3 Simple Things To Increase the Odds of Your Son Having a Great Swing
There is so much nonsense being taught out there in swing instruction, and meanwhile some pretty low-hanging fruit is available. If you have a son that is just starting in baseball, these are some easy actions you can do to increase his likelihood of being a great hitter.
#1 - Use wood bats, not plastic or light metal. Parents are afraid that the child will hurt themselves or dent the furniture. I get it. But this is a time when kids are really developing their swing and strengthening the muscles that they will use for the swing. If you put a light plastic or metal bat in their hands from the start, it's going to promote a more back arm dominant swing structure, basically because their back arms are strong enough to overexert. To swing wood, they will have to get their whole body into the swing, and this will create more of, what I call, a front arm dominant swing structure, much better for hitting home runs. And if they're a home run hitter, they will be accepted with open arms on any team they try out for.
#2 - Don't take them to lessons. I know this is going to upset a lot of swing coaches out there who make their living giving lessons, but the fact is, swing instruction these days is detrimental to kids. First, they teach movements and positions that only exacerbate back arm dominance (BAD), which you know by now if you've been following my work, is the essentially the definition of a bad swing. And two, kids simply don't have fun when they are being drilled. These instructors start forcing them into positions and the kids really don't get what's going on. It's confusing. Why is this man doing this, they think to themselves. This is the relationship we are forcing kids to have with baseball. It's really sad to see. Where they once ran home to grab their glove and ran to the sandlot to play for hours every day, now they're dispassionately dragging their bat bags into their half hour lesson each weak, waiting for it to be over so they can go PLAY something else. And we wonder why we're losing to Japan on a consistent basis now.
#3 - If they throw with their right hand, make them bat lefty, and vice versa. We have the tendency in our culture to make righties bat in the third base side and lefties bat in the first base side. But this puts their dominant arm in back, and makes them much more likely to be back arm dominant (BAD) in their swing structure. The correlation between front arm dominance and greatness in hitting has been well established by Dr. David Mann out of Vrije University. He only talks about the left-handed hitters who throw with their right arm, but I dug up the data on the right handed hitters who throw lefty, and there's just as much of a correlation to great hitting in them as well. I talk a lot about how I think every hitter should switch hit, but if that's not what you want to do, at least start your son off on the right foot by placing their dominant arm in front.