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Batting Tips for the Youth League Slugger


Don`t Look At Called Strike 3
Get The Bat Off The Shoulder
Drive The Ball
"Force" The Defense To Make A Mistake

Skylar Sheffield


First relax. Now place your feet shoulder width apart. Stay relaxed - a little flex in the knees reduces tension. Now get your three "eyes" to connect if you drew a straight line from each eye. The 1st eye is your belt buckle; the 2nd eye is your left foot; the 3rd eye is your right foot. Turn your left foot in (to the right) slightly and turn your right foot in (to the left) slightly. Now, if you drew an imaginary straight line from all three eyes they should connect. Adjust as needed, but keep your weight centered over the front part of your body (with left shoulder closed slightly). Now you are balanced. Stay relaxed.

Mechanics of the Swing

Use a 1-2-3-4 approach. Do this after you are balanced. As the pitcher commits to pitch (his front crosses the rubber or moves forward to the plate) follow these steps.

1. Turn left shoulder in slightly.
2. Stride directly toward the pitcher - landing softly. Extremely important to keep hands back on the stride. When the front foot lands, the hands should be back.
3.Squash a bug with your back foot, but don't turn (roll) your ankle over, you'll lose balance.
4. Follow through with your swing.


Remember to relax. Holding the bat with a loose top hand helps you to be loose up top. You will automatically tighten up when you swing.


These one-arm hitting drills with a batting tee will improve your balance and your swing. Note: These instructions are written for a right-sided hitter (just reverse arm for a left-sided hitter).

Get A Grip

You’ll need a baseball, a bat and a baseball tee. First, lay the bat handle onto your right hand (or the hand you feel more comfortable with). Usually that’s the same hand you use to throw or write. That’s your batting hand (for a right-sided hitter, your right hand). The bat should rest against the base of your fingers, not on the fatty part of the lower palm. The left hand should now grip the bat below the right hand.


Make sure that you line up the knuckles on the hands – this is important as it will help you develop an “inside swing” (shorter route to the ball).

Take A Stance

Get comfortable in front of the tee. There’s nothing wrong with “choking up” on the bat handle, or positioning your hands higher up on the bat handle, whatever is comfortable for you. Place the bat on your right shoulder. Take a swing. Note that each arm makes a different motion. Your right arm makes a punching motion down and out. The left hand makes a karate chop from your shoulder to the tee.


First one arm...

Now , work each arm separately. First, the front-arm, the one that faces the pitcher. For right-handed batters, that’s your left arm. For lefty batters, that’s your right arm.
Set up a batting tee and a home plate (piece of paper, towel or other object as a plate).

The tee should be in front of the plate - hitters hit the ball in front of the plate not over the plate (so never stand directly in front of the tee when practicing). Remember, hit the ball in front of the plate.
Stand at the plate with as if you’re going to hit a baseball. Your feet are a shoulder-width apart. You don’t need a bat yet.
Grab the front of your shirt with your right hand. You might feel silly, but it’s important to keep holding onto your shirt to achieve proper balance.

Put your other left hand on your right shoulder. Now slice your left hand down toward the tee at a 45-degree angle, karate style. You’ll do this same exercise with a ball on the tee and holding a bat (you’ll have to choke up on the handle). Remember that your right hand must hold onto the front of your shirt. With the left hand, hold a bat so that it feels comfortable as you swing it away from you. Chop the bat down toward the tee and hit the baseball. Don’t worry about where the ball goes. Try to hit the ball in the middle, not on top or the bottom.


...Then the other arm

Now we’ll do the drill for your right hand. Make your left arm hug your chest while making a punching motion toward the tee with your right hand. Next, pick up the bat and repeat the punching motion. You’ll have to choke up on the handle for comfort. Drive your bat down and out.


Sweeping the Table

A good swing has follow-through. You hit down toward the tee and out, as if you were hitting through a line of baseballs on a tabletop. This is called “sweeping the table.”


