Keeping It Simple – 4 Keys to Hitting and Pitching Success
- Updated: May 26, 2011
I have been teaching baseball for a long time and feel like I could spend hours and hours discussing the fundamentals of the game. Along the same lines, I believe I could list well over 100 baseball drills. In addition, I wrote a two hundred-page book on all aspects of hitting and teaching hitting to youth players.
Having said that, I believe the key to teaching ballplayers how to play the game is to keep the instruction as simple as possible. Over the years I have found that the simpler I can break down the mechanics the better, so players are not overwhelmed “with what to do” mechanics. Additionally, when the playing advice is basic, players do not think too much when they play, which is usually a good thing. This is especially true when teaching young kids the game. Of course, fixing bad habits is not always simple and requires greater knowledge and expertise.
Following are four basic tips that I teach to youth players so they learn the basics of hitting and pitching, without being inundated with too much information
Four Keys to Pitching Success
1. Hands do not break from glove until knee is completely up
2. Thumb breaks under & fingers on top of ball until arm starts forward
3. Front elbow up, pointed at target as stride foot starts down and forward, directly at home
4. Head gets out over glove as back leg comes up on follow through
Four Keys to Hitting Success
1. Set-up – knob of bat pointed down, bat barrel on line above shoulder, hands shoulder height and two inches back of shoulder, close to body
2. Take hands to the inside of ball as bat travels close to head on first move
3. Arms extend to a high finish
4. Bat finishes in middle of back, where eyes can see bat and back foot is up
Of course, fixing bad habits is not always simple, requires great expertise, and is why I needed so many pages to teach people how to hit a baseball.