Bunt Young, Bunt Often In Little League
By Marty Schupak
Bunting is a very big part of baseball. And, when a bunt is laid down the right way, it is very difficult to defend. I have always been big on bunting, and feel it can be taught at a young age. There are basically two types of bunts: the square bunt and the pivot bunt. My preference is the pivot bunt because the players just pivot on their toes and do not have to lift their feet. Once in a playoff game, I had a player perform a square bunt, and he put down a perfect bunt, and beat it out...we all thought. The only problem was, when he lifted his leg and put it down in a different position, it was right on home plate and he was called out. The best way to teach bunting for the first time is to practice with a soft covered ball or a rag ball, which is described in The 59 Minute Baseball Practice video. With the rag balls or a soft covered ball, there is very little danger of getting hurt, and the players can actually pitch to each other. Once they seem confident, coaches can pitch a hard ball to his team.
There are many bunting strategies that can be used in a game. My favorite is with less than two out and a runner on third. In this situation, the batter can bunt to the third baseman as the base runner bounces toward home. When the third baseman releases the ball to first base, the player on third runs home, and must slide. If it is a good bunt, and the base runner breaks to home when he should, this is almost unstoppable. Remember that youth baseball players can practice bunting at a very young age. Seek out your high school coach to teach the proper technique. Also, make sure your best bunters get a chance to swing away.
Marty Schupak has coached youth baseball for 18 years and is the video creator of "The 59 Minute Baseball Practice", "Backyard Baseball Drills", "Winning Baseball Strategies", "Hitting Drills & Techniques", “Pitching Drills & Techniques”, and author of the popular book, "Youth Baseball Drills". He is a principle with Videos For Coaches and is also President of the Youth Sports Club, a group dedicated to making sports practices and games more enjoyable for kids.
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