I have a special request for baseball parents, youth coaches and Little League Board members. Let’s learn the proper way to teach our players, especially our young players, especially our OWN children, how to protect themselves from a dangerous inside pitch. We want to avoid that horrible silence that comes over an entire ball park when a player is severely injured.
If anyone involved in baseball coaching doesn’t make this the first thing they teach a player, they are making a huge mistake. Especially, if it is a young player who is just learning the game of baseball. I can’t think of anything on the baseball field that’s more important than the safety of the players.
Getting hit by a pitch can be a very serious matter and at times can be downright disheartening. There are two things that I teach younger players right off the bat, no pun intended. One is how to properly get out of the way from an inside pitch. The other thing is how a pitcher should cover home plate when a ball gets away from the catcher. Young pitchers must be taught that when they cover home plate they must stand in fair territory in front of the plate. Please read the previous sentence again. You must give the base runner access to the plate and cannot get in his path. Many pitching careers have ended when a base runner sprinting to the plate has demolished a pitcher who was in his path. I don’t want you to be added to the list.
Okay, let’s get back to getting out of the way from an inside pitch. Unfortunately, many baseball players at all levels of play have not learned the proper way to get out of the way from an inside pitch. Even in the professional ranks, quite often it is not executed properly. I find it somewhat bothersome that anyone involved in baseball coaching would not teach the proper way to do this before worrying about batting averages, hitting line drives and home runs. There is no excuse for this.
The Very Simple And Proper Way To Protect Yourself:
- You take your stride and see that the baseball is coming in your direction.
- You should fairly easily be able bend at the waist, tuck your head in with your chin against your chest and turn a quarter turn toward the catcher.
It’s the fastest, easiest and most effective way to protect your head, face, chest, stomach and groin area. The worse scenario would then be getting hit by the baseball in the upper back, mid or lower back, rear end or the back of your legs. It is absolutely necessary for you to protect your head and the entire front of your body!
To keep it simple, tuck your head in and duck, putting your chin against your chest and bend and turn toward the catcher.
When a baseball player gets severely injured when hit by a pitch, it is a sad time for all who are involved, especially if it is a younger player. The entire ballpark gets very quiet. Suddenly, it doesn’t matter what team you are on, what the score is or which team you are rooting for. Managers, coaches, umpires, players, and spectators, including relatives of the injured player will all be devastated. If at all possible, we want to avoid this. Please learn this technique so we can all enjoy the baseball game itself. If you are involved in baseball coaching, are a baseball parent, Little League Board member, etc, please put this on the very top of your list of baseball priorities.
Let’s worry about hitting for higher averages and hitting home runs later on!
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