As a parent, you will almost always be your child’s first hitting coach.
Don’t worry, you don’t need any experience, and it’s easier than you might think. We want hitting to be fun, but we also want to be intentional about what they are learning. Big Bat is a clearly defined process about how to start building a great hitter.
If you think about how kids start learning their letters in kindergarten, there is a clear method. They use big colorful pictures and interactive activities. But in no way is it random.
Pitching them hundreds of wiffle balls in the back yard is the best thing you can do. Most kids never learn to hit well simply because nobody will pitch to them. You are in complete control of that. Don’t be the parent that goes to all their kids games, watches them strike out every time and still, you won’t practice with them.
Make it Easy
Hitting is difficult, and in the beginning we want to make it easy. There will be plenty of time for making things challenging later, once they have the basics of hitting a pitch. For now, get them crushing wiffle balls, hundreds of them.
Nothing holds back young hitters more than putting a metal bat in their hands at age 5. Their swing will slow and they will have very little barrel control. A slow bat means you have to start the swing much too early, before you can judge location and speed of the pitch.
Wiffle ball bats weigh 6-9 ounces. This extremely light bat means a child can swing it at a speed that mimics a real baseball swing. They can control the barrel and develop great timing from the beginning.
Stay Away From the Tee, for Now
I love tee work for hitters. But, hitting from a tee is a very advanced drill, not a good place to start hitters. Getting a 4-8 year old to take a real, game like swing while hitting off a tee is almost impossible. So avoid it until they are a little more advanced. I like to start the tee work at about age 8 to 10.
There are 3 main things we teach in hitting, approach, timing and mechanics. I always put them in that order on purpose. When we hit off the tee, you are basically working on mechanics, the 3rd most important trait. When you pitch wiffle balls to a hitter you are working on the traits in order of importance.
- Approach- Launch the ball as far and fast as you possibly can.
- Timing- The hitter must develop timing when hitting a pitch
- Mechanics- Still important, but in its place. The first two things are dictating the mechanics, for example, a slight upward swing to hit the ball as far as possible.
There will be lots of quality time for tee work and fine tuning mechanics if they first develop a great approach and great timing.