Slapping

by Amanda
(Nashville, TN)

Hello, my 09 RH daughter plays in 10u and switched totally to the left side in July 2018 and has had slap hitting lessons for over a year. She does well in lessons but her coach is adamant that she should not slap until she is older so that she learns hitting fundamentals. She is small and fast and is the most consistent hitter on our team even on the left. She has the highest OBP and BA without ever slapping or drag bunting. She does already hit line drives to the outfield once or twice a tournament. I have had her instructors and other coaches tell me she needs in-game experience to get better at it. I have asked the coach a few times over the last couple of seasons to let her try in game sometime but he is still against it. I do not want to "question" the coach and cause problems but I also want to make sure my daughter is progressing in the sport. So my question is, is 9 years old to early to start slapping? Does she need more time on fundamentals? Thanks for any opinion you can give.

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Right Age to Begin Slapping
by: Dan

Hi Amanda,

First, let me begin by saying that at 10U, the focus should be on teaching fundamentals of the game. Winning and losing should be secondary. Based on this, I do agree with your coach that your daughter should be learning the fundamentals of hitting. At the same time, slapping is also a fundamental part of the game. Teaching your players to slap is a great way to put pressure on those teams with a dominant pitcher by putting the ball in play. Although I would not want her to be slapping exclusively, mixing it in as part of the overall learning hitting fundamentals would be good. I am sure your coach is teaching his team to bunt. I would think this would be just one more thing that he can have in his arsenal.

Good luck to your team and daughter this season!

Dan

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