I been around travel ball for 3 or 4 years now and the one thing that jumps out at me is how little time is spent hitting live pitching at practice. I see teams devote 2 hour practices to defense and then 30 minutes with the coach pitching from 25 feet away. I am a firm believer that you cannot recreate or duplicate live pitching. I've seen young girls crush the ball in batting cages at 55mph off the machine, only to look very lost when facing live pitching. The batters whole mental approach is different when seeing a 12 or 13 yr old girl pitching as opposed to a 40 year old coach or machine. I know live pitching makes for a very long, boring practice, but would you agree that it is necessary to instill confidence in young batters?