Hammer Time

When you work with hitters on a daily basis, you have to constantly remind kids of the movements they need to perform to increase their likelihood for success. We’ve also talked about how many of the terms or experiences I try to reference might as well be a foreign language for as little as these kids understand them.

Well, here we go again. I was working with a player the other day who has had issues in the past of rolling her wrists at contact. When this happens her swing gets really short and she pulls off the ball very quickly. Leading her to have a very difficult time driving through the ball.

I had some ideas so we worked on some one handed drills. We started off slowly and tried to gain more explosiveness but as soon as we increased the intensity the same problem appeared. As I often do I tried to use an analogy or example of what each hand should be doing and I uncorked one of my golden oldies.

Swing a hammer, drive a nail!

I might as well have said do quantum physics or cure cancer because this poor kid had no idea of what I was talking about. Of course, she nodded her head and said OK, but didn’t make any changes. So after I said either swing a hammer or drive a nail a couple more times I finally saw the exasperated look on her face and she admitted that she had no idea what I was talking about.

You all know I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer but even I know if something isn’t working to try another approach. So I took out another small bat and demonstrated the idea of swinging a hammer, first straight up and down and then on the same plane that her swing would travel. We did it with both hands and then returned to the drill.

It’s a miracle!

Once she knew what this crazy old coach was saying and could see what the movement looked like, she got it right away. And danged if it didn’t help her solve the problem of rolling over too soon.

Just remember, the sayings or experiences we take for granted are not as obvious for the kids we are coaching. An old dog can still be effective as long as the old dog knows that there are a lot of new tricks!