Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Trained Eye

I have to share with you what may be the greatest triumph of my life. My son is eleven years old. Last year in his youth league, he hit over .700, and would've hit higher, but was called out in at least four at bats for "throwing the bat." Anyway, in two games this year, he has no hits, a bunch of strikeouts and a couple walks.

This slump was a little disconcerting, because he had been tearing the cover off the ball in early practices. He had gotten a new bat after realizing he'd outgrown last year's, so at first the bat was the subject of scrutiny. He claimed to be very comfortable with the new bat. His coach asked whether he'd had his eyes checked lately. I didn't think that was the problem either, so I started examining his at bats closely.

Drumroll, please. I would like to shout from the rooftops that I diagnosed my son's problem, and helped him fix it. I noticed he wasn't keeping his head down on the ball. We talked about it, and he nodded like he knew what I meant, but, well you know how kids are. So I walked him through a slow motion exercise in which I pretended to pitch the ball, then walked the ball toward him and showed him how he should watch his bat hit the ball. We then tossed him a few really slow pitches so that he could practice it, then took him to the cages. Ta-da!

He's not a 100% back yet. I see lapses where he is looking straight ahead the whole at bat, but with a little retraining, he'll be fine, I think. First game since my Batting Coach miracle is tomorrow, so we'll see.

I feel like I should be standing around chatting it up with big league hitting coaches at some batting conference. I am totally inebriated by my own baseball prowess. Ha. I kid. Kind of.

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