Sunday, September 24th, 2017

How can that not be a hit?

September 18, 2013 by  
Filed under Hitting, Off-Season

I was talking to a mother the other day whose son has just begun to play on a regulation field – 60′ mound / 90′ bases.  It has been quite an eye opener for the players.  After an at-bat, a player was heard saying, “I hit that so far!  How can that not be a hit?”  Say goodbye to Little League kid.

The switch to a regulation field is a huge adjustment for most players and often their parents too!  Because of this, kids and their parents need to understand the following about regulation fields:

  • The ability to throw a baseball is now much more important.  Little leaguers can get away with throwing flaws due to the short distances.  Not so on a big field.  All flaws in arm strength, arm action, and accuracy will be exposed very quickly.   
  • A large amount of arm injuries occur during the transition to a big field.  Bad mechanics and more effort needed to throw farther distances combine to create a dangerous situation for those who cannot adjust.
  • Players need to use their whole body.  On small fields, hitters can get away with not utilizing their lower half.  The same thing goes for fielders and pitchers.  The biggest muscles in our body are from the chest down to the knees.  Ignore those muscles when you pitch, hit, and field and a player’s days on the big field are numbered.
  • All previous stats basically mean nothing.  Ever see some of the swings in the Little League World Series that result in home runs?  Some are so ridiculously bad they are actually funny.  But they are not so funny to the player when they now result in a short pop-up to the outfield grass on a big field.  (Note to parents:  this is why you should never present little league stats to your son’s coach.  They don’t have much meaning on a big field.)

In many ways, players reach a crossroad when they get to big fields.  Unfortunately, many careers come to an end.  Those who understand what they are in for and plan accordingly are usually the ones who can stick around and eventually grow into the field.

Tomorrow’s post:  Moving catchers around

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