Friday, August 23, 2013

Age to start switch hitting

How old should a player be to start switch hitting?

A player can be any age to begin switch hitting, although it is easier to learn when they are young (5-7 yo). Switch hitting should be the players choice and it should be fun.

The key to becoming a good switch hitter is to get a lot of quality swings from both sides of the plate.


Switch hitters are natural righties

Most switch hitters are naturally right-handed, and learn to hit lefty. Only a few switch hitters are naturally ambidextrous.

Henry Knight, a natural righty, started swinging from both sides when he was five-years-old – on his own. Like many young players in Seattle, he tried to swing like Ichiro and hit the ball to all fields.

Now, as a high school player he prefers to hit left-handed, but switches to the right side when facing lefty pitchers or when he is in a slump. Being able to hit well from both sides (.500) keeps him in the lineup.

Some guys who switch hit when they are young become better at hitting left-handed – so they drop the right-handed swing and become lefty hitters.
Drew Vettleson is a good example.


It's never too late ...

A few players learn to switch hit when they are in college or in the pros.


Practice, practice, practice

It helps to get good hitting instruction in order to develop a short compact swing. The goal is to stay inside the ball, make solid contact and hit line drives.

Tee work and soft toss

Doing a lot of tee work from both sides helps a player to groove their swing.

Start out swinging in slow motion to work on the optimal swing path, then speed up the swing using the same path.

Doing soft toss, from both sides can really help with tracking a moving ball.

For a challenge, try hitting small wifle balls with a wood bat.

Mirror swings

Swinging in front of a large mirror can help a player get feedback on their swing mechanics. Start out with the strong side, then try to mirror the swing with the weaker side.


Switch hitting in games

Fall ball and scrimmage games are a good time to swing from the weaker side.

To start out, it's easier to focus on hitting from only one side in each game.


Double the work

Remember that switch hitting is double the work, so a player has to be self-motivated to become a switch hitter. Parents shouldn't force a kid to become a switch hitter.


Takeaway

Start working on switch hitting when you are young.
Practice a lot. Take quality swings from both sides.
Switch hitting isn't for everyone.
Hitting should be fun.



Why are switch hitters rare?


Age to start switch hitting in games | High School Baseball Web



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