say these words to your young baseball or softball player
The typical course of a routine baseball game
contains many words and phrases that have come to mean certain
things to certain people. They are mostly harmless and mostly
offered in the context of the rich traditions of the game.
Over the years, I have noted more use of these
or similar words and phrases when our children play baseball or
softball. The meaning of these same words and phrases doesn’t have
the same impact on someone who cannot yet understand the vernacular
of the game.
In order to provide our readers with a new
perspective on teaching their children baseball/softball skills, I
wanted to offer some guidance that I have used with the children our
my teams. The guidance below is not absolute; however, I would
encourage you to take this perspective as you continue to teach your
child sports skills – or any skills.
“Be a hitter.” “Drive this one.” While these are historically
useful phrases we here at baseball games, they offer almost no value
to young children learning sports skills. That kind of guidance is
analogous to a math teacher encouraging her students by saying:
“Add those number.” “Get those fractions.”; or, a piano teacher
offering: “Hit those keys.” There is no substantive teaching that
is taking place. “Swing Harder” offers no measurable criteria to
your young athlete. He or she will never really know if they did
Even if ‘swinging hard’ is accomplished the mechanics associated
with that crude guidance will do little to consistently help your
child hit a baseball or softball.
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