When (if ever) should a kid be taught to bat left handed?


#1

Of course I’m talking about a kid whose natural stance is right handed :wink: From what I’ve noticed, kids who bat left handed (or switch hit) advance further in baseball than right handed hitters of similar talent. So, what’s the criteria for teaching someone to bat left? Age? Characteristics? What’s the ideal candidate? Should I have every kid try it? Just the studs? Just the scrubs? It will take away practice time batting right handed, but is the trade off worth it?


#2

I was ambidextrous but was originally taught right handed. I just discovered batting left handed on my own just by trying it one day at a batting cage in Spanish Fork. I made more contact but it wasn’t as powerful. But then I just grew into hitting left handed and now I can’t swing right handed worth anything.

I don’t know anything about the age or circumstances but you might try it just as early as possible. If you teach the kid early he’s more likely to adapt to it than if you teach him later in his life.


#3

I was taught to be a lefthanded hitter. When I was 4, just starting to play baseball, my dad taught me to hold the bat lefty. He would’ve taught me how to throw lefty, he couldn’t attempt at doing it though. I think muscle memory set in pretty quick, and when I’m in a swinging sport, such as baseball, golf, or hockey, I’m lefthanded.

If the kid’s older than 6, maybe 7, I’d advise them to stay righty if that’s their natural stance. Muscle memory has been ingrained in them, and they’ll hit better righty.

I think leftas a whole, hit better than rightys for two reasons.

  1. A lot of lefties, such as Pustulio and me, have two good hands on the bat. They are used to using their left and right hands well.

  2. Lefties usually have longer swings than righties. Coaches don’t mess with lefties unless if they are seriously messing up at the plate, as they believe lefties will have a naturally more powerful swing. So as a result, intead of being preached “compact, compact, compact” like Albert Pujols, lefties will have a bit longer and faster swing, leading to more longballs.

Those are my theories, what’s yours?


#4

Well, I’m asking because my youngest son is 10. He bats and throws right, but he writes left handed. Our league has about 200 kids, with less than a dozen left handed hitters, they all go to the same school. My boy is pretty good but not elite, I’d rank him in the top 40 of the group. When he gets to high school, usually there are 4 or 5 superior ball players, and the rest of the team pick from this 2nd tier of good kids but similar talent. If someone in this 2nd tier bats or throws left handed, they are almost assured of making the squad, otherwise politics play into the selection.


#5

I’d work on it, practice it, but don’t use it in games… just yet.


#6

Well for me it just happened on my own experimentation, it is muscle memory and I learned at 11 so 10 I don’t think is too late. I switch hit for a long time I used to switch throw a little too before I started pitching. Eventually I just lost my knack for throwing lefty and batting righty.

It’s weird I used to do everything with both but I eventually grew into using one for different tasks.
Bat, eat, write and drink left handed (and I guess I play Wii lefty too when I do play it)

But I throw, golf, bowl and use a screwdriver/hammer and nail righty.


#7

One more reason you should teach him to hit lefty or at least try.

If he writes lefty he already shows and aptitude to use his left hand. You might as well give it a shot. After one session you should be able to tell whether or not he will ever be able to do it.


#8

i read this discussion and i thought about giving tleft handed hitting a try.

I bat and throw left handed but i write with my left.

when im done hitting off the tee left handed i will get back on here and tell you guys how i did


#9

oh oops i meant i bat and throw RIGHT handed not left handed.

but lets just say im gonna stay with hitting right handed :wink:


#10

Just thought I’d mention in this thread, I’m getting my right handed swing back I couldn’t hit lefty pitchers for beans last year so I’m gonna try to switch hit like I did when I was a young lad of 12.


#11

I have a question about this very idea so, instead of making a new thread, I’ll just add to this one.

My son is 5 and he’s playing tee-ball for the first time. He’s right-handed but I want to try to teach him to hit left-handed. My wife, on the other hand, disagrees with me. She thinks he should learn to hit right-handed and that I should introduce batting left-handed later. Her argument is that it would be more natural for him. My point is that, given his age, it shouldn’t matter. Does anyone know of any research that’s been done on this? Does he have a natural predisposition to hitting right-handed?

Thanks.


#12

frankmoore - Have you received any response to your question?

I am asking because I have the exact same situation and my father in law thinks I am ruining my kid by having him bat lefty for his first year of T-ball.


#13

I’m no expert, but I’d have him swing lefty, first year of tee-ball. You will have to fight your inner voice to let him go righty. In the long run, being a lefty at bat is a good thing.

If he starts to hate baseball and in part it’s cause he can’t hit lefty, then u might have to give in. I know a few kids, right handed, do everything right but their parents had them bat lefty from age 4-5, and they can rip the ball lefty now (age 8). One of the three kids switch hits and you can’t tell which side is his good side.


#14

That is what I did pthawaii. But since he didn’t light the league on fire my father in law thinks I am wrong in batting him lefty. I was just looking for some support for my decison so thanks for that. He was only 5 so I think the main problem was keeping his attention and not which side of the plate he was standing. I am told as a 6 or 7 year old the attention span is much longer and the hand/eye coordination improve drastically.


#15

Stay strong, at age 5, they either hit the ball poorly, or very poorly, so it doesn’t really matter what side they are on :smiley: Some let their kid hit off both sides at this age, but personally, I wouldn’t even let him swing righty :wink:

This might be overkill, but share this with your father in law:

Now, above all else, your kid has to love the sport. The 3 kids I know, right handed but all bat lefty (best hitters on team) LOVE baseball. If your kid is not having fun, and hitting lefty is adding to the unhappiness, you might have to reassess your master plan. Also, if after a few years, it just isn’t working out, it won’t be too late to go righty (seeing he’s a righty naturally). Ultimately, fun is the main thing, no use forcing anything since most kids don’t go on to play HS or college anyways.


#16

My daughter (4yrs) is a lefty (throws left) and can bat left and right handed. I was wondering how to continue to develop this. Her coach practices her batting right. We practice at home batting left. I don’t want to be detrimental to her swing. Should we bat left all the time now then try right later? Or right hand swing now and bring in left later? She bats right more naturally. At any rate I do not want to lose either handed swing. Any advise?


#17

You might be over thinking it a bit. She’s four. I was a switch hitter. It just came naturally to me because I am ambidextrous and I think that’s the way it should for most people if you just let it happen. In other words, don’t get in the way by micromanagement.


#18

Honestly, she’s 4, don’t put a lot of effort into left or right, whatever side she wants to hit from then allow that to happen…later she will show you if she has the interest in hitting from both sides but that doesn’t really happen until much later. Play catch with her, allow her to just swing the bat and totally have fun. Good Luck.


#19

Good solid advice Dino and buwhite.


#20

There is some advice to kids that might be looking to switch hit, only start to do it if you are willing to put just as much time into T-work, soft toss, video analysis and live pitching as you do from the other side. If you can’t then what is the use, you bat right but have taken a couple of hacks lefty…setting yourself up for total failure.