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bamamike

Help With Strength For 10 Year Old Son

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Hey coaches I need some help with building strength in my 10 year old son for baseball. He weighs about 85 lbs and is around 4'6...He is not skinny he is solid but for some reason he is not very strong and has no upper body strength. He struggles with pushups and situps. He is a decent contact hitter and he has a eagle eye at the plate....but he has no POP in his bat so to speak...Any ideas or suggestions?

Thanks

Michael

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Be very careful with kids that young. The best advice is probably to be patient. He will grow into it. The concern is that if muscles overdevelop at this age, it could affect the growth of their bones. He could end up as a very strong 15 year old with arms that are the length of a 10 year old (except maybe with a slight curve).

Pushups or other exercise that involve body weight are generally considered safe at young ages. Doing pushups and pullups and squeezing a nerf ball are probably all that he needs.

One of things that his body needs to learn is how the muscles work together. That's what sports will teach him. If he is involved in lots of sports of different varieties, his output will look stronger because his muscles will start working together better.

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Thanks for the info...I am thinking maybe he just needs to devold naturally...He has told me he wants to lift weights and I told him absoulety NOT..he was way too young...just keep doing the pushups and situps and hopefully his body will mature the nerf ballsa re a great idea though. As far as doing other sports he played Pop Warner football this year and also joined the middle school wresltling team near the end of the year...So he does all the sports and he LOVES them....

Michael

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Hey coaches I need some help with building strength in my 10 year old son for baseball. He weighs about 85 lbs and is around 4'6...He is not skinny he is solid but for some reason he is not very strong and has no upper body strength. He struggles with pushups and situps. He is a decent contact hitter and he has a eagle eye at the plate....but he has no POP in his bat so to speak...Any ideas or suggestions?

Thanks

Michael

bamamike, Coaching baseball now for 6 years has tought me something about strenght at the plate or having "POP". One thing that can always improve power is hitting mechanics, keeping hands back and starting the hips turning before the shoulders etc etc. I am a huge fan of the new super light bats that are out now (-11 to -12.5) to help the kids that do not have that powerful upper body or are just small for their age. For example my 9 year old son weighs just a touch over 60lbs and is almost always the smallest kid on the field, but has better power then kids that are 2 heads taller and weigh much more than him. Why? bat speed and mechanics. Power is bat speed. I don't know how heavy a bat your son is swinging but going just a couple ounces lighter can make a big difference. Hope this helps

-Coach_Brewer

Edited by Coach_Brewer

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I understand the problem as I very seen this many times. One way to develop upper body strength in kids is simple; swimming! If he enjoys swimming, get him on the swim team! In the past I have drafted kids that are on the swim team because I know they are stronger than those who are not. My niece's daughter is 10 and qualified for 4 events in the Jr. Olympics and talk about strong! As far as getting "pop" in the bat, here is an old-timer's trick. Get an old tire and paint a white circle on the tread, a little smaller than a baseball. Either have someone hold it, or strap it to a tree or fence. Now, get your son in the proper stance, proper distance from the tire. and have him whack it 100 times, head down, short step, proper weight transfer; all the important fundamentals, all the while making sure he is hitting the absolute center of the circle! He will automatically start snapping his wrists, loosing his grip, and develop the "pop". As he progresses, move the tire up, move it down, move him away, move him closer; that way he will be able to hit the high, low, inside, outside pitches with authority. Oh yes, it definitely builds up their stamina! Make sure you get him to breathe correctly too, blowing out as he strikes or he will be winded quickly. It works, I have all the trophies to prove it. and the kids enjoy it. Good luck!

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My dad had me hitting a tire when I was a kid (and that was a long time ago). It actually does work but the problem with it is that it does not properly replicate hitting mechanics. What most of us use now is a volley ball on a tee and the volleyball is soft. The stronger he gets, the more air we let out of the tire. This way, his mechanics are closer to the real thing and he can actually target where the ball needs to go depending on the pitch location.

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We have used "banging the tire" for years and it has helped dozens of kids fix a multitude of problems. You would be surprised how many kids cannot hit that little dot on the tire in the beginning. I necessitates all the fundamentals of hitting, except the follow through, but you cannot believe how much it has helped develop power ("pop"), all the while perfecting hand/eye coordination because the hitter must focus on a spot smaller than the ball, far more difficult than hitting a volleyball. If you say it does not properly replicate hitting mechanics, you are not teaching it right. While both drills help hitting mechanics, each has its own advantage. Also, you don't have to go chase a tire, haha.

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I also used the tire when I was growing up in little league.Thats not to say it's the best way.With my daughter I was kind of the same boat this year until we started hitting in practice and we had the girls taking batting practice using a basketball to teach them to swing through the ball.I was amazed how much faster thier bat speed and control improved in just a couple weeks.The two things left out in the tire drill are timing and follow through.Those are just as hard to teach and just as important but using a basketball or volleyball they develop the all the fundementals at the same time and they naturally start to drive through the ball and develop POP in thier swing.I'm not knocking the tire drill it worked for me as a youth,but in hindsight I wish someone would have shown me this one when I was a kid.Just because a drill seems to work then you have to go through everything again to develop timing as well as shifting their weight etc..

The best swing in the world won't help if it's early or late all the time.

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Absolutely true that it may not be the "best" drill overall, but that was not the question. We are very specific in every aspect of the swing in hitting the tire, but it is only one station and not meant as a cure-all. The tire drill is to develop power. I added the target, smaller than the ball, to accomplish keen hand/eye coordination, which the other drills mentioned do not. It was just one suggestion. If it is used in conjuncture with the volleyball drill, as well as others out there, players will develop "pop" which was the original question.

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