Five Tips For Teaching Hitting, Pitching & Fielding
By Jack Perconte
Not everyone knows the finer details of the game of baseball and, of course, many do not care to be baseball coaches or experts. Everyone has there own interests and that is fine. However, that does not mean you cannot say helpful things to young ballplayers. Using this one word will make one sound like a baseball expert and sound like you really know the game of baseball. As a baseball instructor over the past 21 years there is one word that I believe I have said more than any other word. This word is revealed below. If you would like a hint, think of the first thing that you teach your dog to do?
You guessed it – stay. Using the word “stay” with most any baseball term gives instant, “expert” credibility to the one saying it. Following are the terms good coaches often use when talking to players about the three key skill components in baseball – hitting, pitching and fielding. People, who use these terms with the magic word “stay,” will sound like a knowledgeable, baseball expert.
- Stay back – good hitters do not jump at the ball, they let it come to them.
- Stay inside – good hitters do not reach for balls, they try to hit the side closest to them on all pitches
- Stay behind – when good hitters swing, they rotate, transfer their weight and throw their bat at the ball while keeping their head back over their rear hip
- Stay balanced – good hitters swing the bat at 100% speed, but make it look like they are not working hard at all.
- Stay ready – good hitters always expect the next pitch to be “their pitch.”
- Stay focused – good hitters concentrate on just watching the baseball from the pitcher’s release to the hitting zone and tune out all other thoughts
- Stay balanced – good pitchers throw at maximum speeds but make it look effortless
- Stay direct – good pitchers keep great direction, stepping on direct line towards home plate with their delivery.
- Stay on top – good pitchers keep their fingers on top of ball on backswing and at release.
- Stay behind – good pitchers do not rush themselves, allowing their arm time to come around.
- Stay focused – good pitchers remain focused on their target and tune out any distractions.
- Stay ready – good fielders “want” and expect the ball to be hit their way.
- Stay down – good fielders approach ground balls low to the ground and keep their glove below the hop initially.
- Stay smooth – good fielders make fielding look effortless, moving through the ball with grace.
- Stay focused – good fielders keep their concentration on the ball, ready for any hop.
- Stay balanced – good fielders have great footwork when fielding, always remaining under control.
You may have noticed that there are two terms used with our word “stay” that applies to every fundamental tip and those are balanced and focus. Everything in sport requires great balance and focus. So, when you are not sure what to say to your athlete, you can never go wrong with saying, “stay balanced” and “stay focused” as long as they are said in a positive, affirmative manner.
Former major league baseball player, Jack Perconte gives baseball hitting tips and batting practice advice for ballplayers of all ages. His baseball playing lessons, books and advice can be found at https://jackperconte.com Jack is the author of two books, The Making of a Hitter and Raising an Athlete – his positive parenting advice and books can be found at http://positiveparentinginsports.com