Whether I am working with young players or more experienced ones, the baseball hitting questions I present to players seem the same, as hitters of all ages have the same hitting issues, some more than others. These baseball hitting questions cover each stage of hitting and mean to help batters understand their hitting mechanics, as well as helping them feel the correct way from the wrong way. The goal is to have players not only understand right from wrong, but also so, they learn to self-correct, making my job as a hitting coach easier. One of the only ways to know when players are learning, as opposed to just doing, is by asking questions, which good coaches do. It is important to ask these questions in a matter of fact way, and not with a derisive tone, so players remain comfortable with the coach.
As implied, understanding and self-correction only occur when players learn to sense and feel their actions, as well as the action of their bat, no easy task, as hitting is an explosive action with little time to sense it all. Players learn by understanding the basics of hitting, feeling those basic actions, improving upon them, and finally, by perfecting the correct actions. With repetition, experience, and good fundamental coaching, players learn to hit.
Following are the baseball hitting questions that are a constant part of my hitting lessons.
1. Did you check your stance and distance? Especially young players, but even established ones, should check their distance from home after every pitch they swing at, as there is a great chance they have shifted slightly after the swing. Additionally, young hitters often line their feet up incorrectly, so they should check their alignment quickly after each swing.
2.Did you land toe first? The next phase of the swing that I want hitters to feel is landing with their stride foot toe touching the ground first, as this usually ensures the weight is initially back, withthe front side closed.
3.Do you know where the barrel was each phase of the swing? This is by far the most difficult feel for players, as it is difficult sensing the exact path of the bat with such a fast moving object. Often, what players think is happening and what is actually occurring are two different things.
4.Which part of the ball did you hit? I want hitters to understand when they approached and struck the correct side of the ball the inside back is ideal. Often, players are upset when they foul pitches off, but it may have been the correct approach and swing, as opposed to putting the ball in play weakly by hitting the incorrect part of the ball.
5. Are you looking at the worms or the birds? At contact, hitters' eyes and nose should be pointing down, at the ground where worms roam, and not looking to the sky, where the birds soar. Hey, it works for young players, anyway.
6. Did you finish your swing? A good way for hitters to know when they "stayed back' and had a good hip turn is by being able to finish the swing to the middle of their back.
7. Which way are you falling? Balance is always a key to good fundamentals and a good indicator where things went wrong, so players should check their finish, realizing that falling towards home is better than falling away, but that not falling anywhere is the ideal.
In conclusion, many baseball hitting questions are necessary during batting practice and they are a great way to help hitters learn and feel the correct way to hit a baseball.
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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