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Coach Andy's Hitting E-zine, #43 - Hitting Trip headed your way
July 10, 2007

My Vacation Hitting Trip along with tips

Here's what I have for you: A hitting trip, a hitting tip, and a hitting book.

Anyone in Prescott, other parts of AZ or San Diego?

This Thursday, July 12th, I'm heading to San Diego, CA to catch Sea World this Friday, but I may be available Saturday morning before I head out to Phoenix and on up to Prescott/Flagstaff for 3 days (Sunday after church, through Tuesday), since my oldest son lives there.

If any of you have a team, or even individuals, or a group of friends who want to hit better, let me know. (If so, please respond to this newsletter by hitting reply in your e-mail program, this way I will already have you whitelisted. In other words, if you send me an e-mail from another e-mail account, it might not get through the spam blockers) or call me at 805-642-5827.

I will try to put on a clinic or private lessons as they will fit into my schedule.

A tip on getting really young ones to hit

I'll occasionally get a call or e-mail from parents asking me how to get their 6, 7, or 8 year old to hit harder or better.

And while well meaning and certainly asking a professional dedicated to helping all of you and your kids be better hitters, I have to step back from time to time and ask what's the end goal here? Is it for the kid to hit better and be the best 6 year old player there ever was, or is it to give them a life long love of the game?

Here's the answer I gave this past week:

A: I'm going to risk not giving you the technical answer to your question to hopefully give you a better answer. I hope you receive it in the manner it is given.

This is a story about my youngest son, who's now 10. As you can imagine, since I've been a coach of baseball and softball for 35 years, I'd really love to have a baseball playing son. My oldest sons only played little league, so this little guy is my last shot.

Now the challenge comes in that I've also observed 35 years of what works and what doesn't, so as much as a lot of parents rush to get their kids into baseball at the first chance they can (normally around 5 - 6 for teeball), I deliberately held him out until he was 8, because in my observation, a kid will generally get 10 years out of organized ball (some more, many less, but 10 years is a good rule of thumb) and this would put him through high school, if it works out that way.

Throughout his 4 - 8 year old years we would just play catch, go to baseball games, he'd watch kids come for lessons, and I'd have him hit left handed.

So when he was 8 we signed up for the machine pitch league. I stuck to my guns as to what I observed worked best and taught him to stay batting left handed, even though his first coaches tried to show me he could bat better right handed. Left handed hitters generally experience more success since they beat out a few, being 2 steps closer to first base, and as they're learning to hit, the pitchers don't know how to pitch to lefties giving the lefty either more walks and thus get running around the bases more, or in leagues where they put it on a tee or have a coach pitch when they reach 4 balls, they still experience more hits and thus more fun. He did okay, but more importantly, he had fun playing baseball.

Next year he had to move up and didn't do very well as he hardly swung at anything. But the thing I was watching for, was he having fun. And he was.

We did get the benefit of the age rule change that made him a 9 year old for the 2nd year in a row the next year. Now he moved up to being average, getting 3 hits all year, but still having fun, especially by having the good fortune to be on the first place team. He had enough fun that he really wanted to make all-stars the following year. So now he was ready to do the amount of work needed to get to the higher levels, not before.

It took a few months of practicing hitting mechanics, before he started hitting hard, but it finally came about, all because he was having fun, doing what he wanted to do, not what I wanted him to do (because I could've squeezed that out of him in forcing him to be better, before he was ready to perform better).

The story comes to now, where he did make all-stars and hit the ball over 200' once this year as a 10 year old. (I even heard from the coach who wanted to make him a righty, "Looks like you knew what you were doing.")

Based on my years of coaching I have a whole strategy on how any kid can make all-stars regardless as to where they are talent wise right now, but the key to all of it is that the kid themselves has to want that for themselves.

I'm writing a book on that very subject that will be ready by the end of this month, if you're interested.

I hope I didn't offend you with my answer, but it's an answer I believe in.

How to make All-Stars

If you have a ball player who wants to make all-stars, let me know you're interested in the book as I'm getting everything ready and I'd love to let my readers have first shot at it.

Again, let me know by hitting reply in your e-mail program and just let me know you'd like to know more when it's ready.

I think I've covered everything in the book, but if you have a question that you want to make sure is covered in the book, feel free to write to me about that as well.

Again, if you have any questions or comments you can write to me via e-mail.

To see other hitting tips in past newsletters, go to the past issues of my hitting newsletter page.

Welcome to you who are new to my hitting e-zine.

Thanks for reading and talk to you next time.

Coach Andy

6801 Dove St. Ventura, CA 93003


Coach Andy Collins has been helping players achieve their goals in softball and baseball for over 30 years. He's an advisor to national teams and can help you be a better hitter. He offers free information on his website and through free e-mail hitting lessons and has just introduced a new hitting video discussing and demonstrating how to hit great with either the rotational or linear hitting methods.

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