One of my 10 yr old players dad has been trying to work with his son on switch hitting. Is there a good age to start this or should it depend on how he is developing. My thoughts are that until he has mastered the right side and batting at least 450 he shouldnt bother with the left. I think he could become a very good hitter and should concentrate his reps from one side instead of being a so so hitter from both. Thoughts?
I think it’s one of those things that the younger that you can start it, the better it can be, you might not go to a game with it but you definately practice it if you continue to progress then you try more and more.
Since Mickey Mantle could remember his dad was always telling him to switch hit. Elven even pulled Mick out of a game and sent him home when he tried to hit as a righty against a right handed pitcher. Why? As a switch hitter, the whole point is you never get crossed up by a pitch. If you think you are going to get hit, you will. Takes the guessing out of a lot of the hitting.
The earlier you start anything the better, with a switch hitter, tee work is especially important. Even if you only hit from one side of the plate, nothing can replace the tee work that is needed. So begin there, and then move along. Results off a tee will eventually be replicated in a game.
This is not directed at that particular 10 year old, but I’ve seen a bit too much in my opinion of young batters trying to switch hit at the insistence of the father. It’s always a righty trying to hit lefty; never a lefty trying to hit righty. As I’ve said before, I think much of the head scratching conduct that goes on in youth baseball has to do with parental obsession over the size of Johnny’s contract with the Yankees.
I’d say start them young, because coaches will tell them that their entire lives. Pretty soon the kid will be 20 and can only hit from one side. When I was just learning how to hit again I asked my coach if I could learn switch, because I hadnt really learned anything from either side, and I still got a ‘no’. I really think that at that age he isnt the best hitter in the world anyway. Plus, kids can take in more information than you could possibly feed them, if done right. If you get it to be second nature switch hitting, it could really prove to be advantagious. Coach knows best though. Always. Coach is right, even if he’s wrong.