Baseball coaches should know this baseball swing challenge, as it helps to build excitement and practice with young players.
Often I begin a baseball lesson by giving my hitting student a chance to win a million dollars with their very first swing of the day. I set a ball on a batting tee right down the middle of home plate and at the knees, line that batter up the appropriate distance from home plate, and give them one swing. When they hit a line drive to the back net of the cage, without hitting the floor, top net or side nets of a 60 foot or longer batting cage, they win a check for a million dollars.
With this low and middle of the plate pitch location, it takes a very good baseball swing to hit the ball directly through the middle, on a line. It's the million dollar swing. Of course, some of my more accomplished players pull this fete off, so I have to double up with them, so as not to be out a cool million dollars. The next ball for double or nothing, they have to do the same after looking at the ball and then closing their eyes, before swinging.
Once again, some kids with outstanding swings pull this off also, so it's on to "plan C" so I am not out two million dollars. Plan C has the hitter practice hitting 5 or 6 balls set at chest high level, before going back to the low, middle pitch again for the 3 million dollar challenge swing.
For players who can pull that off after all of that, and still hit a clean line drive that hits the back net, I simply write the check monopoly money, that is.
It takes a great swing to hit a clean line drive directly back through the middle on that pitch location and especially with the eyes closed, or after hitting the opposite pitch (high) for a spell. The million-dollar baseball swing challenge is a great start to batting practice as it gets kids excited to come to practice, as well as getting them excited to practice at home before their next lesson.
For players with less advanced swings, I save the million-dollar baseball swing challenge for the end of the batting lesson, so they have time to develop a better swing.
Finally, when players want additional tries to win the million-dollar baseball swing challenge, they can have them but when they fail to win, they must pay me the million dollars (real money of course).
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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