Bunting Instruction

Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays, two of the game’s greatest hitters, were willing to lay down a bunt if it helped their team. Baseball is one of the few sports that require the individual to “sacrifice” himself or herself for the team. For such a noble cause, you should know how to do it right.

With a “sacrifice” bunt, you advance a runner who is already on base but you’ll probably be out. There are other kinds, a “drag” bunt, for instance, but we’re teaching you the most fundamental of the bunts. A coach will tell you which direction to bunt the ball. In the majors, most sac bunts are hit toward the first baseman. In youth leagues, the angle is often toward third to make the pitcher or third baseman run in – except with a runner on third, then the coach wants you to bunt the ball to the right side of the pitching mound (toward first base).

There are several ways to set up for a bunt, including the square-around method. Let's discuss the pivot-in-place technique. In the batter’s box, move up so that your front foot is ahead of the plate. This makes it easier to bunt the ball in fair territory. Position your back foot to within a few inches of the plate to increase plate coverage. Set up as you do in a normal batting stance. As the pitcher begins his stretch, pivot on the balls of your feet so that your hips and upper body face the pitcher. Keep your eyes fixed on the pitcher. Bend your knees slightly. Let your back leg take some of your weight.

At the same time, slide your top hand up the barrel and regrip the bat firmly just below the label using the thumb and the topside of a curled-under index finger. The other hand should stay in place by the knob of the bat. Hold the bat away from your body, just above the belt. Tuck your fingers underneath. You don’t want the ball hitting them.

Hold the bat so that the fat end is slightly higher than the knob of the handle. Angle the bat in the direction you want the bunt to go. Try to catch the ball on the fat part of the bat. Don’t stab at the ball. This is why many bunts don’t work. Even a major league player will sometimes try to hit the ball when he should let the bat receive it. Avoid bad balls and high pitches. A good pitch to bunt is down in the strike zone.

Start the bat at the top of the strike zone and use your legs as an elevator to go up and down. By using your legs, the angle of the bat won’t change. If you choose not to take the pitch, bring the bat back across the strike zone and return it to your shoulder. In the process you are blocking the catcher’s view for a split second. The catcher might lose sight of the ball and misplay it.

Use your legs.

Think of it as playing catch. You know how you bend your knees when you make a catch and then straighten them after you’ve made the grab? Well, it’s just like that when you bunt. You want to catch the ball with the bat. And you start to stand up as you make contact with the barrel of the bat. Making contact with the barrel of the bat kills the ball so you won’t get a hard bunt. You want to make sure that your bunt is soft so you can advance the runners.


Catchers can be quick.

If the bunt is too soft, they can reach the ball and throw the ball to a base for the out. So you should try to aim the baseball to travel in between the catcher and the infielder. The batter should know which player moves quicker to put the bunt in the right spot so it can work.


Using the Batting Tee

This section will teach you a simple drill using your batting tee to hit pitches over the inside and outside corners of the plate.

The goal is to use the same swing for every ball.

1. Place your tee on the outside back edge of home plate. Stand next to the plate and make contact following your normal swing. Remember this from Hitting Instruction above? Your batting hand makes a punching motion; the lower hand on the bat makes a karate chop. Don’t try to hit a home run. Line drives are what you want. Home run power can come later. You’ll find that you’re driving the ball to the opposite field from where you’re standing. If you bat on the left side of the plate, the ball is going to right field.

2. Now move your tee to the front of home plate. This time, when you hit the ball it should head straight out to center field.

3. Finally, place the tee on the inside edge of home plate. Try to “pull the ball.” If you’re batting right-handed, you’re standing on the left side of home plate and the ball should be going to left field.

Young players have a hard time with outside pitches. They want to go after the ball, so they reach out, which takes the strength out their swing.

No wonder youth league coaches tell their pitchers to throw a lot of pitches down-and-away!

If you like this instructions and you will like some more free tips please go to the ETEAMZ baseball Tips and drills web site