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Switch Hitting

Dec 5, 2017
192
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MP, how did you determine that DD was right eye dominate?
I should have said that she is based on the tests I found online ;) I found several tests, best I can remember they were something like- Make a triangle with your thumbs and pointer finger, center it over an object in the distance and close each eye. Also hold your thumb over a small object not quite as far away and close each eye. I don't know how scientific or accurate that is but I found the same tests in multiple places. She is gong to the eye doctor this afternoon coincidentally, I might call my wife and have her ask the dr. if he can test for eye dominance. Probably not relative to the conversation but she has always struggled with being late when hitting from the right side, really late sometimes and that was hitting off the sling.
 
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Dec 5, 2017
192
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We've had 4 very good practices working on slapping after she pitches. She has a long way to go of course but is really doing well at it. However, I think she's having a tough time mentally with the short aspect of it. Suddenly she wants to do some regular hitting from the right side and last night she was saying she wanted to hit the top of the net at the end of the building. That's odd for her because over the course of the last season it has been a battle to get her to do bp outside of team practice, she says it's boring. She was doing it too and it's funny watching the older kids looking surprised at the little 53 lb girl hammering the ball. They don't know how hot that little cf8 is though!
 
Oct 4, 2018
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Just curious: Do slap hitters do much better than lefties batting "normal"? I don't see slap hitters in our tournaments at all. I recognize my sample size is very small. I have all righties in my family so easy for me to say, but if my daughter was hitting the ball hard "normal" I'm not sure I'd work on slapping all that much.
 
Dec 11, 2010
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That is a really tough question to answer.

Is a fast lefty that can already hit good enough and relentless enough that she can afford to spend the time to add slapping to her skill set?

I think what people should consider is that slapping is a difficult skill and in order to be truly successful at higher levels you need to be extremely fast. Probably not just fast. I was also recently thinking about how some players are effective at younger ages but as their bodies change and defense gets better they just aren’t as effective. Maybe it’s because they aren’t taking the next step and adding in power slapping to their skill set, idk.

I know a lot of coaches like to take fast kids that don’t hit well righty and “make them into slappers”. They act like it’s easy. I’m kind of skeptical of that. When those kids are successful against weak defenses the coaches dance around and say “See?” but can those slappers be successful against the teams that you want to beat at the end of a tournament?

Again, tough question and I don’t have the answers. Just a couple things to think about.
 
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Oct 4, 2018
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Thanks.

We were in our toughest tournament to date this weekend, with competition well above us. I did see three slap hitters in the 15 teams that were there. Most of them struck out, one was called out for making contact outside the batters box, and a few grounded out to SS or 3B. They did place the ball well, but just didn't beat it out.
 
Dec 5, 2017
192
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So is there a specific time from home to 1 that you would like to see at a certain age to determine if their speed is actually fast enough to switch to slapping? I'm also having second thoughts because dd is naturally a righty and hits really...most of the time. I've only seen one other girl that was faster than dd running bases through 2 years of 8u and this fall 9u season and luckily she was on our team.
 
Mar 26, 2016
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8 & 9 are pretty young to determine speed, cause by 14 and 16 things change. Daughter played with kids that were studs and kids that had speed at 10 and 12, 2nd year 14s, and 16s those kids leveled off. I don't know slapping speeds at younger ages form what I've seen 2.8 and below is ideal at the older ages, and being able to place the ball.

It's never bad to work at something, try new things specially when young, when your daughter gets into 14s then make that decision of staying on the left or right, I would get her eyes checked to see the dominant eye, and ask outside opinions as far as what side to stay on. Thing not to do though is during game time start on left get 2 strikes then have her switch back to right.
 
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Feb 21, 2017
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Everyone will have a different experience but for the parents of girls 8, 9 & 10 I will provide some of our experience.

When DD2 (batting right-handed) was second-year 10 or first-year 12 we found when she bunted and a good play was made or even if she hit a grounder right to SS, her speed always made the play close. Occasionally the defense sensing this would rush and an error would happen so she had quite a few ROE. Per a suggestion during second-year 12U she started bunting lefty instead and was now safe more than out. Then first-year 14U she would bunt or bat lefty for 2 strikes before switching back right-handed and started working on lefty soft slaps. At this point she was good at bunting (both sides) and had a solid swing so didn’t strike out much. At second-year 14U her coach turned her around fully and now at 18U she is a lefty slapper but can also bat left-handed.

We took about 8 slapping lessons between second-year 12U and first-year 14U, then 12 more the following winter and about 20-25 last year. Our focus is cleaning up her lefty swing but she can now bunt (& drag-bunt), soft-slap, hard-slap, power-slap and swing-away. Realize it is 3x the work because besides taking hacks you now introduce all the variations above. She was pretty committed and besides formal lessons she did 1-3x a week extra over this time.

The point of this is:
1) you are not too late
2) you will know if turning around is worth it based on the player USUALLY making routine plays close. You don’t need a stopwatch.
3) having a good swing right-handed will help if you turn around. Develop good mechanics now
4) you need to be able to bunt so work on that now.
5) slapping is a lot of commitment and like adding another sport

In hindsight maybe I would have had her bat left-handed from a younger age but it worked out so I can’t complain.

CoC



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Dec 11, 2010
1,976
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Some really good real world comments here by people who have done this. CoC, that is the kind of time commitment I would expect to become truly successful. Having access to someone that can teach slapping is big too, that can’t be found everywhere. Thanks for sharing your journey, that is helpful for all.

I’d like to know more about eye dominance, how it develops and how it affects hitting. I believe that dd#2’s cross eye hand dominance is a result of hitting multiple times a week from age 9 on.

I also know there are a small percentage of people who have no eye preference, somehow their brain switches back and forth.
 
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