This time of year, players will start taking hitting lessons again from their "professional" hitting instructor.
But, let's define professional. Most will charge you for their opinion on what they believe is important in the swing- based on their experience and interpretation.
Many instructors will just toss balls to your player, with no progress, feedback or actual instruction. Repeated cardio hitting in a tunnel will not only keep your player from advancing, but can hurt their swing.
There are three fundamental issues you need to be aware of when evaluating professional instruction and giving your son or daughter a chance to succeed:
Cage success doesn’t equal game success.
Many instructors are very good at hitting your child's bat so your child experiences success in the tunnel.
Use the rule of four: No more than four thrown pitches should be in the strike zone. Players need to learn how to take a pitch. Building visual skills and learning strikes and balls is crucial for game success. They should be reminding your player to feel where his/her body is on a take. It should be equal knees, hands still in the hitting cradle and weight is balanced- not back!
Eliminate side toss and replace with SELFIES.
A pitched ball never comes from the side of the hitter, so make sure your player doesn’t practice an angle that only encourages him/her to hook and spin to the ball. Good old-fashioned fungo hitting (SELFIES!) is the best hitting drill for hitters. It requires coordination and timing. The hitter can vary the contact point by varying the height of the toss.
Reward balls hit to the opposite side of the tunnel.
What separates the good from the best is the ability to defend and drive pitches thrown on the outer part of the plate. Is your "professional" instructor just hitting your player's bat?