FanPost

Hitting Instruction

If this is not an appropriate post for the site, or appropriate location within it, just say the word, or can it, or whatever is necessary. I did some review of the standards, and it could go either way, but it's more on the topic of baseball than many others I've seen in this location. It may be of use to some others in the SSS community as well, so I figured I'd toss it out there. Also, I trust the audience here, more than other sites, to have significantly less bias than the others I've found. Here goes...

I'm in the process of teaching my seven-year-old son hitting. We've done this on and off for years, but with him starting coach-pitch instead of tee ball, I've been trying to get on a serious schedule with it, and along with that I don't want to screw up and have to undo something I've embedded in his brain, in a few years.

I brought him to a couple private lessons at the Sox training academy over this past fall/winter. It was a great start, and if that's what it takes, I'll keep doing so periodically, but it's a cost I'd like to avoid - especially when I'm sure I could find the basics necessary for his age. Nonetheless the lessons were worth it, just for educating myself on what to prioritize on, instead of trying to correct everything at once. I had no education (other than watching baseball for many years, and playing up until H.S.) on swing mechanics before those lessons, and reading a few articles since then.

At this point, and until I learn of a good reason why another approach would be best specifically for my son, I've decided to frame my approach around rotational (vs. linear) mechanics, by purchasing "The Science of Hitting" by Ted Williams. There seems to be no disagreement regarding the quality of its content, which is an amazing testament, considering the changes in approach and differing opinions there seem to be on everything regarding this subject, since that point in time.

However, the book only covers what a hitter should do, not how to do it or how to teach it. On the other hand, perhaps the concepts from the book, let alone going beyond it is way more than someone my son's age can grasp, or devote enough attention to (even if I try relating it at his level). Regardless, at some point this information will be useful for me/him, and I can gauge how he handles it, throttle the quantity in the meantime, and at least be confident that the things I'm telling him are on the correct track. So much of what I've read shows examples of the tips coaches give simply because it's what everyone has always done, and don't revise their approach based on what good hitters actually do. Or they change something the kid is doing "right", because it doesn't match the historical guideposts they are accustomed to.

The first resource that looked like it had potential, which probably is no surprise to anyone versed on the topic, is Mike Epstein's site. As interesting as it is, being the person who seems to have made the term Rotational Hitting a common one, it is mainly geared toward private lessons, which are in Colorado. He does offer a good variety of products to do it yourself. I'm tempted to check some of these out, but it's difficult to tell how extensive the content is.

This led me to find reviews on Epstein's products. That's when I discovered Chris O'Leary's site. While the lack of a robust site made me suspicious of purchasing anything at first, I did read through his material. He seems to be on the same page as Epstein, but indicates that even he advocates for some things that are simply not what the great hitters actually do. He makes some good points and seems pretty thorough on the topic. I'm also tempted to purchase his "Rotational Hitting 101 DVD," but I'm not done researching this topic yet.

Has anyone used any of the above, or other products with/without success? Has anyone else gone through this process?

SouthSideSox is a community driven site. As such, users are able to express their thoughts and opinions in a FanPost, such as this one, which represents the views of this particular fan, but not necessarily the entire community or SouthSideSox editors.

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