T Nation

More Hitting Power and Speed

What exercises would you recommend for a 10 year old child to increase his hiting power in baseball? I know forearm and grip work would be important. Any sport specific exercises would be appreciated. I know several of you played or coached baseball at a high school or collegiate level so I would be interested in hearing what you did, or would do if you were younger.

Thanks.

10 years old? Holy crap. I don’t know, my focus would probably be #1 to make sure he is enjoying himself and #2 make sure he is learning the fundamentals of the game. He is 10 freakin years old. I am sure he could increase his hitting power ten-fold if he learned to maximize his swing rather than just get strong.

So that would be my answer…if HE wanted it I would get him a swing coach and have him do pushups, situps, chinups, and other body weight exercises for now, and ask him what other sports he would like to participate in.

First and foremost, make sure the kid’s legs are getting into his swing…I’ve seen many kids who don’t get the hips and quads into the swing for more power…I wouldn’t necessarily worry about doing any exercises at his age for more power…Either the kid can hit or he can’t…and that comes through instruction of swing technique and practice practice practice

A longer then a bat stick, with a weight on it, being bashed at a pole instead of a ball (at the passing point of a ball) should make the hitting point strong.

waist movements, like swinging a weight from left to right and right to left would add some power.

leg work too…

it should work for a 10yo, but you have to be more careful than with a teenager or adult.

this is just an estimation tho.

Raking leaves, shoveling snow, cutting grass with a push mower - that means WITHOUT a motor. Sawing, hammering, using a screwdriver. Get the idea. Climbing trees is also good. Rope climbing too. Got a wheel barrow???

TNT

[quote]sabaz wrote:
A longer then a bat stick, with a weight on it, being bashed at a pole instead of a ball (at the passing point of a ball) should make the hitting point strong.

waist movements, like swinging a weight from left to right and right to left would add some power.

leg work too…

it should work for a 10yo, but you have to be more careful than with a teenager or adult.

this is just an estimation tho.[/quote]

Can’t agree with this. Loaded sport movements (e.g. punching with weight, throwing weighted balls, etc.) tend to slow athletes down and screw up motor patterns. Play your sport to develop skill, work in the gym to develop strength; don’t try to make strength training TOO specific.

As for the OP, the most important exercise of all is restraint on the part of the parent. The worst thing for a child’s athletic potential is early specialization; the more diversity of physical activity a young athlete is exposed to, the better as far as long-range athletic development. Which is to say, the kid will ultimately become a better baseball player if he spends more time playing other sports as well.

Also, the kid’s got to want it…there are few situations as ugly as parents pushing sports on their kids. Most of us have seen the dad at the little league games who’s more into it than his son. Obviously, you don’t want to be that guy. Note to OP, I’m speaking generally, there’s no indication you are a parent at all, so no accusations. But in general, when we’re talking about young kids in sports, it’s best to teach them the basics, and sit back and enjoy watching them have fun.

If a kid’s going to take it to the next level as an athlete, I’d say high school is when things should start to get a little more serious.

These are just opinions. I was a D1 college baseball player for what it’s worth.

[quote]TNT-CDN wrote:
Raking leaves, shoveling snow, cutting grass with a push mower - that means WITHOUT a motor. Sawing, hammering, using a screwdriver. Get the idea. Climbing trees is also good. Rope climbing too. Got a wheel barrow???

TNT[/quote]

And I agree completely with this. This is the kind of ‘exercise’ kids should be doing in addition to playing sports and running around. It develops general ‘man’ strength, as well as character.

Agreed about GPP being the primary thing. Don’t worry about increasing his “hitting power.” Right now. You don’t know if he will even be playing baseball in 5 years. I know I was basketball obsessed from the 1st grade until about the middle of high school… now I am playing volleyball in college. So don’t be concerned with improving specific performance with him right now, keep things general.

As suggested, just general “physical labor” things are great for young kids. Any training done should should be very general and fun and just focusing on manipulating his own bodyweight.

Also, things just as balance and coordination should really be stressed right now. He is at the formative time in his life where his coordination, balance, spatial sense, etc. are formed and these are best done through general exercises. Thomas Kurz has book entitled “Science of Sports Training” which discusses this topic a lot. I’d be happy to share more info from it if you are interested.

There is a time for weighted bats and sport-specific training. That time is not when he is 10.

EDIT: Talk to “The Thinker” and Mark McLaughlin over at EliteFTS. They have given great advice on training youth athletes. Search through the Q&A archives also.