Experienced youth baseball coaches know just how important the fundamentals of a hitter's swing are. From beginning to end, all the stars have to be aligned in order to get that perfect hit. There are a number of aspects to the baseball swing, but here are five fundamentals, and the essential qualities you'll see in an excellent demonstration.
- Stance: This is where it all starts. Your player's stance should be square, relaxed and at a proper angle to the plate. Weight should be evenly distributed between the feet, the toes should be pointed very slightly inward and knees should be bent. Be sure the player is facing just a tad forward.
- Grip: Here, look for players who have a death grip on the bat. Ideally, the bat will be held lightly among the fingers, not squeezed by the hitter's palms. The hands should be aligned on the bat. Coaches should recommend that all of their players wear batting gloves or use pine tar so they can grip the bat well without clenching it.
- Stride: Make sure your players are keeping their stance during this step. Many youngsters will drop one aspect or another, whether the bat slides down or they take too large a step. The weight should remain through the player's center line, so watch again for leaning on the rear foot.
- Hip rotation: The main issue here is over rotation. This can occur either laterally or front to back, so look for both leaning over the plate and extension side to side. Be sure your hitter maintains his sight line.
- Swing: The final piece of the puzzle, if all of the other steps are solid, is simple. The most important things to examine are the levels of the player's head and shoulders and that the bat comes flat across the plate.
By building a foundation on these principles, every player on your team can have the perfect swing. The earlier you start these essentials the better. Most parents start their kids with batting drills in tee ball. But other wait until they get a little older and start playing coach pitch baseball.