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Situational Hitting - mental cues?

Jul 16, 2013
2,999
63
Pennsylvania
Let me try this from another perspective.

When a kid comes in to their weekly lessons I typically start out by asking how their recent games/practices have gone and if they have something in particular that they wish to work on.

On occasion a kid will tell me that their team is working on situational hitting, and the part they are struggling with is when they are asked to hit the ball to the opposite field in which it would typically be hit to. They are frustrated and want help to succeed with their coach's goals.

How do you help this kid?
Bold above... I have a similar approach with my hitters. But your particular example has not come up, as of yet. When I played high school ball, my coach at that time taught us what he called an "inside out" swing. Essentially he wanted us to hold our wrist angles longer and release the barrel at a later point of our swing in order to 'deflect' the ball towards the right side. It wasn't something I enjoyed, but I got to be one of the better players on the team at doing it. That said, if we played against a quality pitcher, we tended to look silly. It isn't something I have worked on with my hitters. However, there are times that I will ask my players to hit to the right side. In order to accomplish that I ask them to split the plate in half. Specifically look for something middle out. I ask them to take anything on the inner part of the plate in these particular cases. Honestly, it is extremely rare that I ask my hitters to do this. I would prefer to just let them hunt a pitch they like. If one of my hitters came to me with the request you are suggesting, I would have the same approach. Hunt a pitch that you can hit that way. Take otherwise.
 
Jun 6, 2016
853
28
Chicago
It isn’t uncommon for a manager to make a post-game comment to their team on the importance of hitting based on the situation. They will give an example of having a runner on 2B or 3B and wanting the pitch driven to RF. They express sincere frustration when RH hitters in that situation are not successful in driving the ball to RF against inside pitches.

Let's start with the obvious question ... is the coach’s expectation reasonable?
Generally, no, it's not. Because where you hit the ball is highly dependent on where the ball is pitched.

Now, if I have that situation and a RH hitter rolls over on a pitch on the outer half, sure, that's a teaching moment. But if another girl rips a rocket line drive and the 3B makes a diving or leaping catch, I'm not gonna rip the hitter for bad luck.

On occasion a kid will tell me that their team is working on situational hitting, and the part they are struggling with is when they are asked to hit the ball to the opposite field in which it would typically be hit to. They are frustrated and want help to succeed with their coach's goals.

How do you help this kid?
I guess in the situation where you have an unreasonable (and imo bad) coach who insists on it regardless of circumstances, you teach her to lay off pitches that don't give her the opportunity to do what the coach wants, even if they're strikes. With two strikes, all bets are off. It's not ideal, but I can't really think of anything better (other than "your coach shouldn't mind if you hit a double to the gap instead of moving the runner over with a weak ground out to second," which I admit is probably not something you want to tell a kid).
 
Dec 11, 2010
1,976
48
Tough position to put a kid in, no doubt.

And that internal conflict causes real problems.
 
Jun 17, 2009
15,129
0
Portland, OR
Tough position to put a kid in, no doubt.

And that internal conflict causes real problems.
Softball prepares these kids for the future in more ways than one. Many of us know from first hand experience that bosses can make unrealistic requests. How to deal with that is part of growing up, maturing and being the person you wish to be.
 
Dec 11, 2010
1,976
48
Couldn't agree more FFS.

I couldn't begin make a list of things softball has taught both of my kids. And me. It goes way beyond the stereotypical/conventional wisdom sports bumper sticker themes that people throw around.
 

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