Should we encourage switch hitters or not?

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Hey Jim. Thanks for having me again on the show this week. Very excited as always to be here to answer questions, talk about my experiences in baseball, and hopefully be able to help some of the families that listen to the show make some good solid baseball decisions as they move forward.

Before I get into the question of the week, just want to let you know I’m going to be taking off to go down to Florida in the next couple of days as a MLB consultant. Swing consultant is what I want to call my job description, and that is to get an opportunity to go down there and work with some organizations, top minor league players, and hopefully we can help them, with the swing program, put them on the path to advancing their career.

This week’s question was regarding switch hitting and a young fellow that’s 15 years old that wants to go out and become a switch hitter, but [summer 00:00:54] coach is reluctant to have him do that because he felt like it may put his team at a disadvantage by letting a kid go out and try to create opportunity to improve himself by being a switch hitter.

First of all it’s a great question, because myself, I was a switch hitter growing up, and I didn’t start that until my freshman year in college. As an instructor, I try to not get guys to switch hit. What I mean by that, when you have young guys growing up, it’s probably best that those guys learn how to dominate the game from one particular side, so if this particular 15 year old kid is very good at one particular side, and wants to branch out and try to learn a second position that’s great, but if he’s just okay, mediocre at one side, it’s not going to put you at an advantage by switch hitting unless you can do it fairly well.

That didn’t answer the question, but ultimately the decision making becomes down, if switch hitting is important to you and you really want to do that, then you may have to look at alternative opportunities to help do the things that you want to do on the baseball field, which is switch hit, so what that means grabbing some extra games with some other teams during the week, during a league game or something like that so you can get your hacks in, or go on down the cage, or playing up to get some extra action in so you can learn how to hit both ways, from both sides of the plate, those are options as well.

If you’re really good at it, the coach would have no problem I don’t think with allowing you to switch hit if you’re really good at doing them both. I think the reaction of the coach, maybe at this point in time, you don’t think that that’s going to be a viable option to help the team at this point in time, but who knows? It’s February. I don’t know if you’re coaching with him, if he’s had an opportunity to see you hit, and if he has seen you hit, he’s probably giving you some pretty good advice about that’s probably not the path that you want to take right now, because maybe you’re not the skill level to switch hit at this time, may not be up to par to be able to compete at the level that the team’s going to compete at.

Tough question, I don’t know that there’s a right or wrong answer for it. I mean, you make the best decision you can possibly make, and you move on from there. Switch hitting is a tough thing to crack, and the earlier you do it, the better. The more practice you get with it, the better, and when I say practice, I’m not always talking about games. In order to switch hit, you’ve got tot ake a ton of swings. You have to be able to create mobility on both sides of the body, because the body’s moving a little bit differently that way so, those are my two cents Jim.

I’ll be ready to head down to sunny Florida here in a couple days. I’ll be able to take the call and be able to answer the questions when I’m down south, Jim, so thanks again for having me on the show. Look forward to talking to you guys real soon.

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