Baseball Instruction/11 year old afraid to hit ball


Midwest_Fear wrote at 2014-04-09 10:10:58
While I realize this post is a few years old, the info will always help someone, good stuff there Jack, thanx! (although the links are no longer active, every little bit helps in my case)

I too have this problem with my son... :( Last season, he played "rec" ball and was awesome! He really came to life and grew into his own and can literally play any position on the field. He's been hit a couple of times, but "nothing" that even hurt or left a mark. But all season he got better and better, so much so that if it weren't for him and his bat, they wouldn't have won most games they did.

Anyway, after rec, he wanted to keep playing, so we signed him up for "select fall ball". He's never played select ball and is/was obviously good enough as 4 teams invited him to play.

The reason(s) I believe he's afraid of the ball, imo... (Which we agree to an extent)

I think just the mention of "Select baseball" has a mental effect on him as somehow. I don't think he realizes that he's just as good as anyone else on the field and MUCH better in a lot of cases. Also, speaking of the quality of players, that also includes pitchers who are "less" likely to hit anyone. Most of them are good and they're throwing strikes for the most part.

One of the kids at school is a pitcher on another team and was teasing/being mean (to) him and said he was going to hit him in the face... :/ Since that point, he's been deathly afraid of standing anywhere near the plate... :( So this kid's basically renting space in his head, and I've explained this to him a few different ways... Also, my son doesn't even play this kid's team as they're in different divisions. To add to this, he had open heart surgery when he was a few months old, and getting hit in the chest is always in the back of his head, as a result, he's very limited with sports he can play, basically "no impact sports". (Yes, I realize it's virtually impossible for him to get hit in the chest at the plate, and he does too really, but it doesn't seem to matter)

He KNOWS he's most likely not going to get hit, he KNOWS he quick enough that he can get out of the way of an errant pitch, he KNOWS he can crush the ball if he just stays in there, but he still can't keep from taking that step out and taking 90% of his power with it... He'll jump back in once he sees the ball's not going to hit him, but obviously the ball's not going to reach 2nd base with the type of swing this forces...

Anyway, I've literally tried everything I can find out there, to no avail! We've got a batting cage in the backyard, I'll pitch to him every day if he'll let me, and he's still afraid of the ball, no matter how it's delivered, the exception being a machine, but he's still fearful at first. If I underhand them to him from 20' or so, he'll take my head off, but once I throw overhand, game over, and he's stepping out in fear... :( I've had machines set on 75-80MPH since this started and he'll completely destroy the ball, and putting it anywhere I tell him to in the process... The kid's got mad skills and a lot of natural talent, but here we are, basically ruined... :(

I need some SERIOUS help here AND FAST... :( They had their first game last Sunday and #2 tomorrow... Sunday he was 2 for 3 with 2 hits, and he was happy about that... :/ I'm not sure how I feel about this as they were basically like bunts of course and shear luck got him on base. I don't think I should be supportive or encouraging him in those situations when he's stepping out in fear but it's hard not to at the same time, plus he's my son, ya know?

Anyway, anything more you can add, or if anyone else finds this and can help, it would be VERY much appreciated! Thx in advance!

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Jack Elliott


I can answer all baseball training related questions. In particular, questions on hitting, pitching, instruction, strategy, and choosing the right equipment.


I am former baseball player and fan of the game of baseball. I have played in high school and college and participated in MLB tryouts. My total years of baseball experience covers some 20 years.


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