Hey - my son plays travel ball. He is currently the number two hitter on his team in AA ball. He is a big kid for his age, but was born three weeks before the age cutoff so will always be the youngest 12U on his squad. He is 11.

He really hits for average mostly, and he doesn't seem to hit for tons of power. He gets doubles and very rarely triples, but doesn't usually have home run power. He's not fast, which also hurts him in slugging.

I've included a video of one of his best swings from last year. This was a guaranteed home run, except they didn't have the fences (200ft) up that day - so it ended up as a triple in long grass.

Can someone take a look and comment at the swing. Is there something in there that is taking power away from him? He seems to lean back a little when he swings and I don't think his weight is really transferring forward as much as it should. That being said, this swing was a no doubter and I'm wondering if he put it all together here or if there is still something holding him back?

Thank you guys so much for the help! Great site, great contributors!

OBP1000

p.s. This swing was against a buddy of his who was talking trash during the at bat in a friendly. Could just be confidence and desire to beat his buddy lol...

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Good contact.  However he could hit the ball harder if he lets his hips open up more after contact and follow through.  My kids were taught load, stride, contact, follow through and extension.   After glancing at this I noticed he was stopping his hip rotation and follow through.  There are a bunch of drills out there to help with that.  I'm no hitting expert (all 3 of my kids were pitchers), but that did catch my eye.

PS....The catchers reaction is hysterical.  He has no clue where the ball is.  ;-)

Good luck!

fenwaysouth posted:

Good contact.  However he could hit the ball harder if he lets his hips open up more after contact and follow through.  My kids were taught load, stride, contact, follow through and extension.   After glancing at this I noticed he was stopping his hip rotation and follow through.  There are a bunch of drills out there to help with that.  I'm no hitting expert (all 3 of my kids were pitchers), but that did catch my eye.

PS....The catchers reaction is hysterical.  He has no clue where the ball is.  ;-)

Good luck!

Noticed the same thing about the lower half.  Definitely stops his lower half  at the point of contact.  He needs to think like a boxer.   Though you want to bring maximum power to the point of contact, you also want to think about swinging through the ball.   He gets very little extension through the ball. 

Another non-expert who agrees with the long swing diagnosis. Very common for kids his age. Watch his shoulders and hips at point of contact. Both are at the end of their ranges, so they're adding zero power. Improvement will probably come almost immediately with the right instruction. My advise is to find someone who was very successful with hitting at the college or pro level. Doesn't have to be a professional instructor, just someone who knows hitting. IMO, hitting is much less mysterious than pitching (fewer different opinions about what is correct technique).

In the mean time, google "long swing" and "casting" to get a better understanding. Watch slo-mo of Mike Trout.

If you're anxious to get him started, front toss to him over the inside third of the plate and challenge him to drive the ball to the RF side. That might give him a taste of getting his hands inside and shortening up his swing. Good luck.

OBP1000 posted:

 

Can someone take a look and comment at the swing. Is there something in there that is taking power away from him? He seems to lean back a little when he swings and I don't think his weight is really transferring forward as much as it should. That being said, this swing was a no doubter and I'm wondering if he put it all together here or if there is still something holding him back?

 

For the most part, I think his swing looks pretty good for a kid his age.  But, as others have pointed out, I see a rather long swing and lack for follow through with hips and shoulders as being the primary flaw.  IMHO, this is largely due to lack of strength that's common for this age group; and I feel this is what we commonly see with a young player uses a bat that might be just a little too weighty for him.   Working on shorting up the swing and as he matures, his swing should start to look better and better.  

Howdy,

Some good things going on there.  There are a few things that could be better.  He is young, so plenty of time to improve.  One quick fix...., you can't flatten the bat head like that, as it forces the hands to work out to in (as previously said).  Makes it a long swing, and he won't be able to keep his hands inside the ball (likely pull most times).  If you are fortunate to have a good hitting instructor in your area, get him in front of that instructor.  Good luck. 

 

 

I think his swing is more than solid for a 11-12 year old.  It's a higher pitch, he naturally comes out of his shoes a bit to stay on the path of the ball. Nice indicator of hand-eye & athleticism.  A lot of good going on here.  As he gets stronger, in particular his core and legs, he'll be able to create greater torque, allowing him to drive and extend through the ball. 

Keep the athleticism going, play, play.  Caution:  too much instruction by too many different instructors talking to your son at this stage will make your son too mechanical.  You'll take away the good athletic things going on in his swing!  Take the time and find a good hitting instructor to work with your son over the off season.  Working one or two pieces at a time allowing him to maintain his athletic ability and love of the game. 

We went through a similar thing, we took our time and found a good hitting instructor that could communicate with my son, he was also accessible.  

Nothing to be concerned about here...enjoy the journey.

JCG posted:
Shoveit4Ks posted:

 

3. What is the catcher looking at? 

Hmm... might have been what happened at one of my kid's games a few years back.  (Turn on your speakers)

 

Wow.  I wish our Bronco league had an opening day ceremony with a flyover!  Hey, Gov, can you help us out?

That game was at Treasure Island during fleet week in SF.  The Blue Angels must have flown overhead over a dozen times. As you can see the players had stopped paying attention to them.  There was also a flyover by a big-ass stealth bomber - B1 I guess.

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