Teaching a child how to bat a ball isn't easy. Besides learning how to hold the bat, watch the ball, and swing at the right moment, the child also needs self confidence. Learning to hit a softball takes patience and practice. Remember, baseball should be fun, so add large doses of praise and encouragement. [source: Teach Baseball Slowly and Patiently]
Are you ready to teach your kids how to hit a softball? Then let's begin.
- Pick the right bat. Let your child lift the bat to chest level. If it's too difficult, try a lighter bat.
- Make sure your child always wears a batting helmet for protection.
- Start by using a batting tee. Set the height at waist level to help the child learn how to swing level.
- Start pitching after the child has mastered the batting tee. He will now have to learn how to hit a moving ball. Patiently explain how to focus on the ball and when to start the swing. You'll need a lot of patience and encouragement at this stage.
- Kneel about 5 feet (1.5 meters) away from the child and toss slow, easy pitches.
- Increase the distance to around 25 feet (7.6 meters) as the child's swing improves. Toss slow flat pitches so the ball comes in straight, rather than in an arc.
- Increase the distance gradually, until you're standing about 45 feet (13.7 meters) from the batter (this is approximately the distance used in Little League baseball). Pitch the ball in a low arc, increasing the speed of the pitch as the child's batting improves.
[source: Teaching Kids to Hit a Baseball]
Again, patience is the keyword here. Children improve at their own pace, and rushing things can only lead to discouragement.