It has often been said that one of the hardest things to do in sports is to hit a baseball. It takes years of baseball training to master the art of making square contact with a round bat and a round ball. Complicating the process is that the ball could be moving at 70-90 miles per hour and it does not always go in a straight line.
Baseball hitting training should start when a child picks up his first baseball bat. If your child is three or four, the bat and ball are likely to be made of plastic. That is fine for baseball hitting training at this age. In fact, it is easier and safer to learn how to hit with a lightweight bat and ball.
Plenty of young children, when first given a bat, make the mistakes of using a cross-handed grip and keeping their hands away from the body . That is wrong! If you are a right-handed batter, your right hand should always be placed just above your left hand when you grip the bat. If you are a lefty, your left hand goes on top of the bat. The common swing younger players have is a long looping, sweeping swing often leads to their hands over the plate at contact. Using this technique will only result in an arm swing, and limited body support, if any.
The reason you do not hold the bat with a cross-handed grip (left over right for a right-handed batter) is that you can not break your wrists when you swing and you lose most of your power. Proper release of the wrists is what allowed a Hall-of-Famer like Hank Aaron to hit so many home runs despite being only of average size.
You also must stress to your student during baseball hitting training that their stance, bat position, and distance from home plate must all be correct. A batter needs to have a comfortable stance, flex his knees and be able to reach across the entire plate when he swings. You want to keep the bat slightly off of your shoulders (preferably on the shoulders at a younger age) and slightly cock the bat forward so you can start your swing at the right moment.
If you develop good habits and learn the fundamentals of the grip, stance and swing, your months and years of baseball training will pay off. You may start off playing tee-ball and then Little League. By the time you get older, who knows, you may be such a good hitter that you play high school, college or pro baseball.
About the author: Coach Joe Brockhoff, creator of the Super 8 Hitting System, has over 25+ years of baseball training experience teaching younger baseball players the proper hitting mechanics. Get his 5 free baseball hitting training videos here.