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Balance Hitting takes the approach of Long Term Athletic Development (LTAD). The body is a dynamic machine and like all machines you have to program it early to achieve the maximum outcome. Training youth baseball and softball players is easy as long as you do not worry about hitting the ball. Most coaches teach ball contact before swing patterns and in doing so young players develop poor, inconsistent swing patterns.

Training young baseball and softball players is a process that is not unlike training an adult. The difference is not in the training patterns, but in the physical loads. Physical loads are ‘weight’. The methods, techniques, and approach are always the same. What has to be considered is the time and mental engagement of the player.

When training a young hitter you must focus on the pattern that the body is following. The brain wants to repeat patterns that keep the body safe and allow the body to repeat the pattern without much thought. Our training system is based on the following principles:

  1. A training program must be organized
  2. The final results of the program should improve the players skills and performance
    • Increase the players motor potential
    • Improve the players ability to use his motor potential with a specific exercise
    • Improve the players SKILL
  3. The players functional state must be continually monitor
  4. The program must follow logical reasoning

Balance Hitting use eccentric, isometric, and isokinetic (constant velocity of motion) muscle actions to train young hitters. Our goal is to teach and train young hitters to understand their body patterns as they are their best coaches. The following areas of focus guide our training process:

 

For 6 to 10 year olds the following should be considered:

  • Movement patterns - Physical limitations
  • Visual stimulation
  • Spatial Awareness
  • Reaction Time

At the age of 6 to 10, the initial preparation stage begins for players. This stage is more about developing athleticism and not baseball specific body patterns. Although, this is widely acceptable, Balance Hitting believes that baseball specific body patterns do neurology develop during this stage and should be integrated into the players program.

For 10 to 12 year olds the following should be considered:

  • Strength – Flexibility - Mobility
  • Endurance
  • Movement patterns
  • Spatial Awareness
  • Reaction Time

A readiness to learn is key to this stage of development. Players will begin to understand how their bodies perform certain task and therefore, begin to teach themselves how to maximize their potential with a skill or task. The concept of ‘repetition’ begins to be a focal point of the player’s development plan.

For 12 + year olds the following should be considered

  • Absolute Strength
  • Absolute Speed
  • Flexibility & Balance
  • Spatial Awareness & Responsibility

At 12 + years old, the player body system must engage in more complex stimulus to achieve great goals. When the players, body begins to adapt to increase volume and loads the players overall skill specific patterns fine-tune and become innate. An increase in baseball specific achievements do correlate with the players motor abilities.