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Bunting

Aug 2, 2008
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I am looking for tips on teaching bunting to 8-10 yo's, what is the proper form, bat angle, ect....

Thanks,
Mike
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,845
63
Dallas, Texas
My experience has been that there is no single recipe for success. Successful coaches use the "square up" technique (batter turns body and moves feet so feet are at the same distance from pitcher and the toes point at the pitcher) and while other successful coaches use the "pivot" technique (batter assumes a normal batting stance, pivots on feet without moving feet).

My personal preference is pivot technique, with the bat parallel to the ground, left hand choked up near the end of bat, right hand about half way up the handle, the batter pinching the bat with her thumb and first and second fingers. The bat starts at the top of the strike zone. The batter always moves the bat down for a bunt, never up. If the batter feels that she is moving the bat up, then she pulls the bat back and takes the pitch.

At this age, it is important to convince the batter to get the bunt down, then run. So, you have to tell her that if she does things right, she will be out.

The keys to look for when they bunt:

(A) Is the bat at the proper height at the start?
(B) Does the batter drop the bat head to bunt the ball (which is bad), or does she use her knees and move her body down, and then uses her arms?
(C) Does she "catch" the ball with the bat? (The way I teach this is for the players first to stand apart and play catch underhanded with their bare hands, and then ask them what they do when the ball gets to their hands. They should say that they pull their hands toward the body. Then explain that that is similar to what you do with a bunt).
(D) Does she bunt the ball and then run?

IMHO, the most important factor is practice, practice and more practice.

Here is a real simple drill to let you get a bunch of bunting practice in a little amount of time:

Put someone at 1B, lineup some girls at 3B, lineup some girls behind the plate, and throw pitches to them. Have them bunt the ball, and run to first, and then move to the end of the line at 3B. The girl in the front of the line at 3B fields the bunt and throws to 1B. After she fields the bunt, she drops her glove near 3B, and goes to the end of the batting line.

Keep things moving. Have a bunch of balls laying around so you don't waste time retrieving any over throws.

Do this every practice for 15 minutes, in pre-game warm-ups, and at any other time you get a chance.
 
Aug 4, 2008
2,364
0
Lexington,Ohio
We use the cross over bunt. Back foot steps to the top corner of the batters box, so that you elminate foul balls and are moving toward the base, when you lay the bunt down. Practice: We have them use a glove and practice catching the ball in front of the plate. Example Lefty uses a right hand glove. We also use a Lacross stick and have them practice catching the ball in the net. Same as above, but the C. Section we use the two drills. The cross over seems to be the most popular now in college camps.
 
R

RayR

Guest
We use the cross over bunt. Back foot steps to the top corner of the batters box, so that you elminate foul balls and are moving toward the base, when you lay the bunt down. Practice: We have them use a glove and practice catching the ball in front of the plate. Example Lefty uses a right hand glove. We also use a Lacross stick and have them practice catching the ball in the net. Same as above, but the C. Section we use the two drills. The cross over seems to be the most popular now in college camps.
I like the cross over step as well. It gets the weight out front and the bat in fair territory, but it is not a strict rule.

I also like the 2 step shuffle to get to the front of the box. The back foot shuffles forward and then the front foot shuffles forward on an angle so the last shuffle puts the weight out in front.

As far as the bat I have more success (or rather my players have more success) when they get the barrel above the hands.

And I have also used the lacrosse stick and used a glove. All good props to reinforce what is simply hand/eye coordination.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,845
63
Dallas, Texas
The original poster was talking about a 10U team. Isn't the cross-over a little too much for that age group?

Also, isn't there a distinction to be made between bunting to get on base and a sacrifice bunt? If you are doing a sacrifice bunt, you want to get the ball down, and you aren't really concerned with getting out of the box fast.
 
R

RayR

Guest
The original poster was talking about a 10U team. Isn't the cross-over a little too much for that age group?

Also, isn't there a distinction to be made between bunting to get on base and a sacrifice bunt? If you are doing a sacrifice bunt, you want to get the ball down, and you aren't really concerned with getting out of the box fast.
My interpretation of a cross over step is instead of squaring where the feet are even, the player steps forward with the back foot so it is ahead of the front foot.
 
Sep 29, 2008
1,263
38
Northeast Ohio
Since age 10 my team (now 14U) has used the cross over method with the back foot moved all the way to the front corner. It seems like a very agressive posture with very good plate coverage. 2 eyeballs square at the pitcher and good bat control with the right shoulder and elbow (for righties) firmly behind the bat. Bat at top of strike zone, barrel slightly higher and forward. This is also an effective position when you have two strikes and less than two outs and you need a ground ball. Just load, take a nice little swing and if you foul one off you're still alive. Our team has scored key runs against good pitchers using this tactic.
 
Aug 4, 2008
2,364
0
Lexington,Ohio
The small ball camps and Clinics we attend are teaching this method. One of the points they stated, is it takes away some of the pitches that you will face. I'm sure at 10U, you are more worred about contact in fair territory. That is why we like the cross over. You take away the foul ball from the younger girls, who struggle making contact. At the older ages, you make contact before the drop ball drops.
 
Aug 2, 2008
553
0
The other night we introduced bunting and I showed them the pivot. The one problem I noticed with some of the girls that will go away with more practice was they had a hard time balancing in that stance, I seems crossing over might create a more stable platform? I am also trying to look down the road, what stance is better for faking a bunt then quickley pulling back to hit? ( for a righty )
Thanks,
Mike

P.S. as I understand it, when they pivot to bunt the whole body should be in the position they would normally be in at contact if they were swinging away?
 
Sep 29, 2008
1,263
38
Northeast Ohio
I noticed with some of the girls that will go away with more practice was they had a hard time balancing in that stance, I seems crossing over might create a more stable platform?
Yes, I certainly feel that way as long as they have their feet far enough apart both north and south and east to west. weight 60/40 front to back with right foot pointing to second. It's very stable, especially if you must reach to find an outside pitch.

Faking from this position has worked well for us but not to hit for any power. Just to slap the ball into play.

One note: I showed this stance to a former female professional pitchcer who threw mid 60's and she said if she saw someone square and open in this manner and try to so agressively take the plate she would throw inside...way inside on them!
 

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