First Hitting Lesson of the Summer

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Cannonball

Ex "Expert"
Feb 25, 2009
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With the exception of a couple of players, I stopped giving hitting lessons during and after COVID. I used to run 22 hitters through lessons every summer and did so for 30 years. I didn't charge for lessons until recently when the AD of my HS told me I had to start charging. I coach because I love the game. I don't need money.

Long story short, we had a couple of softball players who wanted hitting lessons. One decided not to do them since she has suddenly had success hitting. The other also has had some recent success but wanted to hit. I asked the dad to be there for this lesson and have always encouraged parents to attend lessons. The first lesson is free since it is an evaluation. The next lessons are $20 each for 30 min. As I have posted before, my lessons are never 30 minutes. I made it clear to this hitter that this was an evaluation and if she didn't want to take lessons after this evaluation, she didn't have to. I would not hold it against her next year. Here is what we did today in order:
  • The player arrived about 10 minutes early and I had the cage set up. She and I sat on chairs and talked about her recent games and at-bats. I asked her what she wanted to achieve from these lessons. I asked her what she thought were her strengths and weaknesses.
  • I asked the hitter to warm up off of a tee. These were basic swings. After the first four or five swings, I videoed the next 3 or 4 swings.
  • I covered the setup for tee work. IOWs this hitter was hitting the ball out in front too much and had the tee too far forward. Then, I videoed a couple of more swings. We sat down and she watched the video and saw the difference in her swings. (Connection versus early extension)
  • I had this hitter hit TCB Whiffle Balls off of a tee with a Cam Bat one-hand bat. She started with the lead hand and I filmed. She switched over to the backhand and I videoed it. Then, she sat down again and we broke some of her one-arm swings down and talked about what our goals would be.
  • All of the time, I am explaining stuff to her dad as we break stuff down.
  • I had her pick up my daughter's -0 wood composite bat and hit softballs off of the tee. I videoed it. I mentioned to her dad that I want them to start looking for a composite wooden bat. It should be a used bat if they can find one. She then watched the video of her swing and we talked.
  • She hit softballs off of the tee with her normal bat. As soon as this happened, she went back to her main problem which is that she over rotates on her load and "shows her number to the pitcher." I asked her to freeze on her load and asked her about where both of her eyes were. Where was the ball coming from? How could she hit the inside pitch? What did this overloading do for her bat speed or ability to adjust? She then, "fixed" her swing and did what she was doing on the other things that I videoed. She said that she was "coached to show her number." (Summer coach)
  • We then wrapped up with front toss. Typically, I throw front toss but for today, I did a simple front toss. The wind was picking up and the cage net was lifting some. I didn't want her to get a bat caught in the net on a swing.
  • I asked the hitter to explain what we did and I helped her break down what we did. I also asked her dad to chime in if he had questions but to let the hitter work through the process of what we did on her own with prodding from me.
  • This took an hour and ten minutes total. I finished by again mentioning that this is what I do in a lesson. They do not have to take lessons with me. If they want, I will work with the hitter. They have the option of letting me know, after a discussion between the two of them, if they want lesson, if they want lessons every week, and/or if they want lessons every two weeks.
Again, this is what I do. I hope that this gives some of you parents something to think about. IMO, you should be able to sit in on lessons. You should be able to ask questions. For the hitter, they should be able to ask questions and if the hitting instructor can't explain why they are having the hitter do any drill, then that is a red flag.
 
Aug 20, 2017
1,514
113
I do 3 lessons for $75. Like you, I don’t do it for the money. I think charging something will make the player (and parent) more attentive and more committed. Lessons are 60-90 minutes. We do PVC stuff first, PVC on tees with wiffles, side toss PVC with whiffles. Then use a bat doing the same stuff. Lots of dry stuff In between making sure they feel things correctly. Drills on front toss and finally drills on pitching machine. We don’t get to front toss until second lesson and third lesson is majority machine. It takes time to learn to perform the drills properly. Once they can do them properly I start adding different feels. I enjoy it!
 
Oct 26, 2019
1,401
113
I charge $40 for 30 minutes. My lessons usually run on time for the most part. Parents have to be involved, especially with younger kids. A lot of what I do involves getting the parent to acknowledge their role in their kids growth (or lack thereof). The hardest thing about giving lessons is figuring out what works for each kid. One cue may be really helpful for one kid and that same cue be totally detrimental for another.
 
Jun 8, 2016
16,107
113
I charge $40 for 30 minutes. My lessons usually run on time for the most part. Parents have to be involved, especially with younger kids. A lot of what I do involves getting the parent to acknowledge their role in their kids growth (or lack thereof). The hardest thing about giving lessons is figuring out what works for each kid. One cue may be really helpful for one kid and that same cue be totally detrimental for another.
I would have a hard time instructing a kid who I knew wasn’t working outside of lessons..especially if that wasn’t my primary source of income..
 
Oct 26, 2019
1,401
113
I would have a hard time instructing a kid who I knew wasn’t working outside of lessons..especially if that wasn’t my primary source of income..
Luckily, I don’t deal with too many of those kids. The few that I have I have just had conversations with their parents and told them that I am a pretty expensive batting practice thrower if they aren’t going to work to make the changes we are trying to make.

I have found the magic really happens when you get the kid a good base of mechanics and then I make the lesson challenging to closer simulate the challenges they will see in the game. I often hear how well kids hit at practice or lessons, and then can’t hit in the game. A large part of that is because their practice and their lessons don’t look anything like the game. Coach flipping meatballs sitting on a bucket doesn’t get you ready for a game.
 
Aug 20, 2017
1,514
113
I would have a hard time instructing a kid who I knew wasn’t working outside of lessons..especially if that wasn’t my primary source of income..
I tell my hitters that they have to own the swing. Every time they pick up a bat they need to do a few core drills. I’m fully aware that they are gonna go back to a coach that’s gonna preach “knob to the ball”, “hands to the ball”, “fire the hips” type of stuff. It’s the hitters job to learn the swing that I have taught them and to own it. I don’t expect them to work outside of lessons, team practice, and games. One example is front toss. I ask my hitters to tell the tosser to wait until they pick up their front foot before tossing the ball. I have no clue if they do or not. My dd had a school ball coach in the past that asked hitters to hit the ball with the knob of the bat on side toss. She knew it was ridiculous. Just her knowing how stupid that was and that’s not how she swings was progress. But as a hitting instructor that’s what I deal with. That’s why I ask hitters to learn it and own it.
 
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Jun 8, 2016
16,107
113
I tell my hitters that they have to own the swing. Every time they pick up a bat they need to do a few core drills. I’m fully aware that they are gonna go back to a coach that’s gonna preach “knob to the ball”, “hands to the ball”, “fire the hips” type of stuff. It’s the hitters job to learn the swing that I have taught them and to own it. I don’t expect them to work outside of lessons, team practice, and games. One example is front toss. I ask my hitters to tell the tosser to wait until they pick up their front foot before tossing the ball. I have no clue if they do or not. My dd had a school ball coach in the past that asked hitters to hit the ball with the knob of the bat on side toss. She knew it was ridiculous. Just her knowing how stupid that was and that’s not how she swings was progress. But as a hitting instructor that’s what I deal with. That’s why I ask hitters to learn it and own it.
Most good hitters hit a lot on their own but hey if you think you are so good at instructing that you don't think
yours need to then more power to you..
 

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