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What can I expect from 10 yr olds?

Apr 21, 2009
5
0
I am an assistant coach for my daughter'ss 9-10 yr old league team because I was asked to help by the head coach. I know very little about fastpitch hitting mechanics and joined this site so I can be a better coach and hopefully help the girls with their hitting.

Here's the problem, we had our first game tonight and only one girl hit the ball in five innings. The opposing pitcher was not particularly fast or good. As a matter of fact she walked lots of our girls but she had her fair share of strikeouts because our girls would either watch the ball go by, swing way too late or swing and miss by a mile.

Most of the girls can hit soft tossed balls. My daughter smashes them. Most of the girls can hit when the pitching machine on the mound. My daughter dials in and smashes these as well. But put a live pitcher on the mound and not one of them can hit the ball. My daughter is not even close and it is very frustrating.

It is like none of these girls have the hand-eye coordination needed to hit off a live pitcher.

I am not confident in ANY of our girls batting at this point and would like your suggestions on getting them to hit better. It's going to be a long season if we can't figure this out.

Thanks,
Pat
 

May 7, 2008
8,499
38
Tucson
Teach them to hit, just like you would teach baseball. Use the tee, a lot. Pitch to them from the front. Don't use the machine too often.

Also, demonstrate to them where the bat is supposed to hit the ball (sweet spot).

Maybe you could get a girl that is a little older to pitch to them.

They may be scared that they are going to get hit by the ball. You will need to teach them how to turn, if they are going to get hit.
 
May 18, 2009
1,312
38
League rec ball is where the game starts for the kids, the parents, and parent coaches. Relax and don't worry about the season. Use positive encouragement and positive reinforcement when dealing with U10 players. Never use negative discouragement on girls that age. You will have girls that don't have good enough hand eye coordination to "hit". Most hits will be little dinks in the infield. The good thing is most girls fielding the ball will make mistakes so even a dink will get your batter on base. For the girls that can't hit the broad side of a barn with a bat, teach them to bunt. Don't worry if it's not laid down perfect. Teach them to stop the ball with the bat. Teach them the proper angle to hold the bat. Once they learn to stop the ball then teach them how to place the bunt down the line. Once they build some confidence then they'll start swinging more at the plate. Bunting and making base builds confidence. I'm guessing you have 12-14 players. Out of that 12-14 you will be lucky if 5 girls become somewhat proficient at playing ball. Just look for improvement. Stress the fundamentals of the game. I would put hitting lower on the scale of importance than the other aspects of the game. I liked working on throwing and fielding more than hitting when my DD was that age. The girls become more relaxed with experience at the plate. As they age they become better hitters.

As far as the strike zone. I liked to use elbows to knees. High slow pitches are almost to irresistible for some girls, even when they're older. My dd played up in league this year on a 14U team. Due to a small pool of players we played one of our games against an 18U team. One of the pitchers on our team (11)threw a changeup that floated just above the shoulders of one of the 17 or 18 year olds on that team. That girl turned and looked at her coach and said, "I'm not gonna lie, I wanted to swing at that!"

Most important, teach sportsmanship to the 10U girls. Don't allow them to cheer negatively against players from the other team. If they want to cheer make sure it's for your team and it's always positive. Cheer the good plays from the other team just like you would your own. It really sucks for girls that age when girls from other teams use tactics that are meant to bring players down. Your girls will also have more fun by staying positive even if they lose. The game is about having fun.
 

obbay

Banned
Aug 21, 2008
2,201
0
Boston, MA
What to expect of 10 yo.s? Expect them to make mistakes.

Focus on them learning and having fun playing the game rather than winning.

They need to play or have practice at least twice a week (3 is better) or they won't retain anything.

If they can play catch with a sibling or parent regularly, that is really important.

Swing a bat regularly. Girls have trouble getting used to this. If they can go out in their yard and swing a bat 25, 50, 100 times a day it will become less foreign to them and more natural. (They won't do this- but if they can start doing this outside of practice even that will help)

One thing I have found that helps girls develop their eye-bat coordination is use of a hiitin stick type training tool. Hit2Win.com Baseball and Fastpitch training equipment
it's not as easy as it looks and it teaches them to focus on the ball.
 

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