Hit it far or hit it hard?
This year, my son once again asked if I could help coach his 7 year old team. I’m one of the assistants. When it comes to hitting, I’ve found myself recently saying, “hit the ball far, guys.” I started the season using my standard phrase “hit it hard.” I think I started to use “far” because I felt
the young kids thought that just making contact on the barrel meant they had hit the ball “hard.” Obviously it doesn’t. When I caught myself saying “hit it far” I wondered if that was actually a good thing to say to young kids. However, the more I thought about it the more I felt it’s not a bad thing to say to hitters.
When you hit a mile high pop-up over the mound you technically hit the ball hard but I’m not sure you can really say that was a good outcome. On the other hand, when you hit the ball far you had to have taken a much better swing and you must have hit it hard otherwise it would not have gone far. You can even add a third benefit in that they must have been aggressive too.
I don’t think I’ve ever advocated hitting the ball far as a goal for young hitters but I’m warming to the idea. It promotes aggressiveness at the plate, it promotes a more sound mechanical swing, and it requires a batter to hit the ball hard on the good part of the bat.
“Try to hit the ball far, boys!”
Tomorrow’s post: You better learn how to laugh