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Fixing the "at the plate loss of mechanics"

May 9, 2008
Hartford, CT
MY DD will be 13 this month.
Never had much form or hitting success.

Makes travel team and she looks pretty awesome with soft toss, T, and coach pitch (coach 15-20 feet behind net)
Get comments on how good her form is ... but hands need to be quicker.
(Hit Coaching loosely follows Candrea?)(sp)

Put her in front of a pitcher on a field and she looks like she never held a bat...golfing, on her tip toes... .....

Something in that head of hers ....
if I sent a video of practice versus game you'd think you were looking a completly different kids ...

Jul 21, 2008
My daughter 11yrs is having the same problem. When hitting off a Tee or front toss everything looks great but when facing a pitcher looks BAD BAD BAD. In my DD case (maybe your also) it is the fear of being hit by the pitch that is causing the problem. I can see her entire approch to hitting change when facing a live pitcher.

I'm not really sure how to fix this. I have talked to her about how to get hit by the ball. One thing I have been doing is when pitching to her in the yard I'll use tennis balls or wiffle ball and ocassionally I will throw at her to make sure she is keeping the front side in and not bailing out. This works in practice but has not really help in game situations.

If anyone knows ways to help with this problem PLEASE SHARE!

Here is another funny fact about my DD, she is also a pitcher and has no fear when in the circle but very fearful when in the batters box. Go figure!!!
May 9, 2008
Hartford, CT
loss of mechanics

LOL...My DD is also a pitcher and has never ducked from any ball ...
few line drives pretty close, but we've done enough Tennis ball drills that she can knock it done if needed ... mostly she fields very well. No fear.

Even coach pitch which isn't fast results in complete breakdown of what we just saw at the soft toss station 5 minutes earlier.


Although her hands still need to be faster...still slight delay, her form looks great in drills...
We've talked about having to step it up, needs to come out of that cxomfort zone...etc....don't be so hesitant, etc ....
sigh ...
Nov 1, 2008
only time my DD freaks out is during a game lol. she can rip live pitching in practice but when the time comes that she actually has to worry about balls and strikes she freezes or waits until the ball is pretty much in the glove. the first game of the season is tonight and i've been telling her to swing at anything she can hit, it sure beats watching 2 good pitches and swinging at one the catcher can't reach for strike 3.
Jan 15, 2009

Nice article. I'm a big believer in taking a Zen like approach to hitting. I want my hitters to approach each at bat with confidence that they will hit, but little concern about the result knowing that they can't be successful 100% of the time. I always worry when I see kids who have a fit after an at bat because to me it demostrates that they entered the box with a results focused attitude instead of putting themselves in a relaxed state of mind that would maximize their chance of success.

I came over to the Zen side from my personal battles to learn the game of Golf. I noticed fairly early on that the best way to sabotage my game was to walk around thinking, I need par, i need par, I have to break 80 today. Conversely my best shots kept coming after I had given up on my goal for the day because bad shots taken with a poor attitude had put my goal out of reach. The trick is to get to a place mentally where your completely committed to the process while simultaneously completely unconcerned about the result. It's easier said than done, and I think the more cerebral players have the hardest time doing it because they are thinking about all the knowledge they have about proper mechanics and analyzing mentally what they have to do instead of getting out of their own way and letting themselves succeed.

Without proper mechanics the proper mental approach will only get you so far. The issue I've had with some of the very eloquent, detailed, dissertations on this website, is that for me personally some of that analytical detail can stick in your head and get in the way. If my hitter is in the box and just fouled off the first pitch, I don't want her thinking "Did I properly pro-nate my wrists?? I need to properly pronate my wrists!!" I want that hitter thinking, "I'm relaxed, I'm ready, let's play!"
Jan 6, 2009
Chehalis, Wa
I just have one question, what do you focus on, or the hitter, during batting practice. During drills, tee, soft toss, live pitching?

Second I like what the article says.

Don't leave anything out in your answer to the question.
Jan 6, 2009
Chehalis, Wa
One problem is you saying she has had little hitting success and now she trying to hit at a level that is more then likely currently above her ability.
May 9, 2008
Hartford, CT
hitting problem

During hitting practice (T, soft toss, machine) she does very well...good form, great hard hits.

Being pitched to at practice and in a game is when she " forgets everything"

Yes, she has had problems with hitting and yes she is a bit above her level ...

but she is performing below her level at bat when facing live pitching.
May 13, 2008
Ninety percent of this game is mental, and the other half is physical. - Yogi Berra

Most of us coaches/parents spend 90% of our time getting the kids the physical and mechanical training they need to perform, but spend very little time developing the mental game. To reach peak performance the player needs to be able to execute the mental side of the game as well.

The mental aspects of the game include visual acuity, mental toughness, decision making ability, and experience. All of these mental skills can be practiced outside of a live game.

If your batter is swinging at pitches outside of the strike zone have them do drills where they are at the plate and just calling ball or strike. Graduate to catching the strikes with a glove and letting the balls go. Set a cone half way between the plate and the pitcher and the batter must call the anticipated location by the time the pitched ball gets to the cone. If your hitter is afraid of being hit by a pitch teach her the proper way to take a hit.

If your hitter's mechanics break down against live pitching do more front toss from behind a screen. Make sure you are using a windmill motion when doing front toss. I throw batting practice from behind a screen from 25-30 feet from the plate so I can accurately throw pitches inside/outside, high/low, and change speeds.

You can do more live hitting with your pitchers. It is good practice for the pitcher/catcher as well as the hitter. Make a game out of it. Do more intra-squad scrimmages. Put your hitter into game-like situations. They need to have confidence in the physical and technical training they are getting.

And remember what Yogi said.

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