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sluggers

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Staff member
May 26, 2008
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Dallas, Texas
I'm out at the old ball park throwing batting practice to a bunch of 8U. We got 12 kids to get through, so I have roughly 5 minutes a kid, so I'm working pretty fast. A parents comes up and tells a kid to "squash the bug" with the rear foot *AND* the front foot. I tell him politely that's not the way to hit, and he tells me that he played baseball at a very high level. So, I just drop it and move on to the next kid.

I'm stand there thinking what did I do to deserve this. And then a kid who has struck out 20 times in a row finally gets it and starts hitting the ball.

She has this look on her face of "Wow. I didn't know hitting would be this much fun."

I say, "next batter."

And she says, "Please, throw me some more." So I do.
 
Jan 22, 2011
1,580
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I'm getting old, so I'm forgetful, so I don't remember if it was Dusty Baker or someone else credited with coming up with the term "squash the bug." I heard the story that when asked about it several years later, he said he used the term off the cuff to describe how he hit, but the mechanics he was describing were the correct mechanics.

When my DD was in 8u, she worked 4 or 5 times with Ashley Hanson on hitting and fielding. The 2nd time they worked together, I heard Ashley use the cue "Squash the bug." I didn't want to challenge the 2011 USA Softball National Player of the Year, but I asked her politely what she meant by that cue. She said something like make sure my DD used her legs and hips in the swing. So, when teaching the right mechanics, old-school cue slipped out.
 
Last edited:
Jun 6, 2016
2,708
113
Chicago
I'm getting old, so I'm forgetful, so I don't remember if it was Dusty Baker or someone else credited with coming up with the term "squash the bug." I heard the story that when asked about it several years later, he said he used the term off the cuff to describe how he hit, but the mechanics he was describing were the correct mechanics.

When my DD was in 8u, she worked 4 or 5 times with Ashley Hanson on hitting and fielding. The 2nd time they worked together, I heard Ashley use the cue "Squash the bug." I didn't want to challenge the 2011 USA Softball National Player of the Year, but I asked her politely what she meant by that cue. She said something like make sure my DD used her legs and hips in the swing. So, when teaching the right mechanics, old-school cue slipped out.

A former JV coach of mine used the term. I kinda freaked out, but I had him explain what he meant and he was not describing the "false turn." He had the right idea. So I just told him how that cue can send the wrong message. He got it.

Of course, that conversation is easier when it's a discussion about terminology and the best way to convey the message. We were on the same page with what we wanted to teach.

Still, I learned to not assume that someone who uses that cue doesn't understand how that rear leg should work. It's worth finding out what the person means. They might not be wrong.
 

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