How to teach a 2-yr-old to hold a baseball bat:
First, we can get them in a decent stance. Have them stand with their feet approximately shoulder width apart. Have their feet lined up with the imaginary pitcher and their front shoulder pointed directly at the pitcher. They often will stand with straight legs, but eventually they should have slightly bent knees with their weight close to centered or a little on their back leg. Their chin should nearly be on the front shoulder with both eyes able to see the pitcher.
Have them put their bottom arm straight out, which would be their left if swinging right-handed. Place the bat in their bottom hand towards the back of the fingers. Don’t bury the bat deep in their palm. Next have them put their right hand on top of the left. Again try not to have it deep in their palm. Have them line up their “knocking knuckles” and keep their hands touching while holding the bat.
If the bat is too heavy simply have them choke up or move their hands up the handle of the bat until they can control the bat comfortably.
Getting ready to swing
Now we can have them bend their knees and bring the bat up to around the height of their back shoulder. You do not need them to have their back elbow up. The important thing is that they keep their hands up when the pitch is coming and not have their back shoulder and hands dip down.
Keep it very basic and fun. Try to have simple words to remind them to make corrections. For example if their hands start to break apart you could say “touching” and that should remind them to keep their hands together.
Line up the knuckles they would use to knock on a door and make sure the bat is not too heavy. A wiffle ball bat works great starting out. We recommend trying this to build confidence and have fun!
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How to teach your child to throw a baseball:
How to teach your child to throw a baseball starts with helping them get a good grip on the ball. Ideally, your child should grip the ball across the seams. If their hand is big enough, two fingers should go across the horseshoe shape. The two seams should be running horizontal. This grip will give the proper 12-6 spin or end over end spin, which helps the ball travel. It takes a lot of practice to quickly grip the ball properly. If your child is very young don’t even worry about it.
Encourage your child to make a circular motion when throwing. The circular motion will be larger the further or harder they throw. When they take the ball out of the glove it should be a down and around motion instead of a straight back and forward motion. It is critical that your child keeps his hand on top of the ball while bringing it down and around.
After fielding the ball the front shoulder should be pointed towards the target. Young kids tend to square up when throwing. Advise them to “hop on their skateboard” as a reminder to get sideways.
The player should then step towards the target with their lead foot and push off the back leg while using the entire body to throw.
Very young players may step with the wrong foot. You can start by angling properly and having them throw the ball without stepping. Have them shift their weight from the back leg to their front while throwing.
Another thing to keep in mind is to encourage hard throws with 12-6 rotation.
We recommend these when starting out teaching your child to throw a baseball.
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