We, as instructors, coaches and teachers will use phrases that are not literally accurate all the time to describe what we want our athletes to do. An example would be, "Keep our eyes on the ball". Literally, we do not want our hitters to actually do this but to young inexperienced hitters, they hear something very impossible to accomplish.
Keep your hands inside the ball. This is another phrase that is very difficult for young inexperienced hitters to understand and to grasp but, like the "eyes on the
ball" phrase, hitters will eventually understand what they mean.
So, Taking our hands to the ball could be another "figure of speech" but, to me, it is a phrase that is misleading in a lot of ways. This seems to be giving instruction for taking our hands toward the ball as we begin our swing. We don't want to do this of course. We do want to lead with our hands and go forward but not toward the ball. We actually want to take our barrel toward the ball.
Over the years I have tried to become more and more literal in what I want my athletes to do. In these examples above. I now say "See the ball" or "Watch the ball" instead of "Keeping your eyes on the ball". To those that are experienced, they all mean the same thing but to those that we teach, they may be confused and confusing our athletes is, of course, not our goal.
I do sometimes use the phrase, "Keep your hands inside the ball" but I make sure I explain it multiple times but mostly, I use the phrase associated with this skill of "Lead with the hands". This is literally more accurate and is less confusing.
Performing at a high level in this sport is hard enough without us, as coaches, confusing them with phrases that are a bit confusing. However, if you actually do want your hitters to take her hands to the ball, then, well, you might want to reconsider this approach.
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