stake thru their head into the ground. The rotation takes place on this stake.
Follow thru: Finish the swing all the way around. The back foot will pivot on the ball of the foot (like
squashing a bug) and the back knee will bend while the front foot the weight stays on the inside of the foot
and the front leg becomes almost straight.
The above is the coach’s version. For the kids the message is relax, coil back for power and see the bat hit
Baseball: Learn to Bat for Young Players
Experienced batters use the foot stride as a timing mechanism and as a way to coil back before initiating
their motion forward. For many young players this is confusing and they end up with too much body and
head movement as they come forward. To simplify things, have the player get set in the right coiled back
position before the ball is thrown so the focus can be on coming forward. The four steps below will help
them get started on building a fundamentally strong base for learning to hit.
Teaching kids to hit a baseball
It is important to simplify and break down the actions needed when teaching young players new sports
skills. Remember that we want it to be fun and success to come quickly to keep them engaged and trying.
We are not teaching high school players how to hit a ball - we are teaching first and second graders. Pro
baseball players continually work on batting. There are many nuances and personal styles. The goal here
is to give the young player a just a few fundamentals to build solid basic in order to have success that they
can build on as they grow.
Gripping the bat- The bat should be held in the fingers (like a golf grip) versus back deep in the palms.
Have the player pick up the bat and “chop” with it like they are chopping wood. When the bat is gripped
correctly the knuckles on your hand that you knock with (not the ones you punch with), should be lined
up from one hand to the other.
Batting stance- The feet should be slightly more than shoulder width apart with the front foot set slightly
pigeon-toed in order to make sure the front knee points to the plate not to the first base.
Ball contact- Are you a t-ball coach? Please put the tee in the
proper place. Too many tees are manufactured with a home plate
attached to the base to help them stand upright. And too often the
young player steps up to the plate and the ball is right inline with the
batters bell button. If you use a tee like this, spray paint a strip right
inline with the tee and have your player place their front foot across
from that line when setting up at the tee. This will have them
making contact with the ball at the proper place in the swing and
avoid all sorts of other problems.
Hand position on contact- Holding the bat correctly will help with
this but it is a good thing to show the kids from the start as it is not
intuitive for many of them. Assuming we have a right-handed batter,
on contact with the ball, the left hand should have the palm facing
down and the right hand should be facing up; not palms pointing to
catcher and pitcher.
Skill Building Games for Batting
|Call the Color (batting/vision)
Skills taught: This game teaches the player to really focus on the ball and is best done as a station drill with 3-
4 players at a time.
How the game works:
- Take 4 balls and add a large colored dot to each using 4 different colors. (For younger players add 2-3
- Have one player WITHOUT a bat set up at home as if he or she is a batter.
- Have a player be the catcher and have the others watch from behind the catcher so they can be
- The coach will pitch the ball and the batter will swing without a bat and try to call out the color of the dot
on the pitched ball.
- Catcher verifies the answer and keeps score of the number right. Pitch 6 balls and then rotate
Tip: This game can grow with your players' skills. After doing this drill a few times, add a bat and have the
players make contact using a checked swing. After more practice, have the players take full swings at the
balls and set the extra players up as infielders.
|Clear the Table (level swing)
Skills Taught: This is a great way to help young players that are hacking and chopping at the ball.
How the game works:
- Get a cardboard box that is roughly 3x3x4 and an assortment of various heights of cans, cartons and
- Set the box up with a plastic bottle like you would a tee with a ball.
- Get the players attention by describing the set up as your grandmother's favorite glass table.
- Have each child one by one come up to the box and with their bat, clear the table of the item without
breaking the table.
Tip: Start with taller items and work towards batting off smaller items. Put the item to be hit in the correct
place on the box in relationship to the batter (near front foot not center of body.)
Using a tee is a great way for
players to get a lot of swings in.
Replace the baseball with a
small, slightly deflated soccer
ball. The players can really feel
the moment of impact and better
understand their position on