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When you watch major league players take batting practice, you will notice a few things. First, they bunt the first few balls, take some hit and run swings where they try to hit ground balls, followed by some balls hit to the opposite field. Then and only then do they begin to drive balls to the field of the location of the pitched ball. All of those initial batting practice habits have a purpose. It is so easy to get into the "hit the ball as far as I can mode" and similarly to "swing for the fences," at this time. Nothing is more detrimental for players than that hitting mentality, as that usually lads to over swinging, bad game timing, and a definite waste of valuable batting practice time.
Coaches should help young players learn to use batting practice for the most benefit, namely, for waiting for the ball, good timing, rhythm and balance, and bat control. Those uses of batting practice help hitters in games so much more than swinging for the fences, as well as helping develop better hitting mechanics for the long haul.
Good coaches should help players develop these habits, along with helping hitting mechanics to create great game performers.
After playing major league baseball, Jack Perconte has taught baseball and softball since 1988 and offered valuable coaching training too. He has helped numerous youth players reach their potential, as well as having helped parents and coaches navigate their way through the challenging world of youth sports. Jack is one of the leading authorities in the areas of youth baseball training and coaching training advice.All Jack Perconte articles are used with copyright permission.
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