My son is scared to death at the plate, Help!!!!!

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My son is scared to death at the plate, Help!!!!!
« on: July 20, 2010, 02:02:18 PM »
My Son who is 11 is not swinging the bats. He is really afraid. In the batting cage he is fine. Once he gets up against live pitching he is pretty much frozen. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get him over this?


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Re: My son is scared to death at the plate, Help!!!!!
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2010, 12:47:59 PM »
Repetition of being at the plate with a kid pitching is going to be the best way to conquer the fear.  Kids trust the machines and coaches throwing because they know they are not going to hit them.  One thing I would do is have your kid stand in the box during bullpen pitchers practice.  That will allow him more reps seeing the ball come to the plate as well as give the pitchers more practice with a batter in the box.  He will eventually get a better "eye" for the ball and feel more comfortable in the box.  To take it one step further, i will have my batter yell ball or strike when the pitch is coming to make them focus on where the pitch is.  (of course you don't want them swinging the bat during a bullpen practice)

Re: My son is scared to death at the plate, Help!!!!!
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2012, 07:12:29 PM »
You didn't mention if he has a history of actually being hit at the plate. My 10 year old went through that last spring. Once we started facing better pitchers and he wasn't hit-by-pitch for 3 or 4 games in a row, he lit up the joint with his bat. As stated before, the best cure is more at bats. Also, it's at this age that kids get tough. Once upon a time getting hit by a ball (either thrown or batted) was the most painful thing they could remember. After getting stepped on by cleats, being slid into on a base or running into a teammate a few dozen times, taking one off the shoulder doesn't seem to hurt as much. Maybe get him a guard for his elbow or ankle to boost his confidence while he rides this out. good luck.

Re: My son is scared to death at the plate, Help!!!!!
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2012, 10:24:33 AM »
I went through this with an older kid. It was a direct rflection on being hit and not knowing how to take a pitch. My kid was so scared that when the pitcher would go through the wind my kid would jump out of the batters box, jump back in, and still make contact. If its the fear of being hit that the kid is scared of then it is a hard mindset to break. They have to grow to trust their abilities (as well as the pitchers they face). I would agree facing good pitching helps but you wont know the other pitchers ability.

Some of the things I did to help my kid was to pitch to him at a speed that he will see so he can get use to the motion. I would tell him to put his nose on the ball so he could help himself track it better. More repetition the better. Teach him he doesnt have to jump clear out of the batters box to avoid the ball. While a little archaic I had my kid stand in two 5 gallon buckets (one foot in each)as I lobbed tennis balls at him. This helped him realize to adjust his body to get out of the way without bailing all out. Also teach him how and where to take a pitch. Practice this with tennis balls!

It is a hard mindset to battle, be patient, be understanding, it might take some time for his confidence to get there but keep working with constant practice.

Re: My son is scared to death at the plate, Help!!!!!
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2012, 02:11:13 PM »
There's only one way to break it, and if you can't there's no point in playing because fear of the ball will be the end of success, and therefore fun. Then the only hope is becoming a dominant pitcher.

Re: My son is scared to death at the plate, Help!!!!!
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2012, 06:22:34 PM »
Nice advice Caleb!!! Especially from someone who seems to have to rebuild his team every year. Maybe it is this type of advice that makes everyone want to leave your team year after year.

Re: My son is scared to death at the plate, Help!!!!!
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2012, 02:49:49 PM »
With younger kids who are simply scared of the ball, I have had them take BP wearing a life vest. With those big pads on they think they are safe from the ball and forget about being scared.

For an 11 year old I would start by standing 10-15 feet directly in front of him and give him underhand soft toss aiming for the belt buckle. As he gets comfortable, move back 5 feet at a time until you get 30 feet away and throwing slow overhand pitches. He should gain confidence knowing that any ball thrown at him can be hit.

Re: My son is scared to death at the plate, Help!!!!!
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2014, 09:22:06 AM »
So talk about your BP work.  When you say he has the issue when going against a live pitcher, maybe that's where you start.  Live pitching in the cage is a must; it's up there with tee work.  During a cage session, coaches can talk to them and help them get their comfort level right, when not in game situation.  Once they master that, coaches can reaffirm during the game that it isn't any different than BP.

Another direction you can go is to make them comfortable getting hit by learning where to get hit.  Once a kid knows he can take a hit, the fear can be more easily overcome.  Tennis balls work pretty good for that.  Teach them to turn and bring the bat down, taking the impact in the soft part of the back.

Hope this helps.  No kid should be scared to play this beautiful sport!

Thanks,

Josh Greer
LynkSpyder - Chain Link Fence Camera Mount
www.LynkSpyder.com
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Re: My son is scared to death at the plate, Help!!!!!
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2014, 12:33:45 PM »
I had a kid on my team that jumped out everytime the ball came to the plate, drove me nuts watching him in practice and games. I stayed patient and kept telling him to stay in the box. One game the pitcher threw wild and nailed him in the side. He was so mad that he had gotten hit, the next time up in that game he was so pissed that he swung at the first pitch and bounced it off the center field fence for a triple. When he got on third base I said to him "It only hurts for a minute huh?" He just shook his head with a smile and said "Yeah"  We still have some work to get him to be a better hitter, but he is on his way. I really think it is the fear of how much it will hurt if you get hit. My dad coached me when I was a kid and he told all of us and I tell my boys.........."90% of baseball is getting over the fear of this little white ball, the other 10% is repetition of your skills and fundamentals".  I think you can try anything in practice, but facing live pitching as much as possible is going to get him over the hump.....A kid needs to know how to turn away from a pitch and take one sometimes, everyone gets hit sooner or later.....

Re: My son is scared to death at the plate, Help!!!!!
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2015, 01:38:31 PM »
Hopefully things have gotten better. If you would like some work I can be reached at 816-457-2918, Denny.  I have had much success with hitting.

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Re: My son is scared to death at the plate, Help!!!!!
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2016, 09:50:23 AM »
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