Bunting is an important aspect of the game. Every youth baseball coach must be able to properly teach the techniques and skills related to bunting. You must also be able to "sell" your kids on the importance of learning, practicing, and properly executing both the sacrifice and base hit bunt. This article list 10 important coaching points that every youth coach should be familiar with.
Here are 10 Things Every Baseball Coach Should Know about Bunting:
1. The sacrifice bunt is used to advance a runner. The timing of the bunting action must be perfect. The sacrifice bunt should not be rushed. Emphasis is on taking the time needed to get the ball down and advance the runner. The batter that squares or pivots too late, will often have trouble getting the ball down.
2. There are two timing keys often used; when the pitcher's front foot lands and when the front foot lifts. These timing elements vary according to the speed of the batter and how long it takes the batter to get into the bunting position. Batters using the pivoting bunt can show the bunt later than bunters using the squaring around bunt technique. So, the timing key used may also be determined by the type of bunt technique used.
3. The "Square" sacrifice bunt is when the batter re-positions both feet to face the pitcher. The "square" term come from the batter "squaring around" to face the pitcher. This method is not as popular in today's games as the "Pivot" sacrifice bunt.
4. The "Pivoting Bunt" technique involves keeping the feet in their positions and pivoting on the balls of each foot. The player pivots on both feet. This is the safest bunt technique to use, because it is easy for the batter to turn back to avoid being hit flush or solid by a pitch inside.
5. The grip on the bat can vary. The tradition grip is to slide top hand upward and to use a "pitch grip" on the barrel. The pinch grip is a grip that allows the bat to be held without the fingers being exposed to contact with the ball. The grip being used more and more these days is the two-handed slide grip. This grip is one that both hands slide upward to the top of the bat's grip. The hands circle the barrel.
6. The batter will change bat angle with the pinch grip by pushing the knob toward or pulling the knob away from the direction on the mound. The choke grip allows better bat control. The batter can change the bat angle easily with this grip. To bunt the ball to the first base side, the right-handed batter will point the knob toward third. To bunt the ball to the third base side, the right-handed batter will point the end of the bat toward first base. These elements are reversed for a left-handed batter.
7. With a runner on first base, the bunter should direct the bunted ball down the first base line. With a runner on 2nd base, the bunter should direct the bunted ball down the third base line.
8. The two things that a batter must not do in a bunting situation are: 1) Bunt the ball back to the pitcher. And 2) Bunt the ball into the air. Both of these scenarios will likely result in a double play.
9. The bunter should concentrate on seeing the ball flat onto the bat. The bunter should concentrate on making contact with the top half of the baseball. The bunter should flex or allow the arms to give or bend upon contact to deaden the impact to soften the ball's impact. The ball should be punting hard enough to travel about of of the way down the base line if a fielder does not field it.
10. A key to banning success is the action of the base runner. The base runner can not break too quickly. The runner can not assume that the batter will get the ball down. The runner must see the ball come off the bat and touch the ground before the runner breaks for the next base. If the ball is missed or is bunted into the air, the runner must be able to retreat back to the bag and not get thrown out.
I hope that you found this article to be useful and informative. You may visit the Youth Baseball Digest, Baseball Coaches Digest, or the Baseball Coaching Digest Blog to access a huge collection of free articles on every aspect of coaching baseball. Thanks for taking the time to read this article. Have a great day, Nick.